Today’s toaster ovens have gone past merely toasting bread or bagels. They can bake, broil, and even convection cook everything from pizzas, casseroles and baked goods to a four pound roast with little effort. Toaster ovens are an economical and easy to use cooking choice for today’s active households.
Toaster ovens come in scores of shapes and sizes and offer a huge selection of features. Consider the following tips when choosing a toaster oven:
Step1: How Much Can You Spend for a Toaster Oven?
You can find a toaster oven to meet any price range and preference. Basic no-frills countertop ovens start at around . Many top-rated ovens are priced at less than 0. Upper-end multi-function toaster ovens usually cost from 0-0.
Step 2: Which Cooking Method Do You Want?
If you’re simply planning on using your toaster oven for toasting and warming dishes, one of the more rudimentary models will most likely work fine. If you are looking for a toaster oven to use for baking or broiling, investigate ones that cook using either a convection or infrared (or infrawave) warming option.
Convection toaster ovens have a little fan to disperse hot air inside the oven. This helps brown food more evenly and can reduce cooking time by up to 30%. Convection toaster ovens are extremely popular – although they cost a bit more, many chefs prefer the convenience and faster cooking time.
Toaster ovens with infrared (infrawave) heating elements don’t call for pre-heating, which trims cooking time. Infrared is also helpful in accelerating the toasting process. Black & Decker is the only major toaster oven manufacturer that currentl offers the infrared cooking option.
Step 3: Which Convenience Features Should Your Toaster Oven Have?
Toaster ovens are controlled by a dial timer or a digital key pad. Most chefs find the digital toaster ovens simpler to use. Digital toaster ovens provide a more accurate setting selection, and frequently feature pre-set functions for commonly cooked foods.
Toaster ovens with non-stick interiors and continual clean features make cleaning a snap. Be sure to look for a removable crumb tray – front-access crumb trays are much more user-friendly to use.
Step 4: Don’t Forget Safety!
Numerous toaster ovens have an automatic shut off feature, which will shut the oven off at the end of the cooking cycle. Some will merely ring a bell and continue to cook until you turn it off. The automatic shut off feature is highly recommended!
For households with little kids, look for cool-touch sides. The toaster oven’s sides should not reach an excessive temperature during use.
Step 5: What Size Toaster Oven Do You Need?
Toaster ovens are usually referred to as 6 slice or 4 slice toaster ovens, which refers to the number of slices of bread that will fit in the oven at once.
Toaster ovens can be found in sizes differing from as small as 10×10 inches to as large as 20×16 inches. Basic toaster ovens which are merely used for toasting or re-heating foods are generally smaller in both size and capacity.
If you’re planning to bake casseroles or roast larger cuts of meat in your countertop oven, you’ll want a larger model.
No matter which size you choose, be sure to measure your counter space before ordering your toaster oven!