You probably have been interested in steam for a while. Quite simply, steam is the best way to cook, and you can cook anything in a steam oven from brownies to meats to risotto. If you are in the Boston area, we have steam demos almost every weekend.
The Power of Steam
Many of us prepare food in familiar methods that have been around for decades, if not since the beginning of the stone age.
First, steam cooking is also an easy way to cut out the use of cooking oils, which generally increases fat intake.
We also hardly give it a second thought that boiling, searing, or other forms of traditional cooking methods are robbing us of essential nutrients.
Steam ovens have also been proven to retain important vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in food that would otherwise be destroyed in other methods of cooking. Guy Crosby, an adjunct associate professor of nutrition at Harvard University, recently published his findings in the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science that demonstrates that different processes of cooking have significant effects on the flavor, texture, appearance, and nutritional quality of the final product.
By steaming, vegetables maintain their nutritional qualities, as well as their taste, more than any other method.
That said, we will look at the Bosch oven and make some comparisons to Miele and other manufacturers of steam.
(Learn all about the benefits of Steam Cooking here)
In the grand scheme of residential kitchen appliances, steam ovens are a recently new category. While the market is rapidly expanding, manufacture’s that make steam ovens are expensive and priced outside of what a typical family would find affordable. However, Bosch has introduced a steam oven that is not only extremely functional but also priced within the realm of making ownership a reality.
Bosch – The Brand
If you are a reader of the Yale blogs, you may be an expert on Bosch’s background. Bosch is represented in over 150 countries around the globe and holds its own as one of the top three companies in the overall global domestic appliance market.
The BSH corporation encompasses not only the Bosch brand but the well-known brand of Thermador and its lesser known sister (but in no way inferior), Gaggenau. Bosch originally arrived in the United States in the mid-1990s and became wildly successful in the dishwasher marketplace.
Between their reliability, brand support if something does go wrong, and very competitive rebate programs – Bosch deserves careful consideration.
Bosch HSLP451UC – $3099.00
It’s first important to note that the Bosch HSLP451UC was first released in 2014. I would not be surprised to see a new model be released in the next year or two. However, the current revision of the product is excellent and should still be strongly considered.
At first glance, you will notice the appliances beautiful TFT display. The many modes of a steam oven can be overwhelming. Bosch has engineered a system that outlines each function and mode.
It effortlessly walks you through the steps to reach optimum results every time. The cooking modes available to you are Steam, Steam Convection, Convection, Keep Warm, Reheat, Defrost, Slow Cook, Proof, Dish Warming, as well as two chicken and seven vegetable specific programs. (As well as a steam clean mode.)
Bosch has also included a wire rack and pans that the Use and Care guide carefully outlines the appropriate uses. For ease of installation, the Bosch unit is non-plumbed and the water reservoir is stored adjacent to the oven capacity for easy access. The Bosch can also be installed flush into cabinetry for a very finished look.
(See how Bosch compares to Miele, Gaggenau and other popular brands in our Steam Oven Buying Guide)
One final note
While the health benefits of fresh steam cooking in and of itself should be the main selling point for any steam oven, it’s functionality doesn’t stop there. As noted above, there are ten cooking modes.
One of those modes, reheat, may just become the most widely used mode in your kitchen. Reheating food in a steam oven isn’t just simply reheating, it’s completely reviving your food. We’ve all been there, reheating a meal from last night’s dinner out, only to be disappointed by the rubbery taste from the microwave. A steam oven will bring you food back to its original flavor – so you can re-live that prime rib all over again.
- Cooking Modes: Steam, Steam Convection, European Convection, Reheat, Keep Warm, Defrost, Slow Cook, Proof, Dish Warming, 2 Chicken & 7 Vegetable programs
- Halogen Lighting
- Accessories Included: Wire Rack, 1 Full-Size & 1 Half Size Perforated Cooking Pan, & Baking Tray
- Steam Element Wattage: 1,960 W
- Designed to fit perfectly in a warming drawer or storage drawer
- Color TFT touch screen controls
What Could be Better?
I don’t care for the placement of the water reservoir (you have to open the door to fill it…that means you may have to interrupt the cooking cycle to refill, opening the oven and letting out steam and heat).
The design of the feed is not as good as some of the others. Steam is fed through a tube into the boilerplate, which is at the bottom of the oven and exposed. So the water boils and spits as it creates steam. This produces an exorbitant amount of steam with heavy condensation, not exactly a controlled flow of steam like the industry leaders.
It is also a bit smaller than the Miele or Gaggenau. You also cannot control the flow of the steam, so the Bosch cannot cook more advanced recipes.
First, in a new renovation, you should consider a steam oven. It is just a better way to cook. Bosch will give you the main steam cooking programs at half the price of a Miele or Gaggenau.
Get the Yale Speed and Steam Oven Guide with features, specs, and inside tips to all the steam and speed ovens like Wolf, Jenn-Air, Thermador, Bosch and more. Well over 220,000 people have read a Yale Guide.