The steam Mode in a Combi-Steam oven is usually pre-set between 210-212 degrees, some ovens may allow you to decrease the Steaming temperature but since water boils at 212 degrees this is the ideal temperature for steaming.
When using the oven in the Steam Mode you will see copious amounts of steam. To avoid a lot of steam blowing out of the oven when you open it first crack it a little to let some steam escape then open it fully.
Have a clear space ready to place dishes that come out of the Steam Oven and keep a trivet and absorbent kitchen towel handy to mop up moisture from the cooking trays.
Most Combi ovens are equipped with a perforated pan and a solid pan, some ovens also have ½ size pans which are very useful for cooking smaller quantities of food. If your oven doesn’t have ½ sized pans you could check online to see if the manufacturer sells them in their e-shop or look for them at a restaurant supply store. You can also use glass or ceramic containers.
The steaming mode definitely makes dinner prep easy because you can cook multiple foods at one time with no transference of flavor. So for example, you can be steaming a pan of rice or quinoa and add in some vegetables to cook at the same time, if the rice takes 20 minutes and the vegetable 6 - 8 minutes, then add the vegetables in towards the end of the cooking time for the grains.
For tips on steaming click on the Red links
When baking in a Convection Steam Oven the important thing to remember is that it is a Convection Oven and when you bake in the Convection Mode you must always reduce recipe temperatures by 25 degrees and if baking in a glass dish for even results you will need to reduce the recipe temperature by 30 degrees.
Keep in mind that Convection Steam Ovens are compact and compact ovens do tend to cook faster so for best results also check food earlier than the stated recipe time.
Convection is a strong driving heat that circulates around the oven cooking the food from the edge to the core, a dark ring around the edge of the item being baked is a clear indication that the temperature was too high.
When using higher temperatures with steam you won’t actually see any steam in the cavity but a little may vent from the oven from time to time.
To understand which items will benefit from being cooked in this Mode you will find guidance in the traditional recipe.
For example the recipe for lasagna says to cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes (foil traps the steam cooking the food) then the foil is removed for the remainder of the cooking time to achieve browning.
For tips on Steam Baking click on the Red links
Because steam inhibits cellular breakdown during the cooking process, meats cooked in this mode are noticeably more flavorful and juicy. However the combination of Convection heat plus Steam is extremely powerful, so moderate temperatures are recommended when cooking in this Mode to avoid overcooking.
To render the fat and create a crisp crust meat can be roasted at high temperatures of 400 degrees in the Convection Mode with no Steam for 12-15 minutes then cooked through at 325- 350 degrees in the Convection Steam Mode for a perfect finish.
Small cuts of meat and fish can be cooked on a rimmed baking sheet and will cook in stated recipe time.
Beef, lamb, pork roasts and whole poultry should be cooked on a rack in a shallow pan to avoid the juices being leached from the meat and to allow the circulating heat to evenly penetrate the roast.
Most roasts ranging from 3 - 7lbs will cook in stated recipe time however a 10 - 14lb turkey (the maximum weight for most steam ovens) will cook in approximately 1 ½ hours.
Poultry roasted in Convection Steam retains a lot of moisture and when carving the roast you may see redness around the joints, as long as the meat is cooked through this is perfectly safe and no cause for alarm. Because there is so much moisture retention when roasting in Convection Steam there is less drying of the bones.
For more tips click on the Red links
Tips for Braising in the Combi Steam Oven
Braising, in which less tender cuts of meat slowly cook in a luscious bath of vegetables and stock is one of the most rewarding methods of cooking. Even though the actual cooking process can take a few hours, the initial preparation can often be done in 20 minutes or less.
Braising is typically done in a heavy Dutch Oven with a tight fitting lid or in a pan tightly covered by foil, what is going on underneath well of course steam is building up and working it’s magic in slowly breaking down the tough fibers of the meat.
The benefit of braising in the Steam Oven is:
Food can be cooked uncovered and you won’t need a heavy pan
Once the food is cooked and cooled you can skim the fat from the cooking juices, slice the meat and place the casserole back in the oven to reheat before serving
While the meat is cooling you can steam or steam roast some fresh vegetables to serve with the braise…...just one more reason why we love steam ovens!
Use the combination Convection Steam Mode with low temperatures between 290 - 320 degrees for braising in a Steam Oven. You don’t want the liquid boiling too rapidly just a gentle simmer so keep an eye on it and reduce the temperature if needed, every steam oven is a little different so you have to pay attention to understand the nuances of your oven.
LOW TEMPERATURE ROASTING
Tips for Low Temperature Roasting in the Combi Steam Oven
Low temperature roasting is a technique for cooking lean tender cuts of meat over a longer period of time rendering them butter soft and full of flavor. Meats can be seared prior to the low slow cooking or slow cooked and seared or grilled at the end of the cooking.
Pre-cooking tender cuts of meat this way prior to grilling renders the ideal results of juicy meat with flamed grilled flavor and you won’t have to stand over the grill for nearly as long.
When cooking with low temperatures 200 - 250 degrees, the cooking time for large roasts will be quite long.
Smaller cuts of meat such as chicken pieces, fresh sausages and thick cut chops need only about 40 minutes of low temperature cooking prior to grilling.
Always check the internal temperature of meats with an instant read thermometer or the oven meat probe to determine the degree of doneness.
If you are going to “finish the cooking” on the grill or with a high heat sear then target an internal temperature at least 5 degrees below the normal cooked temperature in order not to overcook the meat during the final high heat stage of cooking.
Things to Notice when Roasting with Low Temperatures
When cooking red meats in this mode you will notice that the color of the meat is uniformly reddish even though the meat is thoroughly cooked. The appearance of very red or pink meats can concern people who prefer their meat medium or well done, what is the solution, simply pop a few slices into the steam oven at low temperatures and the redness will dissipate but not ruin the melt-in-your mouth texture of the meat.