Toaster ovens are one of the best kitchen appliances you can have. They’re so versatile, from savory snacks to decadent cookies. You can pretty much do it all on your countertop in the fraction of the time and with a fraction of the power consumption.
Types Of Toaster Ovens
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While toaster ovens were initially designed to provide you with an easy way to toast bread, these devices are now used for baking pizzas, cookies, and much more. The increase in the popularity of these products has also led to companies designing different types of toaster ovens.
Some of the more recent toaster ovens on the market offer features that help to improve the distribution of heat throughout the internal compartment, as well as built-in pre-programmed settings that make it exceptionally easy to bake and cook food in the oven.
The most popular options when it comes to buying one of these products include the standard toaster oven, as well as the convection-type toaster oven. It is crucial for a person to understand the difference between these two types of toaster ovens to ensure they buy the particular device that is most suited to the specific items that they will be cooking or baking most frequently.
- Standard Toaster Oven: First up is the more traditional option. This used to be a very popular type of toaster oven and offers a similar heat setting as one would find with a conventional oven. There are usually heat elements at the bottom of the toaster oven. These elements will heat up when the oven has been turned on. The oven will then start to heat up from the bottom. The issue with this type of toaster oven is usually the fact that heat is not distributed evenly, which can cause the food on the bottom tray to burn. In some cases, the toaster oven may also feature a heating element at the top.
- Convection Toaster Oven: Convection toaster ovens are becoming much more popular, primary due to the fact that they can distribute heat more evenly throughout the internal compartment of the oven. A convection toaster oven usually contains a heating element at the bottom as well, but most often do not expose food directly to the heating element. Instead, the oven is fitted with a fan that helps to distribute the heat evenly. This way, the risk of the food that is placed on the bottom tray in the toaster oven is less likely to burn compared to a standard toaster oven.
These are the primary differences that one would note between a standard and a convection toaster oven. Some of these ovens do come with additional features to make the use of the product more convenient for the user. It is always a good idea to compare the different types that are available on the market to each other to find the one that will fit your needs most appropriately.
Top-Rated Toasters Ovens for 2020
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Why You Should Buy a Toaster Oven
People often do not realize just how convenient owning a toaster oven can be. Since these devices are compact and small, one would think that they cannot provide the same convenience and features as a standard oven. While they cannot take as many food items as a large oven at the same time, a toaster oven still has many benefits that you can take advantage of.
The majority of toaster ovens that are available today will offer several convenient features, such as pre-programmed settings. This can make baking, cooking, and other tasks easier than with a standard oven. All you have to do is place your food items into the toaster oven, set it to an appropriate setting, and press the start button.
Toaster ovens can be used for a variety of purposes as well – whether you are making a quick snack for lunch, preparing dinner, or baking some cookies to spoil the family. A toaster oven can provide you with similar functionality as a convection oven, just in a more compact size.
The compact size of a toaster oven is certainly another benefit that we should mention here. Standard convection ovens tend to take up a lot of space. For those individuals who are living in smaller apartments with restricted space in the kitchen, a large oven may not be a practical option. The oven may either not fit into the kitchen at all or, if it does fit, it may cause a significant restriction in the available space – this can make cooking and work in the kitchen very difficult.
Furthermore, a large oven usually requires special wiring. This often means hiring the services of an electrician. If the appropriate wiring hasn’t been done in the kitchen yet, then this will add even more expenses to the cost of installing the oven.
To keep costs minimal and to reduce the amount of space used, but still experience the benefits of having an oven in the kitchen, a toaster oven makes a great choice. These ovens are usually small enough to fit on the kitchen counter easily. They also do not require any special wiring – a toaster oven usually comes fitted with a standard power port that can be plugged into the wall.
Other advantages that we want to mention here, offered by toaster ovens, include:
- Since these ovens are smaller than regular ovens, they heat up in much less time. This way, you can quickly pop in a frozen meal and prepare it without having to wait a long time for the oven to heat up.
- The smaller size also means that food will bake and cook faster than with a standard oven since there is less space in which the heat needs to be distributed.
What To Look For When Buying A Toaster Oven
The idea of buying a new toaster oven for the kitchen to have a convenient small product to bake cookies, toast bread, and even cook up a chicken, may seem fairly simple. This all changes once you step into a shop to buy one of these products, or start browsing the internet to see what is available.
Due to the rise in popularity, thousands of brands have developed their own toaster ovens – some brands even produce multiple types of toaster ovens. This makes the process of choosing a specific product to fit into your kitchen exceptionally hard – most people are not sure what exactly to look for and how they can determine which toaster oven really is better than the next.
Fortunately, there are a few factors that you can keep in mind while you are looking at toaster ovens. When you take these factors into account, you’ll be able to filter through the available options and only find those that are truly worth buying on your list.
Below, we share some important factors that you should consider when buying a toaster oven to make your decision-making process faster, more convenient, and, of course, more informed.
First up would be the heat setting of the toaster oven that you are interested in. This is important since you are likely going to bake and cook different types of food in the oven. Make sure that the product you decide to buy is able to produce adequate heat to cook the specific food items that you are looking to bake in the toaster oven. In the majority of cases, the heat settings in a toaster oven will range from about 130 degrees Fahrenheit up to around 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Some options will not produce as much heat, while others will not have low settings for simply keeping food warm.
The capacity of a toaster oven should also be taken into account when it comes to deciding which product you wish to buy. Even though all toaster ovens aim to provide a compact device that makes cooking and baking quick and easy, they do still come in different sizes. You will have to consider the specific food items that you would want to prepare in the toaster oven. If you are looking to cook larger food items, such as pizzas, then you will have to ensure the oven you end up buying will have adequate space to allow you to cook such a food item.
Capabilities And Features
Another important factor that you should consider when it comes to buying one of these toaster ovens is the particular features offered by the product. Built-in programs for cooking certain foods can definitely make your experience while using the product more convenient. Many of the newer versions of these toaster ovens will have features that allow you to press a single button for baking cookies, cooking up a pizza, or perhaps a chicken – this way, you do not have to manually set the temperature or even the timer, as these tasks are done for you.
Toaster Oven Tips
A toaster oven is often considered to be one of the most underused appliances in the kitchen. Many people do not realize that a toaster oven is really just a compact oven that they have on the countertop – offering them a way to prepare smaller batches of vegetables, meat, cookies, and many other food items, without using all of the energy that a standard oven would use.
Most people tend to associate a toaster oven with toasting bread. Sure, this is a convenient feature that the oven can be used for, but let’s consider a couple of other ways in which a toaster oven can be utilized:
- Add some vegetables to a tray and roast them in the toaster oven. This is a great way to prepare a healthy batch of vegetables that will be not only delicious, but also nutritious.
- Instead of simply adding a few slices of bread into the oven to toast, why not make a toasted cheese sandwich.
- You can easily add a couple of potatoes to the toaster oven to prepare yourself a baked potato or two. Cut them open, top with some cheese and add them back into the toaster oven for a few minutes.
- If you are in a hurry and like frozen meals, then simply pop the meal into the toaster oven, and it will be ready to eat in just a few minutes.
- Depending on the minimum heat setting of a toaster oven, you could also potentially use yours to defrost items like bread.
You can also cook ribs, sausage, pizza, and many other items in the toaster oven. Even though there are some limits to the uses of a toaster oven, you can do most things that you would do with your standard oven in your toaster oven.