Cooking with the Steel Combi-Steam

Steam cooking used to be the reserve of professional chefs, however with the Steel Combi-Steam, you can produce succulent meals from the comfort of your own kitchen. We offer Combi-Steam as an optional extra on Ascot and Genesi models. Behind the triple-glazed main oven door is the stunning Combi-Steam oven, which can be used as either a conventional electric or fanned oven and grill, or as a steaming cavity for producing healthy, beautifully tasty and nutritious food.

Steam cooking is thought to have originated in China where early steam cookers have been found dating back to 5000 BCE. In the West, steam cooking has been traced back to the Paleolithic Period, where the Aurignacian people of Southern Europe wrapped foods in wet leaves to cook on open fires or steam pits, thus allowing vapours to permeate the food and cook it. This method of steam cooking is still used today, for example to make tamales in Central America, or sticky rice in South East Asia.


Steam cooking allows food to cook whilst retaining its organoleptic qualities, so the taste, aroma, colour and texture of the meals are exquisitely preserved. The Combi-Steam is also remarkably easy to clean.

With steam cooking the oven retains 100% humidity, so the air within the cavity will not take moisture from the food which is being cooked. Also, vitamins and minerals stay within the food, instead of being drawn out along with the moisture. This also positively impacts on the flavour of the dishes, retaining natural flavours and aromas.


Cooking with Steam

Steaming is a moist heat cooking method.  Although the food is cooked at a higher temperature than during poaching, stewing or braising, steaming is one of the most gentle cooking methods due to the food not being moved around by bubbling liquid throughout the process which allows nutrients and flavour to seep out.

Cooking meat in the Combi-Steam creates a succulent meal, with any cut of meat being made more tender when cooked with steam.


Baked whole fish, grilled fillets and fish dishes respond well to the additional moisture of a steam oven.



When using Combi-Steam cooking, the temperature tends to be increased by 10-15 degrees, therefore if the recipe asks for 180C, you will set the oven to 200C. It has a quicker cooking time, as steam penetrates the food throughout rather than cooking it from the outside in. Using the grilling element accelerates the browning effect, while the steam decreases the cooking time. Fan grilling is a perfect program to use for smaller pieces of meat. The larger the cut of meat, the lower in the oven you place it. It is best not to grill on the top shelf as the strong grill element can burn foods too close to it.


If you require a crispy skin, for example when cooking pork crackling, use Combi-Steam during the cooking process, and then in the last 10 minutes adjust the settings to fan grill to achieve a crispy surface. You get the best result, juicy meat and crunchy crackling.


When baking with steam, bread achieves a crunchy crust with a soft centre, and muffins also respond well to the extra moisture being well risen and light.


Chocolate cake and pastries work especially well in a steam oven as the extra moisture keeps them supple and moist. The inside of the cakes remain tender to the touch and tasty to the palate, whilst the outsides are cooked to golden perfection.


Steel cookers feature chunky, solid metal controls and stainless steel detailing to all lend a truly professional feel. The overall quality is impressive, and combined with a pleasingly refined industrial appearance which will keep you happy for many years to come.


Other options for steam cooking include using a steamer kit. A new addition to our cookware range is the ILVE steamer kit featuring two high-grade stainless steel steaming basins.


These can be positioned on all dual fuel models and the steamer sits over any two gas burners, Fry Top griddle or fish burners. This truly is one of the best ways to prepare food, as food keeps its taste, shape, colour and texture. In addition to vegetables, potatoes, meat and fish, you can also cook grains, beans and legumes.

The ILVE Cloche Cover is for Teppanyaki cooking. The steam from the cooking remains under the lid and which keeps the food tender and juicy. When you are fry cooking foods that can splatter, such as peppers, sausages and burgers, the cover is great for containing all the splashes from covering the rest of your cooktop.


Please contact Mike, Anna or John-Paul at on 01244 402 975 to discuss your ideal range cooker. For a delicious selection of recipes suited to steam cooking, please see our blog feature, Combi-Steam Recipes.