If you have never used a toaster oven you may be wondering, “What is a toaster oven used for?” That is a good question, and the answer may surprise you. Toaster ovens are incredibly versatile. Sure, you can make toast with them, but even the most basic toaster oven can do much more than just toast bread.
A toaster oven is like a miniature version of your large, conventional oven, but it uses less energy and often cooks foods faster. Below are several ways you can use a toaster oven for something other than toast.
Baking Breads and Desserts
You can bake just about anything that will fit into a toaster oven. Here are some of the most popular foods and treats you can bake in a toaster oven:
Potatoes come out absolutely perfect in toaster ovens. My personal favorite is the sweet potato. Sweet potatoes that are baked in a toaster oven are incredibly soft, sweet, and delicious!
You are not limited to baked potatoes. You can also make twice-baked potatoes, potato wedges, or even home made french fries.
Cooking Fresh Foods
A toaster oven is really a small oven, so it makes sense that you can cook in it. Depending on the size of the toaster oven you can cook up to an entire chicken or roast.
Cooking a chicken in a mid-size toaster oven might require you to cut the chicken in half. I’ve done this myself and was skeptical at first that I could cut a whole chicken. Fortunately it was easier than I thought, and the result was delicious!
Cooking Frozen Foods
You are not limited to just fresh foods when it comes to cooking in a toaster oven. You can also cook frozen dinners and foods. In fact, one of the most popular uses for toaster ovens is the cooking of frozen pizzas.
The other night I cooked a frozen Stouffer’s lasagna in my toaster oven. In the past I used our microwave to cook frozen lasagna but decided to try it in my toaster oven to see if we liked it better. My daughter is the big lasagna fan in our family and I asked her if she preferred it in the microwave or the toaster oven. Without hesitating, she said the toaster oven.
If you like to roast foods then you will love roasting them in a toaster oven. You can roast meat and vegetables with ease. Toaster oven roasting results in wonderfully browned and crisp exteriors.
Roasting in a toaster oven is not limited to meats and vegetables. You can also roast nuts. Roasting nuts in a toaster oven is faster than in an oven because toaster ovens preheat much quicker due to their smaller internal spaces.
Don’t cook that Hot Pocket in the microwave! Cook it in a toaster oven instead and it will come out flaky and crisp.
The same is true for other popular snack foods such as french fries, fish sticks, onion rings, and nachos. Toaster ovens are great for cooking snack foods and they do a much better job than microwaves because the foods will be crispy.
I have only recently discovered the joy of reheating in my toaster oven and I’m wondering why I didn’t do so sooner. Foods reheated in the toaster oven turn out much better than in the microwave, especially breads of any kind. I have found that most foods can be reheated in eight minutes or less, depending on the amount of food being reheated.
Open Faced Sandwiches
Another popular use for toaster ovens is the cooking of open faced sandwiches. Using a toaster oven for these type of sandwiches results in toasted bread, warm meat, and melted cheese. Delicious!
There are many types of open faced sandwiches. Some, like the one seen here in the picture, have meat, vegetables, and cheese on a piece of bread. Others can be as simple as a poached egg or tomato slices on bread, but if you want the sandwich warm, you can cook it in a toaster oven.
You can keep cooked foods warm in the toaster oven, as well as warm up plates and dishes.
Making toast is a given for toaster ovens, but, as you can see, they also do so much more. Toaster ovens have become the workhorse of the kitchen, and rightly so. If the food or bakeware can fit into the toaster oven, then the toaster oven can cook it.