Toaster Ovens – Our Top Picks
Here are my top picks for best toaster ovens, based on features, durability, looks and price. And yes, I have personally owned and used all of these which is why I feel uniquely in a position to give a thoroughly informed review. There are definitely a few perks to being a professional chef, and using a ton of different gadgets, appliances and a lot of other stuff is one of them.
If you are looking for something attractive and well-built, you can count on the Breville V0V800XL. I consider the Breville Smart Oven a to be a must in any kitchen of busy kitchens. It certainly will serve well as an inexpensive and energy-saving (almost 50% less) alternative to the conventional oven. The unit is extremely well designed, with a push-button, a turn know control panel and a blue back lit LCD screen. This is most definitely my number one choice for the best toaster oven.
BEST FOR: Busy moms and dads
- Broil/Bake/Toast settings
- An auto-eject wire rack that helps prevent burns – where a magnetic door that pulls the oven rack about half way out when the door is opened
- Large door handle is easy to grab and open, and stays cool to the touch.
- 9 programmable settings
- A convection fan for better and faster cooking
FUNCTIONALITY and LOOKS: This unit comes in a beautiful stainless steel finish and will look great in any updated kitchen. The assembly is of high quality and every handle and control knobs/buttons also have that feel of quality.
This product is also “convention”, which means great for baking and cooking. Standard toaster ovens aren’t really meant to bake or cook, they are more convenient tools to reheat or melt cheese on top of bread.
Breville is notably known for its sleek look that matches the high-end major appliances. Of course you will find tons of other stainless steel appliances on the market, but really, it would be like comparing a Mac to a Dell or a an HP: aesthetically stunning, easy to use, reliable and as soon you are working with it, perfectly designed. It really is the very best one you can get right now.
Price: This unit run for roughly $250 on Amazon.com. Click here to buy the The Smart Oven by Breville now or find more information.
Cuisinart TOB-195 Toaster Oven
Even foodie snobs will find dignity in using this toaster oven. This state-of-the-art technology is basically everything a cook wants, and Cuisinart is actually doing an injustice by branding it as a “toaster oven”, since one would rather call it a legitimate range that can also toast bread or a bagel, if it wasn’t because of its small size. Grab the best frozen concoction maker and have yourself an amazing lunch. It is one of the rare instances where the “toaster” stage has well been exceeded.
BEST FOR: Experienced cooks and foodies
- Touchpad controls below the door to save some countertop space.
- Clock and oven timer that lets you know when the oven is at the right temperature – just like in modern ranges
- Digital temperature setting and improved heat sensor which maintains a precise oven temperature
- Convection fan
- Non-stick walls for easy clean-up.
FUNCTIONALITY and LOOKS: If appearance matters as much as looks for you, you won’t be disappointed with this model. With 100% stainless steel and glass and an electronic touchpad buttons, the Cuisinart TOB-195 definitely has that professional and stylish look to it. No more white or black plastic to make it look like one of those cheap ones!
Overall, this kitchen appliance is greatly designed, and features an electronic control pad that is easy to use. The LCD display is a must have. Because of its size, it takes only a few minutes for the toaster oven to warm up to the right temperature, and the digital control ensure that the oven always stays at the right temperature. An almost perfect kitchen item if it wasn’t because of the crumb tray that has to be pulled from the back.
Price: On sale for roughly 180$, this a real bargain. Click here to buy the Cuisinart TOP-195 Exact Heat Toaster Oven Broiler now or find more information.
Black & Decker Toast-R-Oven Digital Rotisserie
If you long life dream has always been to roast your very own chicken, have a look at the following unit. This baby toasts, bakes, broils, and rotisserie cooks almost everything on the menu! In the kitchen world, this toaster oven represents a huge step in regards to toaster ovens.
BEST FOR: Casual users
CAPACITY: Extra-large capacity that can fit a 12-inch pizza and, of course, a full chicken.
- Rotisserie, Bake, Broil, and Toast
- Broiling rack that fits a casserole dish
- Extra-deep curved interior to accommodate a 12-inch pizza
- Built-in rotisserie
- Dual-position rack slots
- Convection fan
- Easy-View Glass Door
FUNCTIONALITY and LOOKS: Black and Decker has never been my favorite brand, but when it does things well, it makes them very well! Although B&D advertise this as a toaster over, chances is that this will replace your regular over 99% of the time. The rotisserie works very well, although it will take you a few tries to get the timing right, and once you do, it will be restaurant-like chicken. The convection oven is good and reliable, and the toaster toasts pretty evenly.
The only drawback of this unit is that, is that it takes much more space than a regular toaster-oven, a few inches wider, taller and deeper, so watch out if you have little space in your kitchen.
Of course B&D being B&D and not Breville. Although this is not the sleekest machine of this list, I think that B&D made a good effort at making their product look reasonably good looking, and this, at a reasonable price.
Price: This unit is sold for $99, but before you buy, wait for deals as B&D is one of those brands that seems to often go on sale. Click here to buy the Black & Decker Toast-R-Oven Digital Rotisserie Convection Oven now or or to read more reviews about it.
Proctor Silex Toaster Oven
Maybe you don’t have the extra money to splurge on a Breville or the Cuisinart, or maybe you weren’t convinced by the above reviews and still see no reason to spend so much money on a kitchen item, then the Proctor Silex 4 slice Toaster Oven might be the right item for you. This is a cheapie model (or should I say budget?). It’s great for dorm rooms or if your kids are going to use it a lot.
BEST FOR: People on a budget
CAPACITY: 2-3 slices of toasts
- 15-Minute timer that automatic shuts off and a ready bell
- Bake and broil
- Drop-down crumb tray
- Black or white
FUNCTIONALITY and LOOKS: Bake some chicken, cook some turkey burgers, broil some pork chops, reheat your leftover pizza, bake a potato, toast some bread or reheat that home-made garlic bread, this tiny little oven will do wonders in your small kitchen.
The description describes it as extra-large… although it is much more small than the above units. However, having a curved rear extension, it could still accommodate a 9-inch plate.
The unit feels a little bit flimsy, but works well. Being small, it is also a perfect item for small galley kitchen or a great addition to any student dorm room.
Price: Really cheap ! So, overall, it does work, is cute and isn’t expensive… and for only 25 bucks, you can’t really complain!
Choosing The Best Toaster Oven
Picking the best toaster oven for you is not exactly an easy task. If you go to a retail store like Target or Walmart, or look online on Amazon, you will find hundreds of different brands and models at different prices. Choosing your best toaster oven will largely depend on what exactly you are looking for. I made you a small summary of things to think about.
1. What is your budget? You can purchase a low-cost for less than 30 dollars on a model like Proctor Silex 4 slice Toaster Oven, White or a 250 dollars one like Breville BOV800XL The Smart Oven 1800-Watt Convection Toaster Oven with Element IQ. Obviously, you’re not getting the same quality and features here, but we are talking budget here, and if all you are looking for is something that can toast your bagel or bake your pizza, then both product will get the work done. Read below to find my recommendations.
2. How big do you want your unit to be? The bigger the better? Often, but not always. Even though it can be tempting to go for a bigger unit for its convenience, you also have to think about storage and countertop space. If you live in a small apartment or crowded apartment, adding just one appliance, even as small as a toaster oven will quickly show. So if space is an issue, stick to smaller model, otherwise, the bigger the better.
3. Do you need a convection fan? No a convection fan isn’t just a gimmick to make more money, they actually are great features. A convection fan is basically a fan located within the unit that helps move the hot air around, which allow for a more even and quicker cooking or baking. The convection fan allows you to make the most use of the heat generated, and therefore you can cook at a lower temperature for a shorter amount of time. It may cost you more now, but will help you save money on the long run.
4. Safety features. If you are going to let your child use the toaster oven, make sure that it comes with a timer that will automatically shut off the machine after the set amount of time.
How to Maintain Your Toaster Oven
Just like a regular oven, a toaster oven needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to avoid grease and other particles to harden and stick to the interior of the appliance, keeping your oven clean and preventing smoke and a burnt smell when cooking. The good thing is that, unlike a regular-sized oven, it won’t take you a full afternoon to do the cleaning, cleaning a toaster oven is just a matter of minutes.
To ensure that your toaster oven functions properly:
- Remove the crumbs of the tray on a regular basis
- Remove the grills
- Using a non-abrasive soap, a bit of warm water and some dish soap, scrub the grills, then the inside of the appliance
- If the grease is not fully coming off, try to spray with a 60% vinegar 40% hot water solution, wait about 5 minutes and scrub again with your sponge and hot water.
- And remember, the more often you clean it, the easier it will be to clean it each time.
Toaster Oven History
If you are searching for the best toaster oven because you don’t own one or simply because you need to replace your old one, you came to the right place. I will give you here a full guide on the advantage on toaster ovens, how to choose yours, what are the best and best rated toaster ovens and even some quick tips on how to maintain them so they will help you in your kitchen you for many years to come.
Over the years…
The industrial revolution started changing the face of humanity over 250 years ago and, as I was eating my toast at breakfast before heading to the office, I pondered about about how this technological advancement had affected not only my life and that of my family, but also of everyone, including you.
Years of technical progress has given us the obvious: cars, planes, trains, subways, the iPhone and Android phones, computers… But technology also affects us in areas of our lives we never really think of, especially that humble part of our house that power us every day, the kitchen. And it is in this kitchen that we find one of the most versatile, most practical and most useful cooking device, an emancipator for the every day guy and girl who is too overloaded with school homework, is often working late or is busy taking care of the family: the toaster oven.
When it first came out on the market several year ago, many saw the toast over as the overrated toaster to toast baguette sandwiches and bagels. Nowadays, in most households, the toaster oven has become a handy, even indispensable, kitchen appliance that can cook nearly everything, from pizza to muffins and even all sort of dishes that would normally be cooked in regular ovens.
If you’ve ever used this device, you probably know that there are plenty of benefits that come with it. These kitchen appliances are small and usually take a fairly small footprint on your counter-top and can easily be put away in the pantry or in the cabinet. They can also help you save energy; indeed, it doesn’t take near as much energy to power up that little appliance but yet provides enough heat to cook 99% of what you would normally cook in a regular-sized oven, and contrary to microwaves that can often change the taste of food or their texture, making the food more gummy or more mushy, toaster ovens don’t. So let’s look at a few other reasons why these kitchen tools are so appealing.
Clean up is effortless
Whether you spilled some cheese, tomato sauce or grease, clean up is always simple. When the oven is cool enough, wipe it off with a wet towel and a little bit of dish soap, before it hardens – clean up is much easier this way. To make cleaning even easier, you can wrap your lasagna or casserole in an aluminium foil before baking.
Toaster oven are kids-friendly
If you are worried about your kids using the big oven for their first cooking and baking experiments, you can let your children experiment in a safe(r)-manner using the toaster-oven, with some supervision of course! Less chance of burning than a regular-sized oven, no open flames and easy temperature and time settings make this appliance a must have for families with kids. They are also safe and easy enough for your teenagers to use to warm a pizza or some nachos for their group of friends on movie nights.
Toaster ovens are reasonably priced
You don’t have to hurt your wallet when investing in a good toaster-oven. I actually once had a cheap Black & Decker toaster oven I purchased while I was in college and that totally refused to pass away no matter the on-going overuse we were inflicting it years later. We would use it to bake lasagnas and Sheppard’s pie at least twice a week, potatoes, open-face sandwiches in the morning, home made sausages on a baguette, heat up left overs, bake Jamaican patties and pizza pockets and what not. It absolutely broke my heart when I decide to replace it, not because it wasn’t functional, but simply because I wanted a stainless steel that would match the rest of my kitchen. Purchasing that toaster-oven was definitely one of the best kitchen investment I had made.
These days, toaster ovens come in a lot of different designs and price range. You can get a suitable one for every kitchen, of different colors (stainless steel, black, red) and with different features (for example convection) and of different sizes (some a big enough to roast a chicken!). You can get a really nice one for less than $50, or more than $200, depending on the type of features you are looking for. And since they are reasonably priced, they also make wonderful and thoughtful presents for a housewarming.
How to choose a toaster oven
Toaster ovens are very convenient. Not only can they be used for warming and heating food, they can also be used for many other tasks as well. Here are some tips to help you choose the best toaster oven for you:
Space: Check the available space on your countertop. Toaster ovens come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so you’ll want to choose one that will actually fit in your kitchen. You may also want to base your choice on what you’re planning to cook with your toaster. For example, if you’re planning to use your toaster for roasting chickens, you’ll need a larger model.
Prices: Look for a toaster that fits your budget and preferences. Basic toaster ovens start at around $30, while well-equipped toaster ovens cost between $150 and $300. Some of the best toaster ovens are priced below $100.
Shopping: Go to your local store to see what’s available. Looking at products in person will help you choose the best toaster oven for you. You can also look for deals online. This allows you to easily compare prices, and you can save money if the store offers free shipping.
Features: Today’s toaster oven can do much more than just toast breads and bagels. They can be used to cook eggs, hamburgers, or even a four-pound chicken. If you’re just planning on using the toaster oven for toasting or heating food, a basic model will do just fine. If you’re planning on using it for baking and broiling as well, you’ll want to look for models equipped with a convection or infrared heating.
While toaster ovens equipped with a standard dial timer are available, most cooks find electronic keypads much easier to use as they offer a more precise setting option. Other desirable features for toaster ovens include a non-stick interior and a removable crumb tray for easy cleaning.
Safety: If you have kids, look for a cool-touch exterior surface: you don’t want them to get burnt if they touch the toaster accidentally. Many toasters come with an automatic shut-off feature and a bell that signals when the cooking time is up, which reduce the risk of a kitchen fire resulting from forgetting to turn the oven off.
So there are my best picks for a great long lasting toaster oven. Just follow my advice and you’ll get a unit that will last you for years to come.