Customer service is the best I have ever experienced. I spoke with Chris a few times and I was really impressed with him and his commitment to complete satisfaction. In the course of our conversations, Chris asked me to assemble the oven myself, which I finally did just this evening. The three most dreaded words to me are "some assembly required." I just am really incompetent putting anything together and following directions and picture instructions. Anyway, it took me about 22 minutes to put the oven together. The next time I do it, it will probably take me about five minutes less. I'm just not very good at assembling things.
I have used this oven several times to bake casseroles, cookies, and bread. I purchased this size because I have five children and wanted to be able to make enough dinner for all of us as well as be able to bake three loaves of bread at once. Like I have seen noted in other reviews, it takes longer to bake foods in this oven. I think it's really important to get an oven thermometer for the oven as well as a food thermometer to check internal temperatures of what you are baking. The casseroles and cookies baked just fine, they just took longer. The bread also took longer and turned out just fine, but it didn't ever get a nice golden brown crust on top.
One problem I had with the oven that I didn't see addressed anywhere in the instructions is that you can't (at least I couldn't) lift the lid with one hand and put your dish in the oven with the other. I had my oven come apart twice doing that. It was a little stressful.
I have several ways of baking in an emergency--Dutch ovens, trailer oven, propane camping oven, Global sun oven, and now the HERC oven. Dutch ovens and the propane trailer oven and camping ovens are great, but here if we have an emergency, usually the weather is also bad and I don't want to be going outside. And for us, bad weather also often involves wind, which makes using Dutch ovens and charcoal briquettes difficult. I really like my sun oven, but unfortunately, even though I live in a desert with mostly sunny days, I cannot use it very often because in even a light breeze the reflective sides will blow down. And the sun oven doesn't work when the sun is down. The HERC works no matter the weather or the time of day, and it works inside so I don't have to go out into the elements. And while the HERC weighs more than the sun oven, it doesn't take up near as much space when being stored.
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Reviewed by: Jennifer from SIerra Nevadas.