While there are days when I truly enjoy spending a good amount of time in the kitchen preparing a meal, on most days it’s more about what I can get on the table quickly before we’re off to practice or whatever else is on the evening agenda. During the summer months, this means that the grill and my rice cooker are getting a regular workout.
I’ll be honest — a toaster oven has never been high on my list of must-have kitchen appliances, but when Panasonic asked if I’d be interested in trying out their FlashXpress Toaster Oven, I figured why not. Surprisingly, I’ve probably used the toaster oven more in the last month than I ever used my barely 2-year-old microwave (which went belly up recently and probably won’t be replaced).
If, like me, you’re skeptical about whether you’d actually use a toaster oven, here are a few good reasons why you should consider it:
Toaster ovens save you time. No, really they do! Think about it… The smaller interior means they take less time to heat up than a full size oven. The preheating process takes about 5 minutes versus about 15 minutes with a regular oven.
Toaster ovens use less energy. Toaster ovens use about half the energy that it takes to run a conventional oven. PLUS they give off less heat, which makes them the perfect option in warm whether when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen any more than you have to, helping you save a little on your summer cooling bills.
Toaster ovens are awesome for reheating leftovers. Sure, it may take slightly longer than using a microwave, but toaster ovens heat more evenly, without drying out the food.
Toaster ovens are easy to clean. With a pull-out tray on the bottom, similar to a toaster, toaster ovens are super easy to clean.
Toaster ovens make great toast. My kids actually prefer the toaster oven for their toast and bagels. It gives them a nice toasty, brown color, and it does it in less time than our toaster — definitely a plus when making breakfast for 7!
While I won’t be cooking a full meal in the Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven anytime soon, I’ve found it indispensable for preparing sides and snacks. In fact, what I didn’t mention in the yummy bruschetta recipe I posted it other day is that I made the bruschetta using my toaster oven!
What would take 15 minutes of preheating time and another 5-6 minutes cooking time in my conventional oven took only 2 minutes in the toaster oven. I simply placed the French baguette slices on the tray that comes with the FlashXpress, pressed the “toast” button, and waited for the toaster oven to work its magic. Perfecto!
This post is brought to you by Panasonic. All opinions are 100% mine.3