Toaster ovens are possibly the most popular small cooking appliance in the world. That is because it fits anywhere, does a lot of things and costs very little. You can cook almost anything in a toaster oven, and they use very little power.
Deciding what to use for spillage protection in a in a toaster oven can be a problem, because there is more difference than just size. Your normal casserole dish will not fit in a small toaster oven, and even if it does, you usually can’t use the lid. So, what do you use when you need a food covering?
Can you use aluminum foil, and wax paper in your toaster oven? If yes, how to use them safely?
Let's discuss about using aluminum foil in toaster oven first!
Can you put aluminum foil in a toaster oven?
Yes, you can put aluminum foil in your toaster oven and it's safe. However, you need to be very careful when using it with high temperature.
What is aluminum foil and how and why is it used?
Aluminum foil is a thin sheet of pliable aluminum, the same stuff soda cans are made of. It is useful for keeping in heat and moisture when you are cooking, for shielding parts that might burn, such as the tips of Turkey wings and the high part of the breastbone.
It is easy so seal and you can poke holes in it to let some steam out. It is non-stick, easy to use and fireproof. However, it is not cheap. (If mine is not messy from the food, I often fold it carefully and stow it for a second use in a Ziploc bag.)
Precautions about using aluminum foil in a toaster oven:
- Precautions for using aluminum foil in a toaster oven are simple and logical. A toaster oven has a radiant heating element that gets very hot. You should take care to keep the foil from making direct contact with the heating element.
- It is not that the foil might burn, but more that it could cause a short in your heating element. The foil retains heat, and so might cause the element to overheat.
- It could even catch fire if the heat is very high or if you have covered the entire heating element, but that is quite rare and would not be likely to spread to your kitchen, since toaster ovens are metal.
- Aluminum foil is not hazardous at in any way, but any kind of metal staying in contact with a hot heating element could cause it to burn out. It is also not good to cover the bottom of the toaster oven or the crumb tray, as this does trap the heat and will definitely cause problems.
- The biggest mistake people may make is to take the dish out of the oven without using oven mitts or a silicone glove. The foil is not hot, as it cools very quickly, but the food and the steam coming off it is very hot.
- Some other considerations to make your cooking better include how to make different kinds of seals with aluminum foil. Be sure that your foil does not touch the toaster oven walls.
How to Seal Aluminum foil packet Before Putting In A Toaster Oven:
Here are some different ways to seal your foil packet and why.
1. Make a very tight seal if you want a steaming effect. How you make it depends entirely upon the size and shape of your food and the container. You can use the foil as an actual dis if needed. This is especially good if your oven is small and you cannot find a fireproof container to fit.
2. If you have the food in a dish and just want it to steam you can fold the aluminum foil completely around the top of your dish.
3. If it is a rather delicate food that does not have a lot of water content you can make a little package as with parchment “en papayote” I have done with to make bread or muffins on a campfire.
You take a rectangular piece of foil and put your food in the middle, perhaps a nice fish fillet or thinly sliced herbed vegetables with a bit of butter, Then fold the long side together like tent, and roll the length of the rectangular foil folding the edged down but leaving a bit of room for steaming inside. Roll the short ends in the same way and press to seal.
If you want some steam to escape you can poke a few small holes in the top with a toothpick or icepick (should you actually own one of these heirlooms) Be sure to cook with the open side up or you could lose all that lovely juice.
4. For baking small loaves or cupcakes you can just make a little pan the right size by folding and shaping.
5. Fort something like pita, pizza or other flat breads, just line your little oven rack with the foil. One great way to make cheese tweel is to roll thin strips of cheese into coils and then create a nice design like a snowflake or a mandala.
Watch you oven carefully as these cook, because it is mere seconds between lovely tweel and ash. The same rule goes for things like tiny meatballs, sliders or wings. You do not want them to burn or turn into charcoal.
Can you put wax paper in a toaster oven?
Wax paper is grease proof and moisture proof paper that is covered with wax on one or both sides. It is not a good choice to use in a toaster oven due to the possible fire hazard. The wax melts at about 200° (about 93° Celsius) or so.
So, about the only time you may want wax paper in your toaster oven is just to cover food on “keep warm” or resting in the warm oven turned off.
In a regular oven many people use paper cupcake liners or cut circles for the bottom of cake pans, and this works fine as the batter is liquid and there is not direct contact with the heating element.
However, the hazards of fire are a bit higher in a small toaster oven as it simply has less room to breathe. Anyway, the wax likely gets into the food, though this should not be a health problem. Children eat crayons all the time.
What is safe to put in a toaster oven?
Any dish or pot that is safe in a regular oven is safe in a toaster oven as long as there is breathing space around it, at least an inch or two on all sides.
- This includes heat proof ceramics, fire king dishes, Pyrex and other bakeware is safe also
- The roasting pots and pans you use made of aluminum, stainless steel or cast iron are also fine.
- Don’t use mixing or serving bowls, as these my well crack or break in such high heat.
- Wax paper is not great in a toaster oven, but aluminum foil, foil bags, parchment paper and any heatproof silicon mats or dishes are safe.
- You can even use banana, corn husks or grape leaves in your oven if they are thoroughly presoaked. They might char a bit, but are safe as log as you leave space around them. Don’t ever put these in the crumb tray. Also you should put these on a metal or glass tray in case there is a little leakage or a split in the leaves.
Q1: Can I use foil paper in a convection toaster oven?
Yes, anything that is safe in a toaster oven is also safe in a convection oven. However, if you have combination toaster-convection and microwave, be sure not to use metal in the microwave, as metal with damage your magnetron.