September 2

Steam Oven vs Microwave | Full Comparison and When to Use Each


Author: Colin Ma and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Microwaves and steam ovens are both common kitchen appliances, but which is better? This article will discuss the differences between the two.

Microwaves allow users to cook food quickly without as much clean-up, though steam ovens have a higher quality of cooking. Here are some key points you should know about steam oven vs microwave.

Steam Oven Vs Microwave: How Do They Differ and When Should You Use Each?


A food microwave is a kitchen appliance that heats food and keeps warm. They use electromagnetic energy to cook, heat, or defrost food in minutes.

Some food microwaves include stirrers, timers, accessories for defrosting and heating specific types of foods. It is also easy to clean compared to a steam oven.

Microwaves do not reach temperatures hot enough for browning or grilling. They cook food by making water molecules in the food vibrate at a rapid rate, which creates friction and, in so doing, heats the surrounding food.

which is better

Types of Microwaves

When you purchase your microwave (click here and on this review for the best one for your buck) you will have to decide what size and features that best suit your needs.

The most common types of microwaves include countertop microwaves, stand-alone microwaves, microwave ovens (combines microwave with an oven), and smallest microwaves (fits under the cabinet). Also, if you need an oven that both looks good and is functional, the latest retro styled ones are just the thing.

A Steam Oven

A steam oven is a relatively new appliance used for cooking. It uses steam as the primary heat source and takes out the guesswork from baking - you just put the dish in and let it do the rest.

Uses Steam to Cook Food

A steam oven is a great way to cook. It can roast, bake or steam all kinds of foods. A steam oven uses the same kind of steam used in a sauna to cook your food. The steam adds moisture to the oven, which cooks the food faster.

oven and food

Why Would I want a Steam Oven?

You will find that cooking with a steam oven can give your food an unmistakable taste - it just can't be compared to anything else like a microwave. The best thing about a steam oven is how moist and tender it keeps the food, almost like you've soaked it in its own juice.

How Steam Oven Work

A steam oven is a stainless steel box that is made up of three main parts: the cooking chamber for cooking. It has side supports where you can insert the trays. There is a drain for liquids at the bottom of the cooking chamber.

There are heating elements that heat up when electricity passes through them. They aid up in cooking. The air sucked by the fans inside the convection steam oven is heated by the heating elements then enters into each tray to cook food.

cooking in the oven

A steam oven's heating elements sit on the bottom of the oven, while a device that circulates the steam sits on top. This allows for cooking with both convection and steaming to occur at once for even cooking results every time.

The third part is the steam system that consists of a steam generator, a water reservoir, etc. The generator works to produce steam, thus turning water into a vapor form.

Temperatures will vary based on the type of food that is being cooked, but a typical temperature range is between 200°F and 500°C (365°F to 916°F).

The Heating Process

The Heating Process of a Microwave

Food microwaves heat food by exciting water molecules with high-frequency electromagnetic waves called microwaves.

The microwaves penetrate the food and cause the water molecules to vibrate in a rapid motion. This friction of the vibrating molecules generates heat, which cooks the food.

programs for microwave

The Heating or Cooking Process of a Steam Oven

Use a steam oven for cooking new foods, such as moist heat-loving vegetables. The steam created from the steam oven's moisture helps food be brown during cooking and results in a juicier finished product: better-tasting food with less fat.

You can even use the steam oven to reheat foods that were originally cooked, such as stews, casseroles, and soups.

how does it bake

Is it Worth Getting a Steam Oven?

Yes, it is worth getting a steam oven because it is more than a cooking method: They're the ultimate answer to high-quality, healthy living. Cooking with steam allows food to pick up the natural flavor, vitamins, and minerals of the herbs and spices placed in it.

 That's why people who have switched over from microwave ovens to steam ovens love them and rave about how they elevate their meals.

Also, modern steam ovens can cook food up to five times faster than a traditional oven without losing taste or quality. That means 45 minutes, not 3 hours, to roast a chicken and 30 minutes to cook a pizza or a casserole.

oven with food

Food Heated or Cooked

What Can You Cook in a Steam Oven?

Whether you're looking to cook a full dinner for the family or just heat leftovers, steam cooking is one of the most versatile ways to prepare food. Simply place fresh ingredients into a steam oven and let it do all the work for you.

Steam cooking in a steam oven uses moisture that's produced in the process to lock in natural juices and flavors. This natural flavor release makes your food taste like it's been slow-cooked by grandma.

Steam ovens are ideal for cooking various foods, including meat, fish, pizza, poultry, and vegetables. They are fast and healthy, cooking food with a minimum of added fat or water.

Food Cooked or Heated in a Microwave

The microwave oven is popular cooking and reheating method because it's fast, easy, and convenient.

Microwaving food is useful for reheating foods that have been cooked or baked in a regular oven, on the stovetop, or grill. In addition, many microwave recommendations exist for cooking specific foods - like popcorn or frozen pizza - because they work best using this method.

Also, microwaves are the best for meals that require little prep time. Preheat the food for 3-5 minutes, and it will be ready for serving or eating. This will ensure that your food isn't overcooked.

check it out

Healthier Foods

Steam cooking is the healthiest way to cook vegetables, and it can do more than just that - it can also cook meat, fish, poultry, desserts, and other foods.

A steam oven provides an innovative, healthy way to cook and bake without using any fat or grease. In this age of heart disease and the obesity epidemic, people are searching for healthier ways to prepare their food. Steam ovens use steam for cooking food and requiring no oil, grease, or butter.

Forget the microwave oven or microwaved food. Steam ovens infuse steam, air, and aromas into your food to cook quicker and more evenly. In 30 minutes, over 80% of the nutrition from your food is preserved compared to when cooked in a microwave. Cook up a storm with steam ovens.

four meals

Even Heating or Cooking

A Steam Oven

A steam oven cooks, bakes, or roasts with the same results as a convection oven but with much less energy and time. It prevents overcooking because food is steamed from the inside out instead of cooked from the outside in. Steam penetrates food allowing for even cooking or heating throughout without loss of nutrients.

in the kitchen

A Microwave

A microwave is supposed to be able to heat food evenly throughout, but they do not. The fact is that some parts of food always receive more heat than other parts, and this temperature difference can result in uneven cooking.

The uneven heating of the food inside a microwave is a problem that happens with many foods, from vegetables to meat. You may have noticed that some parts of your food are extremely hot while others are cold even after being heated in the microwave.

To cook your food evenly, I would recommend a steam oven or a convection oven that cooks food using hot air.

Steam Oven Vs. Microwave; Which is Better?

Both steam ovens and microwaves are convenient and practical kitchen appliances that help prepare meals quickly and efficiently. Since they are both small gadgets, they take up little space on your counter or in the kitchen area.

Steam ovens and microwaves have been in use for a long time and have proven themselves as reliable tools in the kitchen. However, just like any household appliance, they have been updated with better features and functions. Let's take a look at each type in this pros and cons section to discover which one is the best.

food inside

Steam Ovens Are Better

A microwave is a very convenient way to cook and heat food, plus it is easy to clean, but it's certainly not the best. You can prepare many dishes in a steam oven that you just can't replicate in the microwave, such as making delicious pizzas, loaves of bread, and roasted ribs.

And with a steam oven, you can cook food with much less fat than they would normally have with a microwave and still maintain that same maximum flavor.

steam chcicken

Steam Ovens Preserve Food Nutrition

The steam oven uses heat- and moisture-traction methods to cook food which is quicker than heat conduction. It also preserves food nutrition, moisture, texture, flavor, and original color better than a microwave oven.

steamed fish

Can You Reheat Food in A Steam Oven?

Yes. A steam oven can reheat food at higher temperatures and for longer periods than a microwave. A steam oven uses high moisture (steam) to cook foods quickly and maintain their natural taste and flavor as much as possible.

tasty food

About the author

Colin Ma

An avid home chef, Colin is equally passionate about delicious meals as well as the latest cooking appliances. He's also a keen writer about cooking-related topics.


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