5 recipes for unconventional ovens

Unconventional ovens

Image source: Pinterest
Crack out your odd ovens!

Tempted to crack out the BBQ this weekend? We’ve got just the recipe!

Today we’re talking unconventional ovens, and what to cook in them.

From a full on sunday lunch in a halogen oven to a chocolate cake ready in under five minutes, there’s no excuse to neglect your wacky ovens!

Continue reading

How to cook a chicken in a halogen oven

If you haven’t heard about halogen ovens, then prepare to be blown away. Because one of these nifty gadgets can cook a chicken 40% quicker than a conventional oven, at the cost of around 8p!

Halogen Oven

Speedy, healthy and tasty

So if we’ve got your attention with this time saving purse protector, then you may want to know how to use it.

Here is how to cook a chicken in a 12 litre halogen oven.

Ingredients

For the chicken
  • 1.5kg chicken
  • 2 white onions
  • 2 medium sized carrots
  • 2 medium sized parsnips
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • For gravy
  • 2 tbsp white flour
  • Gravy browning
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • Preparation

    Woman Crying While Chopping Onions

    Image source: Thinkstock
    A halogen oven can’t save you from tears

    1. A halogen oven drains away fat when cooking, but if you do want to catch it for a gravy (see below) then place silver foil at the bottom of the bowl.
    2. Place the onion, carrots, parsnips and garlic gloves on the bottom rack.
    3. Pre-heat the halogen oven to 200°C (400f) – which should take around 3 minutes.
    4. Glaze the chicken in oil and season to taste.

    Cooking

    Man with Oven Mitts

    Image source: Thinkstock
    Ready for hot potatoes

    1. Place the chicken on top or around the veg, also sitting on the rack.
    2. Place lid on halogen oven and set timer for 35 minutes.
    3. When timer goes, remove chicken and check if it is cooked. If the juices run clear, the chicken is done. If not, then return to the oven.
    4. If making a gravy, leave the chicken to rest and transfer the juices to a pan, with a small drop of flour. Put the pan on a low heat and mix the flour into a paste like consistency. Then add a some chicken stock, a bit at a time, until you have the right thickness. If needed, add gravy browning and seasoning.
    5. Serve and enjoy!

    Chicken Carcass with a lot of meat

    The end product
    Source: A Mothers Ramblings

    So there you have it, a low cost, simple way to cook a chicken. And with the hectic Christmas calendar upon us, this clever gadget can take some of the hassle out of cooking, so you can worry about something else.


    Essential winter gadgets

    These days there is a gadget for everything, but some are more useful than others. The laptop desk that attaches to your steering wheel is a certainly rather stupid idea, and the less said about the iPotty the better.

    But there are plenty of gadgets that make life easier, and in the cold winter months that’s just what we want.

    So to make the festive season go smoothly this year, here are our top winter gadgets. Enjoy!

    Dehumidifer

    peltier-dehumidifier-AquaDri.

    Say no to chesty coughs this winter

    In the months that end with ‘R’ the air is moist due to low temperatures. This can cause damp, which in turn can cause mould spores and dust mites, both are bad news for your health.

    With a dehumidifier however that risk is diminished. It works by collecting moisture either via a fan, electric current on crystal and turning it into water. Simply dispose of the water, and job done.

    Log splitter

    D3803 Dual Logmaster Logsplitter 2 Cj

    Fire the fast way

    Chopping wood is always a hard task, but especially in the depths of winter. No one wants to stand in the cold swinging a rather dangerous axe around! That is where a log splitter comes in handy.

    Simply put, log splitters make better fires. This is because wood that has been split into smaller pieces burns better. The oxygen needed to keep a fire going has more access to the wood as there is a larger surface area, and this in turn means a brighter, warmer fire.

    Instead of a sharp point being swung at speed, a hydraulic or foot operated log splitter works with a splitting wedge, meaning you don’t have to strain your back and you can split more wood than you could by hand.

    Halogen oven

    Halogen Oven

    Impromptu roast dinner anyone?

    With winter bills rising, we’re all looking for ways to save money, and a halogen oven will slash bills. Based on a 1300w 12 litre halogen oven cooking a chicken in 40 minutes, you’ll only have to spend 9p on electricity!

    You may be wondering how a chicken can cook in 40 minutes? Well, because of hi tech halogen bulb technology and a fan to ensure all of the bowl gets heat, a halogen oven is able to cook tasty food fast.

    Potato peeler

    Electric potato peeler

    How do you like your spuds in the morning?

    Stews, roast dinners and soups are the epitome of winter warming food – and potatoes are often an important part of the meal.

    When shivering and in need of a winter warmer, like the traditional Welsh dish of cawl, peeling potatoes can be a time consuming task. And for those with joint problems, it can be painful too.

    But an automatic potato peeler uses a rotating blade to quickly take the skin off your spuds. Meaning those with poor dexterity needn’t be in pain, those that get cold hands needn’t get numb fingers and those who have a huge Christmas dinner to make, can get on basting the turkey!

    For hands that don’t ache, a fire that burns well and fully functioning lungs our gadgets will see you right. And if you do want to research halogen oven recipes online, avoid the steering wheel lap desk, the M1 is for driving after all.


    Get better British Bake Off bread

    A massive slice of the UK population seems to be obsessed with the Great British Bake Off television series.

    The show, which sees passionate amateur bakers competing to be the best at baking stuff, has inspired every viewing Tom, Dick and Mary to try their luck with a bread mix and a rolling pin.

    But how about adding something special to the mix and using a halogen oven to bake your bread? Anything you can cook in a conventional oven you can cook in a halogen oven — and below are seven reasons why halogen means better British Bake Off bread.

    Space saving and flexible

    Halogen oven

    A true kitchen space saver
    Source: Clifford James

    Halogen ovens are about the size of a large food blender, so much smaller than traditional ovens, which is great news if space is at a premium in your kitchen. So move it around to suit your (ahem) kneads.

    It’s also easy to transport the halogen oven to a place where it’s more convenient for you to bake. You could even take it on holiday or on a camping trip if you have a power supply. Surely Mary Berry would be impressed!

    Save your back

    Baking

    Image source: Stockyimages
    Put a stop to baking related back pains

    Apparently it’s a bit of an in-joke that contestants spend most of their time crouched over staring at oven doors. This isn’t doing their backs any good and a stiff back isn’t conducive to a productive session of baking.

    Baking shouldn’t be a physical strain, so use a halogen oven instead. Being small and easily manoeuvrable, halogen ovens can be located in back-friendly locations like worktops and kitchen tables. Meaning your back should feel just as light and relaxed as the dough.

    Rise

    Dough Rising In A Bowl

    Image source: Johan Larson
    Get a rise out of your dough

    Rise is such a good word in so many contexts and it is the holy grail of utterances when it comes to baking bread. The not-so secret method for helping your bread to rise is making sure the dough rises first.

    You’ll need a warm and draught-free place to let your dough expand (as you don’t want your dough to dry out) and an excellent candidate is of course the halogen oven. Adjust the setting halfway between off and thaw (which is just enough to warm the bowl) and the dough mix should roughly double in size in around 30 minutes.

    Viewable progress

    halogen oven bread

    Who could resist having a peek?
    Source: Crafting Heaven

    This is the fun bit, so grab a pew and turn on the HOT channel (Halogen Oven TV). As halogen ovens are made from glass, when it comes to baking your bread, you can actually watch as your lump of squidgy dough is magically transformed into a golden brown loaf of fluffy goodness.

    There will be no more bending over to peer into darkened oven doors, or opening those same doors to receive a scorching blast of hot air in your face. All rise for the fabulously helpful halogen oven.

    Quicker

    Kitchen clock

    Image source: Cura Photography
    Speed up your baking time

    Halogen ovens rely on halogen bulb heating elements to convert electrical energy into intense heat, which is then circulated by a high performance fan. This efficient and highly effective system results in halogen ovens generally being much quicker than traditional ovens — as much as three times faster in fact for particular dishes.

    When it comes to baking a loaf of bread, you’ll only see a small increase in actual cooking times, but it will still be quicker as halogen ovens take hardly any time to preheat.

    Save money

    Piggy Bank

    Image source: Gelpi
    A wallet friendly way to bake bread

    There’s lots of money to be saved by opting for a halogen oven. Not only are they up to eight times cheaper than their conventional rivals, halogen ovens are also far more efficient.

    Due to their high performance, they will cook the food faster and so require less electricity. It all adds up, so eventually the trusty halogen will pay for itself in reduced fuel bills.

    It’s cool

    Space shuttle

    Image source: K J Warden
    A halogen oven wouldn’t look out of place in this

    So it’s smaller, cheaper and quicker — it also looks like it belongs on a space exploration vessel, so using a halogen oven to create your loaves is a pretty cool way to do get busy with your bake off.

    And if all that wasn’t enough to convince you, then here’s the best part of all: many halogen ovens have a wash setting, so when it’s time to clean the flour and crumbs from within, your trusty bake off friend will do it all for you.

    Unconventional cooking

    Chef

    Image source: Kzenon
    Are you an adventurous cook?

    Now you can approach this from the Ray Mears survivalist angle, or it could be that you’re simply curious or adventurous — but how about trying some unconventional cooking?

    Yes — cause a scene, raise an eyebrow or simply try something new for dinner. Let’s face it, one day you might be forced to get unconventional with your cooking anyway. Best get ahead of the game then …

    Car bonnet omelette

    fry eggs car

    Meals on wheels
    Source: UAE & Me


    For this dish you’ll need one car bonnet — preferably very hot from a long drive, a pan and the usual eggs, oil and mushrooms. Simply place the ingredients in the pan and place on the bonnet.

    Be careful not to take the paint off your bonnet and watch out for seagulls if you’re near the coast. Give it a while and hey presto — omelette de la voiture!

    Wood burner spuds

    Rooms with wood burners are usually so comfortable that they breed laziness. Laziness that results in walks to the kitchen seeming like a trek through the Himalayas — so good job you had a sack of spuds to hand.

    Simply throw some big spuds into the wood burner and carry on with your lazy afternoon — give it an hour and you’ll have some wood smoked crispy-skinned jacket potatoes. Beat that Heston!

    Halogen oven Sunday roast

    Clifford James halogen oven

    It’s roasting Jim, but not as we know it
    Source: Clifford James

    If Star Trek endorsed ovens … they would be something like halogen ovens. Converting electrical energy into intense heat, halogen ovens are not only small enough to sit on your table top, but about ten times cheaper when compared to conventional ovens.

    Made of glass and resembling food mixers, they don’t mess about when it’s time for lunch. You’ll be able to cook a tasty roast dinner in about 30 minutes. And watch it too.

    Laser grilled popcorn

    Lasers are long, narrow concentrated beams of light that get so hot they could cut through steel — impressive. But can you cook with a laser? Of course you can!

    The trick is to choose food items that are small, as the laser beam cannot cover a large area. Popcorn is the perfect candidate for laser cuisine and has already proved a success in past experiments. Although this isn’t one you should try at home just yet. Keep an eye on the future though as lasers could well be in the kitchen soon.

    Skyscraper frazzled bacon and eggs

    London’s skyline has a new 37-storey addition known infamously as the death ray or fryscraper. These names are due to its mirrored walls creating astonishingly hot solar flares that have been reported hot enough to burn the paint off parked cars and also the hair off some heads!

    So it’s a good place to go if your cooker has retired. Simply place your breakfast in a pan making sure it’s under the heat of a reflected solar beam and you’ll be enjoying sun-kissed delights in no time. Just find somewhere safe to eat it!

    Why buy a halogen oven?

    Grills, ovens and hobs are the core appliances in most cook’s kitchens. But have you ever considered the advantages of cooking with a halogen oven?

    A halogen oven is smaller, healthier, faster, easier, cheaper and more versatile than traditional cookers. Don’t believe me? Then let me explain.

    Space friendly

    Halogen Oven

    Wine not included

    The incredibly compact 12 litre halogen oven is all you need to cook a whole roast dinner. No pots, pans and baking trays required. With a worktop friendly 30cm diameter footprint, it’s the perfect cooker for small flats, caravans and kitchenettes.

    Another space saving option is a microwave, which uses radiation to heat up water molecules. But this creates steam, which in turn can make food soggy. Halogen ovens use heat, not waves, and the fan makes sure all parts of the food get cooked. This process makes your food crispier and tastier.

    Healthy

    Brocoli Crowns

    The healthiest food of all?
    Source: Nature’s reward

    Halogen ovens are designed to drain away fat when cooking. So you get the same Sunday roast taste, but without the unhealthy fat.

    Steaming is a great way to cook healthy, and it’s a method well within the capabilities of a halogen oven. Steaming unlike boiling, retains the food’s nutrients rather than washing them away with the boiling water. Now super healthy greens are just a steamer tray away.

    Quick

    Usain Bolt at Olympics

    “No one is near, I can now slow down”
    Source: Flickr

    Conventional ovens don’t have a hi-tech radiant halogen bulb, but halogen ovens do. Having this bulb, along with an air circulating fan, helps halogen ovens cook up to 40% faster than their conventional counterparts.

    Waiting for the conventional oven to preheat is a thing of the past. Halogen ovens heat up in 3 minutes, helping to cut roast dinner cooking times to less than an hour. Conventional ovens cook at a comparative snail’s pace, and need at least 2 hours to cook a good roast.

    Versatile

    swiss army knife

    Maybe not that versatile
    Source: Swiss knife shop

    Grill, steam, bake, thaw, roast or toast your food. And don’t be limited by the size of the glass bowl, as a lid extender can give you even more cooking capacity.

    At a mere 7kg, a halogen oven can be moved around the kitchen freely, allowing you to clean worktops, or put it away for storage. BBQs can even be enhanced with an on hand halogen oven, to roast potatoes or just keep food warm.

    Visible cooking

    Conventional ovens don’t make it easy for the chef in question to see how their food is doing. With a halogen oven, flapping doors, steamed up glasses and wasted heat are a thing of the past. The space age light given off by the heating element, combined with the glass bowl, make your food easily visible, and keep glasses steam free.

    The sight of your food transforming can also be fun for small children, and big kids alike.

    Save money

    Pink Piggy Bank On Top Of A Pile Of One Dollar Bills

    A halogen oven cooks pork perfectly
    Source: Senior Living

    Save pennies and pounds from the start as a halogen oven is less expensive than a conventional one, but does exactly the same thing, and more.

    Frugal folk will also be pleased to hear of further savings. The reduced heating and cooking times, mean that less energy is used than conventional ovens, grills or hobs.

    Why my Dad has a halogen oven

    Halogen technology has been around for some time, but now it looks set to take the cooking world by storm.

    That’s because halogen ovens are effective, efficient and most importantly, cook super tasty meals fast. All good reasons why my dad swears by, rather than at his.

    Clifford James halogen oven

    Halogen oven
    Source: Clifford James

    Dad has never been much of a one for cooking, so when Mum had a hip replacement last year, we assumed we’d be responsible for feeding the invalid.

    But as it turned out, Dad had done his homework. Instead of us making the thirty minute journey to their home, carrying pot roasts to keep my parents alive, my husband and I found ourselves invited to dinner.

    Great for entertaining the family

    “This,” said dad, patting the lid of a space age device on the kitchen counter, “will now cook our dinner in under forty minutes.”

    Well fine, I thought – if it’s a vegetable stew – we might just escape unscathed. I was far more sceptical when my septuagenarian father opened the fridge and took out a raw chicken.

    Mum hobbled forward to take a look but was brusquely waved away as Dad filled the bowl around the chicken, with potatoes and carrots.

    “Right. Stand back everyone.”

    Anyone would think he was a test pilot about to take to the skies, but as he turned the ‘machine’ on, we all craned our necks to take a look.

    What followed was a revelation. As Dad told us later – several times – though a halogen oven has a similar power rating to a normal oven or microwave, it has distinct advantages over both. It’s much faster than a conventional oven.

    The halogen bulb in the lid produces instant heat and a fan circulates it as high speed, ensuring an even temperature throughout.

    The chicken really was cooked in less than forty minutes and it, along with the roast potatoes, was crispy to boot. Not at all like the insipid results you tend to get from microwave cookery.

    Ideal for roast dinners

    And the results? I admit, my first taste was tentative, but the food really was delicious – moist and tender chicken and perfectly cooked vegetables. But that wasn’t the only surprise Dad had in store.

    No sooner had we put down our knives and forks than he was off to ‘bung a pudding in the oven’. Five minutes later and our pre-prepared sticky toffee pudding was ready.

    Perfect for puddings

    After dinner, the oven bowl went in the dishwasher and that was that.

    Mum is well and truly back on her feet now and Dad has once again been banished from the kitchen, but the halogen oven story didn’t end there. Mum is a complete convert – the halogen oven defrosts, bakes, roasts, steams and even fries – and she finds it so much easier to use than the conventional oven.

    The halogen oven’s clear bowl means she can see exactly how the food is coming along and she doesn’t have to bend down to open the oven door.

    A halogen oven is a fraction of the cost of a conventional oven and needless to say – it’s a case of like father like daughter because I now have one too!

    Halogen ovens and other cool halogen stuff

    Halogen has sneaked into our vocabulary without anybody noticing and suddenly there’s a whole host of very cool halogen products about.

    Well actually they’re a lot hotter than the competition. Halogen products contain halogens: a group of five highly reactive elements. And when one or more of these elements are exposed to certain things like inert gases, things get seriously heated. Meaning there’s some great halogen products out there to light the way.

    Clifford James Halogen Oven

    Halogen oven

    Imagine a product that could roast a chicken in 20 minutes, grill your food golden brown, take up as much space as a blender and save energy too. The halogen oven is exactly that. The oven is a large Pyrex-type bowl with a lid housing an halogen element and fan. Inside a circular filament certain halogens are mixed with an inert gas to produce instant, intense heat. A brilliant innovation, which is revolutionizing the way we cook food.

    Photo by Meghana Kulkarni

    Halogen Vehicle

    The halogen powered car hasn’t been invented yet (maybe one for the future), but there’s few things out there that use halogen lights to light up those dark nights. With increased night-vision and safety, halogen lights are the bright future for cyclists. Powered by a rechargeable battery or dynamo, a small halogen light the size of a Walnut Whip can produce serious light.

    Photo by Alan

    Halogen heater

    If a halogen oven can roast a chicken in 20 minutes then it’s no surprise halogen heaters like it hot. As air passes through the heater’s oscillating system it is instantly heated and propelled in a broad arc around the room. Halogen heaters produce more heat quicker and distribute the hot air evenly around a room. They tend to be more expensive than other portable heaters, but they come with increased durability and safety features and are cost effective in the long run.

    Photo by Thomas Mathie

    Halogen torch
    Everybody loves a torch, but make sure you have the brightest torch in the village and get yourself a halogen torch. Light up the whole forest, redirect air-traffic and lead all your friends into the darkest places in the world (if you can be bothered). Some of these are brighter than 10million candles. Wow!

     

    Photo by F. A Fruitbasket

    Halogen security spotlight

    Everybody wants a halogen gadget, so make sure yours are well protected with the halogen security spotlights. If anything bigger than a mole moves past your cabbage patch, they’ll be bathed or melted by a light so bright they’ll think the sun has come up early. If you’re going to do it right, then do it halogen. It’s time to see the light.