It may be hard to believe, but some homes do not have a microwave! What do you do if you don’t have this modern convenience? Are there other cooking options? Can you use a toaster oven for reheating foods? Turns out you can.
You can use a toaster oven to reheat foods. They are a great option for heating up leftovers quickly and efficiently. Since it is quite different from reheating food in the microwave, it’s important to know how to use a toaster oven for reheating leftovers.
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How to Use the Settings on a Toaster Oven
Toaster ovens have only three settings to help alleviate confusion. The three settings are used to control the heating element on the top and the one on the bottom. It really is basically a small oven.
Digital models may have some preset settings or a suggested cooking time for specific food items. Please take note that the oven doesn’t know what type of food you are reheating. For instance, if you were to select “cookies” the oven has no way of knowing whether you are making mini chocolate chip cookies or large cookies. You’ll still need to use some good judgment.
Three Settings on the Toaster Oven
Most units have three settings broil, bake, and toast.
- The Bake Setting: This is the setting you are likely to use the most. It functions similar to a conventional oven and most of the heat comes from the lower heating element. The top heating element is on during baking, but it’s not putting out as much as the bottom ones.
- The Broil Setting: The broil setting acts a lot like grilling. The heat will come only from the top heating element. The bottom one will be off. This is a great option for making nachos, roasting red peppers, or making indoor s’mores.
- The Toast Setting: You can control the heat’s intensity with a dial or knob on the toaster oven. Both upper and lower heating elements are on so that an equal amount of heat is distributed. Refer to your owner’s manual for the proper placement of the oven racks for toasting.
How do you Reheat Foods in the Toaster Oven?
The toaster oven turns out to be the perfect solution for reheating leftovers like pizza. They do the job quickly and it’s super easy. It is great for pizza because the elements will remelt the cheese on top while crisping up the bottom of the slices.
Why wouldn’t the traditional oven be a better option for reheating leftovers? Mostly, it’s because it is a much simpler process and it is faster too. For one thing, you don’t have the additional time needed for pre-heating the larger oven. It also won’t heat up your house as much. You’ll want to use a short bake time and a high temperature.
Step 1: Preheat the toaster oven to 425 degrees. This is the perfect temperature for reheating pizza and tons of other leftovers. Take into account the density and amount of food you are reheating.
Step 2: Spray the bottom of the pan or baking dish with cooking spray to prevent the food from sticking to the bottom. For thinner foods, use a sheet pan, and for casseroles use a deeper baking dish.
Step 3: Place the food onto the baking sheet or in the casserole dish. Food should not be stacked, and casseroles should not be too thick. If the pan or dish is overcrowded, the food will not reheat evenly or thoroughly.
Step 4: For most dishes, it should only take between five to seven minutes to reheat. You can use a cooking thermometer to make sure it’s warm in the middle.
Step 5: Remove the dish from the toaster oven and let it cool a little bit before consuming. Use a spatula or spoon to serve the food to help prevent burns.
Four Things to Avoid When Reheating Foods in the Toaster Oven
There are four things that shouldn’t ever be placed in a toaster oven. Items posing a fire hazard in the toaster oven include:
- Paper towels
- Paper plates
- Plastic containers or lids
Which Foods are Better Reheated in the Toaster Oven?
One thing that makes the toaster oven such a good choice for reheating foods is that it provides gentle, even heat. To keep food from drying out, you can cover it with aluminum foil. Try using a lower temperature, usually no higher than 350 degrees. Also, remember to check on your food every so often while it’s being reheated. Here are some foods that reheat very well in a toaster oven.
- Crusty bread. The even heat in a toaster oven if perfect for refreshing bread and making sure it’s crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. It only needs to be reheated for five to 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Breaded and fried foods. The drier heat provided by a toaster oven helps re-crisp fried foods. Breaded ingredients are also great after being reheated using this method.
- Baked goodies. Most baked goods like tarts, muffins, and pies reheat better in an oven. It helps prevent them from becoming soggy. Stale cookies are brought back to life by reheating for just a few minutes.
- Roasted and grilled meats. Reheating BBQ chicken and other types of meat in the toaster oven prevents overcooking and keeps them moist.
- Seafood. Zapping seafood in the microwave usually makes it tough and unpleasant to eat. Low and slow heat applied just until it is warm all the way through retains the right texture and flavor for a superb meal.
- Pizza. The toaster oven is ideal for reheating pizza.
- Grilled sandwiches. Leftover panini and grilled cheese sandwiches are great reheated using this method. The toaster oven produces a crispy outside and a warm middle.
Using a Toaster Oven to Reheat Foods
For many popular foods, the toaster oven provides an exceptional reheating experience. The even, steady heat helps warm foods up while retaining their moisture. Once you learn how to use a toaster oven to reheat your leftovers, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been using it all along. It’s a fast, convenient, and thorough option for refreshing all those leftovers.