Growing up, my family had always been reliant on fast food to eat every day. While in the long run it was rather expensive, it sure beat having to cook. We liked to go over other people’s houses for a home cooked meal but it was not something we enjoyed doing ourselves. Of course this type of diet has a way of catching up with you. Not only were are wallets getting hurt but so was our health.
Now that I have kids of my own I can now see the value of preparing meals at home. Using fresh and healthy ingredients has tremendous advantages. However, I still was not a fan of using the huge oven in our kitchen. This is what finally led me on a journey to find a better way. Microwavable food is typically not bad, but I find it only good for frozen stuff. I finally took a look at some of the popular toaster ovens being sold on Amazon.
My memory of these type of appliances was from my childhood and they were mainly for just toast. Luckily they have come a long way since then. I was truly impressed with just how capable the countertop ovens I looked at seemed to be. This is the route I went and I have never looked back.
Sure, they can make toast, but I still use my cheap toaster for that. Where they really seem to shine is with how well they perform in other areas of cooking, especially convection ovens.
Broiling, Baking, Roasting
This is one area I never thought a little oven could pull off. However, to my surprise, every recipe we have tried has turned out superb. Being able to make a pot roast, or bake and then broil ribs has been a real treat. Cooking meat in our smaller oven has been way more satisfying than I would have thought. Best of all, I can cook for 4 people with ease and turn out something that they will devour.
Of course, making cookies and desserts is something that is also been a huge hit with the kids. They like to help making our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Not only has using a countertop oven brought me back into the kitchen but it has also attracted the kids’ attention as well.
Cuisinart and Kitchenaid have some strong ovens worth considering, but Breville is one of the most popular brands. We ended up buying the BOV845BSS which is rated as the best toaster oven with convection and have been astonished with how well this oven cooks. It is simple to use. The controls are a breeze to learn. It is stylish and it is real easy to keep clean. We have had it for almost a year and I use it just about 5 times a week. It has never given me any problems and is my best appliance next to the dishwasher.
Using convection will save you a tremendous amount of cooking time although it does take some adjustment on cook times. Once you figure that out you will be happy that you got an oven with this feature. While these type of countertop ovens do tend to cost more, there are some options that are budget friendly. Oster is a good choice if you are looking to save a little money.
Is It Worth It?
Even if you do not plan on cooking a meal for the entire family having a toaster oven can be a plus for your kitchen. Reheating leftovers, making frozen pizza and baking cookies are all a lot easier. After not keeping up with the newest toaster oven tech I was really surprised with how far this small appliance has come in the last 20 years. You might be too.
I know that there are many kitchens like mine that are cluttered with appliances that they never use. I was worried that our new toaster oven was going to be added to that collection. However it has truly proven itself to be an indispensable part of our every day diet. Having better control of my kids’ eating habits while using something that is easy to master has been a godsend. Maintaining the oven has been simple as well. It has taken a lot of the hassle out of being in the kitchen. For our family it was well worth it. I have a feeling you may share the same experience once you take the plunge.