Ah, Toaster ovens: the perfect tools for making… toast? While this miniature oven makes perfect bread toasts, it can do a whole lot more. Toaster ovens are also more energy efficient than regular ovens and have the ability to make brown and crispy foods in a way that microwaves can’t. From whole eggs still in their shells to fish, pizza, kebabs, and muffins—the best toaster ovens are a great solution for energy-conscious, small-space cooking.
So, what are Toaster ovens?
These are small electric ovens with a front door, wire rack, and removable baking pan. To use the toaster oven, you open the door and place the bread on a tray. Set the timer, which makes a sound when the bread is done. Unlike toasters that only bake or toast bread products, this also bakes, cooks, or reheat other foods. Toaster ovens have become the workhorse of the kitchen, and rightly so. If the food or bakeware can fit in the toaster oven, then the toaster oven can cook it.
Toaster ovens offer these advantages:
· As far as clean-up goes, toaster ovens have a smaller surface area to speed clean up, and some higher-end models even have a self-cleaning feature.
· Toaster ovens save some time, taking less than 5 minutes to pre-heat, versus as much as 15 minutes with conventional ovens.
· A toaster oven has a broiler unit, which can cook foods crisply in a short amount of time. This creates appealing results for breads, meats, and many other foods.
· Most toaster ovens can be attached underneath a cabinet, which saves counter space.
The Different Types
Convection Toaster Ovens
The convection toaster oven uses a stream of power driven air generated by a high-speed fan that rotates continually over a heating element. This brings about uniform temperature in the oven, which speeds up cooking and saves up to Fifty percent of the power consumed by conventional ovens.
This toaster oven offers you a multitude of solutions, so it has more cooking capabilities such as toasting, boiling, baking, broiling, roasting and defrosting, making them the perfect addition to any kitchen. Combined into one small and stylish kitchen device, this type of oven can also act as a pizza oven, toaster and rotisserie cooker. Depending on the size of the oven they can be great to cook anything from a couple of slices of bread to large chickens and even pizzas.
Convection seems to be the most popular feature in today’s newer models because of its versatility and its effectiveness in a small countertop oven. If you are looking for a second oven or something that can replace a lot of the tasks that you use your regular sized oven for, then this is probably the safest direction to go. The main downside of convection toaster ovens is that they are costlier than other toaster oven types models, though they may wind up saving serious cash in the long run because as we have discussed above, they use less electricity.
Infrared Toaster Ovens
Infrared ovens transfer heat directly to the food rather than heating the air around it. Preheating is unnecessary as the infrared technology makes heat available instantly. Food cooks as much as 50 percent faster than with standard electric heating coils. Infrared toaster ovens provide even cooking and exceptional browning and crisping. Some ovens have preset options that eliminate the need to time cooking.
A clear advantage of these toaster ovens is that you do not have to defrost your food or even preheat the cooker. Believe it or not, most of these food preparations can be made in 20 minutes even if you start cooking food from a frozen state. Infrared toaster ovens virtually have the same dimensions as regular toasters and do not require special cookware like the microwave oven.
Standard/Basic Toaster Ovens
If you don’t require extra features and add-ons, this model uses standard heating coils to heat food quickly. Standard toaster ovens tend to be smaller and more simplistic, offering fewer heat controls. They are very user-friendly and provide a good, even heating because they work almost exactly like regular ovens and use thermostats to control the temperature within the model. Basic toaster ovens are used for toasting, baking, roasting, and may include a few additional cooking functions.
Combination Toaster Ovens
This combines the speed and convenience of microwaves with the versatility of toaster ovens. Most importantly the two in one design is a space saver and leaves room on your countertop for other things like juicers, blenders, and bread-makers.
Rotisserie Toaster Ovens
A rotisserie toaster oven has a very specific use in mind: cooking meat. Featuring a rotating spit that helps ensure the meats you prepare cook more evenly, as well as come out nice and juicy. Some rotisserie ovens are large enough to fit a whole chicken (or even a couple), so they will take up a bit counter space.
However, while other toaster ovens have a permanent spot on the countertop, the rotisserie oven can be stored out of sight until when you need it.