you may have often come across the terms infrared and halogen when shopping for ovens, and this may have led you to wonder as to what exactly is the difference between an infrared oven and a halogen oven. Search engines most often provide highly technical details which don’t really make much sense to the cook. For this reason, we have simplified the details while listing out the major differences between an infrared oven and a halogen oven.
- Halogen bulbs, on which the halogen ovens depend, usually cannot use more than 1200W. On the other hand, the infrared ovens, especially NuWave ovens like the NuWave Elite, use infrared sheath heaters which can make use of up to 1500W. Though this difference between an infrared oven and a halogen oven may appear insignificant on the surface, it matters a lot when computing cooking times.
- Halogen ovens are generally designed to cook in increments of one hour. This means that you have to rest the appliance after every one hour of high temperature cooking, and this can be very inconvenient when cooking meats and other foods which require a lot of time to cook. On the other hand, infrared ovens can typically last up to two hours of non-stop cooking at high temperatures. Two hours typically should be sufficient to cook a good meal involving meat.
- Very often, the halogen ovens cannot cook food uniformly. This is especially the case with those ovens which have glass domes and are not cleaned regularly, since unclean glass domes cannot reflect the rays uniformly. Infrared rays generally can be reflected from all surfaces and many infrared ovens therefore have high quality plastic domes/covers which reflect rays uniformly. Glass domes are heavier in comparison to plastic domes and heat up easily. More obviously, they can break if dropped and cause injury. However, in case of NuWave ovens, it has often been complained that the plastic domes easily develop cracks and are not exactly cheap to replace.
- Similarly, halogen ovens work best with glass bases, which have pretty much the same defects as the glass dome. Additionally, the glass dome and glass base together add a good amount of weight to the halogen oven. This makes the weight of the average halogen oven about 20 pounds whereas a NuWave oven would weigh around 10 pounds. Hence a major difference between an infrared oven and a halogen oven is that the former is much lighter, though weight varies widely depending on the capacity and materials used in the oven.
- It has been argued that the infrared rays are far more beneficial for cooking of food, since the sun’s rays themselves consist of 80% infrared.
As seen above, the difference between an infrared oven and a halogen oven goes far beyond those of technology. In general, infrared ovens are superior to halogen ovens, though this is not always the case. Still, it is useful to keep the above points in mind when going in for an oven.