You've finally purchased a toaster oven, a small kitchen appliance that will make cooking simpler and not heat up your house like a conventional oven. But when you open the box you find more parts than you ever imagined. Read on to get a better idea of why and how each of those parts and accessories will make your cooking experience even better.
Most toaster ovens come with a wire rack or shelf and a bake tray. When toasting bread, you can either place the bread directly on the wire rack or baking tray, which will keep butter or crumbs from falling into the bottom of the oven. However, most toaster ovens also have a removable tray that catches crumbs to keep them away from the heating elements (see Reference 1).
The toaster oven is also a great place to broil meats or other foods. Because it is smaller than a conventional oven, it can heat up faster and gives you more direct control. Use the included broiling rack in conjunction with the baking pan to create a broiling pan, which is a great way to keep the fatty juices of a piece of meat from cooking back into the meat, making it a healthier finished product (see Reference 1).
Toaster ovens have one to three knobs with various functions. One knob, usually called the function knob, is used to turn the oven to the proper setting, such as bake, broil or toast. The temperature control knob is used to set the cooking temperature. When toasting food, the temperature control knob can be set to "toast" rather then to a specific temperature. There may also be a timer knob on the front of the oven (see Reference 1).
Door and Window
Toaster ovens have a wide oven door that is mostly windowed, allowing you to watch your food as it cooks. For simple toasting or melting cheese, watching your food is the best way to know when it's done. If your toaster oven door won't close, check the mechanism in the joint to make sure it's properly aligned. Also, make sure all screws are tightened, as loose screws could prevent the door from closing correctly (see Reference 2).
With the exception of timers and switches, most toaster oven manufacturers do not sell replacement interior parts. Because toaster ovens are a small appliance, it is likely more affordable to replace a malfunctioning oven than to try to repair it (see Reference3).
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