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Sharp’s new countertop cooker uses superheated steam

By combining superheated steam and conventional radiant heat, Sharp’s new Superheated Steam Countertop Oven can cook food that’s both crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. According to the company, the pizzeria-style countertop oven combines the two heating systems in a way that could effectively cook everything from steak to cookies to pizzas.

“Sharp is extremely proud to help make the benefits of superheated steam cooking more accessible than ever by bringing them to kitchen countertops across America,” said Jim Sanduski, President of Sharp Home Electronics Company of America. “The ability to package this innovative technology into a countertop solution at this price point has made this our most important entry into the small appliance category yet, bringing us one step closer to reaching our collective goal of bringing superheated steam to everyone.”

Sharp says that cooking food with radiant heat allows it to reach browning temperatures that are safe for consumption, while also retaining the natural flavors and texture of the food. For example, salmon will come out of the oven with a crispy texture on the surface and with juicy flavors on the inside. Pizza will have a crunchy, crispy crust, but the cheese will be perfectly melted and hot. The oven (model SSC0586DS) comes with five cooking modes — toast, warm, pizza, bake-reheat, and broil/grill — all of which use the dual heating system.

“Sharp remains dedicated to making healthy cooking at home a fun and positive experience for everyone,” said Peter Weedfald, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “With our new Superheated Steam Countertop Oven, we’re showing our commitment to Simply Better Living with a revolutionary new product that is simple to use, better than the competition, and creates great-tasting meals for a modern, fast-paced, healthy lifestyle.”

Interestingly, the oven does not require any preheating or defrosting, according to Sharp. Foods are ready to cook, thus saving consumers valuable time when trying to put dinner on the table for the family.

The broiling pan that comes with the oven is also 39 percent bigger than standard sheet pans, with a size of 12.5 × 12.5 inches. That means the pan can hold anything from a 12-inch pizza to nine slices of toast. The water tank holds 6.8 fluid ounces and will last for up to 60 minutes of cooking, and it’s easy to refill if you need to keep the cooking process going.

Countertop cookers have exploded in popularity in recent years, and steam ovens are heating up. Electrolux introduced the CombiSteam Pro in early March; the Gourmia came out in January and claims to do it all. Steam is clearly rising.

And don’t even get us started about sous vide.

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