Countertop Convection Oven Recommendations?
I've recently moved to Beijing where, alas, apartments do not have western ovens. I'm an avid baker and Thanksgiving and the holidays are approaching. Even if I have to "outsource" the turkey, and even if I have to modify some recipes because certain ingredients aren't available, the notion of being unable to make cupcakes and pies and brownies and chestnut stuffing and chicken wings and heavens knows what else for the foreseeable duration is a serious bummer.
The expat solution over here seems to be the purchase of a counter-top convection oven. Let's assume for the moment that there are no issues with availability and that price isn't the driving factor. Does anyone have any recommendations?
Thanks in advance!!
While there are hundreds of different models we'd all like to recommend, the reality is you're limited to models that operate on 220V/50Hz. As the site participants here are primarily based in North America (and some in Western Europe), it's doubtful you'll get many good recs.
I say take a trip to your nearest hypermarket (Carrefour, maybe?) and buy one based on price alone -- if you buy a simple model (just good build quality, heating element, fan, and timer; and no digital displays!), it should work forever.
Here's my oven, just for reference:
re: Joe Blowe
Thanks for the input. As I'm in a newer building that caters to expats, my plugs are multi-voltage. I use US and UK electronics without any problem whatsoever, so I should be okay with wherever the source of the recommendation.
FYI I did see DeLonghi ovens (or knocksoffs of them) at Tiyani market near Fuchengmen that were pretty cheap (much cheaper than overpriced Carrefour). But I still would love input on which brands have good heating elements and fans -- regardless of location.
That's good to hear about the voltage...
As you alluded to above, I'd try to steer clear of possible counterfeits. If I came across a DeLonghi in an open-air market, I'd probably keep walking. If you buy it from a national chain, I'd like to think that they'll stand behind any warranties or exchange policies.
Finally, I'm really opposed to anything digital next to a heat source. American ranges with digital displays frequently need their control boards replaced. Toaster ovens with digital displays have a relatively short lifespan. My oven pictured above is completely "analog" -- no control boards, just mechanical switches and dials.
Regardless of brand, that's my recommendation: Avoid ovens with digital components (that should eliminate a majority of the models). And if it's possible to find a commercial restaurant supply store that's open to the public, see what they have to offer. It'll be expensive, but it'll last a lifetime.
I really like my Panasonic combination microwave/convection oven (Japanese model). I'd estimate that it's big enough to do a small (12-lb or so) turkey. It also works great as a microwave oven. There is no turntable, just a smooth, flat bottom, so you can easily heat up food on oval or rectangular (or several) dishes. It also has a 3-zone infrared temperature monitoring system so you can simply have it zap the food to the temperature you specify.