Toaster ovens are fast becoming a popular kitchen appliance, alongside the microwave and the blender. So what’s the big deal? Are they really necessary? Why does anyone need another oven when they already have a conventional oven and at least one microwave oven? These are great questions, thanks for asking!
The toaster oven is definitely a niche item, but it is an expanding niche. Newer models can do more and more of what conventional ovens can do, and the high-end models can cook and reheat food pretty quickly, too. In short, the toaster oven is becoming a valuable tool in the kitchen in its own right.
- Toaster ovens are very handy for such cooking tasks as reheating food, warming food and giving a nice crisp to foods that have been microwaved. If you like your leftover pizza or fried chicken to be soggy and damp, go ahead and heat it in the microwave. If you want it to have a crispy freshness that is almost as good as when you first ate it, reheat it in a toaster oven. If you’re in a hurry, you can heat it up part way in the microwave and then move it over to the toaster oven for a minute or two to crisp it up.
- Most models of toaster ovens today are essentially small ovens that include settings for bake, broil, and even roast. A few even come with a rotisserie! They are easier to use, easier to clean, and often come with their own accessories for cooking.
- Compared to a conventional oven, their small size is ideal for apartments, small homes and dorm rooms where space is at a premium. Also, they heat up much more quickly than a standard oven, take up less space, and use much less energy than a regular oven. And on hot summer days, you will really appreciate that they don’t make your house even warmer! I had a standard toaster in my dorm room, but I wish I had had a good quality toaster oven instead.
- Low-end models are extremely cheap, even as low as $25 sometimes. Higher end models are a lot more expensive but are usually worth the cost. Top models often come with convection heating to make cooking much faster and evener.
- Toaster ovens are also far cheaper than conventional ovens. Even the highest-end models are only about $250, compared with $1000 for the cheapest conventional ovens. And there’s not much you can’t do with these top toaster ovens.
One last important point is that toaster ovens are more kid-friendly than a big conventional oven. They are great for teaching young children about how to cook, how to use a timer and temperature controls and to enjoy the rewards of their cooking and baking efforts. And, to add to the fun, most toaster ovens have a glass front door that makes it easy to see inside the oven. How fun for children to put little lumps of cookie dough on a pan and watch them turn magically into cookies while they bake!