Everything You Need to Know About
Toaster Convection Ovens
The advantages of a toaster oven and a convection oven rolled into one!
How Do They Work?
The oven contains heating elements which produce radiant heat.
It also has a fan which circulates the heat, making it more even.
The air current created by the fan disturbs the thin cushion of cooler air that normally surrounds the food. The food is therefore exposed to the hotter air and cooks more quickly.
What are the Advantages?
The main advantage is that cooking is more even and faster. It is possible to cook at a lower temperature, for a shorter period of time and attain better results.
The convenient, compact size of convection toaster ovens means that they are very versatile.
Other advantages include cost reduction, through the use of less energy, and ease of cleaning.
Can I still use all my old recipes?
Yes. Recipes written for regular ovens can be easily converted using general guidelines or tools such as this converter. Additionally, most convection toaster ovens allow you to turn off the fan, so that it cooks just like a normal (i.e. a regular) toaster oven. The only limitation is the size of the oven. Some convection toaster ovens can handle up to a 10" (25 cm) pizza or a 5 pound (2.25 kg) chicken.
The Ten Best Things About a Convection Toaster Oven
The convection toaster oven is ready to go in a jiffy because it heats up quickly. It is faster cooking as well, because it uses a fan to force the hot air around the oven. This airflow blows away a thin layer of air that normally sits around the food, insulating it from the oven heat. Presto! The food can now heat up more quickly, cooking faster and saving you TIME. Cooking time is about 30% less.
2. More Even Cooking
The convection toaster oven uses a fan to spread the heat evenly around the oven... so no more cool spots
and hot spots
! Regular ovens have uneven spots because they depend solely on the heating elements. This radiant heat is uneven, plus the distance of the food from the elements makes a difference to the temperature.
3. You can use all your old recipes
The convection toaster oven can accommodate all your old recipes. If you want to convert an old recipe to a new one, try using this helpful convection converter
. New recipes often come with the new oven. Remember — regular recipes can be converted to convection oven times and temperatures in about 3 seconds flat.
4. Saves Energy... and Money
You can be greener and save money at the same time! Convection toaster ovens heat up quickly due to their size, and are very efficient
in their use of the heat. They typically cut energy use by around 20%
... putting those savings in your wallet.
The convection toaster oven is comparatively compact
. They are small enough to be convenient but can still meet or complement the cooking and baking needs of most people. You can sit your oven on the counter, a built-in area, or even be put it away in a cupboard until needed.
6. Easy to Clean
Toaster convection ovens generally come with handy trays, so if a spill occurs it is easy to pull out the tray and put in the sink to clean. Other easy-to-clean features are the non-stick accessories, which are often included with the oven, and (with some) an adjustable rack that can be removed for cleaning.
These ovens are generally reasonably priced, so purchasing one is not like buying a major appliance. Also, remember that they can generate savings once they are put into use. The price may vary according to the size and style, but, in general, they are affordable to buy and inexpensive to run.
8. Flexible Use
The oven can be used to warm up a small snack or cook a meal. It can bake, cook, broil, toast, and roast. When a large crowd is coming, it can complement the regular oven by baking a casserole or warming up the buns.
9. Easy to Use
Most convection toaster ovens have easy controls for time and temperature, so they are well suited for a supervised beginner or cooking with children. They can also be useful for seniors who want ease of cooking.
10. More Nutrients on your Plate
The higher temperatures of regular ovens that are needed to bake or cook certain foods, can also destroy some of the nutrients in the food. At lower temperatures, you preserve more of the food benefit.
Checklist of Features
Customize your list of important features depending on how much space you have available, your cooking/baking needs, and your budget. Below are some features that you may or may not consider important for your use.
Size, Appearance, and Warranty:
___ size that suits your needs and available counter space (Size can vary from about 12"x 16" (30cm x 40cm) to 17" x 20" (43cm x 50cm).)
___ weight appropriate (ease of moving)
___ side handles (ease of moving)
___ preferred exterior: plastic (cooler to touch) or metal (appearance)
___ preferred colour availability
___ warranty against defects
___ automatic shut-off
___ a way to wrap the cord to keep it from becoming a hazard
___ good insulation and sealing (will stay cooler to the touch and will operate more efficiently)
___ adjustable rack(s) that can be removed
___ non-stick accessories and interior
___ porcelain or enamel interior (for even distribution of heat, and for those who wish to avoid non-stick surfaces)
___ broiler pan
___ baking tray(s)
___ removable, reflective drip/crumb tray
Controls and Functions
___ easy-to-use controls controls that let you choose between bake, broil, and toast
You may wish to see ratings of various convection toaster ovens through Consumer Reports, Good Housekeeping, or from customer reviews at Amazon.com.
___ illuminated control panels
___ pre-set cooking functions
___ digital controls
___ electric touchpad
___ defrost button
___ reheat button (warms without browning)
___ automatic sensor that can be set to tell you when the food is ready
___ infrared heating (if needed for for speed of toasting)
___ quartz elements
___ rotisserie function
___ full range thermostat
Some of the major manufacturers include Cuisinart, Krups, Oster, Hamilton Beach and DeLonghi.
In association with Amazon, here are some convection toaster ovens you may wish to consider: