When Vonshef asked me if I wanted to review both their halogen oven and slow cooker I jumped at the chance – admittedly I wasn’t quite sure exactly what a halogen oven was, but a quick Google search sorted that.
I have to admit I was a little daunted when I removed the oven from the box – it was fairly big and I was sure it wasn’t going to fit on the limited available worktop space in the kitchen. Luckily it did!
The first thing I cooked in the halogen was a roast chicken. I was really impressed by how hassle free and quick it was – it was ready in just 45 minutes. I’ve heard you can also cook roast potatoes in the oven at the same time as the chicken, but I haven’t tried that yet.
I brushed the chicken with rapeseed oil, sprinkled with herbs salt and pepper and roasted for 45 minutes. The chicken turned out so moist and delicious! I would certainly recommend cooking chicken in the halogen oven.
The halogen oven also cooks vegetables beautifully too – I made an aubergine parmigiana as part of a challenge I was set to cook a meal for £4 and under.
2 tbsp oil
One red onion, sliced
One clove garlic, finely chopped
One 400g can chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
1tsp dried oregano
Grated parmesan (I used a 50g sachet which cost £1.30)
Slice the aubergines and place on an oven tray which will fit in the halogen oven, brush them with 2 tbsp oil and cook on the low rack at 260C for 6 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.
Cook the onion with 1 tbsp oil for 3 minutes at 260C on the low rack. Add the garlic with a little drizzling of oil, cook for 1 minute, then add the chopped tomatoes, herbs, and season to taste. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour half the sauce into a bowl.
Layer aubergine slices on top of the sauce in the baking tin. Cover with some parmesan and some of the reserved tomato sauce, then repeat the process. Finish off with the remaining parmesan and cook on the low rack at 175C for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with dried oregano and serve with fresh crusty bread.
60g grated parmesan – £1.30
One red onion – 18p
Two Aubergines – £1
One tin chopped tomatoes – 39p
One bulb garlic – 30p
Total – £3.17
If you aren’t cooking to a budget and wanted to add a meat element (which I know isn’t traditional!) you could always add some sliced chorizo.
One of the things I love about the halogen oven is that you don’t have to preheat it. Now my boys are growing up and have various clubs/things after school and with my husband working odd shifts, I often find myself having to make meals at various times of the day. That is where the halogen will come in very handy – no waiting for the oven to heat up to the right temperature. And once you get the hang of the oven, there isn’t much you can’t cook in it – I cooked a fresh pizza and wedges (*confession time* yes I do occasionally resort to pre-prepared food – I’m a busy mum and only human!) in just 10 minutes. It’s also extremely easy to clean – all it needs is a quick wipe and it even has a self cleaning function for more stubborn stains which I thought was pretty nifty.
The only downside was the fact that it takes up a lot of room on my kitchen counter. I certainly couldn’t leave it sitting out – I just don’t have the space.
I’ve been told you can actually bake in a halogen but I haven’t had the chance to test it out yet – so watch this space!
The Vonshef halogen retails at the very reasonable price of £31.99 and comes with tongs, grill pan, baking tray, steamer tray, oven height extender ring, lid holder, gloves and skewer forks.
You can find more details about the halogen oven on the Domu website.
Coming tomorrow – Vonshef slow cooker review