For today’s kitchen tip I’m following up on a promise I made last week. Some of you are wondering what a turbo oven is. You can see one here, and now you have an idea of the price also.
I’ll tell you up front, the turbo oven is not super fast at cooking food. It definitely doesn’t match the microwave when it comes to speed. It is, however, faster than a conventional oven, and is useful for cooking things that you wouldn’t cook in a microwave.
What it is:
It is very simply a countertop convection oven. Convection ovens use a fan to force heated air to circulate around the food. Convection ovens cook food faster and at a lower temperature than conventional ovens.
What I like about it:
It was great having this oven during the hot summer months. It is very rare that I use my regular oven during the summer. The turbo oven allowed me to do things like roast a chicken without heating up the kitchen. Even in the winter I plan on using it this way unless I have something else to go in the oven with it.
I like the way it reheats food much better than the microwave. For example, when I reheat leftover pizza (gluten-free of course)in the microwave, it softens the crust but leaves it rather spongy. When I reheat pizza in the turbo oven, I place the pieces directly on the rack that sits in the bottom of the bowl, set the temperature 400 and heat it for several minutes. The crust comes out soft inside, but nice and crisp outside.
I have never liked meat cooked or reheated in the microwave. It always seems to come out tough and rubbery. I can heat leftover meat in the turbo oven by putting it on a plate and setting the plate on the rack. I set the temperature to 350 and heat it as long as necessary. The meat stays tender, has great flavor, and I often think it tastes better than the first time.
The glass bowl is easy to clean. With the top removed you take the bowl out of its stand and wash it in the sink. If there is stuck on food, simply add some soapy water to the bowl, put the top back on, and heat it at a low temperature for a few minutes.
What I heat/cook in the turbo oven:
Whole chickens (it browns nicely and cooks at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes per pound)
Roast beef (although I usually use my pressure cooker for that)
frozen french fries
other frozen foods
some baked items (see below)
casseroles (see below)
What the turbo oven is not good at heating/cooking:
liquids in a glass container (the glass gets hot, not the liquid)
baked goods – I have tried corn bread and cinnamon rolls. They quickly get brown on top because it is closest to the fan. The glass dish (I also tried a silicon pan) didn’t allow the bottom to heat well. I wasn’t about to let anything go to waste, though, so I simply flipped the items over in their dish and cooked the bottom. They didn’t look quite as nice, but they got cooked through and tasted good.
casseroles – Again, the glass dish is the problem. When food is in a dish with sides, it is mainly heated from the top. Casseroles can work if it is an item you can stir occasionally as it heats.
A big drawback for many people is the size. I am fortunate enough to have space for it on my counter. I don’t like to leave appliances on my counter that are not used regularly, but this one definitely is. It has been used almost every day to either cook or reheat something or both.
If you are considering buying one and have question, I’d be happy to help as much as I can.
For more kitchen tips visit Tammy’s Recipes.