how does a halogen oven work

How Does a Halogen Oven Work to Cook Food?

If you’re looking for one of the most energy-efficient and space-saving cooking methods, a halogen oven could be the perfect solution. These countertop cookers use a halogen lamp and an air fan to efficiently cook food, making them an excellent alternative to conventional ovens.

But how does a halogen oven work? If you’re not entirely familiar with it, we will answer this question and show you all the benefits that make it such a useful kitchen appliance.

What is a Halogen Oven, and How Does It Work?

A halogen convection oven is a countertop appliance similar in size to a multi-cooker or large slow cooker.

Halogen ovens work similarly to a conventional convection oven in that they have a heat source and a means to circulate the hot air around the food. The heat comes from the special halogen lamp instead of a heating element, and an electric fan circulates the air to ensure an even cooking temperature.

The food is contained inside a large glass bowl or heating chamber so you can see it during the cooking process. Halogen cookers usually come with stainless steel racks so you can put your food into multiple layers for cooking.

When your food is in place, and you’ve closed the lid, you use the controls on the head of the cooker to set the required temperature and cooking time. When the halogen light bulb comes on, the circulating hot air will begin to cook your food. The thermostat will turn the halogen lamp on and off as required to maintain the desired temperature.

Advantages of Halogen Ovens vs Conventional Ovens

Let’s look at the advantages these appliances offer over a traditional oven.

Ease of Use 

Most people find halogen ovens easy to use. There are usually just two dials to set, and because the dish is transparent, it’s easy to keep an eye on your food while it’s cooking. Many people also like the convenience of cooking food on the counter as it’s much easier to check when you don’t have to keep bending to look into the oven.

Easy to Clean

Cleaning a halogen oven is easy. You only have the lid, bowl and stainless steel food racks to take care of.

Because all your food goes in the same dish, you’ll have much less washing to do. This is considerably easier than having to scrub multiple trays and dishes after they’ve baked in the oven. Unlike a conventional one, there is no need to worry about cleaning the inside of the oven itself. You’ve already taken care of that when you washed the cooking bowl with warm soapy water.

Low Space Requirements

If you need to save space in your kitchen, then a halogen oven is excellent. Conventional ovens take up a lot of room and are permanently fixed, so you can’t use the area for anything else. A halogen oven could be perfect if you only have a small kitchen. You can store it when it’s not needed and then put it on your counter when you want to cook.

Increased Cooking Speed

Halogen ovens cook faster than conventional ovens. The inert halogen gas inside the lamp is highly efficient and provides an incredibly effective heat source. Because your food is inside a relatively compact bowl compared to an oven, the circulated hot air can cook it more quickly than it can in regular ovens.

Most things you’ll cook will be at least 20% faster than they would be in a standard oven. However, some halogen cookers can reach up to 60% faster depending on what they’re cooking.

The improved cooking times with a halogen oven are incredibly convenient if you have a busy life but still want to cook proper meals.

Lower Energy Usage

While cooking faster, a halogen oven also uses less electricity. Because the halogen bulb is on for less time and is heating a smaller cooking vessel, the total electricity used to produce heat will be less than a conventional or microwave oven.

Manufacturers suggest that energy-efficient halogen ovens can consume up to 75% less electricity than a normal oven to cook the same food.

Are There Any Halogen Oven Disadvantages Compared to a Conventional Oven?

If you need to cook large amounts of food for your family, a halogen oven might not work for you due to its limited capacity. On the other hand, many people use them in a large household as a second oven to cook smaller portions or separate dishes while the main oven is busy.

What Type of Food Can You Cook in a Halogen Oven?

A simple answer to this question is: if you can cook it in a conventional oven, then you can cook it in a halogen oven!

It’s possible to cook whole chickens, ribs and baked potatoes. You can also cook frozen foods like burgers, sausages and even chips. Halogen ovens offer fine control over the cooking temperature and can even be used for cakes and biscuits.

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Halogen Oven?

If you’re interested in purchasing a halogen oven, you should evaluate the various features to ensure you pick the right one.

Dimensions

Check that you have enough space to use the oven. You’ll need to allow enough room on a countertop or sturdy table for air to circulate around the oven. You’ll also want to think about where you’re going to store it.

Different halogen ovens have various capacities, so you’ll need to check that the one you’re considering is big enough to cook your food. Small ovens usually have a cooking capacity of about 12 litres in volume, whereas large ones are 17 litres or bigger.

Power

Be sure to compare the power of the cooker. The higher the wattage, the faster the oven will cook food. Some cheaper cookers may be of a lower wattage, which might be ok, so long as you realise they might cook more slowly.

Multi-Cooking Features

Some halogen ovens have extra features, including slow cooking, charcoal grilling and steaming. These can be useful, so be sure to check that the model you’re looking at has them.

Drip Tray

A drip tray collects fat and grime that would otherwise accumulate in the bowl. Having a tray makes it much easier to clean the oven, so this is a valuable feature to look for.

Extension Rings

Extension rings let you increase the capacity of the oven. If you only need to cook something larger occasionally, these are a great solution rather than buying a larger oven.

Getting the Most From Your Halogen Oven

Don’t Forget to Clean the Lid

The bowl and racks are easy to clean, but grease can build up on the lid over time. If you wipe down the lid with a damp cloth every time you use the oven, it goes a long way to making cleaning easier.

Try Using the Extender Rings

The extender rings aren’t just for increasing the capacity of your oven. You can also use them to create more space to ensure that delicate foods aren’t unevenly cooked. It’s not a good idea to cram food into the oven. Using the extender rings will let the heated air circulate evenly.

Be Careful When Opening the Lid

Make sure that you don’t lean directly over the oven when you remove the lid, as there’ll probably be a lot of hot steam, and you could get scalded.

Experiment

If you’re following recipes with instructions for regular ovens, you’ll need to experiment to find the right cooking time and temperature. Initially, work about 20 degrees cooler and reduce the time by 20%.

Pay Attention

When you first start to use your halogen oven, it’s easy to forget that it can cook considerably faster than your standard oven. Make sure that you check your food frequently while learning how it works, so you don’t end up with overcooked meals.

Efficient Cooking

So, in conclusion, how does a halogen oven work?

Halogen ovens use a halogen lamp together with an electric fan to circulate hot air around your food to cook it. We’ve seen that they are highly efficient alternatives to standard ovens. You can expect to cook faster and use less energy. Halogen cookers are also a great option if you are low on space in your kitchen. Many products also have extra features, including steaming and slow cooking.

Many people wonder what you can cook in a halogen cooker, and the answer is the same as what you can cook in a traditional oven.

If you want to create delicious food in an efficient and space-saving way, halogen cooking could be just what you need!

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