Both conventional ovens and microwave ovens can be frustrating at times. The former takes too long to cook one’s meals, while the latter does not always fully cook the food. It is no wonder, then, that boxes containing seafood, and other types of food as well–contain the warning that microwaving is not the recommended method. However, there is a third alternative: the toaster oven. It has many advantages. The purpose of this post, then, is to discuss a number of those benefits.
Healthier Meals That Are Cooked Evenly
Toaster ovens prepare food by heating the interior of the oven with heating elements. It will take longer to prepare meals with a toaster oven. However, it significantly reduces the risk of foodborne illness. Too often have we heard tragic stories of people who have been made very sick, or actually passed away, from salmonella, legionnaire’s disease, or e.coli. Thoroughly cooking the food kills all the bacteria that came with the frozen food. Aside for the potential for illness or loss of life, food simply tastes better when it has been completely cooked.
Browning and Cooking
Toaster ovens are better at browning and cooking than microwave ovens, for example. Microwaves are rather poor performers in this area. In fact, if one attempts to cook pizza or pizza rolls in a microwave oven, the result is often soggy and inconsistent. Countertop ovens are capable of crisping this type of food making it more savory.
Heating Up Bread
Toasters have a wonderful reputation for heating bread so that it is warm, crispy and brown. Doing this in a large oven or a microwave can result in bread tasting either very hard or too soft. However, a toaster can cook bread long enough to be crispy on the outside, yet softer internally. Or you can cook the bread in the toaster long enough to make it warm but not crispy, based on your personal preference.
Keeps Food Warmer Longer
In order to keep food that you are cooking warm, you simply place the food in the toaster, leave it there, and keep the cooking temperature relatively low. It is ideal if you do not want, or have the time, to eat the food right away. Should you choose the microwave method, you run the risk of the food cooling really quick, causing you to have to microwave it again. That, indeed, would be a waste of energy.
Convection Cooking and Baking
Many of today’s modern toasting ovens come with a convection cooking system. This kind of toaster comes with a fan to circulate the hot air evenly around the inside of the oven so that the dish cooks evenly. This, indeed, increases the chances that the food you prepare in the toaster will be fully cooked, and will be delicious to taste.
In comparison to conventional ovens, the wattage used is much less than a conventional oven. A toaster uses 1200-1800 watts, while a conventional oven employs about twice the wattage. Consequently, if you rely on always using the conventional oven, your energy bill will be higher than you would prefer. Therefore, if you must use the large oven for the larger meals, consider cooking the smaller meals in a toaster.
You can do a lot with these type of ovens as they are not just for toasting your favorite types of bread. Finding the best convection toaster oven that best serves your cooking needs is not as difficult as it might seem. Most of the top rated models possess a wide temperature range, and strong cooking capabilities that can handle the cooking of a variety of foods. Also, some come with an additional heating element on the top that allows you to cook and warm at the same time. Some of the modern models have touch screens and rotisserie hooks. This indeed represents a change from the toasters of the 1960s, 1970s or the 1980s. Also, these appliances can handle tasks such as defrosting, warming, broiling or baking.
Toaster Oven Technology
With quartz heating elements, smart ovens, convection features, and LCD displays, today’s toaster ovens provide those who love to cook an appliance that can handle a number of different tasks with less work. Your big oven uses a lot of energy so why not get something that is extremely convenient and can do just as good of a job preparing your favorite meals. From baking, roasting, broiling, reheating, and yes, even toasting, these small countertop ovens can really change the way you spend time in your kitchen. And with the holidays just around the corner, they also make fantastic Christmas gifts.