Toaster oven for your kitchen is a great investment as it gives you relief in multiple aspects. It is a machine which can toast, bake and heat your food. Obviously, a machine capable of doing so much will take up a lot of space on your countertop. Dedicating so much of your kitchen to an appliance will be justified when you fully utilize every function that it offers. However, some consumers cannot seem to get the hold of it and end up making sappy toaster oven mistakes. Moreover, when a microwave toaster oven fails to produce effective results due to such mistakes, disappointed users simply drop the idea and banish the appliance in a basement.
If you’re one of those about to drop the device or recently bought it, here is how you can avoid making toaster oven mistakes. Read, learn and avoid these mistakes at all costs so you can get the maximum advantage from your toaster oven.
1. You don’t read the manual
First things first, as you do in case of any other gadget or device, read the guidance manual for using a toaster oven. Don’t take it as simple as a refrigerator of your which just needs to be plugged in to start working. Go through the safety tips and know if there is any limitation you should keep in mind. Run your toaster oven like any regular oven of yours. Before you broil, roast or bake, preheat your toaster oven otherwise your food won’t be properly cooked in an appropriated time.
2. You might be using the wrong dishes
There is basic information that toaster oven users are generally aware of. Essentially, paper towels, paper plates, plastic lids & containers, and cardboards are out of the question when using a toaster oven. But do you know there is more to this no-list?
While figuring out what dishes you can put in a toaster oven, you may want to find answers for these questions:
- What does your toaster oven manufacturer caution about using a particular dish, pan or accessory?
- Does your product manufacturer label the product as toaster oven-safe?
Some of the popular dishes and accessories that are commonly believed to be toaster oven-friendly are glass dishes, parchment paper, and mason jars. But guess what? They are not!
Pyrex in its Use & Care FAQ clearly states that their glass dishes are not to be used under or over a flame or direct heat source including in a toaster oven, on a stovetop or grill or under a broiler. Your toaster oven manufacturer might call it safe to use, however your dish is safe until it is not. And ‘not’ in this case means your glass pan smashing into pieces in your kitchen.
Many of you must have used parchment paper in their toaster ovens as it is usually labeled for safe-use by toaster oven manufacturers. However, to your surprise, parchment paper manufacturers call it a big No-No for your appliances.
3. When you don’t clean it enough
You don’t have to keep your toaster oven clean just for its better appearance. Bits, pieces and piled up grease in the crumb tray can overheat and catch flames. When you become negligible in its use, toaster oven can pose a great threat to you and your family. It is one of the most commonly used electronic home appliances. This small appliance has been accounted for about 3000 fire incidents and property damage of over $27 million from 2007 to 2011. As difficult as it is to believe, reports on toaster oven accidents are very much real and people should be careful while using it.
Another perception that should push you toward cleaning your toaster oven is; the dirtier it is, the more time it will to take perform any function. If you want to maintain the health of your toaster oven and run it for a longer time, it’s ideal to clean it after every use and make it a routine. A messy toaster oven is more inclined to toaster oven accidents.
4. You forget to unplug the toaster oven
Toaster oven is one of those electrical appliances which are easy to unplug yet they are not so easy on the power grid. One of the dumb mistakes usually made by toaster oven users is that they yank the cord. Have you ever done that? If you did, probably now is the time to stop this practice. By doing so, particularly repeatedly, will harm the cord, plug and outlet of your device. More terrible results will be a spark turning into a fire or at the very least, the life of your toaster oven will be reduced.
Before disconnecting, you should always turn the timer knob to ‘0’ to switch off the toaster over. Then detach the cord by holding on and withdrawing the plug. As mentioned above, you should never unplug by holding on the cord. Lastly, make a habit of unplugging the toaster oven when not in use. Leaving the cord plugged can result in toaster oven accidents, although unlikely, there’s a risk involved of a sudden fire.
5. You stick a fork (or anything else) in the toaster.
You may already realize that poking a metal fork or knife in a toaster oven when it is plugged in is not a good idea. This could result in a possibly fatal shock. But it is not just about being careful while the toaster oven is connected. It is hazardous to poke anything in a toaster oven, regardless of the possibility that it is unplugged. It is so because the contact of a fork or knife may unknowingly break or bend the wire of a heating element, possibly activating the toaster oven and preparing to give you a jolt when you plug it in.
6. You are unaware of the convection rules
Toaster ovens are now equipped with convection settings, so it is not anymore exclusive to just larger ovens. This provides you the comfort in preparing easy toaster oven recipes, and the benefits of a convection toaster oven. Convection toaster oven comes with a built-in fan which flows heated air inside the toaster oven. This warm air not only removes moisture but also prepares your food quicker and does the even browning.
However, if your toaster oven recipes are lacking that crispy on the outside and tender on the inside touch, you’re probably using it wrong. You have got to be mindful of the temperature and time conversion instructions when using a convection toaster oven.
So, next time when someone asks you, what you can really do with your convection toaster oven, tell them that Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries, Cinnamon Glazed Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts, Roasted Mushroom and Gruyere Sandwich, & Roasted Meatloaf are only a few convection toaster oven recipes to start with.
Get to know how to use a toaster oven without making these mistakes, and you can come out with some delicious toaster oven recipes. You cannot only heat your bread and bake muffins but also prepare convection oven meatloaf – yes that is all possible with the right use of your toaster oven.
People with small kitchens find this appliance space-friendly. This feature becomes highlighted when you live in a small apartment or are confined for space. You can cook quick food in small quantities with easy toaster oven recipes. Toaster oven is a convenient choice for summers when you don’t want to raise your kitchen’s temperature with the use of a regular oven. This and much more you can experience if you avoid making common toaster oven mistakes discussed above. While we are at it, I am going to finish this article with this riddle for you to solve…
What do you put in a toaster oven?
Did you say toast? Give up now on that answer because the right answer is ‘bread.’
Happy toasting with your toaster oven!