Now that I’ve got your attention with that amazing looking chef sauce, I’d like to tell you about a recent trip I made, to Scottsdale, AZ. I was invited by Thermador to check out their test kitchen and in particular, the new Thermador Steam and Convection Oven.
Having not grown up in America I was never exposed to the Thermador line of appliances, and those of you who live in DC probably have GE in your cookie cutter apartments, so I haven’t yet come across it here either, although it was the kitchen of choice for The Brady Bunch and Julia Child.
Being in a test kitchen with a personal chef for the day (above: Chef Kyle) I knew I’d be treated to some five-star cooking — a perfectly uniform beef tenderloin, salmon wellington, tomato jam, creme brulee and pears in red wine were just a sampling of what was prepared using this new style of oven — but in true ES fashion, this is not what I wanted to know. I wanted to get down to the nitty gritty; what can this oven do for me in an everyday capacity? After all, at $3k I need to get my money’s worth.
Keep reading to see how I tested the oven the Endless Simmer way.
Regular readers of ES know that we have a mild fascination with leftovers, myself included. One of my biggest disappointments in life is leftover pizza. I only allow the BF to order pizza after a night on the town, but by the morning after it’s either too dry or tastes like a wet sock.
Well the Thermador folks had bragged that in addition to cooking, their oven was the best in the game for reheating. So I called them on it, and demanded they order a pizza. They obliged — a pizza was ordered the night before test day.
That’s right folks, the pizza right there is a day-old reheated pizza courtesy of 7 minutes in a steam and convection oven. I can’t tell you how the pizza tasted the night before, but the morning after it was full of flavor; the tangy sauce and spicy pepperoni retained its bite. But I know it’s the crust you are wondering about. Albeit not perfect, it was a little doughy and could have been crispier, but the crust was by far better than anything I have tasted reheated in a microwave or standard oven. The oven can do this as it combines both convection heat while circulating steam around the oven, creating a consistent steam infused cooking experience. No drying out, people, no drying out — I write that with a tear forming in the corner of my eye.
As explained to me, the Thermador Steam and Convection Oven is a new style of cooking, there is no rule book for this, with practice and patience the reheated pizza might eventually get its perfect crispy crust. If I had an extra 3 grand lying around, I’d be able to tell you if that’s true.
Along with the cost, the oven does have its pitfalls. It is too small to replace your standard oven and does not have a direct connection to the water supply (for the steaming), so it needs refilling every two hours of cook time. But overall the Steam and Convection Oven is an interesting appliance, small enough to replace your microwave but large enough to be considered a second oven, it can even roast a 14lb turkey in 90 minutes, WTF!
(Photos: Thermador/Cheeky Kitchen)