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Reasons Your Kitchen Should Have A Toaster Oven On The Counter

Reasons Your Kitchen Should Have A Toaster Oven On The Counter

Cooking for your family can be an extremely rewarding experience, especially if you are concerned about how healthy they eat. It can also be a time consuming experience as the amount of time needed for food prep as well as cooking time can really add up. This is where using the right appliances can be rather beneficial. For food prep, we always recommend a food processor, which we will get into later. For reducing your cook times you should be using a toaster oven. Modern countertop ovens are extremely efficient alternatives to a standard sized oven and you might be surprised with everything that you can do with one of these. We are currently in the market for a newer model as we nearly wore our our 10 year old toaster oven. We have been going over the best rated ovens on and were truly amazed at what today’s ovens have to offer.

If you haven’t been paying attention and think that a toaster oven is good only for making toast then this is for you. You can really elevate your dishes and reduce the time and effort you spend in the kitchen making your favorite meals for your loved ones. Below are the top 3 reasons you should definitely think about making the switch.

#1 – Saving Precious Time

Time is a valuable commodity for most of us. After a hard day at work, the last thing we want to do is spend hours in the kitchen. So why not find something that can really speed things up? Modern countertop ovens have a host of cooking technology packed into them that can significantly reduce cook times. Standard toaster ovens have heating elements that can automatically adjust the time and temp to take the guess work out of the equation. If you get one with a convection cooking feature your can further reduce the time you wait to get things done. Convection cooking circulates hot air with the help of a fan. The air movement penetrates the food and makes sure everything is done evenly on all sides. This feature alone can cut your cooking time by almost 25%. You will have to adjust your recipes, but it is well worth the effort.

#2 – Save Money

The next best thing to saving time is saving money. With smaller interiors, your oven will have to work less to get everything up to the correct temperature. There are some ovens that also do not require any preheating whatsoever. With reduced cooking times, and no need to preheat, you will end up saving on your energy bill. While this is a by-product of using your oven, it is a nice bonus. Toaster ovens are also quite affordable when you compare them to the price of getting a newer conventional sized ovens. Depending on the options and cooking features you are looking for, a new toaster oven can run between $50 and $250. Even the more expensive models will provide you with an excellent value.

#3 – Easy To Clean

Clean up is always the least fun task in the kitchen and it is the last thing you want to do after cooking and eating. But most of today’s toaster oven’s are designed to be simple to clean. With non-stick interior coatings, crumb trays, and stainless steel surfaces, an easy wipe down with a damp cloth is usually all that is needed. Even if you have an exploding disaster inside of your oven, it should come up without breaking your back.

Top Name Brands

There are several models that can help you transform the way that you cook that cover all types of budgets, but there a few that really stand out.


High-tech ovens are what this company produces. They look like something you would see in a restaurant and they are real head turners. With an LCD display screen, stainless steel housing, and advanced cooking technology, these are the top of the line options for those who can afford it. They can do just about anything that your standard oven can accomplish, and their top models also come with a convection feature.


Everyone who cooks knows the Cuisinart name and their toaster ovens live up to their reputation. Their line of ovens cover the gambit of budget needs from standard to ones that rival Breville models. You really cannot go wrong getting one of these countertop ovens. They are extremely dependable and very highly rated by owners.

Oster and Hamilton Beach

If you are on a tight budget, then getting an oven from one of these two makers is a good option. They are simple to use, don’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, and just get the job done. They will give you a great experience and save you money doing it.

Make The Jump

Don’t be confused by the “toaster” moniker, toaster ovens are full featured appliances that will help you prepare anything from frozen pizza to your grandmother’s casserole. What they may lack in size, they make up for in functionality. Do yourself a favor and get one of these for your kitchen counter. You will not be sorry.

The Convenience Of Making Your Own Gelato

The Convenience Of Making Your Own Gelato


The beauty of today’s home ice cream makers is that many of them can make a wide variety of different frozen treats that your family will fall in love with. While we all love ice cream, making your own gelato is something that a lot of people love to try. Gelato is a softer and more dense with a milky texture full of intense flavor. Ice cream on the other hand is more creamy, has a firmer texture, and it is served and stored at a colder temperature. It also generally has more fat that affects its flavor.

For those with a true sweet tooth for this Italian import, the good news is that you can make your own gelato in your kitchen. A number of today’s ice cream makers are capable of making gelato as well. So get out your recipes, or find some online, as we give a brief rundown of some of the better home machines from which to choose from.

Top 3 Home Gelato Machines

While you do have many options, some are better than others. A lot will probably depend on your budget, so we also tried to find quality machines in varying price ranges.

Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop

This is an all in one frozen dessert machine that is able to make a wide range of frozen dishes. It can turn out gelato, ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt and more. It is fully automated with programmable settings for each. This is one modern piece of equipment that will stand out in just about any type of kitchen. Its LCD display and stainless steel construction really turn heads.

It has its own compressor as well which enables this model to turn out batch after batch without skipping a beat. This is one of the main reasons for its high price, which unfortunately for some will push it out of their range. It currently can be had for around $400. It may sound pretty steep, but the Smart Scoop is probably the top rated home ice cream machine that you can buy that is also capable of some divine gelato. Its versatility and design makes it worth the investment and this still delivers excellent value for the money and it is superb choice if you can afford it.

Lello 4080 Musso Lussino

Since gelato is most commonly associated with Italy, it is only fitting that we include an Italian machine. This one is going to be a budget buster for most people as it typically cost around $700. Yes, that is indeed a lot for a home machine but if you have a serious ice cream or gelato addiction this may just be heaven sent.

This is another machine with stainless steel parts and housing for durability and ease of cleaning. Simple, automatic controls make producing any type of frozen dessert a hassle free experience. It can make about 1.5 quarts in about 30 minutes. If you are making gelato and it starts to get too hard the machine will automatically shut itself off. The Musso Lussino also has its own compressor which supplies the cooling aspect of gelato making. Having this feature lets you make as many batches as you want without having to wait. This particular gets very good reviews from owners, but its price point puts it out of reach for most. Still something worth considering if you can afford it.

Cuisinart ICE-100

This gelato/ice cream maker is a little more budget friendly, but it will still cost you around $250 online. Just because it is a little less expensive does not mean you have to sacrifice much in the way of quality. It has a lot of the features of the previous two models on our list, but at a slightly more budget friendly price.

The ICE 100 also comes with its own compressor. This is an extremely convenient feature for any ice cream maker as it enables you to not have to freeze the mixing bowl before use. You can make gelato any time you feel like it without having to plan ahead.

It stainless steel design, easy to use controls, reliable motor, and overall performance have helped this machine rank as one of the better overall frozen treat maker. Customer ratings are quite excellent and if you do not want to spend too much this may be the better alternative.

Getting a home gelato machine is the perfect luxurious reward to treat yourself like you deserve. It is okay to indulge yourself from time to time, and having a way to make your own frozen delight whenever you want in the comfort of your own home is a fantastic way to live right. Any of the models above should be able to deliver a heavenly gelato worthy of their higher prices.