Simulating the effect of a steam oven
I've seen that steam ovens allow to keep meat moist while cooking. I would like to know if it is possible to simulate this effect by simply putting some water at the bottom of the oven or in a small pyrex container.
Has anyone tried a similar technique ? Can it reduce the lifetime of the oven ?
not only could you use a dish of water (I use a cake pan with a little water in it) -- but you could also roast vegetables in the oven with the meat (if you put the veg under the meat, you add the flavor of the drippings to the vegetables, which makes for amazingly tasty veg)
I can't imagine why or how it would damage the oven.
I thought about that too, and in fact, I often do that. But I wonder if this works as well as a highly expensive steam oven. I mean what is the advantage of such ovens if you can do the same with a simple cake pan ?
As for damage, I don't know, but I've read that some ovens with electronics may be a bit sensitive to a lot of steam (fmine doesn't have complex electronics). Also, if the water is added after the oven is hot, one must be careful not to drop any cold water on the hot glass door else it may break spontaneously. I've seen a video where they advise to cover the glass door with a cloth to protect it. in this event.
No, it doesn't work as well as a true steam oven. But it doesn't cost thousands of dollars, either. A true steam oven actually sprays jets of steam into the oven, so some people also just open the door a tiny bit and spray water into the oven with a spray bottle set on mist.
If you've got enough steam going to fry your electronics, chances are you've got too much steam...and yes, cold water dropped on the hot door will fracture it -- but so will anything else that's cold -- even dropping a piece of cold chicken on a hot door could fracture it, so that particular issue isn't tied to any particular food, but the temperature differentials.
Have you tried braising in a Dutch Oven? A tight fitting lid Braiser or Dutch Oven would provide a similar effect wouldn't it with a humid environment? While it probably won't work for bread, with meat and vegetables it should work well without the hassles or potential problems you mentioned. Assuming you are in or near France, find a friend with a Staub Oven and give it a try!
Best Regards the other side of the Atlantic!
If you have a pan with a domed lid, why not try steaming on the stove with a rack in the pan?
If you need to steam bigger things, well, I have been thinking about getting a covered roaster that looks like this for a while.
I usually have the opportunity to steam a whole fish once or twice a year that is too big for any of the pans I have, and I regret not having one of those in hand.