Cooking appliances have come a long way from the time of wood stoves and heating a pot over an open flame. There are gas cooktops and ovens, electric cooktops and ovens and now a type of cooking appliance that combines the elements of electric and the speed of gas cooking---halogen cooktops and ovens. Halogen cooking generates heat from light. No gas flame, no waiting on the electric element to heat up and no waiting to eat.
How Halogen Cooking Works
Introduced in the 1970s, halogen cooktops and appliances work by sending infrared radiation through a halogen lamp that heats a ceramic glass or element that is designed to handle high temperatures. The ceramic glass on the cooktop glows red and the heat travels at the speed of light so there is no waiting for the cooktop to heat. All you have to do is set a pot on the element and turn on the control. The pot is warmed by a mixture of radiation, convection and conduction. The pot has to be warmed and then the contents inside. So like with other cooktops, halogen cooktops use convection and conduction, but the radiation speeds up the process giving you a faster cooking time. Halogen cooking appliances and cooktops are available from a variety of retail stores and home improvement centres.
Speed of Halogen Cooking
Halogen appliances cook up to 50 per cent faster than gas and electric. Halogen cooking also saves up to 75 per cent on energy usage. You don't have to defrost your meats, vegetables or other foods. Just put them in a pot or pan and place them on the halogen cooktop or in the halogen oven. Most halogen cooking appliances have preprogrammed controls for basic foods such as chicken, pizza, turkey and various meats. These controls convert traditional cooking times into halogen cooking times. So for a pizza that normally cooks at 190 degrees C for 12 minutes, the halogen oven will automatically cook the pizza by converting the time and informing you when it is done with a beep or display message. Also, when cooking in a halogen appliance like an oven or freestanding appliance, you don't have to add oil or butter.
Halogen appliances, ovens and cooktops are easy to keep clean because you don't have the grease and grime like you do with conventional cooking appliances. Whenever you have a spill, just wipe off as soon as you can. However, spills left on the cook surfaces can fuse into the ceramic element. Clean the halogen cooktop or appliance after each use according to manufacturer's directions. Also, be careful when cooking with cast-iron pots. Don't slide the pots across the halogen cooktop because the rough bottoms can scratch the ceramic surface.