In my last few posts I may have mentioned once or twice that I now have an AEG SteamBake oven. This oven was very kindly given to me by AEG so that I could review it. You can read about my visit to London to see the oven being demonstrated. The event was held at the Good Housekeeping Institute Cookery School, and all of the oven’s features were explained to me. We were also able to try some samples created by Richard Burr, using their SteamBake ovens.
I’ll be completely honest, before this oven I had a Neff and I was perfectly happy with it. The Neff oven wasn’t a multi-function oven, it was nearly 10 years old and it had hot spots. However I knew the oven so well, it was a reliable item in my kitchen and I had no desire to change it.
When AEG got in touch and said I could have a brand new multi-function, self-cleaning (Oh yes!) oven with SteamBake features in exchange for an honest review, my immediate thought was, but I love my Neff oven and it works fine. Will this new one be as good?
Well the answer is yes, it’s even better than my old oven. By now I’ve used nearly all of the features on the oven and there’s some really useful things that it can do, it’s like AEG have thought of everything. Firstly let’s look at the newest feature of this oven that is designed to help home bakers. The SteamBake function is simple to use and helps create crispier, aerated loaves, puffed up choux pastry and laminated doughs that are lighter and have more structure.
To use SteamBake you add 100ml of water to the cavity in the base of the oven, close the door and preheat the oven to your desired temperature, whilst having the SteamBake button selected and the fan oven with steam setting selected. When the oven is up to temperature and the steam is at its optimum setting the oven will beep to let you know it’s ready for the food to be added to the oven.
Professional bakeries have long used steam to guarantee a better crust and a more reliable even bake and after using this oven I can see why. It’s really boosted by baked goods and because the steam can be turned on and off as required, you have complete control over this function.
The oven isn’t just about steam though, there are options to bake with and without fan-assisted, a built-in grill, a top oven setting for baking pizza and the light automatically comes on when you open the oven door, which is really useful for cleaning, or for recipes that require you to leave what you’ve made in the oven to cool down.
I’ve used the cleaning function on the oven, it works brilliantly. The digital display tells you when the oven needs cleaning. Simply remove the racks, select oven cleaning and leave the program to run. I generally do this overnight, then in the morning when the oven is cool you can just use some kitchen towel to wipe out the oven and then clean with a wet cloth.
The only thing to note with the oven cleaning is that it gets really hot and basically burns off the dirt. If you have a small kitchen like me, it can get really warm in the room and I found it a bit smoky, but I think it was because I waited quite a few days after the clean warning had displayed. Next time I’ll do it sooner.
The oven is by no means perfect, but any problems are far out weighed. My only slight complaints are that the shelves slide out so easily, the first time I pulled out a shelf to check on how something was cooking, it flew out and the item I’d made landed on the door! I was able to save it thankfully, but it’s something to be aware of.
The self-clean function on the oven is great, but you can’t leave the racks in the oven. There are great oven cleaning kits that you can get just for the racks which is really useful.
To find all of the recipes I’ve made in my AEG SteamBake oven, look here. It’s been great getting to test this oven and I’m so pleased I made the change.
Not only has it vastly improved my baking with the introduction of SteamBake technology, but the other functions of the oven such as the fan, grill and top and bottom oven features are so useful, this is a great oven at a really reasonable price for the functionality.
Thanks for reading.