You can’t cook everything you’ll want to cook using a regular toaster; it’s just too small and limited. On the flip side, a regular oven is just too large and takes too long to heat up to make so much as a quick snack. For this reason, consider getting a toaster oven.
The best toaster oven is the Mueller Austria Toaster Oven. For less than $100, you get a toaster oven that performs at top-tier levels and includes bonuses such as an easy-clean removable crumb tray and the capability to not only toast but to bake and broil your foods.
Toaster ovens usually include two key components that borrow from its split namesake: a toasting component and an oven component. The toasting component is often placed at the top of the unit and quickly toasts your selected foods in addition to broiling, depending on the model. The oven component is frequently placed underneath and works with the toasting component up top to evenly heat the interior for your baking needs.
Toaster ovens frequently come with more than just a toasting setting, usually including a broil, bake and warming option. Certain models can also offer specific settings labeled after the foods they are intended to cook, such as cookies, pizza and toast.
All of these different cooking options are thanks to a toaster oven’s range of available temperatures. Typically the lowest available temperature is 150 degrees Fahrenheit, with many toaster ovens reaching up to 500 degrees.
The size of your toaster oven is important for two reasons: It changes the maximum amount of food you can cook at once and determines how much counter space it will take up. Keep in mind that a toaster oven requires additional counter space to open and close its doors and remove and add trays and racks. Try and pick a toaster oven no bigger than what you’ll use it for.
Toaster ovens are designed to use incredibly high temperatures, which also makes them incredibly durable. If you properly care for a toaster oven, it can last you for years, even decades. So feel free to splurge on a high-quality oven.
Some toaster ovens have trays and racks that are very difficult to remove and add, which can be quite bothersome when attempting to clean the toaster oven or place food inside it. You can even find toaster ovens with additional racks and trays for different cooking purposes.
Don’t leave a toaster oven cooking on its own and never leave food cooking longer than it needs to. The extreme heat of a toaster oven has a high possibility of starting fires or causing burns if left on and forgotten.
Toaster ovens can cost anywhere between $20 and more than $100 depending on the overall size of the toaster oven and any extra features. Less than $60 will get you a perfectly good introductory toaster oven, while spending up to $100 will add many of the bonus features that could be important to you. You won’t need to spend more than $100 unless you need a very large toaster oven to cook for multiple people at once.
A. A regular toaster can only cook things that fit in its slots, such as toast and bagels and frozen waffles. A toaster oven can cook all of the above and larger food, such as pizzas. You can also add toppings to your foods, like cheese, to cook with them instead of adding them later.
A. A standard kitchen oven takes a considerable amount of time to heat up, let alone cook your food. While the space of a regular oven can’t be beaten when cooking larger meals or foods that need to spend a long time within the oven, a toaster oven is superior when cooking smaller or quicker meals.
What you need to know: Don’t let the low cost of entry fool you; this toaster oven is of exceptional quality.
What you’ll love: A removable crumb catching tray makes for very easy cleaning.
What you should consider: This toaster oven isn’t without minor inconsistencies, like difficulty in specifying temperature with the knobs.
Where to buy: Amazon
What you need to know: This stainless steel toaster oven doesn’t sacrifice function for its low cost.
What you’ll love: A baking pan and a broiling rack are included.
What you should consider: If you set the 30-minute timer, you can't unset it; it has to run through its time.
Where to buy: Amazon
Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven
What you need to know: This full-sized toaster oven is perfect for larger families or those with the kitchen space to spare.
What you’ll love: Not only does this toaster oven have all the standard cooking options, it comes with air frying capability.
What you should consider: The included drip pan is hard to clean for some.
Where to buy: Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.