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Cuisinart Combo Steam/Convection Oven (Part 1)


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You all need to stop! You have me eyeing my kitchen with a view to where I might fit one of these. I can't ditch the microwave because it's a warming device for things other than food that are crucial to my volunteer work. I wouldn't dream of ditching the Breville. Without the coffee maker no cooking would ever even begin. The Thermomix is my bread machine. Perhaps I could install a pulley system so it could be stored on a shelf which is pulled up out of the way when not in use. Or perhaps I'll just wait for the invention of the microwave/convection/steam oven that doesn't compromise on one function for the sake of another. Anyone can dream.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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In the meantime, I have a question for other owners. There are two elements in the bottom of the oven and three in the top. Four of the five elements heat up and illuminate or turn orange/red at high heat but the centre upper element never does get that hot. I was wondering if this was a defect in my oven but when I emailed the support site, they replied and said it was working properly as is. Still, I'd like to check with other owners - do all five of your elements heat right up or just the same four as mine? 

I  haven't really watched the elements for any great length of time, but I turned on the broil function this morning, and my oven operates the same as yourss.  Maybe the question for Cuisinart is what does the top middle element do?

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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You all need to stop! You have me eyeing my kitchen with a view to where I might fit one of these. I can't ditch the microwave because it's a warming device for things other than food that are crucial to my volunteer work. I wouldn't dream of ditching the Breville. Without the coffee maker no cooking would ever even begin. The Thermomix is my bread machine. Perhaps I could install a pulley system so it could be stored on a shelf which is pulled up out of the way when not in use. Or perhaps I'll just wait for the invention of the microwave/convection/steam oven that doesn't compromise on one function for the sake of another. Anyone can dream.

I think steam-boy would fit atop the BSO.

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Now you're being cruel, gfweb. :-D

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I think steam-boy would fit atop the BSO.

image.jpg

Don't think so.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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So lose the cabinet?

 

BTW I always like photos of kitchens.  Might be a great thread.

Why don't you start one. I'll happily play along.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I  haven't really watched the elements for any great length of time, but I turned on the broil function this morning, and my oven operates the same as yourss.  Maybe the question for Cuisinart is what does the top middle element do?

 

They tell me that the middle upper element has a lower wattage than the others and its function is to help balance the heat in order to create a more even baking/toasting outcome. It's not required for broiling. 

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You all need to stop! You have me eyeing my kitchen with a view to where I might fit one of these. I can't ditch the microwave because it's a warming device for things other than food that are crucial to my volunteer work. I wouldn't dream of ditching the Breville. Without the coffee maker no cooking would ever even begin. The Thermomix is my bread machine. Perhaps I could install a pulley system so it could be stored on a shelf which is pulled up out of the way when not in use. Or perhaps I'll just wait for the invention of the microwave/convection/steam oven that doesn't compromise on one function for the sake of another. Anyone can dream.

 

Anna, I completely understand that you don't want more countertop appliances! But if you could find the space, I would love to see what you do with the steam functions of the Cuisinart! 

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 Or perhaps I'll just wait for the invention of the microwave/convection/steam oven that doesn't compromise on one function for the sake of another. Anyone can dream.

 

There is the Sharp SuperSteam Microwave Convection but it's a bit pricier:

 

http://www.sharpusa.com/ForHome/HomeAppliances/Microwaves/Archives/AX1200S.aspx

 

Amazon reviews here:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Sharp-AX-1200K-SuperSteam-Multi-Purpose-Black/dp/B001QFYDRE

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Hmmmm.......no. Just out of my price range haha. And way out in terms of size and my small kitchen. But thanks for sharing.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Recipe was loosely based on the Tartine basic country loaf formula

 

Made "starter" night before with flour/water/yeast in bowl left on counter

Used 1/3 each AP flour, home ground hard white wheat, home ground hard red wheat in Vitamix with dry blade.

Note: Vitamix gets flour pretty warm - 122F after 45sec on high. This may deactivate some of the enzymes needed to convert starch to sugar for the yeast during autolyse ; need to research...

 

About 75% hydration. 

Autolyse 1 hour

3 hours bulk rise @ 80F

5 hour proof @ 80F

Paid more attention to stretching dough, creating tension on outer surface. Tough with sticky dough; will take practice

20 min in steam at 450

Switched to convection; 30 min at 425

 

Pan: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/wilton-advance-reg-perfect-results-9-inch-pie-pan/1041707654?categoryId=12048

 

Baking stone: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000QJBNHY/

 

Borgstrom

 

would you share a bit on bread in the SteamBoy ?

 

Rx? plate you used etc

 

many thanks

 

 

IMG_1182.jpg

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I've finally gotten around to using the CuisiSteamBoy.  

 

Chicken Thighs ( bone-in, w skin ) are on sale this week for 88 cents / Lbs, US.

 

This is white bread commercial chicken, starting grade  “ D “.  Since i'm using dark meat

 

Ill upgrade the starting point to D +.  Good to know where you are starting from.  This is not a bird from Bresse, FR. Not Brined.

 

Plain bland vanilla.

 

I got some fine advice from

 

weinoo

 

, ( many thanks ! )who suggested a starting point of Salt/Pepper, 400 F

 

Full steam. 35 - 40 minutes.  Excellent starting point, BTW

 

F.D.:  I like chicken, but Ill take Turkey over Chicken most days. I do vertical chickens all the time on the Weber.  I did not grow up

 

In a household that reveres chicken fat.  I don’t care for the taste, and I know its not the 

 

best animal fat for you.  Chickens are not Ducks.  I removed extra skin that might curl 

 

under the thighs, and removed obvious globs of fat from the underside.

 

After setting up the SB, I gave it a 15 min steam to ‘season’ it.  Burn off a bit of that factory flavor. This was my idea. I took 4 CkTh’s and seasoned w salt and pepper.  Decided to put them on the rack over the drip pan, and added a little water to the drip pan to prevent the drippings from possible burning. This was not necessary. This is Old Time Thinking.

 

About 40 min at 400 ‘ Full Steam Ahead ‘ gave me these:

 

CkThSB I.jpg

 

Note;  these D + thigh’s shrink quite a bit.  I Let them cool a bit and tried them  Note the skin does not look really golden brown.  Fair enough. Not really relevant, in the end.  But note the ‘blistering’ here and there.  This is important and tasty.

 

The meat was unbelievably moist and tender.  The skin was very crispy, not flabby at all.  You could gently take the skin off each thigh and it would stand on its own like a little tent.

 

It was delicious.  Sort of like a hot chicken skin cracker. More about this later.

 

I was very surprised.  D + starting point, after with minimal work became B + chicken.  Note Minimal Work.

 

I then removed the tray, saved the drippings for the future ( sans gras ) and the pan cleaned right up.  Its the Steam.

 

Took the remaining 6 CkTh’s I had, did the quick trim, added the TJ’s S.A.Smoke seasoning and put then on the tray directly with no water.

 

Again, 400 F about 40 min.  I did not Thermapen the thighs when done:

 

CkThSB II.jpg

 

Its a stretch to say these thighs made it to A -. But they know where A- is.  They were as before: delicious moist meat that tasted like chicken, ultra crispy skin w little bubbles.

 

Remember, I’m not schmaltzy.  When I lifted off the skin and ate it, it was like a hot crispy chicken cracker w some melted Ck fat under neath. Expertly Seasoned. Not a Chicken Fat Glob. Not too much fat either. See the pan drippings.

 

( Warning : if schmalz is dear to your heart : a word of advice before you get one of there: Find the nearest Beth Israel Hospital, book a bed in the CCU.  You’ll be there soon enough.  Why B.I.?  They’ve seen this before. Probably the CCU was endowed just for this.  There was a BI across the street from where I trained. Indeed the CCU there was impressive )

 

So ...   Im very impressed.  Is this for Everybody ? No.  Do you have ( as my mother used to say ) 200 bucks  ‘burning a hole ‘ in your pocket ?  Do you enjoy Food Experiments?  This is a fine value at that price point .(wait for the next sale at WS, get free shipping and find that 10 % off coupon)

 

This isn't going to cook dinner for 4.  This is not going to make ‘The Best Ever ... ‘  This is not going to make “The Perfect ...”   My kitchen is not America's Test Kitchen.  Its My Test Kitchen.  The SteamBoy will give you a chance to study Steam Cooking.  This will make a few things very very differently.  Better?  Best ? wrong questions.

 

Im a fan of ‘better’ cooking shows, GreatBritishMenu features extremely accomplished chefs in the GBM kitchen.  They all use Combi-Ovens.  Sometimes a conventional one too.   They put their expertly prepared items in the Combi, punch a few buttons, then go do something else.

 

I've been extremely intrigued by Combi's for some time. These Chefs get to use any item they want.  Some have brought it small Green Eggs.  etc they Combi more often than not.

 

Does everything from those Combi’s come out perfectly ? Not if you're frazzled and push the wrong buttons.  But its clear from watching these chefs: Experienced Users know what these ovens can do, they know very expensive top grade stuff ( the stuff we cant buy ) will come out as they expect it. Almost Every Time.

 

They then have time to do something else. Pull a Cork  ( i havent seen that . too bad. )  they sometimes have a cup of tea.

 

This is for someone who likes to explore a bit, trying a different method of cooking. Seeing where that might lead.

 

It does take up counter space.  But after taking the water reservoir out its very light and easy to move around.  Ill keep mine in the Equipment Bull Pen and pull it out frequently for further study.

 

I’d not put this under a counter.  400 degree steam comes out when you open the door.   Your cabinets won’t like it. Id not let a child use this.  You poke your nose in there to check something, you might get a seriously burned nose.  No kidding.

 

Im going to get a few more 88cent jumbo packs of CkTh to do some more experiments  this week.  First stop: Staples for a ‘compositions’ book to keep track of the results.

 

Sad they don't’ sell Duck Thighs my way. Yum.

 

In the future Ill look forward to further studies :  in the SV thread there is Heated Discussion on the subject of the SV Burger. We are all Burger Experts.

 

Heard of the SteamBurger ?  I’ve had those in CT.  Google them up.

 

I plan on studying the SteamBurger. 

 

Rare. 130. Pasteurized. Never had one of those Id bet.  

 

Then the ‘130 Meat Loaf.’ Think about it. Not ‘Perfect’ just interesting.

 

I also plan on studying  “Steam-Fry” chicken: chicken thighs coated w a batter as if you were going to deep Fry it. 

 

Bake Maybe 450  full steam etc. Better than traditional Fried Chicken ? Doubt it.  Just different.  Might not work. But

 

why not find out.  That’s what this is for:  Finding Out.

 

So: interested in a nice shiny precision Digital Research Instrument at 200 or so USD? This might be for you. To continue your Kitchen Studies.

 

I hope to start going back to bread baking.  It has a ‘proof’ setting pre bake.  Ill be doing that Outside.  Yes , the SteamBoy is going to go outside off and on this summer.

 

Is there a Downside ?  There always is : 

 

It's Small.

 

You will want a bigger Combi :  say 1/2 sheet pan sized. 4 - 5 racks.  And you’ll want it 40 years ago.

 

Bon Appetite.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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rotuts, you may have sold me. The only question is where the heck I would put it, but now I want one.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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this one is Talking to Me :

 

http://www.obce.co.uk/products/joker-beloma-mini-combi-oven-p-3483.html

 

this one's not too big :  20 " x 24 " x 26 ".

 

fortunately Not at BB&B

 

the CuisiSteamBoy:

 

its light w/o the water jug.  move it around. just not under a cabinet.  get rid of something else.

 

BB$B w the 20 percent'er  :  240.  its worth that to me if you have that 

 

"burning a hole in your pocket"

 

197 a bit better.  

 

after all, its not SousVide !

Edited by rotuts (log)
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