I have to be honest this wasn’t an easy page for me to put together for you, mainly because I know everyone has their own “likes and dislikes”. However, if you’re new to the world of toaster ovens it is worth knowing what features you should really look out for.
In the following few words, my aim is to make sure you at least have an understanding of what toaster ovens can do and what you can expect from them. Of course, price may be a factor for you so do bear in mind that the more advanced features will cost you more.
What Do You Want from Your Toaster Oven?
This is an important question because much like any other appliance that comes with varying degrees of features, you will need to make sure you’ll be able to do what you want with your new unit.
At their most basic toaster ovens will create nice crisp toast that can be cooked on both sides at the same time. Other models will offer you much more such as broiling, baking and roasting. In fact, they really can practically replace your conventional oven for a lot of everyday cooking jobs.
The Method of Heating
The market is teeming with all sorts of technology however, if you really want something that’s highly efficient I would recommend you at least take a look at those that use convection, infrared or something called Element IQ. Again, this is something to think about because the cost will be higher if you opt for more advanced technology.
Convection is probably one of the most popular features to opt for because models that use this are wide and varied so manufacturers are able to produce them pretty cheaply. Plus, having this feature will allow for more even cooking and faster results. However, if price is important you might want to check out the regular toaster ovens first. However, do bear in mind this means you won’t be able to make that sweet apple pie you have just found the recipe of!
Controls and Ease of Use
Luckily, manufacturers have thought about ease of use with an appliance like this. After all, it’s not going to help you get that cooking done any quicker if you have trouble using it.
As I have said on other pages of my website, controls play a big part in the overall look and feel (not to mention ease of use) of your toaster oven. There are so many different options out there that I couldn’t possibly list them all, but make sure to think about the type of controls that will work better for you.
In general, controls are either the dial or touch-pad type.
Dial type toaster oven controls (in my opinion) are much easier to use if you have large hands or you have trouble with movement. The more advanced models on the market will also have one-touch options such as defrost, toast, bake and broil etc so you don’t have to fiddle about with a menu.
I had to include some of these because they may not be what matter to you, but might be useful to know.
- Pre-set functions and how many there are
- Removable wire racks or even those that slide out when you open the door.
- Other accessories such as a crumb tray, baking trays and even special cake-tins.
- Shade control for your toast (not everyone likes it the same color).
- Automatic shut-off when cooking is complete.
The decision as I always say is yours, but hopefully this page has at least offered some “food for thought” before you go ahead and start your research.