Demystifying Steam Oven Cookery

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
Understanding the Cooking with Steam Recipe Settings

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 one… 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!

Steam Mode

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%.

Combi Mode

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 50˚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!

Frequently Asked Questions

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