Best Toaster Ovens of 2018
With a toaster oven, you can keep your kitchen cool and enjoy your favorite snacks anytime you want. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best toaster oven for you and your family.
Shopping Guide for the Best Toaster Ovens
Forget turning on your conventional oven for toast or a plate of frozen French fries. With a convenient countertop toaster oven, you can keep your kitchen cool and enjoy your favorite snacks anytime you want.
But with so many toaster ovens on the market, choosing the right one can feel overwhelming. You need to figure out which features are most important and which ones are luxuries you can do without.
Here at BestReviews, we make shopping as carefree as possible. We buy all the products we test, so our advice is never influenced by jargon or hype. We give you the information you need to sort through your shopping options. If you want to know more about the benefits and features of toaster ovens, read on.
Benefits of Toaster Ovens
A toaster oven doesn't use as much electricity as a conventional oven, so you can save money if you use it instead. Because a toaster oven is smaller, it heats up more quickly and is especially energy-efficient for small meals. Your toaster oven doesn't lose as much heat either, which means your kitchen stays cool when you use it.
Most toaster ovens have a small, lightweight design that easily fits on countertops. They're usually smaller than microwaves. If you do opt for a larger model, you can essentially replace your traditional oven without taking up even half the space in your kitchen.
With a wide temperature range and top heating element, a good toaster oven can perform a variety of cooking functions. From making a couple slices of cinnamon toast in the morning to heating up frozen pizza as a snack or broiling Easy Yet Romantic Filet Mignon for dinner, you can use your toaster oven to prepare a wide variety of recipes.
If you're looking for a user-friendly appliance, it's hard to top a toaster oven. While you should always keep an eye on your kids when they're in the kitchen, this appliance is simple enough for children to use.
Easy to Clean
When your food has finished cooking in a toaster oven, cleanup is usually a breeze. Many models feature a nonstick interior and stainless-steel construction, so you can easily wipe away crumbs and spills without too much elbow grease.
Toaster Oven Features
Size and Capacity
If you cook for only one to three people, a small toaster oven with less cubic feet of interior space will get the job done. But for a large household, you'll want a larger model that offers as much interior space as possible. Don't forget to consider a toaster oven's footprint, though; make sure its exterior dimensions will fit on your countertop.
Choose a toaster oven that offers a wide range of temperature settings, so you can use a low temperature for light toasting and a higher temperature for recipes like bagel pizzas. Some models heat up to 500°F.
For the most versatility, look for a toaster oven with as many cooking options as possible. While nearly all models offer toast and bake settings, some also allow for broiling, warming, and convection cooking. You can even find toaster ovens with specific settings for common foods like toast, potatoes, and pizza.
No one wants burned toast, so pay attention to the timer settings. Some toaster ovens offer timers for specific food or types of cooking, such as a toast timer or defrost timer.
When it's time to take your food out of a toaster oven, you want to be sure the racks or trays pull out easily, so you don't burn yourself. Choose a model with racks or trays that move smoothly.
A toaster oven's controls should be user-friendly and easy to understand. Look for a model that powers up with the simple turn of a knob or press of a button.
Q. How should I clean a toaster oven?
A. It's always a good idea to check your owner's manual for the recommended cleaning procedure. In general, though, start by unplugging the toaster oven, shaking any loose crumbs into the trash, and then scrubbing and rinsing removable parts like trays and racks with an all-purpose cleaner. Wipe down the interior with a nonabrasive sponge that's damp with cleaner, rinse well, and let it dry completely before using the toaster oven again.
Q. What safety features should I look for in a toaster oven?
A. A stay-cool exterior is a must-have feature to prevent fingers from getting burned. Auto shut-off, which cuts the heat once the door opens, is a handy feature, too.
Q. What type of warranty comes with a toaster oven?
A. Most models offer a year of warranty protection, but some higher-end brands offer up to three years. Read the fine print, though. You may need to send the toaster oven in for service and repairs.