If you’ve ever had a toaster oven, you know how versatile they can be. These tiny kitchen appliances can do everything from roasting to baking, broiling, and even top-browning. In addition to making the best toast, toaster ovens also keep food warm. With so many uses, toaster ovens are essential for any household, and they also save energy!
A toaster oven is an underrated kitchen appliance that saves energy and makes delicious meals in a snap. It is quick and convenient to prepare breakfast, but it’s also much more energy-efficient than a standard oven. Many of these recipes require no cooking experience or a lot of time. But with a bit of planning, any beginner in the kitchen can quickly become a master of toaster oven cooking.
What is Toaster Oven?
A toaster oven is a countertop gadget that can warm or toast food, but it can also cook like a traditional oven. Toaster ovens are frequently used in place of conventional ovens, and they can be used to broil or bake while saving electricity because they heat up quickly. They also have the advantage of not overheating the house as a traditional oven. Due to the small size of these appliances, the amount of food that can be cooked at any given moment is limited. They’re generally employed for little tasks like frying French fries, roasting vegetables, or making frozen bread rolls or muffins.
A toaster oven uses radiant heat the same way as a standard toaster does. Essentially, the system converts electrical energy to heat energy via wires and nickel/chromium metal alloys. When the oven is turned on, the heating components, normally metal coils, begin to heat up and emit infrared radiation. Most toaster ovens use metal coils on the top and bottom to ensure consistent cooking. For baking, one without an upper heating element is ineffective.
Best Toaster Oven Recipes
Here are some toaster oven recipes:
Lazy Grilled Cheese
True, you won’t get the perfect golden-brown, the crisp outside layer that comes from mayo-kissed bread meeting a hot skillet, but this is an excellent method to make a no-fuss melted cheese sandwich with the bread still having crunch. To make cleanup easier, place a piece of foil on the counter. Also, check out our tuna melt guidelines.
You have dinner if you have a potato. You may use your toaster oven to roast one or two potatoes, then top them with whatever you want (making this an excellent meal for using leftover meat, veggies, or even pantry staples). On the other hand, Baked potato skins are a great snack option because they turn crunchy and melty in the small oven. See our recipe guide for beautiful potato skins.
Basic Baked Eggs
Ramekins are an excellent investment because they can be used as prep bowls for your mise en place, as little condiment containers, and as cooking vessels for molten chocolate cakes (see below). Crack an egg into one, top with butter and cheese—along with whatever else you like, from seasonings to a splash of milk for added creaminess—and toast it in your toaster oven for a quick breakfast or lunch. Serve with bacon or sausage for breakfast, or later in the day with a salad and a piece of toast. Get the recipe for Baked Eggs.
Toaster Oven Bacon
The oven is the most proper technique for cooking bacon. As a result, the toaster oven is the best option for producing a small quantity of bacon. Just keep an eye on it if it produces a lot of greases, and keep a fire extinguisher nearby if it catches fire. If the pan is overflowing with fat, remove it and drain it (carefully) halfway through the cooking procedure.
Mac and Cheese Bites
Don’t only use your toaster oven’s little muffin tray for sweet delights; use it for all kinds of individually portioned delicacies. For example, leftover mac & cheese gets a new lease on life when baked in crisp prosciutto cups. Mini frittatas, quiches, meatloaf, and other dishes are all possible. Anything baked in a muffin pan can be baked in a toaster oven muffin pan!
Although store-bought Bagel Bites are delicious, your toaster oven may also be used to produce a variety of other small-scale pizzas. To make it even easier, place your toppings on a pita (or naan or other flatbread) and bake them till done to your preference. Check out some unusual topping ideas and lighter pizza topping combinations that are excellent for summer.
Toaster Oven Cookies
The convenience of baking cookies in a toaster oven is that you can bake one or two times (without feeling guilty about leaving a large oven primarily empty). You may keep slice-and-bake cookie dough logs in the freezer and take out as much as you want to chew. Other cookie doughs, such as chocolate chip, can be portioned ahead of time, frozen on a baking sheet, and then stored in zip-top freezer bags.
Use the bake option, preheat the toaster oven, and keep a watch on your cookies because the bake time may differ from your conventional oven (especially if you’re baking the dough straight from the freezer, which you can do). Is there no frozen dough on hand? Don’t be concerned. There are plenty of small-batch cookie recipes online and dessert dishes for two that fit well in a small oven.
English Muffins with Bruléed Bananas
Try topping your English muffins with caramelized bananas for a more morning-appropriate delicacy that’s still delicious. It’s as easy as sprinkling some sugar on top and returning them to the toaster oven for a few minutes (keep an eye on them, of course). Get the recipe for English Muffins with Bruléed Bananas.
Toaster Oven Hardboiled Eggs
Oven-baked eggs? It’s uncommon, but it’s a terrific way to get by if you don’t have access to a stove or can’t boil water… Unless you have an Instant Pot (which is still the best “alternative” method). Although using a toaster oven takes a little longer (approximately 30 minutes), you can quickly scale up and toast the entire dozen at once if you’re making a large quantity of egg salad.
Spinach Artichoke Dip
This rich and creamy dip isn’t low-calorie, so if you’re only serving one or two people, halve our Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe—a tiny portion is excellent for the toaster oven. Just make sure you have the correct size oven-safe dish.
What Cannot be Cooked in the Toaster Oven?
What materials can be put in a toaster oven is a query that many individuals who use a toaster oven have. There are many diverse alternatives since different people have various perspectives. Some believe some materials can be used in a toaster oven, but others say they shouldn’t. Here are five materials you shouldn’t use in a toaster oven.
According to most toaster oven instructions, the first item on the list of goods that should not be used in a toaster oven is paper, which includes towels and plates. If your toaster oven does not come with specific instructions not to use paper, you can try using parchment paper, but if it does, we advise staying away from it.
Because styrofoam is constructed of expanded polystyrene, which cannot tolerate the heat of toaster ovens, you should never use it in the oven. Because styrofoam is highly flammable, it should not be used in the oven or anywhere near it. Styrofoam containers can store goods in the fridge, but they should not be used to cook or heat food in your toaster oven.
Some manufacturers may advise against using aluminum foil, while others provide detailed recommendations in their user manuals. Although aluminum foil is not considered hazardous, it should not come into contact with the toaster oven heating element since this can cause overheating. Before you use your toaster oven, check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if using foil is recommended.
Plastic materials should never be used in a toaster oven because they will melt as the temperature rises. It should not be used in a toaster oven, regardless of the type of plastic; it may melt from the inside or totally, resulting in a fire hazard.
Although most toaster ovens are not suited for glass dishes, certain manufacturers may claim that their glass dishes are. Even more perplexing is that some companies may label one product line as suitable for the toaster oven while the rest of their offerings are not. Furthermore, a glass dish can shatter at any time during or after use in the toaster oven due to various circumstances.
Can you Bake a Cake in a Toaster Oven?
A bake setting is generally seen on toaster ovens. So why not make a cake with it? It is undoubtedly possible to bake a cake in a toaster oven. Furthermore, cakes prepared in these ovens taste much like those baked in traditional ovens, and the only catch is that they must be smaller.
Here are the Benefits of Baking in a Toaster Oven:
- Bake Small Batches – Is it worth turning on the big oven for a few cookies or a small cake? It certainly isn’t, and especially if you have a toaster oven, you can use it.
- Less Clean-Up – Another benefit of cooking in small batches is that you have less cleaning to do afterward.
- Quick Baking – If you are craving a cake, it takes way less to bake it in a toaster oven. But there is also a negative side to cake baking quicker. If you don’t check on it every few minutes, you may skip the moment when it starts to burn.
- Quick Pre-Heating – Toaster ovens usually take half the time to prehends.
Do Toaster Ovens Cook Faster than Regular Ovens?
A toaster oven cooks more quickly and precisely than a full-size oven, and it’s the ideal size for making micro-batches of freshly baked delights. A toaster oven can be used in place of a conventional oven. When assessing the differences between a toaster and a regular oven, it’s all about the fan. Unlike a standard oven, a toaster oven comes with a fan that circulates heat, keeping the temperature inside more consistent.
Toasters are ideal for people who do not have access to a typical oven. They’re quick and easy to use; you can make breakfast in one minute, bake a cake in ten minutes, and roast a whole chicken or lamb in under an hour. They don’t take up much room, either, and you can even cook in them! You may quickly give them stuffed baked potatoes and other delights if you have visitors!
Toaster ovens come in many shapes and sizes, with or without convection. Warm air circulates within the toaster oven using the convection feature, eliminating surface moisture from the food. While this speeds up and simplifies the procedure, it also lowers your toaster oven’s temperature by around twenty-five degrees. And the period may have to be reduced by a third. With convection ovens, however, there are no hard and fast rules.