How to Preheat a Toaster Oven & How Long Does It Take?


Preheating a Toaster Oven

Knowing when and how to preheat your toaster oven is an important part of having your food turn out the way you like. Not all foods require the toaster oven to be preheated, but many do.

In this brief article, we’ll go over the steps to preheating a toaster oven including how long to preheat it for and how to know when it is ready.

Is it Necessary to Preheat a Toaster Oven?

While most foods require a preheated toaster oven, some do not. If you are simply toasting bagels or bread, you don’t need to preheat the toaster oven. Similarly, if you are reheating leftovers, it isn’t necessary for the toaster oven to be preheated prior to putting in the food.

Do You Preheat a Toaster Oven With a Baking Tray?

Generally, you don’t need to preheat the baking tray. For some recipes, such as pizza or cornbread, a hot tray is recommended for a better outcome, but for the majority of foods, you should not preheat the oven with the tray inside.

Preheat a Toaster Oven

Let’s review the simple steps to preheat your toaster oven.

Set the Temperature

You’ll want to start by setting your toaster oven to the desired temperature. Check the recipe or instructions to determine the correct setting.

Close the Door

In order for the toaster oven to reach the correct temperature, you’ll need to ensure that no hot air can escape. Make sure that the door closes tightly.

Set the Time

Some toaster ovens will have a screen that shows the current temperature–if yours has this feature, you don’t need to set a timer. Simply keep an eye on the display and wait for it to reach the correct temperature. Some models will have an alarm or bell that rings when the programmed heat setting is reached.

If your toaster oven doesn’t have this setting, you’ll need to set a timer to know when your oven will be hot enough to start cooking or baking. 

How Long to Preheat a Toaster Oven?

How long you should preheat your toaster oven depends on what temperature you are setting it for. The higher the temperature, the longer it will take for the toaster oven to preheat. Since each toaster oven model is a bit different, preheating times may vary.

TemperaturePreheating Time
350 Degrees Fahrenheit10-12 min
375 Degrees Fahrenheit12-15 min
400 Degrees Fahrenheit15-17
425 Degrees Fahrenheit17-20
Toaster oven preheating time depending on the temperature.

How to Know When a Toaster Oven is Preheated?

There are three main ways to tell when your toaster oven has preheated.

Monitor The Display

The first and easiest way is to use a toaster oven that has the temperature displayed on its screen. As the temperature inside the oven rises this will be displayed for you to monitor.

Use a Timer

The second way to know when your toaster oven is preheated is to use a timer. Once you have set the temperature on the toaster oven, set the timer for 10-20 minutes, depending on how hot you need the oven to be.

Use an Oven Thermometer

Lastly, you can use an oven thermometer to tell when your toaster oven is preheated. Place the thermometer inside the toaster oven and then set the toaster oven to the desired temperature. You will need to periodically look at the thermometer to see how hot the inside of the oven is and if it has reached the correct temperature.

Ready, Set, Preheat!

Preheating a toaster oven is a no-brainer. Once you do it a few times it becomes like riding a bike – you can’t forget it. I’m glad I got to be a part of that ride!

To learn more about toaster oven temperature including the maximum temperatures that most models reach, take a look at the toaster oven temperature guide I wrote.

Larry Flynn

Hi everyone! My name is Larry Flynn and I've been working in the kitchen appliance industry for decades. From manufacturing to retail and everything in between. My latest hobby is running this website, where I share all the knowledge I gathered throughout the years in the industry. I also run a small toaster repair shop in downtown NY, and collect vintage toasters.

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