If you’re into buying the latest cooking gadgets and equipment, then you might have spent some time online eyeing halogen ovens and trying to figure out if they are a worthwhile investment or if they are just miniature versions of your regular sized conventional oven.
Considered to be a part of the convection oven family, halogen ovens have gained tons of popularity in the last few years due to their ability to cook food faster and in a more energy efficient manner. However, many still hesitate when it comes to actually purchasing one since they do not see how it could possibly compare to a conventional oven.
In this article, we’ll go over what differentiates a halogen oven from a conventional one and why this compact yet powerful appliance might be worth your investment.
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How do Halogen Ovens Differ from Conventional Ovens?
Like the regular convection oven, Halogen ovens are famous for being both fast and energy-efficient. This appliance uses a halogen lamp to create the large quantity of heat that, thanks to halogen’s compact size, cooks the food evenly and with the same speed of a microwave oven.
There are even those who claim that halogens will cook your food faster up to 40% times faster than conventional ovens.
The way halogens are designed is that they have a heating chamber with multi-level metal racks and a glass bowl equipped a removable lid. The heating is done with a combination of the halogen lamp, a fan, and typically an auto timer and temperature control that gives the cooker the ability to adjust the settings according to their preferences.
Because the food is kept so close to the heat source, halogen ovens have a tendency to cook dishes by combining grilling and roasting methods.
How and When Would You Use a Halogen Oven?
Ideally, this is an appliance that could easily replace your regular full-size oven, making it perfect for small apartments, RV road trips and boat outings, or for those who live alone and do not need to prepare tons of food at once.
Veggies, meat and poultry, and even baked goods such as simple sweet tarts, cookies, and pies tend to be perfect for this appliance.
However, it is not recommended to be used for baking cakes or breads. It is also important to remember that because the halogen oven heats up food from the top, some items might need to be rotated during the cooking process.
The fact that the food is placed so close to the lamp might cause excessive browning, fooling you into believing it is already done when the interior is still raw.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Using a Halogen Oven?
Perhaps the only disadvantage to this appliance is its maintenance requirements; because of its small size, it tends to get dirty pretty quickly, making weekly washes a necessity. Because they absolutely should not get wet, the lids tend to be particularly hard to clean properly.
Though not necessarily a disadvantage, if you’re seriously considering purchasing one of these, make sure to look closely at the temperature range. Some halogen ovens will not go any higher than 200 ° C (or 392 ° F), which is not nearly enough for certain recipes.
Conclusion: Should You Invest in a Halogen Oven?
Fast and energy efficient, halogen ovens are an incredibly powerful yet compact cooking appliance that can get almost any food you desire prepared to perfection. But are they truly worth the investment?
The answer might vary depending on your lifestyle or for what purpose you choose to use this appliance. For example, if you have a large family and do not go on long road trips often, then perhaps a halogen oven would not be worth the investment, as you’d need the space provided by your regular conventional oven.
However, if you live alone, you wish to go on a long road trip, or your apartment is rather small, this is a perfect way to get complex roasts and baked goods done at fraction of the speed, making it a great culinary investment.