The world is focused on getting more done in less time or just doing things faster. This can also apply to the kitchen and cooking. We are not merely talking about cooking or heating up some food in the microwave. There are a series of specialty ovens where you can cook an entire meal in a fraction of the time. Each of these ovens cooks food in a different manner, which comes with benefits for each. What types of ovens are these? Steam, convection, and steam convection. Here is some more information about each option.
The steam oven looks like a regular wall oven, with the difference being how it actually cooks the food. The steam oven cooks food without the use of any heating element like the traditional oven. The oven uses pure steam to heat and cook your meals. This is done by water being brought to a boil, which then turns to steam and enters the oven cavity. There are many different types of steam ovens on the market, and it is best to read through any directions before you begin using it. Some ovens will allow you to choose what percentage of humidity will be in your oven along with what temperature your oven will reach while cooking. Other ovens will have you choose a level – low, medium, or high steam- while cooking. Still other ovens will choose these levels themselves based on what temperature you are cooking at and how long you are cooking the food. This could become somewhat confusing if you are using recipes for a steam oven and the recipe does not match how your oven works.
Convection ovens can be like conventional ovens in that both can run on either gas or electricity. The conventional oven has heat that rises from the bottom of the oven through the use of a heating source. The convection oven has air that is moved throughout the oven by fans, given a more even heat, no matter where in the oven you feel. The conventional oven can have pockets of cooler and hotter areas, which is why pans need to be turned during the cooking process or food needs to be moved between racks. Due to the even heating and the movement of air, your food in the convection oven can be finished potentially 25 percent faster than a conventional oven. Another difference between the ovens is that you need to preheat a conventional oven and you do not need to do this with a convection oven. If you switch from a conventional oven to a convection oven, you will need to keep an eye on the food more closely while you figure out the differences in cooking times and finished meal.
Marrying the two types of specialty ovens above, you have the steam convection oven. You get the even dry heat from the convection oven and then the moisture from the steam part of the oven. Having steam in the cooking process can offer the ability to retain more of the nutrients from the food and allow the ability to use less oil when cooking. The heat will be evenly distributed throughout the oven so cooking times will be reduced. The food will brown easier with the partial overcooking/burning being reduced or eliminated.
If you are looking to add additional specialty ovens or upgrade your current cooking methods, these ovens are worth a look.