I have no experience bending wood. But, I have seen many demos for doing it the "old" way. The craftsmen say it is not the steam that helps the bend, it is just the heat. Meaning a dry heat will (should) work. I'm overdue to visit Tod, he does a lot of bending with vacuum sacks. I'll ask him. Actually, I have never noticed any steam/heat devices in his shop, just the big table and vacuum sacks.
"Folks is funny critters."
Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire