You may or may not be familiar with the NuWave Infrared Oven (as seen on TV). This product can be found in many stores nationwide, and can also be purchased via www.mynuwaveoven.com, infomercials, or their 1-800-number. This little oven is portable, easy to clean, compact, and only uses 1500 watts. NuWave also claims to be an extremely healthy, fast solution to cooking, and to be rather affordable as well at “only 3 (supposedly) easy payments of $39.95.” We thought that this sounded like it could be an asset to any driver on the road – and we were very wrong.
I was so excited about the concept of product! Although I wanted to recommend it right away, I decided to test-drive it beforehand, and I’m so glad that we did. I started all of the prep-work for one of my favorite dishes, and read the NuWave instruction manual – as I assumed that some of the techniques and cook times may have needed to be modified.
I placed the raw chicken thighs onto the 4” rack, and turned on the NuWave to a heat setting of 9, just as the instructions had indicated. The chicken was supposed to spend 10 minutes on each side, according to the instructions.
I stepped back, ready to watch the magic happen – and began to grow worried as my home quickly filled with the unpleasant smell of hot plastic. A very long 10 minutes passed, as I watched what could have been a very delicious chicken dinner begin to liquefy – much like it would if placed straight into a microwave.
Since the chicken was supposed to be half done, I paused the cooker – as the instructions indicated, and proceeded to carefully remove the plastic dome/cooktop. The cameraman and I both agreed that the flimsy stand was inadequate to say the least, as it took both of us to get the 300-some degree cooktop safely balanced on its perch (don’t worry – he suffered only minor burns when he touched the scorching hot powerhead which is located directly underneath the handles). I removed the wire-rack, and added the vegetables, broth, seasonings, and the half-cooked chicken back into the base of the cooker and replaced the cooktop, hoping that our dinner still had a chance of turning out.
20 minutes later (which is 10 minutes longer than this whole process should have taken in the first place) we made an executive decision to remove the clearly undercooked meal from the NuWave, and attempt to resurrect it in the oven. The process of removing the food while the NuWave was still hot was nerve-racking, and both of us were relieved that there was enough protective hot pads to go around.
I will say that clean up was a breeze, but I can’t say that the meal was very tasty. My opinion may or may not have been swayed by the overwhelmingly strong odor of plastic that is still, nearly 24 hours later hovering in the air. I should also mention that we did give the oven one more chance to change our minds, and it rewarded us by turning the cheese in our quesadillas into an alarming glue-like substance.
The moral of the story being: If I can’t make this product safely work for me in the comfort of my own home, you definitely don’t want this ticking time bomb anywhere near your truck.