Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lovin’ These Ovens:A Product Comparison Review

Dear LilacGal,

I hope you can help me (and others with the same problem) decide what countertop oven to purchase as a wedding gift for my daughter, who is getting married next month. I want to give her one of those new combination ovens, but there are so many kinds! You did a great job comparing page magnifiers, so please try to explain the difference between the halogen oven I’ve seen on TV, the countertop convection oven, and the microwave convection countertop oven, and please give us your recommendation for the best brand and model of each.  Which oven would be most helpful to a new bride?

Many thanks in advance -  Marybeth, Summerfield, NC.

Ah, now here’s someone I can help “straight from the heart”, since I constantly use two of these three types of ovens in cooking for my own family.  Let’s start with the Halogen Oven: I recommend the NuWave as being sturdier and more user-friendly (remember the ad you’ve seen so often on TV?) than competing brands like the Flavorware or Secura halogen ovens. The NuWave is one of the two countertop ovens that are in daily use in my kitchen.

The NuWave 20322 and 20326 Digital-Controlled Infrared Tabletop Oven:

NuWave Digital-Controlled Infrared Tabletop Oven
 Halogen Oven Functions: Thanks to the patented TripleCooking Process, infrared, conduction and convection enable the following halogen oven cooking methods:

·    Barbeque, Roast, Air Fry, Broil, Bake, Steam, Dehydrate and Grill without the need to preheat or defrost.

How Does a Halogen Oven Work?
With a Halogen Oven, the food is placed in a container that is set on a shelf, just as with any conventional oven. Then the halogen oven circulates the hot air past and underneath the food, which is why a wire rack is required. Halogen ovens usually come with two wire racks. The low rack is used for baking and roasting, while the higher rack is used for grilling.

Energy Use: The Halogen uses 1500 watts, saving up to 85% in energy compared to the 3500 watts used by a conventional oven.  The oven is energy saving, yet doesn’t add heat to the room (although you can still enjoy all the wonderful aromas of the food!)

Main Features of the Halogen Oven:

·    Digital-controlled infrared oven cooks food quickly and easily. Saves up to 50% cooking time. Dishwasher-safe parts.
·    No ventilation needed – meats and other foods are moist and juicy inside, deliciously crisp on the outside.
·    Comes with extender ring kit: a 3 extender ring (which allows you to cook up to a 16 lb. Turkey!), a 2 stainless steel cooking rack, a 10 micro ceramic baking pan, owner’s manual, and two recipe books, including one for low carb diets. Cook for many people, or discover how easy it is to cook for one or two with this oven.
·    1 year limited warranty

Customer Reviews:

·    Your WebHost (LilacGal) can speak for this Oven!  I purchased this over a year ago, have never had any problem with it, and my family loves the flavor and texture of the food it creates!  The taste of everything I cook in this oven is honest-and-truly superior to the taste of the same foods in any other oven, as my family will emphatically attest!  (On the “con” side, however, the 14 x 16 x 14 inch oven really takes up counter space and even though it’s “self-cleaning”, still that touch of final cleaning does take a little time.)  But if you love great home-cooked, moist but crispy foods, (all foods I’ve cooked in this oven taste delicious, not just meat) and if taste is your top priority, then I and my family advise you that the superlative taste is worth the extra bit of effort.  (Disclaimer: No one paid me for this positive review – it is just my honest opinion.) Here is one of the many Amazon.com customer reviewers who agrees:

“Most Amazing Tasting Meats: A Review”, January 23, 2010
By Janine L. Sandoval, Pinon Hills, CA

·    Review of the Nuwave 20322 Pro Digital-Controlled Infrared Tabletop Oven, Black (Amazon.com - Kitchen): “Cornish game hens, chicken wings, whole chicken, chicken legs, pork roast and the most perfectly cooked roast beef - this machine makes these meats taste the most amazing! I cannot believe the flavor in the meats and the nice crispy brown skin and all the fat in the bottom that comes out and how juicy and flavorful the meat stays. Buy an instant read meat thermometer so you can adjust the timing and make sure to turn everything over. Also great for reheating and making appetizers all hot and bubbly without using your regular oven …The way meat comes out restaurant quality made this a very smart purchase. I am totally amazed!”

Breville BOV800XL The Smart Oven 1800-Watt Convection Toaster Oven With Element IQ:

 Breville BOV800XL The Smart Oven With Element IQ
 How Does the Smart Oven Element IQ Work?

Breville explains that their 1800 watt countertop oven “does the thinking for you” by automatically adjusting the independent heating elements to ensure an exact cooking process. There are 9 menu functions, which suggest the ideal temperature and time, and the oven remembers them, including your preferences, for the next use.

Breville Smart Oven Functions:

·    The 9 Functions are: Toast, Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, Pizza, Cookies, Reheat, and Warm.

Energy Use: The Breville oven uses up to 1800 watts. Element IQ works like a dimmer switch, turning the power up or down, so it automatically puts the power where needed for specific cooking tasks, saving energy over having fixed wattage like a conventional oven.

Main Features of the Breville Smart Oven:
·    5 quartz heating elements, controlled by Element IQ
·    User-friendly control panel lets you select any of the 9 pre-set functions
·    LCD Screen
·    3 rack positions
·    Magnetic Auto-Eject Wire Rack
·    removable crumb tray
·    Comes with pizza pan, baking pan and broil rack, easy to read operating manual
·    1 year limited warranty
·    Interior Capacity: 4/5-cubic-foot nonstick interior

Customer Reviews:

"Great Toaster Oven! Ahead of the Curve! Works Wonderfully!" December 18, 2009 by Leebo – USA

·    This compact oven is wonderful. The top and bottom heating elements are microprocessor controlled to optimally cook different kinds of foods. It can switch from bottom to top heat and vise versa to heat your food as required. Cakes need to be cooked thru out which is different than pizza which needs a crispy crust but not burnt cheese.

The auto programs all seem to be well tested and perform wonderfully. Even chicken and meats cook thru. Frozen items also cook well. Even re-heating foods works well. This is the best toaster oven I have ever owned! It is well made, heavy and seems like it will last a long time. The door opens smoothly and the interior is easy reach in and clean. The controls are intuitive and well designed. The entire unit is easy to clean even after preparing a feast and getting ingredients all over the knobs. The kids even like using it. I would say for the price that this is a real deal. I can't really say there are any negatives about this unit because it is so far ahead of what I have owned in the past.

Review by your WebHost, LilacGal -

·    Here again, having owned and used my Breville Smart Oven for more than a year, your Webhost can only agree with the praise given by the above Reviewer. Since I own and use both the NuWave halogen oven and the Breville, I will say that if I could only choose one, it would be the Breville for ease and versatility of use and cleanup, although meats cooked in the NuWave have a taste and texture that is superior to that produced by any other oven I have used.  (Disclaimer: No one paid me for this positive review – it is just my honest opinion, as a Breville Smart Oven owner and user.)

Cuisinart CMW-200 1-1/5-Cubic-Foot Countertop Convection Microwave Oven with Grill:

Cuisinart CMW-200 1-1/5-Cubic-Foot Convection Microwave Oven with Grill
 Microwave Convection Countertop Oven Functions:

·    This Cuisinart Oven Defrosts, Grills, Convection Bakes, Bakes, has Microwave Popcorn Key, Convection Roasts with and without the Microwave Function. (This is a new generation of microwave…)

How does this Cuisinart Oven Work? You know that the biggest benefit of microwave ovens is speed: You can heat up a cup of soup in approximately one minute, depending on the power of your particular microwave brand and model.  This “new generation” of microwave oven combines that speed with the browning ability (and resultant great taste and crisp textures of foods) of a convection oven.

Energy Use: The Cuisinart Microwave Convection Countertop Oven uses 1000 Watts.

Main Features of the Cuisinart Oven:

·    12-inch rotating glass tray for even heating
·    Touchpad control panel
·    9 programmed settings plus grill function
·    Multi-stage cooking
·    One-touch cooking categories
·    Brushed stainless-steel with black trim
·    Defrosts by weight or time
·    3 year limited warranty
·    Interior Capacity: 1.2-cubic-foot interior

Customer Review:

"A Great Purchase!!!!!!" - This review, by Jayzak12 from central NY, is for the Cuisinart CMW-200 1-1/5-Cubic-Foot Convection Microwave Oven with Grill

·    This was a b-day gift for my wife. Not only was the item less expensive and saved me money, she loves it. This is my kind of shopping!!!!!

"Very Happy" - Here is a review by Jenifer Center, from Sacramento, CA:

·    My roommate and I received this as a Christmas present from his father. He had us do the research and get what we wanted. We love this product. It meets all expectations, it may sound funny but the popcorn button truly does work to the last kernel. I would recommend it to anyone. The design is very sleek looking and we know there is still a lot more to explore with what it can do.


Reply to Marybeth and all who need to know the difference between and main features of the three countertop ovens that I have described above:

·    The Halogen Oven – NuWave 20322 and 20326 Digital-Controlled Infrared Tabletop Ovens recommended

NuWave 20326 Pro Digital-Controlled Infrared Tabletop Oven, Black
·    The Countertop Convection Oven - The Breville BOV800XL The Smart Oven 1800-Watt Convection Toaster Oven With Element IQ recommended

Breville BOV800XL The Smart Oven 1800-Watt Convection Toaster Oven with Element IQ
·    The Microwave Convection Countertop Oven - Cuisinart CMW-200 1-1/5-Cubic-Foot Countertop Convection Microwave Oven with Grill recommended

Cuisinart CMW-200 1-1/5-Cubic-Foot Convection Microwave Oven with Grill

 Dear Marybeth,

I hope you’ve been able to see the differences and main features of these ovens from my comparison review.  Until you compare all the features of these three different kinds of countertop ovens, it does seem confusing. But once you compare “apples to apples”, so to speak, you can see all the great choices you have in these recently perfected products, to choose just exactly what features you (or your daughter) need, depending on the counter space she will have available, and the methods of cooking she prefers.  I send best wishes for a happy life for your young couple, with enjoyable, easy meals a given with whichever of these “hot gifts” you choose for their great occasion.

                                                                          Happiness always –


Cooking with Convection: Everything You Need to Know to Get the Most from Your Convection Oven
Everything You Need to Know to Get the Most From Your Convection Oven by Beatrice Ojakangas

SquareTrade 2-Year Electronics Warranty ($200-250 Items)
SquareTrade 2-Year Electronics Warranty ($200-250 Items)