Do you also get annoyed when you open the toaster, and it is cold? Especially when you’ve spent a reasonable amount of time preparing your food. And, even if you have bought a brand new one of the most expensive ones only for that purpose, sometimes it still doesn’t make your toast in time. Yes, it happens when you don’t research before buying.
The best toaster is the one that fits all your needs. Toasters come in a variety of sizes, and their price ranges from $30 -$300. They are not built equally but have different specifications for specific uses. This article will cover the differences between toasters and ovens and discuss what you should look for when buying either one of them.
But first, let’s define what these appliances are.
What Is a Toaster?
Toasters are simple kitchen appliances that are efficient to toast bread, bagels, and various other foods. Toasters have several features that make them more efficient than using a standard oven or heating device. They can be a single unit or can come in pairs (with two slots on the same side) for families with multiple members who like to have a toast simultaneously. Some toasters come with extra features such as unique settings for defrosting frozen foods, reheating foods, and making bagels.
What Is a Toaster Oven?
A toaster oven is a small oven that has doors on the top and bottom, just like a toaster. It can be multi-purpose for cooking other things as well. Whether you need to bake a cake, broil chicken, or toast some bread, you can use your toaster oven for all these jobs. Toaster ovens are not only inexpensive, but they also save energy compared to using your full-sized oven.
How Do They Function?
Toaster ovens are compact, and they heat faster than full-sized ovens. They can be used to bake, broil, toast, or warm a single serving of food and are capable of baking variety of food. They also have a timer that allows you to program the appliance for the exact time and temperature that you want. Toaster ovens have a warming tray on each side. These trays, usually found at the top or bottom of the toaster, can warm and cook food. The cooking element is found at the bottom, next to the trays, and it radiates heat towards the top side of the appliance. To cook food in a toaster oven, you simply place your food on one of the heating trays and leave it for several minutes until it is done.
How Do Toaster Ovens Differ From Other Ovens?
Toaster ovens are different from your traditional home oven. They hold less space and energy (compared to a full-sized home oven) and do not have all the features of a full-sized home oven. Toaster ovens cost less than an average full-sized home oven, but they give you some of the convenience of using a larger machine in your kitchen without the large price tag.
10 Benefits of Toaster Ovens:
1. Best Alternative to An Oven
A toaster oven is great if you have already invested in a full-sized oven and don’t need it for everyday use. They are also a great alternative if you are trying to eat healthier or bake more frequently. Toaster ovens can be used for defrosting frozen food, broiling food, making pizzas, baking flatbread & cookies, dehydrating food, reheating leftovers, and more.
2. Provides Extra Cooking Space
If you live in a small apartment or just don’t have enough space to store a larger oven, a toaster oven is an easy solution! They take up less room and can be placed anywhere that is convenient in your kitchen. These ovens may be smaller, but they can easily fit many common cooking items such as small roasts, turkeys, pizzas up to 14 inches in diameter, and many other things.
3. Preheats Faster
Toaster ovens often have a preheat function, allowing you to place your food in and heat up faster. You can also make use of the broil feature to prepare meat and veggies quickly.
4. Uses Less Energy
Because toaster ovens use a smaller amount of energy than standard ovens, they are better for the environment. According to Energy Star, a toaster can save up to $30 annually in energy costs.
5. Doesn’t Make the Kitchen Hot or Clammy
Unlike traditional ovens, toaster ovens don’t cause the kitchen to heat up. As a result, there are no messy accidents involving burned food or burns from hot pans.
6. Easier to Clean
Non-stick cookware is easier to clean than traditional pots and pans. This is because the non-stick surface eliminates the need for using oils or fats to prevent sticking.
7. Less Fat Consumption
The purpose of cooking is to serve food, but it also serves as a source for our daily intake of fats and calories. With non-stick cookware, you can save yourself from eating too many calories by simply avoiding the need to add oil or butter to your food when cooking with it.
8. Easy to Use
Most toaster ovens have easy-to-read and understand operating instructions for the most commonly used functions. Some models feature a built-in timer that can be programmed for setting to cook at a particular time. Others may even include automatic shutoff timers that automatically turn off the oven after a certain amount of time or when the food is finished cooking, too. This type of feature can save you from having to check on your food every few minutes!
9. Space-saving Convenience
These ovens are also great for those renting as they don’t have to worry about being forced to buy their oven. People who live in condos may not have room for a full-size oven, but with a toaster oven, it wouldn’t matter. One may also find that their toaster oven is more powerful than the built-in ovens in some rental properties.
Toaster ovens are available in many different shapes, sizes, colors, and designs. You can choose from a wide variety of toaster ovens that blends in perfectly with your kitchen’s decor. You can also choose from a removable crumb tray and cord storage, so you don’t have to worry about the cord getting in the way of your cooking. Using a toaster oven as a tabletop grill is another great feature that makes it more appealing for individuals who love BBQ grills.
Types of Toaster Ovens:
Toaster ovens come in a variety of sizes and styles. Here are some common types:
• Toaster ovens can be categorized as “full-sized” or “miniature,” depending on their size and purpose. Toaster ovens designed to be compact enough for everyday use usually take up less space than full-sized ovens. They may range from 12 to over 20″ in-depth, yet still large enough for everyday use. Miniature toaster ovens are usually designed for smaller families that need a convenient place to store meal-sized dishes or for those who only reheat and defrost food regularly.
• Toaster ovens can also be categorized as “built-in” or “exterior,” depending on their installation. Built-in toaster ovens are designed to fit into kitchens with an existing built-in stove and oven. These operate by having the controls located on the outside of the cooktop to be used in the same manner as a built-in range. On the other hand, exterior toaster ovens are usually intended for mounting on kitchen countertops with no existing built-in oven. Most of these toaster ovens are designed with a non-stick interior and will often feature a timer that can be programmed to shut off the appliance when the food is done automatically.
The Other Types of Toaster Ovens May Be as Follows:
1. Countertop Toaster Oven:
These toaster ovens are designed as a countertop appliances and are not intended to mount on a countertop. The exterior features will differ from one model to another. Still, typically, all models of countertop and toaster ovens will have a small heating element located inside the stovetop, which will heat the unit’s interior.
• Most models of countertop ovens will have enough room to hold a small dish that is 12 to 14 inches in diameter. While most of these units are mainly used for reheating and defrosting, you can also use them for cooking an individual-sized pizza or a small roast.
2. Countertop Convection Oven:
These types of ovens are designed to be used both for toasting and baking. These particular units may have a heating element or a convection fan located inside the oven to heat the food and circulate it throughout the appliance. A convection cooking oven may take longer than a regular toaster oven for your food to heat up, but the results can be well worth the wait.
• These units are great for reheating and defrosting, as well as simple baking. They are also meant to be used for cakes, pastries, and other large meal-sized goods.
3. Rotisserie Oven:
These units are intended for use either to roast or slow-roast food. A rotisserie oven is different from a regular oven in that it does not have heating elements of any kind. Instead, each section of the oven consists of a rotating mechanism that rotates each section at a different pace so that the food is evenly cooked throughout and has a browned exterior.
• You can use this type of toaster oven to roast chicken, vegetables, and other meats.
4. Infrared Countertop Oven:
The design of an infrared oven is similar to that of a regular toaster oven, but infrared heat can control the temperature of the oven. Infrared heat is measured in K, where 1 K is equal to 1 watt per square centimeter. The infrared elements are located at the bottom of the appliance and are responsible for heating the food cooked at a preset temperature. The temperature controls should be used to adjust the distance between the element and the food.
• This type of toaster oven is perfect for cooking your favorite snacks, reheating your food, and baking a quick dessert.
5. 4-Slice Toaster Oven:
This type of toaster oven will have four separate independent slots for heating your food. The slots are meant to be programmed for the time and temperature you want to cook your food. You can laser-cut a large enough slot for a pizza or thin enough to heat your favorite snack.
• For those who want their breakfast or lunch in the morning, this is a great appliance that will serve you well.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Toaster Oven:
While going for the best toaster oven, you must look at many factors before buying it. Because there are hundreds of models available, it isn’t easy to choose the best one. Thus, we have put together a list of factors to help you choose the suitable model for your needs.
What Type of Toaster Oven Do You Have?
Decide what kind of toaster oven you have now. This will save you a lot of time and trouble when deciding which one to buy. If you are looking for a new toaster oven, get rid of your old one first, or it may confuse you.
What is Your Budget?
Toaster ovens range in price from $100 up to $700. If you are on a budget, this will help you narrow your choices right away. Decide what your maximum price is before looking at any models, and you may find that there are some outstanding models available at a lower cost.
What Type of Cooking do You Enjoy?
Do you love to grill food, bake bread, or broil your meats? Does the expense of a new toaster oven outweigh the benefits of your cooking choices? Think about what you want from your toaster oven and make sure that the features you would like are available on the model you are considering.
How Much Space do You Have to Work with?
There are many models of toaster ovens on the market. When looking at the different models, remember that you will need to have space for the appliance. If you are a small family and want a small appliance for your countertop, most of the larger toaster ovens will not be necessary. The smaller models take up less space than the larger ones because they are shorter and fit on a countertop.
Space will also be necessary for the racks, and they are sometimes designed to fit on glass shelves or the sides of the oven. If you do not have a lot of space, you will want to look for a smaller model.
You should also look for the following features while buying a new toaster oven:
The temperature range of a toaster oven should be from 100°F to 450°F. If you would like to cook food at a low temperature, check the temperature range of the appliances that you are looking at. Many models do not have a high enough degree for slow cooking of meats and vegetables. While some models can go up as high as 500°F, this is rare.
Preset temperature for specific uses is a convenient feature to have while cooking. This feature will save you time when you are cooking your meal. You can set the model to the temperature needed to cook your food and then come back when it is finished. These preset temperatures are often used for cooking large meals such as pizzas and casseroles, but they can also be used for small snacks.
Auto shutoff will shut your toaster oven off if it is on for too long. You don’t want to leave your food unattended in the kitchen, so this feature will be an excellent addition. It will also save energy if you are cooking something that takes a while, such as roasting a large piece of meat.
You will want to keep an eye on your food while it is being cooked. If the toaster oven burns parts of your food, you may not be able to use the appliance anymore. The ideal toaster oven will have two heating elements that evenly distribute heat throughout the oven.
Ease of Use:
If you are starting in the kitchen, choose a model that has a simple and easy-to-follow instruction manual. You will want to look at the controls and see if they are in an easy-to-reach place. You should also check out the oven racks that are available because you do not want to spend a long time trying to get your food out of the oven.
Maintainance and Cleaning Guidelines for Toaster Ovens:
You need to follow a few maintenance guidelines to keep your toaster oven working at its peak. If you follow these simple guidelines, your appliance will last longer and not break down as soon. Here is a list of the most critical factors that will affect the life of your appliance:
1. Keep Things Cool While Cooking:
Your toaster oven will work better and last longer if you cook your food regularly than if you don’t use it at all. If you do not plan on using the toaster oven often, keep the door closed while it is plugged into the wall. This will allow your appliance to cool off instead of heating up immediately when you open it again.
2. Sweeping Away the Dust and Debris:
Keeping the outside of your toaster oven clean will make your appliance last longer than if you don’t. Use a slightly damp cloth to wipe off any food that has caked onto your appliance, and then allow it to air dry before storing or using again.
3. Wiping Out the Oven Interior:
While brushing your toaster oven, you may notice some food caked on the interior of your appliance. Wipe it clean with a damp cloth before putting it back in place. You do not want to have this inside your oven for any reason as it will make cleaning more difficult and cause parts to wear down faster, leading to an appliance that needs replacement sooner than expected.
4. Preparing Your Toaster Oven for Regular Use:
You can now do some things to help keep your toaster oven in shape and ready to use at a moment’s notice. The first thing you should do is vacuum the inside, wipe it out, and dry it completely. Ensure that there is no food or dust on the interior of your appliance before putting it back into storage.
5. Keeping Things in Order:
When it is time to clean your toaster oven, you will want to make sure that you do not leave parts of the appliance out. When cleaning a toaster oven, you should remove all racks and parts of the appliance. This will keep them from getting dirty while you clean and also help you clean the top of the appliance to the bottom with ease.
If you follow these guidelines for maintaining your toaster oven, your appliance will last longer than if it is not cleaned at all.
Some Famous Brands of Toaster Ovens Available:
While there are hundreds of brands and models of toaster ovens on the market, some are better than others.
One of the most popular brands, Bosch toaster ovens, goes beyond typical oven functions and provides additional features and convenience. The multi-cook features allow you to toast two slices simultaneously, cook pizza or waffles at the same time, and warm a frozen meal in a fraction of the time.
The Avanti Classic Toaster Oven has a unique design that allows you to view your food and its progress. The door also opens up a lot wider than most models making it easy for larger family members to take items out of the oven.
Breville provides a wide variety of toaster ovens for different cooking needs. The Breville Compact Toaster Oven can fit in almost any closet and is very small and compact. Unlike most toaster ovens, it has an adjustable wire rack, providing heating elements that are evenly distributed throughout the oven.
Frigidaire’s line of toaster ovens offers a wide range of options to meet your needs. The Space Maker Toaster Oven is designed to fit a variety of foods, including things such as pizza, baked chicken, grilled sandwiches, and frozen meals. The stainless-steel interior provides even heating, and cleaning is quick.
Hamilton Beach’s Toaster Oven can be used for both conventional cooking and baking. The exterior is made from steel which ensures that the interior temperature remains even during cooking. It has rack settings that tilt down to remove your food once it is cooked easily.
The Borner manual toaster oven is a simple and efficient model that allows you to toast, broil, and warm your foods without heating your kitchen. It provides positive temperature control right from the start allowing for even browning. This oven can be used on its own or with a grilling rack for additional cooking options.
The Imusa Manual Toaster Oven is compact in size and lightweight so that you can move it from room to room with ease. It features a non-slip handle and a locking door to keep it in place while baking or cooking.
You will find that Krups has a variety of toaster ovens designed to meet different needs. The 1520 Easy Pop Toaster Oven is designed for easy storage and convenient use. It is also the perfect size for smaller spaces so that it fits on any countertop.
Cuisinart makes toaster ovens that stand out with their stylish designs and powerful functions. The Classic Toaster Oven comes with six preset temperatures that you can use to cook your food. The extra-long cord will provide you with more flexibility when cooking, while the door storage will keep your countertop free of mess.
After reading this article, it is hoped that you feel confident about buying the right toaster oven for your needs. A great toaster oven will make cooking fun and easy. Even though they are relatively small, they pack a powerful punch regarding the quality of food they can produce. The best kitchen appliances are ones that you enjoy using and will use every day. A toaster oven is a simple appliance but can greatly improve your home cooking experience.