What is a Combi-Steam Oven?

Last Updated: 3/8/2023

Author: James Zhao, Sr. Tech Specialist & Alex Park, Product Specialist

A combi-steam oven, also known as a steam-combi oven, is a multifunctional countertop oven that features a combination of cooking mechanisms such as steam, bake, dehydrate, and air fry.

Designed to make cooking easier and faster, these multifunctional countertop ovens offer precise temperature and moisture controls to accommodate a broader range of cooking techniques and cuisines, doing the work of several appliances without crowding your kitchen.

FOTILE is an innovator in combi-steam ovens with our popular 4-in-1 ChefCubii Series models. In this article, we'll explain more about the benefits of a combi-steam oven, how they work, and answer common questions, so you can make an informed decision about adding one to your kitchen.

What are the Benefits of a Combi-Steam Oven?

Because combi-steam ovens are compact countertop appliances that can perform several cooking functions, they offer a range of benefits.

  • Versatility: A combi-steam oven can steam, bake, dehydrate, or air fry foods, which allows you to accomplish a wide range of cooking tasks using one convenient appliance.
  • Faster cooking times: Convection cooking with a combi-steam oven circulates air to evenly and thoroughly cook foods in a faster time with less energy.
  • Healthier cooking: Steam cooking in a combi-steam oven aids moisture retention, which eliminates the need for excess cooking fat and helps food retain healthy nutrients and its natural colors and flavors. 
  • Better tasting foods: Steam cooking with a combi-steam oven also prevents flavor exchange between foods, meaning you can heat multiple dishes simultaneously without cross-contaminating flavors or smells.
  • Easy cleaning: Many combi-steam ovens have a self-cleaning mode, such as using steam, which makes it easy to clean and maintain the oven without much effort.
  • Saving space: Combi-steam ovens are countertop ovens that take up little space and can easily be stored away when not in use. They're ideal for home kitchens as well as small kitchens, such as in apartments.
FOTILE ChefCubii combi-steam oven cooking food

Example of a combi-steam oven: the FOTILE ChefCubii Series HYZK26-E1.

What Combi-Steam Oven Functions Are Available?

A combi-stean oven is a portable countertop steam and convection oven that can replace other appliances, such as an air fryer, grill, proofer, toaster, dehydrator, and rice cooker. You can adjust the moisture levels, steam temperature, and convective dry heat in a combi-steam oven to produce balanced cooking conditions for optimal results. 

The cooking functions of a combi-steam oven usually include steam, bake, dehydrate, and air fry.


Steam cooking produces beautifully tender vegetables, moist fish, fluffy rice and quinoa, and even desserts like rich puddings or fruit-based crumbles. Cooking with steam at any level also helps lock vitamins into food, improving the food’s nutritional value along with its texture and flavor. 

Some combi-steam ovens feature dynamic steam convection technology to cook food evenly while keeping it moist with a constant supply of fresh steam from dual steam generators. Precise temperature controls, meanwhile, can keep convection heat within 1°F of where it’s set for consistent cooking results. 


Combi-steam ovens can have several baking modes, including convection baking, steam baking, and proofing. Convection backing is ideal for uniform heating of foods. Steam baking can create more moist, evenly-baked goods. While proofing modes can prepare yeasted breads and other doughs for baking.

Whether you’re new to baking or a seasoned pastry expert, a combi-steam oven's baking options can elevate everything from heirloom bread recipes to boxed cake mixes. Simply adjust the steam levels in the combi-steam oven to prevent burned crust, dry cakes, and hard, crumbly edges. 

Our FOTILE ChefCubii Series combi-steam oven features three U-shaped heating elements to deliver and maintain efficient heating with the help of the air inlet. At nearly 6 inches wide, the inlet recirculates air to keep the inside of the oven within 1°F of the target temperature while baking.


Combi-steam ovens can dehydrate foods by removing the water content using low heat. Dehydrating foods, such as fruits, vegetables, meats, or grains, causes them to be smaller while the remaining nutrients and flavors become more concentrated. The result can be a tasty snack for when you're on-the-go.

The precision temperature and moisture control in a combi-steam oven allow you to dehydrate the foods. Additionally, some combi-steam ovens have low-temperature drying modes perfect for creating preservative-free chips, dried fruit and fruit leathers, and even dried herbs or homemade pasta.

Air Fry

Air-frying is the modern way to make crispy, delicious fried foods with less mess—and less oil. The air-fryer mode in a combi-steam oven circulates hot air at high speeds over and around the food, forming a crunchy surface layer that locks moisture inside the food. The air frying process creates desirable textures and can be used to cook everything from classic chicken nuggets and hot wings to veggies, ravioli, and even certain desserts.

How Do Combi-Steam Ovens Compare to Other Appliances?

Combi-Steam Oven vs. Conventional Steamers

Both combi-steam ovens and conventional steamers can make moist and fluffy rice, flaky fish, and tender steamed veggies. However, conventional steamers don’t offer the precision steam-to-heat-ratio settings needed for low-steam cooking methods like combi-steam ovens do. With a combi-steam oven, you can choose how much steam and heat you need to cook specific dishes.

Combi-Steam Oven vs. Microwave

While a combi-steam oven can’t make popcorn or reheat beverages like a microwave can, it can accomplish most anything else a microwave does. For example, combi-steam ovens can defrost and reheat nearly any food quickly and efficiently, from edges to middle, while the heat-and-steam combination eliminates the frozen center in foods that microwaves often leave behind. 

About FOTILE's Combi-Steam Ovens

While all combi-steam ovens allow you to combine heat and steam for precise cooking, the FOTILE ChefCubii Series does more than most. Our 4-in-1 combi-steam countertop ovens give you the ability to choose from three steam modes, bake at precise temperatures, dehydrate foods for healthy snacks, and air fry foods with zero oil or excess fat.

We’ve also given our ChefCubii Series combi-steam ovens an intuitive, humanized design equipped with one-touch controls, a transparent window, a large, portable water tank for reliable steam production, one cubic foot of capacity, and a steam self-cleaning function with auxiliary drying.

Additionally, while some combi-steam ovens offer a permanent plumbing option, the ChefCubii Series features a high-capacity water tank that is easy to remove, refill, and clean.