A toaster oven is a toaster and a mini oven in one smart, shiny casing. They’re handy if you don’t like to heat up the oven or if you’re only cooking for one or two people. Toaster ovens have more versatility than a four slice toaster. There are hundreds of ways to use your toaster oven. Here’s a short list:
- Toasting nuts
- Small batches of cookies, brownies, muffins, and cakes
- Cooking side dishes when burners are full
- Roasting small portions of meat
- Reheating leftovers
- Defrosting food
- Baking potatoes
- Melting cheese for soups and sandwiches
Getting toaster oven accessories makes cooking in a toaster oven a snap. How about getting a small cookie sheet, a six cup muffin tin, ramekins, and a mini loaf pan? You can even get a toaster oven baking set. The options are plentiful if you’re up for a little experimenting in the kitchen.
Best Toaster Ovens Under $100
1. Courant TO-1235 Toastower Toaster Oven
Courant makes this innovative toaster oven that is taller than most toaster ovens. It’s just under 10” wide, so it takes up very little counter space. It is large enough to cook 2 slices of pizza or 4 slices of bread at a time. The oven shuts off automatically when timer goes off, so there’s less chance of overcooking or burning toast. It fits taller food products with no problem.
Black and Decker makes this toaster oven that makes an entire 9” pizza. It also toasts 4 slices of bread. This toaster oven bakes, broils, and reheats foods consistently and evenly. It comes with a bake pan, broil pan, and a removable crumb tray. Keep an eye on your meal through the large window and time it to perfection with the built-in timer.
This toaster oven has 1800 watts of power for making toast and bagels. The larger size bakes an 11” pizza and 6 slices of bread. It has a stainless steel front and a handle that stays cool to the touch. Remove the front tray for easy clean-ups. The interior has a non-stick interior and cleans up nicely as well. It has a shade control so your toast doesn’t get too light or too dark.
This toaster oven has a unique roll-top door for easy access to toasting, heating, baking, and broiling. The roll top door is removable for easy cleaning and it rolls up, rather than down, to save space on your counter. It easily fits 4 slices of bread or a 9” pizza. It includes a removable crumb tray, bake pan, and broil rack. Time your food for up to 30 minutes.
5. Hamilton Beach 22708 Toastation Toaster and Mini-Oven
Hamilton makes this innovative design that has an oven built in beneath a toaster. Put your toast or bagels in the top toaster and cook your eggs and bacon in the toaster oven to cook them at the same time. It’s a 2-in-1 compact toaster and mini oven that saves on counter space. It has electronic controls that regulate the shade of toast and the temperature of the oven for consistent results.
Toaster oven manufacturers are updating toaster ovens to meet the needs of today’s modern families who are always on the go. They have more interior cooking space, yet they take up less space on the kitchen counter. Timed shut-off settings are a nice feature for families that have children making snacks after school. It’s easier to find small-sized cooking accessories to take advantage of the versatility of toaster ovens, like baking and broiling. Some of the newer ovens can even bake a small pizza for two people. Small appliance manufacturers are making clean up easy work with no-stick surfaces. All of these innovations make quick work for cooking everything from breakfast items like eggs and toast to full meals like steak and potatoes.
Toaster Oven vs. Toaster
The sound of the word toaster or toaster oven makes our taste buds crave crunchy, buttery bread. Toasters and toaster ovens both toast bread, so does it really make a difference which one you buy? Here are some of the pros and cons for choosing one or the other.
Toasters make a good choice when you have limited counter space. They’re easy enough to tuck back under a cabinet when not in use. Toasters beat toaster ovens when it comes to making toast. Toasters are faster and toast bread more consistently than toaster ovens. On the down side, they only toast bread and things that are shaped like bread and don’t ooze yummy fillings.
Toaster ovens need a little space to roost on your counter top, but when you use it enough, it’s worth any inconvenience. There is no need to heat up the kitchen when you just want to heat up a small portion, especially when it’s hot outside. Toaster ovens rule when it comes to versatility. Tuna melts, sandwich pockets, macaroni and cheese—you can make hundreds more things than toast in the toaster oven where you can bake, broil, and toast. Toaster ovens save energy and they’re easy to clean.
A good time to switch to a toaster oven is when your old toaster has outlived its useful life. You might think about expanding the range of food choices that a toaster oven offers.
Toaster Oven Meals
Here are a few easy meals you can prepare in a toaster oven: