Halogen Oven: A Review
What Is a Halogen Oven?
The halogen is a countertop oven that works pretty much like your conventional oven but it cooks quicker.
This countertop convection halogen oven produces heat by the utilisation of a bright halogen light bulb. The heat is circulated throughout the oven via a fan. The heat inside the oven is regulated by a thermostat, and this means the light of the bulb will turn on and off during cooking time.
My First Halogen Oven
I bought my first halogen oven in 2012. I bought it because I lived in a small furnished flat and the oven broke. I did not want the expense of buying an oven that might not fit into my new place when I moved, I bought a halogen oven as a temporary measure. I bought a Michael James Halogen Oven because it was not too expensive. It came with plenty of accessories and was simple to use.
Accessories included a big glass cooking dish, steamer plate, roasting plate, lid holder, spare bulb, tong, two different level racks, and an extender. The extender is a stainless steel ring, as shown in image below, which increases the cooking capacity by allowing full meals to be cooked at the same time by using the racks and trays at different levels or time. An example of this would be to cook a joint or a chicken in the halogen oven, and then about 45 minutes from the end of cooking time, add some vegetables to the dish. Vegetables can be added straight to the dish or loosely wrapped in foil.
I bought the air fryer separately. The air fryer basket sat on top of the dish and closer to the halogen light bulb. The basket was perfect for onion rings, mushrooms or tomatoes, and chips always came out just right.
With so many halogen ovens on the market, I though it would be difficult to decide which to halogen oven to choose. As you can see I choose Michael James. I am going to stick with the tried and tested because it does what I need it to do. I would definitely recommend the Michael James halogen as it does what it says it will do and is not complicated to use.
What Foods Can Be Cooked in a Halogen?
I have found that anything I can cook in the regular oven I can cook in the halogen oven. Baked potatoes and roast potatoes are perfect and they cook quickly.
To cook perfect roast, I first boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water and then allow them to simmer for about 4 mins. Drain the potatoes and put the them on a halogen baking tray. Spray the potatoes with olive oil and then season again with salt. They go in the halogen and come out perfect, crisp and golden on the outside and soft and fluffy in the middle.
For an even quicker tasty potato dish, place new potatoes straight onto a halogen baking tray. Spray potatoes with olive oil and season with plenty of salt. Place in halogen oven until they turn golden. You can sprinkle on some garlic or herbs to make these potatoes even more special.
Breakfast can be cooked in the halogen too. I put sausage on a halogen baking tray and cook. After about 7–10 mins, I remove the lid and add bacon to the bacon tray on the side of the sausage. Or, if I am cooking a family breakfast, I add a rack to lift the bacon above the sausage and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes.
This halogen is good for cooking cakes and pizzas as well, both frozen and fresh. The edges and firmness of the pizza were as good as they would be if cooked in a conventional oven.
Frozen foods—including burgers, sausage, chicken pieces, frozen ready meals and pies—have all been cooked in my halogen over the years, and all my meals have been good. There is no need to thaw frozen food before cooking it.
Advantages of a Halogen Oven
- Having the halogen was easier for me, because I have arthritis and the bending down and getting things in and out of the oven is a problem for me. With the halogen being on the counter, it was easier than bending down to check the oven.
- A major plus for me is before the halogen oven I burnt my food on the hob or in the oven. My memory is not so good and the halogen oven is perfect because it has a timer. It will switch off, not continue cooking and burn the food, pan or kitchen.
- The halogen dish is transparent, so you can watch your food cooking at a glance.
- With the halogen oven, there was no burnt oven to scrub. I found the halogen easy to clean with warm soapy water. This was helpful to me, because I have arthritis and cleaning the halogen meant no bending and scrubbing and damaging my knees.
- I found the halogen oven to be as versatile as described. It has the ability to steam, bake, grill, roast and defrost, and I have used all these options..
- I used my halogen daily so it was good for me. I eat basic foods and am not very technically minded. It was perfect for me because it only had two dials. One dial for the timer and one for temperature settings, much like that of an oven dial.
- You can cook frozen prepared meals in the halogen oven just like a normal oven or microwave without having to defrost first.
Disadvantages of a Halogen Oven
I can say that there were not many disadvantages to this particular halogen oven.
- The halogen oven did take up quite a lot of space on the work surface of my small kitchen. But it was worth it, and it got used often.
- I did find that the glass dish was quite heavy to lift because of my arthritis, but I rarely had to move it to clean. A quick wipe around it after cooking usually did the trick to keep it clean.
- The halogen oven has a very, very bright light and does light up the kitchen. I did not find the bright light a problem.
- I did struggle to change the light bulb. Very fiddly job with a few tiny screws to unscrew.
In this case, I would say the advantages of having a halogen oven outweigh the disadvantages.
Quick and Easy Cheesy Egg Dip
This dish takes just a couple of minutes to prepare and will probably become your favourite snack.
- oven-proof dish
- 1 egg
- 1 onion, chopped
- cheese, chopped or grated
- 1 teaspoon spread or butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- cooking oil, to grease dish
- Spray and grease the oven-proof dish.
- Place butter (or spread) and milk into the dish .
- Crack a whole egg into dish. Layer cheese and onion around the white of the egg. Do not cover the yoke.
- Place the dish in the halogen oven on the small rack.
- Cook for 25 minutes at 180°C.