At a Glance
- Steam Oven Brands & Prices
- Benefits Of Steam Cooking
- Plumbed Vs. Non-Plumbed Steam Ovens
- 110 Volt Vs. 220-Volt Steam Oven
- The Best Steam Ovens For 2020
- How To Use Your Steam Oven 101
- Key Takeaways
Combination steam ovens are one of the most efficient and healthy ways to prepare food.
You are injecting moisture (steam) and not baking out nutrients like regular radiant cooking.
Plus, steam offers several other useful features for easier cooking and clean up.
Most combination steam ovens can also cook Sous Vide style, as long as the temperatures can adjust in 1-degree increments.
That said, steam is a very different type of cooking. You have to adjust your cooking style with steam slightly.
We have a resident chef at Yale who can help answer your specific steam cooking questions regarding combination steam ovens.
We will also be offering virtual steam cooking classes if you are interested.
If you are reading this outside the Boston area, just experiment with steam and be patient. The results from a steam oven are worth it.
The 6 Best Steam Ovens for 2020 are:
- Gaggenau BSP250610 200 Series Combination Steam Oven
- Miele DGC6500XL Combination Steam Oven
- Wolf CSO24TE/S/TH Convection Steam Oven
- Thermador PODS301W Steam and Convection Oven
- Bosch HSLP451UC Steam Convection Oven
- JennAir JBS7524BS Steam Oven
In this article, you will learn about the different options to consider and what will be the best for you and your family.
First, let's review some basics like brands, prices, benefits, plumbing, and electrical.Short on time? Get our free Speed + Steam Oven Buying Guide
Steam Oven Brands & Prices
Wolf Steam Oven (Left) in live Wolf kitchen at Yale Appliance in Hanover
JennAir, Bosch, Thermador, Wolf, Miele, and Gaggenau offer true combination steam ovens.
Prices can range from $3,000 up to about $8,200.
They differ in features, guided cooking programs, voltage, as well as plumbed and non-plumbed units.
Benefits Of Steam Cooking
Wolf Steam Ovens
As you have read, food tastes better when cooked in a steam oven, but there are more benefits as well:
- Vitamins and minerals are preserved.
- Foods maintain their nutritional value.
- Very little or no oil is needed.
- No crossover of flavors when steaming different foods at the same time
- Foods retain moisture
- Reheated foods will not lose flavors and will maintain their original textures.
Plumbed Vs. Non-Plumbed Steam Ovens
If you're steam oven is not plumbed, you will need to manually add water to your steam oven reservoir.
Bosch Steam Oven Installed With A Water Reservoir
In a plumbed steam oven, the water is supplied directly from your plumbing system. The plumbed units are more convenient and won't need to be refilled, especially in longer recipes.
110 Volt Vs. 220-Volt Steam Oven
You should consider 220 volts for new construction because it can reach higher temperatures for more extended periods.
If you are replacing an old microwave or have limited amps or voltage in your house, then 110-volt speed ovens is a direct replacement without rewiring.
6 Best Steam Ovens For 2020
- Side swing doors for easier access
- Rotary knob and TFT touch display operation
- Touch to open
- Self-cleaning a unique feature to Gaggenau
- Variable humidity levels 0%, 30%, 60%, 80%, or 100% Allow for assorted steam features
- Broil element (with steam)
- Sous Vide
- Temperature Probe
- Plumbed and non-plumbed available
- Cooldown feature to reduce steam when oven door opens
Gaggenau is probably the least known appliance manufacturer, but their products are the best for form and function.
The company's roots can be traced back to Germany in 1683.
Their units are available in 24 and 30-inch widths and can be plumbed or non-plumbed. The oven doors are hinged on the side as opposed to a drop-down door like the others.
Gaggenau does not offer guided cooking, but the percentage of steam can be controlled, unlike the others for many more recipe options.
You can cook in every way possible, including Sous Vide.
However, this oven would be for an advanced culinary enthusiast, a chef, or expert in steam cooking due to its precision more complicated controls.
- Menu Planning for multiple-step cooking
- MasterChef pre-programmed options (some models)
- Temperature probe (wired and wireless depending on model)
- "Perfect Clean" Easy clean interior
- Broil element (up to 450 F)
- Wi-Fi Connectivity (some models)
- XL (1.84 Cu Ft) Slightly larger cavity/available in XXL model (2.51 Cu. Ft same width, but taller)
- Sous Vide
- Bake element (heat from the bottom)
Miele will have the most products in the steam oven category and are known for their reliability.
They are still one of the only companies manufacturing controls and components, so their reliability is considered the best.
Miele has both plumbed and non-plumbed models for ease of use or ease of installation.
It's a great unit to consider if you are a beginner to steam cooking because the MasterChef guided cooking controls are intuitive and straightforward.
Miele steam ovens offer the most extensive features and unique modes, and the smartphone interface is easy to navigate.
Unlike other steam ovens, the steam level is completely customizable/adjustable.
- Gourmet Mode (pre-programmed options)
- Simple interface for ease of use
- Temperature probe
- Convection Humid mode
- Auto Steam Bake Mode
- Interior cavity 1.8 Cu ft
- Sous Vide
- Temperature Probe
Wolf imports their steam ovens from Switzerland. Their guided cooking would be second best after Miele.
They do have some specialty modes as well, like Auto Steam and Convection Humid.
The simpler interface and straightforward modes appeal to the savvy home cook.
This oven is only available in a non-plumbed version and does not come with a drain or broiler and only in one (interior cavity) size,
Wolf is categorized as a specialty oven, usually supplementing a larger 30" wall oven or range.
- Offers 41 Easy Cooking Programs/17 Cooking modes
- 2 hours of self-clean mode
- Rotisserie can hold up to 12lbs
- Temperature probe
- Fast Preheat (7 Minutes)
- Home Connect
Thermador offers the largest capacity steam oven (2.8 Cu. Ft.) on the market today.
It's suitable for replacing a traditional 30" wall oven and is available in a double oven configuration with a regular wall oven on the bottom.
This combination steam oven is available in 2 styles, the Professional and Masterpiece.
Both can be installed flush or standard and have the same functions, but differ slightly in aesthetics with the professional model boasting knobs and a thicker handle while the Masterpiece has a sleeker look with a digital control panel.
The water reservoir is on the inside, so it's important to have it filled before the cooking begins.
Because of the larger cavity, once the door opens, it takes much longer to regenerate steam.
Also, there isn't a drain, so the bottom of the oven collects water during steam cooking. You either need to manually wipe up the water or burn it off with dry heat (Convection Mode).
- 30-Inch Steam Convection Oven with 1.4 cu. Ft.
- Steam Assist Clean
- Genuine European Convection for even baking results on multiple racks
- Advanced Circulation System (ACS) allows food to be cooked more evenly in up to 30% less time by optimizing heat circulation.
- The powerful third heating element that surrounds the convection fan, circulating preheated air throughout the oven
- The oven automatically sets temperature and humidity.
- Perfect Reheating
- Features a boilerplate instead of injected steam.
Bosch is an introductory combination or "combi" steam oven.
It's the least expensive but excels in fish, grains, and vegetables.
The boilerplate at the bottom provides a wetter atmosphere saturating the food a bit more.
Because it is a wetter environment, you have to clean the mineral deposits left behind more frequently.
6. JennAir JBS7524BS Steam Oven - $3,099
- Standard 120-Volt AC
- Steam Plus Convection Mode
- 9 Cooking Modes
- 4.8-Inch Glass-Touch Controls with LCD
- Convection Bake Mode
- Steam Mode
- Stainless Steel Interior
- Steam Reheat Mode
JennAir is 120-volts and can replace the space of a basic microwave, unlike most of the others.
Less dense foods like custards, fish, and grains cook well in this oven.
However, it takes a bit longer to achieve a higher temperature due to its lower voltage.
Casseroles and baked goods go well in this oven where meats and more dense foods are not recommended in the JennAir.
Like the Bosch/Thermador, you have to refill the tank on the inside so that you can lose steam and heat.
How To Use Your Steam Oven 101 [Video Seminar]
Best Steam Ovens: Key Takeaways
Miele live kitchen with steam ovens at Yale Appliance in Framingham
There is a radical swing in price and features between a more basic JennAir and the feature-laden Gaggenau.
For basic steam functions, JennAir, Bosch, and Thermador are all decent. Wolf has some cool programs, but Miele is the easiest to use and learn.
Gaggenau is the best with the most robust functions, but I only recommend it if you are familiar with steam cooking.
You have to learn how to use a steam oven to make it worthwhile. Cooking variables like timing are very different from those of a regular convection oven.
Get the Yale Speed and Steam Oven Guide with features, specs and inside tips to all the steam and speed ovens like Wolf, JennAir, Thermador, Gaggenau, and more. Well over 820,000 people have read a Yale Guide.
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A Note About Pricing