Tutorials & Tips

Teach Your Teen to Cook: Easy Toaster Oven Tips

Teach Your Teen to Cook: Easy Toaster Oven Tips Teach Your Teen to Cook: Easy Toaster Oven Tips

toaster oven pizza with mushrooms

Cooking can be intimidating for teens, but there will inevitably come a time in adulthood when it becomes a necessary skill. Rather than sending your teenager off to a world of radiator quesadillas and canned soup, teach them everything they need to know to create nutritious and delicious meals on their own. Not only will they learn how to prepare meals, but they will also learn how to shop for foods, stick to a budget and learn invaluable safety skills. The toaster oven is a great place to start – here’s why.

Why a Toaster Oven?
Toaster ovens are a simplified version of the oven. There’s less to clean and can be easier to use, especially if your model has features such as automatic shutoff. Sure, the toaster oven is a no-brainer for making teen favorites like Quick Pan Pizza or Sheet Pan Nachos. But it can also make easy work of more sophisticated recipes ranging from simple snacks like Baked Asparagus Fries to heartier meals like Crunchy Baked Chicken Tenders.

Start with Meal Planning
Begin the process of teaching your teenager to cook by meal planning together. Ask them what sheet pan nachos made in a toaster oventhey are interested in cooking and research some easy recipes to start off with. Take them shopping for the ingredients and encourage them to stick to a pre-determined budget. These will prove to be life skills they will be glad to have later down the road.

Discuss Safety Rules
Walk through the process of each of the cook modes on your toaster oven with your teen so they can get familiar with it. Discuss what you can and cannot put in a toaster oven, like paper or cardboard products and plastic dishes. Remind them not to leave the toaster unattended and not to leave anything sitting on top of it, especially during use, since the surface can become hot. Last, review safe food handling tips with your teen to avoid cross-contamination or undercooked food.

Get Cooking!
Now that you’re ready to tackle the toaster oven, share with your teens a few basic cooking tips. Help them prepare meals a few times so they can get comfortable working with both the toaster oven and the food. shrimp and peppers on a sheet panRemind them to read the whole recipe all the way through before beginning, in case there are any special steps they will need your assistance with, like browning butter on the stovetop. Gather all of their ingredients for a recipe before getting started (so you don’t realize halfway through you don’t have any shrimp for your Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas!).

Ready to roll? See all our toaster oven-friendly recipes here.

toaster ovens on white with a shop now button

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