I’d never heard of halogen ovens until we were asked to review one, but with a new kitchen next on our wishlist of home improvements, it seemed like a very good idea to have a back up oven.
We were sent the 12 litre VonShef Halogen Oven to put to the test!
What is a halogen oven?
A halogen oven is a self-contained worktop cooking device which can perform most functions of a gas or electric oven, including grilling, roasting, baking, steaming, frying, barbequing, broiling, reheating & defrosting.
It looks a bit like a slow cooker, but is in fact the opposite! It is much smaller and more efficient than a conventional oven, this VonShef Halogen Oven comes in a 7 litre model and a family sized 12 litre model.
What does it come with?
The oven itself is a big glass dish with a stand that it slots into and a glass lid with halogen light, timer and heat switch.
You also get in the box: An extender ring for cooking larger quantities, a steamer, circular frying pan/baking tray, bread rack, two wire racks (high and low) for roasting, some tongs for picking up the racks/baking tray, skewers and a holder for the lid.
Why get a VonShef Halogen Oven?
It can be healthier than oven cooking as you do not need any cooking fat. O
bviously it depends what you cook in it, but it’s healthier than frying!
There’s no pre-heating and it cooks food much more quickly than a conventional oven; marinated chicken breasts were cooked through in less than 20 minutes and a whole chicken roasted in under an hour! This is brilliant if you have hungry kids to feed after school who don’t want to wait.
Because it is quicker, the VonShef Halogen Oven uses less energy. Looking at our smart meter I was pleasantly surprised that putting the halogen oven on didn’t tip us into ‘red’ territory; on top of the usual 4p an hour cost of running the fridge, fishtank etc it added around 17p per hour which considering it isn’t on very long seems good to me.
The glass bowl is fairly easy to clean. It has a self-cleaning function, whereby you put a few litres of water in it with some washing up liquid and let it do its magic before pouring the water down the sink. It fits inside my large kitchen sink for a good scrub down when messy food has been cooked.
You can see the food cooking so there is no need to keep opening/closing the lid.
What can you cook in a halogen oven?
Anything that will fit! You can roast, bake or cook from frozen.
There are Halogen Oven cookbooks (this one has good reviews) if you’re looking for inspiration.
Over the week we cooked:
- Marinated chicken breasts in a foil tin, with potatoes and vegetables on a rack on top
- Roast chicken with roasted potatoes and vegetables
- Curry (from cooked chicken)
- Sweetcorn (wrapped in foil with a little water)
- Meatballs and vegetable sauce
- Oven pizza and chips (the pizza fit straight on to a rack; this is a definite pro of the bigger oven!).
I’ve been told that it’s even possible to cook bread and cakes in the halogen oven, but as we have a breadmaker and I’m not much of a baker, we’ve not put this to the test.
Anything to consider?
When you first get the oven, you need to turn it on empty for ten minutes in accordance with the instructions. This leaves a strange kind of smell, but this should disappear after the first use. Don’t be put off!
If you’re used to a conventional oven, getting used to the timings might involve a bit of trial and error. If you set the timer based on the time it would usually take in your oven and walk away you could come back to an overcooked dinner!
It’s bulky, so you need a fair amount of space on your kitchen worktop to place the oven and the lid. There is a smaller, 7 litre capacity, halogen oven available which would be better for people who only cook for 1-2 people most of the time.
The unit is heavy, and if you have cupboards above your worktops it can be tricky to get the lid on and off which needs a bit of practise. The tongs are the right size to pick up the baking trays but again, tricky until you know how.
Unsurprisingly given its function, it gets VERY hot and if you have pets or small children, you need to make sure they can’t reach it.
What did I think?
I was surprised at how quickly and well it cooked and how easy it was to use, and the range of food it could be used to cook. The fact it saves energy is a huge bonus!
We have not used our conventional oven in over a week!
We will definitely consider getting a single oven with hob rather than another double oven to save space in the kitchen in the remodel. I wouldn’t be able to give up my conventional oven completely as it wouldn’t be possible to cook whole-family roasts like Christmas dinners, but the Halogen Oven will certainly get a lot of use.
It would be handy if the racks could slot on top of each other so that you could cook more; this feels like a bit of an oversight. I might look into buying some new racks for it so that I can cook on more layers. But apart from that I would definitely recommend getting one!
Where to buy
The VonShef Halogen Oven 12 litre model has an RRP of £44.99. You can buy one from Amazon using the link below.
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