Microwaves: How to buy the best microwave Steam microwaves
Built-in steaming is the hot new trend in microwaves – but is it worth investing in a steam microwave now?
How steam microwaves work
We've seen a couple of combination microwaves on the market recently that feature in-built steam cooking functionality, including the LG MP9289NSD steam microwave pictured.
Rather than use a separate steaming dish, the whole of the oven cavity in a steam microwave can be switched to steam mode, to steam fish or vegetables.
Because microwaves steam food quickly and don't use much water, fewer vitamins are lost. Broccoli retains 91% of vitamin C when steamed, but only 46% when boiled.
LG steam microwave
We were keen to test out the steam function on this LG model – which has a hefty £400 price tag – to see how it fared.
Sadly, we were disappointed with the results - and you might be better off waiting for the technology to evolve before investing in a steam microwave. We found potatoes took 40 minutes to steam cook and were still underdone, and the food generally came out rather wet and unappetising
Read our review of the LG MP9289NSD steam microwave for our full lab test findings.
How to steam in your microwave
Using a separate steaming dish is the cheapest and easiest way to steam in a microwave. Unlike electric steamers, microwaves don't have room to steam large quantities of food at once – but what they lack in space they make up for in speed.
We tested an easy-to-use multi-steamer from Lakeland (£8.99) and found the steamed food it produced in the microwave was just as good as that steamed on the hob. Our microwave accessories page has more steam implements you could consider.
Alternatively, look for a combi or grill microwave that comes equipped with a steaming dish and a specialist steam program.