The best toaster ovens are ones that are not only easy to control but also equipped with the power to act as mini-replacements for both your range oven and your toaster in a pinch. A toaster oven by definition should be capable of doing that, but not all of them are in fact able to deliver on it. Whether it’s because the toaster oven is underpowered or simply designed with limited cooking options, some fall short of the mark in the area where these appliances should really excel: versatility.
Below are 3 great toaster ovens that can deliver genuine value for what you pay, though. Boasting modern technologies like convection cooking and LCD screens, the following ovens offer the best cooking experience for the average homeowner.
The TOB-135 is Cuisinart’s deluxe toaster oven and broiler. This stainless steel appliance welds classic toaster oven shape and styling with new technologies like digital controls. The oven has a 0.6-cubic-foot capacity, which translates to it having the ability to hold 6 bread slices. It has 9 functions, a clock and 2-hour timer, an automatic shutoff feature, a nonstick interior, a slide-out crumb tray, a baking tray and a boiling rack.
This machine also boasts a convection fan for faster cooking of food. It also has an Always Even shade control feature for shade consistency when toasting, as well as an Exact Heat sensor for monitoring exact oven temperatures.
- Convection cooking option
- Convection fan is fairly quiet
- Excellent build quality
- The door’s design can make it hard to get some things out of the oven without a complete oven mitt on (unless you’re willing to risk burning your hand a little)
This is a great oven with the ability to toast, broil, convection broil, warm, reheat, bake, bagel toast, defrost and convection bake. It looks fairly compact, but it can actually fit a 12-inch pizza comfortably within its belly, which makes it a fair size as far as home toaster ovens go. Performance-wise, it’s fast and powerful, heating up swiftly when urged. Urging is simple in itself, as the controls are quite intuitive. The convection can be turned on or off at will, so you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to. The oven also feels and looks very solid, not least due to the appealingly clean stainless steel design. One wishes the manufacturers had decided to make the opening to the oven just that little bit roomier, but as long as you use an oven mitt when reaching in, you should be fine.
This futuristically-styled toaster oven from Oster is a large-capacity model with a convection feature. A 90-minute countdown timer is on it, along with an adjustable broiling feature. The interior can take pans as large as 13×9 inches and the unit also has an interior light. You can toast, bake, convection bake, broil, warm, defrost, and cook pizza on this appliance. The one-touch controls also have a Stop button as well as one for switching the interior light on or off.
- Quiet convection fan
- Fast heat-up for most cooking modes
- Good temperature retention
- Controls sometimes require more pressure than would be truly easy or comfortable
- Wire rack lacks a stop
This is a striking-looking toaster oven with a nice price tag to go with it. Despite falling near the budget end of the spectrum, this appliance actually has a fair number of premium features, including an effective and quiet convection fan as well as a switchable interior light.
The temperature range is good for most people’s needs of such an appliance (150 to 450 degrees), although it may still fall a touch short of a proper broil for some foods (especially larger/thicker ones).
That said, the biggest complaint we can throw at it is that its wire rack doesn’t have a stop. This means your pan can tip and slide out straight onto the floor if you’re not careful when pulling it out.
This is a 4-slice toaster from Black & Decker with Even Toast technology for ensuring consistency of shade. It can take a 9-inch pizza and comes standard with a baking pan and broiling rack. It has heating elements at both the top and bottom, a removable crumb tray, and a total of 4 cooking modes (toast, warm, bake, and broil).
- Very cheap
- Smaller footprint than most of its competitors
- Decently even toasting
- Takes some time to get used to the toast settings
- A bit on the small side when it comes to capacity
- Toast settings skew to the more “done” side
As with all toaster ovens, you should be prepared to sacrifice some slices of bread to test out this one’s settings before you make any pronouncements about how well it toasts. This is actually a fairly reliable bread toaster once you get the hang of setting it to the shade you want, but it requires a bit of trial and error. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s by far the cheapest of the three we’ve listed here.
In exchange, it’s a little shorter on features than the other two—both of which have convection cooking, incidentally—but if you’re not the type who does a lot of “serious” cooking with your toaster oven anyway, this may still beat the other two in terms of value.
The best of the three is the Cuisinart due to overall excellence of performance and build quality. It may be the most expensive of them, but it still delivers the best cooking (and later, eating) experience, which surely should be the first criterion to consider in judging these three products.
That said, it may still be worth noting the value that the Black & Decker offers for the budget-conscious consumer as an alternative. Only get it if you don’t need the higher cooking power that the Cuisinart does, though, or you may end up lamenting it later.