I remember as a kid going over to my grandmother’s house when she had just bought a new countertop oven. This was about 15 years ago. She thought it was so modern. However, we quickly found out that it had its weaknesses when it came to cooking. I don’t know how many batches of cookies we tried to bake but only about half of them turn out edible. There were hot spots and cool spots and it just turned out to be something we used just for toast. In many ways it was a let down and a huge waste of money.
When I moved out on my own the experience in my grandmother’s kitchen is something that stuck with me. Finally I decided it was time to act more grown up and start cooking more for myself. This is when I looked to see if modern toaster ovens had improved over what I was used to. Boy, did they ever. If you are looking for a better way to cook without some of the hassle involved with using a full sized oven then this is the route to go. I was really surprised with how far toaster ovens had come.
After having one of these in our kitchen for some time it has been easy to spot some of the obvious benefits that these small modern ovens can offer you.
The main area of improvement that I noticed right away was how evenly they produce heat now. There are not longer large hot spots and food cooks more thoroughly on all sides. Some of the higher end brands like Breville use quartz heating elements for better results. Convection has also caught on. This is where a fan inside of the oven blows and circulates the hot air while cooking. Not only will this speed up cooking time, it also gets things done evenly. This has been a true advancement in small countertop ovens that make them a true replacement option for a standard sized oven. While using convection for baking may not always be ideal, it is a huge plus for most recipes.
A smaller size also means you don’t have to wait forever for the oven to preheat. Another wonderful benefit is that toaster ovens are easier to clean. Most use some sort of non-stick coating on the inside and are made of stainless steel. A damp cloth will handle the job most of the time unless you let spills and splatters dry. We have used our oven quite a bit over the last few months and it has been extremely easy to keep it looking like new.
Bringing Back The Joy
I used to really dread preparing a meal for my family or just for myself. That is no longer the case. Some of the frustration and work of using a big oven has been replaced with something that helps me get in and out of the kitchen. I can truly enjoy a home cooked meal in less time and with less effort.
While in the end we only used my grandmother’s toaster oven just for toast, the Breville oven that we use now does everything for us. We broil and roast meat, make casseroles, side dishes, bake cookies, reheat leftovers and so much more. Perhaps the only thing it can’t do is cook a full sized turkey. No matter what we have wanted to cook, our countertop oven has been up to the task.
With that level of versatility comes greater value. The more that you can get out of your oven the smarter the investment becomes. It has been less than a year and we have already gotten our money’s worth out of it. It also uses less energy than our monster oven. I have not calculated our cost savings but we know that it is there.
Buying a new convection countertop oven has been one of the better purchases that we have made for our new home. At Home Dad published their latest toaster oven reviews which helped us narrow down our choices. Fortunately, there are several high quality countertop ovens being made today no matter your budget. Popular brands such as Cuisinart, Breville, and Kitchenaid all make great ovens worthy of considering.
We Cook More
Luckily for me and my family I did not let my horrible experiences I had as a kid turn me off from getting this small appliance, at least not for too long. Technology is great and kitchen tech has given us better tools that our mothers and grandmothers were forced to use. Convenience, and even fun, are back.
Reducing the hassle has led to me spending more time in the kitchen than I ever have before. It is much more rewarding now that I can choose the ingredients and cook some that is both wholesome and delicious for those that I love. The transformation for my family has been great and perhaps this is something that your family can benefit from as well.