There are a lot of different innovative kitchen appliances on the market but only a few make a list of kitchen essentials. Countertop convection ovens are among those that classify. They are often used as a substitute for large traditional ovens when circumstances demand them.
As a kitchen appliance, these ovens are a healthier choice for heating leftovers and a great option for cooking smaller meals and baked goods. These are amazing features for a device that was meant to replace the conventional toaster oven which exclusively toasted bread.
In a great new use of the convection feature, many new convection toaster ovens allow for an air frying feature. Air frying foods has solidified itself as an easier and cleaner method for preparing fried foods than deep fryers. They also produce a healthier result. Among the new types of oven that have come about, the countertop convection oven is among the most convenient.
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What is a Countertop Convection Oven?
The term convection is meant to refer to the transfer of heat by fluidity using radiant heat, or warm air, directed by a convection fan. A countertop convection oven is a small, microwave-sized oven that uses this method of heating to operate. Convection is a widely used heating method for baked goods like pizza and sweets like cookies and cake.
There are a few different dishes that some don’t recommend you make with a countertop convection oven. I have yet to try these recipes myself but be warned that they may be difficult and require trial and error to properly bake in a countertop oven. The dishes to avoid, unless you’re daring, are souffles, custards, and flans.
Other than that, you can cook anything you can fit. From savory dinner meats to the super sticky sweet of sugar cookies, convection ovens are a capable device.
Travelers and Minimalists
Countertop convection ovens are perfect for people who are looking to downsize their appliances to fit a smaller or lighter lifestyle. Whether you are trying to fit into a tiny home or equipping an RV with the tools you need to live a comfortable lifestyle on the go, these devices can take the space a microwave used to take and offer a significant increase in use-cases.
Where can I get one?
Countertop convection ovens can be found at any modern appliance retailer or superstore. They are also abundantly available through online businesses like one that is a participant in the amazon services llc associates program or fulfilled by amazon services llc.
They are not expensive. The smallest can be around $79. The average price is about $140 though. The larger models can get more use but you’ll have to know how much space you have available to decide which is best for you. The medium-sized range tends to be the size I recommend to most people and can be picked up for around $99.
Baking With a Toaster Oven
There aren’t many differences between baking with a toaster oven and a traditional oven. The main thing to note is that you’ll have to bake in smaller portions using smaller baking sheets or pans. In some cases, cooking time is increased due to the proximity of the ingredients to the heat source. That is not to imply that it will cook unevenly.
The convection process used by countertop convection ovens heats every angle evenly with the right rack position. It is easier to place the food in a more evenly cooked position in the countertop oven due to its size. In traditional kitchen ovens, using the top rack to make a second tray of cookies along with the middle rack will result in the two trays cooking unevenly. The top rack tray is cooked faster than the bottom rack.
While these are not differences that make the countertop oven an overall better option than a traditional one, it does make it a worthy contender.
Baking Cakes and Cookies
There are arguments against making cakes or bread in a countertop oven but it is possible. The results are just as good in other options but can take more time to master. Cookies are a perfect dessert snack that can be made quickly and deliciously. Sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, banana nut cookies, macadamia nut cookies, strawberry banana cookies, any type of cookie you can imagine. It just has to be done about six cookies at a time.
Baking cakes isn’t too difficult and the biggest hurdle is the timing to make sure it is finished all the way through but retains a delectable amount of moisture. Air fryers cook more evenly across the board in a much smaller space. Mastering the baking time in a countertop oven will take a few times but it will be easier you follow some tried recipes.
Air Fry Fun
The most fun way you can make your toaster oven cook is by convection frying. The convection process allows for a faster cooking process than baking and gives dishes treated with this high-intensity hot air a deep-fried taste. It isn’t the same intensity as boiling canola oil in a deep fryer but it makes for crisp and brown homemade fries. It even fries up the store-bought brands with ease and delivers an amazing result.
The hot air feature is great for use in heavy frozen meal cooking. If you’re not big into prep and like to just throw a ready-made mix into the oven or on the skillet, you will see the advantage in frying up the store brand box of mozzarella sticks or chicken wings at home. The quality of the taste earns its’ name and matches the results of deep-frying in taste.
Can It Replace Your Microwave?
Sadly, it’s not quite a microwave replacement, unless you only want to heat up food. The microwave is faster in its’ most often used purpose of reheating leftovers. The microwave also still has a more convenient and safe-to-handle design when compared to air fryers.
It is more likely that countertop convection ovens can replace traditional kitchen ovens due to their similarity in function. While it’s not going to be recommended as the best oven to cook with, it is a portable and cheap one for other purposes.
Countertop convection ovens get hot. The max temperature is about around 500 degrees Fahrenheit, give or take 25 degrees. This can result in the metal outer surface being hot to the touch and may even be enough to cause light burns. When food is cooked, keep objects away from the sides of the oven and elevate if possible.
Avoid touching the glass door as well. Though it may appear to be small and cute, it is a powerful tool. Treat it properly.
Avoid other hazards by regularly cleaning it after use. The crumbs left over can burn up more each time until all that is left is tinder. Combined with any liquids or new ingredients placed at high temperatures, crumbs can be a fire hazard. It’s not a high probability, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.