Please note: this information was current as of January 2009 but is still a useful guide to today's market.
Price: $200 (+$29.95 p&h if ordering online)
Dimensions: (H x W x D): 35cm x 41cm x 33cm
The DANOZ Flavorwave Oven Turbo claims to cook healthy meals, including frozen food, up to three times faster than ordinary methods, with no defrosting or preheating required. It cooks using a halogen light to brown the food, infrared waves to cook from the inside out, and a convection fan for even heating.
To put this claim to the test we cooked two whole chickens – one frozen, the other fresh from the fridge. We added potatoes to the second roast to see how it coped. We also cooked a frozen pizza, reheated a quiche and baked a dark, rich fudge cake.
Excellent for chicken
The frozen chicken was roasted to perfection. The skin was crisp and golden brown and the flesh juicy and tender. The only downside was that the times given in the recipe book and reference guide were inaccurate and contradictory. In our first frozen chicken test the temperature and time specified in the reference guide were far too hot and too long, so the chicken burnt. However, following the recipe book we got an excellent result, but it needed an extra 30 minutes to cook from frozen (a total of one hour 45 minutes). We also had to shield the wings and legs so they did not burn.
We also got excellent results for roasting a roast chicken straight from the fridge, along with potatoes. We couldn’t fit the potatoes in a layer above the chicken, but they fitted well around it. For larger foods and layered cooking you’ll need the extender ring that raises the lid and element, available at extra cost, otherwise the food on the top layer will be too close to the element and may burn.
Not so great for pizza
The Flavorwave was less effective at cooking a frozen pizza and reheating a quiche. There is no element at the bottom so it couldn’t get the pastry bases nice and crisp, while the toppings and filling were unevenly browned and a little overcooked. You may get a better result if you buy the optional pizza browning tray. The fudge cake was poorly done, with the top overcooked and the bottom and centre uncooked.
Being about the size of a toaster oven, the Flavorwave takes up a sizeable amount of bench space, but is easy to use and clean, featuring both a self-clean setting and dishwasher-safe glass bowl. The bowl and lid become very hot, so caution is required. At 2.4kg the lid is heavy but easy to place safely in the rack attached to the side of the bowl holder.
The recipe book and quick reference guide are confusing as they do not provide enough detail, weights are in pounds and the times and temperatures are contradictory. However, as with most cooking appliances, with a bit of trial and error you can work out how to get better results.
The Flavorwave won’t necessarily save much time; it certainly didn’t cook our test foods three times faster as claimed. It didn’t cook pastries, pizza and cake well (but may work better with the optional extras). However, it can cook from frozen, does not require preheating, and roasts a deliciously crisp and juicy chicken.