The clothes dryer is not far behind, but our $2000 Miele Steam Oven has got to take the prize. Yes, the price tag was steep. But it is worth every penny… even Zibin who was rather skeptical at first has now been completely won over by it. Why? Cos it makes really tasty and healthy meals quickly and easily while keeping the kitchen completely clean AND it is itself very easy to clean!
Short of roasting, broiling and dry-baking, this little appliance can do almost anything. It can cook any recipe that can be steamed, boiled, stewed or poached. Furthermore, it steams PERFECTLY as the food is cooked 100% by steam unlike when you steam food over the stove where the food can easily be overcooked by the heat from the fire (e.g. the wok you’re using to steam something can be a lot hotter inside than the steam). Using this oven, food does not break down and does not dry up after steaming.
While I still love to use my AMC pot to cook soups, the steam oven has given me new alternatives of delicious soup that are wonderfully clear with meat that is succulent and smooth because the soup was double-boiled instead of being cooked over the stove. Chicken wings, drumlets, drum sticks, pork ribs or fish all turn out fantastic! I just have to vary the seasoning and marinade (this is where I do my free-style experimenting and it’s lots of fun!)… and vary between steaming them or braising them.
Fresh vegetables are cooked in less than 5 minutes. A cod fish steak direct from the freezer takes 8-10 minutes. An entire chicken can be steamed in 40 minutes. And did I mention how delicious rice is when cooked with the steam oven? It’s really soft and fluffy and not at all squashed like when you cook rice with a rice cooker!
The oven comes with a series of trays (different depths, some perforated some not) that allow me to cook several dishes at the same time in the oven. That often means that an entire meal can be ready in less than 30 mins and they all come out piping hot at the same time.
As for reheating left-overs, I’ve always known steaming is preferable to using the microwave (which dries out food and doesn’t heat evenly). But I was always too lazy to steam left-overs. Now with this oven though, it’s fantastically easy to steam anything! It’s even more easy to use because I can use different types and sizes of containers to steam things now because they fit easily in the oven.
There are tons of great recipes for the steam oven (including steamed brownies and steamed cheese cake) which I haven’t gotten around to trying cos I’m just a very practical user. I use it to prepare basic meals for me and hubby, and so far I haven’t used any recipes at all! (I belong to the school of free-stylers in the kitchen… trial and error experimentation. When I do refer to recipes, I almost always modify them. Mostly, I’m just too lazy to refer to recipes… they always have a lot more ingredients than I like to use. ha ha!)
What has got to be our favourite thing about the steam oven is how easy it is to clean. Inside the oven there is never any grease, just condensate water! Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe and that’s it! Even better is how clean our kitchen is after cooking as there are no greasy fumes that coat the floor or walls and no spills on the stove. Being a rather lazy person who also likes to have things kept as clean as my laziness allows me, you can understand why I consider my Miele steam oven my best friend in the kitchen! It makes keeping my kitchen clean SO MUCH EASIER.
Back when Zibin was still on the fence about blowing $2000 on what he thought was just an overpriced fancy microwave substitute, I told him, “If we get the steam oven, I will cook a lot more frequently.” It wasn’t a threat, just a statement of fact because I already knew how much time it would save me in the kitchen. In the past 3 months, that statement has been proven true and Zibin says that it’s one of the best (if not best) investment he has made in the new apartment. :P
This coming Saturday, Zibin and I are going for the free cooking class that came with our purchase. It’ll be interesting to see what kinds of fancy stuff this oven can whip up, though I’m pretty sure from day to day I’ll still be pretty much cooking simple no-frills but yummy stuff.
Oh and did I mention the oven can sterilize baby bottles too?