If you’ve recently purchased a toaster oven, you may have already discovered that it can be used for a number of things. However, if you are still weighing your options, you may be wondering how a toaster oven is different from your conventional oven. You may also be concerned about whether or not you can benefit from using a toaster oven, or if you will use it enough to justify the initial investment.
While toaster ovens can be used for almost anything, they are especially useful for baking. For instance, there may be times when you have unexpected company. With a toaster oven, you can quickly bake a small amount of cookies to serve your guests. Toaster ovens are smaller than a conventional oven. Because of this, they heat up much more quickly. You can have a half dozen cookies baked in your toaster oven in the amount of time it would take you to preheat your conventional oven. In addition to taking less time to preheat, the actual baking time is also generally 2-4 minutes shorter in a toaster oven.
When baking in a toaster oven, you should also consider that many toaster ovens are convection. This means that the heat circulates through the entire oven using a fan. With a conventional oven, there are one or two heating elements in the bottom. When you set the thermostat, the heating elements will heat to that temperature. Once the elements begin to heat up, the heat from the bottom rises to the top of the oven. There is no way to circulate the heat evenly. How does this affect the item that you’re baking? In a conventional oven, you may discover that you often have to rotate the pans in order to get your foods to bake evenly. You may also notice that items on the lower rack sometimes get burned on the bottom if you don’t watch them carefully. When you bake your items in a toaster oven, the fans evenly distribute the heat. Your cookies or cake will be perfectly golden without you constantly moving them around.
Like conventional ovens, the temperature of a toaster oven can vary greatly. However, the range in temperature is slightly different. Normally conventional ovens range from approximately 200 degrees to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. With a toaster oven, the range is usually from around 130 degrees to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Many toaster ovens also have settings for baking, toasting, broiling, and warming. If your toaster oven has these settings, it makes baking even easier. You simply turn the dial to the bake setting, and your toaster oven will heat to the appropriate temperature for baking your cookies.
When baking in large quantities, your conventional oven may still be quicker and easier. However, there are many times when a toaster oven can be beneficial. If you have a busy lifestyle, you may discover that owning a toaster oven can often save you a great deal of time. You will spend less time preheating, and you’ll be able to quickly and easily bake almost anything.
For more information about how convectional ovens and toaster ovens differ from each other, be sure to read Toaster Oven vs Conventional Oven.