what can you cook in a halogen oven

Home Recipes: What Can You Cook in a Halogen Oven

Busy households are continuously on the lookout for life hacks to make things easier, and being able to cook food more quickly is a real time-saving tip! Halogen ovens can cook food faster than conventional ovens – up to as much as three times faster. They are definitely capable of speeding up healthy evening meals for all your family!

You can also cook almost anything that you would in a conventional oven, so you don’t need to worry about having a smaller repertoire if you purchase a halogen oven.

Another benefit of halogen ovens is that they take up much less space than a normal oven and can be kept on a worktop or away in a kitchen unit out of sight if you like things to be uncluttered. So, what can you cook in a halogen oven? Read on and discover more about this handy appliance!

Halogen Oven 101

Okay, first thing’s first, what is a halogen oven, and how does it work? Halogen ovens cook food using infrared energy, which comes from a halogen bulb. The light produces heat evenly distributed around the halogen oven by an inbuilt fan.

A halogen oven looks a bit like a slow cooker and typically has a glass bowl where the food is placed, and then the heating element and controls are found on the lid. The bowl sits on a stand so that no heat transfers to your worktop, making it completely safe.

Most halogen ovens have control dials, but newer models are being produced with digital controls. The cooking process is thermostat controlled, meaning the oven will adjust the temperature as it cooks.

Additionally, it is an energy-efficient way of cooking. There is no need to pre-heat your oven, and its top temperature is higher than most standard oven limits, going up to 250 °C rather than 220-230 °C. Its energy-saving credentials don’t end there either. It saves you time cooking, so you do not need to have it switched on for as long as an oven. Lastly, it also uses less energy when in use!

Considerations When Purchasing a Halogen Oven

Before you purchase and start planning your first halogen oven recipe, there are a few things to consider.

Extender Ring

Does the halogen oven you are looking at come with an extender ring? If you place it over the glass dish, it gives you additional cooking capacity, making it easier to cook for a larger family.

Size

Check that the volume of the cooking dish is sufficient for your household and will fit on a worktop close to a power source. The length of the power cord is important, too, if you don’t have regularly placed power sources around your kitchen.

Accessories

It is common for accessories to be included when you buy a halogen oven, such as frying baskets, a baking or steaming tray, tongues or new halogen bulbs.

Halogen Oven Cooking Guide

The cooking capabilities of a halogen oven are limitless as they are extremely flexible when all the accessories that can be used with them are deployed. You can use them for both sweet and savoury cooking, to cook frozen food, large meat joints, and even create a moist carrot cake!

With their ability to whip up most meals, we have grouped some halogen oven cooking methods for you.

Cooking on the Low Rack

You must always place food on the racks provided in a halogen oven, just as you would in a standard oven. Different halogen oven recipes are better suited to the higher or low racks, so we have separated this.

The low rack is best for slow cooking things like a casserole dish, roast chicken, or baking. This is because the bottom rack is further away from the heat source, and therefore food is cooked at a more gentle level.

Roasting Different Kinds of Meat

Many halogen ovens are large enough to accommodate a whole chicken or a roast beef joint. You prepare the meat in the same way you would for any other cooking method, seasoning it and then placing it on the rack. If you want to collect the juices for gravy or remove any excess fat that drips down, put a shallow dish underneath to catch the food drips.

As the halogen oven can cook faster than a conventional oven, you must adjust your timings. Reducing the cooking time by 20% is an excellent place to start. Remember to check your food as it cooks until you get used to the oven temperature and timings.

To check that your roast chicken or roasted beef sirloin is fully cooked, insert a skewer to check that the juices run clear, as the last thing you want to do is serve up a roast with still raw innards!

Remember, there are many excellent halogen oven recipes that you can use, such as cooking smaller cuts of meat but coating them in your favourite topping. You can add seasoning, BBQ sauce or grated cheese to things like chicken fillets or pork chops for a great midweek dinner.

Hearty Casseroles

Prepare your vegetables and meat, perhaps adding red wine to stock in the casserole dish and then place the dish inside the halogen oven on a low rack. The cooking times for casseroles should be roughly the same as a normal oven, although they may be quicker.

Baking Sugary Treats

You can easily bake in a halogen oven, baking at the same temperature as your recipe says. A good rule of thumb is using an extender when baking. It ensures that the heating element is further away from your bake. It is the same principle as not placing a cake on the top shelf of your oven.

If your cake is starting to brown a little too much, you can place a piece of silver foil over the top of it to prevent it from burning.

Pro-Tip:

Another top idea is to use a doughnut tin, which has a hole in the middle of it so that your cake bakes more quickly and evenly.

Steamed Dishes

Steaming works well low in the oven and is best done on a steaming tray. You can use steam for cooking all sorts of ingredients such as chicken breasts, fish fillets or vegetables by placing them in a foil parcel and then into the halogen cooker. The cooking time will depend on what you are cooking; chicken breasts will take longer than a piece of fish, and how al dente you like your vegetables will determine their cooking time.

Pro-Tip:

With vegetables, you have the option to steam or roast them. The steaming tray allows you to steam vegetables to retain their texture and goodness, but if you prefer roasted vegetables, then the halogen oven lends itself to this. By cooking on a rack, the hot air is circulated all around the food, ensuring that things like roast potatoes are perfectly crispy.

High Rack

The high rack on a halogen cooker is perfect for cooking what you would on the top shelf of an oven, things that need crisping, browning or roasting.

Roasting Greens, Potatoes and More

When roasting potatoes, you may want to parboil the potatoes first and then place them in the oven for roasting, as you would a conventional oven. Adding a little olive oil to them will ensure a golden brown colour and crunchy texture!

You can roast other vegetables, and this method is perfect for oven chips as well. Make sure you have a high cooking temperature as cooking things such as oven chips require it to be hot, especially if you are cooking frozen chips. Adding olive oil across the top of roasting vegetables will ensure they don’t dry out or singe in the heat.

Jacket potatoes are also suitable for a halogen cooker. You can start them off on a low rack at first and then move them up to the top of the halogen oven for that crispy skin that is so delicious, or give them a few minutes in the microwave oven before moving them to cook in a halogen cooker.

Sweet or Savoury Pastries

You can also cook pastry in a halogen oven, whether that is the sweet kind or short or puffed pastry on top of a pie.

If you are cooking a pie, place the pie dish in the oven to cook, making sure that the pie crust doesn’t brown too much! If it is beginning to darken, adjust the fan oven temperature or place it on the lower rack.

Things That Don’t Work Well

There is not an extensive list, but there are a few items that you shouldn’t cook in a halogen oven. As a rule of thumb, anything you wouldn’t cook in a conventional oven probably won’t work well in a halogen one.

For example, eggs don’t do well, so if you like hard-boiled eggs, it is best to do them on a stovetop in boiling water. The same is true for scrambled or poached eggs.

Halogen Cooking

If the question of what can you cook in a halogen oven has been on your mind, we hope we have provided some helpful information to answer that question and provide you with some useful tips along the way. A halogen oven is a time and energy-efficient way to cook and is completely versatile, whatever your food style!

Foods such as roasted chicken, roast potatoes, even frozen foods are perfectly suited to a halogen oven. You simply set it to the desired temperature and start experimenting! It is worth noting that there are a few things that you just shouldn’t attempt to cook, though, one of them being boiled eggs, but there are very few other exceptions.

If you want more help and advice, cleaning and care instructions and a halogen oven cooking times chart are often provided when you purchase an oven or can be found online.

Enjoy cooking food in your halogen cooker! Enjoy the benefits it brings in terms of faster evening meals, healthier cooking and a reduction in your energy bills. A halogen oven costs less to operate and takes less time to cook your food perfectly, leaving you with juicy and flavoursome food!

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