How to Choose the Best Electric Toaster Oven?
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You know that breakfast is the essential meal on a given day. Most of us have felt that the quality of the first meal that we take has a great influence on how we feel the rest of the day. When different foods are taken for breakfast, the most commonly taken food is toast with coffee and eggs.
Why You Need a Toaster Oven?
A toaster oven can be a multipurpose tool in the kitchen. In addition to making toast, it can also be used for baking, defrosting, reheating, warming, broiling and baking a wide range of other foods as well. Different models and types of electric toaster oven are available in the market. You can find the right one for you by assessing different factors. For instance, you will have to consider cooking needs, kitchen space, and other factors before you shop. Here are some tips to help you with the selection of the right toaster oven:
The Benefits of Using a Toaster Ovens
If you are interested in buying a toaster oven but is not really sure about the benefits of owning one, here are some of the benefits you can expect from this type of oven:
- Easy to clean
- It will not heat your entire kitchen
- Will consume less energy
- It can preheat at a faster pace
- It will provide additional cooking space
- It is the ideal alternative to an oven
4 Types of Electric Toaster Ovens
Toaster ovens are available in different types. Here are the types and benefits listed:
#1 Infrared Countertop Oven:
- No defrosting required when cooking frozen meals
- Warms up quickly as compared to other countertop ovens
- Cooks food evenly and quickly
#2 Rotisserie Oven
- You can easily store this oven when not in use
- The best countertop oven for cooking meat
#3 Countertop Convection Oven
- Better food quality as compared to other ovens
- Great for different cooking tasks like broiling, roasting, and baking
- Cooks food at a faster pace and convenient to use
#4 Countertop & Toaster Oven
- Different features, sizes, brands and options to choose
- Price begins in a very affordable range
15 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Electric Toaster Oven?
1. Consider the Kitchen Space
The first consideration is the space available in your kitchen. Space involves not just the available space. But there are many other factors that should get into your consideration like those mentioned below:
2. Find the Available Outlets
When you use a toaster with an extension cord, it can be risky. It can even lead to a fire hazard. So, it is important to make sure that you install the toaster close to a power outlet. Just look around the space in your kitchen and make sure that you install it within a foot or two of the outlet.
3. Choose a Location on the Countertop
If there is no space constraint in your kitchen countertop, it would be better to look for space right in your kitchen countertop. There are models that can be mounted to the bottom of a cabinet. However, the installation can be difficult in such models. Also, even though they are costly, they do not offer much better features. If you go for a countertop model but have space constraints, it is better to identify a spot in a closet or cabinet to store the toaster oven when it is not in use.
4. Measure the Space
Before you shop an electric toaster oven, get a clear measurement of the place in which you have planned to place it. When you have the measurement, you can check the measurement to ensure suitability to the available space before buying.
5. Consider the Features
In addition to the space factor, you will have to consider the features you need before you shop for a toaster. Here are some features that will ease your process to a great extent:
6. Auto Shut-off Feature
At times, after use, many of us forget to switch off the appliance. It can be risky as you know. If you leave the home without shutting-off, the appliance should be able to automatically shut-off itself. This feature will ensure complete safety.
7. Timer Settings
When you go for cheaper appliances, they will offer the timer function only for a shorter duration. But, when you go for better models, you can get a longer time duration. The timer settings will help you pre-set the timing, such that the device will stop the cooking mode once the set time is reached.
8. Removable Racks and Trays
A good toaster should have a rack that you can either remove or adjust up or down. The purpose is to help you use different sizes of pan and foods. Also, at the bottom, there should be a crumb tray. It will help you slide in and out food particles for easily cleaning the oven.
9. Different Cook Settings
Some models of this appliance will permit you to reheat or defrost foods. Some of them permit you to use convection heating or rotisserie cooking. Even, in some higher-end models, you will find other features like:
- For frequent meat cooking, a feature called broil setting will be available.
- If you wish to cook more foods using less energy, you can go for models with convection heating technology.
- To get the perfect color to your toast, some models have shade control settings.
- Also, fast cooking times will help if you are a busy person.
10. How Will You Use the Oven?
Before you shop for an electric toaster oven, you will surely have an idea of what for you are going to use it. In this case, you should have the appropriate settings. So, based on your purpose, consider the features of the different ovens before you choose one for your cooking needs. For instance, if you plan to buy this appliance mainly for heating leftovers and making toast, you need not have to spend huge money on a unit with many special features. But, if you need a unit for multiple uses and as a stand-alone unit, you should be ready to spend more on an appliance with convection or broil features. So, your purpose is an essential consideration along with your budget.
11. Temperature Range and Adjustment
If you are a person highly particular about the looks of your toasts, you should be in a position to make temperature adjustments to the unit. For instance, if you need the toast to be brown without burning the food, you should be able to adjust the temperature accordingly.
12. Consider Accessibility
The needs and experiences of every person are different. For instance, for individuals with some physical challenges like reduced hearing and vision, there should be the appropriate features to access the keypad with ease. Also, some people cannot stand for long due to hip and other issues. They should also be in a position to use the appliance if your family has such members.
Not just for a toaster, but for any other appliance, user-friendliness is an essential feature you will have to consider. If you will have to make different adjustments just to reach the main menu or keypad, it will be difficult to use.
14. Size of the Toaster
In considering the size of the toaster, you will have to find an answer to the following questions:
- How much counter space is available in your kitchen?
- How big you wish the slots to be?
- How many slices do you require to be able to toast at once?
The dimension of the toasters you compare will help you find the answer to the first question above. The answer to the second question is given only by pop-up toaster ovens that you can find with a minimum of four to maximum nine slots. If you wish that your bread slices to be in larger space than the regular ones, you should go for the appliance with large enough slots.
The answer to the final question should be arrived at only by you. You know how quickly you should finish the work. Do you wish to prepare the toasts for the entire family at once or will you have to serve them at different times? So, you can select a toaster according to your personal needs.
When comparing toasters, you will come across some of them come with extra roasting, broiling and baking pans. They will be offered at an additional cost along with the main equipment. If you think that getting one will help with your toasting needs, you can get the accessory. So, when comparing different models think whether you need such accessories and accordingly choose a model.
Wrapping It Up
A toaster oven is a friendly device for your kitchen. But, you should invest in this device only when you think that you will use it regularly at least once a month. Otherwise, you can just toast bread right on your cooktop without adding a toaster to your kitchen. Nevertheless, it is a useful appliance in many kitchens. Make the right choice with the tips above.