Do you need a new toaster oven? Maybe you need your first ever toaster oven.
There are just so many brands, makes, and models out there that we all get confused. It’s not a case of everything is made the same. And it’s not the case that the most expensive option will be the best. We need to spend time researching all the different options and what others must say about them to get the perfect toaster oven for our needs.
Well, I want to take some of the stress off you. I’ve already done the hard work for you. I’ve been through all your different options and created a comprehensive look at the best toaster ovens and reviews on the market.
Before we do get into those reviews, I want to touch on some important factors when looking at the various options available. By getting yourself ready before your search, you will know exactly what you need and elements of reviews that you can just ignore! You’ll soon find the search time is cut in half.
Once you are ready to start looking through the reviews, get your notepad and pen and start making notes to find the best toaster oven for your needs.
Just What Is a Toaster Oven and Why Do You Need It?
Before we even think about looking at the different brands, you need to know more about a toaster oven. If you don’t already have one, you may wonder just why you even need to bother with one in the first place. Is it really an important kitchen gadget?
Toaster ovens are useful every single day. They’re versatile, allowing you to toast, roast, and much more. It’s possible to make small side dishes or cook large meals for the whole family. You can heat up dishes that you had in the fridge and even defrost some meat. It’s an oven in a box; an oven that sits on your countertop.
If you’re an avid baker, you can opt for a toaster oven instead. There’s no need to use up a lot of electricity heating up the larger appliance in your home. Simply plug in your toaster oven and it will be ready in minutes. This is an excellent way to keep small hands well away from the hot appliance after helping you with the baking.
Even if you’re cooking a larger meal, the use of the toaster oven will be cheaper. The products are designed to require less electricity overall, putting more money in your pocket. The smaller appliances are even better than your newer energy efficient ovens!
And if you do need something a little larger, there will be a toaster oven to suit you. There are also smaller options the size of a microwave to keep the space to a minimum.
You’re still roasting and baking in the way that you would with a traditional oven. This offers a healthier way to cook compared to frying and even microwaving. You have more control over where the fat goes and can improve your diet completely.
Some people have even gotten rid of their standard oven because of their toaster ovens. There’s also no need for everyday toasters and some people have gotten rid of their microwaves. Why take up more space than you really need to?
Can I Really Replace My Oven?
Many people get excited about the idea of toaster ovens. They believe that they can replace their larger appliances in the home and just opt for countertop options.
I can see why that is the belief and there are some functions that the toaster oven will replace. I’ve already mentioned that you can make pizzas and cookies in the oven. You really can replace your toaster when you have one of these and you could even get rid of your microwave.
In all my research, I haven’t found anyone who has completely replaced their traditional oven yet. There are a lot of people who want to but they haven’t found a way to do some of the larger dishes that they use their traditional oven for. One of the biggest complaints is the lack of ability to do a roast chicken dinner!
This can make a lot of people question why they should even bother with the toaster oven. Why would you even want an extra appliance in your home?
Well, let me remind you of something that I’ve just said: you can save money. The toaster oven is far more energy efficient. You’re heating up a much smaller space. That offers you the ability to save money on your energy bills with your everyday cooking. After all, you are more likely going to need the toaster, pizza cooking, and pie baking functions more than doing a roast chicken!
Depending on the size, you will also be able to make muffins, pasta dishes, and even fish. It’s just the bigger options that you can’t do. So, you could cut down on your oven use considerably. And if your standard oven does start to die or suddenly blow, you have a toaster oven to pull out and use.
I will say that there are some units that are marketed as complete oven replacements. Customer reviews will tell you differently!
Getting Confused Over the Types of Toaster Ovens?
I know how it feels to find out that there’s more than one type of an appliance. You’d just gotten into the idea of a new appliance and now you find out that you have multiple types to choose between.
Just where do you start? Is it even worth working your way through your options? Maybe it’s best to just go back to the traditional oven and microwave.
Stop right now! Don’t get yourself in a whizz over your different options. There are only two types of toaster ovens that you need to distinguish between.
The most commonly bought options are the basic/conventional toaster ovens. These are the ones that I’ve just talked about. They save room and cook your meals using less energy. They don’t take as long to pre-heat as traditional ovens because there isn’t as much space to heat up inside. Most of these units are affordable.
You’ll find most stores will sell this type of toaster oven. Sure, there will be some with extra space inside and extra racks and some will have other bells and whistles but there are no major differences between them. They all basically do the same things.
Without getting into too much detail, I will say that there is one big drawback of this type of toaster oven. They do tend to burn your food. Think of them like a traditional oven. You will need to keep your eye on the oven and the timer to make sure your food isn’t over cooked. A heat circulator within the oven is a great way to minimise this risk, but you still need to keep an eye on your food and the timer. There is the risk of fire.
You could opt for the second type of toaster oven, which is now growing in popularity. This is known as the convection toaster oven. It uses infrared or steam with the heat circulation to make sure the food is cooked evenly and throughout. There is less chance of burning or fire compared to the more traditional toaster ovens.
A major benefit of the convection options is that they cook food faster. You’ll use even less energy than you would with the conventional option. You just must consider the upfront cost involved with one of these. If you use the oven daily, this is certainly going to be the option for your needs. Otherwise, you will find that the basic ovens are perfect for you.
Now that you know about the differences between the two types of toaster ovens, you can start considering reviews. I want to touch on something about reviews before you jump right in.
There Is the Worry of Fake Reviews
You may have heard recently that Amazon is cracking down on its reviewing policy. Those who buy reviews—and the reviewers who sell their reviewing skills—are getting in some hot water with Amazon.
This is great news for you. Right now, it can be hard to trust the reviews you see. Just how do you know if you can trust the glowing positive remarks about a certain product? Could those glowing positives be lies from people who have been paid to say certain things? Maybe you’re being led into a false sense of security to buy a product that really isn’t going to be worth your money.
Yes, I understand that fear. While looking through the different toaster ovens for this piece I had to question some of the reviews and the comments.
It’s not just positive reviews, either. How do you know if you can trust the negative comments? Some people buy reviews just to knock down their competition! It’s a black-hat technique that is so unfair on the unsuspecting competition. And then it leads to the competition buying positive reviews to weigh out the negatives, since they have no idea who is on the attack.
We’re left with this cycle of questionable reviews. And you’re left reading product descriptions and just hoping that you will put your money on the right horse.
Well, there are some reviews that you can trust. The trick with Amazon is to check the ‘verified purchase’ marker and then actually ready through the whole review. Look out for any remarks that just seem too good to be true.
Chances are that a product with three or four reviews has plenty of genuine reviews. It seems to be that people only buy one or five star reviews depending on their aims. Having three or four doesn’t necessarily mean that the product isn’t worth buying. Check the details of the review to see why that product has been marked down.
You can also look out for the Amazon Vine reviewers. These are those that Amazon trusts the most, so you can feel like they are trustworthy people. This isn’t a guarantee but there is a higher chance of getting an honest review from someone who bought and tried the product.
There is the possibility that the product is marked down through no fault of the actual product. Some people are just never happy enough to leave five stars, while others will have problems with the delivery—the delivery companies fault and not the sellers. There may be issues with the packaging more than the actual product.
You’ll need to make sure that anything said about the product affects you and the reason you are buying the item. If there is something that doesn’t affect your use or your need, you can disregard that element of the review. If the review hasn’t covered something that you will need, then you will need to read other reviews.
It’s also important to read a mixture of product and customer reviews. The product reviews are usually done with the idea of clarity and informative in mind. This article is full of product reviews, giving you the pros and cons of every single item so you can make a better-informed decision.
Do consider the manufacturers of the toaster oven and those who are selling it. This is especially the case if you go searching on somewhere like Amazon. There are scam sellers who sell fake toaster ovens to scam a little bit of cash. They then have a dodgy returns policy, such as taking it to a store that they didn’t even buy the item from!
To be able to make use of all the information you get, you will need to make a checklist.
Your Review Checklist to Find the Best Toaster Oven
What do you want your toaster oven to do? What are your more important needs when it comes to this appliance in the home? These are the types of questions you will need to answer with your review checklist.
You’ll need to make a note of every little aspect that a toaster oven must meet when looking through product descriptions, product reviews, and customer reviews. You can mark a check for each item that does meet a certain required element and then see how each individual product balances out.
You’re not always going to get the perfect option. In some cases, you will need to make some compromises. This is especially the case when it comes to your budget. You may not be able to get a convectional toaster oven with the budget that you have in mind, but there is always the option of a higher end conventional oven.
There may be aspects of a toaster oven that you haven’t thought about before you look through reviews. You can add them into needs as you learn more about the different brands and models available. However, avoid adding too many requirements and necessities. The more you have, the harder it will be to find the perfect toaster oven for your needs.
In your checklist, you can include some elements that you’re not as bothered about. They can be elements that you see a lot of people complain about that just aren’t that important for you.
Something that you might want to add onto your checklist is the colour of the unit. Most customers don’t complain about this but that’s because the colours are standard with most toaster ovens. You’ll mostly get stainless steel silver toaster ovens. However, it is possible to get them in blacks, whites, reds, and blues. You’ll want to think about your décor and the other appliances in your home.
There isn’t going to be a wrong or right answer when it comes to the checklist. This really is about your needs and wants. You need to think about your wishes. For some, size of the toaster oven is going to be far more important than power or energy efficiency because of their smaller kitchen!
You will find the best toaster oven for your needs. With some patience and considerations, there is something for everyone.
Make Sure You Look After Your Toaster Oven
This shouldn’t need saying, but you’ll be surprised by the amount of people who perform little to no maintenance on their toaster ovens. They expect them to just keep working as they did on the first day.
Let me make a point of saying that most toaster ovens will work perfectly out of the box. They are ready for use but you will need to heat them for around 10 minutes to remove the protective coatings from the heating. The units will all come with their own instructions to do this to make sure you don’t end up with lots of smoke in your unit!
Regularly cleaning is essential. Grease and crumbs will get caught in the unit depending on the type of food you’re making and cooking in them. Most of the units will come with standard oven racks and a crumb tray. It’s worth looking out for those with removable crumb trays—no they are not all standard! Removable crumb trays will just make your life so much easier, especially when you get one of the larger toaster ovens.
Before cleaning, take out all the removable parts and clean them separately. You’ll find it much easier to get into all the other elements of your toaster oven.
It’s worth looking for stainless steel units or others that are easy to clean. The last thing you want is to spend hours scrubbing at the units to make sure they are completely cleaned and ready for the next use.
This does sound obvious but make sure that all the parts are dry before you use the toaster oven again. You don’t want to heat the toaster oven up to dry it out, as you could risk ruining some of the elements inside. The manufacturer will include any details of specific steps that you should take or areas that you should avoid getting wet, such as the heating elements.
The toaster ovens will come with warranties, but that won’t cover you if you haven’t looked after the item. If the manufacturer believes that your negligence or action caused the toaster oven to break, you could find yourself struggling to get a new product because of it.
Set up a routine to clean your toaster oven regularly. You want to empty the crumbs out at least once a week, whether you use your toaster daily or not. This just helps to avoid a backlog of crumbs getting into the smaller sections of the toaster. You may need to use a brush for some of the hard to reach crumbs if you don’t have a removable tray.
Don’t forget the outside of your toaster. This will need cleaning weekly. You only need to wipe it down to remove any staining to keep your toaster looking just like new!
Now with all that in mind, let’s look at some of our best picks for toaster ovens. We have a range of options within different price ranges to suit your budgets and requirements.
The Panasonic Flash Xpress
This is considered one of the best options on the market. Let’s just start with the fact that the brand is well-known and trusted. You likely have or have had a Panasonic piece of technology in the home in the past. The brand is known for TVs and audio equipment, as well as kitchen appliances. With a good brand, you’re going to need fewer repairs and replacements in the years to come.
One of the biggest benefits for many people is the size of the toaster oven. This is on the smaller size for these units, but still offers the same power of the larger options available to buy. You don’t have to spend over the odds for the power and storage space, like you would with some of the other options on the market.
If you have a tiny galley kitchen, this is the type of toaster oven that you want to invest in. The oven fits into the smallest of spaces far better than other toaster ovens. It’s designed for minimalism and downsizing in mind. The downside is that the space within your toaster oven is going to be smaller. You will be able to fit a 9-inch pizza into the machine at the most, which may not be enough for all. It will do four slices of toast at one time. Don’t go replacing your oven with it if you opt for this toaster oven!
With the price tag, you would usually expect a conventional toaster oven, but the Panasonic Flash Xpress is an infrared system. It’s convectional, making sure that your food is completely cooked without burning. You can get things done while you have dinner on the go. The infrared also offers the benefit of no pre-heating needed. Everything is cooked in almost half the time as some of the other toaster ovens on the market, and you get away with using far less electricity.
If you really want to make things easier for you, there are pre-set menu times that you can just click and leave. You can also pre-set your temperatures, so there’s no need to think about the size and weight. Other personal settings are available, making thins one of the most customizable units available.
The Flash Xpress also uses automatic technology to determine the heating time and the temperatures of your food. It means so little work for you and there are lots of complicated settings to go through for your job. Even the least tech-savvy individual will be able to set up the system and leave it to work on your dinner.
If you do want to take control over the cooking capabilities, that is an option. There are settings that you can switch with just a push of a button to make sure the food is cooked to your personal tastes. You can also reheat food quickly and effortlessly.
The menu buttons are extremely easy to see and understand. There’s no need to wonder what the little letters or codes mean. You’ll see the symbols of the food that you want to cook, as well as the wording if you need the confirmation. You’ll soon find that pressing the buttons is second nature and you really don’t need to think too much about it all.
This is one of those toaster ovens you’ll want when you need something small but versatile. It works on all types of ingredients, whether you want to cook from scratch or reheat last night’s takeaway. You can completely replace your microwave if you don’t like microwavable meals, as everything else can be done through your toaster oven. And if your main oven is in use, you can cook your potatoes and side vegetables quickly without too much hassle.
All you’ll need to do is make sure you time your different methods of cooking properly. While the toaster oven can reheat your potatoes, it’s so much better if you can manage the timings better.
When you want to get the food out of your oven, there’s no need to worry about burning your arms on the side. You’ll still need oven gloves with some items but the wire rack hooks onto the door. When you pull the door open, the wire rack pulls out with it. You just get to grab your food and shut the door. It’s one of the only toaster ovens on the market that can offer this benefit—and it’s not exactly hard to do!
The rack is removable, along with the crumb tray. You can just pull them out when you want to clean them. Don’t forget to give the inside of your toaster oven a clean. Yes, it is made of stainless steel, but you still want to maintain it to ensure it works properly always.
There isn’t too much of a weight to the toaster oven. Think of it like your microwave. You can move it easily around your kitchen and it can be stored in a cupboard if you sometimes prefer it out of the way. You’ll also find that it moves home easily with you!
That stainless-steel finish isn’t just great for cleaning. It helps to make your toaster oven durable and looks smart and sophisticated in your kitchen. This is a toaster oven that will work perfectly with your décor and matches most other appliances now in the kitchen. It especially works well with stainless steel ovens and microwaves.
Something that customers have pointed out with this toaster oven is that it will not replace your traditional oven. This isn’t that type of space saver due to the size and capabilities. It works with your traditional oven to make some cooking a lot easier. You won’t be able to bake cakes or pies within the oven and it’s not suitable for roasting chickens. It is suitable for your side dishes and most of your smaller meals and desserts.
Overall it is a powerful little oven with an attractive look. But is it really the best?
The Breville Mini Smart Toaster Oven
The second on our list is the Breville Mini Smart oven. This is another trusted brand, especially when it comes to kitchen appliances and utensils. This is also an excellent option for those with a small kitchen. You get all the power of the higher end Brevilles without the extra price or bulkiness.
This is a slightly bigger option that the Panasonic one that we’ve already looked at. It fits an 11-inch pizza inside compared to a 9-inch. This will mean that it is suitable for some of the smaller cakes, but it is still not going to be good enough for your small roast chickens. However, it’s still not the best for these types of baking and you won’t want to get rid of your traditional oven just yet.
There are three positions for the rack, helping with the cooking process. It also automatically shuts off when it has finished the cooking. There’s a lower risk of fire and burning, without you constantly having to watch the thing.
When it comes to all the Breville toaster ovens, there are some major downsides to this one. Because of the size and cost, you’re getting rid of the pizza pan and broil pan. Breville has completely pulled the unit back to the essentials and kept the colour scheme extremely simple. If you want something that does more and allows for far more cooking, you will need to get one of the larger models.
Of course, with the larger models, you must sacrifice the space saving that this unit offers. Remember that checklist that we mentioned? This is where you’ll need to think about the necessities that you really want out of your unit.
So, what does the unit have going for it? Well, it does have the pre-set functions depending on your needs. There are 8 pre-set functions, whether you want to reheat food, toast some bread, or even bake some cookies. Yes, there is a pre-set function for the cookies! Your life is made so much easier, especially since those pre-settings are all on an LDC unit to make it much easier to see.
The toaster oven also uses up to date smart technology. No, we’re not talking about using a couple of apps to get your unit working. We’re talking about the computer being able to do the hard work for you. It notes that type of food you’ve put into it and determines a cooking time and temperature. You can leave it to it and it will get it right 99% of the time. Of course, there are times that computers fail!
If you’re not ready to leave your computer to do the cooking, then there are manual controls. You don’t just have to opt for the pre-set functions, either. You can take full control over your cooking time and temperature depending on the type of item you’re baking, cooking, or reheating. This is especially beneficially if you’re reheating a chicken or fish dish!
There is an app element to this. It’s up to you if you want to use it or not, but it can be highly beneficial. The smartphone app will turn your unit on, meaning you can put something in it before you leave and then control the unit while out so your dinner is ready when you get home.
The smartphone app also allows you to put a meal plan into the calendar. You’ll get a created shopping list based on that meal plan, so you can quickly grab the ingredients that you need.
The size does also offer the benefit of quicker cooking time. A smaller space inside your unit will mean less time preheating. In fact, in most cases the unit won’t need preheating. You instantly save money that way. When you are heating or reheating food, the heat doesn’t have as much space to keep warm. You’ll find the cooking time reduces thanks to this.
You will need to make sure there is nothing over the top of the unit when placing it in your kitchen. The cooling vents are at the top. If anything is placed on or over them, then the unit will overheat. You can pull it out when you are using it and then store it elsewhere when not in use, but if you’re going to do that then you might as well buy a larger unit.
Customers have said that the top of the oven gets very hot, even when just using it for three or four minutes. Not only is it important to keep anything off it but you should avoid touching it during and after use.
Like most Breville models, this is one of those that you can just pull out of the box and use. The only thing you need to do is heat for 10 minutes without anything in it. This helps to clean the protective coverings and avoid smoky and distasteful food!
The main thing that people complain about when it comes to this toaster oven is the warranty. It only comes with a one-year warranty, but it’s supposed to be a unit that will last you for years. Typical, huh?
Breville’s Compact Smart Toaster
What about when you want something a little larger than the one above but that does all the same functions? It makes sense to stay with the brand that you can already trust, right?
Well, you’d be right in this case. Breville does has an upgrade from the version above with the Compact Smart Toaster. Yes, it uses the same smart technology as the one above, meaning you get all the same benefits. We won’t go into them all again!
What we will mention is the toaster oven’s ability to sense where more heat is needed. There will be times that one side of an item starts heating quicker than the other. The unit will be able to reduce the heat in certain areas and make sure that other sections heat a little quicker to ensure the uniform heating and browning.
The LCD screen will change colours during and after the food cooking. During the cooking process, you will see an orange screen. It turns blue once cooking is complete. There’s no need to do any guesswork. While you’re pottering around with things in the kitchen or other parts of the house, you can give your oven a quick look to see where it is at.
Another feature within the LCD unit is the ability to change the number of slices of toast you’re making. This is an important setting because the unit will automatically change its heating process to ensure that all slices are toasted evenly without you keeping a close eye on it.
The size of the compact toaster oven is on the medium size. It’s not going to fit into the smallest of kitchens but it is far more practical for your baking and heating needs. Let’s just start with the 12” pizza that you can make in the oven. This tends to be the standard size when it comes to frozen pizzas. While the other units will allow you to half your pizzas and cook them in two batches, this just seems so much easier, right?
You’ll also be able to get a 10×10 inch pan into the unit, which is much better for baking cakes and brownies. You can do far more, but you still won’t be able to do the roast chicken that your traditional oven does. This is just more of a way to replace your toaster and microwave than replace all your units in the house.
Like with the previous Breville unit, this comes with 8 pre-set functions and 3 rack positions. You can let the unit do all the hard work for you. Some of the functions include pizza, reheating, and cookie baking.
If you do want to take control of the cooking, there is a little helper guide on the front of the glass. It will tell you the average cooking times for most of the items that you will pop into the toaster oven. There’s no more need to go through the recipes or try to remember what you wrote down years ago,
Whether you’re dealing with temperatures in Fahrenheit or Celsius doesn’t really matter. There’s a button that allows you to switch between the two for easier use.
While we are on the look and style, the whole unit is stainless steel. This isn’t different to the other units that we’ve already considered. It’s really the way that toaster oven manufacturers are going because stainless steel is so superior. You’ll have no problems cleaning it.
What are the problems with it? Well, like the previous units it is just too small. Some customers have mentioned that they can’t bake bread in it, which means they must spend more money on their conventional oven.
It really will depend on the need for the toaster and what you want to achieve. If you’re looking to replace your oven completely then this isn’t the option for you. If you just want to speed up some processes and get rid of the microwave, this will be the best $200 or so that you will even spend.
However, there are complaints about the warranty. It seems like the one-year warranty is the standard for Breville, despite the need for these units to last much longer for the money that you pay.
Breville Convection Toaster Oven
Something that this Breville unit offers that the other two don’t is the convectional cooking method. The other two are your standard conventional toaster ovens, which means it uses far more electricity. The electricity still is less than your standard oven, though, which is a benefit.
However, we’ve already discovered that convectional ovens are the way to go. They are far more superior and offer a better efficiency in the cooking. While you may spend an extra $100-$200 on your unit, you will find that it saves you that and more in the long-term use.
This is the full-size toaster oven. It does absolutely everything that you could possibly want from the countertop unit, including roasting a chicken. There are debates over this with the customer reviews, so you’ll have to test it out for yourself when you get it! It’s likely that not many people have really tried. What it won’t do is cook a turkey!
The size will cook a 13” pizza and offers an extra pre-set function compared to its Breville sisters. The upgrade is the six slices of toaster instead of the standard four. The LCD setting is just like the others that we’ve already seen, so we don’t really need to go into all that again.
This unit comes with the broil and pizza pan extensions as standard, which makes the extra cost slightly worth it. The downside though is the size. This isn’t going to fit into your small kitchen and you may need to rearrange your appliances in a standard sized kitchen. Many customers will also find it difficult to store it out of the way when necessary.
Some of the biggest complaints come from the alarm sounds. It is a loud system, but it means you can get through with things in the house while you let the toaster oven get to work. Some have also complained about the size because it is still too small! The size is standard for the larger units, so it really means that people want a traditional oven!
The unit comes in two different colours. You can opt for the standard silver stainless steel, which works with all decors, or you can go with a red colour. The choice is completely up to you and there are no price differences for the benefit of a slightly different colour.
Cuisinart’s Classic Toaster Oven
Let’s move away from the Breville brand and onto the Cuisinart brand. This is one that not everyone will have heard about but is one to trust.
The size of this Cuisinart oven and broiler is on the small size and so is the price. When you’re looking for a starter oven that you want to test and see if you want an upgrade soon, then this is something worth considering. While it costs little, it does come with all the premium features you would expect of a toaster oven.
You’re getting a unit that will cook an 11-inch pizza without a problem or six slices of toast. This is a slight upgrade from the more expensive Breville. It also holds the smart technology of the Breville, so you’re really getting a lot for your money. There’s no pre-heating necessary and it will heat your food up completely evenly.
Another major benefit, especially over the Breville units, is the three-year warranty that comes with the unit. This is excellent. Oh, and we can’t forget that it comes with the roiling rack and drip pan as standard. There are other items available to purchase, but these are your most standard ones that only the more expensive Brevilles come with.
What could the downsides be? Well, you are taking a bit of a step back with the technology. While it is a smart oven, it doesn’t have an LCD display. You must turn the knobs to get the settings that you want. It’s not quite the same smart function that the Breville has, so no controlling with your smartphone. The smart features are to keep everything heated evenly and quickly.
There are only five functions to this unit: bake, broil, warm, bagel, and toast. There is ‘off’ if you count that as a setting! When it comes to the toast, you can change the lightness of the toasting, so you get light, medium, or dark. And there is anything in between!
Out of all the Cuisinart toaster ovens on the market, this is the only one that isn’t a convection oven. You’re going to use more electricity with this, which is why it is priced so low. It also has the least number of functions when it comes to the different cooking settings. Of course, you can make this work for you since there is the ability to control your whole oven yourself.
As for the customer reviews, there are some mixed opinions on this Cuisinart toaster oven. The size doesn’t help, despite the premium features. While there are some benefits to the unit, the longevity of the item has just been an issue as it doesn’t quite last the length of time people would like.
Cuisinart Deluxe Convection Toaster Oven
When you want to stick with Cuisinart, there is always another grade up. The deluxe convection toaster is the middle range option from the brand and comes with all the standards of the basic unit as standard.
One of the biggest benefits is the convection heating without spending a fortune. The cooking size is slightly larger and it comes with an LCD display. You can add extra pre-set functions to this toaster oven, making defrosting and convection baking much easier. It even comes with a timer within the LCD clock setting, which makes managing your dinner a lot easier.
Something that Cuisinart needs to consider is better smart technology. Even with the LCD unit, this isn’t programmable or manageable through your smartphone.
When it comes to customer reviews, there are far more positives than its cheaper and smaller sister. Something that customers highly rate is the insulation. The sides of the oven don’t overheat while it is in use, making handling the unit much better. It’s safer for little children in the house.
DeLonghi Digital Convection Toaster Oven
If you’re considering other brands, you may come across the DeLonghi toaster oven. This isn’t a brand that’s as recognisable as others on the market but it is worth a consideration. Out of all the units that we’ve already looked at and the others after this, the DeLonghi is the most versatile unit.
Not only with the digital oven bake and broil, but it will also defrost and dehydrate. If you tend to make your own dried fruit, then this is something that you’ll want to consider to make your life so much easier. But the dehydration is just an extra function that may not be as necessary.
You can get dehydration kits for the other units. It’s not viewed as an essential, which is why it isn’t generally included in the kits.
There is the benefit of having two racks in the unit. You can cook more at the same time, which is something that some of our other options don’t offer. Of course, there are others with three racks!
The biggest downside will be the cleaning. This unit is one of the only ones that doesn’t have a non-stick material on the inside of it. If you spill anything, make sure you clean it up as soon as possible. You may need to use an oven cleaner if it is a very stubborn spill. Make sure you follow the instructions in the book to avoid damaging the unit.
Overall it does perform highly and does everything else that all the other units do. There’s a digital timer element and a very easy pre-setting function. You can also set the lightness of your toast on seven different settings to make sure it’s made exactly to your needs.
However, this can be priced on the slightly high side for what it does. It’s the sort of price that you would pay for the bigger and bulkier Brevilles—the ones that come with far more functions. This is also one of the heaviest units (although not the heaviest available). If you want something that is easy to move around the home, then this isn’t going to be the one for you.
Customers rate this one highly. One of the biggest benefits is the automatic shut off that the Cuisinart brand doesn’t offer. This is a major safety feature, since otherwise toast would be allowed to burn and catch alight. If you’re trying to choose between the DeLonghi and the Cuisinart then this could be your deciding factor, even if it does mean spending a little extra money.
KitchenAid Convectional Countertop Toaster Oven
Onto another brand and this is one that most you will have heard of. KitchenAid is a trusted brand for all things kitchen, hence the name! The toaster oven is no different. While you will pay one of the highest prices for a unit, you are getting quality and safety at the same time.
Size-wise, the KitchenAid toaster oven is about standard. It’s cooks 12 inch pizzas and has two racks. You can do two pizzas at the same time to save you some time. You’ll also be able to adjust the racks if you want to use both at the same time or separately.
Unfortunately, you’re not getting all the safety featured of some of the cheaper models. I know this will be an instant dislike for this product and that is perfectly understandable. There isn’t an automatic rack ejector with the KitchenAid toaster oven
The lack of safety featured is meant to offer you the benefit of warm toast. The idea is that the toaster oven reduces the heat and just keeps the toast warm for when you come to get it. You can always set a timer to make sure you don’t forget about the toast that you were making! The heating feature is there for all the pre-setting functions that you have. So, you’ll also keep your pizza and pasta dishes warm when you cook them in there.
Inside the toaster oven is a non-stick surface. This is excellent, since it makes cleaning so much easier. All the trays that come with the unit, including racks, a drip tray, and a crumb tray, are non-stick, too.
There are other more expensive KitchenAid units. They offer extra pre-set functions but they don’t exactly offer many extra cooking benefits. After all, you can control the timers and settings yourself to bake and toast all the food that you have!
Unlike many other units, the KitchenAid does come in different colours. This one comes in silver and black, but the more expensive options will come in red, blue, and white as well.
Black & Decker 4-Slice Toaster
When you want a cheap toaster oven, Black & Decker has you covered. This is one of the most recognisable brands in the whole world, and you will likely already have some sort of trust for them. You can find all types of toaster ovens with Black & Decker, but let’s stick with one of the cheapest options on the market. This option will cost less than $50.
What does that cheap price mean for you? Well, it does mean that you’re not going to get all the bells and whistles that many of the other toaster ovens will offer. It’s a very basic system that allows you to set the temperature between 100 and 450 F. Most of the time this will be enough for your needs.
There’s no display screen, which is a downside for many people. You must work out what the symbols on the knobs mean, which isn’t always easy with Black & Decker appliances. You can get around this by putting a label on the symbols to make sure you’re not confused the next time!
It is one of the weaker units on the market with just 1,500-watt power. Most others are around 1,800 watts of power. This is a positive thing, though. By putting in less power, you’ll use less electricity in your home without spending a fortune for a convection toaster oven. It’s up to you what’s more important! All it really means is that it will take you longer to cook meals or to get to the right temperature.
The only thing that you can’t do with the toaster oven is defrost anything. You’ll want to make sure it is completely defrosted before you even try to use the oven.
One major benefit is the warranty. Black & Decker offers two years’ warranty, despite the low price of the unit.
Customer reviews are mixed, which is to be expected. You’ll usually find there are more negative reviews with cheaper products. People want the best without spending the money for it! The most annoying part for customers is getting used to the product. This isn’t a toaster oven that you can just pull out of the box and get used to right away. You need to decipher everything about it but that is a price to pay for a cheaper toaster oven.
Make Your Choice of the Best Toaster Oven
Now it’s completely up to you. Which is going to be the best toaster oven for your needs?
I really recommend having a checklist of all the things that you must have when it comes to toaster ovens. There are so many features that the more expensive models will have, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the units are more valuable and worthwhile. Do you really want to use all the pre-set functions or would you rather have more control of it yourself? I know the pre-settings don’t really both me if it works properly.
This is one of those cases where it’s not one size fits all. You’ll need to consider your budget. You can get a lot for your money and it is possible to find a large convectional toaster oven for less than $200. It just then depends on whether you want the smartphone operated systems or those that just have sensors to make sure everything is toasted thoroughly.
In the end, it really is completely up to you. There is no wrong or right answer when it comes to toaster ovens and the checklist that you have created. It really depends on the space of your home and what you really want to get out of the toaster oven.
Look after your toaster oven, which ever type you get. You will find that a well looked after toaster oven will last you far more years than one that is just left, regardless of the price. You could find that those under $50 toaster ovens will last decades while your friend’s $300 one breaks after a couple of years’ use.
Which is the best toaster oven for your needs?
What do you think?