The universe of the toaster oven is a complete stranger to ordinary mortals, hence it is almost always a headache to choose which oven to buy for our kitchen.
At Computer How we have developed a complete shopping guide with all kinds of information, tips, and tricks to buy the best toaster oven: good, beautiful and cheap.
The toaster oven survives the times with iron health. It is probably the appliance with the oldest origin, but it is still in the latest fashion since it has evolved through very different paths to adapt to new times and new kitchens.
Today, conventional toaster ovens, microwave ovens, pyrolysis ovens, and even steam ovens coexist, although the lucky ones will always boast the wood-fired oven they have in the garden.
If you want to buy a new oven, the first advice, as always, is to be very clear about the space you have in the kitchen so you don’t have a disgust when installing it, especially if it is enclosed.
In any case, in the case of toaster ovens, it is not usually a problem because the measures are studied when renovating or assembling a kitchen, but it never hurts to know the height, width, and depth that you have.
Types of Toaster Oven
There is an oven for each house, so before getting dizzy with the possible functions, energetic consumption, and others the best thing you can do before buying a toaster oven is to choose the type that suits you best.
To begin with, you should know that compact or very small-sized ovens are sold – less than 60 cm wide – ideal for small or single houses with little skill in the kitchen, extra-large ovens of 90 centimeters that will practically only take advantage of those that use the oven often and with several simultaneous cooking and finally there are the most widespread, about 60 centimeters wide, on which there is a huge variety to choose from.
In addition, the oven types are divided according to their internal operation according to these categories:
- Conventional ovens. The widest range in the market, lifelong furnaces that heat the air through resistance at the top and bottom.
- Microwave ovens. They cook a little faster than conventional ones and have lower electricity consumption. Some have removed the turntable, although they are usually smaller.
- Multifunction ovens. The mid-range that populates most Spanish kitchens. They come with grill and convection, which facilitates the preparation of two meals at the same time.
- Steam ovens. First, they conquered professional kitchens and now threaten to spread to others thanks to their healthy cooking free of fatty elements.
The oven is one of the appliances that consume more energy and especially those that work with electricity, due to the losses of the transformation of electrical energy into thermal energy. However, a Class A electric oven consumes 60% less energy than a Class G oven. Gas ovens are much more efficient, but electric ovens are more frequent.
The ovens are also subject to the energy labeling of the European Union, which classifies the appliances from letters A to G, with A being the most efficient and G the least, contrary to what happens with washing machines or refrigerators in the case of ovens, it is quite difficult to find a furnace with the A + label and almost impossible with A ++ which indicates even greater savings.
Is it worth paying more for a more efficient oven? The Xunta de Galicia has created an interesting simulator that serves to identify how long it takes to amortize the extra cost involved in buying a model of greater energy efficiency.
Finally, a note on the energy consumption of the ovens. Opening the door means losing 20 percent of the energy accumulated inside the oven, so the best advice is not to open unless the oven door is absolutely necessary, and cook if possible all the food required in a batch.
Minimum oven functions
If you have no idea what things to look for when buying an oven we recommend that you look at these functions so that they do not give you a cat for a hare.
- Heat up and down. The most elementary function of all
- Quick preheat A good option to save time but not electricity. It will get you out of more than a hurry.
- Grill functions. Perfect to gratin food. Some ovens incorporate different grill modes that you can use as you need.
- Air. A useful function so that the roast of meat does not last an eternity.
- Temperature control. Either with electronic controls or traditional rotary. Here you should look at the range that usually ranges between 50 and 250 degrees Celsius, although cooking at lower (30 degrees) and higher (270 degrees) temperatures can sometimes be an advantage.
Another important aspect when choosing an oven for the kitchen is to look at the different heights where you can place the trays and grills. Normally these accessories can be placed in 5 different heights.
Cleaning the oven: Pyrolysis yes or no?
Advertising has been responsible for introducing pyrolysis into the alphabet of any housewife, which is a process of decomposition through heat. This means that pyrolysis furnaces use this function to get to very high temperatures of around 500 degrees to convert the remains of dirt into ashes that are simply removed with a cloth.
The obvious advantage of pyrolysis furnaces is the ease of cleaning the appliance. The function must be used sporadically even if the oven is used daily and the main disadvantage of these pyrolysis furnaces is that in this process they use a large amount of energy that then affects the electricity bill, although it is also true that the Today’s ovens are much more efficient than those of ten years ago.
Toaster Oven safety
The ovens are responsible for a good number of domestic accidents , so it is advisable to opt for a model that incorporates safety functions.
A good advice when choosing a new toaster oven is to choose one that has a cold door, that is, that has two, three or even four crystals between the inside and outside of the oven to keep the temperature of the door at bay, Especially if we have children at home.
To avoid unpleasant burns, it is best to buy a furnace with a car or removable guide system , another important feature when comparing ovens. Nor does it hurt that our new oven has other additional safety systems such as tangential ventilation and vented venting.
In short, to choose the best toaster oven for your kitchen you must choose one that suits your needs. If you are one of those who use it a little, your solution may be a compact one, but if you use it daily for all types of elaborations, you could consider choosing a steam oven with a pyrolysis function . And don’t forget to compare the functionalities and characteristics of the different models.