So, what's the advantage of having a toaster oven versus just having a regular toaster? Here are some things to consider.
Consider the functions of your basic toaster: It makes toast.
On the other hand, with a toaster oven, you can:
Toast bagels. Okay so you can do that in some toasters that are made for larger items.
You're not limited to two slices of bread. Once again, you can upgrade your toaster for more slices if you're so inclined.
You can't reheat pizza in a toaster. At least not more than once. Sure you can use the microwave, but the crust is going to get soggy or tough. A toaster oven will make it nice and crisp. A hint here is to heat it just a bit in the microwave, then pop it in the toaster oven to get crisp.
It's great to have access to a small oven without having to heat the full traditional oven. Sometimes, you just don't need that much oven space. So, especially in the summer, a toaster oven can come in handy. A countertop toaster oven allows you to cook small amounts of food without wasting energy (and money) using your regular oven.
You can bake in a toaster oven. Don't even think of trying that in a toaster.
Look for a toaster oven with a convection setting. That provides a small fan inside that circulates the hot air around the food, allowing the food to cook much quicker and more evenly. You'll spend a bit more for a toaster oven with the convection option, but you'll save almost a quarter of your cooking time.
For best results and the most versatility, look for a toaster oven that comes in the 1400 watt range. This will not only heat more quickly, you'll be able to heat it up to 450-500 degrees which is crucial in some recipes.
What else should you consider when purchasing a toaster oven? Consider these tips:
A chrome or stainless steel finish will be the best for easy cleaning. That's important if you plan to do a lot of broiling where the foods will splatter. On the other hand, if you anticipate that your children will be using it, you may want to opt for a model with a plastic exterior. These models are harder to clean, but they stay cool on the outside while cooking.
Look for a model with an electronic temperature control. Not only will these mean you don't have to keep checking to see if the food is done, this aids in preparing foods with a longer cooking time.
Planning to make pizza? Then you need one with the interior at least 9 inches deep. However, most supermarket pizzas are 12 inches in diameter.
If you plan to cook a whole chicken, you'll need to make sure you get an oven with the height clearance needed.
Look for a removable tray, rack and turntable for easier cleanup.
Some toaster ovens come with a self-cleaning feature. While that's nice to have, the unit is fairly small and generally pretty easy to keep clean.
Another safety feature to look for is an auto off feature. This is again especially important if your children will be using the toaster oven.
Some models will have an audible beep to notify you when the food is done. Check this out in the store because you don't want it to be louder than the smoke detector.
Some toaster ovens will come with bake ware such as trays or racks. That's a nice feature to have and you know you'll always have bake ware that perfectly fits your oven.
As kitchen appliances go, a toaster oven isn't essential. But it can be a nice, added convenience.
Article Source: http://www.abcarticledirectory.com
Lawrence Reaves writes for a kitchen appliance company that offers a selection of toaster ovens that you might find convenient. For more information about these toaster ovens visit this site.
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