How to Toast a Bagel in a Toaster Oven

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You can use a toaster oven to improve the taste and texture of your bagel in just a few minutes. In fact, you can toast fresh bagels in a toaster oven as well if you like them hot and crispy. 

In this article, I’ll discuss a step-by-step guide that will allow you to learn how to toast a bagel in a toaster oven.

How to Toast a Bagel in a Toaster Oven

A toaster oven allows you to toast a bagel evenly and you can use it to heat several bagels at a time. Some advanced models also come with dedicated bagel settings to toast a bagel. They also feature other cooking settings such as bake, toast, and broil that can also be used for toasting bagels. Use the following steps to toast a bagel in a toaster oven.

A close-up image of a Bagel

Step 1: Gather the Supplies

  • Bagels
  • Toaster oven
  • Cream cheese (optional)
  • Butter (optional)
  • Desired spices (optional)

Step 2: Insert the Rack

The first step is to insert the rack into your toaster oven in the middle position. Placing the rack in the middle position will allow you to toast bagels evenly. Make sure that your appliance is turned off and unplugged while performing this step to ensure safety.

Step 3: Determine the Settings to Use

Read the user’s manual of your toaster oven to find out whether or not it comes with a dedicated bagel setting. Using this setting is the best way to toast a bagel. However, if it doesn’t have that feature, you can use the bake, toast, or even broil setting for the same purpose.

I recommend you use the broil or toast setting because they heat the bagels similar to the dedicated bagel function.

Step 4: Preheat the Toaster Oven

Plug your appliance in and select any of these settings discussed above depending upon your product and preheat your toaster oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 degrees Celsius.

Typically, a toaster oven takes 10 to 15 minutes to preheat at 400 degrees Fahrenheit but the duration can vary from model to model. Read the user’s manual of your product to find the exact pre-heating duration. Preheating is important if you want to toast your bagels evenly.

Step 5: Start the Toasting Process

Pick up the bagels you want to toast and place your bagels on the toaster oven-friendly baking sheet. 

At this point, you can use optional ingredients to add extra flavor to your bagels if you want. For example, you can add cream cheese or butter along with salt and spices such as Italian seasoning, onion powder, or garlic powder. You can also do this after the bagel is fully toasted if you prefer and dip into some tasty spinach artichoke sides.

Open your toaster oven and place the baking sheet on top of the rack that you inserted into the middle position. Close the toaster oven and begin the toasting process by pressing the start button. Let the bagels heat for 2 to 5 minutes until golden brown. 

Check the bagels after 2 minutes and remove them if they’re golden brown. You don’t want them to get too browned or burned.

Important Note: If you’re toasting bagels that you refrigerated, flip after 2 minutes of toasting. You’ll also need to heat them for a couple of minutes more to enjoy the crunchy texture.

How to Toast Frozen Bagels

An image of a toasted bagel

Some advanced toaster ovens come with a bagel setting that can detect if your bagels are frozen. You only need to select that function and your appliance will automatically increase the cooking time in order to defrost and toast your bagels.

If your unit doesn’t have that feature, you’ll need to heat the bagels for 8 to 10 minutes so that your oven can defrost and toast them evenly.

Another strategy is to place the frozen bagels in the microwave for about 20 to 30 seconds to defrost them and then use the same method discussed above for toasting.

How to Store Toasred Bagels?

If you want to store your toasted bagels for just a day or two, use an airtight container and place them in a dry, dark, and cool spot. However, if you want to store them for several days, like a week or so, place them in a zip lock airtight plastic bag and refrigerate them.

Storing bagels in a freezer using air-tight plastic bags is also possible and it’ll keep them fresh for up to three months. Make sure that you label the plastic bags with the current date before freezing so that you can use them before they go bad.

Important Note: If you want to freeze your toasted bagels, I recommend you slice them before placing them in an airtight bag. It’ll allow you to reheat them easily and evenly using a toaster oven. In addition, use parchment paper to separate each slice so that they don’t stick to each other in the freezer.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some most frequently asked questions about toasting bagels in a toaster oven.

How Long Does a Toaster Oven Take to Toast Bagels?

Typically, a toaster oven takes 2 to 5 minutes to toast the bagels. However, the duration can vary depending upon the model and size of the appliance you have. Make sure that you remove the bagels from your toaster oven once they have turned golden brown.

What Does a Toaster Oven’s Bagel Setting Do?

The dedicated bagel setting of a toaster oven is designed to heat bagels so that they offer a hot crunchy crest and warm and soft inner part. If your model has this setting, all you need to do is to select it, preheat, and toast the bagels for 2 to 5 minutes.

Can You Toast Bagels in a Microwave?

Yes, you can toast bagels in a microwave but you won’t get the crunchy exterior. It won’t heat the bagels evenly and you can also end up with soggy bagels if they were refrigerated or frozen. That’s why using a toaster oven is a better way to toast bagels.

Beginner Cooking Methods

Final Words

Toasting bagels in a toaster oven is a quick and easy process and you can use the steps mentioned in this guide to complete it. Make sure that you heat the bagels until they turn brown to enjoy the crispy exterior and delicious taste.

Nathaniel Lee is an avid cook, drawing on his decades of home cooking and fine dining experience. He is a contributing chef at Mashed, and his recipes and contributions have been featured in Tasting Table, Edible Arrangements, Insanely Good Recipes, and The Daily Meal.