Feb 11, 2009

Works for me: Using my toaster oven for most of my baking needs

Last year, the toaster oven we received at our wedding shower died. I use my toaster oven constantly, so we definitely needed to replace it. Because we had about $70 on a Macy's gift card, we headed there* and picked up a Cuisinart 6-Slice Toaster Oven Broiler.

I love this toaster oven, largely because of the size. My older toaster oven was big enough for four slices of bread, but the six-slice capacity of the new one means that I can fit an 8x8 baking dish in there. And that means I can make a casserole in my toaster oven. A 9-inch pie plate and a 10-inch pizza also fit.

I hardly ever use my real oven anymore, and I used to use it all the time. The best benefit of using a toaster oven is time. Because it's so much smaller, it doesn't need to preheat and the food cooks faster. I also assume that, for the same reasons, it's cheaper to use than my gas oven, though I haven't compared the utility costs in any measurable way.

The biggest drawback to baking in the toaster oven is the low height. Anything puffy can easily burn, but I rarely make anything puffy anyway.

So if you're looking to save some time and maybe some money, try using your toaster oven instead of your regular oven.

Find more Works for Me Wednesday tips at Rocks in My Dryer.

*I am by no means suggesting that you shop at Macy's. We only went there because it was the ideal time to use the gift card. I dislike Macy's in general, but I particularly loathe the Macy's near my house. Their employees have a terrible attitude, and when we bought the toaster oven, it rang up at $129.99 instead of $99.99, which was the price on the tag on the floor model. The salesclerk acted as if she was doing us a huge favor by adjusting the price, which was irritating not least because it would have been illegal for the store not to honor the marked price. Ironically, the only thing I've bought at Macy's since then has been gift cards – only because they were on the holiday wishlist of the boys' preschool teachers.

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Kristen said...

Fabulous idea! My mom, who lives in Arizona, won't turn on her oven in the summer. She swears by her toaster oven. She has a really big one that allows her to make pies and cook casseroles. It doesn't heat up the house at all!

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing this-- I just told my husband the other day that when this toaster dies I'd like to replace it with a toaster oven. I eat toast or bagels most mornings, but now that my kids are getting older, they want the same thing as mommy, which takes a while with my 2-slot toaster. I've been wondering if a toaster oven would be more practical, and your post just convinced me that it would be. Thanks for sharing! :)

My WFMW tip today is actually something I published on Saturday-- how to make homemade hand lotion.

Heather@justdoingmybest said...

I love my toaster oven too! I find that I can prepare foods much more quickly, but you are right in its limitations. I have an under the counter one and need to replace it. I'm desperate to find one like my old one because we use it so much.

Buffie said...

I love my toaster oven too. I'm forever using it to cook up dinner. I even have one of those baking stone trays that fits in mine.

Camille said...

We received a toaster oven as a wedding gift and I returned it, much to my new hubby's chagrin. Four years later, Costco has a good deal on them and we're living in the desert where I refuse to turn on the oven between June and August. We bought it and I LOVE IT! I happily admit that I was very, very wrong this time! :-)

Brooke said...

i have a small convection oven and i love it! i hadn't thought about using it for casseroles!

Kelly said...

I have been told that toaster ovens really suck down the electricity. It would be great if you could compare the power consumption.

Anonymous said...

A toaster oven costs less to operate than a regular oven and more than a conventional toaster.

I use my toaster oven primarily in lieu of my regular oven.

Unknown said...

Perfect idea for Arizona people looking to save even the slightest bit on our energy bill and heat up the house less during our long, hot summers.

These really should be included with every new home.

Buffie, a stone baking tray sounds fantastic. That does pizza pretty well, I assume?

Anonymous said...

Even "down-under" we have "toaster ovens"! We have had one for about 15 months now and use it all the time. Why? Our "big" oven died and a kitchen remodel is needed to replace it :-). Even when we do remodel, the toaster oven will always be an essential appliance in our household. We use it for baking - cakes, biscuits, roasts, lasagne, casseroles, etc. Works just fine in half the time the regular oven took.