The great thing about a toaster oven is that when you purchase one, it is already assembled. All you have to do is remove it from the box, plug it in, and begin. Initially, you may be confused about how to use, clean, and store your new gadget. Here are several tips that will ensure you get the most use out of your new toaster oven.
Preparatory Steps to Take Before Using Your Toaster Oven
Before using your toaster oven for the first time, wash all removable pieces and thoroughly wipe down all inside surfaces of the oven.
Next, you will want to read through the instruction manual and become familiar with the features of your toaster oven. Make sure you fully understand how each of the features work. If it has removable racks or other parts, make sure you know how to remove them and put them back in properly.
At this time, you can also determine what pans you already own that will fit inside your oven. If you already have small cake pans, bread pans, and/or cookie sheets that fit perfectly, you won’t have to spend additional money on smaller pans.
Begin Using Your Toaster Oven
Even if you don’t plan on using your toaster oven right away, you’ll at least want to try it out to ensure that it works properly. Determine what you plan on using it for primarily. Do you bake a lot? Will you use it to heat leftovers? Do you want to cook an entire meal in your toaster oven? If you plan on using it primarily for heating foods, try heating up some leftovers. This is the best way to ensure that you will be happy with your purchase and to make sure everything is working properly.
Clean Your Toaster Oven Regularly
It is also important to remember to clean your toaster oven after every use. First, unplug the appliance and allow it to cool. Remove and wash the wire racks, wipe up crumbs, and scrub any greasy stains. This will keep your oven looking nice and help to reduce the risk that it will catch on fire. To prevent damage, avoid using harsh chemicals and/or steel wool when cleaning it.
Storing Your Toaster Oven
If you have a reasonable amount of counter space, it is best to leave your toaster oven out where you will use it frequently. However, if you have purchased a smaller toaster oven, and you don’t have a lot of extra space, it can be stored in your pantry or cupboard. Before putting it away, you’ll want to ensure that the appliance is clean and completely dry.
Additional Tips for Using Your Toaster Oven
- For the majority of toaster ovens, when toasting bread, the rack should be placed in the center of the oven for even toasting.
- For easier clean up, place a piece of parchment paper on the tray of the toaster oven before use.
- Often the handles of baking dishes and pans make a tight fit or may not allow it to fit inside at all. For instance, when the capacity is 12 inches, a 9 inch pan or dish with handles will probably fit perfectly, but in order for a 12 inch sheet or dish to fit inside, it must NOT have any handles. Use backing sheets and dishes made especially for toaster ovens as they are designed without handles.
- Since toaster ovens often cook food quickly, watch your food carefully to ensure that you don’t burn it.
- If you have a greasy mess in your toaster oven that’s difficult to clean, wet a sponge with warm, soapy water and place it on the mess for several minutes.