Cooking steak in a toaster oven may sound strange at first. Can cooking meat really be that easy? The short answer: yes. Learn the basics and safety precautions of cooking meat, follow a few simple steps and enjoy!
Food Safety Tips
Before you get started cooking meat in a toaster oven, there are a few safety tips you should keep in mind. According to Partnership for Food Safety Education, it's important to use the appliance recommended on the food package. The instructions may indicate cooking the food in a microwave, toaster oven, conventional oven or any of the above.
It's also important to have a meat thermometer handy to make sure internal temperatures are high enough and safe to eat. Use the meat thermometer in several areas to test the meat. Another article from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services on the minimum internal temperature at which meat should be cooked, lays out food heating guidelines.
For example, when roasting meat, the temperature should be no lower than 325 degrees Fahrenheit — that includes lamb, beef and veal. A whole tenderloin roast should be cooked at 425 degrees F. Different types of meat should also be cooked at varying times. A beef rib roast, for instance, should be cooked for 23 to 25 minutes per pound, while a veal loin should be cooked for 20 to 30 minutes per pound.
The USDA has some helpful tips when it comes to proper meat storage. Cook or freeze ground meat within two days and beef, veal, lamb or pork within three to five days. When stored, meat should be wrapped securely, so as not to get into other food.
Read more: Is Pork Better Than Beef?
How to Cook Meat in a Toaster Oven
Cooking meat in a toaster oven is made as simple as can be in this pork tenderloin recipe from Seattle City Light.
1. Season your meat: rub the meat with a mixture of olive oil, salt, rosemary, dried thyme and salt.
2. Place the meat in the toaster oven: Do this carefully, and you may want to place a tray underneath the meat, so that it doesn't trip onto the toaster oven. Also, try to place the pork lower, so that it doesn't touch the top of the toaster oven.
3. Heat: Heat for about 15 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Reduce heat: Reduce to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and heat for 20 to 30 minutes.
5. Use a meat thermometer: Make sure to test the temperature of the steak. It should be at about 145 degrees Fahrenheit before consuming.
6. Allow pork to sit: Wait 5 minutes before serving.
Toaster Oven Recipes
Seattle City Light suggests a few more recipes that can be made in the toaster oven that will save energy. The toaster oven generally uses .95 kilowatts in 50 minutes as opposed to the oven, which uses 2 kilowatts in one hour.
One toaster oven recipe suggested by Seattle City Light is a scallops recipe. The scallops should be washed, then seasoned with melted butter, breadcrumbs, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper. The toaster oven should be preheated a temperature of 425 degrees F for 2 to 3 minutes. Bake until scallops are opaque on top, or for about 8 minutes.
Other toaster oven recipes suggested by Seattle City Lights are a fruit crumble recipe, which requires 40 minutes in the toaster oven, and a Greek apple cake, which take 50 minutes to bake.