Since toaster ovens are much smaller than regular ovens, you might be wondering if they get as hot. It depends on the specific appliance, but most toaster ovens reach temperatures similar to that of a full-size oven.
How Hot Does a Toaster Oven Get?
The majority of toaster ovens can reach temperatures of 400-450 degrees. Some will get as hot as 500 degrees. With this heat, you can basically cook anything you like in a toaster oven!
How to Preheat a Toaster Oven?
Preheating your toaster oven is simple. Determine what temperature you will need to cook your food at, then turn the dial to the desired temperature.
Some toaster ovens have preset functions that allow you to just push a button and the oven will preheat to the correct temperature for that food. Ensure the door to the toaster oven is closed while it is preheating.
It takes approximately 20 minutes for a toaster oven to preheat to 350-400 degrees. Most toasters will alert you with a beeping or bell sound when they have finished preheating.
Once your oven is preheated, you’re ready to get cooking. Check out this guide for more details about preheating a toaster oven.
How To Test Your Toaster Oven Temperature
To find out if your toaster oven is heating to the temperature it says it is, you’ll need an oven thermometer.
Place the oven thermometer in the center of the rack in the middle of your toaster oven. Then, set the temperature dial to any heat setting–preferably the temperature you use most often.
Wait until the oven has preheated to the set temperature. This should take about 20 minutes. Now, check your oven thermometer to see what it says.
If your oven thermometer has the same temperature as the toaster oven, your toaster oven is regulating temperature just as it should be.
However, if your oven thermometer displays a different temperature than the toaster oven, it likely means there is an issue with how the toaster oven is working.
Repeat the test with the thermometer one more time to see if you get the same results. If it’s clear that there is a discrepancy, you have a couple of options.
First, you can buy a new toaster oven. Or, if you recently purchased your toaster oven, it may be covered by a warranty. Contact the store where you bought it or the manufacturer to see if it can be replaced.
Your other option is to keep the toaster oven and simply adjust the temperature as needed. For example, if you know that your toaster oven is 10 degrees lower than the display shows, you can set the dial for 10 degrees higher than you need.
Preset Functions on a Toaster Oven
The main functions of toaster ovens are to bake, broil, and toast. These are fairly straightforward, but many toaster ovens have additional functions. These preset functions help to simplify the cooking process.
When using the toast setting, the toaster oven will heat from both the top and bottom elements. This ensures that both sides of your bread get toasted without you needing to flip them.
Some toaster ovens will let you choose from a light, medium, or dark setting. If you are toasting frozen bread, you may need to put it on a higher setting or leave it in the oven slightly longer.
The bake setting on your toaster oven is ideal for cooking things at temperatures under 400 degrees. On this setting, most of the heat will come from the bottom element, though it may cycle in between both elements.
Use the bake setting for foods like cookies, muffins, and bread. It is also ideal for cooking fish, chicken, and casseroles.
Just the top element of the toaster oven is used when set to broil. Typically a toaster oven’s broil setting is 500 degrees. With such high heat, it is important to keep an eye on your food!
Foods that are ideal for the broil setting include vegetables and thinner cuts of meat. Putting a thick cut of meat under the broiler will cause it to burn before it is cooked thoroughly enough.
The convection setting is similar to the bake setting, but it uses a fan to circulate the heat. This helps to ensure that your food is heated evenly.
Use this setting mainly for meats and vegetables. While you can use it for some baked goods, it is not recommended for cakes as it will dry them out.
Setting will vary depending on the model of toaster oven, but the cookie setting is usually 350 degrees for 30 minutes. You can adjust the temperature and time as required.
The defrost setting is handy when you have frozen meat or other food that you want to cook soon. This feature helps to keep your food at a safe temperature before cooking.
Defrost settings are typically set to 180 degrees to slowly bring the temperature of the frozen food up.
If you’ve finished cooking but you’re not quite ready to eat, the keep warm function will do the trick. This setting, usually 180 degrees, uses low heat to maintain the temperature of your food without overcooking it.
Toaster oven settings for pizza are typically set to 450 degrees, though this is adjustable. Keep in mind that a frozen pizza will require a different cooking time than a pizza with fresh, uncooked dough.
Toaster ovens are handy for reheating food and they don’t create the sogginess that microwaves do. This preset function is often set to 350 degrees.
If your toaster oven has a rotisserie setting, this is ideal for cooking a chicken or a roast. The temperature of this function is often set to 350 degrees.
A rotisserie kit will be included with a toaster oven that has this function. You’ll need to ensure that your food is attached securely to the forks and that you have a drip pan placed underneath.
Power Up Your Toaster Oven!
Just about anything you can think of can be made in a toaster oven. Unlike older models, today’s toaster ovens come with a variety of settings so you can make everything you need.
Toaster ovens usually start with a temperature of 180 degrees which is useful for keeping foods warm. Baking is typically done in the 325-375 degree range. Broil functions are usually at a temperature of 450-500 degrees, the maximum temperature for a toaster oven.