BEST TOASTER OVENS | NOVEMBER 2017
Part toaster, part oven – the aptly named toaster oven is a true hybrid product. And there is a toaster oven out there that matches the cooking needs and budget of every household. To help you narrow down your options, our team did extensive research into toaster ovens – from basic, compact models to larger units that have functionality similar to full-size ovens – looking at features like cooking method, capacity and ease of use. See the results of our research in the list of recommended toaster ovens below. To learn more about toaster ovens in general, be sure to check out our helpful buying guide. Read more about our methodology.
The Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven is unanimously regarded as one of the best toaster ovens on the market today. Its versatility and peerless excellence in a range of desired cooking tasks—from toasting to baking to broiling—along with its simplicity and ease of use, is sure to delight serious home cooks.Read full review.
Appreciated for being a true “second oven,” this option is praised both for its cooking prowess, including fast preheating, temperature accuracy, and convection baking, as well as its fully digital controls, for user-friendly ease of operation.Read full review.
Toaster Ovens BUYING GUIDE
Capacity: Amount of Cooking
When considering toaster ovens, you’ll want to take into account how much and what type of cooking you’ll be doing with the oven. Are you just cooking for one or two people, or will you be cooking for a family of four? If you’re mostly cooking smaller meals, then compact ovens may be more appropriate. Larger sized ovens are best for high volume cooking for multiple people, and may be worth a larger investment. Will you use on the oven daily, or just a few times a week? If you don’t think you’ll use your oven very often or if you anticipate cooking only very basic meals, you may consider smaller, less expensive models that are great for supplementing the functions of your microwave or toaster.
It’s important to be clear on the type of cooking you’ll need from your toaster oven. Do you need it just for simple tasks like making toast or reheating food? Or do you desire more complex cooking functions like baking pizza, cooking a whole chicken, or roasting meats and vegetables? To determine what a particular toaster oven can do, simply look at its preset cooking functions. Functions can range from the very basic like bake, broil, and toast to more complex functions offered by more advanced ovens.
Size considerations should be broken down into external and internal size. Externally, note that the more a toaster oven can do, the larger it will be. So in considering your ideal unit, be sure to balance your desired toaster oven functions with your available counter space. If you plan to do a high volume of very involved cooking, do you have the counter space to accommodate a larger model? Conversely, if you only have space for a smaller unit, does its internal size accommodate the amount of cooking you would like to do? Note that you should also ensure that the oven’s interior can accommodate any baking dishes (including handles) that you intend to use.
Ease-of-use is a key part of selecting a toaster oven. Intuitive, well-designed controls can make a toaster oven easy and fun to use. By contrast, unclear, confusing, or manually challenging controls can put a damper on regular use of your toaster oven. When purchasing a model, make sure that the knobs, buttons, and control labels are easy to use and read. Are the buttons easy to push or do they stick? Do the knobs turn easily? Are the labels easy to see and understand?
Many toaster ovens come with a set of helpful cooking accessories like roasting racks, baking trays, and pizza trays. Based on the type of cooking you plan to do, identify the accessories you’ll need to make your tasks easier. Then check that those accessories are included in any toaster oven models you’re considering. This can help you avoid the potential frustration of purchasing racks that turn out to be too big to fit inside your toaster oven.
For under $50, you can generally get a very basic toaster oven with bake, broil, toast, and food warming functions. Some toaster ovens in this category will even be able to accommodate roasts or 12-inch pizzas. Toaster ovens in this price range tend to have simple controls consisting of 2 or 3 large knobs. In the $50-$100 range, you will find quality toaster ovens that offer the convection cooking function, with some ovens offering digital controls or a panel of buttons. Above $100, you can find high-end toaster ovens with sleek finishes, digital controls, precision temperature control, and up to 8 preset cooking functions.
FULL product reviews
We research hundreds of products in order to bring you a final, unbiased list of the very best. We also use a proprietary algorithm to score each product in terms of quality, value, and brand reputation. These subscores are then weighted to calculate our overall scores. Read more about how we calculate our scores.
The Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven is a top-notch option amongst toaster ovens on the market today. Billed as “the oven that does the thinking for you,” it boasts a unique, proprietary “smart” technology that automatically optimizes cooking for a range of foods. It’s the oven for the home cook willing to pay more for the superior cooking prowess of a high-end, luxury appliance.
Why We Recommend It
- Smart technology. The Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven boasts a proprietary Element IQ cooking technology that adjusts the power of its interior heating elements as needed to optimize quick and even cooking of your food. Because different foods require different types of heating, Element IQ removes the challenge of figuring out how to set the temperature to match the specific heating requirements of your food.
- Convenient preset functions. The Breville BOV800XL offers 9 present functions including: Toast, Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, Pizza, Cookies, Reheat and Warm to take the guesswork out of heating food.
- Versatility. The Breville BOV800XL has been lauded for its ability to replace the functions of both a full-sized oven as well as the microwave. It can handle a range of cooking tasks and food types from toast and meat to cookies, casseroles, burgers and fries—all cooked according to their unique requirements. Its broil and convection settings provide rapid, high-quality cooking superior to a microwave and almost as fast. Re-heating and defrosting can be accomplished in comparable times as well.
- Can replace full-size oven. Many customers celebrate the fact that the Breville BOV800XL often replaces use of their full-size oven. For smaller cooking projects, the Breville heats up faster than a full-size oven and delivers the high-quality heating of a large oven within the smaller confines of a countertop space.
- Modern design. The sleek, modern design of the Breville BOV800XL will be a classy edition to any kitchen. Highly pleasing to the eye, right out of the box, the Breville feels like a luxurious, high-end appliance.
- Loud convection fan. Some customers note that the oven’s convection fan can be rather loud at times.
- Hot exterior. During and immediately after cooking, it’s important to be careful of the oven’s hot exterior. Specifically, be sure to open the door all the way to the counter before reaching in to retrieve food. Exercise extreme caution in placing items near the oven that could melt or be damaged by its heated outer surface.
The Oster TSSTTVMNDG Digital Convection Oven provides high quality of convection heating, the ease of fully digital controls, and a large interior for high-volume cooking—all at a remarkable price point that offers incredible value for its stellar performance.
Why We Recommend It
- Extra large interior. The Oster TSSTTVMNDG’s large-capacity interior can handle bigger cooking tasks like casseroles, a 12-inch pizza, and even a whole 5-pound chicken. It’s an affordable option, perfect for larger families.
- Convenient digital controls. This oven offers friendly, intuitive digital controls and an LED display for easy operation with the touch of a button. Cook settings include: Bake, Convection Bake, Broil, Toast, Pizza, Defrost and Warm.
- Adjustable broil. The unique Adjustable Broil feature enables you to broil at any desired temperature based on the food you are cooking—whether you’re broiling marinated beef or lightly melting cheese on garlic bread.
- Convection baking. The oven’s quality convection technology circulates warm air throughout the interior and around the food when a crisper result is desired.
- Manually rotate food. Some users noted that, with convection baking, they sometimes had to manually rotate food to ensure even cooking.
- Will not fit a pan with handles. Although advertised as being able to fit a 9x13 inch pan, note that this specifically means a pan without handles
- Buttons difficult to push. Some customers had challenges operating the buttons, with some noting that the buttons can be difficult to push, or are not always immediately responsive once pushed.
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Best Standard Toaster Oven
If you're looking for an easy-to-use toaster oven that won't take up a ton of counter space, you may want to consider a standard model. These toaster ovens typically do what you expect a toaster oven to do, such as toast things and performing other basic cooking tasks – even cooking a personal-size pizza. But they lack the bells and whistles of larger specialty models.
Welcome to the delight of ingenious, thoughtful design. With its clever roll-top door, the Hamilton Beach Easy Reach oven is aptly named: rolling up and back, its door opens seamlessly, enabling quick and easy access to food. Couple this with its fast convection heating capability, and users get quality and convenience at a highly affordable price point.
Why We Recommend It
- Versatile cooking options. The Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Oven offers versatility in the kitchen by providing a range of cooking options including Bake, Broil, Toast, and Convection. And, in addition to traditional baking (for cakes and soft baked items), it offers a unique convection baking option that works well for crunchy baked goods like crispy pizza and cookies.
- Easy roll-top door. The roll-top door provides a clear, accessible cooking area, better visibility, and easier access to the oven. Because the door rolls up and out of the way, it reduces the danger of accidental burns when reaching inside the oven.
- Frees up counter space. Because this oven’s smart roll-top door opens up over the oven, instead of outward, this oven preserves valuable counter space, and provides safer, direct access to food.
- Awkward rear shape. Customers have noted that the bump in the back can be awkward and take up more space than initially expected.
- Learning curve to read settings. Depending on the amount of light in the room, some users may find that the markings on the dials can be challenging to read.
- Hot exterior. Due to its metal composition, the exterior of this oven gets considerably hot during and just after cooking. Exercise particular caution.
The BLACK+DECKER CTO6335S 6-Slice Convection Oven provides the benefits of convection heating technology and a diverse set of easy pre-set functions, for excellent cooking functionality at a highly affordable price. For customers with serious cooking tasks who want to be mindful of budget, this oven is an excellent choice.
Why We Recommend It
- Large capacity. With the ability to handle larger dishes from whole chickens to a 12-inch pizza, the large interior of the BLACK+DECKER CTO6335S provides the benefit of large-oven cooking with the convenience of a countertop appliance.
- Four rack positions. The rack and positioning options of the BLACK+DECKER CTO6335S are ingeniously designed. While there are two primary positions for the rack, the rack is shaped in such a way that, for any given position, it can be flipped for increased or decreased height—for a total of four positions.
- Easy preset controls. The oven comes with 8 highly convenient preset functions for the most common cooking tasks—“Bake”, “Broil”, “Toast”—and the most popular food items: “Bagel”, “Pizza”, “Cookies”, and even “Potatoes” and “Frozen Snacks.”
- Toasting takes longer. A few users have noted that toasting bread can take longer than a traditional toaster.
- Button labels tough to read. Depending on the amount of light in the room, some users have noted that the button labels can be challenging to read.
Best Specialty Toaster Oven
Specialty toaster ovens represent a big step up from standard models and can often stand is as a second oven or even an oven replacement. These models often boast larger cooking areas, advanced heating methods like infrared light and other bells and whistles, such as cooking presets for different types of common foods.
The TOB-195 Exact Heat Oven is a robust, multifunctional toaster oven with multiple features that will be appreciated by regular home cooks. Users are delighted with its surprisingly fast and effective convection heating technology. The TOB-195 has even been called a “workhorse” oven, handling everything from thick cuts of meat to flaky baked goods. And with its ample interior capacity and easy electronic touchpad, it’s an excellent investment for regular use within larger households.
Why We Recommend It
- Excellent heating technology. The TOB-195 is known for heating up fast, with the ability to reach 350 degrees in just a few minutes. And its efficient convection technology is one of its most beloved features.
- Versatility. Users delight in the broad range of cooking tasks the TOB-195 handles with ease. From lamb chops to bread to asparagus, most customers rave about this oven’s ability to cook food to perfection, no matter the task.
- Substitutes for full-size oven. Because of its ample size and cooking prowess, the TOB-195 has the potential to substitute for, or even replace, a full-size oven. It heats up faster than an oven while providing enough space for a multitude of cooking tasks—from cookies to a 12-inch pizza, or an entire chicken. Users marvel at how quickly it warms up via its convection technology—and the fact that they can use it for larger tasks, without heating up the entire home.
- Looks great. The TOB-195 will handle a versatile set of cooking projects—and look good doing it. Users delight in its sleek, modern, exterior and serious, substantial feel. Its stainless steel composition is sure to class up any kitchen.
- Rear crumb tray. The crumb tray is located in the back of the unit, which some may find to be an inconvenience as the oven must be turned around in order to access the tray.
- No interior light. Some users have complained about the fact that the oven does not have an interior light. This is something to keep in mind when cooking food that must be closely monitored.
- Metal lip on door gets very hot. Many users have warned that the metal strip to which the door handle is attached gets extremely hot and can cause accidental burns if a user’s hand brushes against it. Use extreme caution when opening the door to avoid brushing your knuckles against this metal strip.
The Panasonic Flash Xpress is a great little oven that really does cook in a “flash.” With no pre-heating required, it offers a unique infrared heating technology that cooks up to 40 percent faster than traditional toaster ovens. With multiple pre-programmed heating modes, once turned on, the Panasonic Flash XPress heats up almost instantly, delivering food that is thoroughly cooked throughout. And with its small size, it fits easily in smaller countertop areas—perfect for home cooks who need a smaller oven that delivers quick and considerable power.
Why We Recommend It
- Gets to temp fast. With no preheating needed, the Panasonic FlashXpress instantly reaches optimal temperature thanks to its high-efficiency quartz and ceramic heating elements. Positioned towards the front and rear of the oven, these heating elements flash-cook both the surface and interior of food. As a result, food cooks rapidly and evenly, and up to 40 percent faster than other toaster oven models.
- Multiple auto-cook settings. The Panasonic FlashXpress provides six convenient pre-set modes tailored to the most commonly cooked and reheated foods, including Toast, Waffle, Roll, and Pizza. These pre-set modes are precisely calibrated to heat the oven to the exact temperature needed for each type of food.
- Convenient interior light. The Panasonic FlashXpress is a powerful oven, so it helps that is has an interior light to let you monitor your food as it cooks. When desired, the light can be turned on easily from the oven’s intuitive control panel.
- Learning curve. Because the Panasonic Flash XPress toaster oven heats so quickly and cooks food so efficiently, it may be challenging to use some recipes that are based on standard cooking times.
- Not for complex cooking. It’s important to note that the Panasonic Flash Xpress is not for complex cooking tasks, like roasting a chicken or baking a cake. Unlike other toaster ovens on the market, it cannot replace or match the functions of a traditional full-sized oven. For example, its smaller size and lack of a broiling option means it is not ideal for cooking large cuts of meat. It’s better for high-quality cooking of more casual foods like pizza and toast.
- Infrared light. Some customers note the startling and extreme brightness of the infrared light, which flashes on and off while the oven is cooking.
- Small size. Many customers note the unexpectedly small interior of Panasonic Flash XPress in comparison to the oven’s overall size. To gauge whether it will meet your cooking needs, note that the oven can fit a 9-inch pizza or up to 4 slices of bread.