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Advantages of Counter Top Toaster Ovens

Updated on September 13, 2012
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Can’t Afford a New Traditional Oven?

Let’s say your traditional oven went kaput, and you do not have the money to purchase a new one at this time.

A toaster oven is a perfect option and will cost maybe less than 10% of what you would have to spend on a new traditional oven. It could hold you over for a very long time until you are able to get the funds together for a larger oven.

Traditional/Conventional Ovens

One appliance found in just about every kitchen is a traditional or conventional oven. They sit on the floor and typically consist of a large oven and a range top with four “stove-top” burners. A traditional oven has a large cooking capacity and is necessary when you are making something such as a turkey, a ham, a large roast, a cake, etc.

But, have you ever considered the convenience and huge cost savings of using a counter top toaster oven?

What is a Counter Top Toaster Oven?

A toaster oven is an appliance small enough to sit on a counter top. To me, the word “toaster” should be eliminated because these great little ovens do way more than simply “toast.”

Most people think of toaster ovens as a way to toast or warm food. The truth is that you can cook things just like you would in a traditional oven because a counter top toaster bakes and broils too.

Some counter-top oven models are even “self-cleaning.” Some actually do have a separate “toaster” unit on top for bread and bagels as well. More expensive models are larger and may even include a rotisserie.

For Your Information

There are also counter top appliances called Convection Ovens. They are similar in size to a toaster oven although they use a fan to blow the heat around.

Convection ovens use different techniques such as not covering the food, trays with shorter sides, etc. For the purpose of this article, we are discussing counter top toaster ovens.

Other Small Kitchen Appliances

Toaster Oven vs. Microwave Oven

We all know that microwaves were a great invention. It’s hard to imagine a household without one nowadays. Yet there are foods that are much better using a toaster oven.

For example, try reheating leftover pizza in a toaster oven. Once you do, you’ll see that it will come out very similar to how it was when it first came out of the pizza box; not mushy or a rubbery dough which could be the case if using a microwave.

Toaster Oven vs. Regular Toaster

I do not own a regular toaster. I have no need for one because I easily make toast, bagels, and so much more in my toaster oven. To me, a regular toaster is one of those appliances that if I did have one, it would be sitting in storage in my basement ready for the next garage sale, if I hadn’t already given it away.

Toaster oven heating elements similar to a traditional electric oven.
Toaster oven heating elements similar to a traditional electric oven. | Source

How Does a Counter Top Toaster Oven Work?

A toaster oven runs on electricity and works similar to a traditional electric oven or toaster using radiant heating elements (metal coils). There are settings for baking or broiling usually up to 450-500 degrees. Toaster ovens that have top and bottom heating elements ensure more even baking.

In addition, a counter top toaster oven has a “toast” setting with a timer that can be programmed to shut off in the proper amount of time. Some may even have a special cycle for defrosting.

Energy and Cost Savings Potential of Counter Top Toaster Ovens

According to the ENERGY STAR Market & Industry Scoping Report in November 2011, full-sized traditional ovens are not very efficient when cooking small or medium sized meals. The potential energy and cost savings if using a counter top toaster oven for the same meals is over 50%.

Differences Between a Toaster Oven and a Traditional Oven

COUNTER TOP TOASTER OVEN
TRADITIONAL OVEN
Take up little space
Take up lots of space
Pre-heat fast
Takes longer to pre-heat
Easy to clean
Difficult to clean
No range top cooking
Range top cooking option
Small cooking capacity
Larger cooking capacity
Perfect when cooking for one or two
Too large when cooking for one or two
Less easy to burn yourself
More easy to burn yourself
Lower electric cost
Much higher electric (or gas) cost
Does not heat up entire kitchen on a hot day
Heats up kitchen (and house) on a hot day
Much easier for kids to use
More difficult for kids to use
Perfect if you are in a hurry
Forget it if you are in a hurry
Great for a college dorm room
Wont' fit in a college dorm room
Created by Sharyn's Slant
Counter top toaster ovens are a great appliance that take up little space.
Counter top toaster ovens are a great appliance that take up little space. | Source

What is Your Experience?

Do You Own a Counter Top Toaster Oven?

See results

What to Cook in a Counter Top Toaster Oven

The majority of foods listed here I've personally cooked in my toaster oven.

  • Reheat pizza
  • Toast
  • Bagels
  • Waffles
  • Mozzarella cheese sticks
  • French bread pizzas
  • French fries
  • Breaded chicken strips
  • Egg rolls
  • Hot Dogs
  • Kielbasi
  • Onion Rings
  • Frozen dinners
  • Sausage links
  • Toasted almonds or walnuts
  • Cheesy Garlic Bread
  • Pork chops
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Tuna melts
  • Frozen bread rolls
  • Frozen cookie dough drops
  • Cake (yes, you can bake a small cake)
  • And so much more!

In Summary: Why Are Counter Top Toaster Ovens So Popular?

Counter top toaster ovens are extremely easy to clean. They take up very little space for the big advantages they offer. When you are in a hurry but really need to use an oven, they are much more convenient.

Toaster ovens are a definite must for smaller families. BUT, even larger families on the go will benefit. Kids can easily learn how to use a toaster oven for quick meals and snacks. And the elderly may find toaster ovens much easier and safer to use.

Small spaces such as RV’s, trailers and college dorms would really benefit from the space savings of toaster ovens. Of course, anyone can benefit economically from the energy and money savings provided by this wonderful little appliance.

This is Sharyn's Slant


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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I had to laugh when I saw this hub. My first marriage..our first gift from an uncle. He said he hope the toaster oven lasted as long as the marriage. It did .and they we got divorced within weeks...They are great. and I do miss mine..though not the marriage. Thanks for a great hub.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      In hot climates like Texas, we use toaster ovens all the time. I'm wondering why I don't have two of them!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I used to have a toaster oven and used it all the time. My kitchen is too small now to have one, but it's a great appliance.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Carol ~ ha ha, thanks for the laugh. I'm glad to hear your toaster oven lasted. Much more important than . . . well, you know, ha. But I do think it's time for a new one for you! Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Sharyn

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Glimmer ~ thanks for your feedback. Too small? I'm sorry to hear that since they really don't take up much room. Hope you are able to have one again in the future.

      Sharyn

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      We have a toaster oven that is attached to the upper cabinet so we still have counter space and we use if for a multitude of things. Your list was great as they are just that useful. Great hub.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Lela ~ Oh I bet. I did try to stress the point that toaster ovens are great to use when it is hot since they don't heat up the kitchen and even the entire house. Really great for those in hot climates!!! Hey, maybe you'll get another one for Christmas :) Thanks for stopping by.

      Sharyn

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Pamela ~ definitely, the "space saver" toaster ovens that attach under a cabinet are awesome for not even taking up counter space. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

      Sharyn

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Sharyn....This one outta get you on Page 1 Google in NO time!!! Excellent, well organized and very informational! I don't own one....but my MOM did, loved it and used it almost exclusively because she only cooked for one. She could never justify heating the big oven and this saved her in the long run. No heating up the house on a warm day and much easier to use. She swore by it!! Well, she swore in a lot of places throughout the house, but that's not what this hub is about, is it?? UP++

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Paula ~ absolutely, I feel the same way your Mom did. If I'm making, let's say, two frozen french bread pizzas - why would I heat the entire oven, kitchen, house . . . etc. And the toaster oven is much quicker too. I "swear by it" too! Your mom and I would have gotten along really well! Thanks for your fun comments!!!

      Sharyn

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      SOLD!! I love the idea of warming up food, and it comes out the way it should rather than all rubbery and so chewy you can't bite through it.

      The list of things you can fix in a toaster oven is great too. I am all about saving energy.

      Great hub! I love the comparison chart! Your layout is superb! :-)

      Votes and shared!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Before toaster ovens were created, I used a toaster. Now I have a toaster oven and wouldn't trade it for all the gold in China. Well, maybe some of the gold ...

      Thanks for the deja vu, Sharon.

    • profile image

      Vincent Moore 4 years ago

      Okay I'm convinced I'm going out to buy one for my new bachelor pad. I was needing a toaster and now reading this, the toaster oven is certainly the way to go. Great timing, glad I saw this hub to help me make my final decision. Voted up useful and interesting for sure.

    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 4 years ago from United States, Illinois

      I had my last toaster oven for about 5 years before it finally stopped working, and used it at least 2-3 times a week. Currently I use my pizza oven to replace it until I get a new one lol. I use my conventional oven a lot as well but the convenience of the toaster ocen can't be beat for smaller foods. voted up, interesting and useful.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Susan H ~ Yay, I SOLD you!!! Toaster ovens are great for warming up many different foods that come out better than in the microwave. It really is a "texture" thing for me. Thank you so much for your votes and shares!

      Sharyn

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Dr. BJ ~ Ohhh, me too! The first toaster oven I had, I won playing bingo at a carnival years ago. I have not had a regular toaster since. I'm only on my second toaster oven today. I'll take some of that gold if you find any! Thanks for stopping by.

      Sharyn

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Vincent ~ I'm so glad you stopped by. Absolutely, I know you just moved into your new place. You definitely could benefit from purchasing a toaster oven. It will make life much easier. And heck, if you were going to buy a toaster anyway, this is a great option. Thanks so much for your feedback. Hope things are going well in your new bachelor pad!

      Sharyn

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Scott ~ 5 years is a good run for a toaster oven. I'm not familiar with a "pizza oven" but I'm sure it's similar. Yet you are right, the conveniences and the cost savings of a toaster oven can't be beat. Thanks for your feedback!

      Sharyn

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'll probably use mine more often if I ever get rid of these darn kids :) I do use it a lot for frozen mini quiches and other appetizers when we have company and the oven is being used for something else. The guys are always doing pizza in it. I do prefer bagels in the toaster oven rather than a regular toaster (which I no longer own either). Okay I'll stop now before I rattle on forever. Great review on the toaster oven!

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      I have to admit that I didn't know they cooked and broiled, I just thought they toasted! I guess I must have forgot what the 'oven' stands for in the name. Sounds like I would prefer a toaster oven over my big, hard-to-clean oven.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Susan ~ yeah, but the kids could certainly use it without you always cooking for them. It really is great for pizza and appetizer like food as you mentioned. BTW, you can "rattle" all you want :) Thank you so much for your feedback.

      Sharyn

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hello Relationshipc ~ Yup, bake and broil too. Toaster ovens are so convenient. I'm sure there are people out there that do not actually own a traditional oven because they can use the toaster oven and/or microwave. I appreciate you stopping by, thank you.

      Sharyn

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hey! I am so glad I did not totally miss this! You have been a busy girl:)

      Sharyn - I love toaster ovens and just like you pointed out - microwaves do not make stuff crispy. I just didn't have the room for one with everything else. Dave just built shelves for me in the garage so I could store big stuff I don't use everyday there. Like the bread machine, wok - you know!

      So hey - I AM going to get one again! I can just put it on the shelf which is conveniently situated right outside the kitchen door. I had one for a long time. Laurel caught that one on fire:) LOL

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      I have always had a toaster oven. I need to get a new one. I don't cook much of anything in the microwave. Before mine broke I cooked everything in it from hot pockets to battered mushrooms to toasted sandwiches. This is a great hub and a great reminder to go get a new one. :)

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I love toaster ovens! You just can't make good french fries or pizza in the microwave. Oh, and chicken, you've got to do chicken in the toaster oven, not the microwave. Great hub and voted up!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hey Kelly ~ Absolutely, toaster ovens are so easy and convenient to make things "crispy." The microwave is great for many things, but the toaster oven just can't be beat for things like pizza, etc. Dave's a good man building you those shelves. Since you and I chatted earlier, I already know that you purchased a new one tonight! Cool ~ the one's that are convection are nice and big, enough to make a chicken in it. I'm sure you'll love it. Thanks for stopping by,

      Sharyn

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Tammy ~ So glad I reminded you to buy another toaster oven, ha. I love using mine daily. I was also thinking about getting a new one. Not because it is not working but because I use it so much, it doesn't clean up so well at this point. Thanks for your feedback,

      Sharyn

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Jeanie ~ me too! I made steak fries in my toaster oven tonight. One of my favorite quick foods to make in my toaster is Tyson's crispy chicken strips. Done in like 10 minutes. Grab the honey mustard and I'm set. Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Sharyn

    • Kyricus profile image

      Tony 4 years ago from Ohio

      I really should pick one of these up for myself. We have one in the cafeteria at work and it's constantly in use. I only cook for myself and hence, the oven sits unused much of the time. If I am cooking just a couple of burgers, or a single steak, I either throw them on my small grill outside or pan fry them. The toaster oven would be a nice solution, especially to outside grilling in the winter!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hello Kyricus ~ I see you are a fellow Ohioan! Yay! It sounds like a toaster oven would be perfect for you. Thank you so much for your feedback, very much appreciated.

      Sharyn

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Hi Sharyn! I use my toaster oven all the time. They really are convenient and affordable. Thanks for the hub, especially the chart. I really enjoyed reading this. Voted up, useful, and shared! Kelley

    • His princesz profile image

      His princesz 4 years ago

      Whow pretty neat oven;) Really is an advantage. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      I want one of these, me thinks! I have totally been missing out! We used to have one, it died, and we got a cheap toaster without thinking. It's an idiot toaster, too. Dang...and I need a new crockpot, too. So...hardware store here I come! :)

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Kelley ~ I'm so glad you enjoyed this. I see you are a fellow "toaster oven" lover :) Thank you for your feedback and share too.

      Sharyn

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hello His Princesz ~ yup, toaster ovens are definitely a great little appliance. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      Sharyn

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Cyndi ~ me thinks you need to get a toaster oven. And sure, pick up a crockpot while you are at it, ha. Thanks for your fun feedback, I appreciate you stopping by.

      Sharyn

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Wow, you've used your toaster for a lot of things. I've thought about getting one! I have so little counter space, but it might be worth it to pull out the ole toaster oven now and then for certain things. Great hub. Sharing!

    • profile image

      tattuwurn 4 years ago

      With breads usually, I use oven toaster. Microwave ovens make breads really hard that they're almost like a stone. Hehehehe. I even bake my mini-brownies and cookies with that. So neat. Plus it's lightweight. Thanks for giving props to one of my favorites in the kitchen. :)

      Up and useful. :)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I'm a huge fan of the toaster oven and have used one for years. Can't imagine anyone not having one. You've done a great job of covering all the reasons for having a toaster oven. Really well done Sharyn and you have my thumbs up and more!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      We've been using a counter top convection oven for about 12 years now. In fact, I am on my 3rd one. The first one died, and the second was too small. We bake everything that isn't too big to go in it. I just made a 9' x 13" pan of dressing this week. We use it because we noticed that our gas bill went up about $5 per month EACHh time we used the stove oven, even after we bought a new range. My mother baked her biscuits in her toaster oven, and my brother uses a Nu Wave and swears by it. So I second the motion for convenience, economy, and less heat in the house. Good hub. Voted you up ++.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
      Author

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Vicki ~ You should get a toaster oven. They really don't take up much counter space and are wonderful for cooking and heating up so many foods. Much better than a microwave for so many things. Thanks for stopping by.

      Sharyn

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi tattuwurn ~ Yes, anything that is bread-like comes out much better in a toaster oven. And they are great for popping in 6 or 8 cookie dough. Thanks so much for your feedback and votes.

      Sharyn

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Audrey ~ I feel the same way. Can't imagine not having a toaster oven. I'd give up other kitchen appliances before I'd give up my toaster oven. Thanks so much for your great feedback and thumbs up!

      Sharyn

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi MizBejabbers ~ nice to meet you. For me, convection ovens are okay but seem to be too big for the counter top. Of course, they are great for larger things like using a 9 X 13 pan. A toaster oven is perfect for me. And I also have friends that swear by the NuWave oven. I really appreciate your feedback. Thank you so much for stopping by.

      Sharyn

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image
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      Sharon Smith 3 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Samita ~ I'm so glad you found this informative. Thank you so much for stopping by.

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