Why You Might Want A Combi-Steam Oven
This is the time of year when your kitchen goes through its annual stress test. Bring on extra guests, extra dishes, extra work and extra time, and see how it does. Maybe you’re wishing you had an extra oven or extra burner to create the holiday meal your family and friends deserve. One appliance worth considering for your home is a combi-steam oven. Wait, what’s that?
“Combi” is short for combination, as these ovens combine convection and steam cooking. What is the advantage of the two? There are numerous advantages, actually, coming from each feature. Convection ovens cook faster than traditional ovens, which means faster food preparation (and lower energy use). They also tend to keep moisture in better than traditional ovens and cook more evenly. Steam ovens keep more nutrients in your food, keep its color better, and eliminate the need for oil. Steaming also prevents cross-flavoring, so you can cook a salmon and chocolate torte at the same time without getting a fishy dessert.
A combi-steam oven, sometimes called convection-steam oven, helps you get your holiday cooking done faster and with more health benefits. It will do just about everything a microwave oven will, including defrosting and reheating, with one exception: It won’t make microwave popcorn. And that’s not a big loss, according to most health professionals.
If you’re thinking of remodeling your kitchen in 2019, consider a combi-steam oven instead of a microwave. (You don’t need both.) You won’t need to run a water line to it either. Many models have a water reservoir that generates the steam without extra plumbing. That can save you money on your remodel, and give you flexibility in its placement. There are plumbed models, too, if you want that convenience. Many models are 24 inches, so you’d add a trim kit if you’re stacking it above a 27 or 30 inch conventional oven. There are now wider models, too.
Costs are going to vary by features and company. The absolute most affordable – no remodeling required, so you can have it for this holiday season – is a countertop model. Cuisinart makes a Convection Steam Oven that sells for about $235 and is available online and at big box stores.
If you’re looking for a larger, built-in model, Samsung’s 30 inch Steam Cook Self-Cleaning True Convection Single Electric Wall Oven has a water reservoir and wifi connection. It’s at the lower-priced end of the built-in model offerings at $2069 on Lowes.com. Higher on the food chain is Jenn-Air’s 24 inch Steam and Convection Wall Oven, with a $2,999 MSRP on Appliances Connection. You might enjoy its temperature probe for monitoring cooking progress. Higher still is Thermador’s Masterpiece Series 24 Inch Electric Single Wall steam Oven. Appliances Connection gave this model its top rating in the category with rave reviews. The price is $3199.
If you absolutely must have a plumbed model, Miele’s 24 inch Contour Line Combi-Steam Oven is an option. You’re going to get the line’s sleek styling and German engineering. It also comes with Miele’s RemoteVision wifi feature, which alerts the factory if there’s a problem. This convenience will cost you $5249 at AJMadison.com.
If you’d like another new element worth considering for your next kitchen update, check out this look at chef sinks.