Informational Articles

Understanding Your Toaster Oven (A Guide To OTG Baking)

An OTG, also known as a Toaster Oven, is a wonderful kitchen tool that can work for you just like a regular size oven — here's what you need to know about OTG.
An OTG, also known as a toaster oven, baking a dish.

Hi Bold Bakers!

I get questions from all over the world about baking in OTG Ovens. I personally have an OTG oven — also known as a Toaster Oven — and love it. It is fantastic for some baking and I find that although it is smaller than my traditional oven it is very powerful and does a great job at browning my cakes and crisping my bread.

Here is some basic info you might like to know about your OTG Oven…

What is an OTG Oven?

OTG stands for Oven-Toaster-Grill. It is essentially a smaller version of a traditional oven. It uses heated coils to cook food and requires much less setting up with just a plug socket needed to operate it and space on your countertop. 

It’s also known as a Toaster Oven.

Possible Settings On Your OTG or Toaster Oven

An OTG oven is an electric oven and comes in conventional mode or convection mode (fan assisted) with conventional functions. An OTG can reheat, keep warm, grill/broil, and bake food items.

This type of oven comes in different sizes, which will dictate what can be cooked in it.  The average capacity of a single, full-size oven is 64 liters, the average capacity for a double oven is 62 liters for the main oven and 35 liters for the smaller one. OTG comes in varying capacities, 10/20/35/45/60 liters. Some OTGs come with rotisseries. This function is ideal for cooking and roasting meat. It can either be motorized or manual.

What’s Inside Your Toaster Oven

Your toaster oven has heating elements both on the ceiling and on the floor of the oven. In some models, you can choose to engage either or both elements to heat your oven.

For grilling, you need to heat the top element and for normal baking, you need both elements to be heated. While in some models upper and lower heating elements can NOT be controlled separately, that just means it requires additional attention: you do need to lower the temperature by roughly 15F-25F (30C – 50C) which depends on what you’re baking.

You always need to monitor your baking closely during your few first tries, for example, by covering the top quickly with foil after 10 minutes or so, or be prepared to reduce the temperature.

An OTG, or toaster oven, baking a tart.

Is Preheating Different Than A Regular Oven?

Where a conventional OTG can take up to 15 to 20 minutes to preheat, the convection style oven only takes around five minutes. The larger the oven cavity the longer it will take to preheat – the colder the room the longer it takes also. some ovens are thermostatically controlled so that when you select the temperature, 180C/350F for instance a light will come on and then go out as the temperature is reached.

The Difference Between A Microwave and an OTG (Toaster Oven)?

Any OTG can be used to cook food from raw to crispy, juicy, and fully cooked through. It cooks food with heated coils. When cooking with a simple OTG, heat is radiated by the coils and absorbed by the food.

In some OTG ovens, convection models, there is a fan to distribute the heat, this is usually a feature of the larger versions, and makes the oven more efficient.

A conventional microwave, on the other hand, utilizes microwaves alone for heating the food. There are some combination-microwave ovens that can be utilized as a conventional oven/convection oven/grill/and microwave or in various combinations of these functions – this is a really useful oven type also, especially where space is an issue.

When you are cooking raw meat, for example, you are best to use an OTG oven, a microwave would be good for reheating of already cooked food. A microwave can also be used in conjunction with an OTG – think baked potatoes – start the process in the microwave and transfer to the OTG for crisping.

Perks To Having An OTG or Toaster Oven

  • Does not need to be hooked up like a traditional oven. You just need counter space and a plug socket.
  • Little counter space is needed as they are usually no more than 60 liters capacity.
  • Very affordable. You pay a fraction of the price of a standard oven but you don’t have to compromise on power.
  • Although small, OTG ovens are mighty strong. They bake, roast, and broil just like a traditional, larger oven.
  • You can choose the size and capacity to suit your needs. For example, if you have a large family, maybe a 60-liter capacity is for you. But, if you are single and living in a dorm then a 10-20 lire oven might suit your needs.

Every OTG & Toaster Oven Is Different, So Get To Know Yours

The larger the OTG the more flexible it will be to use and the more likely it is that it will have all the multi-function ability of a regular oven. See this model (https://amzn.to/2wjr9YM) which is from Cuisinart as an example. Choose a model for which you have space and which will suit your family size and need, the larger ovens tend to be more versatile. The secret to successful baking is learning to monitor the bake, be prepared to reduce the temperature as required by your own oven.

GENERAL GUIDELINES for an OTG Oven 

  1. Baking: The baking function can be used as you would normally use a large kitchen oven for roasting meats including chicken, or baking cakes, cookies, and more. This is dependent on the capacity of the oven.
  2. Broiling/grilling: The broiling function can be used for beef, chicken, pork, fish, and more. It also can be used to top brown casseroles and gratins.
  3. Toasting: Position the rack in the correct location in the oven according to your instruction book  Centre your food items in the middle of the rack for toasting.

* Having bought an OTG, do read the instruction book carefully to ensure you get full advantage from your oven. Many of the manufacturers also have online tutorials for their specific models.

Do you want to learn more about the different types of ovens? Check out my ‘Guide to Knowing your Oven‘.

Try These Toaster Oven-Friendly Recipes!

Giant Toaster Oven Pop Tart

Toaster Oven Breakfast Tart

Small-Batch Cupcakes Made In A Toaster Oven

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

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Vam
Vam
5 days ago

When baking something in the toaster oven (ex. Cookie) can we use parchment paper?

Astrid
Astrid
6 days ago

Aah, so that is what my oven’s real name🤔😀👍. Mine is quite ancient and small now, since i’ve bought it around 2008 when me and my husband were newlyweds😅. It is quite handy for all purposes from baking cakes, cookies, pies, roasting chicken to just heating meals. Thank you, Gemma for this information. Now i can get to know more about my OTG better.

Colin
Colin
6 days ago

OTG? I have an OTGM! Combination grill, oven and microwave! Brill!

Shirley Evans
6 days ago

Can you do you mug meals in these ovens? If so what temperature and for how long please?

Junker
Junker
7 days ago

Just call it a “toaster oven” instead of trying to rename it and trying to sound pretentious and superior! You can’t call it something else without saying “also known as” so why say it?

Noirita Banerjee
Noirita Banerjee
7 days ago

Thanks for this guide. I am going to purchase an OTG this month.

7 days ago

Gemma – in India, we largely have only OTG’s. In my childhood, my mum used to bake cakes in a simple round oven. I wonder if you’ve seen those? Big ovens were a rarity and now have started to become popular in some kitchens. I’d take my trusty OTG any day. Though I miss having a big oven when I need to bake more than a couple of cakes at a time.

7 days ago

I love my toaster oven! I have cooked everything that a large oven does, including several 3-4 lb rib roast. With my Instant pot, air fryer, toaster oven,and 2 gas and 1 induction hot plates, it all works.

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Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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