Disclosure: I received a complimentary product in exchange for a fair, honest and unbiased review
Following the advent of the Tefal mini oven in the mid-1980’s I became a convert to table-top ovens. When cooking for just one person, I can’t see the sense in heating up a large cooker just to cook a simple meal so, for the last 30 years, I have used only mini ovens and found them to perform brilliantly – quickly cooking a meal without spinning the power meter while also taking up very little space, which can be an issue in small kitchens.
Since the under-powered model of the 80’s, ovens have improved considerably, are more reliable, more powerful and much more like miniature versions of their larger cousins - and this is one of the best I’ve used.
Firstly, it’s lightweight so it’s easy to carry around the kitchen and the sides are easy to grip. Secondly, it has more features than many other mini ovens – a larger 24 litre oven cavity which provides ample space for oven fish and chips for two, will bake a small loaf, two trays of cakes if they’re positioned carefully with one row cooked on the tray and another row beneath on the rack and cooking is perfectly even throughout. I like the range of settings: there is the option for upper element only (for toasting – it produces deliciously crisp toast), upper and lower elements along with the option of a fan too for faster cooking and the thermostat can be dropped a few degrees when this is in use. Other mini ovens I’ve used have fewer settings, lack the fan or, in the case of my current mini oven, have only the upper element and no lower element which means the underside of the cooked food always remains soggy. I didn’t notice this when I purchased it, nor did others who also bought the same, so it pays to check specifications carefully and be reassured this mini oven has everything – almost. Disappointingly, there is one glaring omission for me and this is a timer. I have little interest in watching and waiting for food to cook so tend to pop it all into the oven then leave the kitchen, having set the timer, knowing it will switch off when ready. It just means I have to set the countdown timer on my phone or watch instead so it’s not a major issue, but it would have been a welcome and regularly-used feature.
At 2.9kW, of which 1.4kw applies to the hobs and 1.5kw to this oven, this is a powerful cooker and I first noticed this when I saw how rapidly it heated up. After just a few minutes, it was hot enough to put my food in and warmed up at least 3 minutes faster than its predecessor. Cooking was even and I was delighted to have food cooked also from underneath thanks to its lower element, instead of just a single upper element as per my previous cooker.
Being compact, portable and lightweight, the oven is not confined to the kitchen but can be used exactly where it’s needed – in other rooms around the house, the garage, the workshop and it’s also been away on holiday. It’s the perfect size and shape for use in our campervan so, when away with electric hook-up, then the cooker comes along too so we can enjoy the benefits of freshly-baked bread in a morning, fish fingers, roast chicken – or whatever we fancy and it cooks a mean oven chip! Then, at night, the double hob is in use to heat up water for a couple of hot water bottles. When not in use and while traveling, it stows away beneath the bed.
Having tried and tested this cooker at home and away, I would definitely recommend it without hesitation as the ideal cooker for a single person or couple, anywhere space is limited, for a student, a bedsit and it’s great in a campervan, tent (none of the carbon monoxide risks associated with a tent-barbecue) or motorhome. Build quality is good, performance beats the others I’ve used and it’s backed by a 2-year warranty for peace of mind, from a British company based in the UK with all contact details provided – and they respond to queries too so all is good , reassuring and I have every confidence in the company.