Food Processor or Good Toaster Oven?
My daughter has a birthday coming soon and has expressed the desire for either a nice toaster oven (has an ancient and crappy hand me down) or a food processor (currently has a mini chopper). Any advice on which to get her? And, if a food processor, what's a reasonably priced decent if not great one to select? Thanks in advance for your advice.
I have the Breville Toaster oven (800XL model) the larger one, and it is fantastic. Literally as good as a regular oven. Great for roasting chicken, heating appetizers and pizza. Got it as Beth Bath & Beyond with the 20% off coupon.
As for a reasonably priced food processors, the Cuisinart always gets high marks.
As for which your daughter would prefer...
If she has a small kitchen and primarily cooks for one, go with the Breville convection 800XL. It is the BEST kitchen appliance I ever purchased. Whenever I move into a house, I'll but a second one.
It works perfectly and doesn't require the same amount of energy or disperse the heat as a traditional oven. I bake more than I ever had.
Make your choice based on how your daughter cooks. If she does more prep with meals - food processor. If she does more straight cooking/toasting - oven. Without details, I'd suggest the food processor if she's an adventurous cook. It's also less likely to be duplicated by anything else already in the kitchen.
Hamilton Beach Big Mouth is a good first food processor and should be around $75. It'll be fine for a while. If you want one that last though, there's no ducking the Cuisinart 14-cup models. I've had a Cuisinart for almost 20 years, and it's still going strong. In that same time, I've gotten other value models as gifts, but none has ever lasted more than 2-3 years. Cuisinarts are always on sale somewhere though so don't let the initial MSRP scare you. 20-50% discounts can be found if you're not in a rush.
I'm a "tool guy".
So yes and yes.
You need both.
One before the other?
If no cooking skills, toaster oven first.
If cooking skillz (lolz), then food processor first.
Toaster oven is a necessary convenience but a damn good one if not doing big prep chef/meals at home cooking for a big family.
Not only do I have a toaster oven but I have a "back up" unit.
Once I get into NASA "triple redundancy" then do I know that I've totally lost it,.
I have no idea why anyone would need a fancy toaster oven. I have a cheap one that I use to toast nuts, coconut flakes, Eggos, and Thomas Muffins. I wouldn't use it for anything else. Roast a chicken? Uhhh...that's what a real oven is for. Cooking a pizza? Again, have folks forgotten most kitchens have this thing called an oven?
I know some folks have no need for a food processor, but it is easily one of my most used kitchen gadgets. I do a LOT of Indian cooking and it is indispensable in whipping up curries. I also do a lot of grilling and I frequently use it for marinades and barbecue sauces. That said, I also have a cheap mini-chopper that gets pulled out quite a bit for smaller jobs.
I've had a KitchenAid 9 cup model that I bought back in 2001 for (I think) around $200 and it still works as good as the day I bought it, which also makes it one of the most durable things I've ever bought.
re: The Big Crunch
Here is why the better toaster ovens are nice: it's smaller, it preheats faster and cooks faster, it actually cooks and bakes evenly ( unlike the cheap one I had for years), it doesn't heat up my kitchen like my full sized oven does. Since I only have one oven in my current house it allows me more flexibility when I need to bake things at different temps at the same time. I've baked bread, cake, dinner rolls, tea cakes, pizza in it. If I'm only cooking for myself, I have cooked chicken pieces in it.
I guess I can understand the need for a high-end toaster oven if you frequently bake multiple items at a time. I don't bake much, so I rarely am cooking bread, cakes, pizza, and dinner rolls at once. I'd say I use my stovetop for probably 90% of what I cook. I've lived in half a dozen apartments and rental houses over the last ten years and all the ovens baked evenly enough for me, but then again, I am not a demanding baker. I do find the uneven cooking in my cheap toaster oven annoying, but since it basicaly only affects my toasting of Thomas Muffins a couple of times a week, it's a minor inconvenience. If I did a LOT of cakes and breads, I suppose I may notice the difference. As for preheating, I don't see why faster is all that important. Our oven preheats in about ten minutes, it just means I need to plan an extra ten minutes into whatever I'm cooking.
One other thing to note is the issue of space. How old is your daughter? Might she move into a place with a small kitchen at some point? If so, she'll be hard pressed to fit a giant, high-end toaster oven into a small apartment kitchen where counter space is often very, very limited.
Agree. I have the large Breville Smart Oven and use it far more often than I use the oven in my range, for all the reasons you mentioned, but most especially because it doesn't heat up my entire kitchen.
Countertop ovens like the Breville will do most anything a built-in will do. They're not just for toast and pizza. I bake fish and chicken, broil garlic bread, you name it, it does it well.