Friday, April 23, 2010

My new favorite appliance

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.



Darcy said...

Surely you can find a 1/4 cake sheet or 1/8 cake sheet at a cooking supply/restaurant supply store that you can fill with a little water and put the bread pan in. That or squirt it with a bit of water every once in awhile. The most the water does is really help make the crispy crust on the outside and give it a bit of moisture, so spritzing every once in awhile might help if you can do it quickly and not lose a lot of heat.

I'd love to have one, but would have to give up my Kitchen Aide, which I'm not willing to do. DH won't part with the microwave, though we rarely use it for anything more than defrosting any longer. But I'd LOOOVE to have one for summer months and not turn on the big oven!

Creative Junkie said...

I didn't know they didn't make undermount toaster ovens anymore? Geesh, I used to LOVE mine! I cooked everything in that thing! I would actually like to have a new toaster over, to replace the stupid toaster we have now, which is a piece of crap.

Cheri said...

Great story! I'm still waiting to hear that you've caved and replaced the stove.

SciFi Dad said...

We just replaced my parent's 12 year old microwave and toaster oven for Christmas this year.

You want to limit your options? Try saying "I only want white ones". Everything is black and/or chrome these days.

humel said...

I've never heard of these (sheltered life here in the UK...) but they look great! We'd have the same problem with counter space though and I'm not willing to sacrifice cookie and cupcake cooling space.

seriousmom said...

Very cool. I'm going shopping for one right now!

Colleen said...

Could you place the cookie rack on a table somewhere? Like a kitchen table or dining room table? I was going to say just put them on top of the oven, but that might defeat the purpose. That's what we usually do though, and it doesn't seem to have any adverse affects (effects? I can NEVER get those 2 figured out) on the cookies.

Carrie said...

Looks great! Especially for summer cooking!

LizzieMade said...

Do you have "Pyrex" glassware in USA? It's treated so it can be put in the oven and not break...

Couldn't you cool cookies on the top of the oven? I know it has vents on top, but the cookies go on a wire rack... just an idea.
Or ask DH to put a shelf up somewhere - a "cookie cooling shelf"!
Or just eat all the cookies while they're hot - yay!

Kelly Whalen said...

Happy SITS Saturday!

We have a broken legged toaster oven that I refuse to part with. Thankfully the leg is broken in a way that it can be balanced on the broken part and still work.

We usually cool cookies on our stovetop, would that work for you?