For Mess-Free Toasting, Turn to Parchment Paper

The other day I was using our toaster oven to toast and melt a mini flat bread pizza I’d put together (Naan bread was the crust). And dang if some of the cheese didn’t drip off the sides of the crust and down onto the floor of my oven.

As this happens frequently when I toast things in this handy little oven, I know to cover the drip pan in foil to minimize clean-up. But too many times I’ve forgotten to wipe away the dripped messes from the foil before another toasting procedure, and so the fats and whatever else that the foil was covered in would burn and smell up my kitchen (and sometimes the entire house).

Can you relate to any of this? I know the solution to this dilemma is to simply be more conscious and remember to check the drip tray before heating up the toaster oven. And in a perfect world on a perfect day I just might remember. But usually I don’t.

SO, what am I leading up to? The discovery of a very cool time- and energy-saving product called TOASTABAGS and the “ah-ha!” moment this product led me to.

Toastabags come in a pack of 2 and range in price from $9 to $10 (as seen on The price seems hefty, but each bag is reusable 50 times. Thus (if I’ve done my math correctly), the cost breaks down to 10¢ per use. (There was an amazon vendor that was selling them for $2 a pack, however.) has this to say about this product that comes from the UK:

· Nonstick Teflon bags safe for use in toaster, toaster oven or regular oven

· Make perfect grilled cheese the easy way without fuss or mess - ideal for on-the-go students

· Set of two Toastabags - each reusable up to 50 times; washable & dishwasher safe

· Also great for reheating pizza slices, chicken nuggets, fries & more

I love this idea of encasing whatever I’m toasting or reheating, in something that will catch the drips and spills. Anything to minimize after-prep clean-up is right up my alley. But here’s where the aforementioned “ah-ha!” moment comes in. It occurred to me that parchment paper ought to be able to accomplish the same thing. So I experimented with this more economical DIY approach.

I tried this out on a leftover piece of pizza. I cut a piece of parchment paper and folded it into a pocket a little bigger than the size of my slice. It worked like a charm!

Then I thought, “Hey, if this works in the toaster oven, how about in the TOASTER? Could I re-toast my leftover pizza or a toasted cheese sandwich in the toaster?” (You’re thinking, “Why not just use your toaster oven?” I know, but I wanted to know if the toaster would work as well, in case we have readers that don’t have a toaster oven.)

Yup, commercial Toastabags and DIY toastabags work in the toaster, too! Of course, it all depends on how big your toaster openings are. More current models of toasters—those with the wide openings that accommodate bagels, etc., are perfect for this. (I’m guessing it would be too slim a fit and too high a risk of the paper catching on fire, for the toaster with skinnier slots, but it might be worth a try.)

At any rate, there you have it—whichever appliance you use, for mess-free toasting, turn to parchment paper!


    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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