What if we tell you that you can replace your two kitchen appliances, including the toaster and oven, with a single multi-functional appliance?
You have heard it right. We’ll present the top 5 best toaster ovens (reviews by Consumer Reports) in the following guide allowing you to save your kitchen countertop space.
A toaster oven comes with different cooking functions to automate your cooking experience and minimize the overall cooking time.
With a touch of a button, you can bake, broil, toast, reheat, air fry, and whatnot.
Click to jump straight to each topic
- The 5 Best Toaster Ovens for 2021 – Reviews by Consumer Reports
- How to Choose the Best Toaster Oven
- How to Use a Toaster Oven
- How to Clean a Toaster Oven
The 5 Best Toaster Ovens for 2021 – Reviews by Consumer Reports
The following review will highlight the features and functionality of the 10 best toaster ovens on the market.
#1. Breville Compact Smart Oven
The Breville Compact Smart Oven is the best small toaster oven because of its Smart element IQ, eight cooking functions, and non-stick cavity coating. Breville has been designing reliable kitchen appliances to enhance your cooking experience.
The Breville smart oven comes with a non-stick coating to keep the cleaning easy and simple. All you need to do is to whip the walls with a clean damp cloth. It measures around 10.25 x 16.5 x 15.5 inches from outside and 12 x 12 x 5 inches from the inside.
As the name suggests, it’s a compact oven offering a 0.6 cubic feet internal capacity to accommodate 12 inches of pizza or four bread slices simultaneously.
The Element IQ technology features four quartz heating elements to distribute the heat for consistent cooking evenly.
You can select any of the eight cooking settings from toast, bagel, roast, bake, pizza, broil, reheat, and cookies. Moreover, you can also customize your cooking experience by selecting different settings of temperature and time.
This smart oven comes with a large LCD and control knobs, allowing you to select the pre-programmed settings. Additionally, it comes with a built-in light that automatically turns on once the cooking cycle is complete. You can also check the cooking progress through its large front glass window.
This smart toaster oven automatically turns off once the cooking cycle is complete. Essentially, you can set the cook in this toaster oven for up to two hours because of the absence of the “Always-On” option.
- Eight cooking settings
- Backlit, large LCD
- Smart Element IQ
- Built-in light
- Automatic shut-off
- Doesn’t include the “Always ON” option
#2. Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven
The Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven is the best convection toaster oven, courtesy of its 15 cooking functions and speed convection feature. Additionally, the Cuisinart Exact Heat sensors coupled with five heating elements ensure even cooking and precise temperature.
This multi-purpose toaster oven includes 15 cooking settings – Toast, waffle, broil, bagel, bake, pizza, roast, keep warm, leftover, and sandwich.
The Cuisinart toaster oven comes with additional speed convection setting on top of the standard convection fan to circulate the hot air faster. This way, it ensures a lesser cooking time, thus saving energy without any preheating requirement.
The dual cook is another smart feature, responsible for combining two time and temperature settings to elevate the cooking experience. It implies you can use both bake and broil to bake in a shorter amount of time. Not only that, but it also broils the top to give it a brown shade.
The control panel includes a large backlit LCD, showing the temperature, time, selected cooking setting, and shade. You can use the rotary dial to select the cooking setting, preset time, toast level, and temperature.
By the way, you can also use the convection button to add convection air circulation to eliminate preheating time or reduce overall cooking time. You can use the +30 button to increase the cooking time by 30 seconds increment.
- Includes oven light
- Non-stick interior
- Four rack positions
- Includes all the required accessories
- Even toast shade control
- Programmable pizza size selection
#3. Oster Digital Convection Toaster Oven
The Oster Digital Convection Toaster Oven is one of the top-rated toaster ovens, which allows you to set the temperature between 150F and 450F degrees. It features a spacious interior with an extra-large capacity to accommodate casseroles, roast, cookies, and a 12 inches pizza.
The Oster toaster oven offers a dual rack position with an internal dimension of 14 x 8.5 x 12 inches. However, this spacious toaster oven weighs only 11 pounds, making it convenient for you to store it when not in use.
It’s the best large toaster oven which incorporates convection technology to circulate warm air throughout the oven’s interior for faster yet even cooking.
With the seven preset cooking options to broil, bake, convection bake, toast, pizza, warm, and defrost, you can enjoy hassle-free cooking anytime. Moreover, all these functions are available on separate buttons instead of control knobs to simplify the selection process.
This allrounder toaster oven comes with a digital control panel allowing you to select temperature and timer to the decimal point. It’s up to you to select the timer for up to 90 minutes. Moreover, this smart toaster oven comes with an automatic shut-off feature to save energy and, of course, your electricity bill.
Other additional functions include a clock button so that you can see the oven clock. Furthermore, you can use the light button to monitor the cooking process through its large glass window.
- Includes convection technology
- Maximum temperature of 450F degrees
- Includes an interior light
- Seven cooking settings
- Includes a durable baking pan
- Absence of preheating indicators
- Five-minute increments
#4. Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven
The Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven is a one-for-all and all-for-one toaster oven with double infrared heating and 1300 watts of cooking power. With an exterior similar to an oscilloscope, the Panasonic FlashXpress features a compact size and sturdy built.
One of the best things about this toaster oven is its ability to reheat the leftover food, especially pizza, without making it soggy.
The Panasonic FlashXpress toaster oven comes with a Japanese-like design with old-fashioned rubberized buttons available on the bottom side. It means the button’s click when pressed.
However, you need to use the power button to get stuck in the middle of a cooking mode. It also implies that it doesn’t include a cancel button, so you may need to restart the mode selection entire process all over again.
This compact toaster oven comes with 12 x 13 x 10.25 inches with interior dimensions of 4 x 10 x 11 inches. It means the internal capacity equates to 0.255 cubic feet, which is relatively smaller than the rest of the toaster ovens reviewed above. Nonetheless, it can accommodate four slices of bread on its rack.
The black dots on the glass door prevents infrared radiation from escaping, which is good for your health. Conversely, it provides hindrance while viewing the cooking progress.
- Ceramic infrared heating elements
- Precise temperature control
- See-through glass door
- Compact design
- Manual touch button
- Temperature control sensor
- Recommended for smaller families only
- Fiddly buttons
- The timer goes up to 25 minutes only
- Temperature calibration only in Celsius
#5. Ninja Foodi 8-in-1 Digital Air Fry, Large Toaster Oven
The Ninja Foodi 8-in-1 Digital Air Fry, Large Toaster Oven is the best air fryer toaster oven because of its eight-in-one functionality. As the name suggests, it’s a flip-away design to facilitate storage when not in use.
The eight cooking options allow you to air roast, air fry, air broil, bake, toast, bagel, keep warm, and dehydrate. Just for your information, you can reduce 75 percent fat while air frying instead of deep frying in oil.
With overall dimensions of 19.7 x 7.6 x 15 inches, the Ninja Foodi weighs around 15.72 pounds. Ninja claims to provide a 45 percent more usable pan cooking area than the rest of the models. The interior space is sufficient to accommodate nine bead slices, a 13 inches pizza pan, or six chicken breasts.
You can make the best use of Digital crisp control technology to control the temperature, airflow, and heat. This way, you don’t have to manually select the settings and let the Ninja Foodi do this task for you.
You can select the temperature between 250F to 450F degrees and a timer below one hour. The “Cook Fast” option allows you to air fry within 20 minutes with a preheat time of only 60 seconds.
You can find the control panel at the right bottom side, presenting all the cooking options. It’s up to you to use the darkness button to select the toasting level of your choice.
The broad glass panel allows you to monitor the cooking progress without opening the door from time to time.
- Convenient cleaning
- 60 percent faster cooking
- Digital crisp control technology
- 60 seconds preheat
- Includes toast darkness selector
- Only eight cooking functions
How to Choose the Best Toaster Oven
You don’t need to confuse yourself with so many toaster oven options available in the market. The good news is that we’ll highlight all the important features you should be looking for in the best toaster oven.
Courtesy of the technology, a toaster oven provides multiple cooking functions to enhance your cooking experience. You can look for additional cooking settings such as rotisserie and other convection cooking functions to make delicious meals for your family.
Additional functionalities don’t necessarily mean cooking functions; instead, it also includes other settings such as LCD, digital touch-pad, or knob dial controls. You can also look for the built-in timer to minimize manual monitoring.
Size matters! The rule of thumb is that the toaster oven’s size is directly related to the size of your family. In simpler words, if you have a small family, you can opt for a smaller toaster oven to fulfill your toasting requirements.
Moreover, if your kitchen size is small with less space on the countertop, it’s better to select a smaller toaster oven to complement your kitchen. However, if you have a bigger family, you should go for a bigger toaster oven.
All you need to do is to keep in mind your kitchen size before deciding the size.
Obviously! Budget plays a pivotal role as a deciding factor. You need to weigh down all the features against the budget and then select an optimal toaster oven.
Nonetheless, we want to clarify that you can get a high-performing, featureful toaster oven at a lesser price. A standard oven costs less than $50, while the extra features surely add a hundred bucks.
A reliable toaster oven lasts for several years if cleaned regularly. But, how do you check the durability of a toaster oven? You need to check the brand’s reputation and customer reviews.
Another thing that allows you to gauge the toaster oven’s durability is its warranty. You should consider the total number of warranty years to ensure a long-term, safe investment.
How to Use a Toaster Oven
First, you need to read all the manual instructions to understand the settings and available options. It’s better to have a clear understanding of the available cooking functions.
The next step is to check all the included accessories to see if you have to buy anything additional or not. For example, you may require bread pans, cookie sheets, and cake pans to fit in the toaster oven.
You can follow these steps to operate a toaster oven:
- Select the desired cooking settings if available such as toast, defrost, broil, bake, etc.
- You can also select the time and temperature to cook your favorite meal.
- Keep in mind that a toaster oven is a compact appliance and cooks faster than a standard oven.
- It’s up to you to place the food either on the pan or directly on the toaster oven rack.
- Unplug the toaster oven after use and clean the interior with a clean, damp cloth.
A toaster oven is surely different from a regular oven, and you should avoid placing certain things in a toaster oven, such as foil, parchment paper, glass, or Pyrex dishes.
How to Clean a Toaster Oven
It seems to be a difficult task at first, but it’s going to be a breeze once you read the following section. You surely want to keep your toaster oven clean after grilling cheese or toasting tortilla chips. Furthermore, you also need to clean the dripping from the toaster oven’s base after baking a rotisserie.
Toaster Oven Liner
The first thing to do is to buy a toaster oven liner. Although it will cost a little higher, you won’t regret making this investment to keep the toaster oven clean.
You can opt for a good-quality BPA and PFOA-free toaster oven liner so that it doesn’t curl up due to heat. Additionally, it doesn’t release any toxic chemical which is harmful to your health. You can trim the toaster oven liner according to your toaster’s width.
Unplug the Toaster Oven
On the other hand, if you don’t wish to go for a toaster liner, you can clean it yourself after every use. The first thing to do is to unplug the toaster oven and remove the grills or other elements such as a metal tray, lower crumb tray, or rack.
Cleaning the Interior
You can use a piece of newspaper to collect all the crumbs from the base. Now you can use a clean, damp cloth to clean the toaster oven’s interior. Moreover, you can clean the accessories using dish soap and water.
You also need to check the interior material before scraping it. For instance, it’s relatively convenient to clean the interior comprising a non-stick or porcelain enamel. However, you can’t use an abrasive chemical cleaner or metal scouring pad to damage the interior.
It’s better to use a cloth or a sponge to wipe down the toaster oven. However, you can use a plastic scouring pad to remove stubborn stains.
Cleaning the Glass Door
If you don’t want to go for chemical cleaners for the glass door, you can opt for an organic DIY cleaner. All you need to do is to prepare a mixture of equal parts of vinegar and water. Later, dampen the dishcloth with this mixture and wipe the glass door of the toaster oven.
Cleaning the Outside
You can clean the toaster oven outside by spraying an all-purpose cleaner on it and then wiping it with a dry dishcloth.
It’s recommended to use a microfiber cloth to dry the toaster oven inside out.
Removing Stubborn Stains Using Baking Soda
You can mix three tablespoons of baking soda and one tablespoon ammonia in water to make a paste. The next step is to coat the sponge’s scrubber side using the paste and apply it to the stains in a circular motion.
To sum up, a toaster oven is fully capable of minimizing your kitchen workload and making delicious yet healthy meals for a complete household.
The main idea of the above guide is to review the best toaster ovens so that you can make a well-informed decision before buying one.
A toaster oven is no longer a luxury but a necessity in every kitchen. A top-rated toaster oven significantly reduces your cooking time and ultimately your electricity bill.