Pros: Even cooking; The included accessories; Steaming option
Cons: Oven door not secure; Outside of unit gets very hot
Cooking can be an arduous task if one doesnt have the right equipment. Some foods are easy to prepare by simply placing them on a flat cookie sheet and popping them in the oven. But other foods are best prepared by heating in a different fashion, with the heat source placed at a different angle than that provided by an ordinary oven. This is where my Ronco ST4000 Showtime Indoor Rotisserie & BBQ comes into play. It helps cook meats and other foods more evenly with its rotisserie action.
Facts About This Product?:
This unit measures about 21 inches by 18 inches by 14 inches, making it compact enough to fit on most countertops. It offers 1,250 watts of power and can be programmed to shut off with the built in timer, which is good for up to 180 minutes of cooking time. A switch beneath the timer controls how you would like the rotisserie to move. You can set it to no heat rotation, regular rotation, or pause.
The front of this unit features a glass door that is closed by lifting it up and resting it against the rest of the unit. The front of the oven is angled backward so that the door is capable of being closed in this manner. There is no latch- it just rests against the front of the oven, relaying on gravity to remain closed.
Ronco includes several accessories with this mini oven. On the inside, one will find a large two- piece drip tray designed to catch the juices and other droppings as they fall from your food. There is one large set of rotisserie rods to handle large pieces of meat; six kabob rods; gloves; elastic ties; injection syringe; and a covered tray that sits atop the unit to steam cook vegetables and other foods.
To help understand how the oven operates, Ronco includes an instructional video. It covers only the bare basics, however, and one could easily learn about the oven without it (by consulting the owners guide instead). There is also a cookbook with some creative recipes using this oven.
If you have questions about this and other Ronco rotisseries, you can find answers by first logging into the web site, ronco.com. If you would rather place a call, the toll free number is 800-486-1806.
Ronco is a company whose name is synonymous with television infomercials. The first time I ever heard about Ronco was during one of its many televisions advertisement spots and the thing that stands out more than any other is the people in the audience "oooooohhhhh" and aaaahhing over the products. The sales pitch was direct and simple: That Ronco products are just the thing that has always bee missing from your kitchen and that they can perform tasks you never before thought possible, transforming your kitchen and elevating your cooking skills to a new level of expertise.
My wife was viewing one of these infomercials one day and the spotlighted item was this rotisserie. She liked the idea of having an appliance that cooked in this manner because it seemed like a good way to more evenly cook meats and other foods. I surprised her by buying it as a gift and we used it for the first time a short while later, to cook a whole chicken weighing about four pounds. To prepare the meat, we just took out the large rotisserie rods, poked them through the chicken, replaced the turning arm on the other end, and then placed the contraption back inside the oven. A quick turn of the timer to the desired number of minutes was all it took to get the heat running and the chicken turning.
The cooking results during that initial experience were pretty good and they are still good today. I like having an oven like this one in addition to my traditional oven because it provides a good alternative to regular oven cooking. The food slowly turns as the heat source warms it, ensuring that food is cooked more evenly than it would be cooked in a regular oven. The heat source in this oven is in the rear, so this is where the heat is most concentrated and this is where it cooks the food as it turns on the rotisserie.
Another nice feature of this oven is the steaming option. The top of this oven gets very hot and to take advantage of this heat source, Ronco provides a dual- sided tray (with cover) where you can place vegetables and other foods for steam cooking. You just put the food in the tray, cover it, and sit the tray on top of the oven. It warms up quickly, providing an additional cooking source that produces nicely steamed foods without having to resort to using your stove top.
If youre the type who likes to season your meats, Ronco will make you happy with its included injection syringe. With this device, you can place different spices, fruit juices, and other seasonings deep inside the meat. All you do is load the syringe, find a soft spot on the meat, poke it through, and squeeze it out. I recommend doing this to several spots in the meat to make sure the seasoning doesnt concentrate itself in one place. This feature offers consumers an easy way to add different flavors to foods and have the flavors cook themselves into the food rather than simply coat the exterior.
This rotisserie is a good one and I like what it has to offer, but there are still some shortcomings that need to be addressed. First of all, you need to know that this unit gets very hot on the outside. You have to be careful where you touch because almost every part of the exterior surface will be red hot to the touch. The fact that the top of the unit doubles as a steam cooker should give you an idea what Im talking about. About the only areas that dont get hot are the knob controls and switch located to the right side. You can safely touch these without risk of a burn. But you need to stay clear of the rest of the oven when its in operation. It is surprising how hot it gets.
One other thing about this oven that should be improved is the oven door. What I dont like is the way it rests in place against the front when closed- with no latch or anything else to hold it securely in place. When you open it all the way, the glass door can be pushed underneath the oven to get it out of your way, which is helpful. But the fact that there is no latch to keep it closed worried me a little. If someone accidentally bumps the front of the unit the wrong way during operation, the door will fall open. If this happens, there is a good chance the door will break.
Cleaning this oven is easy since the drip tray collects most of the waste and is removable. But, it is important that you clean the oven thoroughly as soon as possible after use. It has to cool down before you can finish the job, but it is important that one doesnt forget when the oven is used and let it sit unclean. Once the waste from the meats has dried in, it will be much more difficult to scrub clean.
This rotisserie is capable of handling up to a fifteen pound turkey, so it has a good amount of space. Ronco makes some models that are even larger than this one, but I have found the amount of cooking space to be adequate for my needs. This specific brand is medium sized by Ronco standards and it carries a price tag of approximately $160, placing it in the middle range for this type of oven.
Overall, I like my Ronco Showtime ST4000 Rotisserie and BBQ oven. I like the way it cooks large pieces of meats and I like the fact that I can utilize some of the excess heat by using the steamer on top of the oven to prepare fresh vegetables. The oven door could be improved and the excessive heat could be cause for concern if one has children. But other than these minor flaws, this rotisserie is a good one. It may not be the wonder oven that the infomercials make it out to be but it is still a handy device for any kitchen.