- 1 Is A Toaster Oven Worth It?
- 2 How to Find A Good Toaster Oven
- 3 Reviews of The Best Toaster Ovens in 2021
- 3.1 1. Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven – Best to Buy in 2021
- 3.2 2. BLACK+DECKER Convection Oven – Best Large Convection Toaster Oven
- 3.3 3. Breville BOV650XL Compact Smart Oven – Best 4-Slice Toaster Oven
- 3.4 4. Instant Omni Plus – Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven
- 3.5 5. CUISINART Chef’s Convection Toaster Ovens – Best for Baking
- 3.6 6. Panasonic Toaster Oven FlashXpress – Best Small Toaster Oven
- 3.7 7. Hamilton Beach Toaster Oven – Best Budget Toaster Oven
- 4 Top-rated Toaster Ovens Comparison
- 5 Are Toaster Ovens Safe?
- 6 How to Clean A Toaster Oven
- 7 What Can Be Cooked in A Toaster Oven?
- 8 FAQs
- 8.1 1. Could anyone show me how to reheat pizza in a toaster oven?
- 8.2 2. Can a toaster oven replace an oven?
- 8.3 3. Do you need to preheat a toaster oven?
- 8.4 4. What’s the difference between a toaster oven and a microwave?
- 8.5 5. Do I need a microwave if I have a toaster oven?
- 8.6 6. Can I use a toaster oven to bake?
A toaster oven is a vital part of any kitchen. Whether you’re toasting bread, melting cheese on a pizza, or even baking a small tray of cookies, a toaster oven can accomplish it all. But with a large variety of models out there, it can be tough to pick the one that best suits your needs.
That’s where we can help. To aid in your decision, we reviewed a number of highly-rated and popular models, seeking toaster ovens with a solid balance of performance and value. We consulted user reviews to find out which features matter to most consumers, so you can trust that our pick for the best all-around toaster, the Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven, is an ideal blend of convenience, reliability, and outstanding performance.
Read on for our list of the best toaster ovens on the market, as well as a couple of tips for shopping for one.
Is A Toaster Oven Worth It?
For those who cook a lot, a quality toaster oven can definitely make life easier. If you don’t have a full-size oven—which tends to require a generous budget and counter space—then you’ll find a toaster oven especially useful. But the countertop appliance also has value as a standalone cooking device, regardless of whether it’s taking the place of a full-size oven or simply in use as a secondary way to heat food.
Here are a few reasons why:
First, toasters come in different sizes to suit a variety of tasks. Small toaster ovens can perfectly brown your morning toast and handle single servings of food, while mid-size toaster ovens can be particularly effective at reheating leftovers and cooking frozen meals.
Larger toaster ovens are a great solution for cooking food that takes up more real estate, like a pizza or several pounds of chicken. If you’ve ever thought a toaster oven seemed redundant, you probably haven’t considered the versatility of having the option to choose a big model over a small one, or vice versa. Of course, no matter the size of the toaster oven, it should be able to handle three basic tasks: toasting, baking, and defrosting.
Because toaster ovens are generally smaller than full-size ovens or wall ovens, most require much less time to preheat. This means you don’t have to wait up to half an hour to begin cooking or baking. Within just a few minutes, your toaster oven should be hot enough to prepare a whole batch of muffins.
Opting to use a toaster oven over a standard oven can also have an impact on your energy consumption., The machine can produce similar results to a full-size oven with just half the energy, which means using one is a great way to keep down your electricity bill (and environmental footprint).
How to Find A Good Toaster Oven
The first thing most people consider when shopping for a kitchen appliance is the price. We know that you likely have a budget, so we always consider value for money.
But of course affordability means very little if the appliance doesn’t work well, so we’ve evaluated toasters based on cooking performance and ease of use, as well as ease of cleaning and maintenance.
Our general benchmark for cooking performance is based on the most common use for a toaster oven: toasting bread. However, we also consider how a toaster oven handles other foods, such as bagels, muffins, and pizzas.
Additionally, we pay close attention to each unit’s size and feature set, as it’s important to ensure that your toaster oven fits both your space and intended use.
Here is a list of the most important characteristics to consider when choosing a toaster oven:
Toaster ovens range in price from as low as $30 to as high as $1,000. Different price sectors typically offer different feature sets.
If you’re just looking for something basic to help with breakfast, there’s no need to pay for more advanced features. However, pricier toaster ovens with convection settings tend to offer all sorts of fancy cook modes. These models can often serve as alternatives to a full-size oven.
If you are particularly interested in stylish design, lots of power, and greater energy efficiency, a high-end toaster oven may be worth the investment.
2. Capacity and Size
The size of your toaster oven will likely dictate its energy consumption and food capacity. As such, before you choose a toaster oven, it makes sense to think about how much food you’d like to be able to fit in the oven, as well as how much counter space you can spare.
A toaster oven’s capacity and be measured by how much it could hold of two common toaster meals: pieces of toast and 9-inch frozen pizzas.
For those who intend to use the oven for one- or two-person dishes, reheating, or other simple tasks such as baking a few cookies, a smaller unit may be a smart choice.
But if you’re going to cook for family, friends, or customers, you might need to invest in a larger unit: the kind that can handle a 13-inch pizza.
3. Useful Accessories
The majority of toaster oven models include a crumb tray, oven rack, andbaking pan. However, sometimes toaster ovens can include a lot more, and the number of additional accessories may depend on how much you’re willing to spend. Some deluxe convection ovens include multiple racks and extra baking pans.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that any removable parts will require regular cleaning to remove the bits of food that get stuck to them while cooking. To simplify this process, look for a unit with trays and racks that you can easily remove.
4. Cooking Features
Each oven allows you to choose from a variety of different cook modes, each of which is intended for a specific cooking task. Cook modes primarily include toasting (of course), broiling, baking, and reheating.
Some advanced models include additional functions, such as food-specific settings that take the guesswork out of cooking things like a bagel, muffin, or pizza.
One function that can make a big difference in cook quality is convection, which is generally found only in higher-end units. Convection uses a fan and exhaust system to circulate hot air inside the toaster oven, which makes for faster, more even cooking. It’s not a necessary feature for everyone, but it’s definitely nice to have—especially if you like to bake.
Reviews of The Best Toaster Ovens in 2021
If you’re starting to get excited about all the things you can do with a toaster oven, you’ll love our list of recommendations.
- Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven – Best to Buy in 2021
- Black+Decker TO3250XSB – Best Large Convection Toaster Oven
- Breville BOV650XL Compact Oven – Best 4-Slice Toaster Oven
- Instant Omni Plus – Best Air Fry Toaster Oven
- Cuisinart Chefs Convection – Best Toaster Oven for Baking
- Panasonic FlashXpress – Best Small Toaster Oven
- Hamilton Beach Toaster Oven – Best Budget Toaster Oven
Here are our picks for the Best Toaster Ovens.
1. Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven – Best to Buy in 2021
If you’re seeking a toaster oven with a large capacity and wide range of presets, we highly recommend the Breville Smart Oven.
Why You’ll Love It
This digital convection oven, which can accommodate six slices of bread and a pizza of up to 13 inches, is definitely pricier than many other models. But we’re talking about the best, not the cheapest. Here’s why the Breville Smart Oven is worthy of consideration.
The toaster oven includes nine cooking functions designed for different types of food, including sandwiches, cookies, pizzas, and chicken breasts. These functions allow you to set the time, temperature, and cooking method (broil, toast, bake, warm, refrozen, slow cook) for some of the most common toaster meals without having to mess with other knobs and dials or rely on guessworks to find the best settings.
The oven uses the Element IQ heating system to transfer heat across five quartz elements for precise and stable cooking with even heat distribution. With 1,800 watts of power, the oven is able to heat up quickly, getting your meals to the table in no time.
Other convenient features enhance the Smart Oven’s usability, such as a slow cooking function designed for long cook times at low temperatures, a blacklist easy-to-read LCD display for easy control, and a non-stick cavity coating to simplify clean-up.
Unfortunately this unit doesn’t come with an interior light for clear visual monitoring. It’s not a dealbreaker, but at this price point we think it would be nice to have one.
Breville’s exchange policy has received some complaints, so if you’re going to buy a Smart Oven, just be aware that it might take some time before you can get a defective unit replaced.
The Breville Smart Oven Pro is an ideal medium-size model that does quite well across all cooking tasks. We’re especially impressed by its ability to customize its cooking functions to a greater degree than most competitors. So if money is no object, this machine is a no-brainer.
Included accessories: three baking trays, a single rack, a baking pan, a broiler pan, and a nonstick pizza pan.
2. BLACK+DECKER Convection Oven – Best Large Convection Toaster Oven
This Black+Decker is a smart choice if you’re looking for a convection toaster oven with conventional controls and a large capacity. It is a durable kitchen appliance, fashioned from sturdy stainless steel that should more than meet your needs for years to come. Its extra-wide interior can accommodate up to eight slices of bread or a 12-inch pizza. It’s also roomy enough to fit most standard oven pans with handles.
Why You’ll Love It
The Black+Decker Convection Oven has several enhancements that set it apart from a standard toaster oven. Its convection function, in particular, adds major appeal. Many owners praise the convection fan, which they say is much quieter than what you’ll find on other models, such as the Hamilton Beach.
In addition to convection baking, the oven is also good at broiling, toasting, reheating, and keeping food warm. To give you the best possible cooking experience, it features state-of-the-art electronic controls with four settings for specific types of food.
User reviews praise the fact that the interior light comes on when the machine is running, and many seem to appreciate the oven’s 60-minute timer, which automatically shuts everything off when the bake time is done. Extreme versatility is the name of the game for this large capacity toaster oven.
A common user complaint for this model is a dislike for its old-fashioned analog controls. However, this is simply a matter of preference. Many users say they prefer knobs over digital interfaces, as knobs allow you to quickly turn to the desired temperature and time.
This model is one of the biggest and heaviest on the market, so make sure your countertop is roomy enough to accommodate its bulk before you make a purchase. If you have a small kitchen or counter space concerns, this may not be the toaster oven for you.
Finally, the oven’s exterior can get hot during use, so again, it works best in a roomy, airy kitchen.
The Black+Decker TO3250XSB Convection Oven is a solid unit. Though it may be a little bulky for a small kitchen, its spacious interior allows for many cooking options, which means it’s sure to be a lifesaver for many families.
Included accessories: a bake pan, a broiling rack, and a removable crumb tray.
Read more: Top Convection Toaster Ovens in 2021
3. Breville BOV650XL Compact Smart Oven – Best 4-Slice Toaster Oven
With approximate 3,000 customer reviews and a 4.4 out of 5 star rating, the Breville Compact Smart Oven is currently one of the best-rated toaster ovens on Amazon. Like our top pick, the device is a bit on the expensive side, but if you don’t mind paying for quality, it won’t let you down.
Why You’ll Love It
In terms of performance, the Smart Oven is able to complete most cooking tasks relatively well, whether you’re baking a small batch of muffins, or a 12-inch pizza, four slices of bread or a 4-pound roast chicken. It can bake, toast, broil, and reheat food better than any of its competitors.
The Smart Oven cooks using Breville’s unique Element IQ technology. This means that the machine uses four heating elements as needed to ensure an even cook. By delivering the right power at the right time, it not only speeds up the cooking process, but also reduces energy consumption–something that many homeowners will appreciate.
With eight preset programs, the Compact Smart Oven gives you the flexibility to cook your food for optimum enjoyment, time and time again.
With various preset options, new users may be a little overwhelmed at first. However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that the presets make cooking faster.
The Breville BOV650XL seems worthy of consideration. Its lofty price buys you appropriately premium design and features. If you’re looking for a top-notch model that’s easy to use and convenient to clean, this versatile toaster oven will not disappoint. However, if you have limited counter space, then a smaller model like the Panasonic Flash Xpress might suit you better.
Or if you like Breville but also want to do air frying, consider the Breville BOV900BSS Smart Oven with Air Fry.
Included accessories: three baking trays, a single rack, a baking pan, a broiler pan, and a nonstick pizza pan.
4. Instant Omni Plus – Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven
The Instant Omni Plus is ideal for air frying fans. It also best suits for those who frequently find themselves multitasking in the kitchen or preparing food for a family of more than 4 members.
Though it is cheaper, it has a roomier capacity and comes with almost all the features you’ll find in the top pick. This oven seems to have it all— a large LCD, “one-touch” 11 cooking functions, efficient convection fan, and useful accessories for convenient cooking.
Why You’ll Like It
With an air fryer setting, this oven comes with the advantages of cutting back on fatty oils while still offering the same but far healthier outcomes. It is a great solution for those who are craving for fried food but want to limit the overall calories consumed.
When the oven is on the air frying mode, it works by circulating hot air around the food at high speed to get a crispy layer more quickly with little or no oil. So apart from supporting your wellness, this model also works faster than conventional ovens, reducing the cooking time by around 20%.
Besides an air fry feature that helps reduce the fat content of fried foods by up to 80%, this oven also offers several notable improvements in design and feature set. These new additions include a dehydration feature which is great for drying raw food, a super convection fan setting that aids in enhancing the fan speed for better crisping. And an easy-to-use temperature/cooking time dial that allows you to adjust the settings to customize your dish just the way you like it.
At 26L cooking capacity, it can comfortably toast 6 slices of bread, roast a 14-lb turkey, and fit either a 9×13-inch pan or a 12-cup muffin tray with ease. It even can handle both cooking trays at once, allowing you to conveniently prepare multiple meals at a time.
The Instant Omni Plus is one of the few air fryer toaster ovens in the market that is shipped with everything you need to start cooking —right out of the box. This is a great bonus as you don’t need to pay extra for any optional accessory. Included you will have an air fryer basket, cooking pan, oven rack, rotisseries spits and forks, and a rotisserie lift. All fit well in the oven and are easy to clean.
Coming along with the extra large capacity will be the bulky footprint. Measuring about 17.5 inches wide by 14.5 inches tall, the Instant Omni Plus is relatively tall and heavy. So, it can be a bit of a pain to move around. And it takes up a lot of space on the kitchen counter. Be mindful if you have a small space or like to rearrange a lot.
Also keep in mind that the 6-quart air fryer basket is quite small for a French fries party. It’s only ideal for a couple or small family. If you’re planning on hosting a big gathering, you’ll need to make multiple batches to get enough food.
The Instant Omni Plus is an affordable air fryer. Its 1800W motor is strong and very powerful, promising to deliver speedy results. In comparison with other models on this list, it comes with more accessories, and has lots of cool functions to play with. Highly recommend it!
Included accessories: An air frying basket, an oven rack, a cooking pan, rotisseries and forks, and a rotisserie lift.
Read more: Top Air Fryer Toaster Ovens in 2021
5. CUISINART Chef’s Convection Toaster Ovens – Best for Baking
Cuisinart has long been known for its consistently high-performing kitchen products, and the Cuisinart TOB 260N1 is no exception.
Why You’ll Love It
There’s a lot to like about this oven. It has a large capacity but a relatively small footprint, thus saving crucial counter space. When it comes to selecting functions, it’s smart enough to present a full range of menu options, including convection settings and programmable cooking functions.
With 1800 watts of power, it heats up quickly and toasts bread evenly on both sides. On top of that, it employs sophisticated-yet-user-friendly internal temperature compensation technology, which suggests the ideal cooking time based on the number of toasts. It also comes with a speed convection button, letting you cook without waiting for the oven to heat up first.
If you feel like your food needs a little bit more cooking time, the convenient +30 button allows you to add 30 seconds to any function during cooking or toasting—infinitely handy.
A few users complain that after several years of use, the oven became exceptionally hot during operation, both inside and out. Still, others claim the unit is warm to the touch, but not hot enough to cause a burn or any serious concerns. It’s something to watch out for, but doesn’t seem like a major dealbreaker.
With many exclusive features, this model is well-equipped to cook food very quickly. Whether you’re hoping to spend less time in the kitchen or put food on the table in record time, this oven can get it done ASAP.
Included accessories: 2 oven racks, a baking/ drip pan, a broiling pan, a removable crumb tray, a 13 inch pizza stone, and a recipe booklet.
6. Panasonic Toaster Oven FlashXpress – Best Small Toaster Oven
For those with limited counter space, the Panasonic Flash Xpress offers easy-to-use controls and fast cooking functions in a small package.
Why You’ll Love It
Due to its tiny size, this 4-slice toaster oven is not a great replacement for your traditional oven. It won’t fit food for more than a few people, let alone a whole sheet of cookies. Most of what this unit does, however, it does very well. And what it does is simple: typical toaster stuff, like toasting and reheating.
In user reviews, this toaster comes across as inherently usable. Users agree that it’s simple and intuitive to use, and that it heats food quickly and evenly.
Unlike many other models, the FlashXpress uses both quartz and ceramic heating elements, which facilitates near-instantaneous heating. This means you don’t have to worry about preheating in advance. Once you turn it on and set the temperature, you can insert your food immediately.
For easy and effective cleaning, just wipe down the interior with a wet cloth. The FlashXpress’s small size makes it easy to clean by hand.
A word of caution: there is no cancel button on this oven. Once you choose the cooking setting and press its button, you’re stuck in that mode. So if you tend to change your mind a lot, this may not be the toaster oven for you.
Another drawback is that the oven doesn’t always heat evenly, with slight differences in browning when you compare food at the back and front of the rack. To counter this, you can rotate the tray halfway through cooking to get more uniform heating.
This oven lacks the fancy presets and settings of its more expensive brethren. However, if you want a small oven that gets things done quickly—sans the pre-heating—the Flash Xpress is absolutely a top pick.
Included accessories: A removable crumb tray, an oven rack, and an oven tray.
Read more: Top 4 Best Small Toaster Ovens in 2021
7. Hamilton Beach Toaster Oven – Best Budget Toaster Oven
If our other picks have more features than you need or simply exceed your budget, we think that the affordable, no-frills Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Toaster Oven makes for a great alternative.
This is not the cheapest toaster oven available on the market, but it does the job far better than others in its price category. This makes it a no-brainer for our budget pick.
Why You’ll Love It
While the Easy Reach lacks many of the features included in high-end models, such as digital controls and cooking presets, it can toast and bake. It heats food evenly, uses a small amount of energy, and cooks quickly.
Its small footprint makes it ideal for kitchens with limited counter space, but the oven is still large enough to fit four slices of bread or a 12-inch frozen pizza.
There are manual knobs for adjusting time, temperature (150-450°F), and a small selection of vital cooking functions (toast, broil, roast, bake). Plus, there’s a timer bell to let you know when your food is ready.
The exterior of this oven tends to get extremely hot while it’s in operation. So, be careful not to let any cords rest against the oven exterior as a safety precaution.
Users say the Easy Reach’s broil function isn’t all that effective, offering limited browning. And of course, the small size means the oven isn’t meant to accommodate large cuts of meat. A loud, unreliable timer and noisy convection fan also leave a bit to be desired.
That said, for the price, these are minor concerns.
This cleverly-designed oven is notable for its simplicity and reasonable price. It does exactly what you want it to do—without breaking the bank. It can’t replace your full-size oven. But then, it’s not intended to.
Included accessories: an oven rack, a baking pan, and a crumb tray.
Top-rated Toaster Ovens Comparison
|Product (Updated List)||Capacity||Convection Fan||Pre-set functions||Motor Power||Warranty|
|Breville BOV800XL Smart|
|6 slices of toast|
|Yes||9||1800 W||1 year|
|Black+Decker TO3250XSB||8 slices of toast|
|Yes||4||1500 W||2 years|
|Breville BOV650XL||4 slices of toast|
|No||8||1800 W||1 years|
|Instant Omni Plus||6 slices of toast|
|Yes||11||1800 W||1 years|
|Cuisinart TOB-260N1||9 slices of toast|
|No||15||1400 W||3 year|
|Panasonic NB-G110P||4 slices of toast|
|No||6||1300 W||1 year|
|Hamilton Beach 31126||6 slices of toast|
|Yes||15||1800 W||1 years|
Are Toaster Ovens Safe?
It is natural for many of us to worry about health issues when we use our ovens. The two most common concerns are related to the risks of fire and the effects of Teflon coating.
Toaster Oven Dangers
Toaster ovens work by using heating elements. If crumbs get clogged up at the bottom of the oven for too long and get hot enough where the heating elements are working, they can start a fire.
On most modern toaster ovens, however, the crumb tray is removable— as long as you detach the tray and clean it up after every use, the chance of your oven catching fire is minimal.
There are also concerns that toaster ovens coated with non-stick material, called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), also known as Teflon, are harmful to our health and linked to bird deaths.
What if the toaster oven you’re owning was produced before 2013? There’s a chance it’s coated with PFOA, and you can only know by checking with the manufacturer or retailer. If it does in fact contain this harmful chemical, we highly recommend you stop using it.
All in all, except for the common danger of burns or fire hazards occurring when the ovens get very hot, countertop toaster ovens are generally safe for your health.
How to Clean A Toaster Oven
The best way to ensure a longer lifespan for your product is by cleaning it regularly. Here’s how you should clean your magic toaster oven after each use.
What You’ll Need
- Baking soda
- Dish soap/all-purpose cleaner/glass cleaner
- Soft cloth
- Scrubber sponge
- After using, unplug the oven, open the door and allow it to cool down
- Dump out all the crumbs into a trash can.
- After removing the crumb tray and racks out of the oven, hand-wash them with dish soap or all-purpose cleaner which is more natural and generally safer (there’s concern that conventional dish soaps contain toxic chemicals that link to health problems like cancers or immune system effects.)
- After finishing cleaning, allow these parts to air dry completely. You can use a dry cloth to quickly absorb excess water or leave them in a sunny spot.
- Dampen a soft cloth or a scrubber sponge with soapy water/all-purpose cleaner, then wipe the interior walls of the oven thoroughly (except for the heating elements area.)
- Use a toothbrush or a soft cloth with a mixture of 3 tbsp baking soda and 1 tbsp water to gently clean the heating elements.
- Wipe down the glass door with glass cleaner/all-purpose cleaner, both inside and out.
- Spray glass cleaner or all-purpose cleaner on the oven’s exterior directly, then wipe it down with a dry soft cloth.
- Before storing, wait a few minutes for the oven to completely dry.
- Wearing rubber gloves is recommended to avoid contact with dirty surfaces or harmful chemicals.
- Prepare a mixture of 3 tbsp baking soda and 1 tbsp ammonia to remove odor and stubborn stains inside the oven
- Apply a paste of 2 tbsp vinegar and 2 tbsp water to quickly remove burnt-on grease on the inside of the oven’s door
- Avoid using an old scrubber sponge, as it’s an ideal condition for bacteria to thrive
What Can Be Cooked in A Toaster Oven?
A toaster oven is an all-in-one kitchen appliance, serving multiple purposes. You can use it to cook almost everything, from broiling steak to dehydrating fruits or vegetables. Here are 6 of the top uses for your oven.
Preheat the oven first. Rub the meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, etc.) with pepper, olive oil, garlic salt, and onion powder. After putting the food in, set the oven to bake setting at around 350°F and the timer to an appropriate duration (the cooking time is dependent on your tastes, types of meat and what sauces are being used.)
Heat oven to 400°F on toast setting. Spread one side of each bread slice with butter, cheese, or mayonnaise. Top with your ingredients like bacon and tuna (or keep them plain.) Place them in the cooking rack, cook for 5-8 minutes.
If you are a home baker who bakes occasionally, buying a convection toaster oven could be a wise investment. Check out one of our favorite cookie recipes.
There are many things that can be reheated in a toaster oven. Just a few examples are pizza, bread, fried foods, baked goods, roasted/grilled meats, and cooked seafood. Before starting the process, make sure to cover your food with foil to keep it from drying out.
Warm plates before serving
We all know that plates that are warmed before serving food will help keep food hot for longer, but we rarely know that toaster ovens can serve as a warmer too. Here is a simple tip that you might want to start implementing today— place your plates on the cooking rack, set the oven at around 150°F (or at its lowest temperature), and let it run for 1-2 minutes.
Season each side of steak with desired ingredients. Set the oven to broil setting, heat up the broiling pan (coated with cooking spray) for at least 5 minutes. Once the pan is hot, put the food in. Cook it for 10 minutes.
1. Could anyone show me how to reheat pizza in a toaster oven?
Reheating pizza in a toaster oven is easy. First off, preheat the baking tray lined with foil at 450°F. This will help your day-old pizza taste almost exactly like new: hot, crispy and puffy. Once it’s hot, put on your pizza and bake it for 10 minutes. Finally, enjoy!
2. Can a toaster oven replace an oven?
The short answer is— maybe. The long answer is— it depends on many things, including your cooking purposes and the portion sizes.
In practice, these two models perform almost identically. They’re exceptionally powerful and ready to churn out delicious food quickly and effortlessly, even though a toaster oven doesn’t offer the same possibilities as a conventional one.
Due to the smaller size and capacity, however, most toaster ovens can heat up 30%-50% faster than regular ovens, thus saving you a lot of cooking time and energy. Beyond requiring less time for preheating, they can also cut the cooking time, from 2-4 minutes, especially when you’re cooking a small portion of food. With a more compact design, they’re also quite a bit easier to clean and maintain. So, if you plan on cooking a small/medium amount of food at a time, buying a toaster oven will be a wise investment.
Unlike a toaster oven which requires no installation and is ready to use once plugged in, a conventional oven needs to be properly installed. Most of the time, the installation process is not difficult, but it takes time and effort, and sometimes more money. However, regular ovens do have their place. While their smaller version —a countertop toaster oven— can only accommodate about a medium batch of cookies or a 13-inch pizza, a standard oven it can easily handle a whole turkey/chicken or a large batch of muffins and scones at one time. If you’re cooking for a large family (more than 6 members) or want to prepare a big dinner party, clearly, a full-size oven will be more appropriate.
3. Do you need to preheat a toaster oven?
The preheating process is primarily used to heat up the air inside the oven to a proper temperature before the food is put on. Depending on your oven’s size and what you’re going to cook, it will take 5-15 minutes for the appliance to get hot.
Preheating the oven allows the food you’re making to start cooking at the correct temperature straight away. This usually produces tastier, more appetizing food, and is essential when baking to get consistent results. This is the main reason why preheating a toaster oven beforehand is not a must (except for when you’re baking) as it can heat up so quickly, but it’s helpful to do so and generally recommended.
4. What’s the difference between a toaster oven and a microwave?
Toaster ovens make quick work of toasting/baking/roasting/reheating by using heating elements to warm up the inside air, allowing the food to be cooked evenly and thoroughly.
Microwaves function by using electromagnetic waves to heat the water molecules. Contrast the toaster ovens which cook food from the outside in, it heats everything at once. This is a main reason why it usually finishes the jobs faster than the counterpart.
While microwave ovens are only good at reheating leftovers and defrosting frozen foods, toaster ovens can handle well almost cooking tasks, such as reheating pizzas, baking quick treats, broiling steak, and browning/toasting breads.
5. Do I need a microwave if I have a toaster oven?
It depends on your cooking purposes. If you only want something for reheating foods and defrosting frozen meat/veggies, there is no need to extra buy a toaster oven. As a good microwaves can (only) do these job pretty well.
If you’re planning on baking and toasting occasionally, on the other hand, we recommend you invest in a convection toaster oven without hesitation. Besides baking and toasting, it’s also excel at broiling, grilling, warming and roasting.
6. Can I use a toaster oven to bake?
Yes, you definitely can use your toaster oven to bake everything, from raw meats (beef, chicken, turkey, etc.) to pastries (cookies, muffins, cheesecake, etc.) and crisp veggies (potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, etc.)
Here’s our step-by-step baking guide:
- Set the oven to bake setting and adjust the cooking temperature according to your recipe, typically between 300°F and 450°F
- Allow it to preheat for at least 10 minutes
- Put in the food
- Set the cooking time depending on your dish
- Press the oven’s start button and let it run. The oven will turn off automatically once the finished time is reached