The Amazing Halogen Oven
Hi, I hope this site will help you decide about these unusual products, without being conned into buying whatever the local store happens to have piled up in stock. You can read the manufacturers own glowing descriptions, then when buying it online, you find it just isn’t what was promised. Its no good after you’ve bought a lemon, Googling it online at forums and finding hundreds of posts complaining about the same thing. So I decided to do some real research into Halogen Ovens and give you my findings… which is the best value Halogen Oven? I have compiled my findings on the review pages:-
When I got my first Halogen Light powered Cooker I was very sceptical about the performance a machine that cost so little against my trusty Gas oven which had served so well over years and years of cooking.
Believe! these little units are extraordinary
- Save money
- Save time
- Save time cleaning afterwards
- Get the very best results every time with very little effort
The halogen oven is as cheap as a microwave oven, but cooks like a conventional oven, browning meat perfectly. It is also as quick as a microwave but doesn’t suffer with cold spots , the heat is distributed very evenly. It will also cook straight out of the freezer! No thawing necessary. Plus there is no pre-heating like your gas oven, it reaches top temperature almost instantly.
I don’t want this to sound like a lecture, but if you have a few of these major points in your head, you can easily avoid any danger from bacteria. Under certain conditions they can multiply rapidly and become a hazard. Take a few tips from the professionals and look after your family or party guests….
Foods most easily affected are meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, dairy products, cut melon, raw seed sprouts, garlic-in-oil mixtures, cooked rice and potatoes. So given that Halogen ovens are perfect for cooking and reheating leftovers, we do need to know the limits of temperature and time to make sure we are safe.
When your hot food is ready, it should have an internal temperature above 140 F , if you don’t serve it immediately and use a food warmer, be careful to choose one which keeps food above that magic 140 degrees or use an oven set between 200 and 250 deg F. Professionals in a commercial kitchen will use an internal meat thermometer to check this several times over a time period.
Anything not used and that may be tomorrows ‘left overs’ should be refridgerated as soon as possible and kept below 40 deg F. Anything left out unrefridgerated more than 2 hours should be discarded, it just isn’t worth the risk. Remember that in a hot climate the bacterial processes work faster so reduce this time to just one hour if room temp is approaching 90 deg F
To avoid waste when serving large numbers of people over a longer period, pre prepare smaller serving dishes, that way, each new dish will be piping hot, from the cooker and no risk of the temperature falling below the minimum. If you are using the meat juices to add to sauces or gravy make sure the liquid boils for a few minutes
As there is more risk of bacterial multiplication with leftovers the temperature used when reheating should be higher, 165 degF is recommended for all the foods on the list above, especially Chicken. Reheat thoroughly, stirring frequently to even out the heat distribution. Here the Halogen oven does a really good job as the hot air circulation ensures even temperatures all around the cooking area. If you have guests who are taking “doggie bags” of leftovers, remind them to refridgerate asap.
Cold Food & Buffets
If your cold meats, seafood etc is going to be out on the buffet table longer than 2 hours, be sure to pack the serving plates on ice
Cook from Frozen
One area where the Halogen oven scores over other methods ( link to my article ) . You can cook straight from frozen with the Halogen oven, if you are using a microwave to thaw out food, you must fully cook it as soon as possible after thawing, any delay at this point will increase the number of bacteria hugely.
Always use separate chopping boards and knives for raw meat and for vegetables / fruit, similarly ensure when storing raw produce in the fridge, that it is not put above cooked produce and able to spill or drip onto it.
The simplest and most effective preventative measure is Wash everything, hands, utensils, knives, etc frequently, don’t for example use a dish previously used for course one, for a later course, which may be hours difference, without washing it in HOT water and detergent.
If you are new to cooking or unsure about your oven temperatures either conventional or Halogen , the new Digital Thermometers are very accurate and a good way to make sure you are safe.
Digital Thermometer For Internal Food Temp Readings This semi professional digital unit has a fully metal screened and heat resistant probe for readings inside the oven and inside meat and poultry joints. Very accurate and repeatable readings, this model is calibrated in the same way as your local food and kitchen council inspectors equipment
In many Halogen ovens, a broken lamp means end of business! Not so with the thoughfully designed Andrew James range. Even a complete duffer like me is able to master this very simple procedure.
Simple Replacement for an Andrew James Digital 12Litre Oven
First take out the three screws holding the lamp cover and place it to one side. The lamp is held in place
With 3 clips ( indicated by the white arrows ), which are easily opened up, the old lamp can then be gently prised out. To release the electrical connector just take out the screw indicated with the RED arrow, squeeze the lock to open the connector.
Fitting the replacement is just following the above instructions in reverse.
Buying a Replacement Heater Element
The lamp can be found , specifically for the Andrew James 12L Halogen Oven in the AndrewJamesWorldwide website, Amazon and even Ebay. Be sure to buy the correct one for your model
To Buy from Andrew James Worldwide website
A Tricky procedure with most other Halogen Ovens
With the majority of Halogen Ovens on the market, the process is still possible, but is not so easy as this video shows with one of the Cookshop ovens. Removal of the Fan and the heater assembly is necessary just to get to the heater electrical connections deep in the body of the unit. Then you would have to make a good electrical connection to your new element, which means shortening the cables and then insulating them properly. All of which is a longish task, even for an experienced repair man.
1 New products with new features
Halogen ovens have been around for a long time now and if you opt for the old models you will be missing out for things have moved on. The technology has been refined, new halogen tubes are very efficient, using even less electricity. The newer halogen rings are much tougher than early ones. The designs of the lids has improved in several ways, to give less spattering into the element, to give longer fan life, quieter fan use and better hot air circulation. So have a good read through the reviews on my little website and make an informed choice.
2 Halogens will save you money.
In the past year electricity and gas prices have soared, with some bills expected to be 10% higher than last year. If you are like most of us, in most European countries today , with austerity budgeting, no wage rises for the longest period in modern history, food prices also rising faster than ever before, plus household bills like petrol and mortgage or rent at an all time high, the halogen is a breath of fresh air! It cooks faster than any other method, it cooks from frozen many meals that usually require a defrosting period. It cooks meat and chicken to perfection. It hardly ever needs preheating like a gas oven and it is just the right size for family meals, so you’re not heating a huge oven to cook 4 fish fingers for supper! It doesn’t heat up the kitchen either, wasting your expensive electricity.
3 Hinged Lid is safest type if you are not 100% able bodied.
The simple addition of a fixed hinge lid to the standard Halogen Cooker has meant it is now suitable for those of us who don’t have much strength or can’t hold heavy things for long or cannot grip very well. We take it for granted that we easily move around the kitchen and lift objects quickly. For those that don’t, this is a life saver. The lid contains the heater element and should not be handled roughly – the hinged type lid solves that problem. The lid is also very hot so you really need to be sure you are able to lift it quickly and securely to one side, plus it is plugged into the wall making it doubly difficult if you are a little immobile. The hinged lid design solves this problem too, just open it up and it stays there safely out of the way while you attend to the contents of the oven.
4 make sure that the lamp unit is replaceable and cheap to buy
It has been a complaint aimed at the Halogen oven from day one, the heating element is easily damaged by rough handling. Sooner or later it may break, although less so now, as the new generation of Halogen oven has a much better life span. Nevertheless, if it does break, you don’t want that to be the end, a simple to fit replacement at a good price is an essential consideration. The benefits of the oven overall, make it very worthwhile to fit a new element if you can, rather than have to dump the whole unit.
5 Ensure there is no question of electrical safety
A simple point this one. Some halogen ovens are still on sale in the original form without the essential modifications to bad designs. If you go through the reviews on this site, my scores will make it clear enough, when there are a lot of comments and feedback from many customers about the same problems , like sparking electric cables, rusty element covers and poor electrical contacts to the lamp, the manufacturers of these models really should have modifications ready and carried out pronto ! Or just replace it with a new properly designed model. They just don’t deserve to have our custom, if they don’t.
6 Don’t buy one with difficult to operate controls
It’s a fact some manufacturers introduce technology that is NOT easy to use. Ok the old dials were dead simple, set up temperature with one and time with the other. Its fine to give your customers new digital controls, but if they are difficult to use, it simply puts customers off. I particularly like the Andrew James model, that introduced digital controls, it followed the same simple layout as the old dial types and was a big hit – because it was understandable.
The advantages with digital are obvious, in that times and temperatures can be set very precisely . In addition some would introduce new features like different fan speeds and delay timers, so you could have something preloaded in the oven and time it to start at a later time.
7 Is the manufacturer in the UK( or US) and can be contacted easily.
So often I read reviews of goods bought in supermarkets, with an unknown name usually cheap, but not always, being commented on by some luckless customer who can’t get a replacement handle or glass bowl. With the ones I review, you know where you are, you can phone or email the service departments and order parts. I never waste money on unknown brands now unless it is really cheap. Asda for example sell some kettles at an unbelievable £5 and they work properly ! But if you’re going to pay out for a versatile cooker, make it a good one, the savings you make will pay for the oven in no time !
8 Are spare parts available
The spare part that is crucial is of course the heating element. For my own preference, the Andrew James models, a quick look on Amazon told me that the element is available easily and cheaply and the unit would not become an expensive burden. I haven’t had the misfortune of a blown element but I have taken the cover off to have a look and even with my meagre skills I can see that the task is relatively easy. As my comments on the review pages will show , this situation is not always a positive one, many of the ovens are criticised for being inaccessible, making element replacement too difficult to even attempt. Also don’t attempt the job unless you can buy the right part.
9 Never burn or overcook your food ever again!
Cooking is controlled with a timer. As a mom of teenagers I can assure you that they burn almost everything ! As soon as that pan of milk goes on the hob , or that pizza goes in the oven, their attention is instantly wandering, usually to the ipod, phone or tablet gizmos. Next thing the milk is bubbling over or the smell of burning pizza is coming upstairs or even setting off the smoke alarm. Well…. simple solution, buy a Halogen oven and it only cooks until the timer goes off. It will only cook with the timer engaged, so you can’t fool it !
10 Which is easiest to clean up, A halogen Oven, A gas oven or a microwave ?
Easy! The Halogen will self clean the grease and most burnt on remains after use, but it is also dishwasher safe. Cleaning the gas oven is still a messy job. Even the microwave takes a little while, but the Halogen makes a really quick meal and cooks it well, afterwards just pour in some hot water and a squirt of washing up liquid and put it on “clean cycle” . The soapy water starts to swirl around the bowl and after a short while has cleaned off the worst of the grease. If necessary you can pop the big bowl in the dishwasher .
Halogen ovens have been available in most countries now for a long time, offering a big reduction in cooking time, usually by up to 60 percent and cooking delicious foods every time. Due to their energy efficiency, people can end up spending less whenever they use halogen ovens, which makes them an excellent investment that is also very inexpensive, too. Halogen ovens are popular due to their ability to cook simple, healthy snacks and desserts that have a great taste, so if you are seeking new recipes that you can try, here are a three that you will definitely enjoy.
Ham and Cheese Toasties
If you want to enjoy a quick, easy and delicious snack, these ham and cheese toasties will definitely be appealing to you. To prepare them, you only need eight thin slices of cheddar cheese, eight slices of honey roast ham (trimmed to fit the size of the bread slice), butter to spread on the bread, eight thick slices of freshly-baked white bread and two teaspoons of English mustard.
Preparation: put butter on one side of each bread slice right up to the edges, and place on a large silicon mat butter side down spreading right to the edges. Put a slice of ham right on the side where you have not applied butter, followed by mustard and, in the end, a slice of cheddar cheese. Put another slice of bread on top, with the buttered side up.
Go through the same process until you have four toasties. Place them in the halogen oven and cook them at 250 degrees Celsius until they become very slightly brown. Turn them over and continue to grill them until they get slightly brown on the other side, as well. When they are done, turn the halogen over off, cut the toasties diagonally and serve them along with chopped cabbage, sprinkle of grinded carrot on top salt and, if you want, a teaspoon of lemon juice.
If you are a veggie and want to cook a healthy meal rapidly, this roasted vegetables recipe will be surely a great and tasty option for you. To prepare this recipe, you will need sea salt, two quartered white onions, three quartered large chestnut mushrooms, one courgette (sliced at an angle), ten cloves of garlic left whole with skin on, one red, green, yellow and orange pepper (deseeded and thickly sliced), one teaspoon of mixed herbs, two tablespoons of olive oil, twelve cherry tomatoes on the vine, four small new potatoes (skins scrubbed and unpeeled) and black pepper to taste.
Preparation: place all vegetables in a large round deep roasting dish, along with olive oil, sprinkle them with the mixed herbs and add season to taste. Place the dish in the halogen oven, set the temperature to 210 degrees Celsius and the timer to 35 minutes. To prevent roasting the vegetables too much, be sure to sprinkle them with boiled water, as this will enable them to cook beautifully. You can serve them with your favorite dressing or, why not, with a handful of chia or quinoa seeds.
Peanut Butter and Banana Bread
Peanut butter can be used for a wide array of purposes, being a versatile ingredient that can contribute to preparing both healthy and delicious snacks. To prepare this recipe, you need one teaspoon of baking soda, quarter coup of sour cream, four bananas, 1 and 1/2 cups flour, a quarter cup of peanut butter, an egg, quarter cup of walnuts, 3/4 cup of butter, half a teaspoon of vanilla, one cup of sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and allspice.
Preparation: melt the butter, mash the bananas and beat an egg into a bowl. Add a mixture of vanilla, sugar and a dash of salt, and chop the walnuts. Add the baking soda, peanut butter, cream, allspice and a dash of cinnamon. Mix all ingredients together, then add the flour slowly, only quarter cup at a time, mixing constantly. Place everything in the halogen oven, set the temperature to 210 degrees Celsius and the timer to 20 minutes. If you notice that the bread is not properly cooked, you can turn it over and restart the halogen oven.
When it is done, leave it to cool at least twenty minutes, then slice it as desired and enjoy it!
For those who love cooking as much as I do, unless you live on another planet,you probably have heard by now about halogen ovens. Yes, it has become one of the best selling kitchen gadgets right now , for every individual who loves convenient cooking. This is a wonderful kitchen appliance that produces loads of heat. When you turn it on, you will see a ring of light in its lid. This light comes from an inert halogen gas that is stored inside a glass tube. It’s so powerful that is able to create instant, strong heat. No waiting for the conventional oven to warm up. If you have a halogen oven at home, you will realize how easy cooking can be. It’s smaller than a conventional oven, but it functions like one. It also acts like a turbo-charged grill. You can basically do roasting, grilling, baking and other forms of cooking using this revolutionary countertop unit.
What Types of Food Can You Cook In a Halogen Oven
Surprisingly, you have lots of simple recipes that you can use while cooking with a halogen oven. You can cook meat, poultry, and vegetables very simply and conveniently. You can even bake bread, tarts cook well, and prepare many types of desserts. Any of these you can do in about 15 to 60 minutes. Here are some simple example recipes. Continue reading
The kitchen gadgets keep mounting up, fighting for space on the countertop. Which do I use the most, which is the most versatile? Can I do without one?
The Microwave Pros and Cons
The microwave has been around since its invention shortly after the second world war and cooks by producing the short wavelength radio waves , which were found to make the molecules of high water content of the food vibrate faster and therefore heat up. It is very successful and quick in most cases, in fact a whole industry of pre packed foods and complete meals has grown up aimed at the microwave owning family.
It is however limited. Although it will cook a chicken adequately, visually you wouldn’t want to eat it! It doesn’t brown the food or crisp it at all, making bacon, sausage, chicken look uncooked. Sausage in particular can be a problem, if you overcook even slightly, it turns into an inedible rubber tube!
Britain and most of Europe is in the grip of rapidly rising energy costs and ever increasing food prices. Make sure you make the wise decision when it comes to feeding the family.
The Halogen Oven will :
- Use less Electricity than any other cooking method
- Cook faster than any other method – saving even more fuel
- Cuts wasted fuel heating the kitchen- saving even more fuel
- Cuts wasted fuel pre heating the oven- saving even more fuel
- Always uses the timer- prevents accidental over cooking- saves more fuel-saves on wasted food
- temperature control is extremely accurate – no wasted fuel
- reheat your leftovers perfectly, making tasty and cheap meals- saving money on food bills too
- Over a year it will make a VERY significant difference to your cooking bills
Much of the popular press love to bring us new diets, things change rapidly, new research has given some insight into why we act as we do . One thing is for sure, as everyone is well aware, there are many more obese people around today than there were a few years ago, it is going to be a major problem as these people get older. Using the Halogen oven to its full potential is just one tool to use when planning a better diet. You can easily produce tasty meals with less fat but with a good range of fresh produce, prepared quickly to maximise the goodness and prevent that ” i’ll just buy some ready meals” laziness from setting in!
The Halogen cooker is very versatile, it is also very portable. This year I took it camping! We had an electric hook up and it proved to be perfect in the tent. I have always been all too aware that cooking in a tent with the usual gas canister type cooker can be hazardous. I remember too my Dads old parafin stove, that was positively lethal !.
Compared to a simple camping gas stove, the Halogen oven was so versatile, complete and varied menus more or less the same as at home, depending of course on whether I could buy what I needed, in the local shop.
Good Value Products
I am constantly reminded of the throw away culture we live in. My Son recently fetched me some shopping , which included a new washing up bowl. The bowl he purchased is so flimsy it is actually impossible to pick it up , full of water, without it cracking round the rim at the top! Ok it was less expensive than the trip to the Supermarket but it isn’t fit for its purpose…
The Halogen oven is often promoted with pictures depicting a Chicken cooking with Vegetables underneath. This is possible but will always be a bit of a compromise.
Remember to always allow room around the food for the hot air to circulate. Continue reading
Cook from Frozen with the Halogen Oven? I can hear all those professional cooks squirming and with good reason. If you’ve ever produced a dish still frozen in the middle, after the proper cooking time, you will know how difficult it is to judge with a microwave. I’ve even had it served up in a fancy French restaurant. Oh the fuss that caused !
The Halogen Cooker though is very very good at circulating the hot air, Continue reading
Whether it was Oscar Wilde or George Bernard Shaw who said something like ” two countries divided by a common language” is certainly true for these Halogen Ovens . On Amazon USA and other American seller websites they are described as Halogen Infrared Oven or Infrared Convection Oven or even all three terms together Halogen Infrared Convection Cooker, on the Amazon UK site its just plain Halogen Oven. Over in Australasia its different again! Our humble Halogen is called a Turbo Oven.
Well whatever its name, put one on your countertop ( kitchen worksurface ) and get some hash browns , bacon and eggs cooked, now is that eggs “over easy”or”sunny side up”?
Here are some great and quick examples of the countertop, Halogen Infrared Convection Oven in action, cooking fries ( chips ) chicken stir fry vegetables and pancakes
In his article in the Independent Newspaper, cookery author and critic Robert Ehrlich recently ( Oct 2010 ) wrote about Halogen Ovens entitled “How I fell in love with halogen ovens”
In it he notes that men in particular are drawn to innovative gadgets, especially if it can be put in the “useful” category. The Halogen Oven not only is very practical, it fits the category , it will save time and can be used , as he does, every day. In fact he describes it as a godsend. Continue reading
Tessa Cunningham recently wrote in the Daily Mail an article on the Halogen Oven” They roast a chicken in 30 minutes, clean themselves and cost just £40. We give halogen ovens a grilling”
The main points raised in the article are the growing popularity of these innovative units designed to go on your worktop and are capable of doing everything that your expensive built in cooker can do , but at less cost fuel wise and much quicker. Originally introduced on the tv shopping channels, they are now very much more popular and internet chat rooms are frequently discussing cooking with them.
What to get for a Christmas present for the nearest and dearest? Be original this year, the Halogen Oven is an ideal gift and once the lucky recipient realises just how convenient, efficient and quick it is for everyday cooking, it won’t be one of those gifts that end up in the loft, it will be used every single day.
Our Review pages give the findings of our tests, in which we examined the products for quality and features rating on…
- Included extras
- Potential Problems
We gave the full specifications when available ( there were some differences noticed between the sellers spec and the manufacturers data)
5 Good Reasons to buy a Halogen Oven
You just have to look at all the advantages to know, it’s a really good idea.
No more bending down to look in the oven
If you have never seen one in action, here goes…
The lid has a stand ( except the cookers with integral hinged lids ) make sure you have it placed on the work surface ready, when the cooker is hot it is essential to have the stand ready. Also be careful with the hot lid, this is when damage to the lamp can occur, always be gentle placing the lid down on the stand or back on the cooker.
Load the cooker
These ovens are supplied with wire racks. The food is cooked by circulating hot air, so you must ensure that the air can reach the underside. In practice some foods may need to be turned during cooking, to ensure good results. Use a low wire rack for cooking, baking, re heating and roasting, use the higher rack for grilling.
Set up the temperature and the time
It really couldn’t be simpler. Treat cookery books as guides only, you will soon be able to adjust normal recipes for the Halogen cooker. There are plenty of tips on this site for cooking different dishes.
Notice the Thaw/Wash setting, the heat and fan are used to create waves that wash the dish clean after use…. now that takes some beating!