Toaster ovens are considered to be the most convenient appliances in your kitchen. In these ovens, you can even cook an entire meal. A toaster oven is, therefore, a valuable and affordable device for daily cooking chores.
How can you use a toaster oven?
After purchasing, some people do not know how to use a toaster oven. Not only the toasting, but you can also quickly cook a variety of foods in it. You must learn about the toaster oven settings because it will help you in the long run. Learning how to use a toaster oven will also prevent you from any kind of mishap.
3 Easy Toaster Oven Settings for Starters
If we talk about the settings of the toaster oven, then sometimes it may be difficult for the starters. But with time, they will be used to it. You can easily see buttons on the toaster oven with which you can control its various functions.
Usually, you have to know three settings to make your breakfast, dinner, or meal in a concise time. In the morning, you can toast your slices. In the evening, you can bake cookies, and at dinner, you can prepare delicious pizza for your family. All this could happen when you are familiar with its functions and buttons.
Most importantly, you have to know the settings that control the heating elements inside the toaster oven.
Different settings provide a preset or suggested cooking time for specific items such as toast or cookies for the Digital toaster oven. Keep in mind that the preset is not the same as what you are cooking. For example, if you are making a pizza in your toaster oven, the settings are not dependable on whether you are making a larger or small pizza. After learning all the settings of the toaster oven, you must have good judgment about what you are cooking in it.
Related Article: Top 5 Best Toaster Ovens
Three important settings of toaster oven
You have to know three basic settings when you are getting started with your toaster oven. These settings are baking, broiling, and roasting.
The Bake settings
The bake settings in the toaster oven are similar to the traditional oven. If you choose the basic settings, then most of the heat comes from the bottom elements. However, the top elements are also on but using a much lower wattage than the bottom elements.
The type of the toaster also matters a lot because it is related to the top and bottom elements. Both the top and bottom elements help maintain an even temperature in the toaster oven.
- First of all, select the bake settings.
- Then you have to select the temperature that is mentioned in your recipe.
- After temperature, set the time required in your recipe.
- Then, as usual, press the start button to begin preheating. After some time, the toaster indicates that preheating is done.
- After that, place your pan inside the toaster oven and close the door. Now you have to check that the timer has started.
- When the timer starts, then it means that the baking has begun. If you do not have a digital toaster oven, you have to preheat it for at least five minutes before placing the pan.
- Remember that after placing, you have to reset the timer for the entire cooking time after preheating.
- If you want to get a Convection baking oven, then you can check out the post “Best Toaster Oven with Convection.”
The Broil Setting
In broiling, the heat comes from one direction, and we can say that it is just like grilling. When you set the broil setting, the heat comes from the top elements. The bottom elements do not give heat when you set the toaster oven for broiling. You can use broiling to cook different types of foods, such as thin slices of vegetables such as zucchini or eggplant.
Many people use broiling for melting cheese on different foods. Broiling is also famous for various seafood and steak.
Tips for using the broil settings
- Let’s discuss some essential tips for using the broil settings. You can also go for the manual for directions on your toaster oven.
- When you set your toaster oven for broiling, then you do not have to preheat it. Here you have to use the top rack placement.
- Keep in mind that using a broiler-safe pan. If you are not sure that the pan you are using is broiler-safe or not, then you can use the pan that comes with your toaster oven. As we also discussed above, the heat only comes in one direction from the upper side.
- Use caution when holding the pan after broiling because it is extremely hot. Sometimes, it happens that the food might burn with the broil settings. At this time, adjusting the rack height to a lower position is a good option.
- If adjustable broiler settings are present, you can adjust the temperature and the intensity of the heat.
The Toast setting
Toasts are the most frequent food that you cook in your toaster oven. Keep in mind that toaster settings are a little bit different than baking or broiling.
Keep in mind that in a toaster oven, both the lower and upper elements are used. These elements equally distribute heat both from the upper side to the lower side.
You can easily control the temperature in a toaster oven with the help of knobs or dials. These knobs control the intensity of heat used in heating toasts. Keep in mind that if you’re using a digital toaster oven, they have a program to give the high temperature. This pre-programmed high temperature is not displayed on the toaster oven.
Rack position also matters a lot while cooking food in a toaster oven. Some manufacturers suggest the top rack placement of food, while some strictly suggest the middle rack placement. However, if you get the best results, you should read the manual for the appropriate position.
The full procedure of making toast in a toaster oven
- Place the bread slices in the center of the cooking rack.
- At this time, you must read the manual for the correct rack placement.
- If your toaster oven has the button of toast, then you must set it to toast.
- After putting the slices on the rack, set the temperature.
- Usually, these types of toaster ovens use high heat, such as 450 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you can change the temperature according to your desired browning.
- After setting the temperature, set the timer. Keep in mind that this time depends on the type of bread, your taste, and the number of slices. Usually, the toasting of bread takes only 2 to 5 minutes.
This is everything you know about the basic toaster oven settings to get started. Most surprisingly, the settings are very good for the starters who just started using a toaster oven. Don’t worry when you get used to your little oven; you can cook all kinds of tasty treats and yummy meals.
Reheating and Thawing Food
You should set your toaster oven to 350 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit if you want to reheat your food. Along with temperature, also set the timer. You have to keep in mind that all toaster ovens work differently. Make sure that when you reheat, the heated food should not come out soggy.
Manufacturers usually recommend not to thaw food in the toaster oven. Thawing food works best in the microwave. However, you can quickly cook prepared frozen food such as burritos or pizza in the toaster oven. On the other hand, defrosting meat and vegetables are easier in the microwave.
Difference between baking with an oven or a toaster oven.
Keep in mind that the toaster oven can preheat in a very short time. It also depends on the size of the toaster oven going to preheat. Most surprisingly, it can preheat 30 to 50% faster than the traditional oven.
Usually, a toaster oven bakes faster than the traditional oven until you get used to baking with your toaster oven. You can find many toaster ovens with areas which have more temperature than others. If you want to get even browning and baking, you must rotate your pan halfway to the bake time.
Different brands of toaster ovens are present such as Black and Decker, Breville, and Cuisinart. Although they are a little bit different from each other, the basic settings are the same.
Difference between light, medium, and Dark Browning
Actually, the light, medium, and dark settings are directly related to the amount of toasted food. These settings are done to achieve the desired results.
Whether you are using a toaster oven with dials or a digital Convection toaster oven, the settings are almost the same. These controls set the toasting level from light to dark for the number of slices. Depending on your light or medium settings, the toaster oven will automatically adjust that cooking time.
Using a Toaster Oven; Safety Measures
When you start using your toaster oven, make sure that it is placed safely. It should not be present near a thing or a pot that is too hot. Also, the outside of the toaster oven can get warm after extensive use. So you should not place any food or plastic utensil in contact with the oven. There might be a chance of burning or melting the food.
It is highly recommended to put your food in the tray or pan provided by the manufacturers. It is important to remember that the toaster oven resembles a larger oven in terms of settings. In many models of the toaster ovens, all settings are present such as broiling, convection, baking, toasting, defrosting, and reheating.
Unplugging and cleaning of the toaster oven
You should cook your food according to your preferences or the recipes you have. Keep in mind that after completing the cooking, you have turned off the toaster oven and have unplugged it to avoid overheating.
After cooking, cleaning up the toaster oven is very much necessary. Make sure to clean the pans as well as the inside of the toaster oven. Cleaning the inside of a toaster oven is essential because small food pieces or oil droplets stick to the inside. So when you use your toaster oven next time, it becomes a fire hazard.
Along with the danger of catching fire, there may be a chance of growing unwanted bacteria or household pests in the oven.
Toaster oven safety tips
Some materials you can use in a regular oven cannot be used in a toaster oven, so be careful. These materials are foil, pyrex dishes, parchment paper, glass dishes, etc. You can also check the manual on using the Black and Decker toaster oven before using any of these items.
General toaster oven use guidelines
The making and model of the appliance are very much essential to know before its use. Below are some of the guidelines which will be helpful for you in the long run.
Make sure the food is appropriately sized.
There is a top slot for bread in most toaster ovens where you put the bread or other food. There you have to depress the level to start the toasting. Unfortunately, if the bread is too thick or touching from the sides, it might catch on fire. So keep in mind that your food is sized correctly. When the food is properly cooked, the toaster oven will pop up. You can use a toaster oven for cooking waffles, bagels, or other food items.
Cook other food items at the same time
You will be happy to hear that when you are toasting your slices, you can also cook other food items simultaneously. The reason is that when you lay the bread flat on the rack, there is enough room for cooking other food items. But it is better to heat baked goods such as pastries or muffins. Some toaster ovens will make a sound when they finish toasting. This is the time when your toasts are ready.
What should you look for when buying a toaster oven?
When you decide to purchase the toaster oven, the first thing you should determine is the type which you want. You should also look for the volume of cooking according to your family members. Your available countertop space also matters a lot, along with your budget. Make sure that you consider the special features of the toaster oven that might appeal to your cooking style.
Does a toaster oven allow you to cook pizza?
Yes, you can quickly cook pizza in a toaster oven. For this purpose, you must put it in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, you will see that the crust is nicely browned, and the cheese is fully melted on the top. This is the time of removing the pizza from the oven and turning off the toaster oven. Now you can efficiently serve it to your loved ones after cutting it into slices.
What part of the toaster oven is good for baking?
The particular place which is good for baking is the middle oven rack. The reason is that in the Middle, the air is fully circulated and heat is evenly distributed in the food. Also, there is no danger of extra browning or burning the food from the top and bottom. Feel free to make brownies, cookies, as well as cakes in your countertop toaster oven.
When choosing a toaster oven, keep in mind that it should work best for you according to your menu and kitchen style. You must also select the appropriate size according to your countertop space. Some toaster ovens are larger where you can even bake a frozen pizza.
However, people with small families mostly prefer standard-size toaster ovens. If we talk about the features of these types of ovens, then the first feature you should look at is the extra safety controls to prevent any kind of mishap or fire hazard. Along with this setting, it must be equipped with multiple settings so that you can get the most out of that valuable toaster oven.