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Toaster Ovens - How to Choose the Perfect Toaster Oven

Today's toaster ovens have moved beyond just toasting bread or bagels.
They can bake, broil, and even convection cook everything from hamburgers, casseroles and baked goods to a four pound chicken with little effort.
Toaster ovens are an economical and easy-to-use cooking alternative for any busy home.
Choosing the Perfect Toaster Oven: Countertop ovens come in tons of shapes and sizes and offer a variety of features.
Here's what you need to know before you buy: Price Range: You can find a countertop oven to fit any price range and preference.
Basic no-frills appliances start at around $30.
Many top-rated models are priced under $100.
Higher-end multi-function ovens usually run between $150-$300.
Ease of Use: Countertop ovens are controlled by a standard dial timer or an electronic key pad with pre-set functions.
Most cooks find the digital touch pads are easier to use and also offer a more precise setting option.
Cooking Method:  If you're just planning on using your toaster oven for toasting and heating foods, one of the more basic models should fit the bill.
If you are looking for an oven to use for baking or broiling, check out models that cook using either a convection or infrared (or infrawave) heating feature.
Convection heating uses a small fan to circulate hot air within the oven which helps brown food more evenly and can reduce cooking time by up to 30%.
Infrared or infrawave ovens do not need to be pre-heated, which reduces cooking time.
 Infrared also speeds up the toasting process.
Some ovens also include a rotisserie - a handy feature for chicken lovers! Easy to Clean:  To cut down on cleaning, look for an oven with non-stick interior and a slide-out crumb tray..
Safety:  Many models come with an automatic shut off feature.
Some will only ring a bell and continue to cook until you turn it off.
  For families with small children, a high-demand safety feature is cool-to-touch sides - the oven's sides should not heat excessively during use.
  Counter Space & Capacity:  Countertop ovens come in sizes ranging from as small as 10" x 10"  to as big as 20"  x 16".
Consider whether you need a 4-slice or 6-slice capacity oven.
  More basic appliances which are only used for toasting or heating foods are generally smaller in both size and capacity.
  If you're planning to bake 9" x 13" casseroles or roast chickens, you'll need a larger model.
If in doubt, be sure to measure your counter space BEFORE ordering!

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