What is an infrared toaster? (with photos)

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An infrared toaster is a small countertop appliance that can heat and cook food through the use of radiant heat. Infrared light raises the temperature of food directly without heating the air around it. These appliances typically require less time to fully cook food than standard models. This technology can be found in conventional toaster ovens and toasters.

Some toaster ovens use infrared technology to cook food.

Traditional toasters cook food by heating internal metal coils that heat the air inside the appliance. Food placed inside should stay in the toaster or mini-oven for an extended period of time as its internal temperature rises to match the surrounding air. Toasters generally require additional preheat time so that the internal temperature of the appliance can reach a heat level suitable for cooking or heating food. Small pieces of food can be irregularly cooked and burnt as a result of these conventional appliances when placed too close to the metal heating coils.

Instead, the infrared toaster cooks the food through the use of near and far infrared technology. Instead of heating the air, the infrared toaster heats the food directly using radiant heat. Infrared light, which is beyond the spectrum of visible light detected by the human eye, is directed towards the food. Food absorbs this light and, as a result, cooks.

Cooking time can be greatly reduced by using an infrared toaster. No preheating is required for toaster ovens that also use this heating method. Some manufacturers claim that infrared technology can reduce the cooking time of any food item by 40% to 50% when compared to conventional electric toasters and ovens. Food can be fresh or frozen when placed in the toaster and can be fully cooked to a uniform temperature using infrared light.

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Most infrared toaster models are equipped with additional features to help consumers cook their food more efficiently. These models often include removable crumb trays for easy cleaning. Many provide a color selector that cooks the bread to a degree of doneness that ranges from light to dark. The slots are wide to accommodate bagels and English muffins, as well as bread slices. The toasters also have a common internal light that lights up when the door is opened and a glass panel on the door so food can be seen during the cooking process.

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