Do You Need to Preheat a Toaster Oven? – (Must Read)

Considering the name, many people think about “Toast” when asked about toaster ovens. But as time progresses, so do your kitchen appliances. A toaster oven can be used today for baking, roasting, broiling many recipes and, in many cases, are better than traditional ovens! It also preheats impressively fast and uses much less electricity.

When offered such benefits, a toaster oven may be your next kitchen appliance upgrade. We often become confused about how to use a specific oven. For example, do you need to preheat a toaster oven? Or how to preheat a toaster oven?


Set the temperature dial to the required preheating temperature. Then close the oven door to avoid letting air escape, and leaving it for 20 minutes should generally do the job. But if you want to know how and when preheating a toaster oven will give you the best results, keep reading this article!

Do You Need to Preheat a Toaster Oven?

It is not necessary to preheat a toaster oven, but it is highly recommended. It is so that the oven heats up to an ideal temperature so it can start cooking immediately.

Foods begin to cook when it is in the right temperature, and it also cooks it faster. When the oven is not preheated, the food eventually gets hot enough to cook, but it takes a while. Hence, it is better to preheat the oven to start cooking right away.

In many foods and recipes, cooking without preheating will make the food taste average. Preheating also ensures that the food is cooked evenly.

What Happens If I put My Food During the Preheating Process?

The result usually depends on what type of food you are cooking. Preheating the oven before putting in the food is only needed when the food requires a certain heat level to start cooking.

So, what would happen to different types of food if you put it in the middle of preheating? We have got the answer for you:

  • Vegetables

Putting vegetables while preheating the oven will cook it just fine. However, cooking vegetables in an already preheated oven will bring out the best flavor. If you want to cook fast, then putting it during preheating is fine, but it is recommended to use a preheated oven.

  • Egg dishes:

Preheated ovens are necessary for egg dishes. The reason for this is there would be no “fluffiness” to the egg dishes.

  • Bread

To make the best bread, you need a preheated toaster oven. Quick exposure to heat helps the yeast’s rising process.

  • Meats:

It does not make a difference if you put any meat items in the oven during or after preheating. As it will need a long time to prepare, the difference in the initial starting temperature does not matter a lot.

  • Pastries

Pastries need to be placed in ovens at the exact required temperatures. It needs the initial wave of heat to help cook it evenly. When the temperature is lower than required during preheating, pastries like biscuits will come out burned on one side and gooey on another, ruining the whole thing.

Foods that need a preheated toaster oven?

Lots of foods and recipes need a preheated toaster oven. If you are making something from scratch, then it almost always requires a toaster oven. However, a preheated oven is not necessary to heat up pre-cooked foods. Here’s a list of foods that may require you to use a preheated oven:

  • Egg dishes
  • Bread
  • Breakfast toast
  • Sandwiches
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Baked potatoes
  • Ribs

How Long do you preheat a toaster oven for?

Compared to a traditional wall oven, Toaster ovens have tiny spaces, which means it needs much less heat to warm up! (This saves a lot of energy).

So, preheating is a short and quick process. Of course, how long you need to preheat depends on the food you are trying to prepare but keep in mind that it will preheat very fast compared to traditional ovens, and you need to be ready when the heating is done.

Some toaster ovens blast huge temperatures at the beginning to reach the optimal temperatures quickly, so putting some foods inside during preheating may burn it!

Do I need to Preheat Oven for Frozen Food?


While you can get away cooking frozen foods without preheating the oven, it is recommended that you do. Instructions in recipe books always suggest that you cook foods in a preheated oven to get the best flavor out of it.

And other than that, you need a preheated oven to cook the food evenly. It is not a good experience to eat unevenly cooked foods. It ruins the overall excitement of baking and cooking new recipes.

Foods that won’t require preheating the toaster oven?

Many Foods do not require you to use a preheated toaster oven. And in most cases, you can get away without preheating food for some dishes. In that instance, the food will just cook for a lower temperature until the oven heats up to the optimal temperatures.

Most vegetables, meat, and casseroles do not actually need a preheated oven. These recipes require a long slow cooking time. In general, any food or recipe that needs a long time to cook at low temperatures can get away without using a preheated oven.

Step-by-Step Process to Preheat a Toaster Oven?

Many people think that it is challenging to preheat a toaster, but in reality, it is effortless. Here are the steps to do this

  • Adjusting the Temperature: Depending on what you are cooking, you need to adjust the toaster to the preferred temperature. If you are not sure what temperature to set the toaster, consult a recipe book.
  • Closing the Toaster oven: It is obvious to close the Toaster oven lid when using it, but you have to make sure it is properly shut. Besides potentially causing hazards like a house fire, it won’t heat up if the toaster isn’t properly shut.
  • Preheat time: This also depends on what you are cooking. If you are unsure how long you need to preheat the toaster, you may consult a recipe book.

Other than the points above, there’s also another thing that people are confused about: when to know preheating is done. If you own a digital toaster, it automatically tells you when a certain temperature has been reached. But if you do not own a digital toaster, you can use a thermometer to know the oven temperature.

Can I Put Food Inside a Toaster Oven Without Preheating?

You can put food inside a toaster oven without preheating. However, preheating the oven is recommended. If you don’t preheat it, the upper coil of the toaster oven will flow harsh heat on top of the food. That might lead to the top of the food browned or blackened, leaving the middle portion of the food not cooked or warmed properly.

Foods that raise, like egg dishes or bread, will taste average when cooked in a non preheated oven. The initial low temperature will be the result of this.


The toaster oven is a fantastic must-have appliance. Using it the correct way will make your cooking more fun and delicious! Share this article with your friends. Hopefully, you will use the information we have given you to move up in your cooking journey!