This surface is hot, hot, hot.
January 24, 2014 1:53 PM   Subscribe

This thread on the blue inspired me to purchase a toaster oven, and I have it now, and it is amazing. But I have a relatively small apartment kitchen. I would like to be able to store stuff on top of it, and the top gets molten hot, especially when I'm doing pizza at 450F. What can I put on top of it, as cheaply as possible, to provide heat insulation and a solid surface? It's approximately 18" x 24".

It's serving as my main oven at this point because my apartment oven is inconsistent and takes forever to preheat, hence not wanting to just move stuff off of it for occasional use. In case the dimensions are hard to visualize, this is quite large for a toaster oven; Breville makes a bamboo cutting board to put on top of theirs, but this is bigger. It does not actually need to serve as a cutting board, just an insulator that will block enough heat to, say, prevent a plastic container set there from melting.
posted by Sequence to Home & Garden (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Storing anything on top of your toaster oven is a really, really bad idea, as I'm sure your manual will tell you. As you say, it gets "molten hot", and that makes it a fire hazard.
posted by randomnity at 1:56 PM on January 24, 2014 [5 favorites]

I keep the broiler pan that came with my toaster oven on top and then sometimes stack stuff on top of that. That never gets hot enough for me to worry about it. I think the air between the metal helps keep things insulated.
posted by dobi at 1:59 PM on January 24, 2014

Response by poster: That would be the point of insulating it with something heat safe, randomnity. If I was just planning on piling stuff on there, I wouldn't have asked.
posted by Sequence at 2:05 PM on January 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

for ideal operation it probably shouldn't have anything stacked on it even if you think it's safe. the best way to use that vertical space would be to build a shelf/tray thing that leaves several inches of air space between the flat surface and the top of the toaster oven. Think breakfast tray or tall wire rack with legs wider than the toaster oven.
posted by slow graffiti at 2:08 PM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Lift the toaster oven up on something and use the space under it. That's the way a past roommate of mine did it. Worked ok.
posted by phunniemee at 2:12 PM on January 24, 2014 [9 favorites]

I like the lift-it-up option as well; I don't know about your toaster oven but mine has some small vents on top and I'd be very nervous about blocking them.
posted by asperity at 2:14 PM on January 24, 2014

How about a pizza stand like you see in restaurants. This will allow things to be above the oven but not touching it.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:16 PM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have a butcher block cutting board on top of mine. It's about an inch thick and though it gets warm, it's cool enough that I have a basket on top of it where I store various little things that don't have a drawer of their own
posted by mmf at 2:30 PM on January 24, 2014

Heat is supposed to be able to escape out the top. If you insulate it, the device will eventually damage itself, which may or may not involve flames when it happens.

It's well-insulated on the bottom, though, so you can raise it up on a rack or shelf (as long as it's very stable) and put things under it.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:53 PM on January 24, 2014

A pizza stone? A kiln shelf?

A kiln shelf (that one's good up to ~2400 degrees) and a cutting board?
posted by notyou at 2:56 PM on January 24, 2014

Response by poster: This model, like the Breville, vents on the side; the top is solid. My main problem with putting something on top is what material to look for and how to get something in the right size. The cutting board thing seems promising but I don't know how to get one large enough. Cordierite probably has too high a thermal conductivity.
posted by Sequence at 3:10 PM on January 24, 2014

Boos Blocks. They sell an 18x24 maple butcher block. It's not cheap; you may be able to find one used.

Since you're not using your oven, why not put your oven in your oven?
posted by notyou at 3:17 PM on January 24, 2014

A couple of bricks, maybe?

I wouldn't put anything flammable on top of a toaster oven that gets hot on top. I think that using a wooden cutting board is a terrible idea. What does the user manual say about the appropriate distance from the top to flammable materials?
posted by BillMcMurdo at 4:11 PM on January 24, 2014

I have a couple of these silicone trivets on top of my Cuisinart "Inferno" Oven (It is scary how hot my otherwise excellent toaster oven gets. It also vents out the side.) I keep a few things on top of the trivets --a small cutting board, a ceramic dish. They don't heat up.
posted by Elsie at 4:19 PM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I like the idea of raising it (mentioned above). Since almost all toaster ovens seem to have a door that swings down, this will mitigate the oh so annoying "handle is now in unreachable countertop position."
posted by mightshould at 4:21 PM on January 24, 2014

A cutting board occurs to me, but I don't know, could it get hot enough to set the wooden cutting board on fire?
posted by Sara C. at 4:26 PM on January 24, 2014

Breville sell a cutting board specifically meant to go on top of their Smart Oven toaster ovens. It includes silicone feet to insulate the cutting board from the heat of the oven.
posted by metaname at 5:19 PM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

i had a cork trivet on the top of a regular toaster oven and it seemed to be a pretty good insulator. it was pretty thick, maybe 3/4".
posted by misskaz at 7:11 PM on January 24, 2014

I keep stuff on top of my toaster oven. I move it off when I'm cooking. Wait until it's cool again and then put it back up there. Typically, this is where I keep loaves of bread and the pans that fit in the oven. The pans would probably be just fine during a cooking cycle but the bread is in a wrapper that would melt. So, obviously, it's got to move to the side.
posted by amanda at 8:46 PM on January 24, 2014

Stackable wire kitchen shelf that is larger than the toaster oven. Either put the toaster over on a wood board or cork trivets on the shelf above, or put the shelf over the toaster oven so it doesn't touch anything directly and has at least 1-2" clear space for the heat to vent. That's what we did previously, although right now our toaster oven sits on cork on top of our microwave on a deep shelf.
posted by viggorlijah at 6:37 AM on January 25, 2014

Is it completely crazy to store your toaster oven IN the real oven (since you don't use it)? Is the cord long enough to go out the door plug into a nearby wall (are you allowed to use extension cords with toaster ovens?) and would it be ok to be slightly compressed in the oven door (my oven has a tubular flexible gasket surrounding the door so I imagine the cord would just flex into that)? I think I would leave the oven door open while the toaster was hot and close it when it cooled off enough. If you truly don't use your oven, you could just remove the door and use the oven as a cubbyhole.

Just thought I would share a totally off-in-the-wall idea.
posted by CathyG at 10:06 AM on January 25, 2014

Response by poster: To reduce the possibility of not allowing enough heat off the top, I'm going with cork trivets, plus putting stuff up there that's relatively sturdy--I realize when I said "plastic" I was thinking "the outside of my rice cooker", not "a bunch of gladware containers". Also helped that I turned out to actually have the cork on hand. Gets warm but not enough so to melt anything, and cork's fire resistant, not that I'm ever leaving the thing running unattended.
posted by Sequence at 1:31 PM on January 28, 2014

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