Toaster ovens have made life so much easier for all of us that it is hard to imagine life without them. A good, multipurpose toaster oven can help make various tasks easier – from toasting and cooking to reheating food.
If you have a reliable toaster oven in your kitchen, food preparation certainly becomes less daunting. You must remember, however, that having a go-to oven that can meet your various needs, whether it be a countertop toaster oven or under cabinet toaster oven, comes with the responsibility of maintaining it and ensuring that it is well-kept and in proper working condition.
Keeping Your Oven Clean
If you’re using your oven for a variety of things, and if you’re the type who uses it on a regular basis, then it’s even more important for you to keep it in prime condition. Every time you use your oven, there is a build-up of crumbs, particles, and grease that comes from whatever you place in there. If you’re cooking bacon for instance, just imagine the amount of grease that splatters across the oven’s interiors. If you don’t clean it, that grease won’t go anywhere.
Why is it important to keep the oven clean? For one, leaving your toaster oven dirty will affect the oven’s efficiency in heating up your food. The cleaner your toaster oven is, the more energy efficient it is. On the other hand, if your toaster oven’s walls are lined with grease and you have crumbs everywhere, it won’t heat your food as efficiently.
Another way of looking at it is that your toaster oven works twice as hard if it’s dirty. So if you want your toaster oven to last you a long time, it’s best if you clean it regularly and even after every use if you can. A ‘dirty’ oven is also more prone to accidents like fires.
Easy Steps to Remember
Contrary to what some people may think, cleaning your toaster oven is not as hard as it seems. It looks tricky at first because you can’t exactly shove the parts in the dishwasher, and you don’t want to wet it either because it’s electrical. Here are some easy steps to remember:
- This may seem like a pretty obvious step, but it has to be reiterated for safety reasons. The first step to cleaning your oven is to make sure it’s unplugged, and that it has sufficiently cooled down. Remember that your toaster oven is supposed to be HOT, and you don’t want to be burn your hands while cleaning it.
Remove the crumb tray and other parts
- Removing the crumb tray is something you can do regularly, and you should definitely pay attention to this because this is often where all the food particles are. By removing the tray from the base of the toaster, you can easily get rid of all the crumbs that have accumulated. You can then wash the tray with warm soapy water. Before returning it to the toaster oven, make sure it is completely dry.
- For toasters that do not have a crumb tray, you can still take out all the removable parts – the rack, the drip pan, and others. Wash this with warm soapy water and ensure that everything is dry before putting it back. If there are still crumbs at the bottom, you can also turn the toaster upside down and shaking all the crumbs out. You can do this over your sink, or over your trash bin. Again, you have to make sure that the toaster is unplugged and not hot anymore as you do this.
Clean the interior
- For the greasy walls of your toaster oven, you can moisten a cloth with water. Make sure the cloth is not dripping and just moist enough. Sprinkling this cloth with baking soda and then rubbing it into the interiors will work.
- For baked-on food, you may need to use a nylon scrubber or a synthetic scouring pad because a cloth won’t do. Dip this scrubber into a warm dishwashing solution, but make sure you squeeze it so that it’s not dripping wet and all the excess liquid is removed. You can then use this to scrub off the debris, but make sure no liquid drips inside.
Wipe the exterior
- There wouldn’t be too much build-up in the exterior, but keeping it clean and shiny is still a must.
Don’t wait too long
- The less times you clean your toaster oven, the harder it becomes. Food and grease will build up over time, so it’s better if you clean it regularly to make your life easier.
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