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Pop Tarts. Hot Pockets. French fries. Regular toast, of course. All of this, you can make in a toaster oven. The right pick will do air-frying in addition to baking, slow-cooking, and broiling. You can find units so big they will fit an entire chicken for roasting, and some small enough to take that one spot in the counter where nothing else fits. Toaster ovens are going places, even getting smart!, and there’s hardly any reason not to hop right in. Here we will be going over some great options to put on your counter, and what makes them stand out.
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Picking The Right Toaster Oven For Your Needs
Size, which you will often find measured in slices. Their use, easy or otherwise. How they look, and how accessible their price tag is. What they can do in addition to the usual. Let’s go into the details that will make a difference when shopping around.
Do you have a theme going on in your kitchen? Are you aiming for a modern look? Old fashioned, perhaps? We’ll be including options with different aesthetic boosts for your kitchen, including different colors so you can find the closest one to your desired (or current) palette.
You have likely heard this word making the rounds but, what is it about? Convection means the use of fans (and, sometimes, additional sources of heat) within the oven to optimize air flow for more thorough heating, which helps cook your food faster. If you are a baker looking for precision in your temperatures, then you will love convection heat. It is also quite useful for those who want their food to have a nice crunch without the extra oil. As convenient as they are, convection-capable ovens often come with a slightly higher price tag.
This is a fairly recent innovation: superheated air flowing through a confined space turns your food crispy, eliminating the need to apply additional fat. If you are interested, you could get an air fryer, but the downside is, such a dedicated appliance will be unable to tackle any other task. Some toaster ovens can air-fry your food in addition to everything else they do, which should save you some counter space.
Ease of use
Some ovens have more knobs than others. Some will have a digital display and some others will have you guessing. Those that can do more, will often be more complicated to operate. Are you all about bells and whistles? Do you prefer simplicity in your appliances? Whatever the case, we’ve got you covered.
There are two sides to this coin: if you are looking for something capable of handling your chicken, then you should be prepared to go big; the opposite, if you are looking to conserve space on your counter. Either way, you will find something suitable within our list.
How many, and what arrangements are possible for them? This directly affects what you can make with your toaster oven: A mini pizza won’t have the same requirements as a full size pancake.
Other Extra Functions
If you are so inclined, you can find units able to, say, dehydrate and rotisserie in addition to everything else. Where this applies, we’ll make it a point to mention it so you can make an informed choice.
Toaster ovens vary in potency. You will find them as low as 800 Watts, with some going as high as 1800. This often influences their cost and their performance range. The options covered here will vary, though options between 1100 and 1300 Watts should be enough in most situations.
Some units out there are very cheap, a few tens of dollars; some others, going for hundreds and even past the thousand dollar mark, might make you think twice before going for it. Always keep in mind the sort of investment you are looking to make, and remember that, generally, you should expect additional convenience to come at extra cost.
Toaster Ovens For Your Consideration
Now that you know what factors interest you most, it’s time to check out some great options out there.
This 1800-Watts potency option, is able to roast, air-fry, and broil or bake with convection heat, aside from the basic broiling, warming, baking and toasting. Its 0.6 cubic foot capacity is enough for 6 slices of bread for toasting, 3lbs of chicken wings for frying, a 12” pizza to bake or a 4lb chicken to rotisserie. Thermostat is adjustable with a timer for up to 60 minutes. Includes one oven rack, baking pan, air fryer rack and basket.
- A well-rounded, versatile option with plenty of added functionality.
- Fairly simple to operate.
- Available in 4 colors.
- Only one rack limits how much of certain food can be worked with in a single go.
- Knobs are known to be fragile.
- Temperature control can be fickle, sometimes going so hot it burns food.
This unit does the toasting and the baking separately, featuring one slot at the top to do the former and the main cavity dedicated to the latter. Mode can be switched with a lever at the top, and operation is laid out the old-fashioned way: one knob for temperature, one knob for time, and a third one closer to the top controls the degree of toasting. It is built in stainless steel, but overall its look might not be modern enough depending on the feel you are going for in your kitchen.
- A lower priced, space saving, easy to operate appliance that might be suitable for starting out.
- Shuts off automatically after time runs out.
- 2 rack positions, able to fit a 9” pizza.
- The heating element to the bottom and back has been widely reported as faulty.
- Toasting requires special vigilance as the slot will not pop up automatically.
This is a decent option if you are aiming for a modest investment. Requiring less counter space than other units, it will only do the basics (broil, bake, toast), but it will do them right. You can set the temperature between 150 and 450°F, and its timer can keep track for up to 30 minutes. Worth pointing out, however, that it runs so hot, it requires some extra precaution: handle with care when cooking, and keep away from walls and other objects.
- Operating it should be easy for a wide variety of users.
- Even though it is controlled the old-fashioned way, its looks should be a good fit for a modern-looking kitchen.
- Somewhat hard to clean: crumb tray is not removable.
- Door hinges are known to be of little strength, occasionally holding the door unevenly or even breaking altogether.
This 1300-Watt unit comes in 3 colors, any of which should be easy to bring into most kitchens. It is not convection capable, but it features double infrared heating elements, in quartz and ceramic, situated at the front and back for even cooking. Temperature can go as high as 500°F, and the toaster shade is set separately. 3 preset functions available for bread, and 3 for food. Timer is on digital display, and the see-through glass door and interior light make it easier to check on food. Crumb and baking trays are removable, though not dishwasher safe. Fits up to 4 slices, or a 9” pizza.
- Easy to operate, easy to clean.
- Limited in scope, no convection heat or air-frying.
- Heating elements known to fail from time to time.
If you want to go large and have the space for it, then this might be worth a closer look: its interior can accommodate a 16” pizza, with 2 racks available. The double door needs only a single pull to open. Several buttons at the front control temperature, timer and mode, with the current temperature and cooking time provided by digital display. It is convection-capable, and it can also defrost and dehydrate. The timer can be set for up to 90 minutes, or 6 hours for slow cooking at a preset temperature of 150°F.
- Modern look, available in 2 colors.
- Decently priced, especially for its size.
- Peace of mind: oven shuts down automatically when the timer has run its course.
- It runs hot, best to keep some distance between it and other surfaces and items.
- Doors often do not seal properly, allowing heat to escape and leading to longer cooking times.
Roomy enough for a 13” pizza, this 1800-Watt oven is operated with a knob and 3 buttons, and features a blue backlit screen, which displays current mode selected, temperature and time left. Its 15 cooking functions available include roasting, dual cook and speed convection (cooking without preheating); 4 positions available to slide the racks in. The interior has non-stick coating, and the rack slides out automatically.
In terms of price, it is not as cheap as other options, but the interior capacity and added functionality might very well make it a worthy investment. Includes: 2 oven racks, one pan for drips or baking, broiling pan, removable crumb tray, 13” pizza stone and a recipe booklet.
- Wide versatility for cooking and baking.
- Packed with extra value.
- Reported issue with the display showing an “ErL” message and the oven shutting down, for which there is no definitive fix.
Fitting 6 slices, or a 13” pizza, this convection-capable option comes with 10 preset options, slow-cooking among them. Its interior features a non-stick coating, and interior light. Its digital display shows current setting, temperature and time remaining. 1800-Watt power.
While it is often advertised with “smart” in the name, there is no app or additional functionality to it.
- Its size makes it suitable for most homes
- Easy to find out at a glance what the oven is set to do, and what it is currently doing.
- Available in two colors, which should be easy to incorporate into almost any kitchen.
- Not known to be long lived. Specifically, the fuse can be faulty, and it is hard to find a replacement if it fails.
This unit offers color selection, but only for the knobs. Its 7 functions include bagel and roasting, and its 2 racks provide a decent amount of surface for your cooking. Convection capable, it includes a probe thermometer to display the internal temperature of your food on the digital screen, separately from the oven temperature. The brand is famed for its reliable appliances, and this toaster oven is usually considered to live up to that reputation.
- Modern, aesthetically pleasing looks.
- Large enough to hold a 12” skillet.
- Its price might make it unsuitable for a starting household.
- It beeps too loud and in too high a pitch, to the point that it might get unpleasant.
This 6-slice, 1300-Watt might be a good one to look into if you are on the market for an oven you can count on and which will not break your bank. Convection-capable, it can fit in a pizza up to 12” in diameter. Comes with a digital display, buttons at the front for operating it and a total of 7 cooking options such as pizza and defrosting. Includes baking pan and removable crumb tray, both dishwasher safe. 150 – 450°F temperature range.
- Straightforward operation.
- Easy to check on food thanks to its glass door and interior light.
- Requires oven mitts for handling as exterior gets very hot.
- Only 2 rack positions, which can be limiting.
- Digital clock has been known to give out not long after purchase.
On The Top: Cuisinart TOB-260N1
It may not do air-frying, but it does convection, including an extra option to cook without having to preheat. It is not exactly smart, but its backlit screen provides important information in clear display, and operation is quite user friendly. By price, it may not go as low as others out there, but its size, functions and included accessories make it worth it; and its looks should make it an easy addition for most kitchen themes and palettes. It also includes a few features that can be somewhat rare: the rack slides out on its own, the interior is non-stick coated to reduce mess, and the racks can be slid into any of 4 positions so you can put your food where you want it for cooking. In summary, its advantages greatly outweigh the downsides.
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We sure hope we helped you make the best choice for your kitchen. Happy cooking!