Frequently Asked Questions
We may not have all the answers. What we do know, however, and believe is worth sharing can be seen below.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve amassed a number of frequently asked questions to help inform and educate. These range from information about the Cooking with Steam website, it’s origin and principals, through to specifics relating to oven settings and cooking methods.
In the event you’ve worked your way through the questions and answers (below) and are still left wondering, please don’t hesitate to contact us using the contact form located here. A Cooking with Steam representative will get back to you in a timely manner and will do their very best to answer your question.
Before we begin, however, we feel it’s very important that you have an understanding of Steam Ovens and how they relate to the recipes found on this website. We encourage all members to read the following information as it’s likely a grasp of the details shown here will help you gain a better understanding of your equipment and how it relates to Cooking with Steam recipes and directions.
Steam Mode / Combi Mode / Dry Heat Mode
All oven manufactures will attach a different ‘name’ to their ovens. The most common are:
- Combi Steamer
- Steam and Combination Cooker
- Steam Assisted Technology
- Moisture + Combination Oven
No matter what your oven is called / named, all of these ovens (realistically) perform the same operations, some more …and some less. These functions fall into three modes of operation.
1. Steam Cooking Mode (Cooking with Steam only)
2. Combination Cooking Mode (Cooking with Steam & Dry Heat)
3. Dry Heat Mode (Cooking with Dry Heat only)
We designed the Cooking with Steam website as a resource for all ovens, and as such, we do our best to avoid confusion by simply focusing on these three basic modes. There are, therefore, only three oven modes mentioned in any of the recipes shown on the Cooking with Steam website.
Before we go on… some basic science. Generally, the boiling point water is 100˚C (at standard atmospheric pressure). Water can boil at temperatures under and over 100˚C, though let’s not get bogged down with the factors that contribute to this (pressure, the container in which it is boiled, impurities in the water, high altitudes, etc). This discussion just takes us off-topic.
In short… when water is heated and hits 100˚C, the liquid phase of the water turns to a gaseous state – Steam!
When a Cooking with Steam recipe calls for Steam Mode, the recipe is using steam only, with no dry heat. Therefore, turn the Steam setting on and adjust the temperature of the oven to that nominated in the recipe. If your particular oven allows you to adjust the moisture percentage of steam – set it to 100%.
When a Cooking with Steam recipe calls for Combi Mode, the recipe is using a combination of steam and dry heat. In this scenario, the oven heats as a normal convection oven would. It then injects water (through the water tank/reservoir) that heats and turns to steam. This creates a humid cooking environment perfect for baking, pastry and roasts. Here you are only limited by the temperature your oven can get to, anywhere from 100˚C – 250˚C.
Dry Heat Mode
When a Cooking with Steam recipe calls for Dry Heat Mode, the recipe is dry heat only with no steam whatsoever. ‘Dry heat only’ is ultimately just cooking in the same manner that you would if you were using a traditional convection oven. For this reason, very few ‘dry heat’ only recipes exist on the Cooking with Steam website.
Understanding Steam Assist
A ‘Steam Assist’ oven is not technically a ‘Steam Oven’ as it cannot be used for ‘steam only’ cooking. A ‘steam Assist’ oven is best described as a ‘Combi Oven’ due to the fact it uses dry heat AND water to create a humid environment. ‘Steam Assist’ ovens do not support cooking with steam only as a dry heat temperature setting must be set in order for the oven to operate.
*Some manufactures are now providing software up-grades so that Steam Assist ovens will offer Steam Only functionality.
Understanding Moisture Settings
Some oven manufacturers succeed in muddying the waters with an excess of moisture settings and controls. The simplest explanation we can give to what percentage of moisture represents is the ‘percentage of moisture present in the cavity of the oven’ whilst cooking.
If you have an oven with “moisture settings/controls” – our advice, when following Cooking with Steam recipes, is to ignore them. If, however, you feel it’s necessary to adjust these settings, we advise you to follow this rule of thumb:
- Any recipe that call for steam mode/steam setting = 100% moisture
- Any recipe that call for combi mode/combi setting = 60%-80% moisture
Don’t Get Confused
No matter what brand or type of oven you have, remember that it, like any other tool in the kitchen, is limited to what it can do.
If you are still having difficulties understanding your particular oven and it’s unique settings, please contact us and we will do our best to provide the answers you need. Best way to do so is to use the contact form located on this website. Be sure to provide your oven make and model number when doing so!
Website & Related
What does it cost to use the Cooking with Steam website?
Nought, nil, nada, nothing, zero, zilch and zip! All we ask is that you:
a) Help spread the word about Cooking with Steam. Jump on social media and show us some love.
b) Give us feedback. Use the contact form on our site and let us know what you think about the service we’re providing.
Is the website regularly updated?
We update the website on a semi-regular basis. Some weeks we add 2 or 3 new recipes to the site. At other times, depending on our production schedule, there may be delays that prevent us from adding new content as often as we would like. We always alert members and site visitors to new recipes via Facebook as well as through our website and newsletters.
Is there a steam oven cookbook?
Cooking with Steam is, in itself, a modern ‘digital’ cookbook. For the traditionalists, however, short answer is:
Yes! Indeed there is!
Cooking with Steam proudly released the worlds first commercially available English language combi steam oven cookbook. ‘Demystified – Steam & combi Oven Recipes for Home Cooks’ is a hardcover book featuring approx. 100 recipes over 200+ pages and it’s available NOW from our sister site www.steamahead.com.au
Can I download the recipes?
For personal use only, yes, certainly can! Knock yourself out! We encourage you to share, so please go for it. Download what you need, and share with those you think will benefit. Same goes for our imagery. Share away, just please be sure to credit ‘Cooking with Steam’ whenever you do so.
Are all the recipes designed for domestic ovens or commercial ovens?
All the recipes on the website are cooked in a home steam oven and are adapted for most steam and combi steam ovens that are installed in households.
I found an error with a recipe. What should I do?
If you find an error with the recipe or the video doesn’t match the PDF attached to the recipe, please contact us!
Whilst we road test every recipe multiple times before it goes to print, we’re not infallible and we’d love to hear your experience. You can do that (contact us) via our contact page on the website or send us a message through social media and we’ll remedy that as soon as possible.
I'm having difficulty with a recipe. What should I do?
If you have difficulty with any particular recipe don’t hesitate to send us an email or contact us via this website, our Facebook even our Instagram page.
Generally we’ll be able to help you out with any problems that you have.
Communicating with Cooking with Steam
How do I connect with you on social media?
In the header & footer section of the Cooking With Steam website are convenient links to our social media accounts. We tend to use Instagram & Facebook more than any other platforms and we encourage you to follow us on these platforms, share our posts…and show us some love!
Can I send you post photos of food I've made in my Combi Steam Oven?
Yes, yes, yes! …and we encourage it. We love hearing from anyone and everyone when it comes to triumphs and failures relating to Steam Oven cooking.
Send any photos to us via firstname.lastname@example.org
How do contact you if I have any queries?
The contact form located on the Cooking With Steam website is by far the easiest and most convenient way to contact us as all messages come directly to operators on site. We encourage members to contact us about anything related to steam oven cooking, our recipes and our website in general. We’re a global site and our members exist in many countries – therefore we’re conscious that at times, something we’ve said may be lost in translation.
To contact us, use the contact form located here. We’ll respond, generally withing 24 hours, to all queries. Our success rate in helping people out with inquiries is 100%.
What should I expect when buying a Steam Oven?
Best summed by taking note of this quick video from Cooking with Steam co-founder, Paul Mounsey!
How useful are steam ovens?
Steam Ovens have a wide range of uses. Anything from peeling stickers off the back of new plates to cooking sort of sous vide style. Due to the temperature range that you can achieve using a steam oven, you can pretty much do anything. There are a few limitations, those these are certainly on the lower end of the spectrum.
They seem pretty expensive. Are steam ovens really worth it?
Steam ovens are worth every penny, due to the range of cooking that you can achieve with them. You can do a range of cooking, from proving bread to preparing roast dinners. Steam ovens have a fantastic ability to cook at low temperature as well as super high temperature, all the while keeping food moist.
Is there anything you can't cook with a steam oven?
Yes there are. Those videos are the ones that you don’t see. We road-test as many methods of cooking in steam ovens as possible and our findings make their way to our website. We try and save you money by not having to experience the issues we discover. we all know food isn’t cheap, so we do our best to highlight those recipes that do work, and save you the trouble of discovering recipes that don’t work, first hand.
Can you use a steam oven like a normal oven?
If you’ve bought a combi version of an oven then yes you can use it as a normal oven but there are stand alone steam ovens which do steam only cooking.
A considerable number of our recipes are for combi ovens so just make sure you check the recipe and read through it before you begin.
What are the pros and cons of a steam oven?
At Cooking With Steam we have certainly learned a lot about steam oven cookery in the last few months and what we’ve learned that the good things about a steam oven are that the food cooks really quickly, it gives you the opportunity to cook food at the right temperature and it gives you a real interest again in using another appliance that has added depth to your cooking skills.
The cons would be the price. The price can be a little prohibitive but other than that if you can afford one, buy one.
If I only have space for one oven should I still buy a steam oven?
As steam oven owners we understand how a steam oven can work for you in a kitchen. We’ve used steam ovens for a number of years nolw, in a domestic environment, and would absolutely recommend that you consider you, if you only have room for one oven, buy a steam oven. It can do almost everything a conventional oven can do, however it can also cook either steam only or a combination of steam and dry heat.
In our humble opinions… you should absolutely consider a steam oven in replace of any other oven that you get.
What sort of Steam Oven should I buy?
At Cooking With Steam we don’t actually promote a particular brand of Steam Oven because there are so many out there now and that more are coming onto the market all the time. But what we do recommend is that you do your research and you do find an oven that suits your needs, suits the style of your kitchen and the capacity of your kitchen and what you are looking for as a home cook.
Another consideration is also the price. These are appliances that have started off pretty pricey and they are coming down in price as more players are coming onto the market but they are still comparably expensive – so choose one for your budget and the way that you like to cook at home. Shop around, and don’t dismiss budget priced entry level ovens if this is all your budget will afford. We’ve had plenty of great experiences with Steam Ovens in the $1,500 bracket!
Does a steam oven replace other appliances?
Yes and no. The beauty of Cooking With Steam is that we try and find the limitations of what steam ovens can do, and focus on highlighting those that work best. For the most part, we honestly feel that a good steam oven can and will replace your general home oven.
How do I clean my steam oven?
We’ve created an eco friendly cleaning solution that is simple to prepare yourself with standard home ingredients. Check out our ‘Instructional Videos’ section to find our cleaning solution video and much more.