- Kitchen Electronics
Advantages of Counter Top Toaster Ovens
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.
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.
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
Take up little space
Take up lots of space
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
What is Your Experience?
Do You Own a Counter Top Toaster Oven?
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
- Mozzarella cheese sticks
- French bread pizzas
- French fries
- Breaded chicken strips
- Egg rolls
- Hot Dogs
- 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