Some of us are bound to small living spaces. Due to space constraints, those of us living in condominiums, apartments or even dorm rooms may not have the luxury of owning an oven. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to deny yourself freshly baked croissants or homemade bruschetta.
Like a toaster, but better
A toaster oven is the perfect compromise between a toaster and an oven. On the one hand, it can perform more functions than a toaster such as broil and bake. On the other hand, it is smaller, heats up quicker and uses a lot less energy than a conventional oven. Its compact size and portability also makes it a lot easier to clean and use!
If you’re looking for a toaster oven that’ll also make great toast, I recommend this one from Oster at Amazon.
Why? Read on:
Two types of toaster ovens
- Convection cooking
- Infrared heating
A convection toaster oven uses a small fan to circulate the air inside the oven. This allows the oven to heat up faster and cuts cooking time significantly due to the fact that the hot air blows directly onto the food. The fans also help reduce moisture. This is great if you want to roast or brown your food.
A toaster oven that uses infrared heating is basically using light or radiation to cook your food, similar to the microwave. Infrared technology is excellent at browning or toasting food like bread and pizza. This is the kind you want for toast.
What to look for in a toaster oven
There are many things to consider when deciding which toaster oven is right for your household. Although price is often the deal breaker, here are some other features that can help you choose.
Check out my post on
how to keep bread fresh overnight.
Depending on how much or how little counter space you have, you will want to look at the size of a toaster over. It also depends on the size of your family. If you are cooking for 1 – 2 people, it may not be necessary to invest in a large toaster oven.
In my opinion, one of the most important features in a toaster oven is a removable crumb tray. After all, nobody wants to scrub burned crumbs, grease or sauce from the bottom of their toaster oven. Most toaster ovens come with a crumb tray, but some are easier to remove and have a better coverage than others.
Pressed for space? See my post on the
best countertop microwaves.
The preset cooking function is a wonderful feature to have if you don’t want to worry about estimating how long it will take to toast your bread or bake your frozen pizza. Some toaster ovens come with as many as 14 pre-set functions, while others are simpler and only have 2 or 3.
With a simple push of a button, you leave the thinking to your oven and get perfectly cooked food every time.
The best for toast is the Oster Large Capacity
If you are on the hunt for a simple toaster oven, which you will be using mainly for toast, then the Oster Large Capacity Countertop 6-Slice Digital Convection Toaster Oven is the best choice. After comparing it to other top brands such as Breville and Cuisinart, the Oster toaster is the one you want for producing evenly toasted bread, on both sides.
The Oster toaster oven is black and silver, and comes with a digital touchpad. This makes it easy to use and allows you to accurately set the temperature. It also has a timer and 7 preset options, which simplifies baking or toasting a variety of food without having to check the progress consistently.
It is also very spacious. Being one of the largest toaster ovens on the market, the Oster is able to fit 6 slices of bread, a 12-inch pizza or a whole chicken. Just because you live in a tiny flat doesn’t mean you can’t cook!
Who says you need a stove to cook?
Check out my review of hotplates.
This toaster oven has a high safety rating. Its automatic shut-off function sets your mind at ease, reducing the chances of you burning your food or worrying about turning off the toaster oven.
Additionally, even though this toaster oven is able to heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit on the inside, the sides and handle remain safe to touch on the outside.
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Unlike its competitors, the Oster toaster oven is very reasonably priced. It can do practically everything that a high-end toaster oven does.
The only downfall is the fact that it does not have a non-stick interior. This can make it difficult for you to clean if you happen to have any spills. However, it comes with a cooking rack, a baking pan and a broiling rack, which can be easily removed and cleaned.
The bottom line
There are many toaster ovens that rank higher than the Oster based on different categories. However, if you are looking for a toaster oven that can produce perfect toast every time, the Oster is definitely your number one choice!