The steam oven: not just for the pros

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We felt compelled to continue on in our exploration of the steam oven, and who better to give us the ins and outs of this outstanding appliance but a seasoned chef. Craig Bell, executive chef for Subzero/Wolf took time to chat with Past Basket about his professional (and personal) love for the appliance that, one day, might replace the microwave oven.

First let’s wrap our minds around how the steam oven functions. Bell says it’s the simple premise that water transfers heat energy much more efficiently than dry air, and when we add steam into a cooking environment, it accelerates the process.

Now, let’s talk convection.

What convection controls is the crispiness of the dish or lack thereof. Bell explained, “When we are cooking with the steam oven, we are deciding how moist do I want my dish, how crispy do I want it, and how fast do I want it cooked?”

All this technical talk might make a novice a bit hesitant to introduce a steam oven into their kitchen. Never fear, Bell says, you don’t have to be well-versed in cooking to use the steam oven. A “gourmet mode” is set up on the steam oven to get you going, but once you find your groove, you can make your own intuitive adjustments. Equipped with a climate sensor that detects the volume, shape, and consistency of your food, the steam oven also adjusts the time, temperature, and humidity.

That’s one smart oven.

But Bell says if customers opt to take the demonstration cooking classes that Wolf offers at the Merchandise Mart location in Chicago, they won’t need to use the gourmet mode as much. In fact, the sky is the limit as to what and how well consumers can cook with the steam oven once they get the hang of it.

“This a smart piece of cooking equipment that has a tremendous amount of flexibility and capability. If you are a trained chef who is doing complex cooking, this is a great tool, but my 6-year-old uses it to reheat leftovers.”

And oh my, the leftovers…

The steam oven boasts better than ever leftovers and everything in between, which explains the prediction that the steam oven will one day, replace the microwave oven. “The key in heating leftovers in the steam oven is that you can heat your food and do it with controlled precision in regards to texture.”

Committed to creating high quality kitchens, the Past Basket team loves to partner with Sub Zero/Wolf. We know the combination of selecting a powerhouse appliance and creating exceptional meals in a kitchen designed directly from our customer’s own heart, leaves a lasting impression. Not only for our customer – but for us.