Forever, I’ve been powering up my big ole wall mounted oven to toast one measley piece of bread in the morning. Yesterday, I overheard Martha Stewart singing the praises of the toaster oven for convenience and very real savings on utility costs.
I headed out to Wal-mart and picked one up for only $18. It not only “toasts” but bakes up to temperatures of 450 degrees. I may never use my big oven again – well except around
the holidays. Toaster ovens will keep your electricity bill lower than traditional range ovens and don’t heat up the kitchen during the warm summer months.
I purchased a Rival oven that comes with its own little pan for toast, pizza, etc. It also cooks more quickly than the conventional oven because you don’t have to wait to heat it up. Given the new toaster oven, my crock pot and microwave, I’m wondering why I even need the conventional oven.
If you trying to “go green” you would be wise to use the toaster oven, especially if you’re an empty nester cooking for one or two people.
Tips for Buying and Using a Microwave or Toaster Oven
There are a few things to keep in mind so that you can get the most energy efficient device.
– When purchasing, keep eye on the wattage when comparison shopping. Go for a device that is on the lower end of the power consumption range. Just because it’s a higher watt device doesn’t automatically mean it will cook better. Also, if you’re going to be using the device on a daily basis, go with convection – the air circulation will cook food more evenly and at a more thorough temperature.
– For microwaves, use them for reheating food or for food that cooks quickly, rather than larger meals. Cooking up a frozen lasagna or a potato in a microwave is actually not more efficient than using the oven.
– For toaster ovens, treat it like an oven. For instance, preheating can be helpful but not always necessary. If you feel you have to preheat, minimize the amount of time spent warming up the toaster oven. Also, it’s better to use this for reheating and smaller meals. For large meals, go for a big one-potter in the conventional oven or crock pot so you have left-overs. It will ultimately be more energy efficient.