The Toaster Oven FAQ: 50 Questions Answered

This is not really an article, but a collection of questions people ask about toaster ovens most often. I hope this helps someone!

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What is a toaster oven good for? What are the advantages of a toaster oven? Can I use a toaster oven instead of a regular oven? Is a toaster oven worth it? What can you cook in a toaster oven or in a convection oven?

Modern toaster ovens have come a long way over the ones your grandmother used to use. The biggest advantages are:

  • They are very versatile and can cook basically anything a wall oven can, with some models even being able to roast Thanksgiving turkeys whole
  • They cook quickly, use much less energy than a wall oven and don’t heat up the whole kitchen
  • They are smart enough to set and forget and are great for unattended cooking

Can you cook pizza in toaster oven?

Yes, and many toaster ovens have a dedicated Pizza setting that will melt the cheese and toppings on top and create delicious crust at the bottom. I strongly recommend using a pizza stone as well.

Are toaster ovens bad for you?

There is no reason to think that toaster ovens are health hazards. They work very differently from microwaves and use regular heat to cook your food.

Can you cook a hamburger in a toaster oven?

Yes, using the Broil setting. Depending on desired doneness, this is the internal temperature you should shoot for (use a meat thermometer):

  • Rare: 120°-125°F
  • Medium-Rare: 125°-140°F
  • Medium: 145°-155°F
  • Well Done: 160°F

Can you use foil in a toaster oven? Can you put aluminum foil in the oven? Can you use aluminum foil in a convection toaster oven?

Most manufacturers allow foil in a toaster oven with a few caveats – for example, you can’t let it touch the heating elements or walls of the cavity. See my extended answer to this question here.

How do you cook sausages in a toaster oven?

At the Broil setting. Aim for an internal temperature of 170°F.

How do you clean a really dirty toaster oven?

In short, try self-cleaning (make sure to set it outside first), give the accessories a good overnight soak, and scrub the cavity with a mixture of dish soap and baking soda. See my detailed guide here.

How much is a Oster toaster oven?

See here for a current price.

Can you cook a steak in a toaster oven? Can you bake meat in a toaster oven?

Sure, at the Broil setting. Salt or marinade the meat for an hour and then broil the steak for 7-10 minutes, depending on thickness and desired doneness. I prefer medium-rare so I shoot for internal temperature of 130°F, however, the USDA disagrees.

What is the best toaster oven?

See my choices here.

Which is better toaster or toaster oven? Do you need a toaster and a toaster oven?

They are different. A toaster is good at toasting thin slices of bread, and arguably better at that than a toaster oven. A toaster oven is OK at toasting bread, but also incredibly more versatile and, depending on the model, is capable of replacing a conventional oven altogether.

Does a toaster oven save electricity? Does a toaster oven use less electricity than an oven?

You bet – provided that you use it to cook. Long answer is here. Short answer:

  • An average toaster oven uses 1300 watts depending on the mode selected
  • A wall oven uses 2500-5000 watts depending on age, model and mode and cooks two times longer than a toaster oven because of the size
  • A microwave uses 900 watts per hour and cooks three times longer than a toaster oven because of how it works

So depending on your situation a toaster oven might save you from 50% to 800% electricity to cook the same dish.

Only exception is if you never cook and only reheat or defrost food, a microwave will save you 30% more electricity because it’s faster at those two things.

Can you Toast bread in toaster oven?

Sure! Most of them have dedicated Toast modes. Depending on the model, a dedicated toaster might do a better job though.

Can you put things on top of a toaster oven?

Breville has a terrific bamboo cutting board that mounts on top of the toaster oven. Other than that, I strongly recommend you keep the space above the toaster oven empty – most of them get hot and dissipate heat, sometimes to the point of melting the drawer above if there’s not enough space.

Can you bake a cake in a toaster oven?

Definitely! Most cakes work, you just need to test the settings a bit. Here’s a cheesecake recipe idea.

Can you bake a pound cake in a toaster oven?

Yes. Here’s an awesome recipe of a carrot pound cake.

Do things cook faster in a toaster oven?

Yes! Two times faster than regular oven and three times faster than microwave. It’s because of how it applies heat and circulates air.

Is oven toaster good for baking? Can you bake things in a toaster oven?

It’s terrific for baking. Here’s a great cheesecake recipe for starters.

Can you cook a roast in a toaster oven?

Depending on the model, you can cook a whole chicken or even a Thanksgiving turkey.

Can you cook frozen dinners in a toaster oven?

Yes, same as in your wall oven, except they turn out more delicious and with a better brown/crust.

How do you cook in a toaster oven?

Usually similar to a regular wall oven, you just need to know the setting and time because a toaster oven is a little bit faster than the wall oven. Try my recipes, recipes from Toaster Oven Love, or experiment yourself.

Can you cook bacon in a toaster oven?

Yes, and it’s heavenly! Try my bacon in a toaster oven recipe.

Do you preheat a toaster oven?

Depending on the model and recipe, yes. For example, you get better results if your preheat your pan or your pizza stone on the Bake setting, but you don’t preheat it at the Broil setting.

Can a toaster oven replace a microwave?

Generally, a microwave performs better than a toaster oven does only if you need to reheat or defrost food. See my detailed article about this.

What is the best small toaster oven?

My current go-to small toaster oven is the venerable Panasonic FlashXpress.

How do you cook pizza in a toaster oven? How do you cook a frozen pizza in a toaster oven? Do you toast or bake pizza in a toaster oven? What temperature do you cook pizza in a toaster oven? How long do you cook a pizza in a toaster oven?

Preheat your toaster oven tray or pizza stone on the Bake or Roast setting somewhere close to the lower rack and then use the Pizza setting. If yours doesn’t have a dedicated Pizza setting, try baking it and see how it goes. Experiment with thawing it first.

What does Turbo mean on a toaster oven?

Usually it just means convection – when a toaster oven circulates hot air around the cavity.

Can you cook frozen biscuits in a toaster oven?

Sure, just follow the instructions for your regular wall oven, but keep in mind that a toaster oven will be a little bit quicker, so keep an eye on them the first time you cook them.

How much does a toaster oven cost?

Depending on your needs, the price can vary from $50 to $500. See my buying guide for some ideas.

What kind of plates can you put in a toaster oven?

Only specialized bakeware and pans. See my accessory buying guide.

How do you broil in a toaster oven?

I’ve put down some pointers in my Toaster Oven Settings guide.

What is the difference between a toaster oven and a convection oven?

A convection oven is a subtype of toaster ovens. Convection means that a toaster oven also uses a fan to circulate hot air around the cavity. Not all toaster ovens do that, but the majority of good ones do.

Are toaster ovens dangerous?

They are not hazardous to your health. Just use caution and common sense since it’s still an appliance that radiates heat, just like a wall oven.

Why do toaster ovens explode?

I have only heard of that happening with cheap toaster ovens that use non-tempered glass for their glass doors, or have poor quality control. Other than that, toaster ovens are pretty safe. 

Is a toaster oven safer than microwave?

None of them are real health hazards. If you’re worried about electromagnetic radiation that the microwave uses, a toaster oven uses regular heat.

Do you need to unplug a toaster oven?

There’s no difference as compared to other kitchen appliances. Definitely unplug it before cleaning though!

Can you heat up soup in a toaster oven?

Yes, but a microwave would do a much better job. A toaster oven will take too long.

Can you pop popcorn in a toaster oven?

No, you can’t. A toaster oven will either burn the bag or the kernels, or both. If you don’t have a microwave, use a skillet instead.

I hope I was helpful! Let me know on Twitter or Facebook if you have any other questrions.

Love,

G.

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