The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

The Andrew James Halogen oven has been updated and improved: a review

photo of our andrew james halogen oven baking chips

Our Andrew James halogen oven in action

We bought our Andrew James halogen oven  in February 2010. Halogen oven are plug in devices that use a fraction of the electricity consumed by a large fan oven. That was the reason why we invested in one. If you can fill your conventional oven every time that you use it , fair enough. But what if you just want to bake a pie, bake some spuds or rustle up some oven chips?

If you buy something that is a relatively new invention/model there are bound to be a few teething problems. Product testing probably extends to just a few months. It’s only when multiple purchaser’s feet stamp with rage that tweaks and essential design faults are addressed. Which manufacturer wants/can afford to send out streams of replacement units after all?

We bought a new model Zannussi cooker years ago and the plate behind the knobs was see through. It looked cool but within a few weeks all the little bits and bobs that accumulate around the knobs had burrowed themselves behind this. How? It looked atrocious. But good old Zanussi replaced the cooker when we mentioned the problem. The housing behind the knobs on the replacement cooker had been upgraded to stainless steel. 

The one problem with the older halogen ovens is that, with a lot of use, the bulb which is the heating element can blow. Or first bulb blew when the oven was still covered by the year’s warranty so the lid was replaced by the manufacturer. Recently the bulb on this one blew after 12 months.

It’s maddening. You just turn it on and it’s dead. The fan works which is even more annoying. When the bulb dies there’s not even a satisfactory explosion or even a tiny fut. No racing up to The Rat Room to declare.
“The halogen oven blew up and gave me such a fright that I can’t possibly cook supper now. Look my hands are shaking – I can’t even dial for a takeaway..”
“Andrew is dead. Would beans on toast be OK?”

Andrew, our halogen oven has cut our electricity use dramatically. He has saved us much, much more than the cost of the oven. Probably about 25% of our entire electricity bill – our large fan oven is greedy. So we looked on Amazon for a lid replacement. The new lids have been upgraded so that the bulb can be replaced easily.

The new ovens also come with a spare bulb, loads of essential extras and a good cookbook by Norma Miller (the ‘recipe’ book that came with our first halogen oven was unusual and difficult to understand – perhaps Andrew wrote it himself and it was translated from Halogenese?). The price of a new lid was £34.99. A new bulb £9.99. A complete oven with all the extras was £39.99 and the warranty has been extended to 2 years. By the way the extender ring is essential if you want to roast a reasonable sized chicken plus veg plus it can make browning more even on other dishes.

So I ordered the complete set – it was a no brainer.

If you are looking for a general all purpose guide to halogen oven cooking and a good selection of recipes, I highly recommend The Halogen Oven Cookbook 

by Norma Miller. I learnt quite a lot from the tips and tricks alone and the recipes are tried and tested  – proper cooking from scratch.

So if you’ve dithered about a halogen oven this may be the right time to invest in one. If you don’t go for the Andrew James 12 LTR Premium Halogen Oven , double check that you can replace the bulb on other models and of course check the dreaded warranty period. You need at least two years to give value for money and avoid hassle.

  Leave a reply


  1. John Forbes

    Why did you order a new lid when the bulb was “only” £9.99?

    • Fiona Nevile

      At that time the lid and bulb were integral on our halogen oven. The £9.99 bulb was for the updated oven, on which the bulb could be replaced.

  2. I’ve had my AJ digital halogen oven model 686GD 1400w for about 10 years now, never had to replace the bulb, which is a good thing as I managed to break the spare a couple of years ago.

    I love my halogen oven and use it regularly, making my under counter fan assisted Bosch single oven somewhat redundant, I even cook the turkey crown in it, but I’ve yet to try my Christmas cake.

    The only irksome thing I find about it is the cheap metal plate above the bulb, over time the moisture has lead to it going rusty and small fragments/ flakes of rust fall onto the food which isn’t a good thing, and it can be indistinguishable from seasoning like pepper. But I find it in the bottom of the glass bowl. Tiny flakes of iron filings in the gut can do untold damage. If I could post a picture here I would have.

    Replacing this metal plate with one that is rust resistant would be the icing on the cake. If anyone knows if this part is replaceable please do share the info.

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hello CS, I don’t think that you can replace the metal plate. Perhaps rubbing the plate with a fine metal brush – the one for shoes – might clean the plate and remove the rusty shreds. Lucky you for the length of your AJ halogen oven’s life. I think that I’ve had about 5 from the early 2000’s to date. Now I’ve replaced mine with an Instant Pot but my Andrew is waiting in the wings, just incase;)

  3. Julian Barber

    Hello.i have just bought a new andrew james halogen oven.on first use the oven makes quite an irritating loud noise, presumably from the fan. Is this normal?
    Thank you

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Julian, The fan on mine does make a noise but it’s not overloud. Perhaps the fan is faulty? I would ring the supplier.

  4. Iain Geraghty

    Use an electric drill / screwdriver with Phillips head attachment. I had exactly the same problem yesterday.

  5. L Beddow

    My digital Andrew James halogen has stopped working after just 15 months. Have contacted company and e-mail received saying to remove the fan/bulb cover by removing the three screws and checking the holders for the bulb is not stopping the fan from working. Easier said than done!!!! Any ideas on how to remove the screws which have embedded themselves in and are impossible to remove, assumedly through all the heat and steam from use. Any advice in order to resolve this and maybe rule out that this may be the cause of the fan no longer working so I can contact them again would be much appreciated.

    • Glynis Letcher

      Love my Andrew James, but have the same problem. Have new lamp but cannot remove the three screws. Have dripped some oil onto them, and will try again tomorrow. Anyone got any other ideas ?

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