30 September 2013

Introducing : The Beastie! My new combi oven.

Yes, this is my kitchen.
I hope you'll all forgive my not posting anything for a little while, but I've been getting to know my new Beastie.  It's a DeLonghi AC925EFY 25L Combi Microwave/Grill/Convection oven and it's been blinding me with science.

No, I wasn't planning on buying one of these.  Not at all.  However, I got chatting to two Facebook friends (hiya Marj, hiya Charliebigcat Milkbowl!) about how using the big oven on our cooker was becoming increasingly difficult because of the pain involved with getting down to it.  They both commented that they couldn't cook without their Combi ovens - and it went on from there.

Of course, I didn't think it would be remotely possible to buy one of these in the short term as we aren't all that flush with the cash.  To have a couple of hundred pounds sitting around just waiting to be used on an oven just isn't where we're at.  However, I went along to the Argos website to have a look at just how much we'd need for one.

Lo and behold, there was the DeLonghi, reduced from £199 to £99 - and I suddenly remembered that I had £50 of birthday money sitting in a side account.  We went out the following day and bought it.

My word what a Beastie it is.  It has so many different functions!  Grill and microwave.  Convection oven and microwave.  Grill and convection oven.  Microwave on its own.  The only thing it doesn't do, is the washing up, regrettably.  Of course, we needed to have a complete re-arrangement of one side of the kitchen to get it in, but eventually we settled on a position for it - and it sits there, all shiny and new.

The funny thing is, you think you're quite a good cook right up until you have to use a new oven.  Suddenly, all the rules you've been used to go right out of the window and it's a whole new world.  A whole new, exciting, bright and shiny world.

So, I think I've got my head around microwaving.  Perhaps even cooking bacon by using the microwave and grill function.  The convection oven has taken a bit of getting used to - example a) being the batch of Bacon & Cheese Muffins that just didn't bake right because the silicone muffin "tin" is a tad too wide for the oven and I had to remove the rotating plate to stop the "tin" bumping into the walls.  Wrong!  Twirling around is apparently essential to achieving an even bake.  Well, it would have been good if the manual had have told me so, but never mind, I know now.  We ate the muffins, even so.  Well - waste not want not.

I'm a lot more comfortable with it now - here's this evening's dinner of BBQ Sausages with Baked Sweet Potatoes and corn on the cob.  The Baked Sweet Potatoes took 1 hour using just the combi oven on 200degC.  I gave them 25 minutes on their own, then put the shelf in and the sausages in over the sweet potatoes for another 35 minutes.  The corn on the cob was from the Vegibox and was just gorgeous.  I cooked that on the cooker hob in a saucepan.  No bending, no pain (other than from getting to the freezer) and happiness all round.  That's got to be worth the £45 it cost.  
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