Toaster ovens just may be the unsung hero of kitchen appliances. Toaster ovens are extremely versatile and simple enough for even the most novice chefs to make great tasting meals, snacks, and more. If you’re just using your toaster oven for bread and bagels, then you’re really missing out. Check out these unique toaster oven uses that can help you get more creative in the kitchen.
- Make dried fruits.
Turn your toaster oven into a food dehydrator. Simply slice up apples, pears, pineapples, or any of your favorite fruits, then place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Let them bake at 175 to 200 degrees for a few hours until they are completely dehydrated. You’ll have a sweet and healthy snack that costs less than buying dried fruit at the store.
- Roast meat.
If you don’t have a lot of people to cook for, or it’s just too hot to turn on your oven, then look to your toaster oven. You can use it to roast turkey breast, Cornish game hens, pork loin, or your favorite cut of beef. It’s great for broiling fish as well.
- Toast subs.
Whether you call them grinders, hoagies, or subs, the taste of these sandwiches skyrocket when they’re toasted. Make your sandwich as you usually would. Then, put it in the toaster oven until the bread starts to toast and the cheese melts. You’ll never want to eat a non-toasted sub again.
- Make pizza.
Why order pizza when you can easily make it at home? Depending on the size of your toaster, you can bake up to a 12” pizza. Pick up pizza dough or a pre-made crust and layer on your sauce, cheese, and favorite toppings. Put it in a 400-degree toaster oven for 10 to 12 minutes and it’s done.
- Cook bacon.
This is one of the best toaster oven uses because it means better-tasting bacon. Place the strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, then slide it into a 375-degree toaster oven for about 10 minutes. Leave it in a bit longer if you like your bacon crispy.
- Roast nuts.
Roasted nuts are delicious, nutritious, and easy to make. Toss pecans, almonds, pistachios, or your favorite nut with a small amount of oil and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Season them however you like and slide them into a 300-degree toaster oven for 20 minutes. This works with sunflower and pumpkin seeds as well.
- Toast coconut.
Many dessert recipes call for toasted coconut, and a toaster oven is one of the easiest ways to do it. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and place it in your toaster oven at low heat until it’s golden brown.
- Make your own croutons.
Don’t spend money on packaged croutons that may contain preservatives high amounts of sodium, especially when it’s so easy to make your own. Cut slices of bread into small cubes. Toss the bread cubes with olive oil and seasonings. Arrange the cubes of bread in a single layer on a baking sheet, and toast them on low heat until they’re crunchy.
- Create new crayons.
This is one of those toaster uses that actually has nothing to do with food, but if you have children, they’ll love it. Gather up any old or broken crayons and remove the wrappers. Place the broken pieces into foil-lined muffin cups. Place the foil cups on a baking sheet, and slide it into your toaster oven until the crayons are melted. Take them out and let them cool and harden. Voila. Your kids have new multicolored crayons for their art projects.