A steam oven can cook most foods except ones that require crisping or browning. Standard recipes typically need to be adjusted for steam ovens, but the appliance manufacturers, such as Thermador, Miele and Jenn-Air, provide helpful recipes and cookbooks to get started.
In a steam oven, a whole fish takes about 20 minutes to cook with a little bit of liquid in the pan. For a complete meal, add root vegetables that cook in 25 to 30 minutes and rice that cooks in 40 to 50 minutes. Grains typically take the same amount of time to cook as on the stove top. Other items, such as fish or poultry, require a lower cooking temperature or less time to cook.
Steam ovens are often sold in combination with a convection oven, which expands the cooking capabilities of the steam. With the air circulation provided by a convection oven, a steam oven can cook anything. The crust on bread is crispier than a traditional oven, a roast browns evenly on the outside while staying moist on the inside, and vegetables caramelize and become crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Custard desserts can be cooked in a steam oven without the need for a water bath.