The Money Saver Tip
Bulls Eye Technical Service
to create the steam. As the water is heated, it leaves
Keeping the steam in your the boiler tank as steam, leaving behind the minerals.
steam oven. With time the inevitable will happen. The tank will fill
The advantages of cooking with steam. with minerals.
By Brian Bresee
Bulls Eye Technical Service How can I protect my steamer?
Once a cook has experienced the benefits of cooking Water treatment is the first step to protecting the tank.
with steam, they never want to go back. A steamer can A water filter can reduce the amount of hard minerals
become vital to a large kitchen’s operation. Volume that enter and coat the tank. It will allow the unit to run
and food quality can be increased using a steamer. longer without cleaning.
The reason for the steamer’s success is due to the way Even with water treatment the tank will still need
it cooks. Unlike a conventional oven, the steamer uses cleaning. The time between cleanings depends upon
latent heat to cook food. Latent heat is sometimes many factors. Water quality, usage, and design of unit
referred to as hidden heat, because it cannot be will effect the amount of cleanings required. The
measured with a thermometer. It occurs when an manufacturer’s instructions will provide the best
element is changing from one form to another. Latent cleaning information for your unit.
heat is required for ice to change to water, and water to
steam. Latent heat must be removed for the opposite Remember to drain the boiler tank between uses. This
to happen. allows the mineral rich water, which builds while
running, to leave the tank. Fresh water will enter the
When a steamer cooks it fills the oven chamber with tank for the next usage. If you run your steamer for
steam, at approxiamately 212 degrees. As the steam long periods, be sure to drain the tank every few hours.
makes contact with the food it turns back into water. The manufacturers’s instructions will give details of
Latent heat is released into the food as the steam turns how often the tank should be drained.
into water, thereby cooking the food.
Be sure your tank is draining! Sometimes the drain will
Latent heat absorbs quickly into the food, which clog with debris or the drain valve will fail. With the
decreases cooking times. With certain foods, like tank not draining, it won’t take long for it to fill with
vegetables, the color, taste and texture of the product minerals. When the tank fills with minerals it often
is also enhanced. This enables the cook to serve a requires replacement. Tank replacement is usually an
more desirable product. expensive repair. Checking the drain daily is a good
habit and is not hard to do. On most designs, the tank
automatically drains when the unit is turned off. To
The steamers short life.
check the drain, simply look and see if the tank’s water
In some cases the steamer will not work good for very leaves the drain line after the unit is turned off. If little
long. This is usually caused by mineral buildup in the or no water leaves after the unit is shut down, your
steamer’s boiler tank. Minerals can coat the inside of drain is clogged and requires inspection. A prompt
the tank, and its sensors, causing malfunction. inspection can prevent the need for an expensive tank
Sometimes the tank will fill completely with minerals, changeout.
which requires a tank changeout to repair.
Steamers require more maintenance than a standard
Minerals find their way into the tank with the water used oven, but for many the benefits make it well worth it.