Steam Oven Vs. Microwave – What’s The Difference?

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Due to the busy lifestyle of people nowadays, most people turn towards swift cooking options. For most people, the microwave is the go-to. However, you have various options available that you might not know of that prepare delicious meals in no time.

Many innovative appliances are invented and used that make your life so much easier. Starting from the air fryer to steam ovens to microwaves, various options are available. You need to know how to make them work and when to use them.

Similarly, some of the most common appliances found in several kitchens are steam ovens and microwaves. The question arises: What is the difference between them, and how exactly are they used? Worry no more as this article has been written for you.

In this article, we are going to discuss in depth the differences between a steam oven and a microwave. We will discuss how they are used and which one is better. We will compare them from a cooking point of view and affordability.

Before we begin, it must be said that steam ovens are fairly new to the market. We do not have such research or surveys available as we have for microwaves. Both of these work on the principle of heating the food, so it is cooked from the inside out.

The primary difference between steam ovens and microwaves is that steam ovens use intensely heated steam for cooking food from the outside. On the other hand, microwaves radiate heat into water molecules that cook the food from inside as well as outside. Keep on reading this article as we will look in-depth at the properties of both appliances.


Microwave is the one of the most common appliances you will find in about every kitchen. This is because they are small, affordable, and convenient. They are versatile and swift at what they do.

There are several options available that provide you with different colors models technology. You can even choose a cabinet-fitted microwave or a portable microwave as well. Primarily most of them work in the same way; however, there are some additional features as well.

Microwaves work on the principle of throwing radio waves that heat the water molecules in your food. These waves are responsible for cooking the food from the inside and outside. This process is very quick, and you have your cooked meal in no time.

Microwaves are able to cook, reheat, defrost and much more. They do not have to be preheated before use, and they also do not stay as hot as ovens are. They are also made compact, so they take as little space as possible.

They are very easy to clean, understand and operate. They are made in such a way to be user-friendly and safe. Several different styles, colors and models are available.

Microwaves are cheap, and you can get a basic one for about $50. However, good quality microwaves come for at least $100 to $200. Furthermore, the prices increase as you go more into additional accessories.

Health Benefits

Microwave is the best cooking method as it cooks food quickly and in the shortest amount of time. The least amount of liquid is required to cook food that helps keep the vitamins and minerals in the food. Thus, this makes the microwave a marvel of engineering and a nutritionally advantageous appliance.

Steam Oven

Steam ovens come almost the same size as a microwave. You will find some traditional steam ovens that are bigger in size and use traditional steam options. However, steam ovens available nowadays are built similar to a microwave.

Steam ovens have been around for some time and were used before microwaves. After microwaves, they became less popular; however, they are found in several kitchens nowadays. They have also improved a lot in technology as well as made it more compact.

Steam ovens work by using radiant heat with extremely heated steam to heat and cook your food. They are also comparatively healthy and more effective than microwaves. Latest steam ovens do not need to be preheated, similar to microwaves.

A steam oven consists of a reservoir that is first filled with water before it is used. As it heats up, the water in the reservoir will turn into steam. Food is then cooked inside the oven with the help of that steam.

You will find various cooking options, much like microwaves. They are also simple convent and easily understandable. However, one main drawback is that they take comparatively longer to cook than a microwave.

Steam ovens are comparatively more expensive than a microwave. The average price is around $2000 to $4000. However, if you are looking for better quality food, they are worth the price.

Health Benefits

Scientific tests carried out show that steam ovens are the best cooking method to preserve all the nutrients and minerals in the food. Vegetables that are cooked in steam ovens have comparatively more vitamin C when compared to any other cooking method. Moreover, steaming food, specifically fruits or vegetables, are the same as eating them raw with regards to nutritional value.

So, What’s the Difference Between Steam Ovens and Microwaves?

  1. The primary difference is that steam ovens use extremely heated steam for cooking food while microwaves radiate heat to water molecules that get heated up and turned into thermal energy to cook the food.
  2. Microwaves are quick and convenient when it comes to cooking or heating your food. They may only take a few minutes or even seconds to heat or cook your food. On the other hand, although steam ovens do not require preheating, they still take a longer time to cook when compared to microwaves.
  3. When comparing the prices between the two microwaves are fairly cheap as you can get a basic one for just about $50; however, for steam ovens, they start at $2000 and go all the way to $4000.
  4. When comparing the food quality between the two, the steam oven will win. As microwaves radiate heat to the water molecules, the product is dry and sloppy. On the other hand, steam ovens use steam to heat the food that does not affect its quality, thus preserving most nutrients and minerals.