Toaster Oven FAQ

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We answer  some of the more commonly asked questions about toaster ovens.

What are the types of countertop ovens?

These are the four most common types of countertop ovens.

  • Conventional toaster countertop ovens have heating element(s). Some are used mainly to brown, toast or heat up foods, while others have bake and broil settings.
  • Countertop convection ovens have heating element(s) and a high-speed fan. This fan moves hot air around the interior of the oven to surround the food being cooked. This results in a more even temperature throughout the interior cavity.
  • A rotisserie oven is used to cook meat. The meat is put on a spit that rotates. Toaster ovens are available that come with the rotisserie feature or include an accessory to add to the oven.
  • Infrared countertop ovens use light energy to cook the food which is heated quickly and evenly. Some convection ovens have the infrared feature.

Can glass or Pyrex® pans be used in a toaster oven?

Pyrex® Safety and Usage document states Pyrex® glassware is not to be used in a toaster oven or on a stovetop that has an open flame or electric burner, under the broiler or on a barbecue grill.

Can cast iron cookware be used in a toaster oven?

Cast iron cookware can be used in a toaster oven. Some wire racks in toaster ovens are thin and might bend if a large cast iron skillet is placed on it.  

Can parchment paper be used in a toaster oven?

According to Reynolds Kitchens, parchment paper is NOT to be used in a toaster oven.

Can I cook frozen dinners in a toaster oven?

It depends on the manufacturer. Some frozen dinners are only to be cooked in a microwave oven while others provide toaster oven cooking directions on the box.

Stouffers specifically states the following in the FAQ section of their website.

“We do not recommend using a toaster oven due to the toaster oven's small size and close proximity of the heating element to the meal container.”

Lean cuisine also recommends a toaster oven not be used to cook their frozen dinners.

“Our development staff doesn't recommend a toaster oven because of its small size and the proximity of the heating element to the container.”

Is it safe to plug a toaster oven into a power strip?

Power strips should be used for low power load equipment. They should not be used for high load equipment such as toaster ovens or microwaves. [1][2][3]

How is cooking with a convection toaster oven different than with a conventional toaster oven?

A conventional toaster oven uses heating elements that are on the top or bottom of the interior of the oven cavity to cook the food. The heat from these heating elements warms both the space within the oven and the food.  

A convection toaster oven has a heating element and a fan that helps circulate the warm air throughout the interior. The theory is the air is distributed evenly, therefore the food is cooked more evenly. Additionally, if hot air is distributed throughout the interior, the cooking process will be quicker than if the air was not circulated via fan.

 [1]eta-safety.lbl.gov/safety-alert/dont-overload-power-strips

[2]nottinghamfire.org/fire_prevention/power_strip_safety.htm

[3]www.ius.edu/environmental-health-safety/files/extension-cord-and-power-strip-safety.pdf