Toaster ovens are not as popular as they used to be, and many households that own one don't know exactly what to do with it. The oven can often be used for simple tasks, like toasting bread or making toasted sandwiches, although it's also capable to cooking quick snacks, heating small frozen items, and even baking some foods, if the settings allow.
Cooks can prepare quick snacks, such as garlic bread, pizza rolls, and even French fries in a toaster oven. Because of their small size and quick heating, the oven is a much better choice for this than a microwave, which can make food too soggy, or a regular oven, which has a longer cooking time. Also, using this appliance will not turn the kitchen into a sauna as a regular oven might, which is a big advantage in summer.
It can also be used in place of a microwave for small frozen goods such as pot pies, personal pizzas, or cookie dough. The oven will give the food a crispy crust, which a microwave can't. A toaster oven cooks like a regular oven, only faster because it's much smaller, so it's a great option for when a cook wants to make food that tastes good but without spending the required time for it.
A toaster oven can even be used as a second oven when cooking for a party or a holiday, if the cook runs out of space in the regular oven. While a large pizza won't fit, individual-sized ones, snacks, and appetizers such as rolls can be cooked in the smaller appliance.
When compared to other appliances, including a microwave, a toaster oven uses very little electricity. Using it more frequently may actually reduce the amount of money a homeowner spends on bills every month. If the home includes an electric stove, using the toaster oven makes even more sense.
What other ways a toaster oven can be used depends on the type of functions it includes. Some offer "slow-heat" cooking, which is great for frozen food and even vegetables; others have a defroster option, although this is not as useful if the cook already has a microwave. The appliance usually comes with a broiler function, allowing cooks to bake without worrying about uneven cooking.