Will a steam oven really replace our microwave?

philwojoApril 20, 2012

I am just starting to research steam oven's after attending a Sub-zero/Wolf cooking demo the other night here in the Chicago area. It was a great night and one of the products they used was they steam oven. I have seen others talk about their steam ovens on here, but hadn't really considered one until after that demo.

My question basically comes down to will a steam oven, regardless of manufacturer totally replace a micro-wave in my kitchen? We don't "cook" in our micro., rather we use it to reheat leftovers. That is about the extent to which we use the micro. Once in a great while the only cooking we would do would be a baked potato.

So, looking for feedback on if going with a steam oven would be better than a straight micro. We are also considering a convection micro as well. Right now we have a micro and the Breville toaster convection oven. We use the Breville all the time and not just to reheat, but mostly for cooking.



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OK one additional question related to this thread, does anyone have first hand experience with the new Wolf steam ovens? I know they are only a few months on the market so not sure if anyone has any real world use with them.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 2:09PM
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Don't have any personal experience (yet) but the appliance manager told me it is better than MW in every way - except for making popcorn.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 2:45PM
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There are some comments on the steam oven vs the microwave here, including examples where the steam oven cannot replace the MW (do you use MW popcorn?).

Basic summary:

For reheating non-frozen food, the steam oven is an excellent substitute for a microwave provided you can wait about 15 minutes for your food. The moist heat results in much better results than the drying action of the microwave.

For reheating frozen food, it will take much longer than a microwave, say, 35-45 minutes for a hunk of frozen lasagna.

We, too, were convinced that the steam oven was for us after trying one out and going to a several hour cooking demo. We haven't used our microwave at all in the 5 months since we've acquired the steam oven, but I do plan to use it next week to make a batch of mozzarella (the MW is a champ in assisting the stretching process -- I find it easier, faster, and less messy than dipping the proto-chese into a consistently temp maintained 175F (ouch) water bath).

The Wolf steam ovens should work well; the technology is not complex.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 2:45PM
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Zartemis, thanks for the link great read, always hard to find things like that on this message board, one of the few things I really dislike about GW to be honest.

But after reading that and actually after making my lunch I am not sure if a steam oven is right for us. We do a lot of reheating and I just made a quick sandwich and then zapped it in the microwave to take the chill off, not sure how "quick" that would be in the steam oven.

Still have to talk this over with the wife, but always looking for healthier ways to cook, and I need all the help I can get in that department!

Appreciate the comments so far and hope to get more.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 3:09PM
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Show me a steam oven that can boil a cup of water in 2 minutes and I'll give up my microwave.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 3:38PM
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This is what tea-kettles are for.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 3:47PM
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I would agree with Eleena, i'll take my kettle to boil water any day, much safer to me than any MW for boiling.

I know a Steam oven won't totally replace a MW and everything it can do, but a MW doesn't replace an oven either or a stove. You can do things in multiple ways with multiple appliances, there is no one right way for everyone.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 3:52PM
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Do you live near an appliance store with a live steam oven or near one of the Purcell Murray showrooms? You could take your cold sandwich in and try it. Though if there are enough other MW-specific uses you depend on, it might not be worth the trouble. We still keep our MW around, but it's in our office for those infrequent uses rather than taking up space on the kitchen counter.

Best way to search gardenweb is to use google and restrict it to gardenweb, e.g. add 'site:ths.gardenweb.com' to your search in addition to search terms. But, it's always fine to ask here, I've found folks good at pointing out related helpful threads that might be hard to find in a search.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:10PM
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I thought about replacing my micro with a steam oven after we had an electrical line failure and the micro blew out. I posted the same thread.

After research and responses I repaired the micro as no one could make a case for the switch out being better.

I also purchased a $30 Oster steamer which I use a lot but nowhere near as much as we use the micro

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 5:34PM
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This is a timely discussion for me. I have purchased a combi steam oven and have been considering ditching the microwave as the lady in the appliance store said I wouldn't need it any more. But, it is convenient for a quick thaw of my morning blueberries or warming some milk for coffee, not to speak of the popcorn. I think I may go with a small microwave in something like an appliance garage in the beverage centre. Close enough to the main cooking action but out of sight when not in use.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 4:49PM
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We did a kitchen remodel three years ago and asked the same question you are asking. We wanted a combination microwave/convection or something similar. At the time, Viking made a steam/convection combi, we watched it demonstrated, liked it, and have loved it now that we have it. It reheats a dinner plate of leftovers in only a few minutes. It will taste almost as good as freshly prepared and the texture will be great. Reheating a sandwich would be a quick process as well and NO TOUGH CHEWY bread per MW reheats. Not to mention the health benefits...
Suggestion: find a local appliance dealer who has a steam oven set up for demonstrations, take your food with you and ask them to reheat it for you. You'll be sold!
Because it is large enough to hold a 13x9" pan, we bake, cook, roast, etc. in our steam/convection combi because of the multiple functions it has. Repeat: we love it. As for popcorn, we use an air popper these days.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 10:22AM
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Find room for the micro!
We added the gaggenau steam oven which I love, love, love. However it meant we did not have a microwave as we used that space. After about 3 months we bought a small micro and put it in the pantry for those things we need quickly. We forgot a suprising number of quick heat items come up.
Wish we had gotten an oven/micro combo instead of the double ovens.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 4:56PM
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