Unlike other conventional ovens, a toaster oven comes with several advantages that make it a better choice. You can use a toaster oven for baking, roast, reheat, and broil, amongst other uses. In this article, we’d be looking into how to use a toaster oven for a couple of functions, some of its advantages, and common mistakes people often make while using it. Many toaster ovens now include features like defrost, touchpad controls, convection cooking, timer, easy to clean interior, and more. Whether you want to toast bagels, roast check, make muffins, or open-face cheese sandwich, a toaster oven is that appliance that will cook everything for you.
Advantages of Toaster Ovens
Before we talk about using a toaster oven, let us first look at some of the advantages of having toaster ovens below.
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1. Cooking Small Portions
Whenever you need to roast or bake something small, using the conventional oven is extra. But thanks to the portable and compact nature of a toaster oven, they work perfectly fine in cooking small foods like muffins, hot dogs, amongst other delicious dishes you may want to prepare. Moreover, because of their compact nature, it is more energy-efficient than a full-sized oven. They quickly preheat and reach the desired temperature quickly. Additionally, its compact design makes it very portable and suitable for students and galley kitchen, RVs, or cottages.
2. Cool Kitchen
Another advantage a toaster oven has over a full-sized oven is its ability not to heat your kitchen like an oven or big stove. If you want to enjoy cooking your delicious dishes in a cool kitchen, then use a toaster oven. This advantage makes toaster ovens a preferred choice for summer at cottages or in your recreational vehicles. Toaster ovens are not as hot as full-sized ovens because a toaster oven comes with a fan that circulates heat, making the temperature inside the oven more even. The fan disturbs the thin layer of cool air current surrounding the food, thus exposing your food to hotter air, making it cook more quickly and evenly.
3. Better than Microwave
Toaster ovens can also do the same function as a microwave and more, making it better. In terms of power consumption, a typical toaster oven is more energy-efficient, although you can use both appliances to make simple and quick meals. Moreover, microwaves have raised many questions concerning its emission of non-ionizing radiation, but toaster ovens have no significant health concerns. Likewise, in so many other ways, toaster ovens are better than microwaves.
How to Use a Toaster Oven for Cooking
Now that we have established that a toaster oven comes with quite some advantages that make our day to day cooking easier let’s look into how to use a toaster oven for cooking. Below are four common cooking option you can use a toaster oven for:
One of the most common functions people use a toaster oven for is baking. As you already know, unlike a full-sized oven, toaster ovens are more efficient with heat distribution. When you are baking with a toaster oven, you can tell the difference in the performance as it evenly distributes heat over your food. It is important to note that your toaster oven needs to be a convection toaster oven recommended for baking. Convection toaster is those toasters that come with an internal fan for circulating hot air for even heating and cooking inside the oven.
Toaster ovens also come with the broiling setting that lets you prepare a more delicious meal. Broiling your food in a toaster oven relies mainly on your food’s proximity to the upper heating element in the oven. In a conventional oven, you would have to move your rack to a higher position, but you may often end up with a rack position that is either too close or too far from the heating element. But in a toaster oven, all you need to do is turn the dial, and you’re good to go.
You can also use a toaster oven for roasting by simply turning its dial to the roasting function. You can even roast a chicken in a toaster oven. As long as it can fit into the toaster oven, you can roast it. Toaster ovens produce well-browned yet juicy meats. Toaster ovens are ideal for toasting side dishes, especially when your full-sized oven is tight or full. You can add a pellet box for real smoke flavor in your meat when roasting with a toaster oven.
Reheating is another strong attribute of toaster ovens that make it a go-to appliance for heating a variety of leftovers. As said earlier, a toaster oven preheats very quickly, giving it an edge over full-sized ovens. While reheating with a toaster oven, it can give your food that crisp result. You can reheat everything you can get your hands on in a toaster oven from pizza to thin bread, and fries amongst others.
Common Mistakes of Using a Toaster Oven
Everyone is bound to make one or two mistakes while using any appliance. Below are common mistakes associated with using a toaster oven.
1. Putting in too Many Slices
One very common mistake many people make is loading the toaster oven with too many slices. Overloading a toaster oven reduces the performance and efficiency of the oven, giving you a lesser result. Crowding your toaster with too many slices reduces the airflow, in other words, it creates an uneven heat circulation. So, because you can still find more space in your toaster oven to fit something else doesn’t mean the toaster oven can handle so many slices. Please take note of the number of slices your toaster oven can handle before loading it.
2. Forget Power Cable Plugged in the Socket
Another mistake you should avoid making is leaving your toaster oven plugged in the socket. It would be best if you never left your toaster oven plugged into the socket. Leaving your toaster oven plugged in the socket can lead to a fire. If there is a power surge, if your toaster oven is plugged in the socket, it damages certain elements in the oven, causing it to either not function properly or function at all. When you are done using the toaster oven, also unplug it from the socket.
3. Little to no Understanding of Convection Baking
Having little understanding of what convection baking is and how it works is why many people make so many mistakes when using a toaster oven. Convection baking is a system where the oven you are using uses fans’ help to circulate hot air in the oven. Many toaster ovens use convection for baking. The fan in the toaster circulates the hot air in the oven, which cooks your food evenly. So, overloading the oven will reduce the circulation or obstruct airflow, creating an uneven heating environment. But when you have a good grasp of how convection baking works will help you use a toaster oven to its full potential.
In conclusion, after going through several ways to use a toaster oven, we believe you are now equipped to get one. When buying a toaster oven, please take note of the oven’s power rating as it has a significant impact on the performance of the oven. Head into a reliable dealers shop or online and buy a toaster oven from a renowned manufacturer. If you have any questions or contributions, kindly leave a comment in the comment section below.