How to use a toaster oven: 4 ways

If you’ve recently purchased a toaster oven or are thinking about getting one and are curious to learn more about these handy kitchen companions, you’ve come to the right place.

In this value-packed guide, we’re igniting your culinary creativity with how to use a Breville toaster oven. We’ll delve into different settings, explore its heating elements, and uncover the unique features that make these little kitchen appliances so special.

So, put your microwaves and convection ovens aside for a while; it’s time to get to know your new go-to companion for reheating, cooking, and more.

What is a toaster oven?

At its core, a toaster oven combines the cooking functions of a regular toaster and traditional oven into one kitchen appliance compact enough to fit on a countertop. 

Sometimes, a toaster oven is a superior option to its full-sized sibling (the oven) and its quick-heating counterpart (the microwave). This is because toaster ovens are ideal for:

● Reheating – Unlike microwaves, which tend to leave your leftovers rubbery and soggy, toaster ovens reheat food more evenly. This restores texture and crispiness to food like french fries, sandwiches, and pizza.

● Small-size cooking – Toaster ovens are perfect for cooking and reheating small portions or single servings. Because they are more compact than traditional ovens, toaster ovens can heat faster and circulate the heat for efficient and even cooking. But compact doesn’t always mean compromise—some compact ovens have a surprisingly large cavity that can fit more than you think, such as a 14 lb turkey.

 Energy-efficient cooking – A full-size traditional oven can chew up a ton of gas and/or electricity. Toaster ovens, on the other hand, are a sleek and energy-efficient option that can handle a variety of small cooking tasks.

Ultimately, a toaster oven is more than just a mix of a regular toaster and a traditional oven. From heating up a quick breakfast to roasting a full chicken, toaster ovens provide various cooking functions to accommodate all sorts of gourmet creations. 

See related: Convection Oven vs. Toaster Oven

Top 4 techniques for how to use a toaster oven 

Toaster ovens have different heat settings, allowing you to customize your cooking experience. Let’s dive into four ways you can use your toaster oven to create memorable, mouthwatering dishes.

#1 Broiling 

From melting cheese on open-faced sandwiches to caramelizing the top of that casserole, the broiler setting of a toaster oven can add a delicious finishing touch to your meals. Specifically, the broiler setting:

● Uses high heat primarily from top elements

● Tends to add a charred finish to food

Because this setting lets you quickly sear and brown your food, it can serve as the perfect last step when cooking thin strips of meat, fish fillets, or vegetables like asparagus.

#2 Baking 

Cookies, pies, lasagnas—the possibilities are endless with a toaster oven’s bake setting. A toaster oven is especially useful for baking since its compact size can help distribute heat more evenly. The baking setting differs from other settings in that it:

● Uses both top and bottom heating elements 

● Maintains heat at a consistent temperature 

ou can use this setting to craft sweet or savory baked goods or to give reheats a crisp, freshly-cooked texture. Advanced toaster ovens, like Breville's Smart Oven, employ intelligent heating technology, fine-tuning the heat distribution for optimal baking precision and ease.

#3 Roasting 

Perfect for cuts of meat, veggies, or even full rotisserie chickens, the roast setting turns up the heat to deliver succulent results.

● Similar to the bake setting, this setting uses both top and bottom elements for consistent heat.

● Unlike the bake setting, roasting typically uses higher temperatures.

Given the higher temps this mode offers, it’s best used for thicker meats (think roasts or whole chickens), big veggies like Brussels sprouts, and your favorite type of potato (gold, sweet, or otherwise).

#4 Air frying

A modern and healthier twist on traditional frying, air frying has become a culinary sensation, and many toaster ovens have evolved to include this feature. The key advantage of air frying is its ability to replicate the crispy texture of fried foods without the gallons of oil. 

Here’s how the air frying setting on a toaster oven stands out:

● Circulates hot air around the food, ensuring even cooking and a crispy outside layer.

● Toaster ovens with a Super Convection setting maximize airflow to air fry foods up to 30% faster, while still maintaining even heat distribution.

Using a toaster oven for air frying can be a game-changer, especially for favorites like French fries, chicken wings, and breaded fish fillets. Beyond the clear advantages of fewer calories and sidestepping the oily mess of conventional frying, many find the intuitive nature of toaster ovens more user-friendly than standalone air fryers.

What other toaster oven settings are available?

We’ve covered how to use a toaster oven, but there are many more possibilities out there! Depending on your toaster oven model, you may have access to the following additional functions: 

● Toast – A common feature, toasting can help you achieve a delightfully crispy finish on bread slices, bagels, croissants, or other baked goods using high, consistent heat from both top and bottom elements.

 Warm – This aptly named feature is ideal for keeping cooked food warm with gentle heat while you finish making the rest of your meal.

● Pizza – Carefully balanced heating elements melt cheese and cook toppings without burning the crust, making this setting perfect for homemade or frozen pizza.

As always, it never hurts to explore your toaster oven’s user manual to discover the full range of options available.

Level up your culinary creations with a Breville toaster oven

The many features and uses of a convection toaster oven make this compact kitchen appliance an incredible tool for enhancing your culinary creations—but in the end, you are still the key ingredient to successful cooking.

That’s why, at Breville, our goal is to empower you to be your own master chef, and our high-quality toaster ovens help do just that. Worried about how to clean a toaster oven? With smart settings, a variety of functions, and non-stick coatings for quick cleaning, Breville toaster ovens make it easy to cook up mouthwatering meals (and memories) to last a lifetime.



1. Hunker. How to Use a Toaster Oven.

2. The Brilliant Kitchen. Bake, Broil, Toast, Keep Warm, What do They Mean?

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How to use a toaster oven: 4 ways