Toaster ovens are great time, energy and money-saving appliances. If you are still relying on your conventional oven for baking, broiling and roasting and a toaster for making toast, you are really missing out on some substantial benefits of using one instead.
What are some of the benefits of using a toaster oven?
Since a toaster oven is a lot smaller than a regular oven, it takes much less time to heat up. While a conventional oven may take up to 15 minutes to pre-heat, this appliance takes less than 5 minutes. Because of the smaller area inside the toaster oven, food cooks faster and more evenly as well. Clean up is much faster as well. There is only a small area to clean, and most models have a removable tray that makes cleaning up spills and crumbs a snap!
Toaster ovens are quite small and really don’t take up much room on the counter at all. They can even be tucked inside a cupboard when not in use to save even more space. I used to have one that mounted under the cupboard. That was a God-send in my tiny kitchen!
Personally, I opted to get a toaster oven instead of a regular toaster for the simple fact that it can cook almost anything, including toast, while a toaster just makes toast. I thought that buying an appliance that would only do one thing was silly when I could get one that has many purposes. They have many uses. Pretty much anything that you make in an oven can be done in a toaster oven, if it will fit. While you won’t be able to cook a whole turkey in one, you can certainly make cakes, cookies, pizza, chicken, a small roast, fries, biscuits or just about anything else. They are also great for reheating food too, and they use less energy than a microwave. When you reheat crispy foods in a toaster oven, they actually come out crispy! No more soggy egg rolls from the microwave!
Conventional ovens use a lot of energy. A typical electric range can use up to 1200 kilowatts per year, while your little toaster oven will use only about 1/3 of that. Not only do they use much less energy to cook, they heat up faster and cook faster too, so that will save on energy costs as well.
While you may want to have your oven running all day in February, I’m guessing you’d rather not be baking all day in July! Regular ovens heat up the whole house, making cooking in the summer a very unpleasant chore. Toaster ovens are tiny and give off very little heat, making them the perfect choice for cooking in the summer.
An extra oven!
If you have big holiday gatherings like I do at my house, I’m sure you’ve run out of oven space before. When both of your oven racks are full and you still need to bake your sweet potato casserole somewhere – pop it into the toaster oven! It’s like having an extra oven at your disposal whenever you need it.
Teaching the kids to cook
While toaster ovens do get hot, and you definitely shouldn’t let small children touch them, older kids will feel so independent when they can pop a mini pizza, some chicken nuggets and fries, or another quick meal into it and make their own supper. Since it’s so quick and easy, kids are more likely to make a somewhat decent meal in the toaster oven than they would if they had to deal with waiting for the big oven to heat up, waiting for the food to cook, and then trying to get the pan out of the oven without burning themselves on the door. And we all know how messy kids can be in the kitchen! A messy spill in the oven is not fun to clean, but it’s quick and easy to clean up in the toaster oven with the handy little removable tray and glass door!
While a toaster oven will probably not completely replace your conventional oven, there are really a lot of good reasons to invest in one. Check out the toaster oven reviews page to know more. Once you’ve had one for a little while, you’ll wonder how you went without one for so long!