Halogen ovens are countertop kitchen devices that can be used to perform the same functions as traditional ovens, except that they offer different cooking times, a different cooking method and better visibility. A halogen oven cannot be used like a microwave oven, but it is a useful supplement to an existing oven system.
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A traditional oven uses a heating element made of very durable metal surrounded by a ceramic coating to protect it. An electrical current is sent through this metal, which acts as a resistor, building up resistance to the current that is released as heat. This heat radiates through the air and fills the oven compartment, cooking what is inside.
A halogen oven uses a halogen crystal light to provide radiant heat, heating the air through infrared waves produced by the light. This acts in a similar fashion to a traditional oven's heating element, but it produces infrared heat more directly. The device also has fans that circulate the air constantly in the oven compartment, allowing the heat to pass around the food more thoroughly and making the oven a convection system.
If a halogen oven is used for a cooking project, slight adjustments need to be made to compensate for different cooking methods. Typically, either a lower cooking temperature or a shorter cooking time is chosen. Lowering the normal cooking temperature by 10 per cent, such as heating at 132 degrees C instead of 149 degrees C, is suggested, or the cooking time can be reduced by 5 to 10 minutes. Halogen oven users, however, should be prepared for each food to be cooked slightly differently from how it is cooked in a traditional oven.
Several benefits are commonly associated with halogen ovens. First, they are more flexible and can handle a variety of cooking jobs, and proponents claim halogen ovens cook better without the addition of oils or fats. They tend to use less electricity while cooking and can shorten cooking times slightly if used correctly. They are also easier to clean than traditional ovens because of their lift-up tops and portable design.
Halogen ovens are very small compared to traditional ovens. So they cannot cook large portions. The largest versions can be used to cook a turkey (less than 7.26kg.) with no room to spare. Cooking multiple dishes at the same time requires the use of another oven option. Because the technology used to create halogen ovens is recent and has been commercialised quickly, the ovens do not tend to be as dependable as traditional versions.
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