Enamel or “durastone” as it’s entitled on some models is usually found in the higher end toaster ovens. The difference is that enamel interiors are much easier to maintain. To clean, you simply wipe the remnants off. With aluminum, cleaning your toaster oven may prove a little more difficult. Also, some manufacturers claim that the enamel distributes heat for a more evenly distributed heat supply.
It is possible. Some manufacturers warn against it, due to the heat capacity inside the machine. If you do, you should be careful to avoid placing it too close to burners or the side of the interior.
Some toaster oven interiors are coated with a non-stick enamel, as mentioned above (check your manual). If this is the case, abrasive cleaners may strip the interior of this protective layer. Therefore, enamel interiors require only mild soap and water. Also, many toaster ovens are equipped with special features like a crumb tray or self-burning interiors that burn off drips on contact. If these options appeal to you, shop around for the cleanest, most efficient model.
The toast and bake functions are virtually the same. Some models vary with pre-set temperatures, but both mean that the top and bottom-heating units will be active. Broil simply means that heat will only come from the top. Other options include convection style cooking, rotisserie, defrosting, dehydrating, etc. Check our explanation of different types of toaster ovens or the terminology section to find out more.
Digital controls give you a broader range of one-button options. You can adjust and configure predetermined settings, but the toast gets toasted either way. Usually, digital is handier and more user-friendly.
Usually, a toaster oven’s warranty length is one year. If you have technical problems or something stops working, it usually means you have to send away for service and repairs. Depending on the expanse of the company, it could be 10 miles or it could be 300.
It varies, but most operate around the mid-100’s for warming up to about 500 degrees to bake. For the average toaster oven user, this is more than enough to toast and reheat.
There are a variety of ways to determine when the toaster oven’s cycle is complete. Some have specific settings for heating things such as pizza or pie and will shut off after cooking for at an allotted temperature for a predetermined time. Other, more advanced models have heat sensors that determine when to stop a specific cycle. And others still have basic timers that ding or buzz when the time’s up.
If you have small children who could reach the machine, you may want to consider the automatic shut-off option. Most manufacturers make something along these lines. If the door is down, the heat is off, so you don’t need to worry about it being a fire hazard in moments of forgetfulness. Also, some toaster ovens offer cool-to-touch exteriors. Some that do not offer this can become dangerously hot every time they are used.