Having spent a few months using the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC, I feel that I have a sufficient understanding of the countertop oven to write a review of it. To be honest, I had not planned on buying an oven. However, having had the opportunity to taste the delicious results of this device’s cooking abilities at a friend’s house, my interest was naturally aroused, and I proceeded to do some research on the oven. These reviews (discussed later) and the experience of Secura 997MC’s cooking skills persuaded me to take the plunge.
At first sight, the rather strange looking structure did not appeal to me. I had heard that ovens with movable cooking arms (as opposed to fixed or detachable ones) were more likely to break or malfunction, and was warned that dishes involving a lot of fluids could not be used. However, having spent three months trying out almost every possible oven recipe on the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC, I can claim with conviction that not only is the build quality of the machine impeccable, its unique infrared cooking abilities, which make the use of oil and grease almost unnecessary, have proved to be a godsend for me and my health-conscious family.
Also, my misgivings regarding the strange appearance have subsided, since the device is really quite simple, consisting of a base with the attached cooking arm,a heavy duty glass container placed on the base and the components which go into the glass bowl. The cooking arm contains a far infrared heating element, with dials to control the cooking timings and temperature. The Secura 997MC Infrared Oven offers you a choice of two cooking configurations, each of them extendable depending on the dish in question. What they do have in common, however, are fast cooking times and negligible necessity for fats and oils. This simple configuration (which I shall explain in detail below), along with the minimal maintenance required, make the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC an ideal choice for the average household kitchen.
Features of the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC
- Cooks, bakes, broils, fries almost every imaginable type of food (except those with excessive liquid content)
- Capable of cooking fresh and frozen foods without need of defrosting.
- Cooking done using hot air circulation, thereby minimizing use of oil and making use of grease unnecessary.
- Two cooking modes – stir frying mode and normal oven mode (like the Secure 798DH Turbo Oven, but with more features)
- Temperature dial and 60 minute timer
- 12-liter capacity glass housing
- 1550W power with 302-482 degrees F thermostat.
- Includes high rack, food tumbler, oil measuring spoon, tongs, turntable baking rack, extender ring
Preparing the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC
Before I begin explaining the cooking process of the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC, it is necessary to familiarize you with the components of the infrared oven, and how they are assembled –
- As mentioned above, the infrared oven comes with the following parts – a cooking arm (also called lid arm since the cooking head acts as the lid as well) which contains the cooking head, the controls and the lid arm lock, two types of container assemblies (explained below) and the extender ring.
- Before first time usage, it is important to ensure that all packaging has been removed, since Secure tends to place some packaging inside of the containers as well. This done, unlock the lid arm lock on the lid arm (if it is locked), and raise the lid arm gently till you hear an audible “click”, which indicates that the lid has been raised to the highest possible level.
- As I mentioned, the device has two cooking modes. The first one requires the turntable rack, and the second the food tumbler. In former case, place the turntable rack such that it fits snugly into the rotating head at the center. Keep in mind that the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC will not be able to rotate the turntable unless the rack is properly placed. Once the rack is in position, lower the lid arm gently onto the glass bowl, making sure that the lip of the cooking head is pointed downwards.
- The second cooking mode will require use of food tumbler. The food tumbler has to be placed carefully onto the central rotating head. Once in position, the tumbler must be rotated clockwise till it is firmly in place. Any loose configuration can cause the tumbler to dislodge during operation, so it is advisable to be extra careful with this step. Lower the lid arm to the appropriate level.
- Optionally, an extender ring can be used. To mount the extender ring, one must place it carefully above the glass bowl and rotate it slightly till it is in place. Note that the use of the extender ring will require modification of the height of the cooking head, and therefore the position at which the lid arm works.
- Once the cooking head is placed firmly on the glass bowl (or extender ring), use the lid arm lock to lock the apparatus in place by rotating it. Note that unless the lid arm is firmly in place, the device will not work. This is a safety mechanism that may take a little practice to get accustomed to, but is not really a source of bother in the long run.
How to use the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC
- Now that we have got the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC ready for use, we can raise the lid again to insert the food. Depending on the type of cooking we are interested in (see Note below), we will place the food on the turntable rack or direclty in the glass bowl.
- If the extender ring is being used, it will allow for the cooking of a whole chicken/turkey, or a whole pizza as well.
- Once the food is firmly placed inside, you should gently lower the lid arm to the appropriate level, before locking the lid lock.
- Plug in the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC. Before turning it on, however, make sure that there is sufficient ventilation available. This will not be an issue for most kitchens, but one should still keep in mind that the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC works by passing hot air through the oven using the far infrared heater element. If there is not enough provision for this, the heater will not work.
- Set the timer and temperature to the appropriate levels (more on this below). You should first set the timer, as this will cause the fan inside to start. Thereafter, the temperature can be set. The infrared heating element in the cooking head will start up immediately, and move to the temperature specified (even if it is maximum) in a very short time. You should be able to see the heating element glowing through the protection of the cooking head.
- Once the countdown timer reaches zero, the machine will automatically turn off. If needed, you can flip the food to see if it has cooked sufficiently, and depending on the inspection, either remove the food or repeat the above step.
- If you wish to remove the food, you should ideally use protection, since all parts – base, lid arm, cooking head and glass container) will be extremely hot. Unlock the lid arm using the lid lock and raise the cooking arm. Do not under any circumstances touch the base of the cooking head, as this will be the hottest part of the oven.
- If you are using the turntable rack, raise the rack using tongs, and unload the food. Replace it with or without food and close. If you are using the food tumbler, you can carefully raise the food out of the glass container. Avoid contact with the glass container.
- If you wish to keep the food warm, just turn the temperature down, so that warm (but not hot) air circulates and keeps the food warm.
- Once all cooking is done, unplug the appliance.
Notes Regarding Cooking
- The above steps naturally raise the question – when do I use the tumbler and when does the cooking rack (or turntable rack) work ? There is no fixed rule of thumb, but for foods which would normally be cooked in an oven, the cooking rack is the best option. The tumbler is ideal for cooking french fries, though other foods of this sort can be cooked as well.
- As mentioned above, oil is needed in limited quantity for cooking in the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC. However, a little oil ma be needed when using herbs for seasoning. This is because the hot air will simply blow away the herbs, and in my experience, they collect in the debris catcher at the base of the glass container, adding to maintenance woes. Therefore, it is advisable to add a little oil when using herbs.
- Do not add salt to the french fries before they are cooked. Salt can be added after the cooking is done without affecting the taste.
- Make sure that the food is not stacked up against the glass sides of the container, since they will not come into contact with the heat and will remain undercooked.
- Finally, defrosting can be done in much the same way as cooking.
- As mentioned in the features, no grease is required for cooking in the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC.
- The Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC comes with analog controls in the shape of two dials, one for temperature and the other for timing. These apart there is an indicator light as well.
- The timer can be set to any level higher than zero (maximum 60 minutes at a time), thus starting the fan. The temperature can then be set. As the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC adjusts the cooking temperature inside the oven, the indicator light will blink.
- Once the cooking is done, the cooker automatically turns off. It can then be made to cook for another set period of time, or unplugged.
- Maintenance should be done only when the oven has fully cooled.
- All removable parts (including the glass container, tumbler, turntable rack and extender ring) of the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC are dishwasher safe. This means that the cooking head and lid should not be immersed in water (or any liquid for that matter).
- Debris from the turntable rack (or glass bowl) falls into a debris catcher. This has limited capacity and is made mainly for solid materials (that is why liquid should be avoided in the oven – it may overwhelm the debris catcher and cause leakage into the oven itself). In my experience, however, the debris catcher does not need frequent cleaning. When it does need to be cleaned, it can simply be raised from the base and placed in a dishwasher like all other parts.
- Parts should be completely dry before they are placed in the oven.
The dimensions of the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC are
Dimensions – 40.6 x 30.5 x 35.6 cm
Capacity (Glass Bowl) – 12 liters
Weight – 8.9KGS (device weight according to manual) / 25KGS(Amazon Shipping Weight)
The manufacturer offers a free 1 year warranty on all parts. Amazon offers an additional two-year warranty on the oven for $8.75.
- Fast cooking time
- Little or no oil/grease needed
- Two cooking modes
- Simple yet highly responsive temperature and timer dials
- Extender ring available for cooking larger foods
- Easy maintenance
- Decent pricing
- Unsuitable for cooking foods with high fluid content.
- Timer dial offers a maximum of an hour per cooking session.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I had done some research on the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC before purchasing it. Thankfully I found that a majority of customers were fully satisfied with their product, praising it for fast cooking time, hassle-free preparation of french fries, two cooking modes and easy maintenance. Once user complained that his oven malfunctioned after he tried to clean the whole machine. As I have mentioned above, the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC has fixed and removable parts, and the former, which house the electrical circuits, should not be immersed. A small majority also complained about the temperature dial being misleading with regard to the actual temperature generated, but I (and as far as I know, a majority of customers), have never faced such a problem.
The above review indicates that the Secura Infrared Convection Countertop TurboFry Oven 997MC possesses a number of positive points, which allow you to make produce delicious foods at very short notice, without the use of oil or grease. Add to these the fact that there are two equally useful cooking modes available, and you have a comprehensive cooking companion that does not occupy too much of your precious kitchen space. Finally, this feature packed infrared oven is quite affordable, thus making it an excellent deal for anyone who wishes to have an oven that prepares healthy foods without taking up too much time or kitchen space.