In my last post, I shared how I was able to find a toaster oven that was free of nonstick, large, and had great reviews on Amazon (I also love it!). So today, I wanted to share why I bothered to buy one, and why I love owning one. I use mine almost every day, and I appreciate it even more every day. This is the model that I own: Waring Pro Digital Convection Oven (Amazon partner link).
Toaster Ovens Don’t Heat Up Your Kitchen
It is seriously hot right now in Oregon, with heat warnings for the residents over the weekend. These are the times when you don’t want to be heating up your large oven if you can help it. While smaller and not suitable for all kitchen tasks, since I choose a larger sized toaster oven, I can fit a surprising amount of food in it. It doesn’t seem to add much heat to the house when I cook with my toaster oven. For that reason, some of my readers have told me that they solely use their toaster oven in the summer months.
It Gets to Temperature Quickly
In the amount of time it takes to heat the regular oven, I can heat and cook some items. For example, I wanted to reheat some chicken strips for my kids (they take 12 minutes when frozen). It would have taken 10 minutes to heat my regular oven. Instead, I practically had my chicken strips cooked before my regular oven would have even heated up. And this busy mom needs all the time-saving strategies I can get!
I Reheat Food in It
Are microwaves really that bad for you? Maybe not. But we have always had very small kitchens, and we have chosen a toaster oven instead of a microwave. We first made that decision years ago partly because of my concern surrounding the safety of microwaves (ones I no longer feel are necessarily true). However, we have remained with our choice of a toaster oven instead of a microwave because food just tastes better when reheated in a toaster oven. Microwaves tend to not heat evenly, make some foods rubbery as they cool, and lack a certain depth of flavor that more traditional methods of cooking/reheating produce. Microwaves are faster, but toaster ovens are pretty fast too, and I find them more versatile.
Toaster Ovens are Energy Efficient
According to a report put out by Energy Star, we could save energy (and save on our electricity bill) if we used our toaster oven instead of our regular oven when cooking smaller dishes. Regular sized ovens are not energy efficient if you are simply cooking a meatloaf or a single batch of muffins. You could save up to 50% of energy when baking by simply using your toaster oven! It’s one easy way to keep energy bills low, and to not be wasteful of our resources at the same time.
I Replace my Toaster with my Toaster Oven
Now be forewarned, ironically toaster ovens are famous for making poor toast. The model I got, however, makes great toast but does take maybe an extra 60 seconds in comparison to our toaster. However, that is a small price to pay for freeing up more counter space. If I am going to own a toaster oven, my goal is to not have a toaster, and this toaster oven made that possible. (Plus, I can fit four slices of bread in it at a time, which is great).
It Gives Me a Second Oven
I don’t have a fancy kitchen with two ovens, as much as I’d love that. But having a larger sized toaster oven gives me a second oven, and I find that useful. While sometimes I may choose to use it instead of the large oven, on big cooking days, I can have two ovens going at different temperatures. This is great for hospitality, holidays, or when you are preparing a lot of food for the week ahead.
Things I’ve Made in My Toaster Oven.
Finally, just to show the versatility of toaster ovens, here is a short list of foods I’ve baked or cooked in my toaster oven.
- Gluten free biscuits
- AIP biscuits
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds
- Bacon and Sausage
- Chicken nuggets
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- And a whole lot more!
As you can see, there is a lot you can do with a toaster oven. Just think of it as a mini oven.
Do you own a toaster oven? What do you love about them?
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