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Cooking in toaster oven?

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  • Cooking in toaster oven?

    My electric bill has gone up quite a bit in the last two months. I'm sure part of that is the insane heat we've been having, and I've been working from home (so I keep the house cooler during the day than I would otherwise)...

    But - I also realized it's because I'm cooking now (rather than just microwaving frozen meals and eating out)!

    I think a good deal of the extra cost is from running the oven!

    Since I'm only cooking for one - I'm wondering if a toaster oven would be more efficient, and still work out ok? Anyone with experience here? I'm mostly cooking crustless quiches (~50min in the oven), fish (~10-35 minutes depending on the fish), and some veggies...

    Seems like it could work?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I love using the "toaster" (heats from top and bottom) setting on my toaster oven to broil/bake meats & veggies. Couldn't be happier.

    edit: also, it does cook things faster, need to keep an eye on it at first to figure out the new cooking times

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    • #3
      Cool, thanks - I wasn't sure that it would handle "real meals", since it's so small (although I guess "real meals" for one aren't exactly huge either!)

      It looks like I need to find one... the super high electric bills are just nuts, and I suppose I should have known that having the oven on, for hours, in the middle of a heatwave, with the air conditioner trying to keep things cool - was not a very frugal thing

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      • #4
        Anything you can cook in an oven, you can cook in the toaster oven (unless it's a whole chicken or turkey) I used the one at my parents when I lived at home. We didn't have air conditioning, so mom would cool a couple of pork chops or chicken breasts/legs in the toaster oven. It didn't heat up the apartment as much and it tasted just as good. Good luck!
        I blog here: http://www.primalkat.blogspot.com/

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        • #5
          Thanks. I might buy a toaster oven now. One question: Can you make jerky in a toaster oven or will the temp be too high?
          A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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          • #6
            I've been wondering about using my toaster oven instead of a microwave to reheat leftovers. I need to find a way to have it on my counter all the time, which I really dislike - maybe I should just chuck the microwave, put the t.o. in its place, and be forced to use it! The microwave is only used for leftovers now, thankfully!
            5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
            Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
            Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
            Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
            ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

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            • #7
              We have a convection toaster oven, which is great. We use the toaster oven as much as the regular oven.
              For lots of tasty recipes, check out my blog -http://lifeasadreger.wordpress.com/

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              • #8
                I almost never use my big oven -- everything gets cooked in the toaster oven. I paid $2 for mine at a garage sale, and it's a workhorse -- I use it daily. Maybe some day when I get a job I'll think about upgrading to something with some bells and whistles, but for the time being this thing rocks. It has a timer on it that turns itself off after the time is up, so I never have to worry about leaving it on accidentally. And I like chicken cooked in it much better than the big oven -- maybe all that air circulating around makes the skin dry out or something? Crispy and juicy in the TO. Toaster oven, cast-iron skillet, crock-pot. Micro for re-heating. I am a household of one, and these are my every-day kitchen tools.

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                • #9
                  I have always been a huge fan of the toaster oven! I bought one for work & stored the regular toaster. I bake pieces of fish or chicken to add to my BAS for lunch. I cook bacon in it. At home I use mine to toast up nuts, coconut & whatnot for what I'm making. You can roast a game hen in one. I got a 6-hole muffin tin & I bake eggs in that in the oven.
                  I could go on & on... Spend time browsing looking for one that is a little larger & a bit higher wattage; spend a bit more - you get what you pay for in the new ones. I have a Black & Decker that works quite well. I would l-o-v-e to have one of those convection ones however

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                  • #10
                    Since it's just two of us at home I never use the oven. We have a convection toaster oven (I think it's a Cuisinart) from Lowe's that works wonders. I can easily cook two cornish hens in there or roast vegetables or cook some bacon (I'm limited on the number of frying pans here...). If I cook roasts or whole chickens, I just put them in the slow cooker, other than that it's all the toaster oven!
                    "So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
                    And we never even know we have the key."
                    ~The Eagles, "Already Gone"

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                    • #11
                      Awesome! Thanks everyone.

                      Yup, I'm going to have to find space for it in my tiny kitchen (yikes) but it sounds like it would be hugely helpful.

                      I wish I could get one of those microwaves that mounts over the oven, so I could free up that bit of counter space for the toaster oven! I have a vent over the oven though - not sure how the microwave would work without messing up the venting?

                      Looks like I might be shopping this weekend, at any rate! Thanks!

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                      • #12
                        we have a convection toaster oven that I use almost every day. You can do chicken wings, legs, thighs perfectly, as well as fish and leftovers in a glass ovenproof container. I love the thing. The only thing I nuke these days is precooked breakfast sausage because it's just super easy that way and I haven't used my actual oven more than once or twice a month lately. I think using the oven every day could definitely shoot up your electric bill! the price of a toater oven might cost you what you would pay in one or two bills but then it would work out to be a savings.

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