If you’ve been looking at new ovens recently, you may have stumbled across combi-steam ovens.
These are relatively new to the consumer market but have been in professional kitchens for many years.
But what are these ovens? Are they anything to write home about, and should you get one of these ovens for your home?
Below we’re looking at combi-steam ovens in-depth to find out.
What Is a Combi-Steam Oven?
In a very basic nutshell, a combi-steam oven is a normal oven with a steam mode.
There are three main features that make this oven very interesting. These three things are:
1. A normal oven mode
Your regular oven setting that you already use on your current oven. Certain combi-steam ovens have fan modes and others offer convection modes; some even have both.
2. A steam cooking mode
The steam cooking mode on these ovens is exactly the same cooking method as a three-tier steamer, for example. You can use this cooking mode for lovely fish, rice and veg.
3. The combi mode
Both modes at once. This allows you to cook with steam and with the normal oven mode at once, and this is what makes these ovens very exciting.
How the Combi-Steam Mode Works
Let’s use a roast chicken as an example of what this oven can do.
If you’ve struggled to get good results cooking chicken in your regular oven (the skin is nice and crispy, but the meat is dry as a bone), a combi-steam oven can massively help.
Set the oven to the combi mode, and watch as it magically crisps up the skin but keeps the meat on the inside nice and juicy.
This mode allows the steam to penetrate into the meat, keeping it lovely and juicy, while the normal oven heat crisps up the outside.
This mode will enable you to keep the chicken in for longer to get lovely crispy skin without drying out the meat. Oh, and it also helps lock in more nutrients and vitamins into everything you are cooking.
Combination cooking is like having a lovely bit of insurance in all types of cooking. Jacket potatoes, for example, can be done so easily in these ovens.
The skin will be beautifully crisp, and the potato will be the fluffiest you’ve ever tried. Dishes like lasagne can also really benefit from the steam too.
While you want to crisp up the top of the lasagne and have that gooey, golden-brown cheese, you want the middle of the lasagne to stay soft and the pasta to be perfectly cooked. The combi-steam mode will be perfect for this.
Think about all of the dishes you cook where you’d like the outside to be crispy or golden brown, but the middle to be soft and delicious; a combi-steam oven can help you will all of these dishes.
And combi-steam ovens are also a massive help in baking too. Bread, cakes and even biscuits can be done on this mode with brilliant results.
Are Combi-Steam Ovens Worth It?
Combi steam ovens are expensive, although consumer models are coming down in price now, but are they really worth it or are these ovens a gimmick?
The versatility of combi-steam ovens is certainly not a gimmick. You can cook so much more in your oven just by having the steaming function.
However, the combi mode really adds a lot to your cooking arsenal. With this mode, it makes cooking so much easier. Everything you cook will now be moist and beautiful on the inside and crisp on the outside.
Remember, too, that the combi-steam mode is simply a mode that can be turned on and off. So, you aren’t limited to using this mode to cook with all the time.
If you want to use your oven as a normal oven, you can. The mode could only be used to get the perfect Christmas turkey each year, or for certain baking tasks.
With the price of combi-steam ovens coming down now, we think that these ovens could be worth their weight in gold to home chefs who want great results in the kitchen without lots of effort.
Having a steam and bake function on your oven can really improve a lot of popular dishes and make cooking so much easier too.
Don’t forget to check out Chef’s Pick’s other oven articles while you’re here. We have loads of the best electric ovens available in the UK right now as well as many other articles detailing different cooking modes just like the combi-steam mode.
Scott is a writer and a passionate home chef. His passion for cooking began when he was 10 years old. Scott has been writing professionally for over five years now and loves to combine his passion for cooking with his day job.