Conventional ovens have their advantages, but there are also several drawbacks. They’re a waste of energy when you’re cooking small portions, and they add lots of heat in the kitchen, which can send your cooling bills through the roof. Modern toaster ovens have come a long way from the traditional countertop toasters. They serve as fully functional miniature ovens and can easily execute the everyday cooking needs of most families. From reheating a slice of pizza to crisping bacon and baking breads…
Toaster ovens can function as a conventional oven with greater efficiency.
The effectiveness of the toaster oven depends on the size and features. There are compact sizes for smaller kitchens and those with lots of room for a mid-sized family. You can use the oven for baking, toasting, roasting, defrosting, broiling, dehydrating and warming food. Built-in thermostats guarantee a consistent internal temperature for even cooking. If you’re in the market for the best toaster oven, you should look for one with an interior fan for convection cooking and a timer for worry-free cooking.
Whip up your recipes and pop them in your toaster oven for faster, energy-efficient cooking and easy clean-up. Below are some surprising ways to put your toaster oven to work.
Roast a whole chicken in your toaster oven if there’s sufficient room. If your oven is too small to hold the entire chicken, you can roast your favorite parts. Roasting a chicken in your miniature oven is practical, energy saving and helpful if you don’t want to heat up your kitchen while waiting for the chicken to cook. The toaster over is just as handy for most other traditional chicken recipes too.
Toaster ovens are not just for toasting bread. Snack on toasted nuts or add them to your favorite recipes. Your toaster oven makes it easier than ever to deepen the flavors in almonds, walnuts, pecans and cashew nuts. Toast them in a bit of oil or leave out the oil for a crisper texture. Since the heating elements in the toaster oven are much closer to the nuts, it’s crucial that you keep a close eye on the oven or use the timer to prevent burning.
A dehydrator is an essential appliance if you need to dehydrate fruit several times a year. However, your toaster oven is a convenient alternative to dry out the occasional batch of fruit. Dried cherries, berries, apples, pineapples, kiwis and tomatoes are healthy snacks and make great additions to baked treats and breakfast cereals. Simply wash and dry the fruits, place them on a tray, pop them in the oven and cook on low (150 to 200 degrees) for 5 to 10 hours. Some fruits require chopping and pitting before dehydrating.
Use your toaster oven for a fast and oil-free way to cook your morning bacon. Just spread the strips of bacon on aluminum foil and cook at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. If your oven has a drip pan, place the bacon directly on the rack and let the grease drip into the pan below. The final product is just as crispy and tasty as fried bacon – minus the extra calories.
Toaster ovens make better cookies. There’s no need to heat up your conventional oven when you plan to whip up a small batch of cookies. A smaller sized cookie sheet or the toaster’s included tray will work fine for baking crispy cookies in your mini oven. Slice-and-bake cookie dough simplifies the process if you’re short on time, and with your convection toaster oven, you can serve up piping hot cookies in less than thirty minutes.
Make personal-sized pizzas in your countertop oven. Modern ovens have a rounded back, which can accommodate smaller pizza stones. While you won’t achieve the distinct flavor and texture of wood-fired ovens, you’ll certainly come close. Toaster ovens have a higher ratio of radiation versus convection heating, which is similar to fire ovens. For best results, preheat the oven (and stone) to 450 degrees before transferring the pizza. You can also pre-bake the crust, before adding the toppings, for an even crisper result.
Bake your potatoes crisp and golden on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside using your handy toaster oven. If you’re using large potatoes, cut them in half so they won’t get close to the heating element at the top. Wash the potatoes, drizzle oil on the outside, sprinkle sea salt and bake them on the rack for 45 minutes.
Don’t limit your countertop toaster oven to toasting bread and reheating pizza. Use this guide and your creativity to serve dishes your family will love.
Having an energetic passion for food, Christoper Defour is always on the search for new recipes. To try some toaster oven recipes he recently did a search for the best toaster oven on the market and now he wants to share how toaster ovens can do a lot more than just, well, toast.