Toaster Oven Tips For Your Kitchen

Baking in a toaster oven

Toaster ovens are extremely versatile appliances that unfortunately do not get taken full advantages of by a number of owners. They are extremely quick and efficient at many of the cooking jobs that most people use their full sized ovens for, yet they get seldom used as they were intended. If you love to spend time in the kitchen and prepare tasty treats for yourself or your family, then let’s give your countertop oven a workout and explore what it can truly accomplish for you.

Baking

This is where you can really get a lot of use out of a smaller oven, especially if you own a convection toaster oven. While some ovens do come with a few pans as accessories, it is a good idea to purchase some separate bakeware to truly take full advantage. Muffing pans, cooking pans and any other type of specialty pan should let you create some extraordinary baked goods in your oven. Convection ovens circulate the air inside while operating which especially good for baking. This will ensure that your food is evenly done on all sides without burning or soft spots.

Cooking

Just about any type of recipe that calls for the use of an oven can be done in a toaster oven. Modern machines are able to roast, broil, bake, and cook just about any type of meal with exceptional results. Today’s higher end toaster ovens come with settings for each of these different functions so it is as easy as pushing a button. They can also automatically adjust the temperature and cooking time depending on the food that is being cooked. You do not have to limit yourself to preparing only toast in a toaster oven, so get cooking.

Reheating

If you do not like how your food tastes after you try and reheat it in a microwave then you should pop in your countertop oven. Most machines have a reheating setting and they usually perform remarkably well. The smaller size of the oven requires less time to heat so it should be done in a snap. You can also reheat multiple items at once. Frozen pizza, leftovers, or even soup can all be brought up to a warm to hot temp without cooking it further. Toaster ovens are a great way to reheat items quickly.

Defrosting

The same thing that applies for reheating food also applies to defrosting frozen food. Microwaves can actually over heat certain spots while trying to defrost and you will end up cooking the outside in certain areas. This can be avoided with a toaster oven as modern models usually have a fully functional defrost setting that lets you thaw out frozen meat without cooking it.

Making Use Of The Convection Setting

If you have a convection toaster oven then you are truly in luck. These types of ovens can really help you speed up the cooking process without sacrificing taste. Not only will food get done faster, but you usually can use lower temps and less energy. The only downside of cooking with convection is that you will have to adjust your cooking times, generally by 20% to 25%. This will take some experimenting, but once you get it down, you will not want to cook your food any other way. Cuisinart, Breville, and Kitchenaid all make fantastic ovens with convection features and these are the brands we would typically recommend for those who spend a lot of time in the kitchen. We purchased a Breville BOV800XL after looking around and determining that it was the best toaster oven for our cooking needs. Cuisinart and Kitchenain make comparable ovens, but we have been extremely satisfied with our “Smart” oven and we really give the convection functionality a workout.

Some Practical Tips

Once you get a toaster oven there are some small things that you can keep an eye on to prevent some unwanted hassles.

Clean Your Oven

Most of today’s oven are made with non-stick materials with stainless steel bodies. It is important to wipe them down once they have cooled. Pay close attention to the crumb trays and make sure that you remove any grease that may have dripped down. Grease build up may be ignite in extreme cases and you will wind up burning your food. Simply remove it when you are done cooking and rinse it out over the sink. This routine will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

Don’t Over Stuff

The more centered your food is in the oven, typically the better results you will have. If you try to stuff to many items into the oven then some of the food on the out edges or corners may not get all the way done. This goes for anything from bread to cookies. Give your food some room.

Oven Lovin’

Most folks are hesitant to try something new, but if you already own a toaster oven then by all means feel free to experiment with it. Once you discover everything that you can prepare in one of these small appliances the more you will kick yourself for not taking full advantage of it sooner. If you do not own one of these ovens yet for your counter, then it is time to consider stepping up your game in the kitchen and get something that is going to save you time, energy, and money in your home while still delivering mouth watering results that your family will love.

Finding The Perfect Food Processor For Your Budget

foodprocessors

If you think that food processors are just for shredding cheese or chopping vegetables you would be wrong. Some of the top food processors can do things like make dough, salsa, your own peanut butter, as well as handle all of your cutting and shredding needs. They are quite versatile small appliances that can help you reduce the time it takes to prepare the ingredients for just about any recipe. If you are interested in helping yourself in the kitchen then check out some of the best rated models below.

Top Rated Food Processing Machines

We have a lot of experience with different food processing machines as well as having done some quick research reading through some of the top food processor reviews and we have come up with a list of some of the better models that would be great in any kitchen.

Best Overall Value Food Processor

Cuisinart has a fantastic line of these types of machines, and each one would go great in your home. However, there is one model that gives the best performance to price value, and that would be the DLC-2009 Prep 9 which is currently the top rated Cuisinart food processor. You get a lot for what you pay for with this particular appliance which is why it is so highly regarded by amateur chefs. Some of what makes this such a great option includes:

  • Mixing bowl with 9 cup capacity. This is perfect for just about any type of task and would be great for most recipes that feed 1 to 4 people.
  • Powerful motor that has proven itself to very reliable over time. It can mix, chop, shred, and dice through just about any type of hard or soft food that you put into the machine.
  • Stainless steel cutting discs that are the hallmark of Cuisinart machines. Sturdy, long-lasting, and easy to clean. Cuisinart makes some of the best blades on the market.
  • More stylish than some of their other models. While looks should be secondary to performance, it is nice not to have dated styling. This model brings the food processor into the modern era with a better design.
  • Mid range price point that makes it affordable to more people. You get a fabulous set of features and excellent performance for just over $100.

Best High End Model

Breville small kitchen appliances are some of the most advanced machines that you can get for your kitchen. As far as food processors go, their BFP800XL Sous Chef model is one modern unit that would be wonderful in any kitchen. Unfortunately, this futuristic looking unit comes with a higher price tag that not everyone will be able to swallow. With that being said, this Breville food processor delivers exceptional performance that is well worth the price.

  • Extra large feed chute that can handle larger foods. Save even more time by not having to pre-cut large vegetables into tinier pieces just to fit inside of the machine.
  • Slicing disc with 24 different settings allow you to get the perfect slice that you want every time.
  • Comes with 2 mixing bowls. Use the super capacity 16 cup mixing bowl for larger jobs, or use the included mini bowl for quick and easy tasks for the ultimate convenience.
  • Super modern design that would be a real eye catcher in any type of kitchen. Take your countertop into the 21st century.
  • Expensive. This unit will cost you around $400, so it is not ideal for anyone on a tight budget.

Best Budget-Friendly Food Processing Options

Hamilton Beach makes some wonderful machines that are great for those who just do not want to spend a lot for a new kitchen appliance. Their 70740 or 70670 models would be great alternatives to the more expensive models on our list.

  • Large capacity bowls that can accommodate a lot of food. Mix bread dough or chop vegetables for 1 to 4 people.
  • Powerful and dependable motors will slice, chop, and dice through everything with ease.
  • Easy to clean and operate. Simple controls and fast clean up make these food processing models a dream for anyone to use.
  • Affordable pricing. Both of these food processors can usually be bought for between $30 and $50 which makes them a prime choice for those looking to save money.

Do Yourself a Favor

Eating a homemade meal is a lot more fun than preparing one, but the benefits are worth the effort. You can make things a lot easier on yourself by getting one of these appliances for your kitchen. Knowing when to use a food processor can also make a huge difference. They make food preparation feel a lot less like work and the time you save cooking can be used for more important things, like relaxing with a cocktail. Any of the above models should be able to have an impact on your ability to reduce the hours spent slaving over a stove so you can get back to things that really matter, so go get yourself a food processor and enjoy