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Defrosting and Reheating in the Steam Oven

Updated: Aug 15, 2022

When considering appliances for a new kitchen many people choose a Steam oven because it allows them to eliminate the need for a microwave oven. After all, a Steam oven can perform many of the same functions as a microwave but doesn’t pose any of the health concerns associated with microwaves.

The difference is of course speed. The appeal of a microwave is the ability to heat, cook and defrost foods within minutes. The same functions in a Steam oven will of course take much longer but there are greater benefits when performing these functions in a Steam oven.

Ravioli with pesto sauce and artichokes with lemon on a plate
Food will never taste like it is overcooked in the reheating mode

What are the Benefits of Defrosting in a Steam Oven

When foods are defrosted in a Steam oven, the Convection fan circulates the ambient air around the oven dissolving the ice crystals in the food but without cooking the food. The Defrost mode in a Steam oven will have a preset temperature and if the lighting in the oven is halogen, the lights will go out to prevent heat build-up from the lights.

How to Defrost in a Steam Oven

Always remove food from any plastic wrapping. Place the frozen food in the perforated pan and slide the solid pan underneath it to catch the drippings. Allow at least 15 - 20 minutes for defrosting.

Frozen salmon on a perforated pan and a dripping pan
Use a perforated pan and slide the solid pan underneath it to catch the drippings

Blot the food dry with a paper towel before adding seasoning and oil to meat, fish, or poultry prior to cooking.

Can I Defrost a Turkey in the Steam Oven?

The Steam oven is designed to defrost small amounts of food prior to cooking. Large items such as a whole frozen chicken or turkey should first be defrosted in the refrigerator overnight. Once removed from any plastic wrapping the bird can be defrosted in the Steam oven to dissolve any ice crystals and bring the meat to a better cooking temperature.

Since turkeys are held at a very cold temperature, a few minutes in the Defrost mode also makes it much easier to remove the giblets and neck from the cavity.

Reheating Food in a Steam Oven

When cooked foods are refrigerated the oils in the food solidify, so the challenge is to bring the food back to life while heating it evenly all the way through. A combination of steam and a moderate temperature is ideal for re-heating food because the steam gently penetrates into the food literally regenerating it.

How to Reheat Food in a Steam Oven

Most steam ovens have a default Reheating mode that is set to a low temperature with moderate steam. Food can be reheated in an oven-safe container or even on a dinner plate.

Depending on the density of the food you should allow at least 10 minutes for thorough heating.

If you are re-heating a meal that includes a casserole and meat you may want to begin by heating the casserole and adding the meat towards the end since the casserole will benefit from a longer reheat time.

How to Reheat Baked Items in the Steam Oven

When reheating baked items in a Steam oven, the best results will be achieved by choosing the combination Convection Steam mode with a higher oven temperature of 350 degrees. In just a couple of minutes, your re-heated pizza or pastry will be heated to perfection.

Can Meat be Reheated in a Steam Oven?

Meat can be reheated successfully in a Steam oven; however, the appearance may change a little. Meat tends to get a little grey-looking when exposed to humidity, but once you cut into the meat if it was cooked medium rare, it will still be perfectly pink and taste delicious.

Stay tuned for my next post which explains yet another amazing way to use your Steam oven for sterilizing and canning.

In the meantime check out the Convection Steam recipes on my website for inspiration on getting the most out of your Steam oven.

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