I’d like to clarify something before we begin my list. I believe toasters are undervalued as a kitchen appliance. A majority of the foods you’d like to toast, including bagels or bread, will brown better in the standard slot toaster. In addition, most of the food that you’d like to bake should be baked in your standard ovenand not a single thing. Conventional ovens are able to benefit from the most powerful set of heating elements and better insulation. Good luck if you are planning make a roast, or any other complex food item.
I can already hear your screams: “My toaster oven has been a trusted crusty companion on my countertop for baking and toasting for a long time!” “It’s a mini oven that has more rapid heating (and warming) time than my regular oven!” “I like watching my toast cook!” While this may be true, it isn’t enough to dispel my concerns about the appliance.
We’re not going to go on forever about it however, a typical toaster oven model is heavy as a rock and because of the rise of kitchen-friendly electronic displays and food processors Instant Pots and sous vide cookware, and even the highly-loved air fryer, odds are that you’ll have more efficient ways to put your counter space to good use.
Read more: Top bread machines for home bakers
But, you might not have a conventional oven but require a countertop-based toaster oven — or you’re just looking for one. I get it! Even with my reservations there’s plenty to appreciate about the products. It is an appliance that is loved by many. that we’re discussing and my warm hot review is likely to be a minority opinion.
But splurging doesn’t always make sense. Are you really required to invest in the latest luxuries such as scanning bar codes, integrated food cameras or smart cooking aids? The latest toaster ovens that are tech-savvy from brands like Tovala June, Brava and Cuisinart can range from $300 to $1,000, however many of the options in mini smart ovens are more than the basic requirements of a kitchen.
A more reasonable option are “upgrade option” toaster ovens, such as the jolly highly-calibrated Panasonic FlashXpress, or a robust and sturdy model like Breville’s Smart Oven as well as the Breville Smart Oven we tested and adored in the past. At the price of $149 and $270 and $270 respectively, these models also are out of the mainstream in the world in which a conventional toaster equipped with an excellent heat element which can equally toast all kinds of tasty snacks can be purchased at less than $30..
Learn more about:4 indicators that indicate it’s about time to upgrade your oven in the toaster
This is why I took the time to look over some alternatives that are less expensive to check if I could find an affordable price. I zeroed in on reputable, well-reviewed models priced from $50 to $100 and then I tried convection heating – a technique that makes use of a fan to circulate hot air in order to even cook and toast as a basic essential feature. I also thought about the addition of options like the removable baking tray or crumb pan, nonstick interior, baking pan and oven rack for a secure device that can cook various kinds of food. Based on the cooking function, you can pick the kitchen appliance you want to use as an oven that is traditional, a traditional oven, an infrared toaster oven air fryer toaster oven or mini-oven as well as an oven thermometer to find the precise internal temperature of your oven.
After having six toaster ovens waiting to start in our kitchen test I headed out to test them to determine which one was which one was the most efficient. Of the six we tested we found the clear choice, but we’ve also included a few of others, as they’re excellently worth spending the money.
We’ve tested each of those upgrades mentioned above on CNET Appliances, however, the only one that any of us have ever purchased to ourselves is that of the FlashXpress. It’s a quirky, fun countertop cooker that utilizes the infrared heat element to perform tasks such as toasting bread and baking frozen pizzas with speedy precision. It also comes with an easy-to-remove crumb tray. It’s not enough for everyone (or to bake everything for everyone) however, it also means it won’t be taking up more counter space than it will need to be on your countertop. Even today, six years since we first examined it, it’s an easy recommendation as the top toaster oven for toasting and baking and even as a countertop toaster oven upgrade.
Check out our complete Panasonic FlashXpress review.
The Breville BOV800XL certainly isn’t cheap with a price of around $270 however, there’s not much “smart” in the oven in an internet-connected way. However, it is the Breville Smart Oven Pro cooks almost everything as good as you can imagine from a countertop convection cooker. On top of that, the small smart oven is solid, beautiful and comes with a removable crumb tray. Additionally, it comes with additional cooking modes that you could consider useful, such as convection cooking. The Breville Mini Smart Oven is an ideal compact toaster oven in the event that you don’t have an intelligent oven, do not have room for a large oven, or you require the smallest toaster oven available to cook food every day.
Check out our complete Breville Smart Oven review
I am annoyed that the door of the convection toaster opens down to 90 degrees. The glass can smash directly into the countertop’s edge in the event that it’s not pushed to the back of the backsplash.
If you can accept the design flaw, you’ll appreciate how this convection oven cooks whether you’re toasting, baking, or broiling. The countertop oven was the top performer in every one of our cooking tests. This type of reliable, regular baking and cooking is exactly what you’d like out of your toaster oven.
Editor’s note Jan. 18 2021The Oster TSTTVCG05 seems to be discontinued. The two most comparable options are the Oster TSTTVDFL2-AF ($60) as well as the Oster TSSTTVF816 ($70).
Other ovens that we tried for toaster testing
- Bialetti 35047 It’s a countertop oven model was one of our top value selections for 2019 due to its impressive features and elegant design. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be on the market anymore in any way, not even in any of the online stores that we monitor. It’s not even in the Bialetti website any longer.
- Black & Decker TO3265XSSD: One of the newests models from the top name in toasters ovens replaces the convection bake setting with a gimmicky, one-temperature-fits-all “Air Fry” mode. This air fryer is excellent for the price when you require an open-bodied design and plenty of room to toast.
- Hamilton Beach 31123D: Hamilton Beach’s “Easy Reach” models, the slightly less powerful 31123D makes it a bit easier to view inside when you’re cooking or broiling with a sloped “Easy Reach” door that can be lifted upwards to open. It’s a shame that Hamilton Beach stamped a large logo on the glass, which could block your view.
- Nostalgia Retro RTOV220RETROREDThe red, cheesy style makes it appear much more like an toolbox, rather than an oven for toasting and was a little cheaply constructed. Yet, this attractive model did a great job in the tests we conducted.
- Toshiba AC25CEW-BSThe electronic controls are useful in this sleek, stainless steel model in black but it has a an arduous learning curve due to toasting that isn’t as powerful and also overpowered broiling and baking.
What are my choices?
- There’s no shortage of ovens for toasters to pick from. Brands such as Black & Decker, Hamilton Beach, Oster and countless others have been cranking these ovens out for a long time.
- The most affordable bargain-bin options cost just under $45. If you’re willing less and you should anticipate an element of convection heat and cooking, and maybe a larger oven’s interior, other cooking presets and digital controls, as well as an non-stick coating for the baking pan, or a more attractive style. These Bialetti as well as the Toshiba models I tried are in dark stainless steel that matches the modern trend of large appliances and the Toshiba model has an integrated rotisserie rack as well. This Nostalgia model offers an exclusive red-bodied design as well as lower-cost models come from Hamilton Beach and Oster serve as budget-friendly alternatives.
We tested ovens for toaster use.
- Testing toaster ovens involves a lot to cook, and so I put on my trusty apron in tan and set to work.
- Particularly I specifically, I set out in order to prepare a broad assortment of toaster oven food items. Except for the tests for toasting, in which I examined each oven’s specific settings for light medium, dark and light toast, I used standard time and temperature, and followed the directions on the packaging for what I was cooking whenever feasible.
- Additional information from Chowhound: How to clean your oven’s toaster
- Ry Crist/CNET
Tests of toast are everywhere
- Bread was the mainstay of my test food because, after all among all the food items that most of us likely make the frequently with these ingredients, it’s toast.
- The majority of low-end toaster ovens have an integrated kitchen timer to control the broiling toasting, cooking and broiling time. The majority of timers have several preset options to toast — moderate toast and dark toast, and in certain cases there is a setting for light toast that is barely toasted also.
- Fancier models equipped with LCD displays will typically allow you to select a certain level of doneness while toasting. There are usually seven or six settings to pick from models, each of which has preprogrammed toasting time. It’s a lot much more accurate than turning the timer’s knob and it’s worth it in case you’re obsessed with the perfect golden brown shade.
- To accomplish my goal I toasted two slices of thin white sandwich bread in each toaster oven in its own version of the three settings that are common: light, medium and dark. Each time I tested, took pictures of the results, and then made sure that the oven cool until room temperature before attempting another test.
- The most important factor I was searching for was a smooth, even hue at medium settings in addition to the ability to easily change the brightness or color from there.
- The models equipped with digital displays – -the Bialetti and Toshiba models Bialetti and Toshiba were the most simple to use because you could dial in the level you prefer by using a six or seven-point scale, instead of making a guess using a timer knob. Four out seven was just a little dark for me with Bialetti but it’s simple enough to set it to 3 (it was the only oven that clearly toasts the bread with the lowest toast settings). I also liked its being the sole oven that have an “A Small Extra” button to help you when your toast is in need of a minute.
- In addition, the toast from Toshiba was a bit light with a score of 4 out of 6 and also too light in the darkest setting.
- The other four ovens I tried all have timer knobs, which have little markers that can be used for different settings. I’m not fond of this method, particularly when you’re using models like model such as that of the Hamilton Beach 31123D, which has tiny markers for dark and medium toast next to each other within the control. Even though a whole 3 minutes of toasting is between them, you’ll need to sit down, squint and twist the knob cautiously if you wish to get anything in between them without any consistency.
- The most effective of the manual control options? It’s the Oster TSSTTVCG05 which always delivered a satisfying toast that was golden brown with moderate setting in shorter time than Bialetti and offers the best settings for toast lovers who want it with a dark hue, however not black.
- Ry Crist/CNET
- When I mentioned the darkest setting, I did not feel guilty about the toaster ovens which burned the hell out of bread because the darkest setting is often required to toast frozen waffles. To put this on the table, I baked various batch made from frozen Eggo waffles in each toaster on the most dark setting. As expected, those that produced black toast on the same setting did the most effective job, but they were not as good. Black & Decker toaster oven’s Eggos were not quite as perfect in the darkest setting as well. This will force you to look for the perfect balance between dark and medium on the dial for doneness when toasting frozen food.
- In the meantime, the least toasters of the group (namely, Hamilton Beach and Toshiba -they weren’t able to get the Eggos sufficiently crisp. They could have benefited by Bialetti’s “A Little Extra” button.
- If you follow the directions on the package, Black & Decker and Oster have provided us with the finest-cooked frozen pizza.
- Ry Crist/CNET
Pizza, other frozen snacks and food items
- I also made a lot of frozen pizzas – personal-sized pepperoni pizzas from DiGiorno to be exact. The package suggests baking frozen pizzas in a temperature of 425 F for 17 minutes. That’s the method I used for each toaster oven.
- The results were all over the place However, it was not particularly shocking. It’s true that the Hamilton Beach toaster oven was slightly sluggish in the tests on toast and the same was true in this case, as well with a pizza that was undercooked which needed a couple of hours in the oven. In contrast, the toaster oven that has the highest power -Bialetti Bialetti has given us pizza with burnt crusts that was cooked quicker than you’d think.
- Toshiba burned the pizza as well. This was even more shocking considering that it was the other option in my toast tests. Similar to Bialetti It also offers the option of a pizza-specific setting. For both models the outcome was basically the same: pizza that was burned when you follow the instructions on the box.
- The top-quality pizzas of the lot were at Oster as well as Black & Decker, while the vibrant red retro-styled Nostalgia toaster oven made decently-cooked pizza, too.
- Alongside DiGiorno’s, i made sure to try the taste of a number different frozen foods and snacks such as mozzarella sticks (short baking period), Pizza Bagels (medium baking time) and waffle fries (long baking time). For the most part, I was not worried about the taste more so with the degree to which each oven was able to meet the suggested temperature and cook time in comparison to the manual for users. The results were mostly in line with the results we observed from the pizza. However, should you wish to know more in depth on the subject, you can look out my entire notes on testing here.
- Ry Crist/CNET
- My final tests were the office’s favorite: Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies. Five cookies were baked at once in each oven to the convection setting, and according to the recommended timing and temperatures.
- It appears that the Toshiba toaster oven produced an overcooked product and it was consistent with the pattern: it did not cook properly during toast tests and overcooked in testing broiling and baking. Bialetti and Black Decker’s cookies were excellent, too. In addition The Nostalgia, Oster and Hamilton Beach made one of our test tasters’ top cookies (they passed the test of sight as did my Twitter followers, too!).
- The convection setting on Nostalgia provided us with the most even baking on cookies. It was a significant contrast from our standard baking tests, as Nostalgia was more likely to cook faster in front.
- In truth most of the ovens in the toaster did quite good at convection settings -this feature can make a huge differences when it comes to baked goods such as cookies. In reality they all can make cookies, or something else exactly the way you’d like. If you are overcooked or undercooked will only require a little more an understanding curve.
- To this conclusion to that end, to that end, the Oster toaster oven was my top choice for performanceit passed my toast tests and was consistent throughout my broiling and baking tests, too. But…
Are there smart ovens for toaster ovens?
- There are some smart countertop ovens at least but they’re young, and very expensive. If you’re not an early adopter of kitchen technology with plenty of cash to spare They’re not a good choice and I’d recommend sticking with an ordinary oven.
- The first one to hit the market in June was an Intelligent Oven, which now is available in an upgraded model at $599. It’s a powerful cooking device equipped with cameras that detect what you’re trying to cook. It also offers cooking instructions as well as a varieties of settings that you can tweak in the app that comes with it. It’s also not great in toast making.
- Tovala Smart Oven Tovala Smart Oven is another smart oven from the second generation priced at $299, it’s cheaper than the June. The oven doesn’t have cameras built-in Instead this oven is equipped with the built-in QR code scanner that can identify particular Tovala meal kits in addition to 750 frozen items from major retailers such as Trader Joe’s. The smart oven can automate the entire cooking process. Just put the food items in and then press start.
- The Brava Oven is an excellent connected cooker, however, it’s priced at $995.
- Tyler Lizenby/CNET
- The third smart oven that is worth noting comes from Brava and is the most expensive among the three at $995. In terms of upgrades to the oven the Brava is a little like the Frankenstein monster. it has the same heating elements infrared similar to those in the Panasonic FlashXpress, the same built-in cameras as June and the same meal kits similar to Tovala. As with the smart oven the meal kits are quite costly, with dinners for two starting at $30 to $45.