Perhaps you’re in the market for a new toaster and have been considering the idea of a toaster oven instead. If you’re wondering what the differences may, there are quite a few, many of which tilt in favour of the toaster oven.
When it comes to toasting the perfect slice of bread, you likely think that is a job for your toaster. Well did you know you can do the same thing in a toaster oven, as well as a whole lot more? Most toaster ovens can accommodate two, four or six slices of bread at a time so you can toast just as many as a traditional toaster. Because it is an oven, you can also control the temperature, therefore getting the exact colour you like (light, medium or dark). Many models even offer a particular one-touch button feature that will toast perfectly each and every time.
So what about items like your bagels, toaster waffles and pancakes and other toaster goodies? These can all be placed in your toaster oven as well, giving you the same results as your toaster.
What sets the toaster oven apart from just a toaster is the additional items you can use it for. Think of your toaster oven as a miniature oven. You’ll be able to do everything from baking a cake, cooking roasted potatoes, meals straight from the freezer into the oven and toasting those perfect open face sandwiches. As well, when you use your toaster oven to make traditional oven meals, you’ll be using up to 33% less power with the added bonus that your entire house doesn’t heat up while the oven is on. A typical toaster oven looks exactly like an oven just on a much smaller scale. It has a front door with a wire rack and usually comes with a baking pan.
A toaster oven can often replace your oven and toaster for many meals, however there are still drawbacks. If you’re planning to cook a large roast, chicken, turkey or other large meat dishes, the toaster oven just isn’t going to cook it. As well, there are only certain types of dishes/pans that can be used in the toaster oven. Glass is not recommended to be used.
Cost is another factor, with a typical toaster oven being quite a bit more than a traditional toaster. Keep in mind, the higher price tag is meant to reflect the fact that you can use it for much more than just toasting. As well, if you’re short on counter space the toaster oven may not be a good choice. Not only are they wide but they tend to be fairly deep, therefore taking up a pretty prominent spot on the counter.
It’s important before making your decision that you give thought as to what you cook on a regular basis, the portion size and the space available in your kitchen for a toaster versus a toaster oven.
When you look at your toaster I’m sure the words “fire hazard” don’t pop into your mind but the reality is these little kitchen appliances have proven to be the culprits to many kitchen blazes. By being aware of this and following a few easy safety tips you can ensure your toaster remains a helpful tool in the kitchen rather than the cause of the demise of your kitchen or home.
Be Aware of Toaster Hazards
Chances are your toaster will never be an issue for you but there are always those rare cases and because of those, it certainly is a good idea to be aware and take some easy safety precautions.
- The number one way to prevent a fire in your kitchen that is caused by the toaster is to always unplug it when not in use. Of course many of us leave it plugged in at all times so it’s just ready to go when we need it, but the fact is that this is not the safest thing to do. By unplugging it you stop the flow of electricity, especially important when you’re not at home to react to any spark or damage that might occur.
- Keep your toaster clean and free of crumbs. Today most toasters come equipped with a removable crumb tray that you can empty on a regular basis. Be sure to do this as a buildup of crumbs can lead to a fire. A good rule of thumb is to clean your toaster out monthly, more often if you’re using it daily.
- Look for models that promise to stay cool to the touch and beneath it. You don’t want the countertop to be heating up extremely high each time. If your toaster doesn’t have a cool touch feature make sure you don’t put it away until it has fully cooled off.
- Never use or plug your toaster in near water as it can cause an electrical spark and/or shock.
- If you notice the plug or cord looks damaged, bent or wires are poking out, do not use the toaster. This is a major fire risk.
- Do not put any metal objects whether it be a food container or even a knife etc to clean the toaster or help pry bread that is stuck in it out.
- Never use a metal scouring pad to clean a toaster. If any pieces of the scouring pad break off in the toaster, you risk receiving an electrical shock or sparking a fire.
- Do not use the toaster near flammable materials such as drapery, towels or oven mitts.
- No matter how safe you assume your toaster may be, never leave it unattended while toasting food. Make sure you’re in the same room to watch, and smell to make sure it’s just fine.
Owning a toaster doesn’t have to be dangerous or scary but you should be aware of the things you need to do in order to ensure your toaster remains a safe appliance in your kitchen.
Consumers understand the basic reason for having a bread maker, which is to make your own homemade loaves of bread. What most aren’t aware of are the other neat foods that can be made using this little appliance. Regardless of your level expertise in the kitchen, these three foods can be easily made using your bread maker.
1. Pizza Party.
Have you ever wondered how you could get the taste of great pizza at home without paying top dollar at your local pizzeria for delivery? The bread maker can help you accomplish this. First, find the dough setting on your bread maker. Gather your ingredients and place them inside following the book of recipes included with your machine. Turn it on and let the work begin. Depending on which type you own this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Once completed, get your topping together and roll out your kneaded bread onto your pizza pan. Add toppings and enjoy a great pizza for half the price and even more importantly you can brag that it was made in your kitchen.
2. Mall Quality Pretzels.
Nothing tastes better than a soft pretzel like the ones you can get in any mall across the country. Lightly salted, these snacks are quick and easy to eat. If you would like to get that same taste at home; get your bread maker out and give it a try. You will need water, dry yeast, salt, coarse salt, flour, and melted butter. The amounts required may vary depending on the recipe you use. Add your ingredients to the bread maker and place it on the dough setting. Once it’s completed the cycle; remove dough and place it on a cutting board covered in flour. Cut dough into eight to twelve pieces and roll each piece into ropes. Twist into pretzel form and place on a cookie sheet. Don’t forget to brush on the melted butter and sprinkle with coarse salt. Place in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes or until golden brown at 375 degrees. Take out of the oven, let them cool off and enjoy.
3. Tortillas Anyone.
Are you a fajita lover yet have no idea as to how to replicate that same tortilla taste in the privacy of your own home. Well you guessed it; the bread maker can have you on your way to a great Mexican dish. This is a simple food to make using only flour, 3 to 5 tablespoons full of olive oil, a couple of teaspoons of baking powder and a cup of water or milk. Place ingredients in bread maker and start; when mixed well stop and remove dough. Flatten with a rolling pin and cook in a hot skillet until browned to your taste. Viva la tortilla!
There you have it; several uses for your bread maker outside of the usual. So look under the cabinet, blow the dust off of that little gadget and have a good time. Gather the family around and everyone can participate in creating a fun food you can all enjoy.