Nowadays, kitchen appliances tend to market to two distinct strengths: they either play up how compact their footprint is on your countertop, or the array of usages to which they can be put. Well, the subject of our most recent review is not compact by any means. In fact, it’s quite large. Given, however, that the product is a convection oven, its generous footprint only speaks to its spacious interior. This was the first characteristic I noticed upon using it for the first time, and in my view, is one to be considered a strength. With regard to a propensity for being put to multiple uses, it succeeds on that front as well, capable of roasting and baking as well as broiling and even grilling.
The Rosewill R-HCO-11001 consists of a glass bowl that allows one to view the action inside from 360 degrees, with side handles, and a lid that houses its halogen heat and convection system. I found it simple to use, equipped as it is with an easy on and off switch that is difficult to misread, as folding down the lid handle activates its interior light and turns it on, and bringing it upright turns the light and device off. Calibration is achieved through two dials forming its only other interactive control features. One dial controls the cooking temperature, and the timer dial determines the length of time necessary to prepare various dishes. That’s all there is to it.
Having tested the device with poultry, red meat, fresh vegetables, and seafood, I found myself consistently pleased with the results. My inaugural outing, an herbed Cornish hen, didn’t just cook to the bone, but remained juicy and tender with a crisp, perfectly browned skin. In terms of flavor, firmness, and visual appeal, I found it to be indistinguishable from a conventional oven-baked hen. This convection oven baked Alaskan salmon filets to a flaky texture, and put a char around the edges of bell peppers, broccoli crowns, and carrots that was equal to that of any veggie I’ve ever pulled off a grill.
When it came to red meat, I found I did have to do some estimating, as the handful of food pictograms presented above the lid dials can’t be expected to advise on every possible food contingency. Chicken, Meats, Pizza, Shellfish, Fish, Vegetables, and Desserts are represented with cooking time ranges for each. However, taking into consideration the wide range of meat cuts available at any butcher shop, the cooking time is not difficult to misjudge, and so on my first attempt at cooking a beef roast, I found I needed to add a bit of time to what I’d initially chosen.
This seems less a shortcoming of the product than of my attention in that singular instance (an error that my second attempt managed not to duplicate) of selecting the right cut of meat for the dish I want to create.
I spent a good deal of time experimenting with this product, and despite one or two missteps as with my first red meat preparation, I came away confident that this product would be welcome in the kitchens of many people I know. While the amount of space it takes up might dissuade some users from granting it a permanent place on the countertop, the results it produces and the quickness of its cooking time relative to standard ovens are hard to argue against. Thorough and even cooking paired with its ability to seal in juices and crisp up exteriors while cooking with less oil or fat than conventional ovens makes this appliance one that I look forward to using for years to come.