Toaster ovens are becoming more and more popular in the world we live in. Thanks to that, we can now get a range of different toaster ovens which are capable of seamlessly fitting into any modern kitchen and can perform a variety of specialized tasks.
Because of this, people who have never owned a toaster oven may find that the process of getting one is a little confusing. What do I want from a toaster oven? Where will it go? Am I buying something that is actually a hunk of trash?
If you are worrying about these things, don’t worry. This is my guide to getting the best toaster oven that your budget can stretch to. I will be telling you all about the different kinds of installs and settings you can get for toaster ovens so that you can make the best informed decision.
Table of contents
- What Is A Toaster Oven?
- Where Can I Put My Toaster Oven?
- How does Will My Toaster look?
- What Special Features Can I Get With My Toaster Oven?
What Is A Toaster Oven?
A toaster oven is neither a toaster nor an oven. That is key. Before I bought my first toaster oven, I wasn’t sure if I was buying a particularly large toaster or another device altogether. Thankfully, I know now how to get the best out of it by understanding the settings and functions of the appliance.
By taking the cooking method of the toaster and putting it into an oven-like cooking cavity, you get an extremely versatile appliance. This versatility means that you can cook a range of dishes that you didn’t realize you could before.
And if the versatility isn’t enough for you, you can also get specialized toaster ovens that can perform tasks that many toaster ovens can’t. Appliances with specialized pizza slots or built-in chicken rotators are available for those who need them. But more on that later.
Where Can I Put My Toaster Oven?
Because toaster ovens have a mix of the functionality of a toaster and the functionality of an oven while contained in a kitchen top friendly package, you can really store your toaster oven almost anywhere. I, for example, keep my toaster oven at the end of my kitchen worktop. This means it is out of the way, away from cupboards, and allows plenty of space for food preparation.
But that’s not the only option. Let’s explore how you can store your toaster oven.
Free Standing Toaster Ovens
Free standing toaster ovens are ones like I’ve described above. They have legs, they fit onto a worktop, and you can place them anywhere on the side where there is space.
If you need to move your toaster oven about, you might want to put it on a tray. This means you can move it around without damaging the legs or your worktop. That’s a handy little toaster oven hack, if you ask me.
Built-In Toaster Ovens
If you have a bigger budget, you can look into building a toaster oven into your kitchen hardware. This means that you can open a cupboard and you will have a toaster oven just there.
While you have them simply placed into a cupboard underneath the work surface, they can be built under the counter as well. Some clever engineering means that you can lift up a section of your work surface and you will have your toaster oven just there.
How Will My Toaster Look?
Toaster ovens come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. I think my one is pretty typical of toaster ovens, but there are many ways in which toaster ovens can be built. Shopping around will give you the perfect appliance exactly for your needs.
One Doored Toaster Ovens
My one is a toaster oven and I think the vast majority of toaster ovens are. They can come in two shapes:
- Like a microwave oven that opens to the side
- With a glass door that opens upwards
Depending on your needs, you might say that the latter toaster oven (with a door opening upwards) is the more space efficient appliance. You don’t have to worry about moving stuff out of the way of the door.
Two Doored Toaster Ovens
On the other hand, you can get two doored toaster ovens. These are best for reheating or keeping certain dishes at a steady heat for a long period of time.
When you are using a two doored toaster oven, there is a risk that you will be using more energy to cook your dishes. As you will mainly want to use it to keep your devices at a particular temperature, you run the risk of opening and closing the door over and over.
What Special Features Can I Get With My Toaster Oven?
Like I said earlier, it is possible to get toaster ovens which are slightly different. They offer an additional function over simply cooking your food in an energy and space efficient way. Here are two examples.
Toaster Pizza Ovens
These are appliances with special slots to fit large pizzas into. This is great if you need to cook a pizza quickly whilst also cooking sides in your regular oven.
I find that using a toaster pizza oven is best for pizzas which are 12” or smaller. As most frozen pizzas come in around 12” in size, this is perfect for most households. If you need something bigger, you might want to look into using a regular oven and saving your toaster oven for sides.
Built-In Chicken Rotator Toaster Ovens
If you need something a bit fancier again, you can get a toaster oven with a built in spit for cooking chicken rotisserie style. This is really quite impressive when you see it in full working order.
When shopping around for an appliance like this, try to buy one with a removable spit. You don’t want to cut down on the variety of foods you can cook because your spit is taking up all the room in the cooking cavity.
Using a toaster oven can be revolutionary in a kitchen if you know what you are doing. Thanks to the range of appliances available, you are able to get one which caters exactly to your needs. Pizza, roast chicken, or just toast – it’s all possible.
If you are not sure what a toaster oven can offer you, think about the kinds of devices you need to roast, toast, and reheat. Instead of needing a regular oven, a regular toaster, and a microwave oven to prepare these dishes, you can simply get a toaster oven and make your cooking process more much streamlined.
For people who are still not sure, take my recommendation. My toaster oven has become my most used appliance in my home and I probably fire it up twice a day. It makes preparing snacks and full meals as easy as flipping on the switch, choosing the right setting, and letting my food cook. Easy.