Cooking raw pork in a toaster oven is possible, but not necessarily recommended. There are a few factors to consider when deciding if a toaster oven is the right appliance for cooking raw pork.
One of the main concerns with cooking raw pork in a toaster oven is food safety. Pork needs to reach an internal temperature of 145°F to be considered safe to eat. A regular toaster oven may have hot and cool spots that make it difficult to evenly cook pork to a safe internal temperature.
Additionally, the cramped space of a toaster oven makes it hard to monitor the doneness of the pork. You can’t easily insert a food thermometer to check the internal temp of the meat as it cooks. This increases the risks of undercooking the pork and introducing harmful bacteria like salmonella.
Toaster ovens have size and power limitations that make them imperfect for cooking larger cuts of raw pork. The small interior cavity restricts the amount of meat you can cook at one time. Attempting to overload a toaster oven with too much pork may result in uneven cooking.
Most toaster ovens max out at around 1,500 watts of power. That level of power can struggle to get thicker cuts of raw pork up to temperature in a timely manner. Slow cooking raw pork for long periods in a toaster oven allows more time for bacteria growth.
Possible with Precautions
It is possible to safely cook small amounts of raw pork in a toaster oven by taking proper precautions:
- Use thin, boneless cuts like pork chops or tenderloin fillets. Avoid cooking large roasts.
- Place an oven-safe food thermometer into the thickest part of the meat to monitor the internal temperature.
- Allow extra time for the pork to come up to temperature, checking often to avoid overcooking.
- Use a meat thermometer after cooking to double-check the internal temperature reached 145°F.
- Avoid overloading the toaster oven to allow for proper airflow and even heating.
- Clean the toaster oven thoroughly after cooking any raw pork to avoid cross-contamination.
Better Appliance Options
While it’s possible to cook raw pork in a toaster oven, it’s not necessarily the best appliance choice. Using a regular full-sized oven or countertop convection oven is a safer option for cooking raw pork. The larger size allows you to better regulate temperature and airflow around the meat. And convection ovens cook faster, reducing the risk of bacteria growth.
An instant-read thermometer should always be used no matter what oven you cook the raw pork in. But toaster ovens come with extra precautions needed to mitigate potential food safety issues.
Cooking raw pork in a toaster oven can be done, but requires close monitoring and limiting portions. For best results, use a full-sized oven or countertop convection oven instead. Properly cooking pork to an internal temperature of 145°F is crucial for safety. Be diligent about using a food thermometer any time you cook raw pork, no matter what appliance you use.