I have always been a big fan of toaster ovens. A really big fan. Wouldn't be without one. My former husband and I used to go 'round and 'round about it because he said it took too long to make toast and the toast was never as evenly toasted as in a real toaster. And although I agree with that, that just wasn't a huge hardship in my view. The toaster ovens do make toast, and it's not so much a step down from an actual toaster that it's worthy of bitching and moaning about it. Or even, in my view, worthy of moving a toaster around on the countertop and keeping it clean, etc. I sure didn't like having both appliances taking up space on my countertop, so one had to go. No contest - the toaster. That was only a one-function appliance (and you couldn't even make butterscotch toast or cinnamon toast or honey toast or toast a slice of pound cake, or heat up iced rolls or anything else at all in it, certainly nothing drippy, or too fat, and if you tried, it got stuck and you wound up with smoke in the kitchen and the smoke alarm going off and you had to unplug the thing and go after it with a knife, making a big mess and how on earth is that worth it) taking up limited space, so byebye. I did keep his precious toaster under the counter for a while, but he had to actually bend over and retrieve it when he wanted to use it, which he was the only one that ever did. So he didn't do that more than a couple of times. After I realized that months had passed since he used it, and we were all using the toaster oven, I got rid of it and he never said a word more about it.
But those toaster ovens! So quick and easy to use to heat up things, bake smaller items, melt cheese over things, brown things, crisp up things, whatever.
And, especially if you live in a hot-weather climate, as I have fairly often during my life, a toaster oven has a huge advantage in that you don't have to heat up that big oven, which heats up your kitchen, when it's 110 degrees outside. Not to mention that it costs a lot more money to heat up that big oven if all you want to bake is six cookies, or four biscuits, or re-heat and re-crisp some fried chicken from last night's dinner.
For about the last five years, I've been living with my daughter, her husband, and their four kids, and doing all the babysitting and most of the cooking. They didn't have a toaster oven when I moved in so, of course, I immediately bought one. Now, my daughter says, they can't live without it. I'm going to be moving into a small apartment over the next few weeks and had planned to take it with me. But Daughter has been begging me to leave it. It's an Oster and I bought it at Sam's for $40 and it's certainly not perfect but we like it fine. I know that living by myself with a small kitchen, I'll use that toaster oven many times every day, so I was extremely reluctant to leave it.
But, after reading this thread, I am going to leave it.
And take myself and my nifty 20% off coupon over to BB&B and get that large Breville Smart Oven.
I'll bet I don't turn on the big oven for months.
Hey, I can use it for storage!
Edited by Jaymes, 03 March 2013 - 10:40 AM.