Inside: Discover the best toaster oven pans for creating dishes so delicious no one will believe you cooked them in a tiny toaster oven!
(This page was updated 3-9-2017 and contains affiliate links)
Hey, Friend! I’m Brie, one of the cooks at this toaster oven lovin’ website.
Our goal here is to help you enjoy your little oven and feel confident cooking more than toast!
If you’ve just purchased a toaster oven you may be wondering “What do I need to cook with it? Are there things I shouldn’t put in a toaster oven?”
To make things easier and answer all of your questions, we’ve put together a list of the best cook-better-tasting-food essentials for your toaster oven.
3 TOASTER OVEN ESSENTIALS
Not counting ingredients, there are only 3 essential things you need to cook with any toaster oven:
We want you to enjoy your toaster oven safely so the first thing to do is to read your toaster oven’s manual and follow it’s directions and recommendations.
Missing the manual?
No worries, most major manufacturers offer appliance manuals as free PDF’s on their company websites. Just Google your toaster oven’s manufacturer name and the model number.
Example: Oster Toaster Oven Model TSSTTVCG02 Manual
If you still can’t find yours send me an email: toasterovenlove[at]gmail[dot]com including the manufacturer and style of your toaster oven and I’ll help you hunt it down, promise.
2. OVEN THERMOMETER
All ovens (big and small) can have unreliable temperature settings. The best way to combat a fussy toaster oven is with an inexpensive thermometer.
We paid $7 on Amazon for ours. Look for thermometers that have a steady base and/or the ability to hang.
Check out our Toaster Oven Temperature Guide for step-by-step directions on using a thermometer to find out how accurate your little oven is.
3. A BAKING PAN
Most toaster ovens come with at least one baking sheet or roasting pan. Sometimes that pan and a few reliable recipes are all you need to cook something delicious.
FULL-TIME TOASTER OVEN COOKING
If you want to use your toaster oven for way more than warming leftovers and cooking Pizza Bagels you’ll eventually need to add an extra pan or accessory to your arsenal.
Below are all of the toaster oven pans that we use along with tasty recipe recommendations.
Where Can You Purchase These Pans?
Many of them can be found at your local department and home goods stores. If you’d like to purchase them online at Amazon there are orange affiliate links included for many of the pans and accessories.
8 x 8 BAKING PAN
If you can have only 1 additional pan for your toaster oven make it an 8 x 8 baking pan. It’s a great all-purpose pan that can be used for any recipe, from casseroles to brownies.
What about casserole dishes and glass pyrex?
Those are a little trickier, check out our post for 4 Surprising Things You Should Never Use In A Toaster Oven for more information.
SMALL(ER) SHEET PAN
If you already have an 8 x 8 pan, a sheet pan should be next on your list.
With a thick and durable sheet pan, you can bake cookies, roast vegetables, make crispy Buffalo Broccoli and Cauliflower Bites and with the help of an oven-safe baking rack cook an Ultimate Toaster Oven Baked Potato!
What To Look For In A Toaster Oven Sheet Pan:
- Maximum Surface Area – get the largest pan that will fit in your toaster oven (make sure to measure the interior first!)
- Heavy Gauge Metal – thinner pans tend to warp at higher temperatures and cause the bottoms of delicate items likes biscuits and cookies to burn.
If your toaster oven is large enough to fit a quarter sheet pan (like the Breville Smart Oven Pro), we highly recommend the Quarter Sheet Pan from Nordic Ware (loved it so much we bought a second one) and an oven-safe baking rack for making those aforementioned crispy skinned – super fluffy baked potatoes.
TOASTER OVEN BAKING PAN SETS
If you don’t own any small pans a toaster oven baking set is a great starting place.
Most sets include at least one tiny baking sheet, baking pan and then some accessory like a baking/roasting rack, muffin tin or pizza pan. Unfortunately, their sizes and quality vary greatly.
CHICAGO METALLIC TOASTER OVEN SET
The Chicago Metallic Non-Stick 4-Piece Toaster Oven Set was our first toaster oven pan purchase years ago and we still regularly use the muffin tin and cookie sheet/baking rack combo.
Set Includes: one 9-1/2 by 6-1/4-inch cookie sheet pan | one 9-1/4 by 6-inch rack |one 11 by 7-inch roast/cake pan | one 6-cup muffin tin
15 Second Review: A pretty handy set that succeeds in most areas.
Best Piece: The rack! It’s fantastic for cooling a small batch of Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies and keeping Baked Sweet Potatoes from getting soggy. The rack is also designed for use in both the baking pan and cookie sheet.
Worst Piece: The cookie sheet. It’s too small to use a toaster oven silpat with and the light-weight metal causes it to warp at any temperature.
Its shape does return to normal after cooling and when used with the rack it will stay weighted down and warp less.
Would We Buy Again? Yep, we would gladly pay the low purchase price just for the cake pan, muffin tin and rack so even with the lackluster cookie sheet we consider it a good value.
FARBERWARE TOASTER OVEN SET
We bought the Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 4-Piece Toaster Oven Set specifically for the non-stick cookie sheets that were just slightly larger than the one included in the Chicago Metallic set above.
Set Includes: one 7-inch pizza pan | one 10-inch x 7-inch cake pan | Two 10-inch x 7-inch cookie sheet pans
15 Second Review: A heavy-duty pan set that could use a few extra pieces.
Best Piece: Originally we were torn between the cake pan and the pizza pan because both are made of a heavy-duty metal that performs well at higher temperatures.
Worst Piece: It’s the cookie sheets again! Sometimes they warp, sometimes they don’t. It would be nice if the set included a rack or muffin tin instead of two cookie sheets since you can only use them one at a time in a small toaster oven.
Double Up Tip: If you have this set, try doubling up the cookie sheets. We’ve had good success making our Toaster Oven Veggie Nachos without any warping by stacking one full pan on top of the other empty pan.
Would We Buy Again? Yes, but with the hopes they’re working to improve the cookie sheets so they consistently perform without warping at higher temperatures.
WHY SILPATS ARE A BAKER’S BEST FRIEND
Second to a quality baking pan, a Toaster Oven Silpat will help you bake the best tasting cookies and pastries.
4 Great Things About Toaster Oven Silpats:
- They’re completely non-stick meaning you won’t have to oil or grease your cookie sheet.
- They’re a perfect alternative to using parchment paper*
- Depending on the brand, toaster oven silpats can withstand temperatures up to 480° Fahrenheit.
- You can wash and reuse a silpat repeatedly so they’re also environmentally-friendly.
*An awesome reader named Paula pointed out that her parchment’s box stated it should not be used in a toaster oven. Sure enough, ours did too. So we no longer recommend using parchment paper.
3 Not So Great Things About Toaster Oven Silpats:
- Most are too large for smaller toaster ovens and too big for the cookie sheets in toaster oven pan sets.
- They can retain oil and stronger odors like onions and garlic.
- Some reviews complain of the rubber edges degrading over time.
JUST FOR FUN TOASTER OVEN PANS
a. 6-Cavity Wilton Donut Pan (12.7 x 8.2 x 1 inches), 12-Cavity Wilton Mini Donut Pan (10.4 x 7.8 x 0.8 inches)
b. Traditional and Mini Loaf Pans
c. 6 x 2 Inch Round Cake Pan, 8-inch or 9-inch Cake Pan
d. 6-Cup Muffin Pan, 12-Cup Mini Muffin Pan, Silicone Baking Cups
MINI PAN SETS
Wilton also makes a 4-inch round mini cake pan set.
CAST IRON SKILLET CARE
Even mini skillets require a little extra attention. To make sure your skillet is always rust-free and ready for any recipe check out this great tutorial on how to care for cast iron from Rachel at the Country Contessa.
TOASTER OVEN COOKBOOKS
If you’re looking for a bunch of recipes sized for your toaster oven there are a few toaster oven cookbooks available. Our library didn’t have any toaster oven cookbooks so we purchased the two below from Amazon as used copies for less than $10 each.
Boasting over 250 recipes, Pop It In The Toaster Oven By Lois Dewitt has to be the most comprehensive toaster oven cookbook available.
Meat-eaters will appreciate the chapters dedicated to Poultry, Meat, Fish and Seafood while there’s still plenty for Vegetarians to enjoy with chapters on Pizza, Vegetables, Grains, Breads and Fruits.
The recipe sizing appears spot on and I’m excited to try her method for cooking eggs using the “toast setting.”
Not-So-Great: Unfortunately, there are no pictures and all of the recipes/ingredients have a strong low-fat aspect (ie. margarine). With a little tweaking though, I think most will taste great since it’s way easier to make a “healthy” recipe more indulgent than the other way around.
The Gourmet Toaster Oven By Lynn Alley is full of beautiful pictures for many (but not all) of the recipes. Almost all of the recipes have 10 ingredients or less with easy to follow directions and were tested using a convection toaster oven.
The author has included useful notes in the recipe headers for recommended bakeware/brands and reheating suggestions.
Not-So-Great: You might be a little disappointed by the amount of recipes (less than 60) and lack of variety. While there are a few basics like pizza dough and pie crust most live up to the “gourmet” title including wine pairing suggestions.
BASIC SKILLS COOKBOOKS
Neither of the toaster oven cookbooks above address basic kitchen skills or give guidance on experimenting with a recipe’s size or ingredients. These books do and you can probably find them at your library for free!
America’s Test Kitchen Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook is perfect for anyone new to the kitchen. It’s full of simple and reliable small-batch recipes along with step-by-step photos for basic kitchen techniques like how to hold a knife or mince garlic.
Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone should be called the Vegetable Encyclopedia. With a variety of ways to prepare any vegetable from A to Z you’ll have no excuse to not eat your veggies!
How To Bake Everything author Mark Bittman wants to “help you learn which rules you really must follow and which you can bend or break.” (I got this for Christmas and it’s already covered in flour)
Keys To Good Cooking – A Guide To Making The Best of Foods And Recipes by Harold McGee explains the science of cooking (The Why) in simple terms that anyone looking to experiment with creating small-batch toaster oven recipes will find useful.
Well friend, we’ve covered the toaster oven essentials (and then some) so now I gotta ask…are you ready to make more than toast?
Ooh, think I heard a YES!
You can find all of our 100% Toaster Oven Tested Recipes here.
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If you’ve got a question about our toaster oven essentials or just want to tell me one I forgot 🙂 shoot me an email or leave a note in the comments below.
Until next time…Bake on!