The Best Foods to Cook in a Steam Oven

A steam oven is a versatile kitchen appliance that offers a unique and healthy way to cook your favorite dishes. By using steam to cook food, this method preserves nutrients, enhances flavors, and maintains moisture without the need for added fats. If you’re wondering what foods are best suited for your steam oven, look no further. Here’s a guide to the best foods to cook in a steam oven to make the most of this innovative cooking technology.


Why Cook with a Steam Oven?

Before diving into the best foods to cook, it’s important to understand the benefits of using a steam oven:

  • Nutrient Retention: Steaming preserves vitamins and minerals that can be lost in other cooking methods.
  • Enhanced Flavors: Steam cooking enhances the natural flavors of food without needing additional fats or oils.
  • Moisture Retention: Foods cooked in steam ovens retain their moisture, resulting in juicier and more tender dishes.
  • Even Cooking: Steam ovens distribute heat evenly, ensuring consistent cooking results.


Best Foods to Cook in a Steam Oven

1. Vegetables

Steam ovens are perfect for cooking a variety of vegetables, as they retain their vibrant colors, nutrients, and natural flavors. Popular choices include:

  • Broccoli and Cauliflower: Steam for 5-7 minutes until tender.

  • Carrots and Green Beans: Steam for 8-10 minutes for a crisp-tender texture.
  • Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard steam in just 3-5 minutes.


2. Fish and Seafood

Fish and seafood are delicate proteins that benefit greatly from the gentle cooking process of a steam oven:

  • Salmon and Trout: Steam for 10-12 minutes for moist, flaky fillets.
  • Shrimp and Scallops: Steam for 5-7 minutes until opaque and tender.
  • Mussels and Clams: Steam for 5-8 minutes until the shells open.


3. Poultry

Steam cooking keeps poultry moist and tender while reducing the risk of drying out:

  • Chicken Breast: Steam for 20-25 minutes for a juicy and flavorful result.
  • Turkey Breast: Steam for 25-30 minutes, perfect for a healthy alternative to roasting.


4. Rice and Grains

Steam ovens provide an ideal environment for cooking rice and grains evenly without sticking or burning:

  • White Rice: Steam for 20-25 minutes for fluffy, perfectly cooked grains.
  • Quinoa: Steam for 15-20 minutes until tender and translucent.
  • Brown Rice: Steam for 30-35 minutes for a wholesome and chewy texture.


5. Eggs

Steam ovens offer a convenient way to cook eggs to perfection:

  • Hard-Boiled Eggs: Steam for 12-15 minutes for firm, easy-to-peel eggs.
  • Poached Eggs: Steam for 4-6 minutes for a perfectly runny yolk and set whites.
  • Egg Custards: Steam for 20-25 minutes for a smooth, creamy dessert.


6. Desserts

Yes, you can even make desserts in a steam oven! The consistent, gentle heat is ideal for delicate treats:

  • Custards and Flans: Steam for 20-25 minutes for a silky texture.
  • Cheesecake: Steam for 30-35 minutes for a rich and creamy result.
  • Steamed Puddings: Steam for 45-60 minutes for a moist and flavorful dessert.


Tips for Cooking in a Steam Oven

  • Use Steam-Safe Containers: Ensure your cooking dishes and containers are safe for steam ovens.
  • Don’t Overcrowd: Arrange food in a single layer to allow steam to circulate evenly.
  • Season Lightly: Since steam enhances natural flavors, you can use less salt and seasoning.




A steam oven is a fantastic addition to any kitchen, offering a healthier and more flavorful way to cook a wide variety of foods. From vibrant vegetables and tender fish to juicy poultry and desserts, steam ovens excel at many cooking tasks. However, it’s important to note that they are not ideal for roasting, browning, grilling, or frying, which require dry heat. Experiment with these suggestions to unlock the full potential of your steam oven and elevate your culinary creations.

Happy cooking!