How to Choose the Best Steam Toaster Oven?
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Top Best Steam Toaster Oven
How to Select Steam Toaster Oven?
The steam oven is an excellent choice if you look to prepare healthy and quick meals along with side dishes. In addition to offering time-saving benefits, the present-day ovens that run on steam-based technology are excellent alternatives to microwave cooking. Before you get into some useful tips to select the right oven, here are some reasons why steam cooking is the best choice:
4 Advantages of a Steam Toaster Oven
There are different reasons why steam toaster oven can be beneficial:
#1 Healthier and nutrient-dense:
When you cook in high temperatures in a traditional oven, it can destroy the heat-sensitive nutrients like folate and vitamin C. But, with steam-cooking, these nutrients will stay intact.
#2 Fatty Oil is not Essential
In appliances that work on steam-cooking technology, foods are prepared in a naturally moist environment. It means that you need not have to incorporate oils into your cooking. In turn, the calories in your foods will remain low.
#3 Better Reheating Results
When it comes to reheating foods, a steam oven can heat your leftovers evenly. It means that the texture of the food will not be lost and the food will not dry out.
#4 Save Time in Cooking and Preheating
As the cavity is smaller in a steam toaster oven as compared to a traditional oven, the time to preheat an appliance will be quicker. Also, steam is an excellent conductor of temperature as compared to air. So, it can cook at a faster pace. For instance, a dish that takes 20 minutes to prepare in a regular oven, will take just 5-8 minutes to cook in a steam oven.
Now, you know how a steam toaster oven will be beneficial as compared to conventional ovens. With these things known, it is now time for us to gain an understanding of how steam ovens work:
How Does Steam Toaster Oven Work?
In the first instance, a steam toaster oven will look very much similar to other ovens. Nevertheless, as against using a heating element that regular ovens do, steam ovens bring water to a boiling hot of 212 degrees. This is the temperature at which water will turn into steam. At this time, the oven will inject moist heat into the cavity of the oven. You might think that in regular cooking, the heat reaches nearly double this value. But, water is a better conductor of heat than air. Now, your question will be from where does water supply come into a steam oven. Here is the answer to this question:
There are a couple of different ways to provide water to the steam oven. It can be done using a refillable water reservoir like a coffee machine. Otherwise, you can also plumb the water line directly to the oven. In case, you are in the process of redesigning your kitchen, you can go for the second option. It will help you keep away from the hassle of refilling the water tank then and there.
What Types of Foods are the Most Suitable for Steam Toaster Oven?
Many people believe that steam cooking is only for cooking vegetables. In reality, you can prepare a wide range of foods in a nutritious, healthy and fast way with a steam oven. Based on the model you choose, you will get different modes like gourmet mode, convection mode, show roast mode, etc. With this appliance, you can reheat/defrost foods, cook vegetables, dessert, meats and even it can be used for baking.
10 Things to Consider Before Shopping for Steam Toaster Oven?
Here are some points of consideration that will help you with the selection of the right toaster oven:
You should choose a toaster oven based on the space available in your kitchen. Also, you should consider your family size when it comes to shopping for the right oven. Larger units will suit large families. If your family is small, you can go to a smaller unit.
2. Steam Toaster Oven Types
As you plan to buy a steam toaster oven, you will come across three different types and they are:
- Multi-function oven: This type of oven comes with added moisture function. It will inject huge steam into the oven in the process of baking foods. But, this will happen at the appropriate cooking phase to make sure that the moisture will stay intact.
- Combination steam oven: This kind will offer typical multifunctional baking. They offer steam-only settings, convection and combination steam setting.
- Standalone steam oven: This type of oven will have a steaming function alone.
So, you can select one of these types based on your cooking needs.
3. Safety Features
If you have kids and pets at the home, you should pay close attention to the safety features of the toaster oven before shopping. For instance, check whether there are safety features like alarms, child locks, and auto cut-off during power fluctuations. Do not forget to check whether the water outlet system is good. Most important when comparing the safety aspects, do consider whether the heat dissipation performance of the appliance is good before you shop.
4. Temperature Adjustment
When you take the case of conventional ovens, you will find that there will be mechanical knobs for adjusting the temperature. In this type of control knob, it can just obscurely take care of the set temperature through a scale. But, with touch-screen functions, you can adjust the temperature by one degree high or low. It is better to check whether a better temperature adjustment facility is offered. It will help you choose the suitable temperature for different dishes.
5. Crumb Tray
Crumb tray as the name implies can collect the crumbs from the foods prepared on the steam oven. It will generally be a steel sheet that you can slide out from the bottom of the toaster. It is better to choose an oven only when it has this tray. This feature will make sure that you can easily clean the oven after every use out of food particles. You know that food particles if left on the oven, can burn during future cooking cycles. It will also affect the longevity of the appliance. So, check whether the unit you shortlist has a crumb tray.
6. The Glazing
The glazing plays a major role in keeping the foods inside the oven warm for long. Most ovens these days come with double-glazed doors. Even, some models come with quadruple or triple glazing. In addition to retaining the warmth inside the oven, glazing will help to keep the oven door cool. It is a safety feature, particularly for homes with small kids to prevent the burning hazard.
7. Water Tank
When the toaster oven has a larger water tank, it will require less interruption in the process of steam cooking. When you can access the tank without opening the oven door, it will be possible to prevent steam and heat loss. Further, it will also help with bringing down the risk of scalds from escaping steam. Ensure that it is easy to fill and replace. Based on the hardness of water and how often you use, the steaming system should be flushed through and descaled at regular intervals.
8. Heating Mode
When you go for a unit with a combination of roasting and steaming mechanism, you should know about the number of heating modes that the roasting and steaming mechanism have. When there are more heating modes, you can prepare richer foods using the unit.
9. Food Probe Function
Even though this function was unfamiliar for so long, it is gaining popularity these days. The reason is that many ovens come with this feature. The purpose of this feature is to help users detect the internal temperature of the food. For instance, when you take the case of steaks, different people like them at different maturity levels. When the steam oven has a food probe function, it will be possible to test the level of cooking done. If some members in your family like the steaks to be cooked mild, you can just remove some steaks. Then, you can continue cooking the others for others, who need the steaks to be overcooked. In other words, this feature will help you with customized cooking for each member in your family as against similar cooking for all.
You should also consider the price as you will have a budget for the toaster oven that you plan to shop. Costlier ovens generally feature a sleeker look. Also, they will give a more luxurious feel. However, just the sleek design cannot make the appliance any better. However, expensive models have better wattage for quicker operation and even cooking. Even, the cost comes with higher quality and durable materials used in the making of the appliance. It means that a pricey unit will stay with you for long.
Wrapping It Up
A steam oven can make many things easier in your kitchen. When shopping for this beneficial appliance, do consider the factors listed above. The final decision, should, of course, be made based on your personal needs and preferences. The addition of this appliance in your kitchen should help you further quicken the processes but should ensure healthy cooking. So, make a choice considering this factor.