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Cuisinart Combo Steam/Convection Oven (Part 3)


JoNorvelleWalker
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2 hours ago, KennethT said:

  I got it now ... primarily to test out the various things that we'd typically use a microwave for - to make sure we don't need to actually get a microwave.... w

 

I'm not sure that our CSO will do much of any of the things we daily use a microwave for.    As in heating leftovers in 3-4 minutes; melting butter; heating milk or for that matter reheating a cup of coffee;  nuking a "TV" meal for lunch.   My frustration with the CSO, and it is probably due to my inexperience, is its 10 minute pre-heat function and time loss.    It will be great for "cooking" but I don't find it great for fast reheats.

Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)

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18 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

 

I'm not sure that our CSO will do much of any of the things we daily use a microwave for.    As in heating leftovers in 3-4 minutes; melting butter; heating milk or for that matter reheating a cup of coffee;  nuking a "TV" meal for lunch.   My frustration with the CSO, and it is probably due to my inexperience, is its 10 minute pre-heat function and time loss.    It will be great for "cooking" but I don't find it great for fast reheats.

 

 

It's never going to be faster than a microwave for those very quick tasks -- but it's also not as hard on the food being reheated in a lot of cases. Maybe it's just me, but I rarely find myself just reheating food, and often if I put the thing that would most benefit from gentle heat in the oven when I begin cooking, it's done before I'm ready for it anyway.

 

And of course, you can use it at the same time as the microwave.

 

Also, for reheating, putting the food in at the beginning of the preheat can save quite a bit of time. That's actually a Breville feature I wish the CSO had -- the former has a "reheat" function that starts counting from the beginning of the preheat cycle rather than from when the oven hits temperature.

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29 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

 

I'm not sure that our CSO will do much of any of the things we daily use a microwave for.    As in heating leftovers in 3-4 minutes; melting butter; heating milk or for that matter reheating a cup of coffee;  nuking a "TV" meal for lunch.   My frustration with the CSO, and it is probably due to my inexperience, is its 10 minute pre-heat function and time loss.    It will be great for "cooking" but I don't find it great for fast reheats.

 

 

I've never had a microwave oven so I cannot do a comparison with the CSO.  However I am confused by the "10 minute pre-heat function and time loss."  I don't know what this means.  The only time I preheat with the CSO is when I have my half inch steel sheet on the shelf for baking bread.  Of course a half inch thick 10x10 inch sheet of steel is going to take a while to get warm.

 

Leftovers generally heat quickly.  That is the magic of steam.

 

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39 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

 

I'm not sure that our CSO will do much of any of the things we daily use a microwave for.    As in heating leftovers in 3-4 minutes; melting butter; heating milk or for that matter reheating a cup of coffee;  nuking a "TV" meal for lunch.   My frustration with the CSO, and it is probably due to my inexperience, is its 10 minute pre-heat function and time loss.    It will be great for "cooking" but I don't find it great for fast reheats.

 

According to other posts in this (and previous) thread(s), as well as the "do I need" thread, the CSO is great for reheating leftovers, and melting butter is no problem either.  I can't remember if I have ever heated milk or reheated a cup of coffee, nor eaten a "TV" meal since 1982 when it was a novelty to me... not that there's anything wrong with it, but just not something I do.  As I wrote in the "do I need thread," my wife and I only use the microwave for a very select few things, some of which I've been experimenting with over the last few days - like defrosting frozen coconut milk or stock in my sous vide bath which lives on my limited real estate countertop.... which has worked great... I'm a convert for those... so now, I just need to try the other stuff - like defrosting frozen bread-type items like english muffins, which is the default breakfast for my wife.

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Your decision and reasoning are sound.    Our microwave keeps kitchen-phobic husband alive at lunch.    He has not walked within 10 feet of the CSO and seems to have created a permanent rat-track.    He does sometimes look at its clock.   Our ancient microwave doesn't have one.

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@Margaret Pilgrim in thinking about this more, what are you reheating that needs a 10 minute preheat?  In general I find the instruction manual suggestion works pretty well:  "Bake Steam keeps leftovers moist.  When reheating, put leftovers in the middle rack position, uncovered, and set oven to 250F for about 20 minutes."

 

Using a microwave reminds me of one of my Alison Bechdel refrigerator magnets that has the caption:  "Cook on high for 9 minutes?!  Who has that kind of time?!"

 

 

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Actually, you nailed it with your quip.    in 20 minutes, DH has heated and eaten lunch.    He self-defines himself as "time intolerant".     As i wrote, i try to keep several "planned overs" on hand for him, and he brings in frozen entrees like enchiladas, tamales, Swedish meatballs, etc. for close to instant, i.e., 5 minute, lunches.    It works for him, which in turn works for me.    

 

At breakfast, I make "old-fashioned" oatmeal in the microwave.     Put meal in bowl, cover with water, stir with impeccably clean finger and nuke for 5 minutes.     Douse with heavy cream.    Enjoy.    

 

I still really love your refrigerator magnet.    Please never let my DH see it!    

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OK - I can finally join in on this conversation as my unit arrived today.  After an initial cleaning, the first thing I tried were skin on chicken thighs... something I make all the time, but in a hybrid pan fry /oven roast.  When I do it my traditional way, I fry skin side down over medium to medium-high heat for like 20 minutes to render most of the fat... the pan then goes into the oven at like 400F for 13 minutes.  What comes out is perfectly cooked meat and skin that has all fat rendered, and is shatteringly (is that a word?) crisp - it's a chicken cracker.

 

So, with those expectations, I figured I'd use the new CSO - and I thought I'd use 300 bake-steam for 60 minutes as the manual, and many here, have recommended.  One thing I also did, which I do sometimes when I have time, is presalt the thighs and leave uncovered in the fridge for at least an hour to dry the skin.  I saw the skin bubbling after about 40 minutes or so, and after a few minutes more, decided to drop the temp to 250 since I was still waiting for the rice cooker to finish up its job...  I took the thighs out at a total of about 52 minutes and what resulted was completely overcooked meat, and the skin, while nicely rendered, was not crisp at all and was rather unpleasant.

 

More experiments must follow... (probably not this week though)... I'd also like to hear people's thoughts as to my results.  I'm thinking the next step is to try a hybrid system - maybe 300 steam bake for 20 minutes, then raise the temp to 450 until the skin looks done?

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2 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Hmmm.  I always do chicken thighs, bone in, skin on, on steam bake @ 425 F for 20 - 30 min, depending on size.  Since the steam avoids drying, I'm not sure I see the value in the proposed hybrid system.

OK - I'll try this next...

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1 hour ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

He wasn't retired and at home then.     He ate lunches out.    I  found a bite here and there or lunched with friends.    

 

Also, DH, an engineer, frequently reminds me that microwave is the most efficient form of cooking,      

 

 

 

I have to question the assertion.  A magnetron, as used in a microwave oven, has an efficiency of about 65 percent:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavity_magnetron

 

To heat your soup efficiently use a good old fashioned immersion heater.

 

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1 hour ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

He wasn't retired and at home then.     He ate lunches out.    I  found a bite here and there or lunched with friends.    

 

Also, DH, an engineer, frequently reminds me that microwave is the most efficient form of cooking,      

 

 

If efficiency is the goal, why heat it at all?

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21 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

I have to question the assertion.  A magnetron, as used in a microwave oven, has an efficiency of about 65 percent:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavity_magnetron

 

To heat your soup efficiently use a good old fashioned immersion heater.

 

A good method for chicken broth but not so effective for chicken enchiladas.

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46 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

@KennethT for chicken thighs I've gone over to sous vide followed by deep fry.  By any chance did you save a picture of your experiment?

 

I thought about taking some photos, but got busy and it slipped my mind.  SV followed by deep fry is great... but before I go back to that, I'll do some more CSO experiments

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Any recommendations for reheating a slice of pizza from the refrigerator?  Usually, I'd let it come to room temp on the counter or microwave for a few seconds to take the chill off, then into a 300F oven on a rack for about 5 minutes....

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Yes, we use two steps

 

put the pizza on foil and on the toast level rack.

 

Super Steam 400F for 5 minutes

Switch to Convection Bake 450 F for 4 to 5 minutes depending on how thick you pizza is.


Nice and crispy but still moist.

Edited by Okanagancook (log)
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Thanks - it's standard "NY pizza" which means a relatively thin, slightly chewy crust - but not cracker thin.  Also, what is teh toast level rack?  Does that mean use the 'u' shaped rack with the 'u' upside down so the top is closest to the broiler elements?

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19 minutes ago, KennethT said:

also, how does one keep the melting cheese from dripping onto the lower heating elements?  In a standard oven, I put foil on the rack positioned below the rack I'm reheating the pizza on to catch any drips.

Honestly, I just let it drip and pull out the tray on the bottom and clean it when it is cold.  😏 

 

Also, with that kind of crust, I usually use the toast function for about a "2" or "3".  Rack positioned with the U legs down so that it is a little farther from the top elements.  

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