I’m not one to keep too many gadgets out in my kitchen. Free counter space is one of the most valuable commodities in my home, and since I’m not the tidiest housekeeper, keeping those counters clear is a constant battle. So, while I have a nice stand mixer and a food processor and a few other handy items, but they’re stored in a closet in a guest bedroom. I don’t need those out in the open.
But there are loads of reasons why I’m so in love with having a toaster oven — even though they take up kind of a lot of space and, you know, you can make toast in a wee little toaster. Here’s the deal.
- It’s good for way more than just toast. This one, in particular, can hold up to six slices of bread if toast is your — wait for it — jam, but you can also make a 12″ pizza or a little batch of cookies in there.
- It uses less energy than your regular oven, so if you’re making something that doesn’t require a ton of space, you don’t even have to turn your full oven on. (Bonus: over the summer, that can help keep the kitchen cooler, too!)
- It heats up faster than your oven, and, because it’s a smaller area, cooks faster.
- Ever host a big, multi-dish meal (like Thanksgiving)? This couldn’t happen in my home without a toaster oven to house one or two of the sides that need to be heated or cooked at the last minute. I’d have to break into a neighbor’s house, and using a toaster oven is way more convenient.
- I have never even turned my broiler on, and I use my microwave far less than I would without a toaster oven available.
- Reheating anything that would be best not soggy is quick and simple. If you’re microwaving your leftover pizzas, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you’re doing it wrong. Same goes for paninis, muffins … basically anything with bread or a bread-like texture that could benefit from crisping.
Basically, if it fits, I cook it in my toaster oven. There is generally some adjustment required to avoid overcooking (or overbaking — although we all know I just leave that to the pros for the most part), but since it’s right on your counter with a clear glass front, it’s not too hard to get it right if you just check in now and again.
Let’s hear it. Who hear is with me on Team Toaster Oven? —Kristen