Fast and Easy Cooking With Toaster Ovens

The versatile, multi-function Toaster Oven is one of the most essential kitchen appliances around, and when put to its full use, it not only saves time and effort, but it can reduce your energy bills as well.

The standard Toaster Oven makes toast, and a lot more. Depending on the size of the model you choose, place two, four, or six (and with some models even more) slices of bread on the oven rack(s) and in about four or five minutes, you have toast, lots of toast! The one drawback is that the bread side facing up will not have the same grill marks as the side facing down or as both sides of the toast made in a traditional toaster. But, that standard Toaster Oven does much more: Instead of just toasting a slice or four of bread, you can toast a whole, complete sandwich, or you can place toppings onto the bread, such as butter and garlic, cheese, or cinnamon
and sugar. It will also bake a variety of other foods - it will broil meats and fish, and it will roast hunks of beef, chickens, duck, and some models even a small (ok, very small) turkey. And, vegetarians and vegans, you can bake or roast a variety of vegetables just as well. Most models sold today can accommodate a pizza as well, most with a diameter of up to 12".

The fact is that modern Toaster Ovens generally are able to perform basically all of the functions of a full size kitchen oven, including its oven and broiler functions. Depending on its size, that 12" pizza, a full size casserole, a chicken, a couple of large rib eyes, or an eggplant lasagna are all a cinch, and there is less bending to open the oven doors, less
walking back and forth from the kitchen counter to the range and back, and with frequent use, a measurable savings on energy costs by having to heat up only a small countertop oven, rather than that large, full size one, over there, now getting dusty from non-use. And, additional savings come from the fact that a Toaster Oven heats up quickly, taking far less time than the somethings long and agonizing "pre-heat" time a conventional oven takes until it is, finally, hot enough to begin cooking.

Most of today's Toaster Ovens feature traditional radiant heating, where the food is cooked directly by nearby heating elements, aided by heated air moving about inside
the oven by natural currents. However, many Toaster Ovens now feature convection cooking as well, where a fan is added to the oven, forcing heated air to circulate inside, providing more even and faster cooking. This is yet an additional benefit of using the Toaster Over over the traditional full-size kitchen oven.

Some manufacturers have taken the Toaster Oven concept a step further. For example, Hamilton Beach's Toastation
combines a real toaster with the oven concept, integrating both into one appliance, letting you bake or roast and toast foods together. There are models such as the Hamilton Beach Countertop Oven, the Black & Decker Digital Rotisserie Convection Oven, and the DeLonghi 6-Slice Convection Toaster Oven with Rotisserie that add a rotisserie to the Toaster Oven concept. DeLonghi at one time produced a model that included a Panini Press as well. Avanti features their Mini-Kitchen Multi-Function Toaster Oven, and includes a dual burner cooktop!

Finally, don't forget that your new, versatile, multi-purpose Toaster Oven is a second oven in your kitchen. When dinner parties, cocktail parties with plates and plates of
appetizers, and holiday gatherings happen, don't run out of oven space and make your guests wait around, hungry for more of your delicious goodies. Take advantage of that second oven, your Toaster Oven, and use it to keep the food coming, and to keep your guests happy and content!

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Updated and expanded, November, 2015
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