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During the summer, the weather can be unbearably hot. The best way to escape the heat is indoors with some air conditioning. However, air conditioning can sometimes not even feel like a real escape from the heat because it is so hot.
Being hot is miserable, but being hot and hungry is even worse.
During the summer months, it can feel impossible to make dinners without heating the whole house with the oven. At that point, your air conditioning is working so hard to keep the house cool from the outdoor heat and now it’s working hard to fight off oven heat as well.
Is there a way to still enjoy dinners during the summer and not heat the whole house?
Yes, you can use a toaster oven. A toaster oven is a miniature version of an oven and a slightly larger version than a toaster. Other than just a few months in the summer to avoid heating the house, is a toaster oven worth it?
Do you really need a toaster oven if you have an oven?
A toaster oven can be a great addition to your kitchen and is worth it for most households. It will not only save you from unwanted extra heat in the house during the summer months, but it can also have other functions that can be useful. Some toaster ovens come with multiple functions like toasting, broiling, baking, etc.
Also, if your oven ever goes on the fritz, you can still use your toaster oven to make dinner instead of spending money on take-out dinners night after night. If you are in a small rental, it may take forever for the landlord to come in and fix it, so a toaster oven is a great option to make your meals in as well.
The only downside to a toaster oven is that it does take up a bit of counter space. If you are planning on using the toaster oven for toast, it does take a while to preheat to cook your food. It will however cook your food quickly since there is a lot of heat in a confined space. For the first few uses, be sure to check on your food to make sure it doesn’t end up overcooked.
To see the most popular toaster ovens just click here.
Can You Cook Anything In The Toaster Oven?
If you are new to using your toaster oven, you may be overwhelmed with trying to figure out what foods you can and cannot cook in the toaster oven. Is a toaster oven like a microwave? If you end up putting grapes in the toaster oven, will they catch fire like they do in the microwave?
If you place a marshmallow in the toaster oven, will it blow up like in a microwave and leave a sticky mess? Is there any food that should never go in the toaster oven?
You can cook practically everything in the toaster oven. You can cook meat, eggs, and most dinners in the toaster oven. You can also make desserts like cakes and cookies in the toaster oven too.
You can dry grapes in the toaster oven and make your own raisins. You can also put marshmallows in the toaster oven along with chocolate and graham crackers to make some delicious smores.
What Can You Not Put In A Toaster Oven?
A toaster oven is basically a mini oven that fits nicely on your counter. Toaster ovens are not just great for toasting your bread but to bake all kinds of foods. However, there are a few different items that should never be placed in a toaster oven. What are some of these baking materials that should never be placed in a toaster oven?
Most toaster ovens come with a manual that details what can and cannot be placed in the toaster oven. If you can’t find the manual, here are a few materials that should never be placed in the toaster oven.
- Wax Paper: Wax paper and parchment paper are both not designed to go in the toaster oven. Even though they are both designed to withstand the heat of the toaster oven, the paper can end up burning. If your wax paper doesn’t fit in the tray just perfectly, the edge can create a fire when it touches the heating elements in the toaster oven.
- Styrofoam: If you’re trying to avoid the microwave but also don’t want to heat up the whole house to reheat leftovers, the toaster oven is a great option. However, if your leftovers are in styrofoam, they need to be removed and placed on a toaster oven-safe tray. If you place styrofoam in the toaster oven, it won’t be able to withstand the heat and can end up melting and making a mess in your toaster oven.
- Aluminum Foil: There are some discrepancies about using aluminum foil in the toaster oven. Some manuals say that it’s allowed with special instructions and other manuals say never to use it. If you do end up using aluminum foil in the toaster oven, be sure that the edges of the foil are nowhere near the heating element. If the foil comes in contact with the heating element, it could cause your toaster oven to overheat and ruin it.
- Plastic: Since the toaster oven is basically a mini oven, plastic should never be placed in the toaster oven either. Much like plastic melts in the oven, it will also melt in the toaster oven.
- Glass Bakeware: Most toaster ovens are not suited to handle glass bakeware. However, there are a few companies that say their bakeware is designed to withstand the heat from the toaster oven. Additionally, some toaster oven companies will also make specific bakeware and dishes that are designed for the toaster ovens as well. When purchasing bakeware for your toaster oven, be sure that it is approved by the manufacturer of your specific toaster oven.
A toaster oven is worth the investment especially when it comes to making dinner in the warm months. You can make all kinds of dinners and desserts using your toaster oven.
Be sure to check your user manual to know what materials your toaster oven is capable of handling and which you shouldn’t put into it.