What is a steam oven?
A steam oven is a kitchen appliance that uses steam generated from heated water to cook food. It provides gentle, even cooking and is known for preserving nutrients, flavors, and textures in food, making it a popular choice for health-conscious individuals and those who enjoy versatile cooking options.
What is a microwave?
A microwave is a kitchen appliance that uses electromagnetic waves to quickly and efficiently heat and cook food. It is popular for its convenience and speed in reheating, defrosting, and cooking small portions of food, making it a common household appliance in many kitchens.
Steam Oven vs Microwave – Key Differences
Design and Apperance
Steam ovens resemble conventional ovens or built-in microwave ovens, featuring a stainless steel, black, or colored exterior, a glass door, and an easy-to-use control panel with buttons, knobs, or a touchscreen display. Steam ovens may also have interior lighting and transparent doors, allowing users to monitor the cooking process. They can be found in various sizes and capacities, including countertop models or built-in units that fit into standard oven cavities or custom cabinetry. The design of steam ovens can vary between brands and models.
Microwaves come in various styles and designs, catering to different kitchen layouts and aesthetics. Some common features include a metal or stainless steel exterior, a glass door with a window for monitoring the cooking process, and an easy-to-use control panel with buttons, dials, or a touchscreen display. There are various types of microwaves, including countertop models, which are portable and easy to install; over-the-range microwaves, which save counter space by doubling as a range hood; built-in microwaves, which are installed into cabinetry for a seamless look; and microwave drawers, which are installed below the counter. Some microwaves also feature additional cooking modes, such as convection or grilling, for added versatility.
Steam ovens are designed to provide gentle, even cooking by circulating steam throughout the oven cavity. They typically feature a built-in water reservoir or a connection to a water line, heating elements, and a fan to distribute the steam evenly. When the oven is turned on, the heating elements heat the water in the reservoir, turning it into steam. The fan then circulates the steam around the oven, surrounding the food with hot, moist air. This method of cooking allows for even heat distribution and preserves the food’s nutrients, flavors, and textures.
Microwaves are designed to cook food quickly and conveniently using electromagnetic waves. They consist of a microwave generator called a magnetron, a waveguide to direct the microwaves into the oven cavity, a turntable or stirrer to ensure even heating, and a metal enclosure that keeps the microwaves contained.
Microwaves are generally more energy-efficient than steam ovens. They use electromagnetic waves to heat food directly, making the cooking process faster and more efficient. As a result, microwaves typically consume less energy than steam ovens, which rely on heating water to create steam and require a longer cooking time. However, it is important to note that energy efficiency can vary depending on factors such as the model, size, and usage of the appliance.
Steam ovens are generally more expensive than microwaves. These ovens, especially combination or “combi” ovens, come with more advanced features and versatile cooking options, which contribute to their higher price.
Microwaves, on the other hand, are more budget-friendly and widely available at various price points. Basic countertop microwaves can be quite affordable, while higher-end models with additional features, such as convection or grilling capabilities, can be more expensive.