Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Air Frying (with a Halogen Oven)

Over the weekend, I received a air-fryer attachment that quite simply allows me to fry foods in my Andrew James 12lt Halogen Oven and in manner that’s considerably more healthy than allow something to sizzle in a pan of boiling grime.

There wasn’t anything in particular that I desire for Christmas this year and then, a few days after the main event; I suddenly take an interest in an accessory for the unconventional oven that I’m learning to love. You can understand why I had to buy it! While there are cheaper versions available, you’re only saving £1 on average (in the UK) and so, I decided to stick with the Andrew James Air Fryer Attachment, which includes a warranty as well.

As I mentioned in my previous post; I could’ve done with this a day earlier and perhaps saved a few sausages from a firey and premature demise.

One of several adjustable air-holes.

Despite arriving in the original packaging, it came without a set of instructions – but, if you are also hoping to find some written guidance then you can click here to download the official .PDF manual. Unfortunately, this text still doesn’t guide you on when to open and close the vent holes – perhaps this is something more experienced cooks are already aware of?

Easy to clean.

It couldn’t be much simpler as an item and the grill/mesh lifts out easily for cleaning.

I have it on backwards in this photo, as you cannot see the knob used to open and close the air holes.

As you can see above, it sits at almost exactly the same height as the extender ring (riser) supplied as standard with the oven, which raises height of the heating element and simultaneously increases the cooking capacity inside the bowl. I almost wish that the extender ring was also an optional accessory, as I doubt I’ll be using it again, now that I have the near-identical fryer, which includes a pair of handles to prevent accidental burns.

Left: Extension ring. Right: Air fryer attachment.

While searching online for the instructions, I did a little research around the forums and there’s some debate as to how effective this add-on truly in. Some believe it’s too close to the heat source and will indefinitely burn your food. In which case, some also recommend placing the riser ring on top of the air fryer, to further increase the capacities – this would only apply to halogen ovens that comes with the removable lid. Others suggest buying a simple basket from another manufacturer and sitting that on one of the racks inside the glass bowl.

There were fewer people singing the praises of this accessory; many stating that it would be ‘unsuitable‘ for an oven like mine, which has a hinged lid that is only height-adjustable to its limit. I wasn’t about to put it back in the box and request a refund though, as people will too often take to disclosing their opinions when they have something negative to say… If I was going to decide for myself, I would have to fry something!

Along with my last pair of bacon rashers, I also had four sausages that had reached their expiry date. With Saturday lunchtime approaching, I could look forward to a real sandwich for the weekend!

I drizzled a little oil over the top and set the oven at 200°C for 10 minutes.

It took another 4 minutes before the light first cut out (my usual indication that the oven is pre-heated) so, I’m sure now that it would’ve paid to have pre-heated the oven in advance of adding the meat (as you would do with a frying pan, of course).

This is what your body’s NOT consuming when you decide to air-fry!

Air-frying, in general, is regarded as being a much healthier way to fry your food. In the instance of the halogen oven I use, the fat (along with the excess of oil) drips down through the mesh and collects in the bottom of the 12lt glass bowl, as you can see in the photo above… Not a pretty sight, I thoroughly agree!

If you’re frying food by a more ‘traditional‘ means then I would like to encourage you (for the sake of personal health) to try something different. By no means is the halogen oven the only option available. You can buy stand-alone air-fryers and I once wrote a post about microwaving a bacon sandwich in a plastic drip tray.

Ten-minutes was plenty of time for the bacon (too much, even) but it was just about apt for the sausages. With less fat, you do sacrifice some of the flavour but we eat these meats for the core and not for the slimey residue.

I do not dare attempt a Google search to determine people’s victor of ‘Sausage Sizzle Vs. Bacon Drizzle‘…

I’d not fried sausages in such a clean manner before. They did taste a little different yet they were still almost entirely familiar. I now look forward to trying other exciting items (once I’ve given the grill a good clean).

Thanks for reading and never let someone tell you not to eat something; just find a healthier way to prepare it!

Tomorrow, I think I’ll take a break from discussing what to do with a processed pig and to instead write about the lengthy walk I did last Wednesday.

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17 responses to “Air Frying (with a Halogen Oven)

  1. Seumas McCombie 05/01/2015 at 19:08

    Macduff had one, digital operation went kaput, now have the flavour chef, see Thane UK, great wee cooking double plate, fast with multiple heat settings, small and lightweight , stacks away easily, wipes clean with a paper towel, the new Roc finish could be somewhat thicker though

    • Olly Parry-Jones 05/01/2015 at 19:48

      Thank you for your comment, Seumas. This is something I’d not heard of but I love its small size and simplicity. I feel sorry for people who think that large washing machine-sized items are the only option. Is the FlavourChef any good for doing pasta and bolognese?

  2. Kathryn Teleste 12/01/2015 at 16:44

    I’ve been meaning to tell you I got a halogen oven myself and made the best roast chicken ever, which I’ll be blogging about tomorrow. Thanks for introducing me to them!

    Did you find that the air fryer attachment was better than cooking everything on a high rack?

    • Olly Parry-Jones 12/01/2015 at 22:03

      Hi Kathryn,

      I’m very glad to hear you’ve given the halogen oven a chance and I look forward to reading your post tomorrow!

      I’ve still only used the fryer attachment for a couple of things (sausage, bacon, chips…). It does bring the food closer to the bulb but I used to fry bacon quite adequately by placing the low rack inside the baking tray and sitting that on top of the high rack (hope that makes sense).

  3. Heavy mama 10/02/2015 at 19:45

    Thanks for your writeup. I had ordered the same model oven as you have and was really wondering about the ring’s ability to fit. Off to order it PRONTO.

    Ta.

  4. Caroline 03/04/2015 at 20:50

    I have exactly the same halogen oven. A tip I found useful was to remove the mesh tray and place it on the glass bowl, then add the ring with the vents open. It doesn’t sit so close to the food doing it this way.

    • Olly Parry-Jones 03/04/2015 at 20:53

      Thank you, that’s a good idea. Apparently, opening the holes makes food more crispy. I bought a frying basket yesterday to see how that works but I’ve yet to try it.

      • Tracy 01/11/2015 at 10:10

        Ahah! I have been trying to find a comparison between the air frying attachment & a frying basket, so may I ask, in your opinion please, which is best between the two for air frying in the AJ halogen oven?

      • Olly Parry-Jones 01/11/2015 at 17:02

        Hi Tracy and thanks for your comment.

        I don’t think I’ve used the basket I bought since buying the purpose-made air frying attachment. I like the fact that the ring has handles and I most often use it in place of the normal spacer/extender ring.

        I do find the grill mesh sits too close to the bulb for lots of foods (mainly bacon and chips) which results in burning. So instead, I place the grill on top of the glass bowl, then the ring sits on top of that.

        I also found the basket I bought to be a bit small, in the sense that I’d have to keep turning and tossing items to get them all cooked consistently. Where as the attachment comes with a grill the full width of the bowl.

        Depending on what you’re air frying though, I think you could just as easily use the high rack with the standard extender ring.

        I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask further questions.

        Olly

  5. Tracy 01/11/2015 at 19:01

    Thank-you Olly for your excellent comparison between the two accessories, which I very much appreciate, it has really helped me make my decision as to which one to buy.

    I had read many reviews of the AJ air fryer attachment, & within those had seen a couple of remarks about the basket having been bought instead with good results, so I held out on buying either until I could find out more.

    It hadn’t even occurred to me that the attachment would, of course, cover the full width of the bowl, whereas the food ie: oven chips would be stacked in a smaller basket, the built-in handles would make handling a very hot extender much easier, & the negative reviews I had read about the food being too close to the top & burning have been addressed – thanks to both you, & an earlier poster Caroline, with the tip of placing the mesh tray underneath the ring, so I shall be going ahead with purchasing the attachment now.

    Thank-you very much for your help.

  6. Gerry Giles 09/01/2016 at 12:05

    Hi I love my AJ oven so much just bought a 2nd one for my girlfriend ( a nurse that works 12 hour shifts and with traveling a 14 hour day !) to help her busy lifestyle now my question ! these holes in the attachment when would you need to open these and why ?? I cant see when you would want to do this ??
    thanks Gerry Giles

    • Olly Parry-Jones 09/01/2016 at 12:38

      Hi Gerry and thanks for your comment. I’m pleased to hear from another satisfied halogen oven user.

      I asked Andrew James this question last year and they told me that with the holes open, it makes your food (they used chips as an example) more crispy. Truth be told, I haven’t really put this to the test and I do almost always keep the holes shut. I guess it’s meant as an alternative to adding lots of oil with higher temperatures that might risk burning…

      Thanks again for your comment.

  7. Jenny 28/04/2017 at 18:25

    Thanks for your advice on how to use the air fryer. I had bought one but not from AJ. It did not come with instructions so emailed the Company who I bought it from. They do not have instructions but suggested that I look online. That is how I found you excellent blog. I did not give the holes a thought. Just assumed they were decoration!! Divvy! I was afraid to use it because thought it made the grid too close to element and would burn the food. I shall now use the airfryer with confidence.
    Thank you.

    • Olly Parry-Jones 28/04/2017 at 18:49

      Hi Jenny, I’m really glad you’ve found my post to be useful. I think it was Andrew James who first gave me the information. They have a .pdf file but I had to contact them again for advice on using the holes.

I welcome your thoughts.

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