Toaster ovens are used in most modern kitchens majorly to make toast and other uncomplicated food.
They are kitchen appliances that serve as miniature ovens powered by electricity. And as miniature ovens, there’s so much more that a small toaster oven can accomplish.
Despite their small size, they can bake cakes and cookies, cook veggies as well as burgers and so much more.
But, cooking chicken in a toaster oven is what makes potential buyers of toaster ovens a little skeptical.
“Can toaster oven cook chicken?” is a fairly common question for potential buyers. If so, how? Is there a special way of doing it?
Here in this article we will answer these question to your satisfaction.
So Can Toaster Oven Cook Chicken?
Yes! You can cook chicken in your toaster oven. Since toaster ovens are basically miniature ovens, you should certainly be able to cook chicken in them.
As far as the recipe is concerned there is not much difference between a toaster oven chicken recipe compared to that of a regular oven.
You may have to slightly tweak the temperature and time depending upon the toaster oven you posses.
Plus there are dedicated recipes designed especially to cook chicken in a toaster oven.
Dedicated Rotisserie Toaster Ovens
Generally toasters ovens are quite small. However, you can most certainly get larger toaster ovens that too with a Rotisserie cooking mechanism.
These are especially designed toaster ovens that can work perfectly for cooking your chicken evenly from all sides.
Besides that, most of the larger toaster ovens that can house a whole chicken also have the Convection feature.
Convection feature basically incorporates a fan that helps in circulating the warm air inside the cooking chamber in all direction. As such, it cooks the food consistently.
Also Read: What is a Convection Toaster Oven?
Is it Easy to Cook Chicken in a Toaster Oven?
Cooking chicken in a toaster oven is quite easy. All it takes is to choose what recipe to use.
When spiced well, you get your chicken ready in less than an hour. One of the confines of cooking chicken in a toaster oven is the number of servings you serve at a time.
If you are trying to make a big meal with more than 2-3 servings, you will need to prepare it in batches.
Also Read: Best Toasters Ovens for Broiling
How to Cook Chicken in a Toaster Oven
Chicken, no matter how it is cooked whether baked, grilled, roasted or barbecued, is simply delicious.
But no matter what recipe you choose, or the size of the chicken (whole or in parts) you decide to cook, you have to remember that in a toaster oven, supervision matters.
Although the steps on how to cook chicken in a toaster oven varies from recipe to recipe, we have outline the following general steps that can help.
Step 1: Marinate Or Brine
This step is extremely important and should not be skipped. It takes about 30 minutes.
This time can be shortened or lengthened based on the user’s discretion or the recipe.
Some may wonder, what should I soak my chicken in? depending on your recipe, you may soak your chicken in buttermilk or any kind of dressing that pleases you.
As far as cooking in toaster oven is concerned, the type of marination should not matter much. Toaster oven is designed to handle most type of marination methods.
Generally, after marinating with buttermilk, for example, cover your chicken with dressing and allow it to refrigerate for a while before cooking.
All this helps to keep your chicken moist and prevent that dryness that some cooked chicken could have.
The brining of your chicken follows a slightly different pattern from marinating.
First, be sure that your chicken is not pre-brined if you bought it in a store.
To brine your chicken, all you need do is to soak your chicken in lukewarm saltwater for about 15 minutes or refrigerate the brined chicken for about 6 hours before cooking.
When you are ready to cook it, you rinse the chicken and dry it with paper towels.
Brining is different from marinating because when you brine your chicken, you still have to go through the process of buttering it.
The next step is to brush your chicken with melted butter on both sides to prevent it from sticking to the pan. After this, you can add your season.
Step 2: Preheat
Always preheat your toaster oven before placing any food to cook.
Preheat your toaster oven to a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Press the “Bake” function on your control panel.
Step 4: Cook
Depending on what type of cooking you are going for, toaster oven chicken should be done between 30-45 minutes on normal heat.
But for those who prefer cooking their chicken on high heat, it should take 15-20 minutes to cook at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Be advised that you need to keep watch and check on your chicken often even after setting the time.
You can also keep basting with butter or olive oil at intervals while cooking. This would keep it from drying.
If you are not sure when your chicken is cooked, check with a meat thermometer.
According to the FDA, well-cooked meat has an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 5: Allow to Rest
When your chicken is cooked, don’t be too over eager to dig into your chicken. It needs to rest for about 5 to 10 minutes, preferably, slightly covered.
During this time, the delicious juices are locked in your chicken, giving you a tender, juicy and, most especially, delicious chicken.
Pros and Cons of Cooking Chicken in a Toaster Oven
Some will ask, is it preferable to cook chicken in a toaster oven? Will it even come out well? Is toaster oven better at cooking chicken than a conventional oven?
All these questions will be answered in the advantages and advantages of cooking chicken in a toaster oven below.
Also Read: Toaster Ovens vs Regular Ovens
Flexible for Small Portions
If you are in the mood to cook chicken for two (or one), toaster ovens are your go-to.
They are portable which means they have smaller volumes that allow heat to circulate faster compared to any conventional oven.
As such, you should be able to quickly cook a small batch of chicken.
It sounds lazy but bending to check the progress of my food in a regular oven can just be plain stressful.
Many would rather go for a countertop oven which they can check comfortably.
Also Read: Where to Put Toaster Oven in Small Kitchen?
This is a key reason why toaster ovens are a good choice for cooking chicken. It has a fraction of the power rating of a normal oven and thus it also saves on energy bills.
Easy to Clean
Chicken, whether baked, grilled or roasted can splatter grease and stains in an oven when being cooked.
The cleaning process can thus become quite tedious. Fortunately, it is far easier to clean a toaster oven as compared to a large full fledged cooking-range oven.
This is the major reason why cooking chicken in your toaster oven is better any day.
Some toaster ovens known as convection toaster ovens have a built-in fan that helps in blowing hot air.
This allows for even distribution of heat which makes food cook more evenly.
Also as mentioned earlier, some toaster ovens even offer the rotisserie cooking mechanism which further helps in evenly cooking whole chicken.
While portability of a small toaster oven is its plus point, the size is a double edged sword.
A small toaster oven is a drawback, especially when cooking meals for a big family. It can be a pain to wait for a batch to cook before putting another.
To get a well-cooked, delicious chicken in a toaster oven especially, in a convection toaster oven, you need to tweak your recipe a little.
If you have recently started using a toaster oven, then the temperature and time it takes to cook a certain meal can be different as compared to a normal oven.
The temperatures in recipes are usually tuned for cooking in a regular oven.
Therefore, you will need to work on tweaking your personal or online recipes so that they suit the toaster oven. You will constantly need to keep a watchful eye at least until you become comfortable with the settings.
So the answer to the question “Can toaster oven cook chicken” is a resounding yes. While the name “Toaster Oven” can mislead you to think that these appliances are built only for “toasts”, that is far from the truth.
Essentially anything that can be cooked in a normal oven can be cooked in a toaster oven, albeit with smaller portion sizes and different temperature setting and cooking cycle.