As a teacher, I love being asked to explain something. Shelley asked why I love toaster ovens. I will explain. Please feel free to tune out whenever you wish. That's what my students do!
Shelley mentioned a toaster oven as a substitute for a microwave. No. You need both. Microwaves are good for heating coffee, melting chocolate, and a few other things, but are not good for bread products.
A toaster oven is a toaster and an oven. So: you can toast bread in it, make bread with melted cheese on top, and, if you have an appropriately sized pan, bake in it. Some people put a whole chicken in. I haven't done that. But I do use it to make things like corn bread in a small pan. And it's great for baking potatoes. So much better than heating up your giant oven space to bake two potatoes!
I mentioned in my last post that toaster ovens are short-lived appliances at both the low and the high end. We alternate. We just replaced our Cuisinart with a cheapo Black and Decker.
We almost bought the higher end and better looking WaringPro.
Dillards advertised this at $49.99, a great price. We went in. They said, "We only had one. We'll call you Monday when we get more in." That was two weeks ago. So much for the ease and customer service of a department store.
The highest end toaster oven is by Breville.
This toaster oven was the subject of an ecstatic article by food writer Raymond Sokolov, where he detailed the unexpected joys of cooking without his big professional range, which failed right before Thanksgiving a few years ago.
Even if you're not in the market for a toaster oven, you should read this delightful piece.
I mentioned that we used our Amazon gift card for our little toaster oven. To tell you the truth, I don't think I would have spent so much on Sokolov's Breville, even if my gift card had been big enough.