Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

Baking, steaming, cooking

There are always stories that you can’t actually make up. Philipp Hofmann recently explained one of these stories to me at a dinner in Hamburg: V-ZUG, the employer of the Head of Global Marketing Services, is a premium manufacturer in the field of household appliances. The company from the Swiss canton of Zug looks back on a history of 102 years. The fascinating thing is that it took almost a hundred years for V-ZUG to finally start selling outside Switzerland.

The devices are not only beautifully designed, but also technically extremely advanced. So actually the ideal products for the gastrosexual hobby chefs of the world – and of course for professionals. Around Andreas Caminada and Tanja Grandits, whom I also hold in high esteem, the Swiss company has built up a respectable armada of testimonials and Michelin-starred restaurants in whose kitchens the Combi-Steamer is used.

At a joint workshop in Hamburg the other day, I was able to see the Combi-Steam MSLQ for myself. A multifunctional appliance that combines heat and steam with a switchable microwave function. And at just under €6,000, it marks the upper end of the scale for built-in devices. We baked, grilled and also steamed vegetables in a small group with the MSLQ. And indeed, the microwave function can score. This is a method that has lately been rather a relic of the 80s and has eked out a shadowy existence in German (professional) kitchens. In the combination of steam and electromagnetic waves, this cooking process is much faster – with at least the same good result: the vegetables are crunchy, carrots retain their bright color and the taste is much more intense than with cooked vegetables. Sure, less flavor escapes because there are simply far fewer contact points. And exactly in the many options of the combinability of cooking methods lies the strength of the MSQL.

The combination of these three worlds requires highly specific solutions; these are more complex and therefore more expensive than the components and materials used in conventional devices. For example, the Electronic Steam System and the climate sensor used. In the MSLQ, the steam is generated outside the cooking chamber. Thus, this is guaranteed free of limescale and easy to clean. The climate sensor regulates the cooking chamber climate and ensures that the internal temperature is really right on the dot and remains the same during the cooking process. For the past 10 years, V-ZUG has been committed to making steam technology more widely available in private households. For the ambitious cook, the steaming kitchen helper even offers the option of saving individually tested and perfected cooking times. And the switchable steam can also score points in actually quite simple and traditional processes such as baking bread: On the one hand, the crust becomes extraordinarily crispy, but the inside of our jointly baked breads is so beautifully airy and tender, as I have never managed in a conventional oven.

bread v train

A good 15 years ago, I began to take a closer look at the field of steam cookers, or more precisely the field of steam ovens, and above all to use them regularly. And to this day, I believe – you can’t cook much more gently and while maintaining the maximum basic flavor of the product. Except maybe with sous vide. My personal favorite discipline.


Of course, the V-ZUG Combi-Steamer also understands sous-vide. In this case, the vacuumed food is not placed in a water bath, but is left to cook surrounded by precisely tempered steam. This has worked extremely well in our joint experiments. The only thing to note is that the water tank needs to be refilled regularly during particularly long cooking processes. Or you can go straight for the device version with a fixed water connection – then you don’t even have to worry about pork belly in 48 hours…

V-ZUG_Design kitchen

During the workshop a few weeks ago, I also learned about the principle of the V-ZUG GourmetAcademy: As a (potential) buyer of a Combi-Steamer, you can spend an evening getting comprehensive information about the capabilities and operation of the appliances. Together with trained professionals, you cook a menu in and around the Combi-Steamer and get to know the different operating modes. And appreciate. Of course, this is much more exciting than just leafing through brochures and instructions. Especially since you can taste the prepared delicacies together on the spot and with a glass of wine. V-ZUG is working with leading cooking schools in Switzerland and Germany on this.




V-ZUG manufactures Premium Swiss Quality. The history, as described at the beginning, now goes back over 100 years. In the twenties of the last century, the company produced the first, at that time, hand-operated drum washing machine. Over the years, the existing range has been completed by the automatic washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers of the Adora series. And the Swiss have not stopped at the kitchen either. In 1979, they launched the Microbraun, the world’s first oven with microwave, and in 2001, the Combi-Steam SL, the first combination steam oven with Electronic Steam System. Thanks to innovations like these, V-ZUG is one of the world’s leading manufacturers in the development of premium household appliances.

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I find it very exciting to see how a traditional company is gradually facing up to global competition and is able to launch devices on the market that are definitely superior to the established global players. And also mark a different league in terms of price. A personal approach to buyers via the events in the cooking schools creates a much closer bond – and on-site demonstrations of the appliances show their practicality in a very impressive and lasting way. Anyway, I could very well get used to a “small” MSLQ in the home kitchen….

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