The Cottage Smallholder

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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.

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  2. Yvonne

    I have had my Andrew James oven for 3 years but now the bulb has gone. I have a replacement but no way can I undo the three Phillips screws. Anyone have any ideas how to shift them?

    • John chapman

      I had the same problem so I stood the top upside down and used wd40 sparingly and left it overnight I had to repeat the process and then it became easy.Ensure you use the proper tool of the correct size.You will need to run it on empty to get rid of the oily odour.Good luck,John

      • Hi John, Who repairs these AJames circular motor mine screams now ..any suggestions
        Donald regards

  3. Charolette

    I am looking for the very small cookbook that came with the Halogen ovens back in the 1980s -1990s, somewhere in that period. It only had a handful of recipes in it, very simple recipes. If you can help me please email me at Thank You

  4. Neska Chin

    Just bought a halogen oven and just wondered how do you get the burnt on stains off the heater without using a scourer.I love the oven so easy to use just wondered about the burn marks.hoping to hear from you soon.Neska

  5. Hi Marion!
    I have a 12l one and we are two in the house, so I would imagine a 7l one would be just fine for you. We are really enjoying it so far – have been using it everyday, for more than a month now! Good luck!

  6. Marion Reinhard

    Need to know if anybody has had a 7ltr size Andrew James Halogen oven.
    I only cook for myself and only have a small kitchen.
    I just do not know what size to order.
    Thank you.

  7. Marion Reinhard

    I am a pensioner with very little space in my kitchen.
    What are your thoughts on the 7Ltr Andrew .

    Thank you

  8. I also bought one of these on Amazon a few years ago and swear by it. Unfortunately, the halogen bulb has just blown and I was none too thrilled on opening it up to discover that my model was never meant to be repaired by a mere ‘user’. In other words, there’s much more involved than removing a few screws & plugging in a new one – wires must be cut, shrink-wrap insulation applied etc. Fortunately for more recent buyers, this nonsense has been done away with and replacing the bulb is a much more civilised affair! My model is repairable but knowing how fragile the bulbs are, I’m wondering if they would survive those gentle souls that work for the postal service, and it might me more cost-effective to just buy a new one – especially as it comes with a spare bulb. I hate to discard the old one though, it has been used almost every day since I got it, so chucking it out feels wrong. 🙂

    A point about the saving in electricity. First off, the halogen bulb consumes over 1KW – that’s a LOT of power! The saving comes from it being able to cook many things more quickly – and it does, but it varies, depending on what’s being cooked.

  9. Hilary Jane

    I just wanted to share my experience of using halogen ovens.

    I bought the Andrew James 12 ltr model for the house (appr £40) and a smaller 7ltr model for my motorhome – about £19 – both with the extras and obtained new via ebay. I did buy the halogen cookbook but don’t think I’ve actually opened it as I took to using the oven straight after reading the very simple instructions. It is a different technique to a larger main oven, primarily because of the smaller space compared with the volume of food being cooked, you have to learn to stack and rotate things properly, allowing the heat to circulate freely is the main tip for success.

    Since buying the halogen ovens around 12 months ago,I’ve not turned my main oven on once and finally had the large one taken out today to free up more storage space in my tiny kitchen. I use the halogen most days and it’s taken over from the microwave to a large extent as I prefer the way food is heated.

    The halogen oven is the most versatile kitchen item I have; because of it I rarely use the microwave now except to defrost and to reheat a few foods, I got rid of the toaster, the George Foreman grill, the steamer and the bread-maker, and I hardly use the gas hob except to blanche veg for the freezer, boil root veg or rehydrate pulses and other dried goods in the pressure cooker. The halogen oven is great for anything from heating pain chocolat and crumpets straight from the freezer to grilling steak and cooking whole chickens. Meat and fish keep moist and succulently tender. Jacket potatoes turn out with that fluffy crispness that you don’t get with a microwave although I do blast them in the mic for five minutes to start the cooking process. Cheese on toast is a doddle – toast the bread on the rack then use a tray when melting the cheese. A full breakfast is easy and there’s no greasy smoke to get everywhere as a bonus.

    The only thing it doesn’t seem to do well is casseroling but that’s what the slow cooker is for. Watching baked goods rise is fascinating and just doing small amounts that I wouldn’t have bothered with using the full oven are now feasible. Biscuits dry well and I sometimes make a small batch of oatcakes – it’s so easy to pop a few in if I suddenly fancy some cheese and pickle – that’s usually when it’s lashing down with rain or hail and the cupboard is bare of biscuits but it would be the height of extravagance to fire up the motorhome to travel the mile or so to the supermarket or put the main electric oven on for half a dozen oatcakes.

    I’ve recently experimented with using it as a dehydrator with great success. I dried down a large tray of mushrooms enough to pack into an old coffee jar, a chopped head of celery is now mixed up with sea salt and ground black pepper to make seasoning, rosemary leaves retain their green colour as well as their flavour. I use the defrost/clean temperature or just above and prop one side of the lid open with a chopstick. If I spot fresh cut herbs going very cheap in the supermarket, I buy them and dry for storage – I’ve only just got a garden so haven’t grown fresh herbs yet. Drying things saves a lots of space in the freezer for more expensive items such as meat and the cosy of drying veg/herbs compared to the freezer running costs must balance out. Mushrooms took four hours to dry, celery two and I just switched the timer round another hour when I heard it ping – it’s hardly a chore between doing other things around the house.

    Has anyone tried hot smoking in the oven? I’m figuring out a way of doing that too – will report back.

    I love this site, it’s so inspiring – thank you.

  10. Steve Q

    I was given a 2 year old JML halagen oven 3 years ago that my mother did not like useing. One of the best appliances I have ever owned, lamp has just blown, now looking to replace it with the Andrew James version.Mine did not have the extender ring so this model should be even more versatile.5 star product.

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