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. To put this claim to the test we tested this benchtop cooking appliance by cooking 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.
How does it work?
The Flavorwave cooks using a halogen light to brown the food, infrared waves to cook from the inside out, and a convection fan for even heating.
How did it go?
Excellent for chicken
The frozen chicken was roasted beautifully – 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 didn't burn.
We also got excellent results roasting a 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 will likely burn.
Not so great for pizza
The Flavorwave was less effective at cooking a frozen pizza. There is no element at the bottom so it couldn't get the bases 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.
Not great for cake or quiche
The fudge cake was poorly done, with the top overcooked and the bottom and centre uncooked. The quiche reheated unevenly – a very underwhelming result.
Time: The Flavorwave won't necessarily save much time; it certainly didn't cook our test foods three times faster as claimed.
Performance: It didn't cook pastries, pizza and cake well (but may work better with the optional extras available), however it can cook from frozen, doesn't need preheating, and roasts a deliciously crisp and juicy chicken.
Size: Being about the size of a toaster oven, the Flavorwave takes up a sizeable amount of bench space.
Ease of use and cleaning: The machine is easy to use and clean, featuring both a self-clean setting and dishwasher-safe glass bowl.
Safety: 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.
Instructions: The recipe book and quick reference guide are confusing as they don't provide enough detail, weights are Imperial measurements, and the times and temperatures are contradictory. However, as with most cooking appliances, a bit of trial and error can get you better results.