Last week I was gifted a small Halogen/convection oven unit. I had seen them on late night info-mercials for quite a long time raving about how easy they are to use and how much power they save. The one I got is no longer being sold
new it is a Bellini, 12 quart. The 110v wattage rating on the lable say 600 to 800 watts. That means I can run it off of my Honda i1000 generator
even if I am not at a campground with shore power.
Most of the newer models of this type of electric stovetop oven are higher in wattage but there are a few of them listed as "compact" that also have 800 watts for the maximum. however I am perfectly content with the one I was gifted. The weight
of my unit and other compact sizes is right about 9 lbs and the size is about that of a large dutch oven. An 8 to 8.5 inch diameter pan fits just right in it. You can get pizza pans that size as well as cake pans. An 8 inch disposable aluminum loaf pan is also a good fit. You do need to have some room around the sides of the pan for the hot air to circulate underneath the pan to the bottom of the oven and back up again to keep the temperate even. Of course it heats up very quickly compared to a large household oven.
So what can it do? So far I have baked meatloaf, made a personal sized pizza, cornbread, scones, fish sticks, popcorn chicken, banana bread and pork chops. Everything turned out terrific and did not get dried out or burnt. It did a nice job of making crispy fish stick and popcorn chicken. I have not tried cooking a whole chicken in it but it will cook a smaller sized chicken and it is supposed to come out nice and moist.
The ovens come with a low rack and a higher rack. Foods like cake and breads cook on the lower rack, foods that need broiler type of heat go on the upper rack. Metal pans work best and the dark colored ones better than shiny metal pans as they absorb heat instead of reflecting it. Silicone pans repel the heat so the bottom side of foods does not cook through. Glass pans are too heavy in weight
so there is no point in dragging them along with the tow car.
I started out being skeptical that it would earn its keep for full time nomadic living in my little trailer but to my surprise it has gotten an A+
rating from me and I feel it will earn its keep as far as function. I was also given the original box with the foam packaging so that will keep it from breaking between uses.
There is a Ninja Foodie on the market, I don't have one but it can function as a pressure cooker and an air fryer. That might be a good unit for someone who wants to cook with electric and have oven functions too. But it draws 1500 watts, too much for my little generator
. Of course it is also larger and heavier and I have a very tiny little Trailswest Campster
that I am pulling with a 4 cylinder car. So for my needs size and weight
mean the Ninja is not a good option for me.
In the wintertime my little Bellini over will add just a little heat inside when using it but not an extreme amount. In the summer time it is small enough to set outside on a table for doing some baking.
I highly recommend the Fisher Fair Scone mix for use in this little oven. All you need to add is water and they come out light
, fluffy, just the right amount of crispy on the outside. A perfect breakfast or tea time treat and also great for Strawberry Shortcakes. They need to be cooked on the lower rack.
This evening's cooking experiment is making sweet potato fries with a dash of chipotle pepper seasoning on them. Slice the potato into sticks, toss with olive oil, add seasonings and cook on the top rack. Stopping once in a while to turn them. They need to be cooked on the upper rack.