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new kid on the block
root vegetables
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Cooking With Halogen Ovens
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Cooking With Halogen Ovens

There's a new kid on the block - well, in the kitchen anyway, and he's gotten promoted up from TV commercial giveaways. From these humble beginnings, cooking with halogen ovens is beginning to gather momentum, as more of us realize how revolutionary these odd looking over-sized glass bowls really are.

Strange looking maybe, but they turn out a roast chicken dinner for four, including root vegetables in about an hour. What really brown and crispy skinned chicken? Yes, fully browned perfectly cooked chicken plus roasted potatoes beautifully crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside.

One really odd discovery is that even after cooking a roast dinner, the fruit crumble can co right in – no need to wash the oven first as for some reason, no odors get passed on to the pudding – bizarre, but totally true.

Compact and well designed, halogen ovens don’t need heating up before use, the halogen elements convert electricity into an intense heat source which, assisted by a high-powered fan, circulates the heated air so fast, it only takes minutes to get to temperature.

Because the heat is so intense, contained and constantly being evenly spread by the fan, all your food will be ready to serve roughly a quarter to a third faster.

There are several other little know advantages a halogen oven offers up to the canny cook as well.

Fat Free Cooking - Yes Really!

You are looking at low fat to no fat cooking – you don’t add fat to anything, not ever. – well, except delights like garlic bread where the butter is kind of essential – but other than for taste, you can go totally fat-free. You are assured of the most divine fluffy chips ever, without even a misting of oil.

Re-heating a take out pizza or any kind of pastry is unbeatable for both speed and more importantly results. Pastry re-heats beautifully every time in just a few minutes – in a real hurry and you can microwave briefly first to take the chill off, then finish crisping the pastry with halogen oven heat.

No more Soggy Jackets

The same goes for a jacket potato – don’t you just hate them out of the microwave? Nevertheless, I always resented heating a large oven for one or two medium sized portions. Now they cook for 3-4 minutes in the microwave then go into the halogen oven to finish off and crisp up the skin, about 15 minutes in total cooking time.

Defrosting food then oven cooking has never been simpler - they do it all in one go, food goes in on the defrost setting which is a low heat and the powerful fan circulation of warm air speeds through thawing in no time. When you’re happy the ingredients or meal is completely thawed, just turn the dial to the required cooking temperature.

Size wise, they are commonly sold in quarts, a twelve quart oven being family sized - if you want it bigger make sure there is an extension ring. Some come with attached lids which are safer to use – the lids are heavy and get super hot – though the lid handle always stays cool to touch. Others provide a lid stand, some nothing at all!

Everything about cooking with halogen ovens is super fast, including the clean up!

After cooking, mostly you only need to wipe around, but if a major wash is called for then simply disconnect everything and pop it into the dishwasher, of course you still have to attend to the lid where the motor and bulbs reside, but again a little kitchen cleaning fluid on a damp cloth is normally all you need.

Why Did I Get One?

If like myself you’re are a bit of a must-have with any gadgets for the kitchen that cross your path, then also like myself you’ve probably learned that the majority of impulse buys end up used once, then gather dust or take up cupboard space - so now you are wary!

After asking several keen cooking friends ‘exactly what is a halogen oven then’ and with no really clear answer forthcoming - plus a desperate shortage of cooking space, I bought one anyway expecting to be disappointed. So on this occasion, desperation was the driver.

Disappointed? No way. In fact it’s been used more or less every day since arriving two years ago, from re-heating buttery croissants for breakfast, through to a full roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings. I can say this is one impulse buy that has never seen the inside of a cupboard, its always in use.

So if you’re looking to cut down on the time it takes to cook dinner, cook with no fat - and still turn out awesome meals, cooking with halogen ovens may just fit the bill.


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