Introduction to the Best Halogen Ovens Reviews UK 2016
Halogen ovens shot to the top of many peoples ‘must have’ list in 2014 and 2015. In 2016 they are expected to be even more in demand. Halogen ovens reviews have been consistent in their praise for these versatile cookers. This was expected following on from the popularity of their sister product the low fat fryers. In view of all the interest, we put a few of the best halogen cookers of 2016 through their paces and now present our best halogen ovens reviews UK 2016. But before getting down to sharing the results, if you are not sure of the difference between a low fat fryer and a halogen oven, you might want to read our article: choosing a low fat fryer or halogen oven.
What exactly is a Halogen Oven?
Simply put, a halogen oven is a cost effective revolution for the kitchen of today. It’s a revolution in the sense that the halogen oven has the ability to cook most things, in a fraction of the time of conventional ovens. It does this using the intense heat produced by a halogen bulb located in the top of the oven. This is the same intensity of heat produced by that of an open flame or a BBQ. As such it is far superior to conventional cookers and it gets the job done very quickly.
This infrared heat is concentrated inside the glass-cooking bowl and circulated by a special high-powered fan that is located in the top of the lid. The halogen bulb is able to produce heat that is far hotter than that of a conventional cooker and as such can reduce cooking times dramatically.
All halogen ovens come with a timer so you can set them off and leave them alone. They will let you know when they have finished. Most also come with at least one shelf so that the food does not have to sit in the fat which comes out of the food. Some of the larger halogen ovens have more than one shelf, making it possible to keep them separate whilst cooking different foods at once.
Benefits of a Halogen Oven
In our ‘best halogen ovens reviews UK 2015′, we found the best halogen ovens performed consistently well and highlighted a number of key benefits, as follows:
- Super Speedy Cooking – For a start, the best halogen ovens are able to reach their temperature more or less instantly thus eliminating the need to preheat your oven for 15 minutes. Having already saved 15 minutes, the halogen oven is then going to cook your Roast Chicken with all the trimmings in around 35-40 minutes depending on the model. This compares to around 90 minutes in a conventional fan oven. This is achievable because the halogen bulb and fan can create concentrated temperatures of up to 250 centigrade in the cooking pot; whereas a traditional electric oven can typically only achieve 220 Centigrade of heat at the most. Halogen ovens therefore offer a great time saving alternative for individuals who are short of time to cook.
- Healthy Cooking – Increasingly people today are more health conscious and focused on eating well. Step in the Halogen Oven. As if it wasn’t impressive enough, the circulation and movement of the intense heat in the cooking bowl has certain health benefits. The intense radiating heat renders fat far more efficiently that a traditional electrical oven. The excess simply falls to the bottom of the bowl and can be removed before you eat. In traditional electric ovens the heat simply flows over the top of the food whereas the halogen oven creates an environment that circulates heat totally around the food allowing more fat to be rendered. Circulating heat also allows the juice and flavour within meat to circulate over it and self-baste, creating succulent and lean meat every time.
- Halogen Ovens Save You Money – When it comes to energy consumption they will put your conventional oven to shame. Your traditional oven will typically put out around 2500W whilst cooking your food. However a Halogen Oven depending on the model will typically use 1200W-1400W to cook your dinner. That is a drastic reduction in energy usage and when combined with shorter cooking times will save you plenty. Your conventional oven is probably the most energy-demanding product in your house.
- No Smell or Cleaning Hassle – In our best halogen ovens reviews UK 2015 we found that the cooking smells were contained within the appliance. This is not 100% effective but does tend to reduce odours significantly. Great if you live in a small space. Cleaning is also very simple. All you have to do is to remove the glass-cleaning bowl and wash it either in the sink or the dishwasher. When compared to the traditional oven, the halogen is much simpler to maintain.
Which is best for you?
There are many different halogen ovens on the market. However the technology in them is all relatively the same. The basic elements they contain are a strengthened glass bowl, a lid containing the halogen bulb and fan, plus trays to cook the food on.
Cooking times do vary ever between the best Halogen Ovens and those that cost less but in our reviews, all performed well. There are different sized models available on the market and they generally increase slightly in price as the capacity of the bowl increases but there are excepetions (Tower and Salter). So it makes sense to buy a Halogen Oven with a larger capacity as this simply increases the number of people you can potentially cook for at a time. However if cost is a factor, a smaller one that is more suitable to your lifestyle will work just as well.
One issue when using halogen ovens is that the lid gets very hot and finding somewhere to put the lid can be a problem, as many kitchen surfaces will not withstand the intense heat. To overcome this, some models have a ‘hinged lid’. Halogen ovens with hinged lids are much more convenient because you don’t need to remove the lid. Simply open the lid – no need to remove it. Some models also come with a range of cooking utensils and recipe books.
What Food can you Cook in Halogen Ovens
The simple answer is almost anything! The Halogen Oven has the ability to cook all items that a traditional oven can. Reviews have shown that among the best items to cook in the Halogen Ovens are chicken, steak, chips, fish, sausage, bread, puddings, vegetables and potatoes. If you kike to bake then this can also be catered for. Scones, Muffins, Bread etc can all be cooked in the Halogen Oven. The true magic of the halogen oven is also that it has the ability to cook meat from frozen!
The big question for many is can you cook chips? The quick answer is yes. However, there is a difference in the way each halogen oven handles this most important of tasks. Some have borrowed the same technology used by the low fat fryer i.e. a rotating paddle which can be fitted to allow the chips to be stirred whilst cooking. This keeps them evenly cooked. However, the more basic models do not have this feature. In general, if you want to cook a lot of chips, you are better getting a low fat fryer or a halogen oven with the rotating paddles.
Cost of Halogen Oven
Even the best halogen ovens reviewed present excellent value for money. Prices range from £50 to £150 depending on features, capacity and power rating. Brand also makes a difference. In terms of build quality, many will prefer to go with the known brands although some of the lesser known brands appeared to be equally well made.