The Benefits of Steam Cooking in Schools

The regulations behind K-12 school nutrition seem to change from year to year. As efforts to increase the nutritional value of food is debated in terms of how and what, the push toward healthier school lunches continue.

Increasing the nutritional value of school lunches depends largely on two things — the ingredients being used and the processes by which they’re cooked. French fries, for example, might not be the healthier option when compared to steamed carrots. While we can’t provide a lot of worthy insight into what ingredients school nutrition directors should use or where to find them, we can provide some value as it relates to the cooking process. One of those methods is steaming.

Why are steamed foods healthier?

The benefits of steam cooking are created during the cooking process by maintaining the integrity of the ingredients being cooked. Steam cooking works by heating water until it turns into gas, or steam. By its nature, steam looks for ways to return to its original state of water, and it will seek out the coldest parts of foods in order to do that.

Unlike dry heat, because steam looks for the coldest surface areas on an ingredient, it results in foods that are cooked more evenly. Unlike frying, it is also a healthier option for school nutrition directors, as the steaming process allows important nutrients and other desired qualities of foods to be retained.

8 reasons for steam CTA

Crown Steam Group: Steaming Options Fit for School Cafeterias k-12 school nutrition steamers

The Market Forge Eco-Tech Plus Atmospheric Steamer is a Crown Steam Group solution for school nutrition directors looking to develop steamed cooking capabilities in their school cafeterias. Units have two cooking compartments fit with an independent close-coupled atmospheric steam generator for added flexibility and simultaneous menu diversity.

Because it has one of the lowest overall heights of any steamer in the industry, it’s easy to use for school nutrition staff, and units can fit in locations with lower hood heights. With low-temperature steaming abilities, operators can use the Crown ETP for optimal nutrient retention.


Getting into the specifics, the ETP units can be used with both gas and electric power sources, and Energy Star ratings may allow schools to qualify for state rebates. A state-of-the-art water management system reduces that amount of water required for steam cooking, and innovative design and construction includes a self-contained water filter system.

Get pricing information on the Market Forge ETP Steamer.

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Topics: K-12