You’ve considered steaming for cooking your greens, but what about your cakes? Or bread? Or pork belly?
The hugely underrated cooking technique has been used in professional kitchens for decades, but now thanks to its versatility – offering healthier and tastier meals, faster cooking, better quality and no flavour transferring – steaming is becoming the heart of creative home kitchens.
Using humidity rather than pure heat to cook your food, steam ovens combine steam with hot air to let you effortlessly grill, bake or roast to perfection – transforming home cooked meals into dishes made even easier and more delicious.
Here are the four surprising recipes the hidden gem of the kitchen can make better.
Professional bakers know that feather-light perfectly risen form, with a caramelised crusty top, is achieved by adding steam in the first few minutes of bread baking. The poured dough softly solidifies, while water steams below, also preventing the moisture in your dough from evaporating, meaning better bread. While perfecting this technique could take bakers many early mornings, home cooks can effortlessly achieve the same result using Electrolux’s Bake + Steam, plus the specific programs for buns and loaves of bread that give perfect, fluffy insides with crisp golden crusts.
The one thing standing between you and your perfect crispy yet melt-in-your-mouth pork belly might just be steam. Steaming means gentler cooking, ruling out the margin of error for bone-dry meat that can be all too familiar if cooking in conventional high-heat ovens. For succulent pork belly that still makes that crack when you sink your teeth into it, you can rely on the steam cooking function. The hot air, which comes from the element surrounding the fan, ensures the outside is sealed and crackles while the steam, which comes from the outlet pipe, keeps the inside tender.
Cooked with delicate steam instead of blasted with dry heat, cakes become impossible to overcook, turned into something otherworldly – a taste and texture delight of pillowy sweetness. A steam oven helps you achieve this using a hot pressurised system that helps your cake cook evenly while retaining its moisture and flavour. Whether an intensely rich chocolate or cloud-like springy banana cake, steaming typically cuts your cooking time by 20 per cent compared to baking, as it does for cooling. Sneak a bite while your steamed baking is still warm. It truly, ahem, takes the cake.
Like bread, pizzas can benefit from steam in the cooking process, especially to create a fresh-from-the-pizzeria texture and taste. The Electrolux Steam Oven features a specific pizza function, where the climate sensor can detect the volume, shape and consistency and adjust time, temperature and humidity for guesswork-free, delicious results. And when it comes to reheating leftover pizza, the steam reheat setting rejuvenates food like it was just cooked – for a slice that’s not too dry, not too soggy, but just right.
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Massimo Mele’s Tips For Entertaining At Home
Cookbook author, lifestyle and entertaining expert