As we note in our full report, toaster ovens are remarkably versatile appliances that can do more than just toast bread and bagels. Models like the Cuisinart TOB-175BC (a ConsumerSearch Best Reviewed pick) can also be used to reheat leftovers, bake a frozen pizza, even roast a chicken. They're particularly useful in the summertime, when you don't want to heat up the kitchen by turning on the oven.
Is there anything a toaster oven can't do?
Recently, a reader emailed us, asking whether she could cook corn on the cob -- a summertime treat -- in her toaster oven. We turned to Linda Larsen, About.com's guide for busy cooks, for guidance. Her answer? Yes! Here's how to do it:
Husk the corn and remove the silk. Butter the corn ears and wrap them in foil. Place them in the toaster oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
If you don't have foil, you also can cook the corn in its husk. Pull the husks back from the ear -- but don't detach them -- and remove the silk. Next, butter the corn and smooth the husks back over the corn ears. Bake as above. The husks will protect the corn like the foil would.
Larsen prefers a more traditional method of cooking corn on the cob: boiling. She says, "I bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup milk (this keeps the kernels sweet and tender). Do not add salt, as it will make the corn tough. Add the husked corn and bring back to a boil.
"Then let the corn boil for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes and serve. The corn will be juicy and tender, and you can hold it in the hot water up to 1 hour."
If you're cooking for a family, using a toaster oven probably isn't your best option because you'll only be able to fit two or three ears at most. But if you're just cooking for yourself or for two -- and you don't want to heat up the kitchen by turning on the stove -- using your toaster oven is an option, Larsen says.