If you're on the go and need to get dinner made quickly, cooking with halogen will speed the meal-preparation process considerably. Taking the place of a traditional oven, halogen-lamp ovens are small enough to fit on the kitchen countertop, using the power of infrared halogen lamps to cook food. Compact and inexpensive, these ovens offer a fast, convenient way to cook an entire meal.
Countertop Halogen Ovens
A countertop halogen oven is essentially a large, clear glass bowl with a tightly fitting lid on top. Within the lid are infrared halogen bulbs and a high-powered fan, used to create a convection effect within the bowl. The food is cooked with the infrared radiation emitted by the halogen bulb, which hits the food at the speed of light. You can set the oven's temperature to varying levels, allowing you to cook food in different ways including broiling, grilling, roasting, air-frying, steaming and baking.
How It Works
The intensity of the heat causes the food to cook faster and more evenly than a conventional oven, so you can prepare a fresh, homemade dinner for your family in a fraction of the time. Food cooked in a halogen oven is indistinguishable from that cooked in a conventional oven; meat and poultry both brown nicely. The most important benefit of a halogen oven for a busy mom is the time savings, as a countertop halogen oven cooks food in about one-third the time it would take a conventional oven. For example, you can fully roast a chicken in as little as 30 minutes.
Depending on the brand and make, some halogen-bulb ovens are equipped with shelves that allow you to roast a chicken or roast on the bottom shelf while potatoes and vegetables cook on the shelves above. As these items cook, you don't need to turn the food to ensure the underside is cooked, as the fan circulates the heated air evenly throughout the cooking chamber, ensuring your dinner is fully and evenly cooked throughout when you serve it to your family. Because the cooking container is made of glass, you can actually watch your food cooking, allowing you to adjust cooking time and temperature depending on how your food looks. In addition, you don't need to defrost frozen food, as it can go directly from the freezer to the halogen oven with no detriment to the dish you're cooking. Other benefits include no smoke and no heat emitted by the oven, unlike a traditional oven that can heat up your entire kitchen.
Although these ovens are compact enough to fit on the countertop, they can hold a substantial amount of food even if you don't have a model with shelves. You can roast an entire chicken or pork roast surrounded by vegetables like butternut squash and sweet potatoes -- all in the basic oven. Beyond full meals, a halogen oven is also ideal for fast baking -- just pour your batter directly in the bowl and you can have a cake in no time at all. You can also use your countertop halogen oven for creating appetizers such as bacon-wrapped scallops or spicy meat kebobs. If you're hosting a dinner party, you can whip up hot appetizers in minutes.