Questions About Cooking Frozen Dinners in TO

goldgirlDecember 18, 2005

I'm really enjoying my new TO, but have a couple of questions.

If there are no specific TO directions on a prepared frozen food box, do you follow the conventional oven directions? I cooked a small frozen lasagna tonight and thought that perhaps I should cut the temperature, so I decreased it by 25 degrees and it did cook in the correct amount of time.

Also, are the usual containers/plastic film tops safe in a TO, or do they get fried by the heat?

One more - am I supposed to preheat a TO when baking? I looked through the manual and don't see any mention of this.

Thanks! I have the Krups TO by the way...

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HanArt

When dh is out of town I occasionally bake a Lean Cuisine in my toaster oven. I've noticed the box now has only microwave instructions, as if everyone in the world owns a zapper. Not moi!

I pop the frozen contents from the plastic and place them on my toaster oven tray, then cover with foil and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.

My Cuisinart preheats in a couple minutes, but I don't think it's really necessary for frozen dinners.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 9:53PM
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steve_o

I would be careful with a toaster-oven. The heating element is quite close to the food -- a risk if you're using the supplied plastic (I wouldn't) and even a risk to burning the food if what you're cooking is a little dry (or sweet). In fact, I've seen frozen entrees that state specifically you should not use a toaster-oven. I would think, though, that a bigger toaster-oven would be significantly safer.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 10:46PM
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lindac

Good heavens! I was wondering what a "TO" was ! LOL! some high end exotic brand of stove or cook ware I didn't know about!? LOL!
I also had a Krups Toaster Oven and hated it! Took up a lot of counter room and didn't do anything well.....not even toast. Maybe I had a lemon?
About the only thing I do in a toaster oven, besides toast and bagels is to melt cheese on stuff. I agree with Steve.....the small size means things get very brown on the edges before the insides are even hot.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 10:54PM
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teresa_nc7

I don't cook in plastic in my toaster oven, but then I don't cook in plastic in my microwave either - that's just me. I do preheat the oven whenever I'm baking something or broiling for that matter. My Cuisinart heats up in no time and beeps to let me know it has finished preheating.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 6:50AM
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kbuzbee

I would say the olny issue you "might" run into (aside from the plastic tray melting, as mentioned, they used to come in aluminum last I had one) would be the top burning before everthing is thawed. You could:

1. cover it loosly with foil

2. Invert the rack to lower some

Enjoy,

Ken

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 8:47AM
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mes444

I think most of the frozen dinners have some comment on the box about not using a toaster oven to cook them. I think the above poster who removes it from the plastic and puts it into a toaster oven pan is probably the best advice. PS: Most TOs suggest 10 min preheat.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 12:49PM
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goldgirl

This particular one didn't have a "no toaster oven" comment on the box, so I cooked it in the container while keeping a close eye on it. Did fine, but from now on I'll pop them out of the plastic just to be on the safe side. We don't cook many frozen dinners anyway - it's a once-in-awhile thing.

I'm actually loving having a toast oven, and we're using it daily. It's great not having to heat up a big oven to heat a handful of frozen snacks or the occassional frozen entree. And it does a good job of toasting, so we're pleased with that too.

By lowering the temp slightly (I just took a guess), it cooked perfectly in the suggested amount of time. I'm sure if I had used the conventional oven temp, it would have burned.

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 1:31PM
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