The Best Toaster Ovens for the Kitchen
These appliances will boost your efficiency in the kitchen: The best toaster ovens multi-task, cook in less time, and are worth a spot on your countertop in large and small kitchens.
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- BEST OVERALLOster Countertop Digital Convection Toaster OvenCheck Latest Price
- BEST SMART OVENBreville 800XL Smart Oven Convection Toaster OvenCheck Latest Price
- BEST FOR QUICK COOKINGPanasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster OvenCheck Latest Price
Today’s toaster ovens do much more than make perfect slices of crisp toast. While some are simple and compact, and perform their single function brilliantly, others can crisp, toast, roast, bake and broil, and some even defrost, elevating the humble toaster oven to a true oven replacement. Evaluating which functions are important to your cooking needs will help you choose the right one for you.
In the past, one of the biggest complaints about toaster ovens that tried to multi-task was that they left food either burned or uncooked. The addition of convection cooking modes to toaster oven technology has solved that problem: Built-in fans circulate the heat from the elements just as they do in a regular oven, resulting in evenly cooked meals in less time without heating up a larger oven. Even the higher-end toaster ovens transfer some heat to the counter and surrounding area, so that is an additional consideration when you decide where you will locate yours.
Because there are so many variables to consider, you’ll want to think about your needs. The ovens are available in sizes ranging from small to large footprints and capacities, so do you need to toast four slices of bread at once or nine? Do you hope to warm up a few chicken nuggets, or roast a whole chicken? Also worth considering is your counter space. Some ovens will fit into a tiny corner or cabinet for storage, while others require a permanent spot. Many of the ovens in our recommendations also boast features designed for safety and convenience, including auto-off timers, non-stick interiors, auto-eject racks, and oven lights. Consider what combination works best for your cooking style and needs.
Our Top Picks
BEST OVERALL: Oster Countertop Digital Convection Toaster Oven
This Oster Countertop Digital Convection Toaster Oven can evenly toast six slices of bread at once, but that’s just the beginning. With a temperature range of 150-450 degrees and a tray measuring 10.5×12.5 inches, it can bake cookies, cook a 9-inch pizza, casseroles, or a small roast. Convection cooking means that your food will emerge evenly browned and cooked through without heating up your larger oven, and the built-in broiling mode offers flexibility. With several pre-programmed cooking modes, you don’t have to worry about deciding the correct temperature and time to heat up your food, but the digital display allows you to control the oven with precision when you need to, and the interior light means you can check on the progress of your meal without opening the door and losing heat. The auto-shutoff keeps you and your family safe if you forget to click it off when you’re finished. Essentially, this combines the full functionality of a modern convection oven with the handiness of a toaster in a compact unit at a reasonable price.
At the core of the 800XL Smart Oven is Breville’s proprietary Intelligent Element IQ technology, which makes convection cooking more efficient and user-friendly. The oven has five individual quartz elements, and the Element IQ adjusts their power based on the cooking method you select. So if you’re broiling, the oven will automatically increase the heat of the top elements and reduce the heat of the lower elements, balancing the power where your meal needs it. Its nine preset cooking programs are selectable with a twist of the knob. 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. The Breville includes a baking pan, broil rack, and a pizza pan–reminding you that it will hold up to a 13-inch pizza.
BEST VALUE: Black+Decker Countertop Convection Toaster Oven
The Black+Decker Convection Toaster Oven offers eight pre-set cooking functions, a dual-position rack, and Its 120-minute timer complete with stay-on functionality is also quite exceptional. The nonstick interior is an unexpected feature in such an affordable model, and its light weight means that if you really don’t have space on your counter, you could stow this oven in a cabinet after use. It does get quite hot on the exterior when cooking, so it will need some clearance while in use and time to cool down afterwards. For baking, broiling, and toasting, this Black+Decker oven offers high-end function at a reasonable cost.
HONORABLE MENTION: Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven
The Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven claims that its superior FlashXpress infrared light technology can hasten the speed of cooking by as much as 40%. Instead of using convection fans, the heating elements are efficient ceramic and quartz, and are positioned at the front and back of the unit for even browning and toasting while quickly cooking the inside of food without burning. The Panasonic has six pre-programmed cooking modes (including a defrost mode, something usually reserved for microwaves), but also allows for precise temperature and time controls on its digital display.