Multi-Cookers and Slow Cookers
Ever since the microwave cooker improved the kitchen in the 1980s there has been a spread of alternative grilling devices over recent years. some of these such as the Halogen Oven and Low Fat Fryer are every bit as advanced as the Microwave. This is not just in terms of practicality but they are also healthier, more practical and faster than typical cookers.
Likewise, we also want to illustrate what they won’t do. For example, can a multi-cooker do the same as the low fat fryer, halogen oven and rice cooker? Read on and find out. Let’s start with a brief description and comparison of each.
Compare Low Fat Fryers Halogen Ovens Rice Cookers Steamers
Slow Cookers (Croc Pots) have been definitely around for a number of years now and people commonly understand them. Rice Cookers or Food Steamers have in the same way been around for the same period. Then we have the Low Fat Fryer (also called Health Fryer, No Oil Fryer and ActiFry) and Halogen Oven.
Not surprisingly, with so many postulations and ostensibly endless features, people are perplexed and are afraid to make a buying decision. If this is you then please read on due to the fact that we want to explain in practical terms what each of these wonderful devices will do for you and how they can transform your kitchen.
These have seriously taken us by storm. Most people will by now either own one of these astounding devices or will know someone who does. There are also Multi-cookers which combine facets of some of the former and in some cases acts as a pressure cooker to boot.
Low Fat Fryers-Compare Low Fat Fryers Halogen Ovens Rice Cookers Steamers
The Low Fat Fryer is often called a Health Fryer, Healthy Fryer, ActiFry, and No Oil Fryer. The various sorts of names stem from the way the various manufacturers market them. Generically, they are typically called Low Fat Fryers or an alternative on Health Fryers The names may vary but they are all primarily the same thing.
In summing-up then, low fat fryers are fantastic for food that needs frying or grilling. There are two fundamental designs (hinged lid with rotating paddles and drawer). The capacity of the healthy fryers is around 1KG to 1.5 K. They are a healthy selection because they use very little or no oil. Care must be taken to coat the food in a tiny amount of oil to avoid burning and aid crisping (frozen chips are the exception). If you want to do more than frying, have a look at the Halogen Ovens
A couple of healthy fryers also have the option of turning the food as it cooks. This can be essential in say Chip cooking, in order to keep the food consistently cooked on all sides. The only notable variation to deep fat fried chips we have discovered is when cooking home cut chips. They come out fantastic but often times have a varicolored effect. This is due to the fact that the small amount of oil you use may not have coated the potatoes evenly. This is not an issue and won’t effect the flavor, and can be resolved with practice.
A few have a heat control but not all. The Tefal Actifry, for example has a very basic on/off button and a timer. They do not have a heat control because they don’t genuinely need one. You are not expected to be cooking almost anything that doesn’t require the intense heat. Some other creators do incorporate a heat controller but in our experience this is seldom needed.
Two Types of Low Fat Fryers
Low fat fryers make use of very little (or no) oil or fat. That’s right. If you really did not realize already, you only add a tea spoon full of oil to this device; making it both a healthy fryer and a safe fryer. Frozen chips come pre-coated so you don’t even need to add any oil. If types of food can be fried or grilled it will work well in a low oil fryer.
All in all Health Fryers/ Low Fat Fryers heat up almost instantly and so unlike a standard deep fat fryer or oven, you can start frying straight away. As an evidence of speed, frozen French fries will cook to a nice golden crisp in relative to 17 minutes from start to finished depending on the amount. Chunky chips will take 23 minutes.
The first thing to value about the low fat fryer is that this a fryer rather than an oven. This may help when figuring out which is right for you. As a fryer it is extremely good at ‘frying’ food rather than ‘cooking’ food. If you want to do more than fry or if you want to cook whole meals, then we recommend you check out the Halogen Ovens.
Frozen crisps have no such problem as they are covered very evenly in a thin film of oil and work perfectly every time; particularly the thin French fries which are better than any fast food fries by a long way.
You can also aesthetically inspect the food in these kinds of types during cooking, whilst with the drawer type you have to pull out the drawer and perhaps give it a shake during cooking. Where turning paddles these are available, they can be taken out when not needed. For example, when cooking more subtle items such as fish. The drawer type low fat fryers look a little bit of nicer but have no special advantages.
These no oil fryers ascertain themselves from other appliances such as the halogen oven in terms of their size and the concentration of heat. The heat is generated at the top of the device and circulated inside using a fan. It is this focusing of heat in a somewhat confined space that enables it to ‘fry’ food in a way that resembles the ordinary deep fat fryer. Results are comparable to the deep fat fryer only much healthier.
Many other items such as savory snacks, chicken strips, sausages, burgers etc. will commonly take less time than if grilled. All come with decent instruction books and recipes for you to try.
You will note that there are two type of design. Some look like a large round pot with lid and heating element on top. Others look more like a traditional deep fryer with a pull out drawer where the food goes. The key difference between the two is that the hinged lid type usually has the revolving paddles which manages to keep the food moving within the fryer.
Some of the larger low fat fryers can have a shelf which allows you to cook a variety of food types at the same time e.g. steak at the top and chips on the bottom. This larger size with even more layers is characteristic of the halogen oven but don’t be confused. Even these low fat fryers are somewhat small in size compared to the halogen oven and so remain fryers and not ovens.
Andrew James Halogen Oven
Halogen ovens use an identical technology to low fat fryers to generate an intense heat and circulate this inner portion the bowl. There are two important distinctions between a halogen oven and a low fat fryer. First and foremost, the halogen oven is much larger in size. Whilst this is great for cooking more food such as a whole entire chicken absolute with potatoes, it also means that the heat is less concentrated.
In summary, halogen ovens cook more quickly than traditional ovens and the heat is virtually instant. They are also much more economical, convenient and arguably healthier as the fat leaves the food and drains to the bottom. They appear to be a larger cousin of the low fat fryer but do not fry food as good as the dedicated low fat fryer. However, if you want total flexibility the Halogen Oven is a better alternative than the low at fryer.
Some come with a tray that makes it possible for you to place the food high up inside, near the hating element. Others provide this as an elective extra. In using this tray for frying food such as chips, you do get a much better result, but still generally not as good as a dedicated low at fryer; especially where chips are concerned.
We have given a try to a number of halogen ovens and extensively speaking they do very well. Prepare for some noise due to the fan; about the same as an extractor hood. They are also quite large so you will need a fair amount of space to put them. The great thing about all these contemporary devices is that they come apart easy for cleaning and are even dishwasher safe.
In terms of volume, a conventional halogen oven will be around 12 litres which is ample for a whole chicken. If you want even more capacity, you can in most cases purchase an extender ring which adds height to the halogen oven and increases the capacity to 17 litres. Halogen ovens also have internal shelves to separate different foods types so that you can cook a complete meal relatively quickly and conveniently.
This is the case even though it may perhaps have an equal rating to a low fat fryer. This is excellent for oven style cooking food but less good for frying. For that reason, halogen ovens are better suited to cooking foods that you would traditionally cook in the oven such as meat, potatoes, veg, scones, casseroles, sauces etc. but are not as good at frying. Some would argue that a halogen oven can cook chips and it can.
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In terms of controls, you will ordinarily find a heat control as well as a timer. Some are more sophisticated than others but all follow a similar design. In fact, many look almost identical. If you are buying a halogen oven, please make sure it has a hinged lid. This makes it much easier and safer when opening the halogen oven. Remember, it will be extremely hot and you don’t want to be carrying a hot lid around and finding somewhere to put it. It is much better to simply lift the lid and let if fold backwards on its hinge.