Today I treated myself to a mini oven, the Lidl Silverline mini oven and grill. A mini oven has been on my list of things to buy for the last 5-6 months or so, and I’d been keeping an eye out for a mini oven when I spotted these were for sale at Lidl today, so I was up and out the door the moment Lidl opened.
I had no idea how large or heavy it was and was walking to collect it, so took my big blue Ikea bag. Once I got to Lidl I discovered that the mini oven was really lightweight! It was the weight equivalent of buying a large toaster. Easy to carry – AND – it fitted perfectly into my Ikea bag. No struggling home, no looking a lemon, no wishing I’d never started!
Now I know how much the mini oven weighs I’d certainly consider carrying one home on an uncrowded bus. For me it wasn’t the weight, it was just a bit awkward due to the box size. I’m very short, with short arms. Although, at that weight, it could be carried easily enough like a regular parcel in your hands.
I’ve used quite a few mini ovens in the past and I find they’re just perfect. For me, there’s no need, probably ever, to use a full sized oven. I’ve tended to cook most meals using the microwave and slow cooker in recent years because it seems such a waste to heat up a whole oven just to heat up one part-baked baguette, heat up one small pie or to cook a pizza.
A mini oven can pay for itself in most households in a short time, just on the fuel savings of not having to heat up a whole oven for 1-2 small items. It does everything a regular oven does, it’s just smaller. There’s also a grill element, so it can be used as a grill, or as an oven.
This silverline is just what I was looking for. It’ll fit in the cupboard if I wish to put it away and it’s a bit smaller than my microwave. It’s lightweight too. At 1200 watts of power it’s powerful enough for everything I’ll ever want to cook, yet not overpowered. The shelves can be set at two positions and it comes with a grill pan, a cooking dish and a handy handle to remove the dish from the oven with.
Note: The grill pan is quite a thin aluminium – if you plan on using this mini oven to bake pastry, or to cook supermarket ready meals in plastic dishes, then I’d recommend you look for a thicker, possibly steel, baking tray as the thin metal can cause ready meal dishes to melt and pastry to burn at the bottom – this is if you are using the shelf on the bottom setting and using the oven (bottom) element; it’s because the bottom element is so hot and the lightweight aluminium tray heats up too fiercely.
I have measured the interior rack and it looks like a 10″ pizza will fit into the Lidl mini oven, but I’ll report back on that once I’ve bought one at some future point!
Mini ovens are perfect for cooking for one person, or even a whole family meal. Indeed, I plan to cook this year’s Christmas Dinner in my mini oven! I’m planning that Christmas Dinner already – and was going to use my slow cooker to cook my turkey. Having the mini oven just improves the final outcome as I can make a fresh Yorkshire pudding in it as well as roasting my turkey, roast potatoes, roast parsnips and some stuffing that has a crispy top 🙂
My parents used their mini oven as their main oven for many years. I especially love the timer on them – simply set the timer (which is the ON knob) and walk away – and if you get distracted the oven pings and turns itself off! It frees me from the fear of forgetting. I know somebody who put a chicken in their oven and nodded off, or forgot, for five hours!
They’re also great if you’re in temporary accommodation, or camping (with electric hook up), or in a camper van or caravan.
I’ll be posting my mini oven recipes in the coming months. I do miss being able to roast and bake!
Before using the mini oven I do have to turn it on full power, with the top and bottom elements selected, leave the door open and let it run for 20 minutes. Like many people, this bit is one of my phobias, but luckily the weather’s good and I can run an extension lead out into the garden! I’ve always feared those instructions that tell you to turn an appliance on and “any burning smell and smoke is perfectly normal” – it might be normal, but I don’t wish to ever see any of this!
I have way too many kitchen phobias, which I have to work with, or work around. Indeed, I’ve a perfect working full-sized oven here…. I’m just too scared to use it, hence the mini oven.
So, if you ever wonder why I cook like I do, it’s about convenience and not liking cooking, plus a raft of phobias to work with 🙂
Model: 270658. Price was £29.99.
Update: Lidl were selling these toaster ovens again from Thursday 23 February 2017 at £29.99, again in two colours: silver and black. The model numbers are slightly different, but they looked like the same model to me.
Update: Lidl were selling these mini ovens again from 13 August 2017, at £29.99.
I’ve recommended them to a friend, who has bought one and started using it the same day! The mini oven and grill from Lidl is a great little work-horse!