The first decision you need to make when looking to buy a toaster is whether you will buy a simple pop-up toaster or a toaster oven.
Toaster ovens cost more that basic toasters, but they can also do much more. For example, in a toaster oven, you can broil pork chops, burgers, and other meats. You can also cook a frozen pizza, bake cookies and more.
There are two main types of toaster ovens. Countertop models, just as the name suggests, stay on top of a counter. The second type consists of toaster ovens that go underneath a cabinet.
Toaster oven features
The capacity of a toaster oven is typically measured in how many slices it can toast at the same time. Additionally, manufacturers usually specify the diameter of the biggest pizza that you can prepare in the oven. If you are looking for an appliance that can also bake cookies and broil foods like chicken, then you should also pay attention to the overall dimensions of the interior of the oven.
A regular toaster oven has heating elements at the top and at the bottom. This means that air in the different parts of the oven can have different temperature. A toaster oven with convection functionality has a fan that circulates hot air in the oven, ensuring even temperature inside of the oven for better cooking results.
Cheaper models of toaster ovens have 3-4 heat settings for toasting and baking. More expensive models can have up to 9 settings and include features such as broiling and keeping the food warm.
Higher-end models of toaster ovens have broilers that allow you to prepare a wide range of foods using different cooking methods and not just simply toast bread or bagels in the oven.
An interior light can come very handy if you plan on using your toaster oven to bake, broil and defrost various items and want to be able to monitor the progress of your cooking.
A countdown timer is a very convenient feature because it shows you how much time remains until your food is done. Some ovens simply have a sound signal to indicate that the time is over. Others switch to keep warm mode and keep your food hot and ready even if you don’t take it out of the oven right away.
Type of heat
An inexpensive conventional toaster oven will most likely have heating elements made of metal alloys. Such heating elements need time to pre-heat the oven. While pre-heating in toaster ovens happens faster than in regular ovens because toaster ovens are much smaller, the process still takes some time.
This is why some manufacturers produce toaster ovens with infrared heat or quartz heating elements. In both cases, there’s no need to pre-heat the oven because the appliance heats up instantly.
Choosing the right toaster oven for you
To determine, what kind of toaster oven you need, you should answer the following questions:
How much counter space do you have?
A countertop toaster oven can be as small as 16 inches by 8 inches and as large as 20 inches by 10 inches. Typically, the smaller the oven, the less capacity and the less functionality it has.
What foods do you eat?
If you like to eat frozen pizza or want a toaster oven that you can use to roast meats, you will need a bigger toaster oven. If all you do it toast bread and bagels, you don’t need a toaster oven in the first place. A plain toaster will take less counter space and work faster than a toaster oven. If, however, you would like an appliance that will allow you to perform a variety of tasks, including baking, broiling and keeping food warm, then a toaster oven is going to be a great choice for you.
How quickly do you want your foods prepared?
If you want extremely fast food preparation, look for ovens that have infrared functionality or heating elements made out of quartz, not metal. Not only do they not need pre-heating, but also in both instances the speed of cooking is going to be higher compared to a regular toaster oven.
How much capacity do you need?
In our buying guide, you will be able to see how many slices of bread an oven accommodates. This number is important because you can narrow your selection using the number of people you typically cook breakfast for. If you have a large family, choose a six or an eight slice oven. If you only have a family of two people and mainly use your toaster oven for toasting bread, a small appliance will do just fine.
Toaster Oven Reviews
KitchenAid KCO275AQ is a convection countertop oven. It has an even-heat technology that provides consistent and even heat.
The oven has enough room to cook two 12-inch pizzas. You can also easily fit up to 8 slices of bread at once. The cavity of the oven has a non-stick coating that is extremely easy to clean.
There are 9 pre-programed functions that range from high sear to roasting. The functions are the following: Pizza, Bagel, Bake, Asado Roast, Toast, Broil, Keep Warm, Reheat, Cookie.
This toaster oven really shines when because you can use it to replace small baking jobs such as a quick batch of cookies. The convention feature makes the baking process fast and the results are outstanding. Because this oven is toaster-size, it heats up much quicker than a regular size oven. It is a perfect solution for those who have ample counter space and do a lot of baking on a smaller scale.
KitchenAid KCO275AQ comes with a 120-minute timer that you can set up to notify you when the dish is ready.
Included with the oven are one 12-inch nonstick pan, one 12-inch broiling rack, one non-stick tray and one cooking rack.
The dimensions of this oven are 16.1 inches by 18 inches by 12.1 inches. KitchenAid KCO275AQ weighs 19.7 pounds.
BLACK+DECKER TO1313SBD is a 4-slice toaster oven. It comes with a bake pan, a broil rack, and a toasting rack. The color of this oven is stainless steel and black. This is a regular toaster oven with no convection functionality.
The oven has a curved interior and can fit a 9-inch pizza. There are four functions: toasting, baking, broiling and keep warm. There is one heating element on top and one at the bottom. The maximum temperature of this oven is 450F.
There is a 30-minute timer that includes exact toast settings. You can set the time using the lower of the three knobs. The top knob on the oven is the temperature knob. In the middle, there is a mode knob.
BLACK+DECKER TO1313SBD has a removable crumb tray that you can clean easily. You simply need to open the door of the oven and pull out the tray to remove it for cleaning.
The dimensions of this toaster oven are 16.4 inches by 11.3 inches by 9.4 inches. It weighs 9.3 pounds.
Panasonic NB-G110P is a toaster oven with FlashXpress double infrared heating functionality that allows it to cook foods up to 40% faster compared to regular toaster ovens. It can fit up to 4 slices of bread or a pizza up to 9 inches in diameter.
Panasonic NB-G110P is not a smaller replacement for a traditional oven. You will not be able to cook a chicken in it, but the things it can do it does do extremely well.
There are six pre-set cooking modes for toasts, waffles, rolls, hash browns, pizza and quick reheating. The modes are illustrated on an easy-to-use control panel.
There is no need for pre-heating because infrared heating is instant. The temperature settings range from 250F to 500F.
The timer can be set up to 25 minutes of time.
This toaster oven has a removable crumb tray. The interior is non-stick and easy to clean.
The dimensions of this unit are 13.5 inches by 14.5 inches by 13.5 inches. Panasonic NB-G110P weighs 11.2 pounds.
Breville BOV800XL is a convection toaster oven with 1800 Watts of power. It can toast up to 6 slices at a time or cook a 13-inch pizza.
The color of this toaster oven is stainless steel. The heating elements are made of quartz and not metal. Compared to metal, quartz heats up very quickly, which means that it heats up the oven evenly.
The interior of Breville BOV800XL has a non-stick coating. There is also a crumb and drip tray for at easy cleanup.
In addition to these features, the oven has a magnetic auto-eject rack.
The creators of this oven realized that different foods need not just different times and temperatures of heating, but also different methods. For example, baked goods need even cooking while meats need a sear on top.
Most toaster ovens do not even distribute heat consistently and lack varied distribution functionality.
Breville BOV800XL has a feature called Element IQ that delivers the right amount of power at the exact time for a perfect taste. The feature moves the power around the oven to deliver great results.
There are five independent quartz heating elements above and below the food. Each element adjusts automatically based on the cooking mode. The way this toaster oven works is similar to a dimmer on a light switch. Most other ovens simply have an on/off switch while Breville BOV800XL can increase and decrease element power at different times with a turn of the knob.
For example, when searing foods, Breville BOV800XL activates 1500 Watts of heat on top of the oven. When toasting bread, the oven evenly distributes 1800 Watts of heat between the top and the bottom elements.
When you decide to bake foods, the oven will use convection heating and turn on a fan to circulate the air all around the oven, so that all sides of the dish prepare at the same speed.
There are 9 pre-programmed settings, including toast, bagel, bake, cookie, roast, pizza, broil, reheat and keep warm.
The dimensions of Breville BOV800XL are 18.5 inches by 16.25 inches by 11.25 inches.
Oster TSSTTVMNDG is a 6-slice toaster oven with convection functionality. This toaster oven has a fully digital control panel for precise heat and time adjustments. It also has several pre-set cooking functions.
There is a 90-minute worry-free timer that shuts off the oven once it finished cooking.
Oster TSSTTVMNDG has a roomy interior that will fit up to a 13-inch by 9-inch pan. You can use this toaster oven to prepare a variety of foods from pizzas to meat roasts.
This toaster oven has two rack positions. The temperature range is 150F to 450F. You can even choose the desired darkness of your toast, from light to dark.
Cooking modes include bake, convection bake, pizza, toast, broil, defrost and keep warm.
There are a see-through door and an interior light that allow monitoring of cooking progress.
The dimensions of the unit are 15.4 inches by 19.8 inches by 11.4 inches. The oven weighs 20.3 pounds.
Hamilton Beach 31126
Hamilton Beach 31126 is a 6-slice convection toaster oven.
This oven has an innovative curved door that increases visibility, space of the inside area, and makes accessing the oven very easy.
Hamilton Beach 31126 has a number of options for baking, broiling, and toasting. There are heating elements on top and at the bottom and a convection fan that distributes the heat evenly.
You can set the timer up to 30 minutes. A large window lets you effortlessly monitor the progress of your cooking.
The crumb tray is full width. It slides out from the front of the toaster oven for easy cleaning.
The dimensions of the unit are 16.8 inches by 10.8 inches by 19.8 inches. Hamilton Beach 31126 weighs 13.4 pounds.
A toaster oven is one of the appliances that you will most likely use on a daily basis, which is why you want to make sure that you are getting an appliance that’s right for your needs. In this guide, we took a look at the functionality of toaster ovens and reviewed all kinds of toaster ovens, from small and inexpensive to fairly large and somewhat pricey. While you can get a great basic toaster oven for $30-$40, if you want an oven that will toast, bake, broil and has convection functionality in addition to heating up instantly, be prepared to pay $100 and more.