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Cooking with a Toaster Oven - Reviews

Updated on January 11, 2010

Toaster Oven

Not everyone has heard of or has used a toaster oven. Personally, I find them a great appliance in most kitchens, especially if you're single living solo. A toaster oven is basically a mix between a conventional oven, microwave oven, and sometimes a toaster. They are smaller and require less cleaning than a conventional oven; although they can be harder to clean when compared to a simple toaster.

Toaster ovens are even great for those who enjoy crafts. Sometimes it can be a pain to heat up your oven, which can make the entire kitchen hot, if all you need to do is bake a few clay pieces or a few beads for your current or next project. A toaster oven works perfect as it will heat up fast, and it won't make your kitchen hot.

When looking for a toaster oven, you'll want to consider all the various features and the different brands of toaster ovens so that you purchase the best toaster oven for you and your needs. I have listed a few of the best toaster ovens below, as well as tips to choosing a toaster oven; hopefully, you will find a toaster oven that you feel will suit your needs.

Toaster Oven Reviews

Hamilton Beach 2-Slice Toaster and Mini Oven- Perfect for cooking bagels, English muffins, flat waffles, and toast with the 1-1/2 inch toaster slots. The toaster oven is a little small, but it does it's job.It includes a crumb rack for easy cleanup and temperature controls for more precise cooking.

Cuisinart Toaster Oven- You can bake, broil, toast, reheat, and defrost with this toaster oven. There is a heat sensor that maintains precise temperatures, and a timer to ensure you don't over or undercook your food. This is a great toaster oven with a large interior that only takes a few minutes to heat up, so you don't have to wait long.

Proctor Toaster Oven- This toaster oven is a 4-slice toaster that bakes and broils. The rotary timer is great to keep time on your pizza, bagels, or whatever you're cooking, but the you'll want to make sure to cook with aluminum foil under your food, as the crumb tray can be hard to clean and it doesn't catch all loose crumbs.

Oster Toaster Oven- This toaster oven is slightly more advanced with temperatures as high as 450F, a 60 minute timer, and a 6-slice toaster. Just be careful as the door can get rather hot. The timer can be a little loud, but not overly obnoxious. As for the removable crumb tray, it's flat, so when transporting, the crumbs can roll off.

Proctor 4-Slice Toaster Oven- This is a simple toaster oven that is fairly simple to use. It will get the job done and it's not that expensive on your budget, and it even includes a broil option. If you're looking for a toaster oven that doesn't have tons of options and controls, this is the one you'll want. Just be careful as it can get pretty hot.

Black & Decker Toaster Oven- This Black and Decker toaster oven has an excellent design, versatile tray system, non-stick inner surface, decent crumb guards over the heating elements, great capacity, wide viewing area, and even cooking. But, the digital controls can be confusing to figure out at first and the product is more of a mini-oven versus a toaster (which may not be a problem if you want to wait a little longer for toast).

Features to Look for When Buying a Toaster Oven

When looking to purchase a new toaster oven, you'll want to consider the following features, so that you can figure out which model you want. Some of the features will require higher priced toaster oven models, which is something that you'll want to consider... Your budget is important, and if you don't think that you'll need a particular feature, then you'll want to find a different model to consider.

  • Counter Space- Toaster ovens generally require a 3-4 inch clearance space in the back for heat and crumb trays that are removed from the back. You'll also need space in the front to lower the door in order to get your food.
  • Broil Setting- You'll find that mid-range to premium toaster ovens offer a broil setting, but if you don't need it, then you'll be able to save a little money on a less expensive model.
  • Removable Crumb Tray- The removable trays are more convenient than those that are hinged. Also consider the removable tray that can be removed from the front versus that back, ans front removal is much more convenient.
  • Non-stick or Continuous-clean Interior- The models that offer a self-cleaning interior cause food to disintegrate, which is much simpler than having to clean the toaster oven all the time. It will definitely save you some time.
  • Safety Features- An auto shut off feature and a timer that will shut off the toaster oven when the food is finished cooking will definitely be a great option and safety feature.
  • Other Alternatives- If you don't think that you're going to use the full aspects of a toaster oven, then you may just want to purchase a toaster, if all you want to do is toast bread, waffles, egg muffins, and bagels. Also consider that a regular microwave can reheat, defrost, and cook your food; although microwave ovens won't brown and toast your food, they will heat faster and they're generally about the same price.

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    • profile image

      Mary Nicolaou 

      7 years ago

      can someone help me please I have bought a toaster oven brand name is Midea but I want to no if you can cook pork sausages or not please I need some help

    • profile image

      P Keman 

      7 years ago

      I disagree. I have a wonderful Black and Decker self cleaning oven/broiler. Food definitely does not disintegrate! I want to find another one to have on hand when this wears out. I can't find one. B & D does not appear to make one anymore. Help?

    • Janet21 profile image

      Janet21 

      9 years ago from New York

      I would be lost with my toaster oven! We use it daily. We just purchased a Cuisinart toaster oven (TOB-155) and we love it. We had a Rival oven that was a piece of junk since day one. The Cuisinart is much better.

    • fritteritter profile image

      fritteritter 

      9 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Anyone looking for a toaster oven should really consider one with a fan for convection cooking, I see a few nice convection products in your list. I have used my Euro Pro TO251 (on clearance for $35 at Target) for nearly two years for nearly all of my toasting, broiling, and baking. It makes perfect cookies, banana bread, brownies, baked chicken, pizzas, even dried fruit... definitely breaking the stigma of uneven and sub-standard cooking in toaster ovens.

      Since it uses less electricity than an oven, has a scooped-out portion in the back for cooking up to 12" pizzas, and since the convection fan spreads the heat evenly, I've had no reason to use a full oven except when the baking dish does not fit. So, look for a convection toaster oven for convenient and efficient small meals.

      My only complaint is that toaster ovens are so difficult to clean, especially after cooking something greasy like broiled pork or chicken. I would love a non-stick or continuous clean interior!

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