Toaster Oven Cooking Ideas
If your kitchen has limited space or if you like to cook meals quicker than is possible with a traditional oven, a toaster oven is an essential piece of equipment in your home. This small yet mighty bit of tech provides ultimate versatility and makes cooking easier and quicker, without jeopardizing quality. Whether you have one already or you’re looking to make a purchase, today we’ll look at 8 things you didn’t know you could cook in your toaster oven.
What’s Special About Toaster Ovens?
Conventional ovens look much like their close relative, the toaster oven, although the latter is much smaller. So how are they different? While conventional ovens are typically gas-powered, toaster ovens are powered by electricity through mains which causes the heating elements to generate and distribute heat. This also shows how toaster ovens differ from microwave ovens as they don’t generate heat through microwaves.
Due to the toaster oven’s smaller size yet similar heating apparatus to the conventional oven, it’s capable of preheating and cooking faster and more evenly as heat distributes better in the smaller space. For these reasons, amongst others, toaster ovens are a popular alternative in smaller kitchens or as an additional bit of tech in larger kitchens.
Can I Use A Toaster Oven Instead Of A Regular Oven?
In case you’re still wondering if a toaster oven can be used instead of a regular oven, the answer is yes…in theory. The only exception to this rule is simply if the item is too large. For example, if you were to try cooking a family-sized turkey in a toaster oven, you’d quickly realize that it just isn’t possible, although it’s guaranteed a laugh.
1. Grilled Cheese
Arguably the simplest yet tastiest quick meal and a personal favorite, the grilled cheese sandwich can be cooked quickly and easily in a toaster oven. While you might not get the same crispy outer texture as you would when using a pan, you’ll get the same delicious taste in a shorter time without cleaning pans or utensils! Simply place a tray or kitchen foil beneath the sandwich as it cooks to minimize clean up.
2. Baked Egg
For this dish, all you need are eggs, oven-safe ramekins, and additional toppings (if you like!). Simply crack the eggs into a lightly oiled ramekin, adding some green onions or herbs of your choice, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper then place it in the toaster oven for 8 minutes, et violà!
Whether you have your own cookie recipe or you opt for store-bought cookie dough, these tasty treats can be baked to perfection using a toaster oven. This means you don’t have to worry about cooking large quantities at a time as you would with a regular oven, simply pop a few on a greased oven tray and get baking.
There are lots of varying opinions on how bacon ‘should’ be cooked, either in the pan, oven, or grill. But the toaster oven seems unreasonably left out of this discussion. Bacon can be cooked to perfection using the toaster oven, whether you like it just-cooked or crispy. Simply place the bacon on a wire tray with foil underneath to catch the excess fat as it cooks. If too much fat is produced, you’ll need to carefully drain it during the cooking process to limit the risk of fire. When used carefully, your toaster oven can guarantee delicious bacon just how you like it.
5. Potato Skins
Potato skins are a quick and easy meal which can be done however you like with just the ingredients you like. When cooking the skins, try adding some cheese, bacon bits or fresh green onions then top with soured cream for a stunningly simple meal.
6. Crème Brûlée
Making the perfect creme brûlée can be done with ease in a toaster oven. Simply follow your favorite recipe then pour the mixture into ramekins and place it into the preheated oven. After 30-40 minutes, pour some sugar over the surface of each dessert and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the sugar melts. Remove the ramekins and refrigerate to cool for a few hours before serving.
7. Homemade Pizza
Taking the time to make homemade pizza might seem like a lot of effort but we promise it’s worth it. Cook your pizza base for a few minutes with a tomato puree spread evenly over the surface. Next, remove the pizza to add your favorite toppings, make sure you cover the pizza evenly and season with salt pepper, and garlic or chili oil for extra flavor. Within 10 minutes you’ll have a perfect homemade pizza.
8. Stuffed Peppers
These delicious bites are another perfect snack that can be made to suit your tastes depending on the ingredients you choose. Simply follow your favorite recipe, adding your favorite ingredients (cheese and garlic recommended).
Next time you’re looking to try something new with your toaster oven try one of these recipes for a snack or meal you’re guaranteed to love.