Do You Use a Toaster Oven?
My husband grew up with one... I didn't.
He would like one... I don't get the point.
If I want to brown something, melt cheese, etc., I'll just use the broiler in the oven. For toast and bagels, I'll use the toaster.
Even though I also grew up with a toaster oven and depended on it for a long time (my mother hates microwaves, so I'd reheat leftovers on the stove or in the toaster oven), I say it's redundant. And especially since kitchen countertop space is at a premium.
Yes, we use a toaster oven often. It's the only appliance we have on the counter of our small kitchen. We use it for toasting bread, reheating leftovers, baking small batches. It seems more efficient to me to use it for smaller items rather than heating up the big gas oven.
Our primary residence is a small apartment with window-mounted airconditioning and the kitchen doesn't have any a/c. Turning on the gas oven to bake or broil heats up the whole place. If I had the counter space, I'd have both a 4-slice toaster and a toaster oven but, since I only have room for one, I've opted for the toaster oven, since it's multi-use. I've pretty much ended up using my NYC oven for storage space. In our vacation home with central a/c, we have double electric wall ovens, so we bought a 4-slice toaster and left it at that.
My favorite use for a toaster oven is to make something I haven't had since I was a child: cinnamon toast. My mom would first toast the bread lightly, then spread it with butter, sprinkle one side generously with cinnamon sugar and put it back in the toaster oven until the butter melted and the sugar bubbled up. Sorry, but you can't do that in a toaster.
I hate mine and I'm trying to get the wife to replace it with a toaster. I find it worthless for toasting or browning anything, the only thing it helped with was saving space as we mounted it under the cabinets.
I grew up with one, I think because my parents didn't believe in using the oven for anything other than making a complete meal. So, my brother and I used it a lot, but we lived in the suburbs and had lots of counter space. (It was the 70's, before all the countertop appliances came on the scene. I think Mom had a Mixmaster and a blender, other than the toaster oven?)
I wouldn't bother now. I don't have extra counter space for it, and my wall mounted oven doesn't heat up the kitchen too badly in summer. I think if you have the counter space, why not indulge your sweetie, though. You might find it handy, who knows? If you don't really have room, though, and the oven's broiler works fine and is at a practical height, he has no need.