Best Toaster Oven (And Why They Are Worth Buying!)

True, toaster ovens do much more than toast. But they do toast really well.

True, toaster ovens do much more than toast. But they do toast really well. The Oster at Amazon.

Updated December 13th, 2018 – You can use a toaster oven for almost anything, from reheating a slice of pizza, to cooking a broiled chicken.

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The best of the best: The Oster Large Capacity Convection Toaster Oven. Get yours at Amazon.

They’re simple, easy and fun to use so you might expect the prices to be really expensive, but with so many out there you can find one at your budget. My budget was under about $100 when I was shopping for my new kitchen at a new house.

Nevertheless, it isn’t easy to actually find the best one when you have so many options to choose from. Price, versatility, ease of use and brands are some of the variables to take into account when thinking about buying a toaster oven. It can get a bit overwhelming, but that’s what I’m here for.

Here’s a list of the best toaster ovens for the money that will make you very happy.

What kind is best for you?

Remember to think about how you’ll use it.  Do you want a convection oven or not? Should it have digital controls or manual? What preset functions it MUST have? Does it need accessories like a removable crumb tray, racks, a baking pan? And finally, obviously, the price. 

Reading this list, you’ll probably even discover new features you hadn’t thought of before. Let me now take you on a journey through toaster ovens and what they can do, all for less than $100.

Oster Large CapacityToaster Oven

This is a 6 slice toaster oven with bake, broil options, and convection technology so you can cook faster. It has digital controls and an interior light for easy viewing.

Can it cook a pizza? It can.

On the inside, you can fit pizzas, casseroles and a bunch of other meals in a pan up to 13 by 9 inches. It comes with a removable crumb tray plus 2 rack positions.

Restaurant quality results

Do you want crumblier coatings, crunchier edges and even browning in less time? Well, that’s what you’ll get with the convection feature of this oven.

See the Oster at Amazon.

Perfect toast

You can even select the exact shade of toast you desire, from pale white to dark brown. And don’t ever worry again about thinking you left your oven on when you’ve left the house, this one has a 90-minute countdown that automatically shuts off the oven once complete.

Brand name quality

This one is a bit pricier than others, but it’s also one of the favorites of all time. It has all the good reviews you want when looking for a product to buy. At last, don’t forget about the brand. Oster is known for very well made products that are nice to look at while being extremely functional.

What’s in a brand name? Here are the best-cast iron brands.

Hamilton Beach Toaster and Mini Oven

Want a more affordable toaster oven option? Here you go. This unit is perfect for cooking up to 2 slices from a 16-inch pizza, as well as pastries, and other flat foods. It’s not Oster but Hamilton isn’t far behind being a reputable manufacturer so expect good things.

You might also like my review of the top cookware for glass cooktops.

Can your toaster make lasagna? A toaster oven can!

Can your toaster make lasagna? A toaster oven can!

Feature-rich

Just like the last one, this toaster has a shade selector for the color of your bread, an automatic shutoff, and the temperature controls and it also comes with a removable crumb tray.

Unique design

This model is a little peculiar because it actually has a 2 slice toaster on top and a mini oven below and this 2 in 1 functionality will help you save counter space. The toaster slots are 1.5-inches in width, perfect for fitting bagels and English muffin halves.

Liking the low-cost Hamilton Beach? Find it here at Amazon.

Quality economy

Don’t be misled by its small size or the sleek design; this just lets you do more things in less space so you can toast, reheat and bake all in one place. This option is more economical but still promises the best results for your food and your kitchen.

I recently looked at Immersion Blenders. Here’s what I found.

Cuisinart Custom Classic Toaster Oven 

A stainless steel front with easy grip dials and cool touch handles. Even though you won’t find a fancy digital display, the design is very minimalistic and beautiful to look at.

Toast, bake, broil and more

This Cuisinart model toasts a bagel, bakes pizza, broils chicken or anything else that occurs to you for an amazing price. It can hold an 11-inch pizza and 6 slices of toast.

Clean and safe

The tray is removable for easy cleaning, plus the interior has nonstick material. A safety shut off feature is also in this model, just as the shade control that monitors the temperature and the timing.

Auto slide

Something really cool is the handy auto side-out rack that’s perfect for hands-free loading and also for easily removing food that’s already cooked. This is an incredibly convenient feature because it can prevent a lot of burns from the trays when trying to pull them out manually.

This oven doesn’t come with convection, but its 1800 watts are more than enough to cook your food since that is very powerful in a mini oven.

See more features of the Cuisinart at Amazon. 

Black + Decker TO3250XSB

An excellent inexpensive toaster oven that allows you to utilize the brilliant innovation that is convection technology, this Black and Decker takes up little space and still gives you enough interior space to fit most of the cooking and baking sheets that you already have, giving you double the savings potential.

Premium materials

The exterior of the oven is brushed with stainless steel while the inside components (oven rack, crumb tray, etc.) are 100 percent stainless steel. Heat is conducted and distributed perfectly, and clean up is as easy as it’ll ever be.

Quiet fan

Maybe the best aspect of this oven (outside of cooking well) is that the fan runs quietly at all times. On the flip side, the fan runs at all times. You cannot turn off the convection element of it.

Analog temperature controls

One downside of this particular oven is temperature control because it utilizes analog temperature controls it won’t be as accurate when setting temperatures. If you require exact temperatures for what you are cooking, you may struggle to find that sweet spot.

Check out the Black + Decker Oven

DeLonghi Six Slice Convection

Delonghi has made a product that fits neatly anywhere you place it. From spacious gourmet kitchens with modern a modern design to a small dorm room countertop with minimal surface area, this is a perfectly adaptable and versatile cooking machine.

Rack positioning

You’ve got the ability to switch from three different rack positions, and in some circumstances can use up two racks simultaneously. However, when cooking some larger meals, one rack is suggested for proper heat distribution.

Different cooking options

Go from cooking a 12-inch pizza to baking cooking brownies, to making rotisserie style chicken, with the abundance of baking accessories that are included with the product.

High-quality material

Constructed with high-grade stainless steel on the inside and enjoying a stainless steel finish on the outside, you can be sure that you’ve got a product that will do its job for years to come

The top of the unit does tend to get quite warm when the oven is in use. This is to be expected when looking for toaster ovens within this price range, and I wouldn’t recommend putting anything on top of it while in use.

Does this DeLonghi product interest you?

 

MaxiMatic Ero Elite Cuisine

This is an especially intriguing toaster oven due to the incredible amount of versatility it has and is a great pickup for anyone who has limited space and is looking for a product that can take care of all your mealtime needs.

Crazy versatility

By now you’re certainly used to seeing toaster ovens that can bake a pizza, or roast a chicken rotisserie style.

The MaxiMatic goes even further by adding a non-stick griddle on the top of the oven to cook up some eggs, pancakes or anything else you can fit on the griddle.

It also has a domed lid to place over it so you can trap the heat inside of it.

The best part is you’ll find this device is well within the price range that you’re looking for.

This does come with a one-year warranty, but in the event, you need to use that warranty, you will have to pay to ship the unit to the manufacturer.

Have a look at the MaxiMatic

Features explained

Typically you’ll be able to easily understand why some features are essential. Features like “adjustable thermostat” lets you know right away that you will have the ability to change the temperature, that is self-explanatory. But some features aren’t so easily recognizable as being a game changer. Let’s take a more in-depth look at some of the less visible features you should be looking for and why they are beneficial

Convection Oven (sometimes listed as a fan)

Convection is the ovens equivalent to the nitrous button in race cars. It turns your multiple hour cooking times with some foods and cuts in half (so to speak). How does this magic work, you ask?

Traditional ovens distribute heat from the bottom up, meaning the bottom of the oven can and will be significantly warmer than the top of your oven. Convection ovens, on the other hand, use a fan to distribute the heat evenly within the oven, not just cooking the food faster but it’ll also cook more evenly.

A toaster oven with convection capabilities will allow you to cook more types of dishes, more efficiently. So while having a “fan” as a feature doesn’t seem as noteworthy as a pizza option, it is infinitely more important.

It is important to note that not all foods can be cooked using convection technology. Thankfully, if your unit has this feature, you will also have the ability to turn the fan off.

Adjustable Oven Rack Positions

Like we said earlier, ovens cook by distributing heat from bottom to top. This means that some foods need to be placed further away from the heat, while others should be closer to it.

If your oven can’t adjust the height of the rack, then you are effectively limiting the types of foods that you can cook.

For example, if you want to cook something that has a nice crispy crunch to it, you’ll need to place the food near the top of your oven (this is because most of the heat will settle at the top). But if your toaster oven just has a stationary rack placed smack dab in the center, you won’t be able to attain the crispy finish you are looking for.

Once again, even though having an adjustable oven rack doesn’t sound anywhere near as intriguing as a “pizza” option, it is significantly more beneficial to you.

Rotissary cooking

This very well may be self-explanatory for some folks, but I feel like it is worth discussing anyway. Rotissary cooking features in a toaster oven are excellent because it affords you the ability to rotate your food while it is cooking, giving it an even cook and keeping it from drying out.

There is a drawback with these, however. First, and you’ll notice this right away, toaster ovens with this feature tend to be much larger than the typical toaster ovens you’re used to seeing. Of course, this can be a problem if you lack sufficient space.

Secondly, these are noticeably more difficult to cleans because the juices from the meat get literally everywhere.

Pizza cooking option

This is for sure self-explanatory, but I feel like I spent the last few paragraphs bashing pizza. So let’s give the pizza a little bit of love, shall we?

Everybody knows there is no better food than pizza, it’s perfectly cheesy, greasy and overall terrible for you, making it the perfect food for your cheat meal. So anytime you see a toaster oven with a dedicated pizza option you should take a serious look at it.

My top choice

Personally, I like the Oster. I love the way it looks, the large capacity and the convection oven feature. This will make your real oven jealous because you’ll find yourself always going to the toaster oven.

Watch this video that shows you five great toaster oven meals

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Additional Resources

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Francois J. and Stu S.