There are two schools of thoughts on toaster ovens, generally divided into the "Wonderful Multi-Tasker" and "Inefficient Toast-Maker" camps. Food blog The Kitchn suggests quite a few ways to get more out of your non-slot-loading, not-just-for-breakfast appliance.
Photo by lokate366.
If you happen to have a counter-top oven large enough to warm small plates, The Kitchn suggests that's a great way to keep your dinners warm before serving, and we agree. Serving meals with a hot plate can preserve fish in its right-from-the-oven state that's crucial to getting the best experience, and toaster ovens' general temperature versatility lets you use them as keep-warm tools for side dishes.
Beyond keeping food and plates warm, The Kitchn has a few other good ideas:
- Toast nuts. Arrange in a single layer on included pan or a sheet of aluminium foil. 350°F (177C) for 10-15 minutes, agitating to turn nuts every 5 minutes.
- Roast small batches of meat: a whole roaster chicken, quartered, fits easily, as does a pork tenderloin, a few pounds of ribs, etc.
- Anything you'd use the broiler [grill]for with the added bonus of using less energy and having more control: your broiled food will be at counter-height with a see-through window.
If you're on Team Toaster Oven, what's your favourite clever use? Where does it fit into your normal cooking routine?
10 Best Uses for Your Toaster Oven [The Kitchn]