Once you start cooking using the best toaster oven on the market and discover how easy and quick it is to prepare your favorite dishes, you will find it hard to stop. You might be asking what can you cook in a toaster oven… and you’d be surprised. The benefit of using one of these wonderfully usefully little ovens: they make your life loads easier, free up your time and even the children can use them! Definite bonus.
Speed, Convenience and Cost Effectiveness
Convenience, speed, cost-effectiveness are just a few of its significant advantages over many other cooking appliances. With that in mind, I’ve love to share more information on what exactly an infrared toaster oven is, what are its most important functions, as well as provide a few ideas on what you can cook in one with minimal effort.
What is an Infrared Oven Toaster?
To make it simple, I always like to compare an infrared toaster with a convection one (in other words, the traditional one). Simply speaking, the former is a faster and more energy-efficient counterpart of the latter.
Cooks Foods Up To 40% Faster And Much Cheaper To Run
Thanks to the quartz and ceramic elements that are evenly positioned on different sides of the toaster, you can prepare your food up to 40% faster and with a lot less power consumption.
Moreover, because these elements emit the heat right towards the food (instead of focusing on heating up the air as is the case in convection toasters), the food gets heated more evenly, without the risk of drying or burning. They come in a range of sizes and comfortably sit on your bench top or under the counter. As you can see from the picture on the right here.
Cook An Entire Meal In One Countertop Oven
You may also like to read up on the best infrared countertop oven. These are ovens which can cook, roast, air fry or broil a whole meal with meat and vegetables without using oil and an excellent healthy weight loss option.
They are a great time saving solution for time poor people. Simply pop your meat and veggies in, set the timer and voilà, juicy moist meat and nicely cooked veggies.
No Need To Defrost or Preheat Foods
Another major difference is that usually, you don’t even need to preheat or defrost your food using slow and annoying programs. Instead, you can go straight into cooking mode – and we all know that waiting for the food to get ready for the cooking itself is the most irritating part of the process, especially right after you come back from work and are starving.
How to Choose an Infrared Toaster Oven
Initially, I was going to go over different types of toasters here, explaining how to choose different models and what to look for in them. But in the end I have decided against it – there’s no point in focusing on various types of toasters other than the infrared ones. While the latter are slightly more expensive, their energy efficiency and cooking speed offset the initial cost very quickly. In fact, the longer you use it, the more money you save thanks to lower energy bills.
Because every toaster comes with a lot of options, and there are also other things that you should pay attention to, let’s take a look at the most important ones, which will make your experience a lot more pleasant.
How To Choose An Infrared Toaster Oven, Size Does Matter
When buying your first toaster, you should ask yourself one critical question – who are you buying it for and what can you cook in a toaster oven? Are you single, and need something to reheat your breakfast quickly? Or do you want to prepare healthy and tasty meals for your family on a daily basis?
Cooking Meats, Pizza Or Cakes and Cookies…?
Do you want to roast or bake meats, vegetables and fish as well as bake cookies and cakes? Using a countertop oven for baking cakes is so simple, even the kids can have a go and learn useful basic baking skills for life. These are all really good questions to ask yourself before investing in one, as you may as well buy the right one first time around:) If you are looking for the best small toaster oven, reviews are a good way to determine which one will suit you….
If you are living alone, it’s best to go with a smaller toaster, which is capable of heating small portions much faster compared to a big one. Of course, if you want to fit in enough slices of bread for the whole family, you don’t want to go with a one-person-sized one.
Ensure There’s A Variety of Things You Can Cook With One Click
How to choose an infrared toaster oven- what options do I look for? I highly recommend you look for multiple settings. Multiple preprogrammed cooking options are an absolute must-have. Unfortunately, not all toasters are preprogrammed accurately, meaning that a pizza program might not be as effective as it should be. This is important because nobody wants to waste time playing with the options.
Check There Are Plenty Of Programs To Choose From…
Can you imagine having to set a program for every step for every meal, each time you are hungry? Me neither. Make sure that the toaster that you choose has all the programs you need and that they are precise (usually the high-end toasters are the most accurate ones).
A Toaster is Ideal For Busy, Time Poor People: Fast Cooking
One of the critical advantages of infrared toaster ovens over not just different types of toasters, but many other cooking appliances is the speed. That one outstanding feature makes it a perfect choice for people who are constantly busy and in a hurry.
To improve your user experience even further, ensure that the toaster has a visible digital timer, a loud alarm that will inform you when your food is ready (so that you can deal with other things while it’s cooking) and a clear display to set up all the options easily.
Precise Temperature Settings
When thinking about how to use a toaster oven, there’s one other thing that’s really useful, precise temperature settings. Sometimes you might want to prepare food that doesn’t have any pre-programed options. In this case, it’s good if you can set the temperature accurately, without being forced to take a guess. Speaking of cooking different things – let’s take a look at five different things which you can use your oven toaster for:
How To Use A Toaster Oven…. Actually There’s Probably 101 Ways
1) Make your Favorite Pizzas
What can you cook in a toaster oven?? Everyone’s fave that’s what!! Homemade pizza is one of the most commonly cooked things in home toaster ovens. You can either make one from scratch or just defrost and bake a pre-made one.
Go on, I dare you to be adventurous and starting designing your own fabulously inventive pizzas which look stunning and taste so incredibly delicious you just have to have another slice….. even if your tummy is groaning:) Here’s a great article on alternative pizza bases which we love
Every toaster out there usually has a visible information of how big a piece you can fit into it – take that into consideration before buying one. The best about making a pizza in an oven? You can have one ready in as little as 15 – 20 minutes.
This is a nifty benchtop toaster oven the whole family can use, even for children. And what a great way to introduce them to making basic easy foods, or toasted snacks after school…
Children love creating pizza, throwing on their favorite ingredients with excitement and peeking in to see the cheese bubbling up and ingredients cooking.
2) Bake Fresh, Homemade Bread & Prepare Dessert for the Whole Family…yum!
Can I bake in a toaster oven! YES! Who doesn’t love the delicious smell and mouth watering taste of a fresh, home-baked bread slathered with butter? I am a sucker for home baked bread and it brings back wonderful memories of my mom making bread when I was little.
With the right countertop oven for baking cakes, you can easily prepare your own baked goods as well as various desserts such as gooey chocolate cakes, macadamia and cinnamon cookies, raspberry and white chocolate cupcakes or Parmesan cheese and bacon muffins.
Apart from baking a whole loaf bread, you might also want to get just a few crispy slices of toast – in this case, it’s good to have a toaster that can fit enough of them for every member of your family. Bring out the raspberry jam everyone!
3) Roast or Grill Meat, Fish, Chicken and Vegetables
Can I bake in a toaster oven foods such as meat? Depending on the number of quartz elements in your infrared toaster and its heating power, you can roast different kinds of meat. From a whole chicken to fish steaks and juicy beef roast. Of course, meat is not the only thing which you can roast – you can also use it to roast vegetables or nuts.
An extra tip is to prepare your meat in small batches – that way it will get ready faster and get heated up evenly, preventing its drying out or coming out raw (some toaster ovens may find it hard to heat too big chunks of meat).
Here’s a cool video on how to cook mustard crusted salmon fillets in your toaster oven
If you are wondering how to choose an infrared toaster oven for cooking meats, you MUST read the specifications carefully as not all ovens will bake, roast or broil meats.
4) Bake Delicious Potatoes & String Fries
One other thing which tastes great prepared in an infrared oven (and doesn’t take too long to cook) are potatoes. The best about preparing them in an infrared toaster is that they don’t get burned and get baked both on the inside and on the outside quickly.
Fries cook beautifully in one of these ovens, crunchy on the outside and soft and floury on the inside. Sprinkle on a little sea salt and you instantly have a snack for the whole family and starving children when they come home from school…
Lasagna is another easy family dish which is a beautiful winter food. Layer up all your chosen ingredients, pop in the oven, program your time in and enjoy a piping hot meal a lite later on. These are such useful devices which make your life easier, leaving you more time to do the things you like…. Even best small toaster oven reviews show the smaller countertop ovens can cook a surprising amount of food.
5) Keep Your Food Warm, Defrost or Reheat it
Of course, you don’t have to use it just for cooking of fresh food. An infrared toaster oven is a perfect choice for reheating leftovers from the day before (and they taste a lot better compared to doing that in a microwave). Defrosting food is a cinch, as well as keeping your food and plates warm. The latter is especially useful for family gatherings and parties, or when you serve food that tastes better when it stays warm for longer.
What Can You Cook In A Toaster Oven
These are naturally not the only ways in which you can use your countertop toaster. What can you cook in a toaster oven is really only limited by your imagination isn’t it… In fact, if you plan your meals right, it can serve you as the single most usefully handy kitchen gadget thing which you use to prepare tasty and healthy dishes – either for yourself or your family. These are perfect to use in your RV when you are traveling, in a students dorm room, caravanning, on a boat, holiday house, anywhere you have access to power.