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.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.

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 20F-30F (10C – 15C) which depends on what you’re baking and your particular oven type.

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 ( 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.


  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!

Notify of

most useful
newest oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

Hi dear… thanks for the info.. my functions can be changed… so for baking cakes, should I turn on the fan plus lower grills or just the lower grills??

3 years ago

I found a Model (B&D) years ago that could be mounted under the upper cabinets. And this thing is still working to this day(knock on wood) Really to decades…I use mine almost everyday from baking a few cookies to toasting bread, or reheating leftovers. Wouldn’t be without my OTG…

1 year ago

Hi gemma, why my bread not turning golden brown on top? It’s looks pale every time I’m making bread, I’m only using bottom rod or Should i use the both upper and bottom rod?

2 years ago

What do you mean by “for normal baking, you need both elements to be heated”? I thought it was supposed to be the bottom rods for baking.

2 years ago

hi gemma
my otg oven functions can be changed, so do i turn on the lower heating element only and turn off the fan for convention mode like?

Cathleen Caffrey
Cathleen Caffrey
2 years ago

You need to add the fact that you can’t use pyrex in a toaster oven. I checked with several companies, both oven and glass dishware. People need to know this.

2 years ago

Hello Gemma,I use electric oven for baking but I’ve noticed that it cooks quickly nd also burns food quickly although I follow exact recipe nd timing ng temperatures.should I lower the temperature and reduce cooking time? Plz help.nd also should I turn on the fan for baking cakes or just the rods?

Mary Rose
Mary Rose
2 years ago

I have a toaster oven on my back verandah to use in the Summer.
We get 40c days here quite often and I can still bake without heating the kitchen.

2 years ago

Would your best ever chocolate chip cookie recipe work well in the OTG? The 1/4 cup portions are perfect for a 1 to 2 cookie snack for my husband and I. I love having the frozen hunks of dough waiting in the freezer any time.

Last edited 2 years ago by SusanJG
2 years ago

Hey gemma, is it possible for a recipe on macarons (Italian method) but in a otg
Cause I have reached a point in my life where I’ll cry if see another macaron

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.


Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook

5 Days of
My BEST EVER Recipes



Chef-tested recipes that have been loved by millions of real bakers