* Prices may differ from that shown
Not that impressed.
Well-known catalogue shop was out of stock everywhere locally so had to drive 25 miles to get the last one!
I know people say this is fab, but it's not that good as you might think.
The main advantage is the dial says it will go to 250C. Many other mini ovens only go to 230C.
Well, in my experience this mini-oven takes considerably longer (say 30 to 50%) to cook than my conventional fan-assisted oven. When you add that in, the electricity consumption saving by using this mini-oven is minimal.
What is it really good for? Probably reheating, nicely toasting, but not cooking from raw. Microwave and halogen ovens I prefer to avoid, so this is good for reheating conventionally.
It's also absolutely fine as a standby to heat small meals up if your main oven is broken, or to cook with it if you absolutely have to.
As an example, baking fish fingers: 20 minutes on and 5 minutes resting in an unopened oven and yet not done. In my conventional oven using a Pyrex dish you'd hear the fish fingers sizzling from the heat by 20 mins and an additional 5 mins they'd be extra crispy. In the mini-oven, definitely only about 2/3 done (this is also using Pyrex dishes).
Of course, it gets very hot externally when in use, but you'd expect that.
It's okay I suppose, but don't drive 25 miles for one as I did!
My partner has just moved into a small cottage. It has a fitted kitchen but no oven and no room for one to be installed. Therefore, to tide us over the estate agents recommended we look at mini ovens. Neither of us had ever heard of these and to be honest, initially we had quite a lot of trouble tracking one down.
However, when browsing in Argos one day I managed to come across one! They had about 5 models on offer but as money was tight and he was trying to find the money for the deposit over anything else I opted for the cheapest option, this was the Cookworks Mini Oven and it retails at just £19.99-I thought this price was very good, therefore if we only ended up using it for a few weeks we still wouldnt have lost too much money.
*Whats in the box?*
In the box you are provided with the cooker, and oven tray and a grill. I was pleased we were provided with the tray and grill as I hadnt imagined it would be quite so small!
I was really pleased with how easy this was to set up, being somewhat of a technophone. You literally just have to plug the cooker in at the mains, thats all. It has a normal 3 point plug so can be plugged in anywhere whether it may be a bedroom or garage. It is quite light to carry so therefore it can be transported easily if need be.
The oven is only available in white and is identical to the one shown above. It operates between 1050 and 1300 watts and can cook at temperatures between 70 degrees and 250 degrees. You can also select options of toast, broil and bake.
It has a capacity of 10 litres, it is 27.5cm tall, 48cm wide and 38.3cm deep. I think these are the measurements of the inside of the oven rather than including the casing.
It has a timer of 60 minutes, or you can use the 'stay on' function.
*Using the oven*
The initial thing I noticed about the oven was how small it actually was! I knew the measurements before I bought it but it still looked quite small when we got it out of the box. I would say that the oven is perfect for someone who just tends to cook for themselves, especially if you want to fit more than one thing in it such as say oven chips and a chicken burger. The size has not proved to be an issue for us using it together as we tend to make a dish from scratch such as lasange or shepherds pie and our pyrex dish we have fits really nicely in the oven. The slots for putting the tray/grill on are quite close together so I doubt you'd be able to use the grill as extra cooking space whilst also using the tray.
I have found that the cooker always cooks food well and we havent experienced anything which has been uncooked or overcooked or even unevenly cooked. The oven heats up really quickly with no need to preheat which is really useful as I always forget to turn the oven on before I need it! I have found the times I used to cook things in other ovens is also perfect in this oven and our food always comes out perfect.
We dont tend to use the timer as it ticks and is quite annoying after a while! However, on the few occasions we have used the timer it has worked well and signals the end of cooking with a simple bell and the oven then turns itself off.
One thing I have found invaluable on the cooker is the power light as if I take something out of the oven ready to serve I'm always forgetting to turn it off! As the lights in this oven are quite dim, it would be quite difficult to notice you had left it on if you had forgotten about it.
We have used the toast option on the cooker and it works well, browning things off nicely within a few minutes. We have yet to use the bake or broil options.
**WARNING** The top of the oven gets very hot whilst in use and we are constantly forgetting this and leaving things on top of it, so far we have burned a receipt and melted a loaf of bread, leaving the wrapper stuck to the top and a nice green stain on the cooker!
*Would I recommend this oven?*
The oven is perfect for those who need a small oven. It is quite a bit smaller than others available but the price reflects this and for less than twenty quid you really cant go wrong. It is useful for people just cooking for one or those who need extra cooking space. It would also be really useful in a teenagers bedroom or in the workplace.
I think this oven is brillaint, for the price I was not expecting it to be up to much but it has been perfect for our needs. It cooks things thoroughly and I would recommend it to anyone needing something like this, it represents fantastic value for money!
It may be worth noting that from 71 reviews on the Argos website, it has scored an average of 4.5 stars.