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Toaster oven maintenance tips

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If you’re like many busy people these days, you may do a great deal of your cooking in a toaster oven. Even those with large families have learned the wonderful convenience offered by these indispensable kitchen appliances.

When everyone’s schedule is running on a different track, a sit-down meal simply isn’t in the cards. But this convenience, especially for those in a hurry to eat and run to work or other appointments can mean a little mess.

Not to worry, this toaster oven review article will offer some helpful tips and tricks for keeping your kitchen’s new best friend shining and clean.

Step 1: Clean up that Crummy Crumb Tray

These are no one’s favorite thing to keep empty and clean, but if you allow yours to accumulate, it can make cleaning difficult and cooking can take on some extra hazards.

The best toaster oven will have a crumb tray that is easy to access, usually front-loading, so there’s no need to go blindly groping behind the oven for it.

You can usually pick out these models by reading online toaster oven reviews.

Holding the tray over a trashcan or bag, gently tap the contents into your receptacle. Then, if there are any crumbs that simply refuse to be emptied, wipe them out with a damp paper towel.

This is a good routine maintenance trick that will keep your crumb tray free of fire hazards. It will also keep your food tasting like it should, without that “genuine smoked flavor” of burning things.

For more aggressive cleaning needs, get out the soap and water. Wash the tray and thoroughly dry it. This shouldn’t be necessary unless you’ve had a bit of a kitchen catastrophe or just let the crumbs accumulate for too long.

Step 2: Remove the Greases with Baking Soda

This tip can also be used for conventional oven cleaning, in place of harsh cleansers or “self-cleaning” functions that don’t always function.

If you’ve got some baked-on greasy spots in your toaster oven, this is a simple way to clean them with something that’s likely in your cupboard right now, because the only thing better than an effective technique is one that doesn’t cost anything.

To cleanse most toaster ovens, simply follow this easy process. First, make a thick paste out of baking soda and water. It should be about the consistency of toothpaste — so not too thick and not runny.

Then, after your oven has fully cooled, unplug it for additional safety and, using a spoon or even your fingers, apply a generous amount to the trouble spots.

With a damp cloth, very gently rub the baking soda over the area you need to clean. This is good for baked on drip spots. When you’ve completed this step, with a fresh, wet cloth, wipe the excess from the surface you’ve just cleaned.

Step 3: Remove Spots with Vinegar

If your cleaning needs are a bit milder or they’re in a tight spot, don’t worry! Vinegar is here to save your day. You might want to invest in an all-purpose spray bottle, just to make this one that much easier.

Trust me, it will come in handy. With some plain white vinegar—don’t bother with the “cleaning” vinegar, it’s the same stuff with a different label—in a spray bottle, spritz out the interior of your toaster oven.

This is great for just around the base of the heating elements. If needed, you can then wipe out the residue with a damp cloth or paper towel.

It is that Easy!

Keeping your toaster oven clean and shining isn’t difficult at all. Just keep after it!

Remember, the best toaster oven will have a front-loading or easy to get to crumb tray. Refer to our toaster oven reviews to find the best oven that will suit your space and your needs. And more importantly, choose ones that are easy to clean.

Image credit: Chris Yarzab