Dualit Mini Oven - Any Thoughts/Anyone Have One?
I saw this in the window of the hardware store around the corner (miraculously for the same price), and am contemplating getting it, since our $20 toaster is on its last legs.
My first question is - will this actually work as a toaster for bread? I've never actually had a toaster oven before. Also, it says that it has a defrost function, which sounds interesting to me, since I don't have a microwave - I'd be curious to know how well it works. Lastly, since I have a gas oven, I'm always burning things using the broiler on the bottom, and thought it might be useful for that as well. (Does it sound like I'm rationalizing here?)
Oh - and it also has a convection oven function, but I'm not sure what I'd use it for.
I have never used the Dualit model shown in that ad. I can say that these types of ovens generally are not optimized for making toast. If that would be your main use of the thing, I'd be sure I could return it before buying. The other functions may work very well, but they don't even mention toast on the Target website. Waring makes a similar tabletop oven at a similar price, but these don't mention toast either.
I've always found the Dualit toasters a triumph of pretense over function. For $300, you get a toaster that will likely last forever, but you need to stand over it, guess when it's done, and pop it up manually.
The moderately priced toasters are now disposable junk (vs my parents' 1940 Toastmaster that lasted about 25 years and the replacement self-lowering Sunbeam that also lasted for decades), but they do make decent toast with no fuss or bother.
I cannot help you with the Dualit Mini Oven, but I've just replaced my dead toaster oven (the ever-popular flaming DeLonghi!) with my first real toaster - the Dualit lite. No, I refused to spring for the Queen Elizabeth $300 version and spent significantly less for this model. So far, so good. We're getting used to each other but I must say that it makes fine toast.
After years and years of toaster ovens (from those first Black & Deckers in the 60s, through a Cuisinart and several others to the final DeLonghi) it will take me a while to get used to "fast toast". This baby cranks out toast in a fraction of the time the TOs took, +/-1 min VS 5-7mins. Need to re-learn my egg cookery timing for a simultaneous breakfast but that is a pretty small problem in the great scheme. If I were to to this again, I'd opt for the 4 slot instead of the 2; English muffins for two being problematic now. Other than that very minor complaint, this is a "Do Again".
FYI: I do have a microwave oven and rarely, if ever, use it for defrosting. I use the griddle top instead. I read a long scientific explanation of why defrosting on metal is quicker than on stone or other surfaces but the science went in my left ear and rapidly exited through the right. What I do know is that it works very well.
The demonic beast who designed your broiler-on-the-bottom must have been an orthopedic surgeon in his former life! Short of lying on the floor, how does one use this effectively? Methinks he's related to the fool who designed supermarket checkout stands where a toddler can reach and damage thousands of dollars worth of goods in the time it takes to unload one's groceries, but that is another post.......
Thanks! Can you explain more to about this defrosting on a griddle top?
I thought all gas ovens had broilers on the bottom - but yes, it is a true PITA, especially since it is also at small dog level - great when making my yogurt marinated chicken and you have to leave the broiler drawer "ajar". I ruined some beautiful and timing consuming canapes with foie gras on Thankgiving in that broiler.
Defrosting: The griddle is on my cooktop, in lieu of two burners. Putting wrapped frozen food on the metal is how I defrost. It won't be a quick as a microwave but it works well and is quite a bit faster and more even than just putting food on the counter or in the sink to defrost at room temp.
Robert Wolke, author of WHAT EINSTEIN TOLD HIS COOK explains it this way:
"...metals are the champion heat conductors of all substances, because they have zillions of loose electrons that can transfer energy even better than clashing molecules can. The metal pan (he recommends using a heavy cast iron skillet, the heavier the better) will conduct the room's heat very efficiently into the frozen food, thawing it in record time...."
I still do not pretend to understand how this works but I've been doing it for years and can attest to the efficacy. The more contact the frozen food has with the metal the better so a flat steak will defrost more quickly than a Cornish hen.
When I've been in kitchens other than my own I do use a heavy skillet when there is nothing else available. Try this and see how you like the system.