Getting the perfect toaster oven to buy

Well now, that depends.

There are so many toasters, coming in so many shapes, sizes, and colors, with all sorts of fun functions and surprising features. But one thing’s certain: The perfect toaster for you and your kitchen is out there. Let’s find it!

Information from

Two-Slice Toasters

This is your basic no-frills toaster. It’s a space saver. And it’s great for single folks, married folks, college kids, small families. The fact is, most simple 2- and 4-slot toasters will toast your bread quicker and more evenly than more expensive toaster ovens or oven toasters. So if it’s basic toast you’re looking for, give real consideration to these models.

Four-Slice Toasters

What’s the biggest advantage of a 4-slice toaster over a 2-slice toaster? Uhm, more toast. You’ve doubled your toast potential. It’s bigger, of course; so it takes up valuable counter space. Fun Fact: The 2-slice toasters actually outsell the larger 4-slice models by about 3 to 1.

OK, now we’re getting serious. If you have ample counter space, and you want to cook and bake foods in addition to making toast, the toaster oven could be the way you want to go. Oh, and here’s a benefit: PIZZA! You can cook a small pizza in the toaster oven, no problem. In fact, a toaster oven could be the only cooking contraption you need in a dorm room or shared apartment. They actually cook dishes. Grilled cheese sandwiches? Of course. Burgers? Yes. You can bake cupcakes and roast a small chicken in there, too. They come with toaster oven pans, occasionally nonstick oven pans. And if you’re really playing on the “oven” part of your toaster oven, consider buying toaster tongs. They make easy work of turning, grabbing, and retrieving hot foods. These rigs are so versatile, it’s likely that the thing you’ll make least in your toaster oven is toast.


Buying the best toaster oven. Some things to consider:

  • A broiler setting means you can cook pork chops, burgers and such in your toaster oven.
  • Convection toaster ovens are a thing, it’s true. But for such a small oven, the convection action is not essential.
  • Some toaster ovens include rotisserie attachments for serious toaster oven cooking.
  • Infrared toaster ovens use speedy infrared heating to help quicken toasting time.
  • Downside. Toaster ovens cost more than basic toasters. But you probably saw that coming.



Bought this amazing Zojirushi bread machine

My trusty Hitachi bread machine needed to be retired after 22 years of loyal service. I’ve become so dependent on it through the years that I knew I would be lost without it. They don’t make that one anymore and I’ve researched others in the last couple of years, but could never quite “pull the trigger” on a different brand since I’m so used to that one. I haven’t actually baked in it for many years, because I never liked how the loaves turned out, so I just use it for dough. But it gets a workout for sure!


After having it almost refuse to turn on a couple weeks ago (the start button didn’t want to work) I started researching once again and came across this Zojirushi. I was hesitant after reading the reviews of uneven loaves (which isn’t a huge deal if you want to babysit it and push one side down before it bakes). I was also concerned about it holding up in the long term, plus the size of the machine was a bit large for my taste. But after finding more complaints with other models, I decided to give this one a try. I have to say I’m in LOVE with this machine!!! I’ve only had it for a week but everything has turned out PERFECTLY! The loaves have baked evenly and so much higher than I expected, no babysitting needed.

The texture on the crust is FABULOUS and so is the texture inside, and no weird holes in the center that I would usually cut off and throw away, so no waste! I LOVE the fact that I can make cakes and jam in it, plus, my (grown ) son who is gluten free, can enjoy some of my homemade bread too! I didn’t realize that the loaf sizes are bigger in this one than my old one, so I’m not sure how I will change the recipes that I’ve used for years, to make them fit in this machine. I haven’t played around with them yet, but I’m sure I’ll make them work somehow. I have made 3 loaves so far, one honey white, one lemon cake and one cinnamon raisin. They all turned out perfectly.

On the cinnamon raisin, I added in about a quarter cup of raisins at a time at the beeps, closed the lid and let it mix for a few seconds, opened the lid and added more, scattering them around each time instead of just dumping them in one spot at once. They all mixed evenly within the loaf. I don’t like how the add in beeps happen whether you are adding things or not, but I can live with it. And I wish it would keep mixing with the lid open, but that too, I can live with. I only hope this machine lasts at least 10 years….then I’ll be super happy!

By T. Jackson

The right microwave for my cooking

Many people are wary of using microwave ovens because they believe that it changes the chemical nature of food or leads to tumours because of radiation. However, these facts have been refuted by many researchers. Radiation can only leak if the oven door is damaged or doesn’t seal properly. Even in such a case, the leakage will be too small to cause any health risk.

In fact, the food cooked in a microwave is considered healthier as it uses less oil. Also, a microwave oven is energy-efficient as it cooks food faster and uses 70-80% less energy than a traditional one. So, you can save on power bills and LPG gas.

Check out this microwave recipe:

Which microwave oven suits your needs?

Solo: These microwave ovens are usually small (19-23 litres), simple to operate and cheaper than the other two variants. They can perform all basic cooking functions besides defrosting and reheating. Most models come with a full suite of features mentioned above. It’s preferable to opt for one that has automatic sensors and multi-stage cooking. However, such microwave ovens cannot be used for grilling or baking.

Price: Rs 4,000-8,000

Grill: The devices with this feature offer microwave cooking, as well as grilling, toasting and broiling. Their size varies from 18-28 litres. At times, they are incorrectly labelled as microwave/convection ovens, but a true convection oven has a heating element and a fan to push the heated air into the cavity. Also, don’t expect all grill ovens to work as fabulously as your barbeque or tandoor. You won’t get the same quality of roasting and certainly not the smoky flavour.

Price: Rs 5,000-15,000

Convection: These products offer both microwave energy and heat. They are the most versatile and can perform all cooking functions, including baking. This is why they are more expensive than the other two variants. They combine a convection heat cycle with microwave energy for rapid baking, so baking time can be cut in half. You can opt only for the convection mode to bake, which takes as much time as a traditional oven, but allows you to use metal containers. –

Things to know before buying a mixer

There are only a few things to consider when buying this mixer:

What level of power do you need? 99% of home cooks will be well served by the basic Artisan with tilt head. If you cater, cook for a crowd even occasionally, or bake large lots (more than 2 loaves at a time), go for more power. (insert Toolman grunt here)


Do you want the lift or the tilt? After reading tons of info online, IMO this boils down to 1) which model are you familiar/happy with, if any (buy that one; you will probably not like a change); 2) do you want to keep it in a place where the space needed to tilt it up will be inconvenient, and you’ll be irked pulling it out for use and pushing it back when done (get the lift); 3) you might be bugged by having to wrestle the attachments out with the bowl down in the lift model. Apparently there’s not much space and you have to detach and lower the attachment, then wriggle it out thru a small space while covered with whatever you are mixing. In this case, buy the tilt; I had tilt for almost 20 years and thought the lift might be better, but have opted for the tilt on my new model after reading about it. – mythumpa

Read more: What you need to know about kitchen mixers
After that, pick your color and warn your credit card that this might sting a bit. These are AWESOME machines. Mine sits quietly under its (custom made quilted bluebird) cover for long periods when I’m not in the mood to cook, then I use it and fall in love all over again. Easy to use, smooth operation, more power than I’ll ever need to cook for 2, easy to clean, easy to store, sleek and beautiful. I fully expect it to be part of my estate sale since no one in the family is likely to appreciate it enough to keep it. The lucky buyers will probably pass it down to their kids.

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Food processor, mixer or blender