What can you cook in a mini oven? The answer is a surprising amount of food, which means that this compact appliance is far more practical than most people expect.
Of course, perhaps you might not be able to go ahead and prepare some of the recipes that are usually for a regular-sized oven but don’t let that put you off.
Instead, let’s go through what you can achieve with the help of this small-sized cooking appliance.
What Is a Mini Oven?
A mini oven is a freestanding cooking device designed to sit on your countertop. Some may even refer to these appliances as countertop ovens, but it all means the same thing.
The fact it’s freestanding means you can move this small oven around and place it anywhere in your kitchen.
However, the size of a mini oven can vary considerably. Still, it has clever design elements that mean you can cook many dishes even when space is limited.
Is a Toaster Oven the Same as a Mini Oven?
But just before delving into the array of dishes you can cook using a mini oven, let’s address another name by which this item can be called. Some companies refer to their small ovens as toaster ovens, but it’s the same thing.
Toaster ovens often refer to the American English way of describing a small oven. However, you use them in the same way, they are built the same way, and they all produce the same golden-brown results, depending on what you are cooking.
How a Toaster Oven Works
A toaster oven works just like a conventional oven. It contains heating elements, just like a regular oven powered by electricity. You can control the temperature and the time via dials on the front.
Simply check to see the temperature you should be cooking at, fire up the heating element and then let the oven cook your food. Aside from setting the temperature, the only concern with a mini oven is to make sure you follow the recipe correctly to prepare your tasty dishes.
What You Can Cook in Mini Ovens
Your mini oven can cook many dishes, and it does so very quickly. As we said earlier, your primary concern is setting the oven thermometer correctly, but all in all, it operates in the same way as a larger oven.
You can use it as a regular toaster to bake small cakes, make pizza, heat leftover food, make bread, roast potatoes and chicken, and bake a pie. The list goes on and on. Mini ovens can cook or roast almost anything.
As a rule of thumb, remember that if you can prepare something in your traditional oven, you should be able to achieve the same results with your toaster oven. The only difference is the need to perhaps make smaller batches due to the limited space available in a toaster oven.
But let’s look more closely at some of the things you can cook in mini ovens to give you some dinner inspiration.
You can easily bake bread in a toaster oven. All you need to do is move the inner racks around to have enough space for the tin to sit comfortably in the oven. The small cooking area is less of a concern, as a toaster oven should always have enough room for baking bread.
Baking in this type of oven is convenient. It’s so easy to check the oven thermometer and set the perfect cooking time. Ultimately, as long as you can follow a recipe, baking shouldn’t be a problem.
Pizza is another great dish to cook in a toaster oven. However, you may have to scale back the size of your pizza. All you need is a good recipe for your pizza dough, add your favourite toppings, and then throw it in the oven at the correct temperature. With these ovens having a clear front, it’s easy to keep a close eye on how things are cooking.
Whether it’s chicken, potatoes, or anything else you imagine, a mini convection oven will do a fantastic job delivering the perfect cooked meat at the ideal heat. A convection oven roasts chicken in next to no time because of how it moves the warm air around.
It circulates the air, so everything is then cooked evenly, and it ultimately leads to the perfect dinner. The days of roasting a chicken for well over an hour will be behind you thanks to this type of oven.
You can even wrap things up in aluminium foil as you do with your regular oven. This is just another example of how a toaster oven operates similarly to your regular oven.
Toast and Lasagna
Whether you want to grill cheese or even make toast, this oven can deal with almost any food you want to throw at it. The toaster option, which you just select on the dial on your mini-oven, allows you to set things according to the recipe. You will have perfect toast in just a few minutes, and who doesn’t love that?
It will melt cheese quickly as well. Perhaps you want to make lasagna, and you love that crispy cheese layer on top? Well, these ovens can do that with absolute ease.
Aside from bread, a toaster oven or a mini oven can do a lot of things, especially for recipes that call for dough. Whether you want to make brownies or bake pastries or a whole cake, you can do so effortlessly via a mini oven.
All you have to do is preheat your mini oven according to whatever your recipe calls for, and you are good to go. Then, combine your ingredients, and use it just like a conventional oven. Nice and simple.
Things to Remember When Using Mini Ovens
It’s less of wondering what can you cook in a mini oven and more a case of wondering what you cannot cook. From trying to bake pizza or bake a cake to making the most delicious crispy veggies or even cooking oven chips, a mini oven has you covered.
Any recipes that require a regular oven can be adapted to mini toaster ovens. This small yet powerful kitchen appliance can deliver the perfect crust on pastry and make a delicious roast dinner stuffed with the best veggies you have ever tasted.
The only thing you need to do is plan ahead and know what temperature you need to preheat your oven to — most recipes will tell you that. We would even suggest using this oven to reheat leftovers, as it’s better than a microwave oven since it won’t make last night’s pizza or roast potatoes soggy and soft.
However, the only potential issue is the need for small batches to be made. In saying that, a toaster oven does come in various sizes, so it’s not all bad. Also, keep in mind your toaster oven is easy to clean afterwards. Those spots of olive oil or soy sauce that fell out of the dish can be wiped up with a damp cloth in a matter of seconds.
Making the Most of Mini Ovens
Whether you call it a mini oven or a toaster oven, there’s no doubt that this relatively small kitchen device can produce an array of wonderful dishes in next to no time. They are energy efficient, reduce cooking time, and quickly turn a frozen pizza into an absolute delight.
You’ll just have to worry about the size of the cooking space. However, cooking will quickly become a breeze as long as you can get an ovenproof dish inside. A small mini oven can be the perfect solution if space is an issue.
A mini oven could quickly become one of your favourite items in the kitchen, along with your ceramic hob, instant pot, and air fryer. With such a wide array of foods you can cook using a mini oven, you may use it more than your microwave oven, and that’s probably not a bad thing.
If you love pizza, cakes, pastry, and other baked items, find your favourite recipe and get cooking with your small oven. Rest assured, you will love the result.
Do you own a mini oven? Let us know what’s your go-to recipe in the comments below! Moreover, don’t forget to visit our blog regularly. We update it with new guides every day!