Can you cook frozen food in a halogen oven? The short answer is YES absolutely! The halogen is perfect for cooking frozen food. Anything you can cook in your normal cooker can be cooked in your halogen oven. At least I’ve not come across anything yet that you can’t cook and I stretch mine to its limits. Sometimes the method or challenges are slightly different as the oven is much smaller.
However, having said that there are things that need to be considered. There are different types of frozen food, shop bought frozen, shop bought ready meals, self-frozen frozen, meat & vegetables etc.
Also, I try to be very frugal as you may have seen from my frugal kitchen so where it is faster to cook elsewhere or to defrost not using any additional electricity (or gas if you use that) I do that, unless I have forgotten to take it out of the freezer which happens ;a lot – sigh!
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What Frozen Food Can You Cook in a Halogen Oven & How
Shop Bought Frozen Food
This is the easiest frozen section in my view.
The first thing I cooked in my halogen was a thin hard based pizza. I remember standing there watching the light go on and off excited at my first attempts with my new oven. A few minutes later it was ready. It’s that easy with most shop bought frozen items.
Ready frozen foods that are really easy to cook in your oven
I have cooked all these with success. I suspect beefburgers will work fine but I don’t really like them so I haven’t tried them.
- Chips – straight, crinkled, fat
- Potato wedges
- Roast potatoes
- Onion rings
- Chicken nuggets
- Vegetable Nuggets
- Vegetable burgers
- Chicken Burgers
- Hard based pizza
- Vegetarian sausages
- Frozen baked potato
- Small pies
- Aunt Bessie & Coop apple pies large
The best thing to do with each of these is to read the packet instructions and take the Fan oven setting as a guide. Failing that I have found that a setting of 175C works really well for most things. NB: It may vary from oven to oven. Always keep in mind that even at fan oven settings the food may still cook faster than expected.
- Watch out for the larger items, due to its fast cooking and small size the halogen sometimes doesn’t get the center cook, just keep this in mind and check it before you serve.
- Deep pizzaz with a softer base need a firm tray and should not be placed on the rack. This is because they go soft and slide through – believe me I know! I cooked one with a garlic outer and ended up with it all hanging off the edge and sliding down the oven.
Cook Frozen Ready Meals
Now, I have to admit I don’t as a rule bother with the halogen for frozen ready meals although there is no reason why you can’t cook them in the halogen. Most of them are easy to cook in the microwave and really fast so I tend to use that. I think it is also to do with the idea of using plastic in the oven, it just doesn’t feel right.
Take the WW chicken curry, for example, it takes 45 minutes in the normal oven and only 9 minutes to cook in the microwave so unless you haven’t got one to me it’s an easy choice. The same goes for the Asda Indian Chicken Tikka. Where the oven would work better would be for pastry where you don’t want it all soft.
As long as your packet says it can cook in a conventional or fan oven you can use the halogen. However, make certain you do not go above the temperature (it’s usually about 200C), use the fan temperature as normal and cook in the bottom oven or use your extender so the container is not too near the element.
How to Cook Frozen Meat & Poultry in Your oven
By frozen meat & poultry, I am referring to fresh meat bought and then frozen.
I wouldn’t cook a large joint of meat or chicken from frozen, I’d go by the normal rules of cooking. Where you defrost first normally, I’d defrost first. Or you could use the halogen defrost setting. You have to be careful with larger items getting them cooked in the middle and with meat and poultry I wouldn’t want to take any chances. It’s not that you can’t cook from frozen especially with chicken as there is no center, it’s just I am probably overly cautious about food poisoning and not willing to take any chances. If you do decide to use the halogen I’d be inclined to turn the meat because although the air circulates all the way around the op will cook first. Also, use a meat thermometer to check it is cooked all the way through.
The exception is sausages. I cook on low to allow to defrost and then put up the temperature. By many standards, I think my family over cook their sausages anyway, we all hate them pink on the inside.
Pork steaks and beef steaks and chicken breasts. While you can as you can use the defrost function, and when I am in a hurry I have I do tend to either defrost or defrost in the microwave first. Again start with a lower heat and then cook as normal, you don’t want it cooked on the outside first.
Frozen Vegetables in the Halogen
I tend to either steam or microwave mine depending on what I am cooking. You can cook frozen vegetables in your halogen and I have done it in the past when I was experimenting with my halogens boundaries. It is recommended that you pop them into a pouch of silver foil and wrap them up so they don’t burn and cook them that way, that is how I did it anyway. And of course you can cook vegetables with your meat on the bottom of the pot, but I haven’t tried that method so can’t advise as to haw well it works with frozen vegetables.
What Experiences Have you Had with Frozen Food Cooking?
Everyone is different and has different methods. Start with the easier frozen foods and get your confidence up then move on to the meat etc. Try things out for yourself and see how it works for you. I’d love to hear how you get on in the comments below and if you have different experiences or advice to give people.