Steam cooking is one of the healthiest alternatives in commercial kitchens, whether it's a K-12 cafeteria in Maryland a university dining facility in Virginia or a restaurant in D.C., more and more chefs are turning to steam. But it's not just for health benefits.

Why would someone consider steam cooking? Which equipment will work the best? Let's take a look at some of these answers as we go behind the scenes with commercial steam cooking 101.


There's no doubting the nutritious benefits of steam cooking. Something cooked with water is certainly better for you than something cooked in oil, but health isn't the only reason to use steam. Cooking with steam also provides other benefits. It's extremely versatile. It allows for even heat penetration. And cooking times are typically around 30 percent less when using steam.

When considering a steam cooking technique, keep the following facts in mind:

  • Steam uses gentle heat, does not burn or scorch food, and prevents foods from drying out.
  • Steam-cooked foods retain more flavor, texture, and color.
  • Less vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are lost compared to dry-heat cooking, which often means a decreased need to add salt or oil.
  • Different types of food can share the oven without transferring the flavors.
  • Steam units are easy to clean and avoid the "baked-in spillage" of conventional ovens.

How to select the right piece of commercial steam cooking equipment

High Sabatino is proud to offer steam-cooking equipment from Southbend. Southbend is recognized as a global leader in the areas of energy savings, cooking speed, automation, and safety. They offer a wide range of innovative steam-cooking solutions, and here's a brief introduction to their line:

Counter Steamers – Pressureless counter steamers hold three to five steam table pans and are perfect for low to medium volume cooking.

Compartment Steamers – Pressureless compartment steamers include a boiler base and can be used in combination with a kettle for additional flexibility.

Steam Kettles – Steam kettles are replacing traditional stockpot cooking, as they are more efficient and heat faster than more conventional methods.

Braising Pans – Perhaps the most versatile equipment available, braising pans braise, roast, fry, boil, simmer, thaw, sauté, grill, warm, steam, proof, hold, and serve practically any item on your menu.

TruVection – Southbend’s TruVapor is the most space efficient, tri-mode unit on the market. TruVapor’s ideal uses are baking, steaming, or a combination of both. The compact footprint enables it to be placed in a line up, in an island suite or as a stand alone unit. Choice of top configurations available on single stack units.

[Additional Resources: Check out the Southbend Video Library]

Want to learn more about the steam cooking options from Southbend? Check out the guide to heavy duty steam.

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