Erik Neilson on December 13, 2016 1 Comment In a world that refuses to slow down and only seems to move faster with each passing year, it’s no surprise that people are constantly looking for easier ways to cook and prepare food. While some revel in the enjoyment of cooking, others find themselves so busy that slowing down to prepare a home-cooked meal simply isn’t an option. It’s inevitable that fast food and other unhealthy alternatives will enter into the equation under these circumstances, but there are viable solutions that don’t have to lead to eating junk — take the halogen oven, for example. What are Halogen Ovens? Halogen ovens may look as if they’re straight out of the latest science fiction movie, but they actually operate in a relatively straightforward manner. These kitchen electrics utilize a bright halogen light to produce heat, which is spread throughout the oven via fan. The temperature inside is controlled by a thermostat, which means the light knows when to turn on and off at will. They not only save space due to being quite a bit smaller than conventional ovens, but they’re also capable of cooking food nearly three times faster. Want to roast a chicken in a half hour? Look no further than a new halogen oven for your kitchen. Shopping for Halogen Ovens In many ways, buying a halogen oven is similar to purchasing any other type of appliance for your kitchen, which is to say that it can be easier said than done! There are a number of things that need to be taken into consideration when shopping for a halogen oven, all of which will factor into which option is best for your home. Take, for example, the following criteria: Shop for Halogen Ovens on Amazon Control Functionality Halogen ovens can be controlled by the user in different ways depending upon their design. Not unlike slow cookers, most halogen ovens are controlled via rotary dials that can be manually turned so as to create the best environment for cooking the food at hand. Newer units are starting to be fitted with digital controls, however, which offer touch functionality and more precise temperature control. As one might expect, these tend to be more costly than manual units. Size/Cord Length How much counter space do you have to work with? If the answer is, “not very much,” you’ve got to take this into consideration when shopping for a halogen oven. Most halogen ovens aren’t very much larger than your typical crockpot, but some can be very sizable and may not be the right fit for small kitchens. Cord length can vary, too, so if you have limited outlets to work with, this may end up factoring into your decision. Peripherals Most halogen ovens will be packaged with a varying number of different peripherals that can be used to help enhance the cooking process. A frying basket, for example, allows for “air-frying” within the cooker, while extension rings can make cooking more than just a single food in one go a breeze. Other accessories to look for include lid stands, tongs and oven baking/steaming trays, which may or may not be included with certain halogen ovens. Cost Cost is the ultimate variable when shopping for a halogen oven, as it will no doubt play into which unit you end up going with. Generally, halogen ovens with basic functionality will be on the lower end of the cost spectrum, while those which are rich in features and are larger in size will be more expensive. Look for an intersection between cost and quality to find the best value. With a little bit of pre-planning, you can easily determine which halogen oven is most ideal for your kitchen. Halogen Oven Cooking Tips Halogen ovens offer one of the smoothest cooking experiences out there, but that’s not to say that you don’t need to know anything about how to utilize them. Taking good care of your halogen oven and ensuring that it’s being operated properly will lead to delicious, healthy food and a longer lifespan for the unit — here are a few tips to point you in the right direction: Keep the Element Safe Many halogen ovens feature removable heating elements, which need to be properly cared for so as to extend the life of the equipment. Some come with lid-stands that are flimsy at best, so if you don’t feel comfortable using these to store your element, a grill tray rack can be a safer, more stable alternative. Clean the Lid Halogen ovens are extremely efficient, but they’re not exactly self-cleaning. The most amount of cooking grease buildup will occur on the lid, right next to the heating element. Cleaning this part of the machine is best performed by wiping the lid down with a wet cloth after each use. It can be tedious, but it’s nothing compared to the upkeep required with conventional ovens. Use the Extender Rings Many halogen ovens come equipped with extender rings, which offer the option for cooking multiple different types of food at once. This is not only convenient, but the extender rings can help to ensure that your food doesn’t end up getting overcooked. Extender rings are especially useful when attempting to cook large items, such as whole chickens or roasts. If you find that these and similar foods tend to get overcooked in your halogen oven, break out the extender rings and watch as the problem disappears. Experiment! One of the joys of using a halogen oven is that it offers a much different cooking experience than what many people are used to. This opens up options for experimentation, as certain foods can be prepared in unique ways via halogen ovens. Take bacon, for example, which can come out near-perfect every time once you’ve developed the right technique (take it out immediately once it’s cooked). Halogen ovens represent the future of quick, easy and healthy cooking, and there are new units hitting the market each year. If you’ve never experience one in the flesh, there’s no better time than now to learn more about how effective these modern kitchen tools can be.