What Is A Halogen Oven?
I got a halogen oven as a gift some time ago, and it has very quickly become my favorite kitchen gadget. I use it all the time now, my main oven is hardly ever used – and I use my microwave mainly for heating things up (I think that’s what most people use their microwave ovens for).
Halogen ovens are relatively simple devices which will sit right on top of your kitchen worktop. There’s no need to modify cabinets or anything like that – they take up about the same amount of space as a microwave.
They consist of a large glass bowl, about 12 quarts in volume, which sits on a plastic cradle. They also have a lid containing a halogen light bulb and a fan on the inside and some simple to use controls on the outside.
The halogen light bulb is the heat source and when it is switched on, it instantly produces intense heat. The fan circulates the air so that the temperature inside the glass bowl is evenly distributed.
Normally, halogen ovens are supplied with an extender ring which can be fitted between the glass bowl and the lid to extend the capacity to approximately 17 liters or so. That’s more than enough room to cook a 16 or 17 pound turkey.
What’s So Good About Halogen Ovens?
The great thing about halogen ovens is that you can cook anything in them that you would normally do in your main oven. They are incredibly versatile. The following are just some of the things you can use your halogen oven to cook:
- Roast meat and poultry.
- Broil steaks
- Cook burgers, sausages and bacon
- Steam fish, rice and vegetables
- Casseroles and stews
- Bake bread, muffins and cookies
- Cook food from frozen
- Air fry food like French fries and breaded chicken
- Cook pies and other pastry based dishes
You’ll get great results with your halogen oven. Poultry will be a lovely golden brown color, roast meats will have a lovely glaze, pastry will be light and flaky. In short, you can cook anything that you would do in your traditional oven.
So far, so what? You can already do all of that in your main oven (or on the hob). The big deal with a halogen oven is the fact that the dual cooking action of halogen infra-red radiation and fan assisted convection heating means that you can achieve all of these results in much less time than it would take in your normal oven.
It varies a little according to the type of food being cooked, but you will get conventional oven results in times which approach those of a microwave oven. It really is like getting the best of both worlds.
However, and as good as that is, it isn’t where the advantages of halogen ovens stop. Because they cook food quickly, they also use much less energy than your conventional oven. Most halogen oven manufacturers claim a 75% reduction in energy usage compared to cooking the same meal in your main oven. that’s definitely a saving worth having.
Halogen ovens are also good for your health. When you roast meat and poultry, the juices will drain off. you’ll still get a lovely roast, but it will have much less fat. And you can even air fry things like French fries and breaded chicken using no more than a spoonful of oil. In short, you can enjoy the food you like – but without having to worry about your health (or feel guilty).
Halogen ovens are even easy to keep clean. There’s no need to use harsh chemicals and then get down on your knees and stick your head in an oven (inhaling who knows what type of fumes in the process). Just add some water and detergent to the bowl (leave the racks in if you like), select the “auto-clean” function, set the timer to ten or fifteen minutes and then let the oven clean itself.
Once it has run through its cycle, empty the water out and give it a wipe with a paper towel or a sponge. alternatively, you can just take the bowl out of the cradle and pop it right into your dishwasher. Equally easy I think you’ll agree.
Halogen Oven Benefits Summarised
- Super versatile – cook anything you would normally do in your main oven
- Save time – fast cooking, close to microwave oven times
- Save money – use less energy
- Good for you – get tasty, healthy meals using less oil and fat
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean