There’s something unglamorous about a toaster oven, unlike those newfangled gizmos such as air fryers or immersion circulators.
But in the last year, my relationship with the toaster oven has blossomed from casual acquaintance to forever life partner. Where other appliances overwhelm me with smart technology and touchscreens, a toaster oven’s low fidelity is a soothing balm in my kitchen.
The more I use the toaster oven beyond breakfast foods, the more I push the envelope with what I cook. I once recreated chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s legendary miso black cod in a toaster oven—not only was it delicious, it didn’t stink up my kitchen.
My toaster oven white whale, however, is chicken wings. Try as I might, each time I attempt wings in a toaster oven I never get the crackly crisp skin I seek. The fat doesn’t render out fully, leaving an unappetizing squishy texture when you bite in.