As millennial moms who juggle work, home life, and other passions like a pro, being able to cook warm meals from scratch seems impossible. But with the right kitchen tools and appliances to help you prep and cook meals faster, not only is it doable, but it could be enjoyable as well.
One must-have kitchen appliance is the toaster oven. This post explains the 5 kinds of a toaster oven for millennial moms:
1. Pop-up toasters without baking feature
- Ideal for toasting bread
- Some models have defrosted feature
- Space-saving, but has only a few uses (toast, defrost, reheat)
To be able to appreciate toaster ovens as a must-have kitchen appliance, I think I needed to mention these traditional toasters with two-, four- or six-slice bread capacity.
In the past, you just slide in the bread, pull down the lever up to the brownness of toast you desire, and wait for the toaster to automatically stop and make those toasted bread slices jump out their slots.
Now, toasters of today are not exclusive to slices of bread anymore. You can use them for bagels, waffles, and so much more. Some are designed with defrosting/reheating functions and almost all of them now have additional settings so you can customize the heat and browning.
2. Countertop toaster ovens with baking feature
- Toast bread, bake, broil, cook, and so on
- Features heating elements above and below
- Comes with digital controls and dials
Toaster ovens are small-scale ovens that can do what most full-sized ovens can. Just like a regular oven, it has a door at the front and you place bread, meat, or any other food items horizontally on a rack. When you close the door and set the temperature and timer, heating elements above and below the rack do their magic.
These are countertop kitchen appliances – so they could serve as your day-to-day oven for reheating, toasting, and so on. Unlike your wall oven or gas oven, which requires pre-heating, regular cleaning, and other maintenance tasks, using the smaller, space-saving countertop toaster oven becomes a more attractive option.
Some models have extra heating settings, allowing you to separate heat (only-top, only-bottom) if needed. Other models have two racks or more, just like a full-sized oven.
3. Convection toaster ovens
- Work the same as countertop toaster ovens
- The main difference is the heating technology used
- The initial investment is higher than classic toaster ovens, but power consumption will be much lesser
If you see a convection toaster oven beside an older toaster oven model, you might not find any difference. That’s because a model with convection technology isn’t immediately apparent.
Convection toaster ovens are designed with built-in fans, which circulate hot air inside the oven, spreading heat more evenly, and cooking everything faster. This will eventually save you money in electricity costs.
This is the most famous type of toaster oven these days. Who wouldn’t want to save time and money, right?
4. Infrared toaster ovens
- Uses infrared (light) technology as heat source
- One of the newer technologies in toaster ovens
- Most energy-efficient type of toaster ovens
Infrared toaster ovens are some of the newer models, and stores might not carry as many models with this feature, but if you see one, make sure to check it out. Infrared toaster ovens cook up to 50% faster, allowing you to cook meat, bread, pizza without the need to defrost.
If you’re a millennial mom who loves time-saving appliances, then this one’s a keeper. You just take your frozen waffles, meat, pizza dough out of the freezer, slide it into your toaster oven rack, and just wait for it to cook. And because infrared technology reduces energy expenditure, you enjoy lowered power bills as well.
5. Rotisserie-Equipped Toaster Oven
- Designed as a rotisserie for your meats
- Come in two designs (lookout for the one that can be used for toast)
Designed to cook meat using a rotating spit, toaster ovens with rotisserie function are awesome time-savers if you love evenly-cooked meat.
You can find two kinds of this model: one which ONLY serves as a rotisserie exclusively but looks exactly like a countertop toaster oven. And another model which toasts, broils, and bakes normally and has an add-on steel rod that you can attach when you need to cook a whole chicken.
If you don’t have any other toaster ovens, the latter model with rotisserie attachment is the one you’d like to have.
Many millennial moms will find the space-saving, power-saving, and easy-to-use toaster ovens as a daily partner for preparing and cooking meals. Even just the defrost function of many toaster ovens is more than enough to sway busy moms into switching to toaster ovens.
Even if you own a traditional oven, having a smaller toaster oven that allows you to heat, toast, broil, and bake more quickly is a worthy investment.