How to Use a Toaster Oven
Toaster ovens are a fantastic invention. These little powerhouses, as the name suggests, are essentially combinations of toasters and ovens. They can cook many things in a much shorter time than an oven, and they don’t use as much energy as a full-sized oven. Of course, you can also use them to make toast. It should be noted that a toaster oven is not a substitute for a whole oven. You can’t bake large batches of cookies or large amounts of meat in one, for instance.
Below, we have put together a set of useful tips and tricks to help you get the most from your toaster oven. We have stuck by the following advice for many years, and have never gone wrong. It’s also worthwhile stating that modern toaster ovens have come a long way, and if you’re looking to buy a new one, then be sure to read our reviews of toaster ovens.
Cook small batches of meat
Obviously, you can’t roast the whole Thanksgiving turkey in a toaster oven, but you can cook individual fish fillets or small amounts of poultry or other meats. The toaster oven is also great for heating up meat that has gotten too cold before eating.
Bake small amounts of cookies/a small cake
In respect to baking desserts, a toaster oven can be a kind of mini oven. You can make a few cookies or a small cake or two. If you’ve made mug cake in the microwave before, consider this a more satisfying alternative.
If you’ve already made something and need to melt cheese on it (for instance, if you’ve sprinkled cheese on soup or have added some to spaghetti and meatballs), the toaster oven is a quick way to do so. The cheese mets more nicely than it does in a microwave, too.
Broil items with more control and with less energy
A toaster oven can be used as a sort of mini-broiler. However, temperature controls on a toaster oven are more exact than those on a broiler, and you can watch the food cook through a small window the whole time. Also, the toaster oven won’t use nearly as much energy as the whole oven does, even when it’s only on the broil function.
Cook side dishes if the oven is already in use
This function is especially useful when you’re making a large meal. While it’s possible to put more than one thing in the oven, some items cook at much different temperatures. A toaster oven is great for cooking the smaller things while the main dish cooks in the oven.
The toaster oven is a great place to heat up plates so they’re perfectly warm when they’re served to your guests.
Steps to Use
Of course, you want to make sure you understand how to actually operate a toaster oven before you start cooking with it. You do need to keep in mind that different toaster ovens generally cook slightly differently. If you have a new one or are using an unfamiliar toaster oven for the first time, be sure to keep an eye on the food so it doesn’t overcook. Here are some simple steps to make sure your toaster-oven experience is ideal:
- Plug in the toaster oven and make sure it is on a clean, flat, uncluttered counterspace.
- Select the purpose of the use – many toaster ovens have a dial to make selection easy. Sample use selections include broil, bake, and defrost.
- Select the temperature. This will be a different knob or dial. Make sure you know the proper cooking temperature for the food you’re making.
- Check to see if your toaster oven has a built-in timer. If it does not, be sure to set a timer. It’s wise to keep an eye on the food to make sure it isn’t burning.
- Remove food with proper protection for your hands and enjoy.
Care of the toaster oven
Part of being a responsible toaster oven user is keeping your apparatus clean. Cleaning is fairly straightforward, but here are some tips to help clarify things:
- DO NOT submerge it in water. A toaster oven can be damaged if you try to clean it by submerging it. If it comes into contact with water while plugged in, there is a risk of electrocution.
- Clean up spills as they happen. Allowing spilled food to build up in the toaster oven is dangerous and can lead to fires. If needed, you can remove racks and soak them to remove baked-on food.
When you know how to keep your toaster oven clean, you ensure that you’ll have a long-lasting machine. And when you know the incredible range of foods you can cook in a toaster oven, you’ll realize that this mini-oven is one of the best kitchen values you’ll ever own.
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