To many people, the best smell in the world is the smell of freshly toasted bread.
Toaster ovens were invented at the middle of the 20th century, to make it easier for people to toast their bread, bagels, pop tarts or for some models even bigger things like garlic bread and pizzas. It is much more convenient these days than it was before the invention of these ovens. People had to wait for the grill setting on their ovens to heat up before they could enjoy their toast. But with these handy, small and easy to use kitchen appliances that have changed.
Many big box stores carry hundreds of different models, and they start at only a few dozen dollars. For a higher quality model you can pay up to 500 dollars, but these special toaster ovens come with a variety of settings (like broiling, convection cooking, and baking) and extras and are comparable to a conventional oven in many ways, except for their smaller size and therefore more convenient storage.
In general, toaster ovens are very easy to use. They plug into any socket and can be stored in a cupboard when not in use, so they do not constantly take up the workspace in the kitchen. They have adjustable settings for duration and strength and mostly come with a crumb tray for easy cleaning.
As opposed to a microwave it is fine to heat dishes which come in aluminum foil or metal trays in these ovens. They are also smaller than most microwaves.
However, it is not recommended to warm up food that contains a lot of liquid, such as soup or stew in a toaster oven as this can damage them. For these foods, a microwave is better.
Especially for people who have smaller kitchens (students or people who share apartments), these toaster ovens are very convenient. Who doesn’t want their own private oven that can supply delicious toast and pizza?
There are some models which even have shade control for toast. This means, that they have a sensor which monitors the temperature to ensure evenly cooked food and evenly colored toast.
While conventional toasters would only have 2-4 slots for pieces of bread, these ovens often have the capacity to prepare 8-10 pieces of bread at a time, which make them ideal for families with lots of mouths to feed, in offices or at big gatherings or parties.
Bigger models come with up to three trays, which doubles or triples the output.
The flexibility and easy to use nature of these appliances make it a must have for every fully stocked kitchen, office or student dorm.