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The use of steam as a method of cooking dates back centuries to ancient China, where food was steamed in reed or bamboo baskets. And although the Chinese are still using the bamboo basket method – with fantastic results – the modern steam oven adapts to many different needs and is of course, much more high tech!

Steam cooking is also one of the oldest methods of food preparation.

In India, Modak, an ancient ritualistic food of rice flour dumplings filled with sweetened grated coconut, is steam-cooked. Couscous, an African dish made of steamed semolina, is referenced in the works of 14th century Moroccan traveler, Ibn Battuta.

Steam cooking has been used for decades by institutions ranging from schools to sports arenas to produce large amounts of food quickly. This history has led many to believe that steam is simply about volume. But myths are being dispelled, mentalities are evolving, and the future of steam is bright. Many top restaurants around the country have discovered that steam cooking isn’t just about cooking quickly; it’s about cooking well.

Early 1990’s Steam Cooker Designed For The Home

  1. Randall Cornfield, as a person on-the-go, while trying to make a quick meal, discovers the Steamcooking ™ method. After many experiments, ultimately is able to repeat the process, writing the very first recipes.
  2. Randall then meets Christopher Hrushowy who has a long history in cookware manufacturing and Marketing, at the Chicago Housewares Show. The two meet a few weeks later in Chris’s office in Toronto. During the meeting, Randall reveals a desire to develop his invention and the two eventually partner.
  3. Randall hires a long time employee (and friend) from his previous company to assist in the day to day business who eventually helps Randall design hundreds of additional products.
  4. Q-Direct stalls on the project and while at QVC preparing Cathy for an airing, Randall meets 2 people from Richard Simmons licensor Good Times Entertainment (GTE) the company years earlier that Chris had try to contact.
  5. After helping them make their way around the QVC kitchen the GTE people become interested in Turbo. After witnessing the Turbo selling out GTE convinces the partners to come to NY.
  6. Within a few months a contract is signed. Filming and test marketing completed by December 1999 the test is a huge success. Inventory ordered, the rollout starts January 2000.

And Today

Steam assist ovens utilize steam in the cooking process to give you better tasting food and faster cook times.


Because they use steam to cook, usually with convection (the movement caused within a fluid by the tendency of hotter and therefore less dense material to rise, and colder, denser material to sink under the influence of gravity, which results in transfer of heat) heating, they reduce almost all need for basting, misting, and water bathing. These ovens are also fully computerized, and electronically monitor the amount of steam used based on the dish type you enter in on the keypad.

Truth is, these appliances practically cook dinner for you!

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