What Is A Halogen Oven?
My halogen oven is one of my very favorite kitchen gadgets. Since I got it, I hardly use my main oven, and the microwave is mainly used for heating up already cooked food. However, I’m well aware that many people don’t even know that these handy little ovens exist, far less why you should consider using one.
Halogen ovens use a halogen light bulb as the heat source. They heat up instantly and a small fan circulates air to keep the temperature evenly distributed throughout the oven. The end result is that they cook food faster than traditional ovens, and they have numerous other benefits as well, but more about those later.
Halogen ovens look like large glass mixing bowls with a plastic lid on them. The lid houses the halogen bulb and the fan, and you put the food to be cooked in the glass bowl.
They are small and will fit on your counter top, and they don’t cost much – nothing like the price of a large main oven, or even a high end microwave for that matter.
Well okay – so far, so what? Why would you want to add yet another gadget to your kitchen? After all, you probably already have a perfectly good large oven – and most likely a microwave as well.
The thing is, halogen ovens cook food much faster than a conventional oven, at speeds approaching those of microwave ovens – but they are much more versatile than microwaves. You can cook just about anything in a halogen oven that you would normally cook in your main oven.
That includes things like pastry, bread, biscuits, cookies, brownies and fries. All the sorts of food that you either can’t cook in the microwave or which are, let’s be honest, a bit lame when prepared in the micro. You’ll also get lovely golden brown poultry. You can even make toast in your halogen oven if you like.
What’s more – you can wrap things in foil and pop them into a halogen oven if you like. Try doing that in the microwave. Actually, don’t try doing that in your microwave.
With a halogen oven, you get the best of both worlds; the versatility of a conventional oven and the speed of a microwave. There are a host of other benefits as well. Here’s a short video that outlines the main features. It’s a slightly cheesy info-mercial, but it does cover most of the main points:
Further Benefits of Halogen Ovens
It’s great that halogen ovens are fast and versatile. They make a great addition to any kitchen, large or small. However, the benefits of these handy gadgets don’t stop there.
Healthy Meals From Your Halogen Oven
Halogen ovens can air fry food that you would normally deep fry, pan fry, or grill using very little oil. You can enjoy the food you like best – but without worrying that it might be bad for your health.
Treat yourself to some air fried breaded chicken with French fries – guilt free!
Here’s a short video that shows how to cook your French fries in the halogen oven. Easy to do, healthier – and they taste good too!
Save Money With Your Halogen Oven
As previously mentioned, halogen ovens cook things much faster than conventional ovens. In the first place, there’s no need to wait for them to heat up for ten or fifteen minutes. The heat is there from the minute you turn your oven on. That saves both time and electricity.
Halogen ovens are also smaller than conventional ovens. Less volume to heat up means that less energy is used.
The combination of faster cooking times and small volume to be heated means that you will save on your energy bill.
Although large enough to cook a 16 lb turkey, halogen ovens are small and compact. They are easy to install. Just take it out of the box, put it on your kitchen counter and plug into the mains. No need to involve an electrician or specialist kitchen fitter like you might need if installing a conventional oven.
These little ovens are great for workplace kitchens, student dorms and RVs. And when you decide to move, you can just pack them up and take them with you.
Using the oven is also very easy. You just select the correct temperature, set the timer and that’s it. Normally you can go away and get on with something else until you hear the ping which indicates that your food is ready.
Cleaning a halogen oven is also very simple. You can either just remove the large glass bowl and put it in your dishwasher or use the “auto clean” cycle which most of these ovens have. You just add water and detergent, select the “clean” cycle, set the timer and let it clean itself. You don’t need to get down on your hands and knees and stick your head in the oven (getting to inhale some pungent chemicals whilst you strain your back and chafe your knees usually). Here’s a short video showing how easy it is to keep these ovens clean.
Hopefully you can see the potential advantages of cooking with a halogen oven now. They can save you time and money – and they are good for your health.
They are easy to use, easy to clean and easy to install. They also cost much less than standard built-in ovens.
Since I got mine, I use it almost every day. The main oven rarely gets used and the microwave is primarily for heating things up. All things considered, I really don’t know how I got along before I got my handy little halogen oven.
So give one a try. You’ll be tucking into healthy meals that take less time to prepare before you know it!
Still Got Questions About Halogen Ovens?
I do hope that the information above has given you a better idea of what halogen ovens are, how they work and what they offer you. However, if you still have some questions on halogen ovens, I’ve listed some of the most commonly asked ones below – with answers of course.
I hope this is helpful for you – but if your query os not addressed to your satisfaction, feel free to ask a question in the comments area – or to use the “Contact” form.
Are Halogen Ovens Energy Efficient?
Yes they are. In the first place, the halogen bulb, which acts as the heat source is very efficient. Secondly, the halogen oven volume is considerably less than a standard oven – so there’s less air to heat up. Thirdly, because your halogen oven makes use of both infrared and convection heating, it cooks food faster than a conventional oven.
What that means is that you will use up to 75% less energy cooking your meals in a halogen oven as opposed to cooking them in a traditional oven.
Are Halogen Ovens More Economical Than Traditional Ovens?
Yes they are. Because they use an efficient halogen heat source, have a smaller volume of air to heat up and cook food much faster, they use less energy (see above). You’ll save money on your electricity bill (and you’ll get healthy meals faster too)!
What Can A Halogen Oven Cook?
Anything that you can cook in your traditional oven, and many things that you would normally grill or cook on the hob, can be cooked in your halogen oven. You can bake bread, roast meat and poultry, cook pizza – including frozen pizza, bake bread, steam fish and vegetables – just about anything you can think of can be prepared in your halogen oven.
Here’s a short video showing how to cook brownies, just to demonstrate the versatility of these ovens:
Which Halogen Oven Is Best?
However, the top choice on Amazon, based on over 100 customer reviews, is the Big Boss Rapid Wave halogen oven.
It has a 12 1/2 quart capacity, which can be increased to 17 quart by using the extender ring (supplied) and features digital controls. There’s ample room to cook a turkey.
It’s a top quality oven available at a very reasonable price – and it’s eligible for Prime delivery if you’re a member.
Can You Use Foil In A Halogen Oven?
You certainly can. Unlike a microwave oven, there will be absolutely no problem using baking foil in your halogen oven – I do it all the time.
I like to wrap fish or chicken in foil and cook it for 25 to 35 minutes in my halogen oven. Add in a few sliced/chopped vegetables and it’ll be a quick, tasty and healthy meal. If you like a slightly crispy texture, or if you want it browned, just open up the foil for the last 5 minutes or so – that will be plenty of time.
If you prefer, you can wrap your food in baking parchment – that works fine as well.
What Is A Halogen Oven Extender Ring?
Most halogen ovens are about 12 liters (12 1/2 quarts) capacity. That’s plenty of room to roast a large chicken.
If you want to cook something larger – say like a turkey – you can use a stainless steel extender ring which fits between the bowl and the lid (see image right).
That will increase the volume to around 17 quarts and let you cook larger items.
I also fit the extender ring sometimes even if I’m cooking something fairly small. I do this if I don’t want the infrared heat from the halogen bulb to make whatever I’m cooking too crispy.
Most halogen ovens will come with an extender ring supplied – but check before you buy.