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.
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!