Christoph Boksberger Head of Internal Sales


Steamers – for getting things steamy

Cooking with hot steam has been a tradition in China and other Asian countries for centuries. This method is now also experiencing a surge in popularity in Switzerland. Cooking in steamers has become part of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Yet, those who believe only nutritious but less tasty meals can be cooked with them are mistaken. Christoph Boksberger, Head of Internal Sales and Product Manager at SIBIRGroup, knows what else the steamer can do. After all, steam cookers can do a lot more: such as cooking asparagus and potatoes, juicing berries, melting chocolate and even preparing flans, cakes and bread rolls. And even more is possible with combined appliances. They are truly a kitchen appliance that gets things steamy!

Christoph Boksberger, why is a steamer or steam cooker so healthy?

Cooking in hot steam effectively preserves the vitamins, minerals and also the colour of food – in contrast to other forms of cooking. Even the flavours are intensified. This means less seasoning is required. Little to no fat is needed, depending on personal taste.

What facts should be kept in mind when buying a steamer?

As is the case with any purchase, it is important to determine the relevant requirements. That is because steamers are available in a wide range of models and combinations. Consider whether you would like a steam cooker or a steam oven, i.e. a combined appliance.

And what is the difference between a steam cooker and a steam oven?

A steam cooker is only suitable for preparing food with hot steam at temperatures between 30 and 100°C – excellent for cooking and reheating meals, fermenting dough, thawing frozen food and gently preparing sous vide at low temperatures. Unlike other cooking methods, this preserves nutrients, minerals and vitamins more effectively, and food retains its flavour and natural colour. A steam oven is a combined appliance that is the perfect synthesis of an oven and steam cooker. Steam ovens work with conventional heating, such as convection, top and bottom heat, grill or bread-baking heat, and combine them with the heating methods of a steam cooker: cooking, reheating, fermenting, thawing and preparing sous vide.

How does the combination of steam cooker and microwave work?

A microwave with steam cooker is highly versatile. The microwave is ideal for heating dishes and beverages. Combined with helpful extra functions, the appliances do much more besides. For example, there are microwaves with an integrated steamer, which ensure food is prepared gently. The heat is not provided by microwave radiation, but from the steam inside the appliance. As a result, the ingredients retain their flavours and vitamins and are not damaged by excessive temperatures. The consistency of food also remains crunchy and tasty, especially vegetables. The classic microwave function is provided with the right power for quickly thawing or warming up dishes. But if meals should be cooked gently with steam, this function is chosen. In other words, the microwave focuses on using technology to save time, while the steam cooker heats with water vapour instead of microwaves. In this case, water is vaporised out of a tank and food placed on a steaming tray is cooked or heated slowly.

What is the ideal place for installing a steamer?

When installing a steamer, no other appliance should be housed above it, for example an oven. It is always installed next to or above another appliance, never underneath. This allows the steam to escape upwards when opening the appliance. What’s more, any installed appliance should be installed at the right height. Installing the appliance too low will require bending down to use it, while too much height is dangerous when taking out hot food. Tip: place multiple appliances next to one another.

There seems to be a huge combination of these appliances. How can consumers find out about the right appliances for them?

Trained service technicians can provide good, in-depth advice about the various models on location. Moreover, the SIBIR service technicians are able to determine the right dimensions and answer all relevant questions.

Which steamers do you recommend?

Many brands and manufacturers can be recommended. The customers decide which appliances best cover their needs. While SIBIR offers its own brands, it is also a provider of all brands and advises customers about the various products available.

SIBIR oven

Are there any disadvantages with a steamer?

It takes a little longer to prepare food. And often, the subtlety of flavours can be lacking when steaming. Roast flavours are simply not possible. The reduction of salt and fat means just the right amount of seasoning is required.

Are special connections necessary for installing a steamer, such as a fixed water outlet?

Not necessarily. Appliances are available on the market that feature a water tank or another form of water supply. These steam ovens do not require a water connection. The normal electrical connection is also usually sufficient.

How is the energy efficiency?

Steamers are energy-saving for this reason in particular: multi-level appliances save energy and water, as multiple dishes can be prepared one on top of the other at the same time.

Do you have any questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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