Popular toaster oven manufacturers, such as Hamilton Beach and Oster, provide recipes on their websites. Specialty blogs for culinary or eco-friendly audiences frequently publish topics about toaster oven cooking. Recipes are also easy to find through online foodie communities, such as Cooks.com, that contain extensive databases of user-contributed meals.
Despite the name, toaster ovens are versatile cooking appliances that can toast, roast, bake, broil and reheat foods with similar quality to full-sized ovens, stovetops, microwaves and toasters. While lower-end models tend to have limited functionality and less heat control, many high-end toaster ovens are capable of cooking foods faster than a traditional oven while effectively conserving energy.
Smaller toaster ovens and models with less powerful heating are most useful for cooking simple foods, such as pizza, s'mores, muffins, sandwich melts or small casseroles. Larger ovens, especially models with convection or infrared technology, can handle more sophisticated cooking, such as tres leches cake, broiled tilapia or baked venison. Units with spacious interiors and rotisserie attachments can even roast bulky turkeys, hams and other meats.
Toaster ovens provide a cost-saving alternative to using a full-sized oven when the user is only preparing small food portions. The unit's wattage and temperature capabilities affect its overall efficiency and cooking time, so cooks should keep these factors in mind when deciding whether to use a toaster oven or traditional oven.