Updated May 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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HOW WE TESTED

After going through an intensive research process to narrow down our short list of top products in this space, we tested Breville The Smart Oven Convection Toaster Oven to be sure that it’s worthy of our recommendation. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter and test to verify manufacturer claims.

32
Models
Considered
180
Consumers
Consulted
18
Hours
Researched
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Buying guide for Best toaster ovens

A toaster oven is a versatile kitchen helper. You can use it to prepare everything from toast for breakfast to late-night pizza. In terms of ease, it’s one of the most user-friendly kitchen appliances, too.

The best toaster oven for you is one that’s large enough to accommodate your individual or household cooking needs but not so bulky that it takes up more counter space than you can afford.

For most home cooks, a toaster oven with a wide temperature range and a variety of versatile cooking settings is ideal. Some people prefer a smart toaster oven. These high-tech countertop appliances offer convection heating, which does a better job of evenly cooking food than most regular ovens.

Another feature to consider is a timer with automatic shutoff. This contributes to kitchen safety and makes preparing food — and timing its delivery to the table — a snap.

Features to look for in a toaster oven

Temperature range

The best toaster ovens have the flexibility to lightly toast a piece of bread at a low temperature or heat up mini-pizzas at high heat. Because toaster ovens can be used to cook a wide range of foods, they have a variety of temperature settings, some as high as 500°F.

toaster oven
Did you know?
Toaster ovens typically range in temperature from 150°F to 500°F (65°C to 260°C).
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Cook settings

Common cook settings include broil, toast, dehydrate, convection bake, and warm. If one of these settings stands out for you — perhaps you are intrigued by the possibility of dehydrating fruit in your toaster oven, for example — keep an eye out for it. Multi-function toaster ovens may cost a little more than entry-level models, but many people find it worth it.

Some toaster ovens offer food-specific settings, such as temperatures perfectly suited to heating pizza, baking cookies, or toasting bread.

Capacity

If you have a small household, you might prefer a small toaster oven. If you plan to feed a lot of people with your toaster oven, look for a model that is bigger with more shelf space. In the product specs, the literature should give you an idea of how much food each oven can hold.

toaster oven
Expert Tip
Check the capacity of a toaster oven before buying it. Is it spacious enough to prepare the food you enjoy? You don’t want food to become misshapen because you have to force it into the interior.
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Visibility

How easy is it to see inside the toaster oven to check your food?

Most toaster ovens have a broad glass panel that makes it easy to view your food’s progress. But keep in mind that the glass may cloud with wear and tear over time, especially if the toaster oven is a lower-quality product.

Three gourmet things to make in a toaster oven

Timer settings

The primary function of a toaster oven timer is to safeguard your food from overcooking and burning.

In that same vein, some ovens have preset cooking functions, such as a 30-minute timer for defrosting and longer timers for specific types of food. It’s nice to have options, but at the end of the day, the main question is whether you can quickly begin the cooking process with a simple turn of a knob.

Trays and oven racks

How easy is it to pull trays and racks out of the oven, particularly at high temperatures? If a tray snags on the edge of the oven, it could pose a safety hazard. But the best toaster ovens have trays and oven racks that slide out effortlessly.

Racks are an important consideration, with most models ranging from one rack to three for cooking and baking flexibility.

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Counter footprint

Not every kitchen has a lot of open counter space. Toaster ovens can be pretty small and compact, but bear in mind that you must leave enough surrounding space to avoid overheating nearby items and overhanging cabinets.

Fortunately, compact toaster ovens are available, as are mid-size and large toaster ovens. Before you buy, check exterior dimensions to ensure your purchase will literally be a good fit.

Air fryer toaster ovens

Some toaster ovens double as air fryers. In addition to baking, broiling, roasting, and warming, toaster oven air fryers use hot air to produce crispy air-fried foods like french fries and chicken wings. When it comes to “frying” with minimal oil, they work as well as some of the best air fryers on the market. While these toaster oven air fryers typically fall on the higher end of the price scale, their versatility stands out.

Safety

Toaster ovens get hot fast, which makes them quite handy. However, if food particles get trapped inside the appliance or food is left inside too long, a fire could erupt. Read reviews to see which appliances have a great safety record. Once you purchase a toaster oven, use common sense, and don’t vacate the kitchen for an extended period of time while it is in use.

toaster oven
Expert Tip
Measure your counter space to ensure you have enough room for your toaster oven, as well as enough surrounding space to avoid overheating items nearby.
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How toaster ovens work

Toaster ovens typically provide two primary cooking methods. The first is the toaster component, located at the top of the machine. Depending on the size of your oven, you can typically toast two to four pieces of bread. The toast slots vertically into the machine for rapid heating and browning.

The second component is the oven component. This is where you’ll find most of the variety, settings, and knobs. The primary tools at the front of a toaster oven include a large glass door with a handle that pulls out and down to make space for your food.

Many ovens have a removable crumb tray at the bottom of the interior. Above this tray are one to three racks for heating. You can place toast in here as well as heftier foods like pizza.

Knobs or buttons on the front of the machine help you regulate the type of cooking you are doing, the temperature of the oven, and cooking duration. Simply preheat the oven to the proper temperature, place your food in the oven, and set the timer.

Some toaster ovens have a convection setting. By rotating hot air around food, the convection fan allows you to prepare tasty snacks and meals fast and effectively.

Standard or high-tech? Today’s toaster ovens allow you to choose between digital display screens or more common manual knobs.

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How long toaster ovens last

A good toaster oven is built to last. These gadgets can function at a high level for years, even up to a decade or more. With the possibility of keeping your toaster oven a long time, consider the following:

  • What design style goes best with your kitchen decor?
  • Do you prefer an LCD display, or are simple knobs sufficient?
  • What color and finish appeal to you the most?
toaster oven
Expert Tip
Consider how your appliances complement one another. A toaster oven can’t cook big pot roasts or three-ft.-wide pizzas, but it’s fantastic for smaller and more manageable portion sizes.
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Toaster oven prices

The cost of toaster ovens varies significantly depending on the options you want. As you add more features, the price rises.

Inexpensive

If you don’t plan to use a toaster oven more than a few times a week, a less-expensive model of $20 to $60 would probably work fine. Features include a tray for crumbs, a single rack for toasting, and two slots for bread atop the product.

Mid-range

Ovens in the $60 to $100 range feature spacious interiors with room for casseroles, whole chickens, and other dishes. You’ll likely find two racks and space for up to six slices of toast. Convection technology is another popular feature that speeds up cooking times.

High-end

Toaster ovens above $100 are built with versatility in mind. They are suitable for frequent use and for feeding large groups of people. They can be equipped with technology that ramps the power up or down to match your cooking needs as well as features like the following:

  • Higher temperatures
  • Bigger interior capacities
  • More racks and preset cooking functions, including defrost
  • Up to 12 slots for toast
  • Digital backlit displays
  • Air fry technology
toaster oven
Did you know?
The value of a toaster oven lies in its ability to not only toast bread but also to quickly heat other foods at high temperatures.
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Getting the most out of a toaster oven

Keep your oven clean

Most ovens have a collection tray at the bottom for dried crumbs and food specks. Once a week, remove the tray, and discard the crumbs. Wash it by hand or on the top rack of your dishwasher, and dry it thoroughly before replacing it in the oven.

toaster oven
Expert Tip
Use plastic to remove crumbs and food debris from your toaster oven. Never insert metal utensils in the oven.
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Carefully clear debris

Large pieces of trapped food will burn, causing bad odors or worse — fire. If big chunks of bread become trapped inside the appliance or wedged in the toaster, unplug the appliance and gently shake out the crumbs.

toaster oven
Expert Tip
Always unplug your toaster oven before extracting trapped food or giving the oven a routine cleaning.
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Use plastic utensils, not metal

Always use plastic utensils to extract stubborn crumbs or larger pieces of food. And always unplug your toaster oven before cleaning or performing any kind of repair. Never stick a metal utensil in your toaster oven. Metal tools can scratch the interior, and, of course, a metal instrument in an electric appliance can produce a nasty shock.

FAQ

Q. Why would I choose a toaster oven over a conventional toaster?

A. A conventional toaster only has slots for bread, whereas a toaster oven opens up new cooking possibilities for pizza, snacks, and more. You can also get more creative with toast than you can in a toaster. For example, you can toast bread with shredded cheese on top using the broiler function.

Q. When should I use a toaster oven instead of a regular oven?

A. A regular full-size oven can take a long time to heat. It’s great for preparing large, multi-course meals and holiday dinners when there is more food than space in a toaster oven. But for quick meals, reheating leftovers, and preparing small portions, a toaster oven is ideal.

Movie night snacks in your toaster oven

  • Kale chips: Roast kale spritzed with lemon and topped with parmesan cheese.
  • Homemade pizza bagels: Feed your inner kid with a half of a bagel, cheese, sauce, and whatever toppings you love.
  • Toasted coconut: Finish off movie night with some ice cream sundaes topped with toasted coconut.
  • French fries: Frozen french fries cook nicely in a toaster oven and make a delicious, crispy, hot snack.
  • Veggies: Toss frozen veggies with olive oil. Line a sheet pan with the veggies and spices of  your choice (think curry, garlic powder, salt, and pepper).
Make something healthy in the toaster oven by roasting kale spritzed with lemon and topped with parmesan cheese.
Or feed your inner kid with some homemade pizza bagels.
Finish the movie off with some ice cream sundaes featuring coconut chips from the toaster oven.
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