I’ve had my oven for several days now - as well as the tradition of baking your first potato, I’ve refreshed day-old crusty bread, cooked a burger, heated a pie, warmed through garlic bread, more jacket potatoes and stewed/grilled some cherry tomatoes to squish onto hot toast!
Firstly, if you’re a person that needs to follow a strict recipe/procedure I’d say you’d maybe struggle with a HO of this sort - give yourself plenty of time and RELAX - don't line up a dinner party for your first HO outing! Get into a more intuitive mode and be prepared to experiment a little. I’d say - much like you can’t cut things long - err on the side of caution with time. I’ve not managed to render anything I’ve tried inedible - but I’ve kept things simple.
I’m intending to use my HO as a compliment to my other cooking methods a slow cooker/microwave/george grill/gas stove/oven and don’t expect it to take the place of any of them . But as we live in a 2 person household I’m not putting the gas oven on anymore for 2 jacket spuds!
Buying - I bought a cheap and cheerful bargain on eBay - reasoning that if I liked/used my HO a lot - I’d want to upgrade/go larger! Be warned, most ‘bargains’ are refurbs/graded goods but still need to be ‘fit for purpose’. I’ve read that a few people have had probs with brand new/full price HOs so KEEP THE ORIGINAL BOX AND PACKING just in case you need to make a return. Yes, its a pain and gets in the way - I’m going to put mine in the attic.
The ‘manuals’ that comes with these things are very poor and often feature comedy translation errors. I intended posting the one that came with mine but on consideration - there's more good advice and recipes on this forum than you'd find in any book!
I cannot compare one oven with another as this is my first HO but so far so good - it really must be that simple .... it is worth taking it slow and getting used to the feel/balance/putting the lid on the lid stand first - and this oven won't operate without the 'grab handle' being locked in place and it does the light on/light off once it is at the right temp thing which can interfere with your bowl-viewing experience! Also - consider carefully where your HO is going to 'live' to avoid over-stretched cables and avoiding not having enough room to use it properly. Keep an oven glove close at hand and don't leave your HO unattended whilst you've got your L plates on!
You probably have cooking items at the back of your cupboard for use in your HO. I’m using small casserole pots, ramekins and will be looking out for soup mugs that are all oven-safe. Try asking at your local charity shop - recycling and good-cause boxes ticked too!Keep your foil dishes from cakes/pies/puddings etc. You can reuse and recycle them. Look out for small flan/sponge tins even better if they’re teflon coated!*
* of course if you have a larger oven, your regular pots will probably do - but this is a 7L bowl and I need portion control to cook for one veggie and one meat-eater.
For ready-meals - I like to dispense with the plastic container they come in. It can be a bit tricky to get things out without looking like road-kill but I'd rather not risk melting/leeching of nasties into my food. I don't use a lot of these, but they are great when you need to eat - fast!
“Crusty’”or ‘”crisp” or “browned” food will probably call for a quick rub over with some kind of oil or fat - or oil spray. You want to avoid airborne oil splutters messing up the inside of your HO lid (where the HO bulb and fan live).
Make sure you put food in at room temp - otherwise allow for warming up in your time (a tad longer) and temp (a tad cooler as it will need to be cooked slightly longer). Always stir and make sure everything is cooked right through - I'm super-paranoid about this with stuff I can't taste - like meat dishes. Take care with dishes on the wire shelves, don't overload or they'll become unbalanced and spill.
More later when I’m in full-on Hester B mode!
Last edited by bluddyelle on 02.05.10 11:15; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : my rubbish spulling!)
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now this is indeed a review
Thank you for this " Ode to the Halogen Oven "
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If this is your 'start' - I look forward to your Hester B mode
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I've put another little how-I-did it up - Tesco 450g ready meals and an improvised pasta bake nothing too adventurous - but my kitchen gadgets have to work hard to stay!
I'm in awe at some of the super recipes on here but I need to adapt my tried and tested to get tea on the table and I just wrote about my very practical way of using my HO. I would like to try and make jam - I believe Nigella had a recipe somewhere for oven jam ... I know where there's great blackberry picking later on in the year and I believe they are saying we'll have a bumper year for Strawberries - yum
Last edited by bluddyelle on 02.05.10 15:55; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to add link)
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