The Best Toaster Oven (Review) in 2020
Convection toaster ovens provide a variety of advantages over conventional ovens. For one, they allow for more even cooking, locking in more flavors, and help you to cook your food in less time. These kitchen appliances also boost your efficiency in the kitchen by significantly reducing the time needed to cook your meals. And if you are thinking about adding the best toaster oven in your kitchen today, we’ve got you covered. Check out our list of the modern world’s best convection toaster ovens.
Large-capacity toaster convection oven
7 cooking settings
One-touch digital controls
150 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit oven temperature range
Smart Element IQ heating technology
8 cooking functions
Nonstick surface in the interior
Easy-to-read blue backlit LED display
Toast, broil, and bake settings
Auto shutoff mechanism with 30-minute timer
Easy-Reach roll-top removable door
2 rack positions
Best Toaster Oven
Oster promises to deliver performance, durability, and versatility in all of its products. And that’s exactly what you get with the TSSTTVMNDG Large Capacity Countertop Digital Convection Toaster Oven. It essentially combines the full functionality of a modern convection oven with the handiness of bread toasters, spacious enough to accommodate 6 slices of your favorite bread.
It’s got browning features to obtain the lovely shade of your toast plus 7 different modes that are preprogrammed into the Oster. There’s no guessing the correct temperature and time needed to bake and broil your foods. And with its polished stainless steel and black finish, you can bet you’ve got an eye-catcher right in your kitchen.
Push button full digital controls
Fully adjustable broil temperature mode
7 preset programs
Selectable shades of toast
90-minute digital timer with auto shutoff
The Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven offers a slightly better cooking functionality than the Oster model. The 800XL comes with 9 preset cooking programs that are fully selectable with a twist of the knob. The design technically marries digital with the classic feel of old-school control knobs. A large door handle doubles as a supporting stand once the large, clear glass door is opened.
The LED-backlit LCD also changes color to alert you if the oven is still preheating or is ready to accept your food. At the core of the 800XL is Breville’s proprietary Element IQ technology that makes convection cooking more efficient.
Intelligent Element IQ technology
5 Quartz heating elements
9 preset cooking programs
Easy-to-read LCD with color-coded functionality
Comes with 12-month limited warranty
This convection toaster from hOmeLabs has the perfect combination of affordability, energy efficiency, versatility, and performance with a sleek and premium styling to match. The hOmeLabs 6 Slice Convection Oven features all the standard gimmickry of modern conventional ovens but comes with 10 preset programs that can be easily selected using a single stainless steel dial.
Two additional knobs are available for fine tuning the temperature and timer settings of the hOmeLabs giving you a near-perfect execution of your baking, broiling, and roasting needs. What is really admirable about the hOmeLabs is that its blue LED backlit LCD is exceptionally large that you can actually read the information even from afar.
10 preset cooking, baking, broiling, toasting functions
3 rack positions
Bright, large, easy to read LED backlit LCD
Comes with bake pan, rotisserie spit, and broil rack
Large capacity cooking chamber
True to its penchant for one-touch controls, the Black+Decker CTO63355 Countertop Convection Toaster Oven opts for individually assigned preset programs instead of using a single button or control mechanism for various settings. At any rate, this design arrangement makes it super easy to cook the kind of food that you want since there clearly is no need for turning a knob or punching a single button several times to get you to the correct setting.
Its 120-minute timer complete with stay-on functionality is also quite exceptional. And considering that it is actually priced cheaper than the hOmeLabs plus with brand name that’s been equated with durability and quality, the CTO63355 is an exceptionally well-balanced product that is right on the pocket.
8 preset cooking functions
Dual position oven rack
120-minute fully digital timer with stay-on mode
Bright easy-to-read blue LED backlit LCD
Cooking interior with nonstick coating
If you already have the Breville 800XL, why would you still want the BOV650XL? Well, for starters, if you don’t have a need for convection cooking, then the 650XL is for you. Also, it is slightly smaller by about 2 inches so it makes perfect sense if you don’t have the luxury of space on your countertop. It comes with the same intelligent Element IQ system found in the 800XL, only this time it comes with four Quartz heating elements instead of the 5 on the 800XL.
It is also missing 1 preset function to give it an 8 while the 800XL has 9. You’ll also save about $100 if you get the 650XL. But then again, for an oven that doesn’t have convection cooking capabilities, the price can be quite hefty.
Intuitive Element IQ technology
4 Quartz heating elements
8 preset cooking programs
Easy-to-read LCD with color-coded functionality
Comes with 12 month limited warranty
The Cuisinart TOB-40N Custom Classic Toaster Oven is a three-dial kitchen wonder that gives you control over the cooking function, temperature, and even the level of shading or browning in your toast or other roasted foods. Do take note that the Cuisinart is just your classic toaster that is fully capable of hosting 6 slices of toast or an 11 inch pizza.
It can bake and broil your favorite foods, too, and already comes complete with an auto-side out rack plus a couple of accessories to get you started.
Intelligent Always Even Shade Control technology
Reflective nonstick coating in interior chamber
5 cooking and toasting functions
Auto-out oven rack
Remember that classic bread oven of the 50s and 60s? Well, Hamilton Beach decided to resurrect such an iconic kitchen masterpiece in the Easy Reach Toaster Oven. The design should remind you of a bygone era. However, it does include quite a few indications of modernity such as its roll-up door instead of the typical flip open styling.
It’s not really digital in the strictest sense but it does a good job of adjusting for both the time of cooking and temperature of the oven. It’s not that advanced but it can do a pretty decent job of baking, toasting, and broiling your favorites. It’s really affordable, too.
Easy roll-up door
Spacious cooking chamber
Dual heating elements
30-minute manual timer with auto shutoff and optional stay-on mode
Elegant retro design
While most ovens we’ve featured in this list have their controls located on the side panel of the oven, the Panasonic NB-G110P Flash Xpress Toaster Oven places 6 individually assigned buttons at the bottom section. Thermostat and timer adjustments are also found within this bottom panel. What the Flash Xpress boasts of is its superior FlashXpress infrared light technology that Panasonic claims can hasten the speed of cooking by as much as 40%.
While this may sound really sophisticated, the fact that the Flash Xpress doesn’t come with convection capabilities makes it a rather expensive proposition; almost similar to the Breville 650XL. But a lot of customers seem to disagree with our assessment.
FlashXpress dual infrared heating technology
High efficiency ceramic and quartz heating elements
6 auto cook menus
Digitally controlled precision thermostat
Fully digital 25-minute timer
KitchenAid’s entry into our best toaster oven list is the KCO273SS 12 Inch Convection Bake Digital Countertop Oven. It is priced between the Breville 800XL and 650XL and comes with a rather small viewing window compared to most of the ovens we’ve featured in this list. It has 9 preprogrammed functions and a simple black LCD screen.
There’s a dial selector for the preprogrammed functions and another knob for its temperature and timer settings. It also has a dedicated button for activating its convection cooking abilities, which for us, is quite surprising. The brushed stainless steel looks expensive, too.
Large 12-inch capacity oven with convection mode
9 pre-programmed cooking functions
Comes with multipurpose pan, drip tray, and 2 racks
With 120-minute timer
Comes with 1 years replacement warranty
Best Toaster Oven Buying Guide & FAQ
Buying your own toaster oven can be quite challenging, yet very fulfilling once you are already enjoying the many uses and benefits of such kitchen appliances. As a start, however, you need to know how to pick the best one from a sea of wannabes. This is the purpose of this best toaster oven buying guide. So read on.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Toaster Oven
Picking the right toaster oven for your kitchen entails considering a couple of factors. Here are some of them:
Among the different factors you will be carefully considering, size will be one of the most crucial. For starters, you will have to factor in the size of your kitchen countertop as well as the presence of other kitchen gadgets or appliances that may also require some space on your countertop. For instance, if you have a blender, a stand mixer, a coffee maker, and other kitchen appliances jockeying for space, then you will have to picture in your mind how much space you can allot for a toaster oven.
The kind of foods that you will be mostly preparing and cooking with the oven will also be considered when choosing the right size. If you are not planning on broiling or roasting whole chicken then perhaps a small oven will do. But if you’re looking at delicious casseroles and entire pans of delicious baked goodies, then a bigger oven is a must.
Speaking of size, you should not only consider the outside dimensions of the oven. Sure, it will fit in nicely on your kitchen countertop, but will you be able to fit in that big, sumptuous chicken you want broiled or roasted? When considering size, it is equally important to consider the inside dimensions of its cooking chamber – that big hole inside the oven where you shove your food in. Ideally, you would want a really spacious interior within a small chassis or body.
- Cooking functions or uses
As we have already mentioned above, the size of your oven will also be dependent on the type of food you are going to cook. That being said, it is also crucial to foresee the various cooking techniques that you will be employing.
Traditional toasters will simply brown the surface of your bread until they turn crunchy and dark brown. However, modern toaster ovens now have convection cooking functionality to help optimize the high temperature inside the cooking chamber. Convection cooking circulates this hot air all over the food you’re trying to cook, making sure that the food cooks evenly on all surfaces and cooked through. There are also models that allow you to broil, roast, and bake your favorite goodies.
As such, having a good idea of what you are going to use the toaster oven for will help you pin down the right product for your kitchen.
- Temperature range
Generally speaking, the higher the temperature the faster food gets cooked. That being said, one of the factors you may want to consider is the temperature range offered by these portable countertop ovens. Some would go as high as 450°F and even higher. Some are your conventional ovens that typically reach about 200°F to 250°F.
You will have to think about the kind of food that you will be cooking in these devices. Certain food items require a certain temperature setting to cook. For example, if you want to roast chicken, you’d have to preheat your toaster oven to about 450°F. On the other hand, if you were to roast beef, then a preheating temperature of 375°F is needed. So if you get an oven that maxes out at 400°F, it would be highly unlikely that you will be able to roast your chicken perfectly.
We mentioned that temperature range is a very important factor to consider when buying a toaster oven. What we failed (purposely, nonetheless) to mention is that you will also need exceptionally good controls. You will need to be able to control both the temperature and time as a start. Now, if you can also control the level of browning or shade of toasting effects on your food, then that would simply be amazing. If you can also fine-tune the different temperature and timer settings, then that would also be a big plus.
Equally important will be how you establish these controls. Would you want to turn a dial or would you rather be pressing on a button? Would you also require a visual feedback on the settings that you have chosen? This is where an LCD screen will come in really handy. And speaking of LCD, would you care to have an LED backlit one or something that is reminiscent of 80s digital technology?
This is quite dependent on the combination of factors that we have already discussed. Ovens with greater temperature ranges, exceptional controls, large capacity, multifunction capabilities, and a brand name to boot are typically priced higher than other products that may have significantly lower price points. While there are big name brands that can offer exceptional products at amazingly low prices, these are quite rare. As such, if budget is a major consideration you may have to scale down on your expectations.
Features to Look For in a Toaster Oven
We have already taken a look at the factors you need to consider when buying a toaster oven. Now let us try to look at some of the features you may want to look for. These are not really absolutely necessary, but they can help you make your oven cooking a lot easier and more convenient, too.
- Digital display – This allows you to obtain a visual feedback on the settings that you have dialed in or chosen. Some brands also come with digital displays that change color depending on the mode that it is set in. This way you will have an idea of your cooking even from across the kitchen.
- Intuitive controls – You don’t need very complicated controls. If it can intelligently predict the settings you are trying to dial in depending on the food that you put inside the cooking chamber, then that would simply be great. The controls should be very easy to operate, too, without having to resort to the manual every now and then.
- Wide range of program modes – It is one thing to have intuitive controls, yet it is another thing entirely to have buttons or controls dedicated specifically for a single task or a single cooking function. Say, you’re aching for a pizza, then a dedicated pizza cooking mode should do the trick. The more preset cooking functions the better.
- Audible alerts – Having a bright LED LCD display may help, but you’d have to glance at your oven every now and then. Having an audible alert system should notify you of your oven cooking even if you’re in another room.
- Auto shut-off – Ovens are notorious for starting fires. You can avoid this by making sure the product you’re buying has an auto shutoff feature. A 30-minute or even a 60-minute automatic shutoff should be great.
- Auto-eject racks – In case you haven’t noticed, reaching inside an unusually hot oven isn’t really the safest thing to do. You can save yourself from burn injuries by getting a product with an auto eject rack mechanism. The rack on these systems automatically slides out halfway to the front upon opening the door.
- Removable crumb tray – An accessible and fully removable crumb tray allows for easier cleaning even when the oven is still hot.
- Nonstick interior coating – This makes cleaning the oven’s interior super easy to clean.
What to Cook in a Toaster Oven
One of the fundamental functions of a basic toaster oven is that it browns or ‘crisps’ or ‘toasts’ the outer surface of the food that you are cooking. It doesn’t involve the use of oil and uses only dry heat to do the cooking and browning process. Provided that you are only talking about a conventional toaster oven, one without the added rotisserie or convection cooking capabilities, you can actually cook any food that you want the surface to be brown and turn it crispy. Here are just some of the foods that you can cook in a toaster oven.
- Cookies, small cakes, muffins, bread
- Potatoes, green beans, peppers
- Nuts, almonds
- Meats like pork and beef
- Roast chicken
- Bacon, sausage
What is Convection Cooking?
Majority of the products we have featured in this list of the best toaster ovens come with convection cooking functionality. So what is convection cooking?
In layman’s terms, convection cooking involves the circulation of hot air within an enclosed chamber. Convection ovens have fans to blow hot oven air on, over, and around the food. The hot oven air is then redirected to an exhaust where it is circulated back into the system. Since heat essentially ‘wraps’ the food, convection ensures even and faster cooking.
There is another distinct advantage to convection cooking than conventional oven cooking. It helps brown your food a lot better since the atmosphere inside the cooking chamber is dry. This helps caramelize the sugars on your food, turning them into delicious brown without rendering the interior dry. It is also more energy efficient since it cooks faster and you don’t need a substantially high temperature to cook food. You only need to keep the hot air circulating.
Convection cooking is best for roasting, baking pastries and pies, making cookies, dehydrating, and toasting.
Cooking on the best toaster oven can bring you a host of benefits that you simply cannot get from other cooking methods. However, to really maximize the many advantages of cooking on a toaster oven, you’d really have to invest time and effort in determining the right one for you.