The Art of the Countertop Oven

Over the past six years I've been blogging, you know that as much as I love food, I truly love to cook. As I attempt to tackle my late grandmother's soulful comfort food recipes, one Sunday at a time, I truly believe in using every appliance in my kitchen especially my toaster oven. The counter top appliance gets a lot of use and during the summer months, I use it more than my actual gas oven.

When you live in an apartment without central air, circulation is everything and trying to keep your apartment cool as the temperature rises outdoors is a special science.  My toaster oven makes cooking easy and breezy both literally and figuratively and I've found that with people whom have small apartments and or residences with non existent kitchens, the toaster/convection oven is a wallet friendly necessity.

What's the difference between a toaster and convection oven, you ask and the answer is actually quite simple, size and browning. Toaster ovens are usually smaller in size than a convection oven on average around 6 inches in total. In regards to browning, a convection oven moves hot air around the entire unit, and as a results making for lesser cooking times. With larger sizes, better browning and faster cook times, convection ovens are usually higher in price averaging around 30 to 40%.  Not sure which would work for you, do a simple survey of how sophisticated your cooking skills are- if your idea of frozen mozzarella sticks is a culinary utopia, then a toaster oven is more in your range. Same thing goes for budget as well as counter space. Although, I lucked out and my toaster oven is under our cabinets and right above my microwave, an amazing space saver. Check out my round up of ovens  below and get ready to play chef de cusine.

Black & Decker TO1332SBD 4-Slice Toaster Oven $29.99

Hamilton Beach Stainless Steel 6 Slice Toaster Oven $59.99 

Oster 6058 6-Slice Digital Convection Toaster Oven, Stainless Steel $83.99