These Are the Best Toaster Ovens that Money Can Buy
Toaster ovens are kitchen appliances that are undermined until you begin using them and realize how helpful and important, they are for your daily meal preparation. The appliances require very little counter space and can be great substitutes for several other kitchen appliances such as an air fryer and toaster. You can use them to prepare your meals fast especially if they feature convection technology.
Although you can use a toaster oven to toast bagels and bread slices, it can also be used to roast vegetables as well as cook a whole chicken. Since toaster ovens don’t really need to be preheated, they are perfect for those unbearably hot summer months when you want to avoid filling your kitchen with hot air coming from your traditional oven. According to Energy Star, toaster ovens are energy efficient because they utilize at least half the energy that is used in a conventional oven.
We tested some toaster ovens to find the models that cooked bread more evenly giving them a golden brown color within a short time (more than 500 bread slices were tested using more than 20 different toaster ovens). The other things that were tested were the toasters capability to broil steak, their overall baking evenness as well as how well they could melt cheese on sandwiches. Toaster that included the air fryer setting were tested on how evenly and quickly they could crisp up frozen French fries and chicken wings. The toaster ovens were also evaluated according to the quality of their design, ease of use, user manuals, interior visibility, control panels, audible alert, number of rack positions and ability to clean. The following is the list of some of the best toaster ovens available in the market:
- Best Overall Toaster Oven: Breville Compact Smart Oven
- Best Value Toaster Oven: Hamilton Beach Sure-Crisp Toaster Oven
- Most Versatile Toaster Oven: Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Oven
- Best Large Capacity Toaster Oven: Breville Smart Toaster Oven Air
- Best Toaster Oven for Air Frying: Cuisinart TOA-65
- Easiest Toaster Oven to Use: KitchenAid Digital Countertop Toaster Oven
- Best Smart Toaster Oven: June Oven
- Best Toaster Oven for Storage: Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven
- Best Toaster Oven for Frozen Foods: Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven
1. Best Overall Toaster Oven: Breville Compact Smart Oven
This toaster oven has electronic controls as well as preset cooking programs for cookies, bagels and pizza (can comfortably fit an 11-inch pie) which makes it easy to operate. According to our tests, it can bake a beautiful cake, browns toast fast and can roast chicken and potatoes. The toaster oven is made using a non-stick coating which is easy to clean. The control panel is easy to use and intuitive, plus the stainless-steel design is very solid. However, something can be said about its average rating of 4.3 stars on Amazon from almost 2,000 reviewers.
Why We Love It
- Easy to clean and use
- Heats food evenly and fast
Best Value Toaster Oven: HAMILTON BEACH Toaster Oven
The Super-Crisp toaster oven by Hamilton Beach doesn’t fail in terms of performance. Although it appears to be basic with controls that are easy to use, it can bake pizza and toast bread evenly in a very short time. The most impressive feature about this unit is its air frying capability. It cooked juicy and crispy wings and French fries without drying them out. Also, in terms of performance, it can fit a 13-inch pizza or 6 bread slices without taking up much of your countertop space.
Why We Love It
- Great air frying setting
- Timer can only be set to 30 minutes at a time
Most Versatile Toaster Oven: Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven
This Convection Toaster Oven Broiler by Cuisinart Deluxe is quite compact and can roast chicken to a perfect golden-brown shade in an hour and performs relatively fast as a pop-up toaster. The interior is spacious enough to comfortably fit a 13-inch pizza (it also comes with a pizza stone). Apart from its spacious interior, it comes with convection settings that can be programmed to be able to dual cook, meaning you’ll be able to cook a whole chicken using one temperature to brown it and the other one to cook it completely.
Why We Love It
- 2 separate cooking temperatures
- Toasts fast
- The alert tone for the preheat function is quiet
Best Large Capacity Toaster Oven: BREVILLE Smart Toaster Oven Air
This toaster oven is perfect for cooking for a large number of people. Its interior is one cubic foot and can fit 9 bread slices. The unit can roast, bake and toast evenly (and fast), you’d want to toss away your full-size oven. It can also be used as and air fryer. The toaster oven is the most intuitive to use as it’s designed with an easy to use control panel and screen wit helpful rack position settings that are found on the door. You even won’t need to think about a particular time or temperature because it features several presets for cooking.
Why We Love It
- Heats food evenly and quickly
- Can fit a large five-quart Dutch oven
Best Toaster Oven For Air Frying: CUISINART Air Fryer Toaster Oven
This appliance is an air fryer toaster oven that does it all. It comes with thirteen different cooking settings inclusive of five different air frying functions, from vegetables to nuggets, roast, dual cook, dehydrate and 2 different modes (frozen and convection setting) which you can use alongside multiple settings and functions. You will definitely like how powerful and fast the air fryer function is as it can cook crispy French fries and chicken wings within a short time.
The oven can toast bread evenly, cook frozen pizza perfectly and also bake a cake to golden brown color. It heats quickly and maintains the heat quite well. However, the control panel is a bit challenging to use but with help from the user guide you’ll be able to operate it. the user guide also includes some useful cooking charts, recipes and tips that will help make your work a lot easier. The best thing about the toaster oven is its ability to remain cool to touch during use, plus its accessories are all dishwasher safe.
Why We Love It
- Heats fast and the exterior remans cool to touch during use
- Control panel is quite challenging to use
Easiest Toaster Oven To Use: KITCHENAID Digital Countertop Toaster Oven
There are a lot of things that make this toaster oven lovable. It is space-efficient and slick, and can easily fit 9 slices of bread at a go (although the manufacturer recommends only 6). Its functions include toast, pizza, broil, roast, bake, keep warm, bagel and reheat, meaning that you don’t have to deal with the challenge that comes with trying to find the right time and temperatures for cooking. The most likeable thing about this toaster oven is its easy to use interface that has 2 basic dials; the start and cancel buttons. The display is also easy to read.
Why We love It
- Intuitive control panel
- Preheat alert is quiet
Best Smart Toaster Oven: The June Oven
This is a one-of-a-kind toaster oven when you look at it from a technical standpoint. When you place food in it, a camera will detect what you’ve put and recommend the best way it can be cooked. You can then proceed to start cooking it or you can choose to override it so that you can cook the food the way you’d like. It has a touchpad which can be quite addicting as it responds as quickly as an iPhone does and provides the user with an easy and clean cooking experience.
The toaster ovens interior is pretty large and solid making it easy for you to clean it after use. It can fit 12 bread slices and toast them to evenly and also bake a cake very well. You can also cook a pizza in the oven because it will melt the cheese perfectly and leave the crust lightly crisp.
Why We Love It
- Detects food and will automatically adjust to the required cooking time
Best Toaster Oven For Easy Storage: NINJA Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven
A lot of people don’t like crowded countertops even when there’s enough of it. This Ninja air fryer toaster oven is compact enough to save on space and it will also blend in with your kitchen décor. The bottom part of the appliance is detachable making it easy for the user to clean it. When tested, the control panel was found to be easy to use and read. The oven toasts bread evenly and bakes cakes well giving them a nice golden-brown color. The rack used for air frying is large providing enough cooking room (this is a great feature because it promotes air circulation which results to the crispiest results).
Why We Love It
- Spacious interior
- Difficult to clean where the heating elements are found
Best Toaster Oven For Frozen Foods: PANASONIC FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven
This toaster oven is highly rated for a number of things including its compactness (as it comfortably fits a 9-inch pizza) and will set the cooking time automatically depending on the food you’re preparing. Its preset features include reheating rolls and waffles, toast and heating frozen meals such as hash brown and pizza. You’ll like that the rack and the door are attached, meaning that it will pull forward each time you open the oven. Note that the maximum heating time is 25 minutes, which is perfect for cooking frozen foods but when it comes to baking, you will have to reset the timer. Customers found that the pan isn’t easy to clean and rusts easily. So, make sure that you’ve covered it with some foil before placing food on it.
Why We Love It
- Tray automatically pulls out every time the door is opened
- The pan is difficult to clean and gets rust easily
What to Look for When Shopping for a Toaster Oven
- Space: While we consider what we’re typically going to cook in the toaster oven, don’t forget about how much countertop space you have for storage. If you have a lot of space, dream big and go for models such as the June Oven or the Breville Smart Oven Air that will comfortably fit a small turkey. On the other hand, if you have limited space there are several compact units available in the market such as the Hamilton Beach Sure-Crisp, which will easily fit a 13-inch pizza or 6 bread slices.
- Design: Aesthetics are vital because you’re going to keep the toaster oven on your kitchen countertop. Digital toaster ovens whose exteriors are made from stainless steel tend to be sleekier with a more up-to-date appearance than mechanical ones.
- Accessories and Additional Features: Majority of toaster ovens in the market come inclusive of a broiling/baking pan and at least a single rack. If the baking pan is heavier, it means that there will be less warping as time goes by. Nowadays, most units have a removable crumb tray which is dishwasher safe as well. Being able to wash the removable part in a dish washer is vital because it ensures overall maintenance and that they are kept looking shiny and new.
- Rack Positions: A lot of toaster ovens are designed with 2 rack positions, while the bigger ones have 3. The additional rack provides for more usable space and cooking versatility especially when it comes to dehydrating or air frying. Generally, the top positions are meant for broiling, while the middle positions are meant for baking and toasting bread, and the bottom position is meant for baking pizza or large roasts.
There are toaster ovens that come with pizza stones, while others come with air frying racks/baskets or even rotisserie spits, however, there are those that are designed with an interior light which is great for helping you view the inside without having to keep opening the door. This feature is very important although you’ll be more pleased with units that are made with large glass doors because they make viewing the interior quite easy.
Are Toaster Ovens Safe?
Toaster ovens are very safe especially if you heed to all the guidelines and rules provided by the manufacturer. The following are some of the tips you can use to ensure utmost safety:
- Carefully unpack and put away all the packing materials which your toaster oven comes with. Be certain to check for any stickers and papers inside the unit especially next to the heating elements.
- Place your toaster oven far from things like kitchen tools, utensils, kitchen towels as well as other kitchen appliances.
- Don’t put any object on the top part of the toaster oven, especially when you’re planning to cook with it. The top section pf the toaster oven can become very hot and make thing melt in process.
- Remove and clean the crumb tray every once in a while, to avoid possible flare ups and buildup from accumulating.
- Always wear oven mitts before removing hot pans or racks from the toaster oven.
Unplug the toaster oven when you’re not using it.