In the modern age of healthy cooking, with new diets cropping up every week, the importance of how we cook our meals is becoming increasingly relevant. Long gone are the days where you slather a frying pan with cooking oil to cook a stir fry that‘s loaded with calories. We all want a meal that’s going to be a little kinder on our waistlines.
Steaming food does have a rich tradition, Japanese and Chinese chefs have been doing it for generations with rice and fish-heavy dishes. Steaming is probably one of the best ways to cook a lean healthy meal that comes with zero added fat.
Steaming food is a great alternative to microwaving, and some steam ovens we’ve listed below are incredibly compact and can be stored easily in even the most modest of kitchen spaces. You can even replace your traditional kitchen oven with a steam version if you’re committed to cooking consistently healthy and nutritious meals.
That’s the thing about steam oven cooking - very little nutrients are lost through evaporation, as the steam oven circulates the nutrients back into the food. Essentially, steamed food is being cooked in its own juices! With a steam oven, you can achieve results that are succulent and tender on the inside as well as crunchy or crispy on the outside - all in super-fast time!
But where is the best place to look for a steam oven? What are the advantages of steam oven cooking? Can I find a steam oven that will suit my kitchen and cooking style? How much can a steam oven be looking to set me back in terms of price?
Don’t worry, wannabe steam chef, we have some of the answers you’re looking for. We have compiled a list of the top 5 best steam ovens currently on the market, along with a buyer’s guide and some frequently asked questions about steam oven cooking.
So grab your meats and veggies from the freezer and get ready to cook some of the healthiest meals you’ve ever eaten after you delve into our top 5 list of the best steam ovens.
Top 5 Best Steam Oven
OUR TOP PICK
Okay, our first product is an extremely reliable and versatile countertop oven that allows you to perform a massive array of cooking tasks from steaming to toasting to even fermentation. A very popular choice on Amazon, this one comes very highly rated - it’s the F.Blumlein Steam Convection Oven.
The first thing that strikes people about this oven is the size and the sheer range of options. This sleek black countertop cooker is perfect for families looking for a healthier diet. You can fit up to 5 steaks, 9 slices of bread or an 18-pound turkey, and steam them for either a quick snack or a healthy centerpiece for a three-course meal.
You can set this oven to steam, high-temperature steam, grill, convection oven or a combination of all of the above. You can even ferment yogurt in the F.Blumlein! You can also set it to sterilize if you want to remove any pesky microbes from your dinner before cooking it properly. It also comes with a preheat and defrost setting.
The heat is circulated a lot faster than most ovens, which means faster cooking times, which is perfect if you have a busy schedule.
It also has a triple-plated glass cover, which makes the outer shell safe to touch whilst in use. You can also activate a child lock, which will prevent children from opening the door and burning themselves, again, another advantage this product has over conventional ovens.
This cooker retains a large amount of heat, enabling the speed and thoroughness of its cooking, although it does exhaust cool air from a top front panel, which will mean that your inner steam cabinet will not suffer from steam damage.
The versatility of this oven will be its main draw, you can cook a pizza or roast a chicken in record time. This piece of kitchen equipment will be a very useful asset if you’re thinking of cooking for large groups of people.
The health benefits of steam cooking are massive. You and your dinner companions can rest assured that the meal you’re preparing has as little calories as possible. The heat circulation system will also ensure minimal loss of nutrients.
This unit is very compact and can be placed on the countertop of most kitchens. You might even consider this as a replacement for your usual oven.
The price - at just under $500, this might not be the option for those looking to save a few dollars.
Next up, we have an incredibly good-looking and easy-to-use oven, with solid construction and a digital LCD interface, this has up to 12 settings that give you a wide range of options when cooking a healthy meal - introducing the Sharp SMD2470AS Microwave Drawer Oven.
If you’re looking to heat up some popcorn or cook some vacuum-packed tuna steaks, this drawer-style cooker will warm your food up in the healthiest way possible. You can install this under your regular oven, so you have a lean alternative to your regular unit.
With a hidden control panel that opens at a 45-degree angle, this one makes your cooking very uncomplicated.
Simply place your food into the drawer, close it up and set the cooking temperature to your desired heat and time. This will steam your food speedily and efficiently, retaining the water and steam so that the food loses the minimum about of nutrients.
The Sharp cooker is incredibly easy to store, either as a freestanding cooker or an optional addition to your regular cooking setup.
The steamer gives the user very fast and reliable cooking, heating the food right through - you won’t notice the difference between this and a normal cooker.
The digital interface is self-explanatory, ideal for anyone who wants no-frills cooking yet still maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.
Another hefty price tag - you will have to be someone who takes their cooking very seriously if you want to fork out nearly $1500 on this steam oven.
Now we move on to a steamer that has been described as a very steady performer by many reviewers, with a steam machine that cooks rice, donuts, and cuts of fish with the same level of efficiency.
The versatility of this petite oven is definitely what sets it out against all the competition (yes, we’re even including regular ovens in that list) - introducing the Cuisinart Steam And Convection Oven.
By just pulling out the cooking reservoir, unscrewing the cap, and filling with regular tap water, the Cuisinart unit will be ready to cook with steam in mere minutes.
It has 4 steam modes that can be customized with a digital interface. You can steam bake, steam broil, regular steam or super steam, which is great for cooking rice.
Whether you want to tackle roast chicken, steaks, veggies or even more ambitious foods such as clam bakes, this cooker can adapt to many different cooking situations.
In fact, when it comes to tricky dishes such as plain rice, this steamer has no issues. You can cook quite a sizable portion of rice in around 30 to 35 minutes on the super steam setting.
If you fancy steaming meats, you can even add wine or stock cubes in water to infuse the flavor directly into your food - in the most healthy manner imaginable.
This unit can handle a number of foodstuffs with ease, it toasts bread until its golden brown and can warm sauces to the perfect consistency. If you’re an avid cook who wants to prepare multiple batches of food in one sitting, you can’t go wrong with this nifty little oven.
Another compact free-standing unit - you can use this as an accompaniment to your main oven or have it as your sole unit. This is ideal for anyone who struggles with a smaller kitchen, but still wants something more advanced than a microwave.
Users have reported that this oven cooks for slightly less time than the inputted setting.
Next, we have another unit that will make your cooking much more simple and faster, perfect if you’re whipping up a casserole or a stew for a large family, with 12 built-in settings that include air-frying, toasting, baking, broiling, frying, roasting and dehydrating, you’ll be using this cooker over and over again - it’s the Aobosi Electric Air Fryer and Toaster Oven.
That’s right, this machine gives you multiple options when it comes to preparing your meal, using hot cyclone air circulation technology that will evenly distribute the heat through the inside of the cooker, warming the food thoroughly and preserving its natural delicious flavors.
The Aobosi has a larger storage capacity, owing to its upper and lower heat pipe restrictions that allow for maximum room inside your cooker. You can roast 3.5 pounds of chicken at a time, with ventilation grills on the front and back that guarantees safer and healthier cooking.
It has a digital control that makes the cooker very easy to use. The stainless steel interior and exterior also makes it very easy to clean and keep hygienic. The inside plate is non-stick and dishwasher friendly.
Like most of the other steamer ovens on this list, the Aobosi is very versatile and can be used to steam, toast or roast anything from veggies to meats to baked goods.
With its state-of-the-art heating system, cooking becomes remarkably quick, you could whip up a three-course meal in half the time it would take with a traditional oven.
This oven preserves the original nutrients and flavors of meats, veggies and breads, this reduces the need to add certain calorific additives.
With slightly less storage space than a traditional oven, heavy-duty cooks might find this steamer insufficient to their needs, although it would make a good supplementary cooker.
Our final choice of steam oven is one that has steam, convection, baking and broiling cooking options. It comes with packaged meals that have a bar code you can simply scan to load the perfect cooking presets.
However, you can also cook your food the standard way - introducing the Tovala Generation 2 Smart Steam Oven.
This digital smart oven is exactly that. It can load multiple presets via wireless from the cloud, making a great meal within minutes! This is perfect for those coming home from a hard day of work who might be too tired for the hassle of cooking, yet they still want a healthy, nutritious meal.
The Tovala lets you cook food up to 500 degrees, with a maximum timer limit of 2 hours and 45 minutes. The inner chamber is 0.84 cubic feet, but make no mistake, it can cook most of the foods that a traditional oven can - but a lot healthier!
This is a compact unit that would blend in perfectly with modern kitchen spaces - the stainless steel inside and outside make is a very stylish addition to any kitchen, as well as very easy to clean, with dishwasher-friendly parts.
The preset cooking function is very unique and makes cooking quite complex meals very simple. With its barcode scanning function, this unit basically acts as your own personal chef!
The steam function on this cooker allows you to prepare healthy meals that retain their natural nutrients.
The lack of internal storage space in its container makes it difficult to cook anything too large, which might be an issue for some experienced chefs.
Best Steam Oven Buying Guide
There are many things an amateur cook needs to consider when purchasing a steam oven, particularly regarding the size of the inner chamber, the range of temperatures that it has to offer, as well as how much money you’re prepared to spend.
You might want to consider the level of cooking you do - beginner, intermediate or advanced - before forking out a few hundred dollars on a steam oven.
Think about the size of your kitchen. Do you have the space for a countertop oven? A lot of steam ovens range in capacity from 20 liters to 50 liters. If you have a sizable kitchen and are expecting to cook for a large family, you will probably want to stretch to include a steam oven. However, if you’re struggling for counter space and already have a serviceable built-in oven, you might want to wait until you buy a standalone steamer.
What types of food will you be cooking? As we have seen above, the steam ovens are usually capable of holding one or two foodstuffs at any one time, although our last model does cook bitesize meals in a packet.
If you’re thinking of cooking no bigger than a medium-sized chicken or turkey, then a steamer might be the perfect option.
Most steam ovens operate anywhere between 100-degrees to 300-degrees, making them perfectly adaptable to most heavy-duty cooking.
When it comes to countertop cooking devices such as microwaves or steam ovens, safety is paramount, especially if you have young children. A few of the steamers above have triple-glazed doors to ensure that the heat is sealed in during cooking and doesn’t transfer to the surface.
Most modern ovens also come with a self-locking feature, so if you are worried about children burning themselves, you might want to invest in this feature.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does A Steam Oven Work Differently To A Conventional Oven?
Steam ovens have a small water reservoir built-in that the user has to fill up before cooking. It then heats this water and injects it into the inner cooking chamber, circulating around the food, cooking it without the need for additional fats or oils.
Steam can be used to cook any number of foods: fish, rice, vegetables, meat, pasta, bread, and puddings.
You can also insert a steam oven in between your toaster and coffee grinder. Most of these steam ovens, in terms of capability and cooking power, lie somewhere between an oven and a microwave. Most warming drawers are easier to use and more powerful than your standard microwave oven.
What Should I Use My Steam Oven For?
Most users of a steam oven are those with families that want a diverse diet that doesn’t compromise on health. With the larger storage capacities, you can cook a family roast with ease. A lot of these ovens often have cooking presets that enable you to adapt your oven precisely to fish, rice or meats.
The heat distribution is what makes a steam oven so effective and gets you the best results when cooking. They are also very environmentally friendly, relying mostly on the water and natural juices of the food to cook your meal.