Combination ovens were once reserved for professional chefs in commercial kitchens, mostly because of their huge sizes and even more daunting prices. But, today’s countertop combi oven fixes that, big time. It handily fits in most home kitchens and, because of its versatility, can even replace other stragglers taking up prime space on your counter.
Some combi ovens, such as the Fotile ChefCubii, are built as 4-in-1 units that include the steaming, air frying, steam-baking, and dehydrating functions. Fotile America Vice President Stein Shi told Tasting Table, “Fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, and kiwi are great for dehydrating,” explaining that the dehydrating function uses low temperature to preserve the fruit’s original flavor, encouraging healthy snacking at home. Extra functions on some combi ovens include toasting, grilling, reheating, proofing for pastries and bread, and rice cooking. The ChefCubii provides 40 presets for specific meals ranging from egg tarts and puddings to bagels, vegetables, mac-and-cheese, pizzas, tacos, chicken wings, and barbecue ribs.
A primary reason to buy a combination steam oven is to add or retain moisture in the foods you already love and cook. It works well for making dishes that could otherwise fall into the dry-danger zone, such as a traditional Sunday roast, creamy custards, casseroles, and especially fluffy dinner rolls and breads in which steam is crucial for the baking process.