This is my old toaster oven
(this photo is from Sep 08 because I failed to take a ‘before’ photo before I unpacked the new toaster oven. bad blogger!)
It’s an under mount Black & Decker model & is under one of the kitchen cabinets. We got it in Aug 02, when we remodeled the kitchen. We liked it because it left the counter space open and there isn’t that much counter space in the kitchen to begin with. It was also nice for making fish sticks, small pizzas and garlic bread without having to turn the oven itself on.
Shortly after this photo was taken the baking element stopped working but the toast one was fine. We began a search for a replacement oven.
Unde rmount toaster ovens are hard to come by. They are a fire hazard it seems. They still make them but the model that replaced the one we have was $90! I paid $40 for mine.
Sometimes a cheaper version was spotted by others at Target but by the time I was able to get there, usually a couple days later, they were gone.
Every now and then DH & I would spend time in the small appliance section of Target looking at the regular toaster ovens but we hated to give up the counter space.
That’s where we cool the cookies! Where would we cool the cookies???
Then there was the feature creep problem. We had a small capacity toaster oven that mainly toasted well and could bake up 8 fish sticks at a time. Who needed more?
But DH felt if we were going to give up the counter space we should GO BIG. Get one that could roast a whole chicken! You all know how I feel about roasting chicken. Get one that is also a convection oven! Hello! I know nothing about cooking in a convection oven, have no way of converting normal baking to convection baking. Sure I could google it, but I don’t NEED it. Mostly I just want toast, with an occasional pizza option.
Then the incident with the cat pee happened and I spent some time looking longingly at new stoves. I want a double oven so I can cook bread and dinner at the same time, or a side dish at a different temp than the main dish.
A big toaster oven probably could do that.
So, while DH and Havoc were off doing scouting things Mayhem and I spend some quality time in the small appliance aisles of Target
No toaster oven has a toast setting you can set & leave alone. This sucks. But once I resign myself to that I started looking at the interior shelving & considering the baking possibilities. I’d go to the cookware aisle, get a muffin pan and then stick it in the toaster ovens to try them for size. Then I’d go back and get a casserole dish, then a pie pan.
By the time I was done there were no less than 3 Target employees lurking around the aisle pretending to look at things on the shelves. Mayhem asked me why all the Target people were here and I told him in a no nonsense voice that they were afraid we were shoplifting. He thought that was funny and the Target employees all sort of disbursed.
The last thing was what clinched it and was sort of serendipity. I found this
It’s a meatloaf pan. I’ve had one since 1992. It’s two pans, the top has holes so the grease can drip into the bottom pan. The bottom pan can be a loaf pan on it’s own. My bottom pan has rusted & I noticed a couple months ago rust around a couple of the holes on the top pan and have been looking for a replacement ever since. These too are hard to come by.
And the pan did this
And the angels sang Hallelujah!
That’s a perfect fit! I can have meatloaf in the summer! And bake loaves of bread in the summer!
So I bought it
And it makes excellent meatloaf & loaves of white bread & small pizza & fish sticks & biscuits. It keeps things warm. I can broil a small steak in there.
It also toasts well.
There are only 2 small problems.
1. Some of the bread I make needs a pan of hot water to make steam & there is no room for a pan of hot water & the baking rack. I’ve been experimenting with small foil pans but they don’t hold heat well enough for the water to steam. I’m afraid to put glass or ceramic in there because even though I am pouring boiling water into the heated container I think glass & ceramic would shatter.
2. There is no room for the cookies to cool & I’m not sure what the heck we are going to do about that.