Some appliances in the kitchen are pretty straightforward when it comes to their intended purpose. There are those which are designed for a specific task and while they offer various levels or options of the accomplishment of that task, they are limited in their utility through the design of their functionality. Take the blender, for instance.

The blender does what its supposed to and does that thing well. Sure, you have a variety of options and there is some manner of versatility there, but at its core, its there for blending or mixing ingredients. You can place a lot of things into the blender but once you press the button, it turns that thing or things into a liquid, puree, or other transformed, broken down version of what they used to be.

But lets face it, the blender is usually a preparation tool. You use it to turn ingredients into something else that is often used as a component of a dish. You can make sauces, syrups, purees, and of course, milkshakes and other drinks.

Much like the blender, there are other appliances in the kitchen that are essential but limited to their original intent. Bread-makers make bread, rice cookers cook rice, the microwave oven is there for heating and reheating meals, and of course, the coffee maker is there for your morning cuppa joe.

When we talk about the major appliances in the kitchen, these are the ones that come up most often. The refrigerator is a simple necessity that every household must own as it is the number one storage method for all of the food ingredients that we rely on for our food. The toaster is probably one of the most common tools used in just about every household, so is the oven. But there is one appliance that doesnt get enough credit and certainly has become one of the most overlooked in todays home: The toaster oven.

Thats right, the toaster oven. Once popular in the 70s and 80s it sort of fell out of favor once the microwave oven became all the rage, muscling the toaster oven from the spotlight. The microwave could cook everything quicker and thus, it was the preferred choice of happy homemakers and singles alike because it offered that one thing we all look for from our products, convenience.

But now, the toaster oven is enjoying a resurgence with culinary professionals and regular consumers alike. The reason is simple, the toaster oven offers a wide range of versatility when it comes to food preparation and cooking. These miniature ovens are great at toasting bread, but they can do so much more. The trouble is that most people just dont know how to use the toaster oven properly.

This could be due to the size of the unit, they are much smaller than a typical oven so they are usually frowned upon for making foods that one might make in an oven. No, youre not going to be able to put an entire chicken or turkey inside of it, but you can make plenty of chicken and turkey dishes. The toaster oven offers a wealth of advantages, for instance these units are far more energy efficient than a regular oven and capable of results that a microwave oven simply cant touch.

Dont let the size fool you, toaster ovens provide plenty of versatility and they can become one of your most trusted allies in your many culinary pursuits.

So what can you cook in them?

Believe it or not, you can make everything from breakfast dishes like muffins, hard-boiled eggs, and frittatas, to lunch dishes such as quesadillas, pizzas, and tuna melts, and dinner time meals including kebabs, stuffed mushrooms, and fish. These are but a few options, there are many more out there. It really depends on how adventurous you want to be with the ideas you create.

You can also get online to search for good toaster oven recipes to check out the latest and greatest toaster ovens on the market. Chances are you dont currently own a toaster oven, but with all of the versatility available to you now youre going to want to pick one up. It will quickly become your favorite appliance on your kitchen counter.