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Cuisinart Combo Steam/Convection Oven (Part 3)

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Amazon has the CSO on for $224.46 today as one of its Gold Box deals.

 


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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@Franci 

 

interesting how tastes differ.    I love how the TT's come out in the CSB.  the contrast is a big plus for me.

 

hope you can try a whole chicken soon.   Ive yet to try it.

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11 hours ago, Franci said:

Tonight I tried TJ's tater tots (which also my kids love) in the CSO and they didn't like them! Both of them! Ehm, I confess,  me too. The complain is that they are too soft on the inside and too crunchy on the outside. They prefer my regular convection oven 400F for 20 minutes.

I also used the CSO to reheat a chinese steam roll, I like the idea of steaming without having to set the steamed...

I run a cleaning cycle and the top didn't come out that clean, normal?

 

 

I am a little obsessive about keeping the CSO clean.  I love love love the steam clean function.  I always wipe it down using paper towels when it's done steaming.  They usually have a bit of grease/residue on them--especially when wiping down the top and the top of the sides.

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Hi Folks!

 

Thanks to all your posts, I went and grabbed a CSO two weeks ago and have been running it pretty much every day since. Everything from a full meal to just roasting some cherry tomotos to toss with pasta. What a wonderful little oven! I'm poaching some eggs right now.

 

Which brings me to my question - scrambled eggs? I've tried doing "faux sous-vide eggs," with the goal of getting French-style creamy, custardy ultra-small curd scrambled eggs. I used a small bowl greased with some butter, 3 eggs beaten with a dash of heavy cream, Steam 45 mins/170F, give it a last beating with a fork - voila! Came out perfectly. Fast forward to Saturday, tried the same thing with bigger bowl and 6 eggs, to share with my sweetheart wife. Result? Liquid eggs with hardly any coagulation, had to finish off in a pan. OK, I thought, must be too much volume in a bowl and maybe steam can't efficiently get into the taller bowl either. Monday I try two of my (identical) small bowls, 3 eggs each.. same lousy result! Today I did a test batch of only one of the small bowls, 3 eggs, no problem, turned out perfect.

 

What gives? Steam is steam, should fill the entire volume of the oven and cook whatever evenly - one bowl, two bowls, as long as their starting temp is the same. Any thoughts would be appreciated. And what is the difference between regular steam and "super-steam"?

 

Thanks!

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19 minutes ago, Saci Pererê said:

Hi Folks!

 

Thanks to all your posts, I went and grabbed a CSO two weeks ago and have been running it pretty much every day since. Everything from a full meal to just roasting some cherry tomotos to toss with pasta. What a wonderful little oven! I'm poaching some eggs right now.

 

Which brings me to my question - scrambled eggs? I've tried doing "faux sous-vide eggs," with the goal of getting French-style creamy, custardy ultra-small curd scrambled eggs. I used a small bowl greased with some butter, 3 eggs beaten with a dash of heavy cream, Steam 45 mins/170F, give it a last beating with a fork - voila! Came out perfectly. Fast forward to Saturday, tried the same thing with bigger bowl and 6 eggs, to share with my sweetheart wife. Result? Liquid eggs with hardly any coagulation, had to finish off in a pan. OK, I thought, must be too much volume in a bowl and maybe steam can't efficiently get into the taller bowl either. Monday I try two of my (identical) small bowls, 3 eggs each.. same lousy result! Today I did a test batch of only one of the small bowls, 3 eggs, no problem, turned out perfect.

 

What gives? Steam is steam, should fill the entire volume of the oven and cook whatever evenly - one bowl, two bowls, as long as their starting temp is the same. Any thoughts would be appreciated. And what is the difference between regular steam and "super-steam"?

 

Thanks!

Glad you joined us!

 

I'm stumped as to why this is happening.  You're using the same size eggs each time, I assume.  

 

Hopefully someone else will chime in here with some ideas.

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I have the feeling that super-steam generates a more saturated environment than steam-bake.

 

that's only a bit of a guess.

 

the way to solve this would be to measure the condensation and water loss from the reservoir at the same temp-time

 

for super steam and steam-bake.

 

I know many expensive commercial combi-ovens let you set the saturation for the steam at any temp.

 

Ive also noticed that at lower temps    i.e. 225 steam-bake  vs  400 steam-bake  more water is used from the reservoir 

 

and more condenses in the oven  ---   in your pan and down to the small reservoir.

 

I think @blue_dolphin  pointed this out up-thread.   Ive only used 225 steam-bake once and was surprised.

 

I think  two small pans have to take more time in the oven for a given result than one small pan.

 

there is a thermal gradient and it would take more energy  i.e. time to get both pans to the state of a single pan.

 

 


Edited by rotuts (log)
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@Shelby Thank you for the welcome!

 

@rotutsBingo! Why didn't I think of that? Physics 101:

 

4 hours ago, rotuts said:

 it would take more energy  i.e. time to get both pans to the state of a single pan.

 

Of course! When I put in twice the eggs, whether it's in one bowl or two, then I have twice the mass to cook with the same amount of energy (45 mins of 170F steam x internal volume of the oven). I have to increase the temp and/or the time and/or the steam saturation (super-steam) to cook my 6 eggs.

 

We don't notice this in a "regular" oven because the internal volume is so much larger and the energy loading is so much lower (no steam), i.e. if I wanted to cook scrambled eggs at 170F, I'd have to leave them in for hours at which point how many eggs I use hardly matters (and they'd dry out into rubber). 

 

Looks like time for more egg experimentation (eggspirements?). Fortunately, we have two dogs who eat my mistakes. During last week's Poached Egg Trials, they started following me back and forth to the CSO! For what it's worth, here is my "Perfect Poached Egg", a bit different from what was written up earlier in this thread:

 

-Use a small dish or large saucer, pour some water into it then out again. You want a wet plate, just enough for the egg to slide around.

-Use a fresh egg, 3-4 days at most. You want the "thick white" to still cling to the yolk, not be all watery (thin white) as it is with week-old eggs.

-Crack 1 egg into the wet dish, STEAM 10 minutes at 210F.

-Slide egg onto your serving plate, Voila!

 

Notes:

 

Depending how old your egg is, your poached egg may be lying in a pool of cooked "thin white." You can eat it, but I prefer to use a spoon to hold my poached egg back as I slide the thin white into the nearest dog (actually into a dog dish, they lap it up!).

You can crack two eggs onto the plate, just increase the time to 11 minutes. I guess that 3 eggs need 12 mins? I do know that the yolks go from perfectly runny to cooked awfully fast!

 

 


Edited by Saci Pererê (log)
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45 minutes ago, Saci Pererê said:

 

@rotutsBingo! Why didn't I think of that? Physics 101:

 

 

Of course! When I put in twice the eggs, whether it's in one bowl or two, then I have twice the mass to cook with the same amount of energy (45 mins of 170F steam x internal volume of the oven). I have to increase the temp and/or the time and/or the steam saturation (super-steam) to cook my 6 eggs.

 

We don't notice this in a "regular" oven because the internal volume is so much larger and the energy loading is so much lower (no steam), i.e. if I wanted to cook scrambled eggs at 170F, I'd have to leave them in for hours at which point how many eggs I use hardly matters (and they'd dry out into rubber).

 

 

Actually from what I remember, thermodynamics is beyond Physics 101 - but you've got it pretty well sussed out.  The rate of heat transfer for a given substance at a given pressure depends purely on the temperature difference.  In the ideal case, the oven temp is a constant, and you'd be right to think that the cooking time should be the same for more eggs.  We're dealing here with deviations from the ideal.  As you say, it's a small oven; the thermal loading isn't really infinite w/r/t to the coooked food.  Also the thermostat on the oven isn't very precise - there's a wide band before it kicks the heat on.  Finally, on steam mode the only heat source is the injected steam - when the thermostat kicks off, you're also losing vapor (from condensation, waste, leakage etc. - more significant in that little volume) which also slows down the rate of heat transfer.

 

All told, with more eggs added, I think you're looking at a lower average cooking temp and a lower steam saturation across a full cycle of the thermostat, leading to slower cooking.  Corrections from working ChemE's welcome; it's been a lot of years and a lot of hard drugs  midget porn  sleepless diaper changes since I got down & dirty with the enthalpy.

 

Thanks for sharing the eggs-periments.  I think you're right to set the thermostat to max on steam; the more you force it, the more consistent your results should be with different amount of eggs (besides speeding up cooking).

 

I think the user manual says that "super steam" kicks on the bottom heating element as well as injecting steam - so more similar to a rice cooker - they pretty much mention rice as the intended application.  Possibly not what you want for eggs, but then again maybe heating the ramekin from the bottom might help with snotty whites.  Anyway, the super steam function can't really just blast extra steam all the time, since that's a heat source & it wouldn't hold temp to the thermostat config.  And the door seal won't hold overpressure, so it isn't that either.

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@csingley Thank you for the explanation. But.... Manual? We don't need no steeeeeeenkin manual! Ok, Read The Fine Manual, page 9:

 

Super Steam Steam plus the additional heat of the bottom element is the ideal setting for perfect rice.

 

Which implies that super-steam indeed turns on the bottom element and not any "extra" steam. Dunno if it's going to help gel the "thin" whites, egg proteins (in this case, albumin) are pretty complicated and the CSO doesn't have the precise control of my sous vide rig:

 

http://www.scienceofcooking.com/eggs/eggs_sous_vide.htm

 

My "perfect" sous-vide egg is just drop it in the bath, 147F for 40 mins. But by the time I have my rig set up and water up to temp, I can already have CSO eggs done and eaten (by me, not the dogs!). 

 

In other news - green beans! Snap off the stem, slick with some olive oil, steam-roast 25 mins at 400F. Yum! They come out like french fries, tender inside, crispy-crunchy outside, my wife devoured the first batch last week. More importantly, green beans made her a CSO convert and she forgave me for "Yet ANOTHER Kitchen Gadget?!?". However, when I made a new batch over the weekend, all I got was cooked beans, not crispy magic green bean "fries". Why? Now I know -last week I did a handful, Saturday I did a pound. Too much! This will require some thought, as I don't want to do multiple batches and beans burn easily at high temps. Fortunately again, the dogs eat green beans, even burnt....

 

 

 

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one way or another , the egg is one of the most difficult items to cook perfectly

 

a degree or so and the yolk is not they way you like it.    but its done day in and day out.

 

the difficult thing to do is to cooks the eggs   ' in bulk '   i.e. a doz at a time which you then chill and pull out from time to time from the refit.

 

the CSB does whole eggs ready for using the yolk for  hollandaise  etc other  --- aise's  nicely.

 

 

the IP does a does eggs HD  for future dishes  and the like

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For any Canadians who have been holding off, Best Buy has them on for $229.99 until Thursday. 

 

I'm not quite ready to leap yet, myself...I've spent the last three years downsizing and still have far too much stuff to fit into my (large) kitchen, and also have a few other demands on my cash flow. Also, I'm dithering over whether this or the Instant Pot will be my next bit of self-indulgence. 

 

I have to say, if not for coming back to eGullet I'd have dismissed it out of hand because of its small size. I wouldn't have imagined it would be so versatile.

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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IMG_20160906_183533.jpgSkinless Dover sole filet, marinated in rice wine & ginger, steamed 12min with scallions, fermented black beans, and shuzi (Chinese caper berries).  Hit it with the seasoned soy sauce, replace spent scallions with fresh, then frizzle them with smoking oil.

 

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1 hour ago, chromedome said:

For any Canadians who have been holding off, Best Buy has them on for $229.99 until Thursday. 

 

I'm not quite ready to leap yet, myself...I've spent the last three years downsizing and still have far too much stuff to fit into my (large) kitchen, and also have a few other demands on my cash flow. Also, I'm dithering over whether this or the Instant Pot will be my next bit of self-indulgence. 

 

I have to say, if not for coming back to eGullet I'd have dismissed it out of hand because of its small size. I wouldn't have imagined it would be so versatile.

 

Talk about a tough choice. I guess, if I had to choose, I'd pick the CSO. Maybe. Although I'm awfully dang fond of my IP.

 

Neither of which I'd own were it not for eGullet. Bunch of freakin' enablers, we are.

 

And I love it.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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@csingleyNice! 

 

All I did tonight was stop by the supermarket and to get two links of chicken sausage, then stuffed the meat into whatever veggies I had kicking around the fridge. Mushrooms, half a tomato, a zuke. Steam-bake 25 mins at 425F, sprinkle some breadcrumbs on top, convection roast 5 mins at 400. In the meantime, I made a quick  salad out of some beets that I had previously roasted. Perfect quick dinner! No photos, got eaten too fast. :)

 

I really love the CSO for this kind of easy dinner (for two). Nothing really to clean afterwards, oven pan goes into the dishwasher, parchment paper (used to line pan) goes to compost, empty the water tray, done! 

 

As for the Instant Pot, I dunno.. an electric pressure cooker. Nice that it's programmable, but I'm so used to using my "old-fashioned" pressure cooker. Nothing to break and I can throw the whole thing (except steam valve) into the dishwasher. I also use it nearly every day, including just using it as an all-purpose pot / steamer / deep frying pan. And $67 for a very good 10-qt Fagor (someone's always running a sale on these):

 

http://www.kmart.com/fagor-splendid-stainless-steel-10-qt-pressure-cooker/p-011V005676879000P?sid=KDx01192011x000001&gclid=Cj0KEQjw0rm-BRCn85bm8uS-zK0BEiQAHo4vrETCh9wnIosI81HZWei4ctFInDc18wn5-EBrogVtIKAaAp2E8P8HAQ


Edited by Saci Pererê (log)

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csingley, just remind me, it has been a while we had made chinese steamed fish.

Tonight I made an experiment. Sometimes, instead of making ratatouille the proper way, I make it a la  "lazy" way, according to a recipe of  Stephane Reynaud. I divided into two tins the all amount. One went  in my regular convection (covered with foil) and one in the CSO. Here I started with steam bake at 400F. After some time there was so much water that I switched to steam broil. I was not going to go anywhere with all that liquid. Switched to conventional baking trying to  make it less soupy and then to just broil. Just from the look, the vegetables in the CSO looked brighter, a little lighter in taste but overall (as expected) the one cooked in the Convection oven where a little sweeter, more concentrated taste. So maybe just as I  thought I would start the over way around in the CSO,  with conventional baking first, uncover and before the vegetables get dry, switch to steam bake...it's definitely a learning curve.


Edited by Franci (log)
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13 hours ago, weinoo said:

Did you cook the potatoes on regular convection, or with steam? (I'll confess here that I don't know anything about Trader Joe's products.)  But one of the nice things about the CSO is that it takes so little time to heat up, and my kitchen stays cool (er) than if I'd turned on my standard oven.

 

Re: the cleaning cycle. Since I have version 1.0, I usually wipe down the inside after most every time I use the oven for steam cooking. Nothing cleans itself.

 

I used bake with steam.

About the cleaning. Sure that I wiped it after the steam cooking. Going to take a picture now.

 

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@Franci, I will be interested to hear your experiences with baking bread in the CSO when you try that. I have been thrilled with my results. It fits my two 8 1/2 x 3 1/2 pans perfectly.

 

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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58 minutes ago, kayb said:

@Franci, I will be interested to hear your experiences with baking bread in the CSO when you try that. I have been thrilled with my results. It fits my two 8 1/2 x 3 1/2 pans perfectly.

 

 

 

I'll try for sure, as soon as I have a little bit of time. I'm very interested in comparing this with the Cadco oven (where I have a manual steam injection but I'm only limited to the convection cooking).

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5 hours ago, Franci said:

Ok, I didn't realize how difficult is to take a picture inside the top of the oven. For me to clean this I need more than wiping. This from the pork roast...

 

image.jpeg

 

Did you run the steam clean cycle?  For me this cleans up everything and requires only a wipe down with paper towels.

 

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Last night, for a side dish, I threw some whole mushrooms and baby artichokes (trimmed well) onto the pan, tossed with olive oil, salt, red pepper, and steam roasted them for 20 minutes at 400° F, and then on convection only (same temp) for another 15.  They came out quite nicely.

 

Like Franci, I find that certain things when they're steam roasted leave a lot of water in the pan, so I'll often switch to convection roast to dry it out and finish them up.

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16 hours ago, chromedome said:

I have to say, if not for coming back to eGullet I'd have dismissed it out of hand because of its small size. I wouldn't have imagined it would be so versatile.

@chromedome, I'm still stuck on the small size. This summer when it's been hot, I've been using my Breville Smart Oven (the XL version that fits a quarter sheet pan) extensively. I've been avidly following these CSO threads, but I just can't quite bring myself to pull the trigger and order yet another countertop appliance, which will be too small to hold much of my cookware. I'm still trying to figure out if this was a conscious decision by the designer (to keep the outside size down) or if it just totally slipped through the minds of the Powers That Be because only true kitchen geeks would care about such a thing.

 

Is anyone else out there totally torn, still?


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@melissaH I have both and the strengths of CSO outweigh its size. But , as you say, I like my 1/4 sheet pan in the BSO.

 

I use both. CSO sits happily atop BSO and this takes up no more space on the counter.

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