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Halogen Ovens?

I'm not sure whether I've mentioned yet the fact that we don't actually have an oven. The week we moved in, Grant's mum kindly gave us a microwave and we lived off microwave food for the first three weeks. Expensive and dull. I was on the lookout on eBay for one of those mini-ovens that also have two electric hobs on the top. An hour before an item I was watching was due to end, Grants mum appeared at the door with this monstrosity.


Needless to say, I didn't place a bid on the mini-oven but thought I'd see how well we get on with this beasty first. So, I'd never really seen a halogen oven before. I know you can get halogen hobs.. but an oven? Not to my previous knowledge. It kinda looks like a spaceship/UFO.. Not the most attractive device. It's also pretty huuge and takes up a lot of space on the counter top, so it's probably one of those electricals you're meant to store in a cupboard until required, but as this is our everyday oven it lives up top.

So these are pretty inexpensive to buy brand new, usually at less than £40. They're also meant to be much more energy-efficient as they cook much quicker than conventional ovens. They claim to be able to boil, roast, grill, bake, you name it, it can do it. It basically works by a lamp (halogen, of course) heating up the container, thus cooking your food. There's a thermostat that keeps it at the correct temperature and a timer element that shuts the device off when it's done. Oh and you don't need oil either so it's a much healthier way to cook your food. Plus you can use a small rack to let any fat drip off meat.

How well does it cook? Pretty darn well actually. We've toasted bread, grilled bacon, made curries, cooked pizza, roasted potatoes and I even attempted a fried egg. Most have turned out pretty darn good! The pizza unfortunately doesn't cook the underside too well.. and the fried egg, well that was a disaster. Otherwise, everything else has turned out amazing. I haven't attempted to boil anything yet, nor have I baked anything. I think it would be easy for boiling, but I'm a bit dubious about baking. Who has muffin tins small enough to fit in it anyway? The other downside is that you can't really cook multiple things at once. Whilst it's a large device, it doesn't really have shelves. If you were cooking a Sunday roast, your chicken, veg and potatoes would all need to be squished in together. Not ideal if there's a veggie in the family. On the upside, you don't need to stand watching it to check it doesn't burn or over-boil, it kinda just does the job for you.



I definitely still intend on buying a proper oven and stove at some point in the future (probably not until we re-fit the kitchen) as I do enjoy standing over a pot and actually cooking. And let's face it, you can't cook a great deal at once in this thing. But for a make-do oven, this has actually been reaaally good. I'm glad I didn't get the mini-oven with hobs in the end, as they are even smaller(!) and I absolutely hate those hobs that take ten years to change in temperature. This has been much much better than I could have imagined and I can see ourselves keeping it even when we do get a proper oven. Plus for less than £40, this really is a bargain.

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