What Can You Cook in a Toaster Oven? (And What Not? Read!)

Toaster ovens are not just a simple tool for reheating food. Nowadays, people are using these simple tools for cooking a variety of food. But, of course, it’s not something that can do every cooking process. Thus, as someone who owns a toaster oven, you may wonder about the things you can cook in a toaster oven and the things that you can’t.

In general, you can cook anything in a toaster oven that requires quick cooking and direct heating. Such things include dishes like simple meat cooking, and pastries, and other baked goods. On the other hand, you can’t use a toaster oven for cooking recipes and food that needs slow cooking and indirect heating. Such things include slow-cooked meat, stew, soup, and even steamed goods like dumplings.

As a toaster oven user, you need to be aware of the possible things you can cook with your toaster oven. At the same time, you’ll also want to make sure you don’t cook things in the toaster that it might ruin due to the unchangeable settings and heating method.

In this article, you’ll see an in-depth take on the things you can and can’t cook in a toaster oven. This way, you can understand more about what you can do and can’t with your toaster oven.

Let’s get started!

What Can You Cook in a Toaster Oven And What Not

What can you cook in a toaster oven?

To give you an idea of what you can cook in a toaster oven, read further. Below, you’ll see a group of food or recipes that you can cook even with a simple toaster oven.

Meat and fish

Meat and fish can be cooked in a toaster oven, provided that you only want a simple recipe like baking or roasting. Put some seasonings or rub into your meat or fish, and you can then let the toaster oven do the rest for you.

Bread and baked goods

Toaster ovens work the same way as conventional ovens. Thus, you can bake and prepare your baked goods in the toaster oven. The only thing you need to consider is the time frame and the capacity of your oven. Since toaster ovens are smaller, you’ll need to prepare your baked goods in small batches.

Food for reheating

Any leftovers from your meals can be reheated in your toaster oven. Thus, even if it’s soup, meat, or any food, you can all place them in a toaster oven-safe container and put them in your oven for reheating.

In general, simple cooking processes and methods are possible in a toaster oven. While it’s nothing close to typical cooking, it’s enough to accommodate people who need a quick cook without making much effort.

What can you not cook in a toaster oven?

To give you an idea of what you can’t cook in a toaster oven, read further. Below, you’ll see a group of food or recipes that you can’t cook, even a toaster oven. Or, even if you can, it won’t turn out well.

Pasta

Pasta of many kinds can be cooked in a toaster oven, but only when it involves baking, and given that the pasta is already cooked. Since cooking pasta involves boiling them in water, it won’t be possible with a toaster oven.

Dumplings and other steamed food

Dumplings need steam to cook, at least in their traditional cooking method. Now, even if you want a fried dumpling, it would involve a lot of oil, and both cooking method isn’t possible with a toaster oven.

Soups

It’s an obvious fact that soup can’t be done in a toaster oven. Or, you can if you simply reheat your soup. You can use a toaster oven-safe pot, but that’s the limit. If you dealt with large amounts of liquid, it would be best to steer clear of toaster ovens. Such things can spill inside, and it can damage your toaster oven.

Slow-cooked recipes

Slow-cooked recipes may not do well with toaster ovens due to their uneven heating and close proximity to the heating element. Thus, if you’re simmering food, it’s not a good idea to place them in a toaster oven.

As a general rule of thumb, dry cooking can be a potential food that you can cook with a toaster oven. However, if your planned food to cook involves wet ingredients and methods like simmering, boiling, and steaming, it may not work well on your toaster oven.

Why can’t you cook some things in a toaster oven?

Toaster ovens vary in factors like size, heat distribution, insulation, and the heating element distance. Due to such, many recipes don’t call for accurate instructions with a toaster oven.

Now, some things require slow cooking and low temperatures, away from the heating element. Since toaster ovens have heating elements close to the rack, some things aren’t just meant to be cooked in it.

Can you cook meat in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook meat in a toaster oven. Toaster ovens work like conventional ovens, so you can cook meat as you would with any oven. However, make sure you consider the time of cooking with the uncontrolled temperature of the toaster oven for thorough cooking of your meat.

Can you cook chicken in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook chicken in a toaster oven. Chicken is an easy dish to cook, even with a simple toaster oven. However, like cooking meat, you need to make sure to control your cooking time since you can’t control the temperature of a toaster oven.

Can you cook bacon in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook bacon in a toaster oven. Some people even prefer a toaster oven over a microwave since it produces crispier bacon after cooking. Further, you’ll have a lesser mess to clean up with toaster ovens, and you’re done cooking after 10 to 15 minutes of baking.

Can you cook hotdogs in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook hotdogs in a toaster oven. You can place your hotdog on a baking sheet and put it on your oven’s top rack. After 10 minutes of cooking or after seeing some browning, flip it so the other side can brown as well.

Can you cook meatloaf in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook meatloaf in a toaster oven. You can bake your meatloaf at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 45 minutes. Afterward, you can add the liquid or tomato sauce and cook for another 15 minutes to heat up the sauce.

Can you cook salmon in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook salmon in a toaster oven. You can bake your salmon at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for around 18 to 20 minutes in your toaster oven. Or, if you can’t control the temperature, you can check if the salmon is opaque and has flakes when you poke it with a fork. 

Can you cook a steak in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook a steak in a toaster oven. However, you need to adjust the cooking time as toaster ovens tend to cook steaks quicker. Depending on the doneness you prefer, it shouldn’t take over 15 minutes to cook a steak in your toaster oven.

Can you cook eggs in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook eggs in a toast oven. You can stick your eggs in the toaster oven or even cook a sunny side up using a baking pan. Due to the quick-cooking of toaster ovens, it should only take a couple of minutes before your eggs are done.

Can you cook cookies in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook cookies in a toaster oven. You can place your cookie dough on a toaster oven-safe baking pan and start baking at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 to 15 minutes. 

If you want a softer texture, take it out three minutes early. For crunchy texture, bake for at least 15 minutes.

Can you cook biscuits in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook biscuits in a toaster oven. The same principle applies when you cook biscuits in a typical oven. Of course, the only difference would be the capacity, so you should prepare biscuits in small servings instead of large batches. 

Can you cook a frozen pizza in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can cook a frozen pizza in a toaster oven. However, you’ll have to do so with the highest temperature it can go. For best results, preheat your toaster oven for at least 5-10 minutes. Then, cook your frozen pizza according to instructions. 

Can you bake bread in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can bake bread in a toaster oven like you would with a typical oven. The only thing you need to ensure is that you preheat the toaster oven for as high as it can, around 5-10 minutes. 

This heat is an essential part of the baking process. If you fail to preheat your toaster oven, your bread may fail to rise. 

Can you bake a cake in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can bake small cakes in a toaster oven. However, temperature and cooking time will vary from conventional oven baking. You will need to take this into account, pick the right pan, and figure out the location of the heating elements to evenly bake a cake in the toaster oven.

Can you bake a potato in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can bake a potato in a toaster oven, but it may take around an hour to finish. Of course, you can bake a potato quicker if it’s small. Also, wrapping it in foil would help quicken the baking process. It will also help trap moisture inside.

Can you bake brownies in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can bake brownies in a toaster oven. You can bake brownies according to the instructions. But, of course, if you can’t control your oven’s temperature, at least mind the cooking duration.

Can you bake cupcakes in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can bake cupcakes in a toaster oven. However, since these ovens are small, they can only fit a couple of cupcakes. Thus, be sure to prepare small batches if you plan on doing such. Regarding the process, it can bake the same way you can on a conventional oven.

Can you bake a pie in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can bake a pie in a toaster oven. Toaster ovens can accommodate pies and cook them thoroughly. But, of course, you’ll want to consider the length of cooking and the temperature to make sure you get the crust done right along with its filling.

Summary

So, what can you cook and not cook with a toaster oven? In general, anything that involves simple heating and dry cooking is possible with a toaster oven, although it will still depend on the cooking process itself. Now, what’s generally impossible to cook in a toaster oven are the things that involve sauces, soups, and other wet ingredients and wet cooking processes.

In the end, take it as a rule of thumb to consider the outcome of your food if you cook them in your toaster oven. Then, give your toaster oven a shot if you think it’s possible, and look for alternatives if you think it might fail.

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Image credits – Canva

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