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How Can I Get The Most Out Of My Toaster Oven?

How to work a toaster oven

You’ve just bought it. Now you’re looking at a new kitchen appliance wondering if it was a good purchase. You just need to know how to work a toaster oven, then you’ll be a convert. I love using my toaster oven, but figuring out the theory and practice behind using it took me a while. That’s why I thought I’d make a guide to help out new toaster oven owners.

One of the best things about owning a toaster oven is that it is extremely versatile. This is also a big stumbling block for a lot of people. If it’s so versatile, how can I know which setting to use?

Here’s my guide to making 4 dishes in the best way possible. There are plenty of other dishes you can make with a toaster oven, but these techniques will cover you for a lot of them. Then it is your responsibility to experiment and find out ways to cook other dishes. That’s the joy of using a toaster oven – there’s always something else to learn.

Table of contents

  • How To Use A Toaster Oven To Make Toast
  • How To Use A Toaster Oven For Pizza
  • How To Use A Toaster Oven For Bagels
  • How To Use A Toaster Oven For Baking
  • Conclusion

How To Use A Toaster Oven To Make Toast

Toaster is in the name, so this should be easy, right? Well, toaster ovens work more like conventional ovens, so not necessarily. You will need to set the toaster oven properly before you can make toast.

You will need to follow these 4 easy steps to get the best toast:

  • Set your toaster to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (depending on your toaster oven, you may need to use a dial or buttons)
  • Set the timer dial to 4 or 5 minutes, depending on your desired crunchiness
  • Flip the toast over at 2 to 2 and a half minutes if you have a toaster oven with one element
  • Remove your toast, add your favorite topping, and eat

Making toast with a toaster oven is that easy.

How to work a toaster oven

Saying that, you can ignore the above advice if you invested in a toaster oven / toaster combo. A lot of toaster ovens come with separate toaster slots. This means that you can simply pop your toast in the slot, plunge the lever, and you will have excellent toast in no time.

How To Use A Toaster Oven For Pizza

Many toaster ovens come with specifically designed pizza slots (usually around 12” to 14” in diameter). If you have one, you’ll be able to see a ring shape at the bottom of the toaster oven. This makes it easy to cook a large pizza. If you have one of these, baking pizza in a toaster oven is pretty similar to using a regular oven.

You will need to:

  • Set your toaster oven to 450 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and let it preheat (for larger pizzas, you can set this a little lower to stop burning)
  • Pop your pizza into the pizza slot in your toaster oven
  • Give it 15 to 20 minutes to cook and remove the pizza from your toaster oven

If you don’t have a pizza oven slot, you can make small pizzas and cook them in a similar way to toast (without flipping them!)

You will need to:

  • Prepare your pizzas so that they are roughly the size of a piece of toast
  • Turn your toaster oven on and set the temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Put the mini-pizzas into your toaster oven and set the timer to 10 minutes
  • Check on the pizza as often as you can and remove them when cooked

So even if you have a smaller toaster oven, you can still enjoy the best homemade pizzas that you can make.

How to work a toaster oven

How To Use A Toaster Oven For Bagels

Making bagels in a toaster oven is easier than making pizza. Really, they’re the easiest thing to make in a toaster oven. The process is very similar to making toast, but we need to set the heat lower.

Again, if you have a toasting slot in your toaster oven, you can simply place your bagels into the slot and let the toaster oven cook them. Depending on your desired crunchiness, you can set your timer to between 2 to 5 minutes.

To toast bagels in the cooking cavity, you will need to:

  • Set your toaster oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and allow it to preheat
  • Cut your bagels in half so that the toaster oven can cook the inside without burning the outside
  • Place your bagels on top of the grill and let the toaster oven cook them
  • Set your timer between 2 and 4 minutes
  • Take out the bagels when the time is up, add your favorite toppings and enjoy your crisp bagels
How to work a toaster oven

And then you can make the perfect bagels in your toaster oven. This makes making bagels in your toaster oven as easy as using a regular toaster.

How To Use A Toaster Oven For Baking

One of the best things about using a toaster oven is that you can make cookies and small cakes too. I’ve loved being able to make toast and cookies as it means I can have a very versatile piece of kitchenware without losing a lot of space in my kitchen.

You will have to:

  • Place your cookie dough or cupcakes onto a baking tray
  • Set your toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let the appliance preheat
  • If you want your cookies to be slightly chewy, set the temperature slightly slower – I’ve found that 350 degrees Fahrenheit works for me
  • Set the timer to 8 to 10 minutes and let your toaster oven do its magic
  • Remove your cookies or cupcakes and enjoy your freshly baked snacks

And that’s how easy baking is with a toaster oven. If you want to cook larger cakes, you will need to set your toaster oven to cook for longer. Experiment a bit and you will find that you can cook almost anything you can fit into the toaster oven.


Cooking a range of dishes in a toaster oven is easy. You can broil, bake, and roast pretty much anything you can fit into the cooking cavity. I did a lot of experimenting to make sure I knew how to make as much as possible in my toaster oven so I could really get my money’s worth out of it.

When you’ve mastered the above dishes, you can start to try bigger and more impressive ones. I’ve recently started roasting chickens in my toaster oven. The world of possibilities is endless. All you need to do is be a little brave in trying new things out.

As a rule of thumb, you can set your toaster oven to the same temperature as you would set a regular oven. Then you just need to check on whatever you are cooking at 10 minute intervals. I found that smaller dishes cook in about the same time as a larger oven, but larger ones need 5 to 10 minutes longer. Thanks to my toaster ovens lower energy demands, it’s still better than firing up my oven to make some cookies!

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