I hate microwaves. In my old house I never had one, and in my new house it came built in but never gets used. They warm food up, but they make it mushy or tough. No matter how you slice it, there's always a better way to cook or warm up any given food.
The problem is that these superior methods of cooking often take a long time, particularly the oven. If I have leftovers from a restaurant, I like to put them in the oven. Three hundred fifty degrees for about 15-20 minutes makes them taste just like they did the night before. Unfortunately it takes much longer than that in practice because the oven must be preheated.
Welcome to the world of the Panasonic Light Oven. This sucker has been around for several years now, but hasn't really been popular because no one can tell if it's a microwave, toaster, toaster oven, or something else. The answer is that it's basically a cross between a toaster oven, an oven, and the divine warmth of jesus.
The Light Oven works through two methods that you've never seen before. The first are these weird ceramic bars inside the box. The bars are infrared heaters which heat the middle of the food. This isn't like a microwave where they heat the middle of the food and turn it into a leathery mush - it's just as if an oven heated it.
The second method employed are super bright lights. Don't be fooled - these aren't like the 60 watt bulb you used to put in your barbie oven as a kid. These bulbs are so bright that they can instantly heat the chamber to about 500 degrees. No need to preheat! They're so bright that wimpy reviewers complain that the oven is too bright - don't listen to them. It's glorious.
You can use the oven to bake, but I rarely do it. My foolproof method of leftover recovery is as follows:
That's it! After 17 minutes your food will taste perfect and be the perfect temperature. I do this many times a week and it's always fantastic. When I went to Boston a few weeks ago and didn't have a light oven I went crazy trying to reheat food. The regular oven and toaster oven both took too long.
Buy it at Amazon.
Ty, you'd have to buy cookware for this one, and from your posts it seems like you're more of a "TV dinner" and "reheat" kind of guy, but you might want to check out a pressure cooker. It cooks 3-8 times faster than normal methods, and is perfect for things like tough cuts of meat, etc. Imagine a stew that would normally take you several hours, done in 15 minutes. It's incredibly energy efficient and doesn't leach the nutrients. Just thought I'd throw it out there.
Thank you so much this is EXACTLY what I have been looking for!!! I just sent emails to ppl like this
That is cool i wish i had one i hate not having the time to cook something.Then not being able to eat because i don't want to warm it up in the microwave because it tastes bad.
Re: Tin foil
I'm a big fan of the 500-pack of small sheets of foil you can get at Sam's Club. They also make small (about 11" x 11") sheets of wax paper in a box. They're very convenient, and I seldom need to use either product from the roll.
Re: Small, portable ovens
I have also always loved toaster ovens, as their heat-up time is much less than conventional ovens (I suspect a full-size gas oven would take less time to heat up than an electric oven, but they are very uncommon and I have no basis for comparison). Anyway, three years later, my $30 Wal-Mart special toaster oven is looking a little worse for wear, due in part to my roommates' use of it, so I'll be leaving it here and looking into the Panasonic when I get a place of my own.
Wow I have never even heard of something like this. I do admit I had an easy bake oven when I was little but back then I wanted to be a chef when I grew up.
Basically, as I understand, it cooks the food as good as an oven but just takes away the preheat time that that regular ovens need?
I will be sure to buy one if I am ever in the need of a heating appliance!
A short while I ago, as an aside, I mentioned that I might be buying an RV to live in. It seemed like a good idea, so every day I checked ebay to see what sorts of deals were to be had. I wasn't ready to buy, but I figured it would be good to know what's available for when the condo sold.
I sat in my living room chatting with some friends on AIM when one of them brought up the RV idea. While I explained it to them I opened up ebay. By default it shows the most recently listed RVs on top. The very top one was an R-Vision Trail Lite, one of the few models I'd really liked. I glanced over at the price and it was $14,000, less than half of what they usually go for. There must be something wrong with it.
I opened the listing and read through the description. The front "shotgun" seat was missing. No big deal. They'd backed into something and the fiberglass around the tail light was cracked. No big deal. The couch wasn't the one specifically made for the RV. No big deal.
We don't waste a lot of food I thought one day as some product on the TeeVee was trying to sell plastic bags or preservatives or some other nonsense. We eat everything, I thought, as I resumed cleaning the living room. But there was nagging feeling of doubt in my mind about how much food we really do throw away. Do we throw away pounds of food? Do we throw away what might add up to an entire meal? For May I decided to find out.
May 5: 1 Cup of broccoli. My kids love broccoli and we are very fortunate to have kids that welcome a green vegetable onto their plate but my wife and I don't care very much for it. What happened was that I made more than the kids would eat for dinner and then forgot to serve it to them before it developed that broccoli smell.
In this gap of ten days I took to heart this challenge and ate everything that was close to getting bad. One night my dinner was half a peanut butter sandwich, a small bowl of chips and salsa, rice with cheese.