Inside Sharp’s Superheated Steam Countertop Oven

(plus how to cook a flawless ribeye)
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I’ve been using Sharp’s Superheated Steam Countertop Oven for nearly a year now, and it has completely changed how I cook on a day-to-day basis. Since it is simple to use and more efficient than my large kitchen oven, I can make home-cooked meals more often during the week.

While developing new recipes and figuring out cooking times for some of my favorite meals, I wondered how and why this little countertop oven did its thing. I had some specific questions for the Sharp team to guide me in future recipes.

Matthew Vecera, Senior Manager, Brand & Digital Marketing, and Haylie Morales, Senior Marketing Specialist of Home Appliance, are part of the team at Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America and steam cooking enthusiasts who have been using the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven in their kitchens since its launch last year.

Cindy: How is it that you can get a nice crust on a pastry or toast bread when there's steam dripping down the inside of the glass door?

Matthew: Amazing, isn't it? The heat-resistant glass is cooler than anything else inside the oven, so eventually steam will condense on it, removing excess steam. You can see a version of this phenomenon in modern dishwashers. The cooler, interior walls of the dishwasher pull the sub-superheated steam and moisture away from your dishes, condenses it along the walls and channels it down the drain.

Cindy: I can see heating elements along the top wall inside the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven. Inside toaster ovens I’ve owned and even in my large kitchen oven there are exposed heating elements on the bottom, but I don’t see any other elements in the Sharp oven. Where and how is the heat generated?

Haylie: There are upper and lower heating elements [concealed beneath the bottom floor of the oven, which has a non-stick enamel coating] as well as a steam engine.

Cindy: I hear a fan and see a small amount of steam being exhausted through a vent on the outside of the oven. Is this a convection oven?

Haylie: No, this is not a convection oven because there is no third heating fan element. The fan is on to keep the oven cool during cooking and also stays on a few minutes after the cooking time is over.

Cindy: If I forget to fill the water tank, would this damage the oven?

Matthew: I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to keep it filled! The oven works best when used as intended. That said, the oven will not turn-off or stop cooking when the water tank becomes empty.

Cindy: Is there ever a time you would recommend cooking without the steam?

Haylie: There is steam released in all cooking modes, so we cannot recommend cooking without steam.

Matthew: To use an analogy: If you were cooking over a campfire, there would be no real benefit to removing one of the logs. The superheated steam is one helpful piece of the cooking ecosystem of this oven. Removing one section from that system will not be an improvement.

Cindy: The bottom floor of the oven has a non-stick enamel coating, so can I put a dish directly on that surface?

Haylie: Sharp does not recommend placing dishes onto the bottom of the oven due to the lower heating elements. You should use the trays provided.

Cindy’s true confessions:

1: On more than one occasion, I have forgotten to fill the water tank. The meal wasn’t nearly as moist. Now I fill the water tank each time I use the oven.

2: I have placed oven-proof dishes and aluminum trays directly on the bottom of the oven. On lower temperatures such as “warm,” I have put “refrigerator-to-oven” dishes on the bottom. Sharp does NOT recommend this, and I figure if a dish breaks — then I won’t do it again. Do not take this as a recommendation from me. I’m just sharing my experience.

Sharing Another Recipe

I recently purchased a boneless ribeye steak for cooking on the outside grill for my husband and myself for dinner. We’ve had a stormy few months here in the northeast, and the prospect of cooking with an umbrella wasn’t thrilling. Hmmm — how about an expensive ribeye cooked inside?

Sharp Blog 12 Image 1 ribeye B cooked SM

Yes! If you can get over not having “grill marks” on your steak, the flavor of a ribeye cooked in the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven is every bit as great as having been prepared on the grill.

I’ve always felt guilty heating up the big kitchen oven to bake potatoes, so I rarely serve them. Since getting the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven, I cook them reasonably often. I’ll cook four or six at a time and put them in the refrigerator for up to four days and reheat them for dinner.

Steakhouse Ribeye, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, Grilled Peppers, and Twice-Baked Potatoes

Sharp Blog 12 Image 3 Davis Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes

Serves: 4 – 8

Skill Level: None Needed / Super Easy

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Sharp’s Superheated Steam Countertop Oven Setting: Broil/Grill 485°

Pan(s) Used: Broiling Pan

Rack Position in Oven: Bottom

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 6 baking potatoes (usually Russet)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb mix (or your favorite)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Line bottom of broiling pan with tin foil (only to help make clean up quick), and brush with cooking oil
  • Wash and dry potatoes
  • Create air vents on top of potatoes with either a knife or poke holes with a fork. You only need to go into the potato around .25 inch.
  • Place potatoes on the broiling pan and brush with olive oil
  • Sprinkle with dried herbs
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper

Cooking:

  • Be sure to fill the water tank
  • Place pan on the bottom position of the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven
  • Turn knob to Broil/Grill, which automatically sets the temperature to 485°
  • Set the time for 60 minutes
  • Push start

Serving:

Eat immediately or let potatoes cool before wrapping them individually in foil and storing them in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Sharp Blog 12 Image 2 Davis Ribeye A prep SM

Steakhouse Ribeye, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, Grilled Peppers

Serves: 2

Skill Level: None Needed / Super Easy

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cooking Time: 23 Minutes

Sharp’s Superheated Steam Countertop Oven Setting: Broil/Grill 485°

Pan(s) Used: Broiling Pan

Rack Position in Oven: Top

Ingredients:

  • 1-pound, 1.5-inch thick ribeye (with a good amount of marbling)
  • 10 – 12 Brussels sprouts
  • 1 red bell pepper (or another veggie of your liking)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (high quality)
  • 2 tablespoons steak sauce (your favorite)
  • 1 sprig rosemary (two more for garnish optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Twice-baked Potatoes

  • 1 prebaked potato in half lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 green onion, or chives (green part) sliced into small pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Potatoes: With a fork, carefully fluff-up the inside of the potato being careful to not go too close to the skin to keep it intact. Add a slice of butter to each.
  • Place the ribeye in the middle of the pan, and add a tablespoon of steak sauce to the top, and place rosemary sprig on top.
  • Arrange Brussel sprouts, peppers and two potato halves on the pan.
  • Drizzle Brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar

Cooking:

  • Be sure to fill the water tank
  • Place pan on the top position of the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven
  • Turn the knob to Broil/Grill, which automatically sets the temperature to 485°
  • Set the cooking time for 12 minutes
  • When the timer goes off, take the pan out of the oven and flip the steak. Then add more steak sauce if you prefer.
  • Place the pan back into the oven, turning the knob to Broil/Grill and cook for an additional 11* minutes for medium rare. Add approximately five minutes if you prefer medium, or seven - eight minutes if you prefer well done.
  • *Times will vary depending on the thickness of the meat.

When done, cover the meat with foil for approximately 3-5 minutes and let rest. It will continue to cook a bit more.

I recommend adding sour cream and green onions or chives to your twice-baked potatoes.

Enjoy!

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