The name “Toaster Oven” may seem a bit confusing to some people. Is it a toaster, or is it an oven? However, this appliance is quite versatile. It can, of course, make toast and much more than that. There are many benefits to a toaster oven. If you want to know more about this kitchen marvel, then go ahead and read this article. It has all the crucial information that you may need, and you can find out how a toaster oven works. We have collected a lot of information which we will share with you.
What is a Toaster Oven?
Let us begin by telling you all about it. It was way back in the forties that toaster ovens first made their appearance. What can you make in a toaster oven? How to use a toaster oven? You can use it in many different ways. People wanted something that could be more efficient than a toaster. Toasters evolved into small ovens that could cook food faster than with a regular toaster. Who does not like a baked potato toaster oven? A toaster oven can give you perfect potatoes. You could heat and cook more substantial quantities of food and even add wet ingredients – just place ingredients on a small tray that goes inside this appliance. It’s straightforward to use it!
There are coils at the bottom which become hot once you switch it on. Heat is adjusted according to a user’s needs – dials control the temperature. After you turn it on, thermostat kicks in, and the coils start glowing. This action produces heat by infrared radiation. It is this radiation or heat which cooks food. Heat, which coils produce, is spread evenly around the oven by nichrome wires. These wires can heat even those areas which generally coils cannot reach. Once coils heat up, hot air circulates inside. It ensures even and thorough cooking of food. Once the food is cooked and cooking time is over, then a buzzer will alert you. Can you heat up food in a toaster oven? Yes, you can do that as well.
Are Toaster Ovens Safe?
Yes, they are as safe as any other electric equipment in your kitchen. There are certain safety precautions that a user must follow. You must use the correct toaster oven settings. We will share some tips with you so that safety never becomes an issue. The main people’s concerns are:
- Burning: it produces immense heat, and one should be careful while handling any equipment. It may cause small scale burns and blisters.
- Fire: either due to mechanical fault or some food particle at the bottom, fire is a hazard that is always possible with most types of electrical appliances.
- Explosion: though very rare, if an explosion takes place because of too high a temperature, then it can be dangerous. It can shatter glass and cause serious injury.
- Electric shock: this is also a possibility in all types of electrical appliances.
All of these above-given concerns can be quickly taken care of by taking precautions and following the manual thoroughly. Necessary safety precautions should always be followed. If you take care of these things, there will be no problems.
What Can You Use in the Toaster Oven?
There are many materials which can be used. Metal, glass, and ceramic pans are the most common. Always make sure to use toaster oven-safe dishes. There is some induction cookware that can also be used. Oven cleaner that you use to maintain a toaster oven is essential, either.
Can You Use Glass?
Can you put glass in a toaster oven? The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. Firstly, a user should use the only manufacturer certified glass dishes. Some people have complained of their glass bowls breaking or shattering. Some people notice some thin break lines appearing on their dishes. One thing you should avoid is never to take out a dish from the fridge, and straightaway put it in the toaster oven. A big change in temperature can cause damage. It is better to be careful and use glass dishes only for roasting and baking. When it comes to toasting and broiling, avoid glass dishes, and use metal dishes.
Can you Use Metal?
Can you put a plate in the oven? You can use a metal plate, dish, pan, or tray very easily. You can even use stainless cookware and steel dishes, especially when it comes to reheating toaster oven meals. For baking and cooking, it is best to use aluminum or cast iron pans or dishes. There are some new cooking and baking dishes available in the market, which are a mix of metal and a laminate of some kind. It makes them more durable and easy to use and clean. Aluminum or nonstick trays are also suitable to use. Avoid using a layer of aluminum foil. Accumulation of grease on it can make it a hazard.
Can you Use Paper?
Can you use paper in the oven? Parchment paper is used by bakers and chefs to keep food from sticking to the tray without having to use excess oil. It is better to use paper, which is treated with silicone rather than using plain paper. This makes it reusable and easy to clean. After some time, it will start to disintegrate, but till it lasts, it is a good thing. Make sure that no paper is touching the coils or is in direct contact with the heating elements. If there is too much grease on the paper, then change it.
Can you use Aluminum Foil?
Can you put aluminum foil in the toaster oven? Yes, aluminum foil is used for lining pans and for covering casserole dishes during baking. Foil is also suitable for easy cleanup. You need to be careful while using aluminum foil. Foil is after all metal, so if it comes in contact with a hot coil, it can spark. This can cause damage to the oven or even start a fire. Aluminum foil is one of the best metals for conducting heat. That is why, on the one hand, it is excellent while baking, but if not used carefully can cause damage as well. Never let the foil touch the heating coils. If you want to cover the food or tray with foil, then make sure that there is at least an inch of space between the foil and the heating elements.
Toaster Oven vs. Microwave Oven
Apart from looks, a toaster, and a microwave oven does not have much in common. We can see the difference between the two based on factors like
- Heating Methods: toaster ovens use small heating elements which create heat via the coils. This results in infrared radiation, which cooks the food. On the other hand, microwaves, as the name suggests, uses microwaves, which bounce around and work on individual particles. They mainly heat the water particles, and this helps in cooking the food. When you are cooking meat and want a browning effect, then slow cooking is best. However, if you’re going to cook faster then, a microwave is better.
- Effects: toaster ovens are useful when you want to caramelize or roast any food. Slow cooking is possible in this oven. Microwave ovens are good with food, which has a lot of water content. They are also ideal for defrosting and cooking frozen meals. Bread is one food item that has water but becomes harsh and stale after cooking in a microwave. Always use a bread keeper to store bread.
- Safety: when it comes to your loved ones, you don’t want to compromise with safety. Toaster ovens are more or less safe except for the common danger of burns. Microwave ovens have the threat of radiation. However, this is a danger only if the door is not closing correctly. Use a small microwave oven if the food to be cooked is less so that radiation does not spread. For any electrical appliance, it is essential to follow the directions thoroughly and take the necessary precautions.
Basic Toaster Oven Settings
If you are new to any appliance, then all the buttons and settings may confuse you. You can rest easy, though, because, basically, there are only 3 settings that you need to know to cook any food on this. If you are wondering what can you cook in a toaster oven, then let us give you some details.
The Bake Setting- How to Use a Toaster Oven for Baking
This setting you will use most often. In a toaster, oven baking is effortless. The heat will come from the bottom elements. Top elements are also on but use lower wattage. You will have to preheat for a specified time before you start cooking. Find out how long to preheat the oven before you start cooking. Some ovens have a thermostat that can adjust and regulate the temperature.
The Broil Setting- How to Use a Toaster Oven for Pizza
Broiling is like grilling, and heat comes only from the top elements. Broiling is good for melting cheese on baked vegetables and pizzas. It is good to use a pizza toaster oven. You don’t have to preheat for broiling. You should use a suitable dish or pan for broiling. If you want to brown both sides, then you will have to flip the food item. The pans get extremely hot, so you should be careful while grabbing it.
The Toast Setting- How to Use a Toaster Oven to Make Toast, For Bagels
You can toast bread in the oven, but a toaster may do a better job. They do a decent job, but the results are not great. In a toaster vs. toaster oven situation, you should look carefully at all options. Read some 2 slice toaster reviews and understand. When you use the toaster settings, the heat comes equally from top and bottom. You can control the temperature with the knobs and dials. The rack position is vital to get right. Place the bagels and use the toast function. Set the time and watch it turn golden brown.
We researched and collected all the information given here. If you still have any doubts, questions, or suggestions, please do write to us. You can also check mykitchenadvisor.com. If you find the information useful, share it with others.