An Essential Guide to Halogen Ovens (Halogen Oven Facts, Pros, Cons, Tips & Recipes)

Halogen ovens have been around for some time now, but they have been gaining more and more popularity of late. We’ve heard of lots of reasons why they are gaining such popularity, but as is our usual, we did some research ourselves to learn more about this new kid in the block. If you have been wondering about halogen ovens, or just want to learn more about, check out today’s article to get some useful and interesting insights about halogen ovens.

At the very least, this guide will give you a good primer to make an informed decision in case you are seriously considering getting one of these. And/or help you make the most of a halogen oven, if you already have one.

Read on to learn more about halogen ovens.

What is a halogen oven

Also known as a halogen cooker, turbo broiler, halogen turbo broiler, halogen convection oven, or halogen cooking pot, a halogen oven is a newer type of oven that uses a halogen lamp to cook food.

Conventional ovens, or microwaves, do not use halogen lamps as their heat source.

Halogen ovens are also generally more compact and transportable than the other types of ovens.

They look like big cylindrical fish bowls with cover!

Halogen ovens look like big fish bowls!

Difference between a halogen oven and a microwave oven

There is a common misconception that halogen ovens and microwave ovens are basically the same, but they are not.

For starters (as mentioned above), halogen ovens use halogen lamps to cook, microwaves do not – they use really short radio waves (micro waves) to heat and cook food.

Then there is the fact that halogen ovens generate a lot of heat, but microwaves do not. This heat created by halogen ovens, by the way, is a good thing – this is one of the key reasons halogen ovens are great at cooking food fast. But more on that later.

Advantages of Halogen Oven

Here are some features and benefits of halogen ovens that make them a pretty cool kitchen addition:

Self cleaning

One of the coolest features about halogen ovens (most of them anyway) is their ability to self clean. Just imagine that, an oven that cleans itself! This is how that generally works – you add some washing liquid or detergent and hot water to the empty bowl, then turn it on. The fan inside the halogen oven then swirls the soapy water around, taking out any grease or food residue. This generally does the trick of keeping the ovens clean. Check out the video for a demonstration of this.

Faster cooking

One of the biggest reasons why halogen ovens users often rave about them is their faster cooking time. Reports have claimed them to be 20-40% (or more) faster than normal ovens. According to one food writer (see list of references below for details), it takes only 15-20 minutes to cook a pasta sauce or fish stew, and about the same amount of time to cook up to two ribs of beef! Halogen ovens don’t need much (if any) pre-heating – they are basically ready to go more or less as soon as you switch them on, which is yet another way they are faster than conventional ovens.

Their relatively smaller size (in comparison to a conventional oven) also helps with the faster heating, and cooking time. Check out this video demonstration of a pizza cooked from frozen in just 7 minutes (takes double that, or more, in a conventional oven).

Pizza in 7 minutes

Energy efficiency

Halogen ovens are also, in general, more energy efficient than conventional oven. They use about half the electricity of conventional ovens! (see reference).

The fact that they heat up fast and cook faster than conventional ovens certainly helps with cutting down their energy consumption.

Then there’s the other inherent feature of the halogen oven – the fan inside – which helps circulate and distribute the heat evenly, speeding up the cooking process even more (and helping keep energy consumption low).

Space efficient

Here’s a great plus point for halogen ovens (especially for anyone who lives in a studio or other small places like boats or caravans) – they are very space efficient.

Halogen ovens are not as big as conventional ovens, and sometimes are even more compact than microwaves (depending on the size and model you get, of course). This makes halogen ovens a great option if kitchen space is a challenge.

Their small size and lighter weight also makes them ideal for easy moving/transportation.

Healthier cooking

Because of the way they cook, with halogen ovens you often don’t need any extra fat or oil to cook your food. Want to cook some frozen chips? Just add them to the container and let it cook, no extra oil or fat required!

Also, when cooking meat you can actually see the fat being rendered out of the meat – which means you get to eat meat without extra fat! Great for anyone who is conscious about keeping their fat/cholesterol levels low.

No defrosting

Remember that video earlier where a pizza was cooked from frozen (see above)? That principle applies to nearly every frozen food when cooking in a halogen oven, not just pizza, which means no defrosting is required! Imagine doing that with a conventional oven, or a microwave.

Fun

This aspect of halogen ovens will definitely be a big plus for any and every passionate foodie – when cooking in a halogen oven, you actually get to see your food cook and transform right in front of your eyes! That makes cooking in them a lot of fun.

Watching food cook in a halogen oven, at least initially, can be quite addictive! Check out how the bread in the video below transforms over time to get an idea of what we are talking about.

Cons of Halogen ovens

Nothing in the world is perfect – the same goes for halogen ovens. It has a lot of things going for it, but it does have some limits and challenges, namely:

  1. Lids: A lot of halogen cookers come with lids that need to be taken off and set aside while you check on the food or remove the food. This can be a hassle if you don’t have much space to the side, or any space to put the hot lid. That said, some models do come with hinged lids, so there is a way around this issue.
  2. Lights: One of the key components of a halogen oven is the halogen lamp. It does not last for life though, and can die after some time (their average life span is about a year). But you can get replacement lights and they are not difficult to replace.

As far as we found, these are the disadvantages of a halogen cooker. If we have missed out on a con, however, do let us know in the comments.

How to cook with a Halogen oven

Now that we’ve covered the pros and the cons of halogen ovens, let’s look into how to actually cook with them.

The video below will get you started with that. Check it out.

What can be cooked in a Halogen oven

When it comes to cooking things halogen oven, nearly everything is fair game! It roasts well – both meat and vegetables. It steams. It bakes. It fries. It grills. It even boils!

Halogen ovens are really versatile. If you need inspiration on what to cook, just do a quick search on google or youtube to get recipes and ideas. You can also use those as guides for coming up with your own recipes (if/when you do, don’t forget to share them with us in the comments section below!).

Apart from cooking, halogen ovens are also great for reheating food – just as good as microwaves in fact.

Chips

If you are a fan of chips and french fries, by the way, you will love the halogen oven. According to the feedback we’ve had so far, halogen ovens make the best chips! We are due for a taste test soon, so we’ll keep you posted on this. But for now, here is a video demonstration of cooking chips in a halogen oven:

BBQ

In case you are wondering if you can BBQ with a halogen oven… Yes, you can. But why tell you when we can show you – check out the video below for a demonstration of BBQ in a halogen oven.

All in one meals in halogen ovens

Here’s an easy recipe to cook in a halogen cooker, just to give you more ideas on how you can make even all-in-one meals using halogen ovens.

20 Halogen Oven recipes

If you want a head start on recipes you can try in a halogen oven, here are twenty we hand selected for you to check out:

  1. Omelette
  2. Roast chicken
  3. Roast Tandoori Chicken & Baked Potatoes
  4. Roast beef
  5. Roast dinner
  6. Roast turkey crown with vegetables
  7. Grilled steaks
  8. Baked fish
  9. Lasagna
  10. Yorkshire pudding
  11. Chicken kebabs
  12. Welsh rarebit (cheese on toast)
  13. Sweet potato fries
  14. Kale chips
  15. Pizza
  16. Banana bread
  17. Cheesecake
  18. Cinnamon rolls
  19. Cake
  20. Biscuits (cookies)

What can you not cook in a halogen oven

It seems (based on our research and polling) that there isn’t really much that you can’t cook in a halogen oven. The only thing that came close were stews, which halogen ovens aren’t apparently that good at cooking. But even then, there are ways around that, and you can cook stews etc in a halogen oven.

Oh and making scrambled or fried eggs can be a challenge, but yes there are ways around that too.

All said, if you know of anything else that can’t be cooked in a halogen oven, do let us know in the comments.

Halogen Oven cooking times

When it comes to cooking in a halogen oven, one key thing to note is that it cooks faster than a normal/conventional oven. If you are using a recipe for a normal oven, start off by reducing the heat (by about 30%) and cooking time (by about 20%). If in doubt, just check on the food – something that’s easy to do with a halogen oven thanks to the clear glass. This way you can test out different things and simply check on it every now and then – helps you cook things just the way you like them.

Here are some more general guidelines on the amount of time it takes to cook things in a halogen oven (Source: halogenoven.org.uk):

  • Roast chicken (1.6Kg) – about 70 minutes to cook at 200 degrees centigrade on a low rack.
  • Roast Beef (1Kg) – approximately 75 minutes to cook at 180 degrees centigrade on a low rack.
  • Steak – about 8-10 minutes to cook at 250 degrees centigrade on a low rack.
  • Cod steak (150g) – on average 25 minutes to cook at 200 degrees centigrade on a high rack.
  • Bacon/sausage – around 8 to 10 minutes to cook at 250 degrees centigrade on a low rack.
  • A medium sized baked potato – around 75 minutes to cook at 200 degrees centigrade on a low rack.
  • Yorkshire pudding – around 10 to 12 minutes to cook at 200 degrees centigrade on a low rack.
  • Frozen oven chips – around 15 to 18 minutes to cook at 200 degrees centigrade on a low rack.
  • Small roast potatoes – around 35 to 40 minutes to cook at 200 degrees centigrade on a low rack.
  • Frozen pizza – around 12 to 15 minutes to cook at 180 degrees centigrade on a high rack.
  • Poached eggs – around 5 to 6 minutes to cook at 175 degrees centigrade on a low rack.
  • An omelette – around 10 to 12 minutes to cook at 175 degrees centigrade on a low rack.

Note: Here’s something to note about these halogen oven cooking time guidelines – the guidelines are pretty generic. As earlier demonstrations of actual cooking time in the halogen oven has shown so far (see the videos above), cooking things usually take less time than those mentioned in the general guidelines. This is why it is a good idea to check on the food you are cooking.

Cooking tips for Halogen oven

Here are some tips to help you cook your food the best way with halogen ovens:

Give it space

Halogen ovens heat up fast. This also means that it emits heat – so it would be a smart idea to not put it in a crowded place surrounded by things that can melt. Best is to put it somewhere where it has breathing room, and where it won’t be so close to other things that the heat from it can damage them. Keep the space around it clear. Also, it is a good idea to not put it somewhere where there isn’t much room above it as that will make removing the lid difficult.

Turning

Halogen ovens cook from the top down, through the halogen lamp at the top. For some food, this will mean that they will need to be turned around at least once. If in doubt, check a specific recipe to see if a turning will be necessary.

Halogen Oven Safety and Care tips

Safety features

Halogen ovens come with some pretty good safety features, including how the power switches off as soon as you take the lid off – this limits the risk of burning yourself by accident. Also, even though it can (and often does) get smoky inside the halogen oven (especially when grilling food), the mechanism is designed in a way to prevent it from flaring into flames.

That said, check your own halogen oven’s manual for details on its safety features and guidelines.

Don’t overcrowd

One of the key ways halogen ovens cook fast is by circulating the heat inside so that it is distributed evenly. But if food is just piled inside with very little room around them, that will negatively impact the cooking time and quality.

Leave breathing room inside so that the heated air can circulate, and cook the food evenly.

Cleaning

Halogen ovens are generally self cleaning, which cuts down on how much manual cleaning they require. But there might be times when a wash will do it some good.

Check out this video for a halogen oven cleaning demonstration:

For more halogen oven cleaning and care tips, check out these two articles:

  1. https://productspy.co.uk/how-to-properly-clean-and-maintain-your-halogen-oven/ /
  2. https://www.halogenoven.org.uk/cleaning.html

Here are some more tips for storing the halogen oven away after use:

Some other questions about halogen ovens answered

Can you use microwave safe plastic containers in a halogen oven?

Here is the simple answer – no.

Microwave safe plastic containers are safe to cook with in the microwave, but NOT in ovens, including halogen ovens. The plastic might melt, or worse, so it is better not to use them.

What sort of cookware can you use in a halogen oven?

The general guideline is that anything you can use in a conventional oven, you can use in a halogen oven. So that rules out plastic (as mentioned earlier), but does include pyrex, ceramic, aluminum, and metal cookwares.

If you have any other questions about halogen ovens, feel free to let us know about them – we will do our best to answer.

Health tips for Halogen oven users

Here are some health tips, sourced from HK Centre Food Safety‘s website:

  • When grilling protein, it is better not to have the temperature too high. Turning the temperature really high can degrade the quality of the meat/fish.
  • Don’t overheat food
  • Don’t eat charred food, especially meat and fish

Closing thoughts

Halogen ovens can be a great addition to a kitchen, especially if you are considering replacing your cooker or oven. They are compact, energy efficient, and cooks fast. They can end up saving you a lot more money than you would ever save with a conventional oven. That alone makes this something worth considering.

What are your thoughts on halogen ovens? Do you have any thoughts and/or tips about halogen oven to share? As for this guide, which parts did you find most useful and/or interesting?

If you found this guide on halogen ovens useful, please do share with your friends. And don’t forget to subscribe, to be the first to know about all future tips, articles and guides from Life Lab Magazine.

Enjoy your week!

 

References

  • Miller, Norma. The Halogen Oven Secret. London: Right Way. p. 11. ISBN 978-0716023036.
  • https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/how-i-fell-in-love-with-halogen-ovens-2098619.html
  • https://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/programme/programme_rafs/programme_rafs_ft_02_03.html
  • https://gadgetsforthekitchen.com/how-good-are-halogen-ovens-really/
  • https://onehouseonecouple.blogzam.com/2012/07/top-5-things-about-halogen-ovens/
  • https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/amp/qna/20170424232048AArn0by
  • https://www.whiteriverkitchens.co.uk/the-halogen-oven-fast-efficient-and-easy-to-use/
  • https://besthalogencooker.com/halogen-verses-microwave-which-is-best/
  • https://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/37880/is-it-ok-to-use-plastic-containers-to-bake-in-an-electric-oven
  • https://www.halogenoven.org.uk/foods-for-halogen-cooking.html
  • https://besthalogencooker.com/cooking-time-guide/

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