Toaster ovens are one of the most versatile and easiest appliances in the kitchen. They can be used to make quick and easy meals, including breakfast toast, pizza, cookies, roasting chicken, and lambs. Larger families use them as an additional oven to cook family meals or prepare party meals when a gas range is limited. They are also loved by singles and small families. Toaster ovens can help them cook small-sized dishes without the need to fire up their oven or range.
Toaster ovens are multitasking appliances that don’t take up too much counter space. Some models can cook at a wide range of temperatures and have a variety of cooking settings. However, toaster ovens are not new technology, if you are thinking about purchasing a new toaster oven for your new home or replacing the old one, there are some important features you should check out before purchasing the best toaster oven.
Best Toaster Ovens
4 used from $54.00
- Fit a 12-inch pizza or 6 slices
- 7 preset functions to cook different food
- Flexible cooking with dual rack positions
- Rremovable crumb tray
- Stainless steel housing is easy to clean.
- Hot exterior housing during cooking
- The cord could be longer.
4 used from $62.15
- Can handle 6 slices of bread, or a 12-inch pizza, a 4-pound chicken
- Adjustable temperatures with 10 cooking settings
- Clear and bright digital display
- Convenient control knobs
- Dual rack positions and non-stick interior
- The stainless steel handle may get hot during high heat cooking.
- Reduce cooking time with the Element iQ System
- Convenient to set cooking settings with LCD display
- Can handle 4 slices, or 11-inch pizza
- Easy to clean with the non-stick interior walls
- Heat distribution could be better.
1 used from $39.45
- Fit a 9-inch pizza or 4 slices
- Classic and convenient dial knobs
- Easy to toast
- Rack and baking pan included
- Take up little counter space
- Occasional glass shattering reports when over 400°F
- Multiple functions allow for various food cooking
- Large enough to bake 12-inch pizza, a 4-pound chicken, or 6 slices of bread
- 60 minutes toast timer and adjustable temperatures
- Come with multiple essentials
- Non-stick interior
- The control knobs are convenient but may not last long for heavy use.
What to Consider Before Buying a Toaster Oven?
Generally, toaster ovens have a capacity of 2-slice, 4-slice, 6-slice, and even 9-slice. However, this can be misleading. A small 2- to 4-slice toaster oven is best for small households to cook a few toast or chicken breasts. A larger model with more shelves is better if you intend to cook a lot with your toaster oven. A 6-slice toaster oven can bake a whole chicken for a family meal, or a 10- to 12-inch pizza. You can also choose according to your current bake pan.
The product specifications should provide information about how much food each oven can store.
Before you buy a toaster oven, make sure it has the right capacity. It should be large enough to cook the foods you love.
Also, when you are choosing a toaster oven for baking a whole turkey, it’s a good idea to check your grill’s weight limit.
There are several common cooking settings: bake, broil, toast, and dehydrate. You might be interested in one of these settings — maybe you’re intrigued by the possibility that you can dehydrate fruit in your toaster oven — then keep an eye out.
Although multi-function ovens can be more expensive than the entry-level models for many, they are well worth the extra cost.
Some toaster ovens have food-specific settings. For example, they can be set to toast bread, bake cookies, or re-heat pizza.
Some larger convection toaster ovens have 8-in-1 or even 10-in-1 settings. Some models can double as air fryers. Toaster ovens can be used to bake, broil, roast, heat, and warm food. They also use hot air to fry foods such as chicken wings and french fries. They are as good as the best commercial air fryers when it comes to “frying” without oil. Although these ovens are more expensive than others, they offer great versatility.
Toaster ovens can reach temperatures as low as 150°F(65℃) and as high as 500°F. Broiler and quick ovens are toaster ovens that can reach temperatures above 450°F(260℃). You can cook almost anything in a toaster oven within this heat range!
Most toaster ovens are versatile enough to toast bread at low temperatures or bake chicken at high temperatures.
Trays and oven racks
It is not difficult to remove trays or racks from the oven at high temperatures. A tray that is too tight can cause a safety hazard. The best toaster ovens are equipped with oven racks and trays that slide out easily.
Racks quantity and positions are important considerations. Most models have one to three racks for baking and cooking flexibility. Multiple rack positions allow you to cook flexibly.
Toaster oven timers are designed to prevent food from burning or overcooking.
Some ovens also have pre-set cooking functions. For example, a 30-minute timer to defrost and longer timers to cook specific foods. While it’s great to have choices, the most important thing is whether the oven can be used quickly to start the cooking process. This feature improves kitchen safety and makes it easy to prepare food and time its delivery to the table.
It is necessary to look inside the toaster oven and check your food during baking. Toaster ovens usually have a large glass panel that allows you to see the progress of your food. Keep in mind, however, that glass can become cloudy over time especially if it is a lower quality product.
Some kitchens don’t have a lot of counter space. You may find that some ovens are small and compact. However, you need to leave enough space for your items and cabinets to heat properly.
There are many options for compact and large toaster ovens. To ensure that your purchase is a perfect fit, make sure you measure the outside dimensions before you buy.
Toaster ovens heat up quickly, making them very useful. A fire can start if food particles or food are left in the oven for too long. Look at reviews to find appliances with a good safety record. Use common sense when you buy a toaster oven. Don’t leave the kitchen unattended while it’s in use.
The finished food and trays are very hot, make sure to use oven gloves to protect your hands from high heat. Leave the hot trays away from the children.
Knobs or LCD display
While classic toaster ovens only have dial knobs, most modern toaster ovens come with clear and intuitive LCD displays which are easy to read and allow you to operate quickly.
How Do Toaster Ovens Work?
Toaster ovens are countertop appliances to heat, toast, or cook food. They are mainly used to cook a limited amount of food at once. Radiant heat is the principle behind a toaster oven. It works in the same way as a regular toaster. The system converts electrical energy into heat energy using wires and nickel/chromium alloys. The heating elements, which are usually metal coils, heat up and produce infrared radiation when the oven is turned on. Toaster ovens are equipped with metal coils at both the top and bottom to ensure even cooking. A toaster oven without an upper heating element will not work well for baking.
Toaster ovens have an internal timer that indicates when to turn off the toaster oven to prevent overburning. Some toaster ovens have a defrost and/or slow heat cooking options.
The buttons and knobs on the machine’s front allow you to control the type of cooking, the oven temperature, and the cooking time. You just need to heat the oven to the right temperature, then place the food in the oven and set the timer.
A lot of ovens come with a removable crumb tray. There are usually one to three heating racks above this tray. This tray can be used to heat bread, pizza, and other heavier foods.
Convection settings are available on some toaster ovens. The convection fan circulates hot air around food to make tasty snacks and meals quickly and efficiently.
How to Properly Use and Maintain A Toaster Oven?
Keep your oven clean.
A majority of ovens have a tray at the bottom that collects food scraps, grease, and dried crumbs. The tray should be removed once a week and the crumbs should be thrown away. It can be washed by hand with a soft cloth and cleaner, or on the top rack in your dishwasher. After drying, you can place it back in the oven.
Use plastic or silicone spatulas instead of metal utensils.
You should never use a metal utensil inside your toaster oven. Metal tools can scratch your baking pan and interior walls, which are typically made from non-stick coating metal.
Unplug the toaster oven before you deal with it.
No matter whether you are trying to remove any stubborn food pieces from the toaster oven or give it a routine cleaning, or repairing, always unplug it.
Don’t try to save time and energy by overloading your toaster oven. Otherwise, excess grease will flow onto the heating element, causing fire and smokes.
Learn some cooking skills and plan ahead.
Though cooking in a toaster oven is very simple, you still need a plan. If you are trying to cook delicious food in your toaster oven, it’s important to plan strategically for recipes, time, temperature, and baking order. It won’t be possible to cook two dishes with different cooking times and temperatures in one toaster oven at a time, so think about it before you go.