Is your trusty toaster not cutting it anymore, or are you tired of waiting for your full-sized oven to preheat? Toaster ovens have come a long way, offering a variety of features and benefits to suit every kitchen and cooking need.
In this post, we’ll explore the different types of toaster ovens on the market, discuss factors to consider when choosing the perfect one for your needs and share our top recommendations in each category.
We’ll also provide tips for using and maintaining your toaster oven to ensure you get the most out of your new kitchen companion. So, let’s dive in!
Understand the various toaster ovens available for your cooking needs and budget.
Consider cooking habits, kitchen space and layout, and price range when selecting a toaster oven.
Adjust recipes accordingly for convection cooking. Clean interior & accessories regularly for optimal performance & durability.
Understanding Toaster Oven Types
|Toast Type||Description||Pros||Cons||Best For|
|Basic Toaster Ovens||Standard toasting, baking, and broiling functions.||* Affordable|
* Simple to use
|* Limited features|
* Slower cooking times
|Small tasks and smaller households.|
|Convection Toaster Ovens||Frying foods without much oil and versatile cooking options.||* Faster cooking times|
* Even cooking
|* May be noisy|
* Can be expensive
|Have a fan to circulate air for even faster cooking.|
|Air Fryer Toaster Ovens||Have air fryer functionality for healthier, crispy food.||* Healthier cooking|
* Versatile cooking options
|* Can be expensive|
* Takes up more space
|Frying foods without much oil, and versatile cooking options.|
|Compact Toaster Ovens||Small in size, perfect for limited space.||* Space-saving|
* Simple to use
|* Limited capacity and features||Small kitchens or limited counter space.|
|Smart Toaster Ovens||Connect to smartphone or voice assistant for remote control and smart features.||* Remote control|
* Advanced features
* Notifications and alerts
|* Can be expensive|
* Dependence on technology
|Tech-savvy individuals and those wanting convenience and advanced functionality.|
|Infrared Toaster Ovens||Use infrared technology for faster cooking times and efficient energy use.||* Faster cooking times|
* Even cooking
|* Can be expensive|
* Limited models available
|Quick and efficient cooking, especially for reheating and toasting.|
As technology advances, so do the options available for toaster ovens. From basic models to smart ovens with advanced features, there’s a toaster oven to suit every cooking need and budget.
You must comprehend the different available types to find the best toaster oven. We’ll delve into some of the most sought-after toaster oven types currently on the market:
Basic Toaster Ovens
Basic toaster ovens are perfect for those who prefer simplicity and affordability. They typically offer toasting, baking, and broiling functions without additional features. These versatile appliances are great for toasting bread, reheating pizza slices, and even baking small batches of cookies.
The Hamilton Beach toaster oven is a popular basic model, offering straightforward controls and a compact design that can accommodate up to six slices of toasted bread or a 13-inch frozen pizza.
Although basic toaster ovens might lack the advanced features of more expensive models, they deliver dependable performance. They are suitable for individuals with limited countertop space or those who don’t require the extra features of higher-priced toaster ovens. Plus, they’re often more energy-efficient than larger toaster ovens, making them a great option for eco-conscious cooks.
Convection Toaster Ovens
Convection toaster ovens take your cooking game to the next level, featuring a convection fan that circulates hot air throughout the oven for faster and more even cooking results.
This means your food will be cooked more evenly, and you’ll wait less for your oven to preheat. The Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven is a popular choice in this category, offering efficient cooking for up to nine slices of bread, a 13-inch frozen pizza, and even a whole roast chicken.
Convection toaster ovens are also great for air frying, as the circulating hot air helps create a crispy texture on your food without excessive oil. Many convection toaster ovens now come equipped with an air fry setting, making them even more versatile and convenient for health-conscious cooks. Some popular convection toaster ovens with air fry settings include:
GE Quartz model (features quartz heating elements for superior performance and temperature control)
Modifying your cooking times and temperatures when operating a convection toaster oven is vital. Here are some tips to achieve the perfect results:
Increase cooking time by a few minutes
Reduce the temperature by 25 to 50 degrees
This is especially important when baking delicate items like cakes and soufflés
With proper use and maintenance, a convection toaster oven can be a valuable addition to your kitchen arsenal.
Air Fryer Toaster Ovens
Air fryer toaster ovens are the perfect combination of a traditional toaster oven and an air fryer, offering the best of both worlds. These appliances allow you to cook your favorite fried foods with little to no oil, resulting in healthier, guilt-free meals.
The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro is one such model that combines the convenience of a toaster oven with the benefits of an air fryer, making it a popular choice among health-conscious cooks.
These versatile appliances, known as convection ovens, generally feature more powerful convection fans than standard convection toaster ovens, resulting in faster cooking times and a slightly crisper texture on your food.
The Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven SP101, for example, offers:
With a sleek design that fits perfectly on your countertop.
A pod air fryer could also be suitable if you’re short on space or budget. These compact appliances are designed with a basket for air frying and can often produce a crunchier texture more quickly than air fryer toaster ovens.
The cooking baskets can also be safer and easier to handle than a hot pan, making them a great choice for families with young children or inexperienced cooks.
Compact Toaster Ovens
Compact toaster ovens, also known as countertop toaster ovens, are specifically designed for small kitchens or those with limited counter space. These space-saving appliances still offer essential toasting and baking functions but have a smaller footprint to fit even the tiniest countertops.
The Panasonic FlashXpress Countertop Oven, a popular compact toaster oven option, features a unique retro LED display and user-friendly controls.
Though compact toaster ovens may have smaller cooking capacities, they still provide reliable performance and are an excellent option for those who need to save on space.
Just be sure to choose a model with features that suit your cooking needs, as some compact toaster ovens may have limited functionality or temperature control options.
Smart Toaster Ovens
Smart toaster ovens are the cream of the crop, offering advanced technology for added convenience and precision cooking. These appliances often come with preset cooking modes, app connectivity, and intuitive controls that make cooking a breeze.
The Breville Mini Smart Oven is one such model, boasting advanced technology and precision cooking in a compact size.
While smart toaster ovens may come with a higher price tag, they offer a range of features and benefits that can make your cooking experience more enjoyable and efficient.
A smart oven might be the perfect choice if you’re looking for a toaster oven that can do it all and are willing to invest in a high-quality appliance.
Infrared Toaster Ovens
Infrared toaster ovens:
Use infrared heating elements for faster preheating and cooking times
Minimize energy consumption
Provide quick cooking times and evenly cooked meals
They are an excellent choice for those who value efficiency in the kitchen.
Some popular infrared toaster oven models include the Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro, Panasonic FlashXpress G110P, and the Breville Compact Smart Oven.
These advanced appliances offer a range of features and benefits, such as air frying, convection cooking, and adjustable temperature settings. Making them a worthwhile investment for those seeking efficiency and convenience in their cooking appliances.
Why would you buy a toaster oven? When I moved into my first apartment, the tiny kitchen had barely any counter space. I wanted a versatile appliance that could handle my frequent toast cravings and occasional baking ventures without taking up too much room.
After extensive research, I invested in the countertop toaster oven. Not only did it fit perfectly on my limited countertop, but its retro LED display became an unexpected conversation starter whenever friends came over. Now, no morning goes by without my perfectly toasted bread, all thanks to my trusty compact toaster oven.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Toaster Oven
Having examined the various types of toaster ovens, it’s crucial to consider several factors to select the one that best suits your requirements. These factors include cooking needs and frequency, kitchen space and layout, and budget and price range.
You can choose the toaster oven that meets your needs by thoughtfully evaluating these aspects.
Cooking Needs and Frequency
Evaluate your cooking habits and frequency. Are you an avid home chef who loves cooking food and experimenting with new recipes, or do you primarily use your toaster oven for reheating leftovers and toasting bread?
Determining your cooking needs will help you decide which features and functions are most important for your toaster oven.
For example, if you frequently bake, roast, or air fry, you may want to consider a convection toaster oven or an air fryer toaster oven to provide more even and efficient cooking results.
On the other hand, if you mainly use your toaster oven for toasting and simple cooking tasks or to reheat food, a basic or compact toaster oven over a large oven could be more than enough to meet your needs.
By understanding your cooking habits and frequency, you can narrow your options and choose a toaster oven perfectly suited to your lifestyle.
Kitchen Space and Layout
Another important factor to consider is your kitchen layout and available counter space. Given the various sizes of toaster ovens, it’s critical to select one that comfortably fits on your countertop without occupying excessive space.
Be sure to measure your available counter space and compare it to the dimensions of the toaster oven you’re considering to ensure it will fit seamlessly into your kitchen.
Safety should be considered when deciding on the location of your toaster oven in the kitchen. Ensure the appliance is situated in a secure area away from flammable materials and not where it could be easily knocked over or cause a fire.
Budget and Price Range
Your budget and price range determine which toaster oven is right for you. Toaster ovens can range in price from around $25 for basic models to $1,000 or more for high-end, feature-packed options. Try to balance the features you need and the amount you’re willing to spend.
Consider the features that matter most to you and compare the prices of different toaster oven models within your budget. Doing so lets you find the best toaster oven that delivers the functionality and performance you need without breaking the bank.
Top Picks for Best Toaster Oven by Type
Having discussed the aspects to evaluate when selecting a good toaster oven, we’ll now delve into our top recommendations for each category.
Whether you’re looking for a basic model, a feature-packed convection oven, or a space-saving compact option, we’ve covered you with our recommendations for the best toaster ovens in each category.
Best Basic Toaster Oven
If you’re looking for a straightforward and affordable option, the Hamilton Beach 4-Slice Toaster Oven is our top pick for the best basic toaster oven. This compact model offers:
It can accommodate up to six slices of bread or a 9-inch frozen pizza
Perfect for simple cooking tasks
These features make it an excellent choice for those who prefer simplicity and affordability in their kitchen appliances.
In addition to its straightforward controls and compact design, the Hamilton Beach toaster oven comes with a range of standard accessories, including an oven rack, baking pan, and removable crumb tray top.
With its performance, ease of use, and affordability, the Hamilton Beach 4-Slice Toaster Oven is our top pick for the best basic toaster oven.
Best Convection Toaster Oven
For those seeking the benefits of even cooking and versatility, the Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster (TOB-260N1) is our top pick for the best convection toaster oven.
This powerful appliance can accommodate up to nine slices of bread, a 13-inch frozen pizza, and even a whole roast chicken, making it perfect for a wide range of cooking tasks.
The Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven comes with a variety of useful accessories, including:
Two oven racks
A baking pan
A broiling tray
A ceramic pizza stone
Its efficient cooking capabilities, user-friendly features, and versatile performance make it our top pick for the best convection toaster oven.
Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven
If you’re looking for the perfect combination of a toaster oven and an air fryer, the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro is our top pick for the best air fryer toaster oven. This versatile appliance allows you to cook your favorite fried foods with little to no oil, resulting in healthier, guilt-free meals.
The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro offers a range of cooking functions, including:
This makes it a popular choice among health-conscious cooks. Its sleek design and user-friendly controls make it a great addition to any kitchen, and its powerful performance ensures that you can enjoy the benefits of a toaster oven and an air fryer in one convenient appliance.
Best Compact Toaster Oven
For those with limited counter space or small kitchens, the Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven is our top pick for the best small toaster oven. Unlike most toaster ovens, this unique appliance offers a retro LED display and user-friendly controls, providing efficient toasting, baking, and reheating capabilities.
Despite its compact size, the Panasonic FlashXpress doesn’t sacrifice performance. It’s ideal for those needing a space-saving appliance without compromising functionality. With its style, simplicity, and performance, the Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven is our top pick for the best compact toaster oven.
Best Smart Toaster Oven
For those seeking advanced technology and precision cooking, the Breville Mini Smart Oven is our top pick for the best smart toaster oven. This compact appliance offers a range of preset cooking modes, app connectivity, and intuitive controls, making it perfect for those who value convenience and precision in their kitchen appliances.
While the Breville Mini Smart Oven may come with a higher price tag than some other toaster ovens, its advanced features and superior performance make it a worthwhile investment for those seeking the best smart kitchen technology. Its advanced technology, precision cooking, and compact size make it our top pick for the best smart toaster oven.
Best Infrared Toaster Ovens
If you’re looking for fast preheating and cooking times with minimal energy consumption, our best-infrared toaster oven is the Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro.
This advanced appliance offers a range of features and benefits, including air frying, convection cooking, and adjustable temperature settings, making it an excellent choice for those seeking efficiency and convenience in their cooking appliances.
The Panasonic FlashXpress G110P and the Breville Compact Smart Oven are also highly-rated infrared toaster ovens, offering fast and efficient cooking times with minimal energy consumption. With their speed, efficiency, and versatile cooking options, these infrared toaster ovens are an excellent choice for those seeking the best in toaster oven technology.
Tips for Using and Maintaining Your Toaster Oven
Following some basic usage and maintenance tips is vital to guarantee your toaster oven’s optimal performance and durability. From adjusting your recipes for convection cooking to regularly cleaning your toaster oven’s interior and accessories, these tips will help you get the most out of your new kitchen companion.
Cooking Tips and Techniques
When using your toaster oven, remember a few cooking tips and techniques. First, be sure to adjust your recipes for convection cooking if your toaster oven has a convection setting. This may involve increasing the cooking time by a few minutes and reducing the temperature by 25 to 50 degrees to achieve perfect results, especially when baking delicate items like cakes and soufflés.
You also need to use the appropriate cookware when using your toaster oven. Avoid using Pyrex, glass cookware, or parchment paper, as these materials may not suit the high temperatures your toaster oven generates. Instead, opt for metal or silicone bakeware designed specifically for oven use.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial to keeping your toaster oven in top condition and prolonging its lifespan. Here are some steps to follow:
Wipe down the interior surfaces of your toaster oven with a damp cloth.
Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any crumbs or debris.
Regularly empty the crumb tray to prevent build-up and maintain optimal performance.
When cleaning the accessories, such as the oven rack and baking pan, wash them in warm, soapy water to remove any food residue. By following these simple cleaning and maintenance tips, you can ensure your toaster oven continues to operate at its best for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of toaster ovens?
Toaster ovens come in two varieties – countertop and under-cabinet models. These appliances offer various cooking options, from toasting to roasting and baking. They are also available in four distinct styles – pop-up toasters, toaster ovens, convection toaster ovens, and air fryer toaster ovens – all providing different levels of convenience and versatility.
What is convection vs conventional toaster oven?
Convection toaster ovens have a built-in fan that evenly distributes hot air, providing better heat distribution than conventional toaster ovens, which radiate heat from the top and bottom walls. This results in faster cooking times and an even temperature throughout the food.
What is the difference between a convection oven and an air fryer toaster oven?
A convection toaster oven uses a fan to circulate hot air evenly toasting bread, while an air fryer toaster oven has more powerful fans for faster cooking and a crispier texture.
Can I use glass cookware in my toaster oven?
Using glass cookware, Pyrex, or parchment paper in a toaster oven is not recommended due to the high temperatures generated.
Toaster ovens offer a versatile and convenient solution for cooking, from toasting bread to baking cookies and roasting whole chicken.
Understanding the different types of toaster ovens available and considering factors such as cooking needs, kitchen space, and budget.
With our top picks for each toaster oven type and tips for using and maintaining your new appliance, you’ll be well-equipped to make the most of your oven and elevate your cooking game.
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