It is great to have an oven in your kitchen because it enables you to bake cake and pastries, and as well as roast chicken and meat. However, using a conventional oven can be a daunting task and it uses a lot of electricity as well which can make your bills go high. This can be a problem, especially when you only need to heat up or roast small pieces of foods. But today, you no longer have to worry about it because countertop ovens can solve that problem.
A countertop oven is a smaller version of the conventional oven. Unlike conventional ovens that are fixed in stoves or installed in kitchen cabinets, a countertop oven is placed on kitchen countertops and can be easily moved from one place to another. Unlike conventional ovens that rely on two sources of heat, a countertop oven relies on a fan that can circulate the hot air throughout the oven cavity. It blows hot air to the food which makes it cook more quickly. Aside from the countertop oven, another must-have modern kitchen equipment that you must acquire is a grill pan. Check out our tips on how to use grill pans the right way.
Uses of Countertop Ovens
Countertop ovens are smaller than traditional ones, meaning it takes up less space in your kitchen. Here are some of the interesting things you can do with a countertop oven.
- Reheating Leftovers
Most people use the microwave to reheat leftovers, however, the food sometimes ends up soggy and inedible. But if you use a countertop oven to reheat leftovers, it can retain both the texture and taste of the food so you can enjoy it again like it was freshly made.
- Roasting Meat and Vegetables
If you are cooking only for yourself or even for two, you can use the countertop oven to roast any type of meat and vegetables to make a healthy meal. You just need to season the meat with your favorite seasoning and let the countertop oven do all the work.
Just like a traditional oven, you can also use a countertop oven to bake cookies, cakes, muffins, and quick bread. It is great, especially when you are going to bake just a small amount so that you can save energy.
- Making Homemade Pizza
If you want to make a pizza for yourself or for a small group, a countertop oven can help you. You can use it to bake up to 12 inches of pizza.
- Cooking Bacon
Compared to frying bacon on a stove, it’s much easier to cook it in a countertop oven. And that way, you can also avoid the splashing hot grease from the sizzling pan.
- Dehydrating Fruits and Vegetables
You can also use a countertop oven to dehydrate fruits and vegetables by setting it to its lowest temperature and power. Simply place slices of fruits and vegetables on a baking sheet and cook them in the oven until they are completely dehydrated.
Advantages of Countertop Ovens
Countertop ovens, aside from being very useful, also comes with other advantages. Here are some of them.
- They cost less than conventional ovens.
- They are smaller than traditional ovens, meaning, they take up less kitchen space and they can fit anywhere, making it an ideal kitchen appliance for people living alone or for students living in accommodation and would like to cook their own food.
- Countertop ovens are easy to clean because of its compact size and easy to remove trays and racks.
- It is a versatile appliance that will allow you to cook food in small batches but will also enable you to cook larger amounts.
- Countertop ovens also contain heat, meaning, it will not raise too much temperature in the kitchen.
- It will give you lots of heating options. You can use it for baking, roasting, convection cooking, and toasting.
- Cooking food in a countertop oven is 25 percent faster compared to when using a traditional oven.
Common Features of Countertop Ovens
There are different brands and models of countertop ovens that are available in the market. Each of them will offer you different functions as well. Some of the most common features of countertop ovens are the following:
- Digital control panel
- LED lighting features
- Crumb tray
- Cancellation button
- Auto shut-off signal
- Defrost function
- Reheat function
- Toast lifter
- Extra wide surface
Best Features to Look For
When looking for a countertop oven, there are some features that you need to look for to be able to find the best one. Here are some of those features.
- Energy Efficiency
It’s great if you can choose a countertop oven that is able to run a small wattage compared to conventional ovens. Aside from that, it should be able to give high temperatures to save energy and lessen the cooking time.
- Rotisserie Setting
It’s also important to find a countertop oven that can hold a large or at least a medium-sized pizza. You should also pay attention to the number of racks it has and if your cookware and bakeware at home can fit in it perfectly.
Cleaning is also an important factor, therefore, it’s better to choose one that is easy to clean. The best ones are those with easily accessible insides and with removable parts. It’s also great if it has a crumb tray so that you can just remove it to get rid of small particles that fell during cooking.
This may not be important for some, but if your kitchen has a certain theme, then you may want to look for a countertop oven that will fit the style of your kitchen.
Countertop ovens are one of the best kitchen appliances that you can have. It can help you cook foods faster while saving energy as well. It is a versatile kitchen appliance that will surely come in handy when it comes to cooking.