Ever wonder if your toaster oven is capable of more than just heating up leftovers and toast? Turns out, this handy countertop appliance is far more versatile than you may have realized. With a few clever toaster oven hacks, you can transform the way you cook everyday meals. Whether you’re looking to make your morning routine more efficient, boost flavor in your weeknight dinners, or find new ways to get dinner on the table in a flash, your toaster oven is up for the challenge.
In just a few minutes, you’ll discover 10 surprising Toaster Oven Hacks that will unlock a whole new world of possibilities with this often under-utilized appliance. Get ready to see your toaster oven in a whole new light. These simple yet transformative tips and tricks will change the way you cook forever.
10 Surprising Toaster Oven Hacks for Everyday Cooking
Bake Cupcakes and Muffins in Your Toaster Oven
Your toaster oven isn’t just for toast – it’s actually a handy hack for baking cupcakes and muffins. Forget heating up the big oven for a small batch of treats. Your toaster oven is perfect for the job and preheats in a flash.
To bake cupcakes or muffins in a toaster oven, grease a cupcake tin or line a muffin tin with liners. Make your favorite cupcake or muffin batter according to the recipe and fill the wells 2/3 full. For cupcakes, this is usually around 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of batter in each well.
Set your toaster oven to bake at the temperature the recipe calls for, usually around 350 F. Place the filled tin in the center of your toaster oven and bake for around 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Start checking on your cupcakes around 12 minutes to ensure they don’t overbake.
The key is not to open the toaster oven door for at least the first 10 minutes of baking, or your cupcakes and muffins won’t rise properly. Also, be very careful removing the tin from the toaster oven, as the sides will be extremely hot! Let the cupcakes or muffins cool completely on a wire rack before frosting and enjoying.
Using your toaster oven for baking cupcakes and muffins is such an easy hack. It saves time, energy and mess. Your mini treats will turn out moist and delicious every time. Why not give it a try? Your toaster oven may just become your new favorite baking appliance!
Roast Vegetables for an Easy Side Dish
A toaster oven is perfect for roasting veggies. Just chop your favorite vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, etc. into bite-sized pieces, toss with oil, salt, and pepper, then spread on a baking sheet in an even layer.
- Roast at 400 F for about 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the veggies are tender and lightly browned. The exact time will depend on the vegetables you choose, so keep an eye on them. Some denser veggies like broccoli and carrots may need a few extra minutes.
- Use a rimmed baking sheet so the oil doesn’t drip onto the bottom of your toaster oven. Line it with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup.
- Toss the veggies in a bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or melted coconut oil and season generously with salt and pepper. You can also add your favorite fresh or dried herbs like rosemary, oregano, basil or thyme.
- For extra flavor, roast some garlic cloves right alongside the veggies. Squeeze the soft roasted garlic onto the veggies when done—it’s delicious!
- Roasting brings out the natural flavors of vegetables. You’ll be surprised at how tasty simple roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower can be.
- Roast extra veggies to add to salads, pasta dishes, and frittatas during the week. They will last up to 1 week stored properly in the refrigerator.
With just a few minutes of prep, you’ll have a healthy, delicious side dish using your toaster oven. Vegetables were meant to be roasted—give it a try!
Make Toast With Various Toppings for a Quick Breakfast
Toaster ovens are versatile enough to make more than just toast for breakfast. Here are a few hacks to jazz up your morning toast and turn it into a quick, balanced meal.
Once your toast pops up, pile on the toppings. Some easy options:
- Spread peanut butter and top with sliced banana. The hot toast will melt the peanut butter into a delicious gooey sauce.
- Mash half an avocado and spread it on the toast. Top with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Spread ricotta or goat cheese on the toast and top with fig jam or orange marmalade.
- Fry an egg over easy and place it on top of the toast. Season with salt and pepper.
Make Mini Pizzas
Use your toaster oven to make personal mini pizzas in minutes.
- Place bread, English muffin halves, or bagel halves on a baking sheet.
- Spread tomato sauce or pesto on each piece of bread.
- Top with your favorite pizza toppings like cheese, pepperoni, veggies and herbs.
- Broil in the toaster oven for 2 to 3 minutes until the cheese is melted.
Quesadillas and Paninis
Your toaster oven can handle more than just toast. Use it to make warm, melty quesadillas and paninis.
- Place tortillas on a baking sheet and fill with cheese, beans, salsa and veggies. Broil for 2-3 minutes until the cheese melts.
- Layer bread, meats, cheese and veggies between two slices of bread. Place on a baking sheet and broil for 3-5 minutes per side until the bread is golden brown and the filling is hot.
With a few extra minutes in the morning, you can transform simple toast into a satisfying homemade breakfast. Get creative with toppings, make mini pizzas or whip up quesadillas and paninis. Your toaster oven is capable of more hacks than you might expect!
Cook Bacon in Your Toaster Oven
Toaster ovens are great for so much more than just toast and bagels. One of the best toaster oven hacks is cooking bacon in it. Here’s how:
Cook Bacon in Your Toaster Oven
Did you know you can cook bacon in a toaster oven? It’s true, and it actually works really well. Toaster ovens heat up quickly and the confined space helps the bacon get nice and crispy.
Start with a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Place the bacon strips in a single layer on the foil, making sure not to overlap the pieces. For extra crispy bacon, use thick cut slices.
Set your toaster oven to 400 F and bake the bacon for 10-15 minutes, flipping the strips over halfway through, until the bacon is browned and crisp to your liking. The exact time will depend on how thick your bacon is and how crispy you want it.
Keep a close eye on the bacon the last few minutes of cooking and check on it frequently to avoid over-browning. When the bacon is done, use tongs to transfer the strips to a paper towel-lined plate. Let the bacon cool for a minute before serving and enjoy your perfectly crispy bacon!
The confined space of a toaster oven helps the bacon get nice and crispy. This simple hack lets you make delicious bacon in just a few minutes without having to heat up your big oven. Give it a try — your taste buds will thank you!
One of the best things about a toaster oven is that it’s perfect for reheating leftovers. Those little bits of leftovers that aren’t quite enough for the microwave can go straight into your toaster oven.
Pizza and Flatbread
Reheat leftover pizza, naan, pita, or other flatbreads in your toaster oven. Place the leftovers on a metal baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 F for 3 to 5 minutes until the bread is hot and the cheese is melted. The crust will get nice and crispy, much better than the soggy result from the microwave.
To reheat casseroles, spoon the leftovers into a baking dish and cover with foil. Place in a preheated 350 F toaster oven for 10 to 15 minutes until bubbly. Remove foil for the last few minutes of cooking to allow excess moisture to evaporate and the top to get lightly browned.
Reheat individual slices of quiche in your toaster oven. Place slices on a baking sheet and toast at 350 F for 5 to 8 minutes until the egg filling is set. The pastry crust will get crispy.
Muffins and Scones
Revive day-old muffins and scones in your toaster oven. Split or slice the items in half and place cut-side up on a baking sheet. Toast at 300 F for 3 to 5 minutes until the insides are heated through. The split sides will get lightly toasted.
Burritos and Rolls
Wrap burritos, egg rolls, or spring rolls in foil and reheat in a preheated 350 F toaster oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the filling is hot. The foil will help the tortilla or wrapper stay soft and pliable. Carefully unwrap one side to allow excess steam to escape before eating.
Your toaster oven is ideal for quickly reheating all kinds of leftovers without having to heat up your big oven. In just a few minutes, you can revive leftovers and have a hot, home-cooked meal. The results are often better than the microwave with crispy crusts and bubbly casseroles. Next time you have leftovers, don’t overlook this useful toaster oven hack!
Make Mini Pizzas
Toaster ovens are incredibly versatile, and one of the best ways to hack them is by making personal-sized pizzas. Forget heating up the big oven—your toaster oven will make quick work of mini pizzas in a fraction of the time.
Make the Dough
Use premade dough from the refrigerated section of your grocery store, or make your own using just a few basic ingredients: flour, yeast, salt, olive oil, and warm water. Knead the dough, then roll or stretch it out on a floured surface to about 1/4-inch thickness.
Add Your Toppings
Use a knife, pizza cutter or biscuit cutter to cut circles of dough, then place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or toaster oven tray. Spread your favorite sauce on each round with a spoon or spatula and top with cheese and any other toppings like pepperoni, vegetables, or herbs.
Bake Until Bubbly
Place the baking sheet in your preheated toaster oven and bake at 450 F for 8-12 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Keep an eye on your pizzas since toaster ovens can bake unevenly. Rotate the pan halfway through for even cooking.
- Make dessert pizzas with Nutella, fruit, or cinnamon sugar in place of the savory toppings.
- Use pita, naan bread, or English muffins in place of pizza dough for quick mini pizzas.
- Add diced ham, pineapple, bacon, spinach or sun-dried tomatoes for extra flavor.
- Brush the crust with garlic butter or pesto before adding toppings.
- Make BBQ chicken pizzas with shredded chicken, BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese.
With a little creativity, your toaster oven can make perfect personal pizzas for any occasion. Bake up a batch for yourself or get friends and family members in on the fun—everyone will love customizing their own mini pizzas!
Bake Cookies for a Homemade Treat
There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh-baked cookies wafting through your home. Your trusty toaster oven can help you achieve homemade cookie bliss in no time. Here are some tips to bake perfect cookies in your toaster oven:
Preheat your toaster oven to 350 F. Allow it to fully preheat before putting the cookies in. This will ensure even baking.
Use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The parchment paper will prevent sticking and make cleanup a breeze. You can also use a silicone baking mat.
Use a shallow baking pan or dish. Since toaster ovens have less height than a regular oven, a shallow pan will allow for more even heating and baking.
Adjust the rack position. For most toaster ovens, the middle rack position is best for baking cookies. This provides adequate space above and below for air circulation.
Check on your cookies early. Toaster ovens heat up and bake more quickly than a standard oven. Check on your cookies after about 5-7 minutes to ensure they do not overbake.
Rotate the baking sheet halfway through. Rotate the sheet front to back to promote even browning.
Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Let the cookies firm up a bit before moving them, otherwise, they may crumble.
Your toaster oven can produce delicious homemade cookies with a little adjustment. Keep a close eye on your first batch and make note of the time for perfectly baked results. In no time, you’ll be a pro at toaster oven cookie baking!
Broil Fish Filets or Shrimp for a Light Dinner
Toaster ovens aren’t just for toast—they’re handy for quickly cooking up single-serving meals too. One of the best ways to use your toaster oven for dinner is to broil fish filets or shrimp. Broiling seafood in a toaster oven is fast, easy, and healthier than frying.
For light fish like cod, tilapia or catfish filets, broiling in a toaster oven works great. Place the filets on a foil-lined pan and brush them with some melted butter or olive oil. You can also sprinkle them with lemon juice, salt, pepper and your favorite herbs like rosemary or dill.
Broil the filets for 3 to 5 minutes, until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Be very careful not to overcook the fish or it can become dry. Keep a close eye on it, as broiling times will vary depending on the thickness of your filets.
For quick shrimp scampi or garlic butter shrimp, broiling in your toaster oven can’t be beat. Place peeled shrimp on a foil-lined pan and toss with melted butter, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Spread the shrimp in an even layer on the pan.
Broil the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes, until the shrimp are pink and opaque. Be very careful not to overcook the shrimp or they can become tough. The shrimp are done when they turn pink and are opaque, with an internal temperature of 135 F.
Using your toaster oven to broil fish and shrimp is a great way to make a light, healthy dinner in minutes. The concentrated heat of the broiler quickly cooks the seafood while keeping it moist. Keep a close eye on the cooking and don’t overcook the fish or shrimp. Your fast, delicious dinner will be ready before you know it!
Melt Cheese on Top of Anything
The toaster oven is great for so much more than just toast. One of the best hacks is using it to melt cheese on top of anything. Who doesn’t love gooey, melted cheese?
To melt cheese on top of leftovers, place your food in a oven-safe dish and top with shredded cheese. Some tasty options include:
- Chili or soup – Top bowls of chili, stew or soup with cheddar, Monterey Jack or your favorite cheese. Broil in the toaster oven just until the cheese is bubbly.
- Rice or grains – Stir in cooked rice, quinoa or farro and mix in cheese. Broil until the cheese melts and is lightly browned on top.
- Eggs – Top scrambled eggs or an omelet with cheese before folding and cooking as usual. Or drop an egg into a hole cut in bread and top with cheese to make egg in a basket.
- Vegetables – Toss cooked veggies like broccoli, green beans, asparagus or Brussels sprouts with cheese. Spread on a baking sheet and broil until the cheese is melted.
- Bread – Top slices of bread, English muffins or biscuits with cheese and your favorite toppings like tomato sauce, pesto or tapenade. Broil open-faced until the cheese is melted.
- Pizza – Make mini pizzas with pita, naan bread, muffin tin or crescent roll dough and your favorite toppings. Top with mozzarella or provolone cheese and broil until the crust is crisp and the cheese is bubbly.
The toaster oven will have your cheese melted in just 2 to 3 minutes. Keep a close eye on your food since the broiler can quickly overcook things. Use a moderate heat and check often. In no time you’ll be enjoying a cheesy dish that’s perfect for any meal. This simple hack is sure to become one of your favorites!
Broil Fish Filets or Chicken Breasts
Toaster ovens are incredibly versatile and one of the best ways to use them is for cooking fish filets or chicken breasts. The intense, direct heat from the broiler will give you a perfect, crispy finish in minutes.
Place the wire rack in the top position of your toaster oven and turn the broiler on high. Let the oven preheat for 3 to 5 minutes. While it’s heating up, pat your fish filets or chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season them generously on both sides with salt and pepper, or your favorite spices. You can also brush them with some oil or melted butter to help them get nicely browned.
Once the oven is preheated, carefully place the filets or breasts on the wire rack. Broil the chicken for about 5 to 8 minutes per side, until the juices run clear. For fish, broil skin-side up for 3 to 5 minutes, then carefully flip and broil the other side just until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
Be very careful when handling and turning the hot pans and racks. Use oven mitts and tongs, and never leave the oven unattended. The high, direct heat can cause the meat to burn quickly, so keep a close eye on it. The cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of your filets or breasts, so check for doneness at least a couple minutes early.
Using your toaster oven’s broiler is a quick and easy way to make a healthy, delicious meal. The intense heat will give you a perfect, golden brown crust on the outside and keep the inside moist. Broiled fish and chicken also pair great with fresh lemon wedges, your favorite veggies, or a crisp salad. Try out these toaster oven hacks and you’ll be enjoying tasty homemade dinners in no time!
Toaster Oven Hack FAQs: Quick Answers to Common Questions
Toaster ovens are so versatile, but you may have some questions about how to maximize their usefulness. Here are some common FAQs and hacks to help you get the most out of your toaster oven.
- Can I bake in a toaster oven? Absolutely! Toaster ovens can handle small-batch baking for things like cookies, brownies, and banana bread. Just reduce the temperature by 25 degrees F from the recipe and decrease the cook time. Check on your goodies frequently since toaster ovens heat up and cool down quickly.
- How do I prevent burning? Choose a lighter colored pan, like aluminum foil, to prevent overbrowning. You can also tent the food with foil for part of the cooking time. Brush foods with oil or melted butter before cooking and flip or rotate foods halfway through. Finally, check on the progress frequently, especially for the first few uses until you get a feel for your toaster oven’s temperature.
- Can I broil in a toaster oven? Many toaster ovens have a broil function which directs intense heat from the top coil. This allows you to melt cheese, broil fish or meat, or toast bread and nuts. Place the food a few inches from the top coil, flip halfway through, and watch carefully to avoid burning.
- How do I clean my toaster oven? Unplug the toaster oven and let it cool completely. Remove the crumb tray and wash with soapy water. Wipe down the interior with a damp cloth or sponge and a degreasing dish soap. For stuck-on messes, make a paste from baking soda and water and scrub with the paste using a scrub brush. Avoid harsh chemicals which can damage the coating.
- Can I reheat leftovers in a toaster oven? Absolutely, a toaster oven works great for reheating single servings of leftovers like pizza, casseroles, and soup. Place the leftovers in a microwave-safe container and reheat using 50-70% power in short bursts, checking and stirring in between, until the food is heated through. Make sure there is space between the heating coils and the container.
So there you have it, 10 clever toaster oven hacks to make your everyday cooking easier and more efficient. Who knew your humble toaster oven was capable of so much? By employing these simple tricks, you’ll be cooking meals faster, using less energy, and producing better results. Your toaster oven may be small but it sure is mighty. Give a few of these hacks a try – you’ll be amazed at how much time and hassle they save and how they transform your toaster oven into an indispensable kitchen tool. Your toaster oven will quickly become your new best friend, and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without discovering these handy hacks. Happy cooking!