The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Avoiding perilous steam

Sean's picture

Avoiding perilous steam

I hope no one's posted about this before, but...

 Tired of risking burns to my hands and face using a cast iron skilled and a measuring cup to make steam, I finally struck upon a better method for those of us without recourse to a professional oven: a turkey baster.

 I heat up the skillet with the baking stones, pop the bread into the oven, the squirt the water from the baster into the skillet. This keeps hands and face away from steam and lets me get the oven door closed quicker to avoid steam and heat loss.

KipperCat's picture

Great idea!

I've tried heating the pan with the water on the stovetop, then placing the whole thing on the oven bottom when the bread goes in.  The pan doesn't get as hot on top of the stove, but it seems to provide enough steam and doesn't throw a hissy fit!

poindexter's picture

Try using a hot cast iron pan full of rocks and just slip ice cubes on it. It's safer this way and still does the work.

Darkstar's picture

I'm a cast iron skillet steamer too but I don't use the rocks.  I do use ice cubes though.


The cast iron will stay PLENTY hot to steam up ice.  Like poindexter said, it's safer that way.  No hot knuckles.


If you can't comfortably get your handful of ice close to your cast iron try using a flexable cutting board or parchment creased down the middle to make a "ramp" for your ice. 

Oldcampcook's picture

A gentleman on a sourdough group I belong to suggested using a transmission funnel to get the water into the pan without being burned.  Makes sense to me.


gt's picture

KipperCat, Another way to use a turkey baster is a little more than halfway down in this thread.
KipperCat's picture

I've just been over to my oven checking out the vents to see if I could copy it.  I don't think so, but I'll have my husband take a look.  The price is certainly right.  The Steam Maker Bread Baker product is pretty cool as well, but out of my budget.  Otoh, I do have a steam cleaner that is being used far less often than I had anticipated.  For anyone else reading this, gt's post links to a fascinating discussion.

gt's picture

I might add, I don't think I would do this if I had a newer oven with electronic controls.

My oven is old and the mechanical controls quit working long before I did this but some people have reported their electronic controls quit working either temporarily or permanently after injecting a lot of steam into their ovens