4 reasons you should get a toaster oven

KitchenAid toaster oven
Along with toaster oven staples like mini pizzas and garlic bread, you can make a variety of tasty food and treats with one.

Up until a few months I thought a toaster oven would just be another item to clutter my limited counter space (and I knew one wouldn’t replace my regular toaster or my microwave). My feelings changed after I was sent a KitchenAid 12″ Convection Bake Countertop Oven to test and I found myself gravitating to it many times a week.

Here are the four reasons why I got hooked on it and why I now recommend getting one.

Helping hand for big meals

The first “aha” moment during my test of the KitchenAid toaster oven came when we were hosting a big family dinner for my son’s birthday. With our regular oven stuffed, we were able to properly cook (not nuke) appetizers and smaller dishes inside the toaster oven without missing a beat. This not only cut our time spent in the kitchen down, it also meant we were able to serve everything hot all at once. I can see this being a lifesaver at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

RELATED: Quick and easy mini (naan) pizza recipe

Take it anywhere

While most toaster ovens are too large to keep out on the counter on a daily basis, they are small and light enough to lug around quite easily. Even the KitchenAid model, which is pretty big, can be dragged outside to use on a hot day (when you really want mini pizzas and don’t want extra heat in your house) or brought over to a relatives house to help with a large meal. We took ours on a recent trailer camping trip and it came in super handy.

Save energy

A toaster oven uses about half the energy of a regular oven, and as I mentioned above – you can take it outside so you’re not adding extra heat to your home on a hot summer day. Because it’s smaller, it also takes less time to preheat and cook food. That said, a microwave still uses less energy than a toaster oven (but doesn’t cook food as well in my opinion).

Make tasty food

Along with toaster oven staples like mini pizzas and garlic bread, you can make a variety of tasty food and treats with one. Hamilton Beach have a few good recipe ideas posted on their website and CookingDetective.com has a list of 21 toaster oven recipes that should keep you busy.

Do you use a toaster oven? Have a preferred brand? Share your thoughts (and recipes) in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

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