Steam Oven 'Regeneration' setting is awesome

zartemisDecember 23, 2011

Got lots of advice on this forum regarding appliances and our Gaggenau steam oven is IN. Still no stove or countertops.

We've been giving the 'regeneration' setting a workout and it is a killer replacement for leftover reheating we previously did in the microwave. We have no dishware yet (still in storage since all we have for washing is an itty bitty 9 inch bathroom sink, a shower, and the outside spigots), but we wrapped some paper plates in aluminum foil to try out the steam oven.

plllog had posted that this function was great, and she was right! Although it takes a few more minutes than the micro, the result is better. Thanks plllog, because of your advice, this was one of the first things we tried.

Folks who are trying to decide what mix of steam oven/speed oven/toaster oven/microwave might be best for them should know that if you don't use your microwave for anything other than reheating, a small steam oven (so it heats up quick) is a capable replacement. We do use our microwave for other tasks (it's actually best at the reverse skill than the steam oven: drying things out, since it evaporates water from food so quickly and for drying or flat frying herbs for garnishes), but the steam oven is clearly going to usurp the micro for reheating in our house.

Here is a link that might be useful: Video on making fried herbs in the microwave

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Oh wow! Really.. I did not think about this? I am wondering if I should consider repositioning the steam oven closer to the fridge/ plating/ serving area. Does it work for wet as well as dryer foods? I can imagine rice/ pasta etc.. How about stirfrys etc?


    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 4:54PM
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Stir fries get soggy in the fridge. They're not going to crisp up in the steam oven. It's a miracle worker, but still has to work within the laws of nature.

Yes, it works for wet foods, however. Just about anything. It was Gizmonike who first alerted me to just how good regenerate is. I will still zap snacks that I just want to have warmed up, but the most awesomest trick of regenerate cycle is that you can take a plate full of leftovers, inc. meat (un-cut up), starch and vegetables, and they'll all be heated through to a pleasant temperature (not super MW hot, just hot like you're used to serving cooked food at), and each item will be hot, but none get overcooked. I'm sure you could challenge it with really dissimilar densities, but in general it does just that. My first attempt was with restaurant leftovers of potroast, whipped potatoes and steamed broccoli. I have never enjoyed rewarmed whipped potatoes before! That meal may not be as wet as stir fry, but it's not dry.

Zartemis, I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 6:10PM
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One thing to consider for positioning is that even with the steam condense function, quite a bit of steam will escape when you open the door. So it's best put back in the cooking area rather than a snack/beverage area that gets more traffic.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 6:31PM
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I had matchstick asparagus (both green and white) which I had blanched in the combi-steam and refrigerated. That's 210 degrees, 100% steam, 6 minutes, ice bath. For tonight's dinner, I arranged it on an oval platter with the whites going crosswise, and the greens (which were shorter), on top with the tips pointing to each end. It looked pretty. :) I did that because I thought regenerate would be the best way to warm them. Timing it just so, I put the platter in on regenerate setting, 250 degrees....and forgot to set a timer! It was definitely more than the 5-7 minutes I was aiming for because there was a thing with the soup and the whole schedule was delayed. The platter was good and hot. YIKES! So I turned off the oven and left the platter in for awhile to cool. A few minutes later, when I went to take it out, there was still steam coming up off the asparagus, and I set the platter on the island to cool down a little more before I took it to the dining room.

Mind you, I hate mushy asparagus. HATE. It's slimy and bitter and nasty. No problem. The asparagus was still toothsome and firm, barely even a little bendy, by no means soft or mushy.

I don't know what the heck "regenerate" is or how it works, but it sure is magical!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 4:22AM
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I'm curious as to what the regenerating setting does exactly, myself. The oven has 3 variables it can control: overall temperature, air circulation, and ability to increase the humidity level from ambient to up to 100% (in 3 steps) plus a misting function. From the water cycle sounds on 'regenerate', it's not a 100% steam. Maybe around 30% or just a regular misting?

It's quite the luxury to now have 3 ovens: a gas oven with broiler in the range, the regular convection wall oven, and the steam oven. I thought the oven count overkill, but for our first cooking session with friends, all 3 were going: broiling ribeye, steaming corn on the cob plus brussels sprouts with broccoli (that had been previously caramelized in a skillet) in the steam oven and then a friend arrived with an apricot pie. "We'll throw it in the oven when the steak is done", she said. No need -- there was still one oven free! It was sweet -- such luxury!

We've never had wall ovens before -- the side-opening Gaggenaus are really nice to use! And the 24" oven preheats in a reasonable time, the smaller capacity steam oven even faster than that.

Our contractors temporarily hooked up the Culinarian range, gave us temp outlets until ours show up, we grabbed some plywood and some of the old granite countertop, and fixed up a cooking area for Christmas eve dinner. Already the kitchen is more functional than the old.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 6:18PM
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Looking good! Love the backsplash. :)

I know what you mean about the ovens. Last night, I had less than ten people, but still had all three ovens plus the warming drawer going. All different temperatures.

Whatever regeneration is, it manages not to further cook the food much at 250. I'm guessing that's the difference the moisture makes? (I'm still not totally locked in on the wet bulb/dry bulb thing, though I understand the definition now.)

Happy Christmas!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 6:53PM
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