Best Toaster oven 2020 • 7 Toaster ovens Reviews
Hunting down the best toaster oven may seem a little pointless if you take the notion that toaster ovens are a novelty item, but toaster ovens do far more than toast bread. Not only does it replace many of your primary oven’s functions, there are also areas where it will wildly surpass your microwave. With many options available on the market, it is best to read a review of toaster ovens before making a purchase.
Toaster oven Leaderboard 2020
What is a toaster oven?
A toaster oven is a device that defrosts, heats, bakes, broils, and even air-fries your food. It bears a similarity to a larger oven, except that it heats up faster, it uses less power, and many times it is able to produce a more concentrated and focused heat.
You will have to review and sample the best toaster ovens to get an idea of the ways they work, but many of them heat filaments and a fan blows the hot air around. Some use infra-red to heat things, and some use heated filaments or plates on their own. If you check reviews for the best toaster ovens, you will see devices that use all three methods for heating food.
All of the best modern toaster ovens will allow you to control the heat provided; so that you may gently reheat a meal or create such intense heat that you can air-fry food in its own oils. A toaster oven is often smaller than a regular oven, but bigger than a toaster, and it is best kept on a table top or counter top because it needs a ventilated area in order to perform safely.
How does a toaster oven work?
Under close analysis, a toaster oven must have a heatproof door, must have a heatproof metal/ceramic interior, and internally it must act as a space heater. If you were to give a toaster oven a test run, you would start by setting the temperate and a timer if needed. You then put your food in and wait. Most ovens have a timer alarm that lets you know when your meal is complete.
The best ones on the market are able to do the same thing an air fryer can do. This means you are able to fry meals without submerging your food in oil. For example, you could apply a sheen of oil to potatoes and your device would air fry them for you.
You don’t always need to use oil with your food if it already has oils in it, such as with chicken, fish, avocado, etc. Check reviews to find the best toaster oven, and it will circulate hot air up to 400 degrees Celsius, which circulates within the toaster in order to make things like heated, crispy, and crunchy (depending on your preference).
By comparison, a toaster oven will heat up far faster than the best conventional (large) oven. If you review the best, you will discover that they do not heat up your kitchen like a regular oven. Some of the best toaster ovens are able to act like air fryers because the fan pushes incredibly hot air towards the food with a force that forces the food to air-fry in its own oils. If you were to run a product test comparison with air fryers and the best toaster ovens on the market, then the test result would probably come back as a straight tie.
The advantages of toaster ovens
- It will evenly cook your food items
- It will toast, roast, broil, air-fry, reheat, dehydrate and defrost items
- Has more toasting settings than a regular toaster or oven
- It cooks from all angles for a more evenly-prepared meal
- The appliance has a defrost setting and it often outperforms microwaves
- You can buy different sizes for single people, couples and families
- A toaster oven will save on the electricity bills as it is does not use as much power as a conventional/main oven
- Reheat meals without using a microwave; a microwave can sometimes ruin food if it is used to reheat items
- They are smaller than conventional ovens and therefore easier to clean
- Toaster ovens cost less than conventional (larger) ovens and also take up less space
- A toaster oven will heat up and pre-heat quicker than most other types of oven
- Produces crispy heated items in a way that microwaves cannot
The applications of toaster ovens
- You can broil a hamburger, and it only takes 4-8 minutes per side to cook
- You are able to roast a large chicken and it retains much of its juices
- The toaster oven allows you to reheat your food
- A toaster oven can melt a cheese sandwich
- It can be used for baking bread, pies and cakes
- You can use the toaster oven for roasting or broiling meat
- The oven may be used for cooking casseroles
- You are able to reheat previously cooked food
- Use it for toasting or browning
- Defrost food items evenly with your toaster oven
- Many toaster ovens allow you to air-fry your food if it is firstly covered with a sheen of oil
What types of toaster ovens are there?
Infrared toaster ovens can cook items quicker than conventional toasters. Infrared radiation or IR, it is a light wavelength that ranges from 1 millimetre (mm) – 700 nanometres (nm).
IR is applied to the food items in a way that both warms them and the surrounding air up, which creates the heated space required to cook, reheat or defrost food.
In terms of defrosting and reheating, it is one of the gentlest methods for applying heat.
Convection is when liquid or air is heated and travels away from the source. A toaster oven heats air using plates or filaments, and then uses a fan to carry the thermal energy around the oven’s interior.
Filament and/or heated plates
These work like a traditional toaster where filaments or hot plates exist on two sides. They may be located on the sides of the cooker, or the top and bottom of the cooker.
They simply heat the air, but they do it with a very dry heat that is perfect for toasting. If you were to experiment with and review these types of toaster oven, then you would find they are best suited for toasting, broiling, roasting, and defrosting.
They are not best suited for air frying, and one could argue that they would not pass a suitability test for reheating because they have a harder time getting heat to the centre of your food items when compared with convection and IR toaster ovens. That is also why they are not as good at cooking food from frozen when compared with convection and IR toaster ovens.
Ten typical product faults, defects or weak points
- According to reviews, even some of the best toaster ovens are too light, which makes it more difficult to get the food out of them safely. For example, if you are trying to pull a large and heavy pie out of the oven, it may be difficult because the oven comes along with you as you pull. You will need two people to get the food out, with one to get pull it out, and the other to hold the oven down.
- Your toaster oven may have been made with a non-stick interior and/or a stainless steel and/or porcelain enamel. The different types of material will determine how easily your oven is to clean. Some substances allow sugary and eggy things to stick to it. Some ovens are a little easier to clean than others, especially when it comes to getting hardened grease off the inside of the oven.
- A typical problem is that the shelves on some toaster ovens are too tight. Since the oven gets very hot, it is sometimes difficult to get the food out safely. The biggest problem is that even the best devices may have tight shelves, which is great for keeping your food secure, but not so great when you are trying to get your hot shelves out.
- Toaster oven doors can be fragile, and the door handle may break. The best toaster ovens will be durable, but the middle-of-the-range and the low-priced ovens will typically have weaker parts, and the handle is the most used part of the cooker, so it often breaks first.
- Some ovens are slow. Again, this is not a problem for the best toaster ovens, but some are slow to heat, slow to cool, and may even be slow to cook. Sometimes, it takes too long to heat up frozen foods such as how a frozen pizza may take one hour to cook instead rather than the twenty-five minutes it takes in a conventional oven.
- The very cheapest and worst ovens will short out when they are used for too long because of the heat. While using the toaster, it can create short circuits that will trip your circuit breaker or the RCD in your house. You will have to remember to leave enough space for air to get around the oven to lessen the risk of this happening.
- On a similar note to the point made in the previous paragraph, toaster ovens shouldn’t be placed in enclosed paces because they need air to circulate around the device. Having your oven on a shelf or in a cubby hole will cause the air to heat up in a very focused area. They capture the air/heat, which may cause a fire. It is often best to keep your toaster oven on a work surface.
- Unlike a microwave, the glass door can get very hot. People often forget that it is more like their conventional oven. People are so used to touching their microwave doors without fear that they do the same with their toaster oven and end up getting burned. The best toasters have heatproof doors, but the glass will still be hot to the touch after the oven has been used.
- A common complaint with the cheapest ovens is that the timer on the toaster breaks too easily. Or, it doesn’t go off at the correct time. The analogue versions are especially bad at this because it is sometimes hard for a user to judge minutes and seconds when setting an analogue timer.
- When toasters have elements on the top, there are times when they burn the top of the food when and sometimes it is not cooked all the way through. This usually only happens with cheaper designs. The best toasters will often regulate the hot air as it moves around the inside of the oven.
Can consumers protect themselves from these flaws?
Consumer tests and reviews of the best toaster ovens
The best consumer tests and reviews of toaster oven devices in the UK are performed by smaller companies and testers because toaster ovens are not as popular as microwaves in the United Kingdom.
The website Best Advisers (owned by IDEVUA Treelight ltd.) tested and reviewed some of the best toaster ovens to see if they lived up to the hype.
The reviewers tried weighing up and summarizing the opinions of their research group, which means their sample size is very small, but it is made up of knowledgeable persons.
Consumer Reports, Inc. did a test run and trial of 43 different toaster ovens, which is more than Best Advisers did, and they used surveys issued to over 400 people. This means that the sample size is large both in terms of the people giving opinions and the number of items reviewed, but it means the opinions came from a mixed bag of people; both lay people and experts.
What did each consumer report concentrate on?
Best Advisers purchased toaster ovens based on which had the best Amazon reviews. The ones that had over twenty reviews, and that also had the best ratings out of five, were picked to be reviewed. Consumer Reports based their selection on the ovens that their respondents already had.
- Colour range
- Toasting time
- Full batch cooking
- One slice cooking
- Ease of cleaning
- Ease of use
- Ease of use
- Value for money
- Price per feature
- Special/unique features
- Expert comments
Consumer reports reasons not to buy
Best Advisers found that people who frequently have leftovers that they eat the next day are the heaviest toaster oven users. Consumer Reports had opinions that had a fair amount of congruence, but Consumer Reports seemed to find that people with big families may benefit from a toaster oven when cooking large meals because parts of the meal may be cooked in the toaster oven.
Which toaster oven properties differ from device to device?
Best Advisers ran a suitability test on each toaster oven, and each test result only produced one constant differential. Best Advisers found a device’s ability to cook from frozen seemed to vary the most. The devices that claimed they worked the fastest would typically do the worst job of cooking things from frozen (such as fish fingers, frozen pies, etc.).
Consumer Reports takes survey results and then runs an evaluation on each, which means there are no specific trials taking place. As a result, the Consumer Reports company produced a study report that looked more like a list of personal pet peeves. With that in mind, Consumer Reports showed its biggest differential was between toaster oven cleaning. Some people found their device very easy to clean, and some found that cleaning was so inconvenient that they considered it to be a torturous act.
Which toaster oven properties seem fairly consistent throughout the industry?
Both Consumer Reports, Inc. and Best Advisers agreed that product heating was the most consistent property. In other words, they all heat quickly, they all cook efficiently, and they all do their job as advertised. For example, if you were to run an experiment where you cooked the same type of item in each oven, then your test result will show that each performs pretty-much the same.
Though this seems like a great piece of news for anybody weighing the pros and cons of getting a toaster oven, you should remember that the consumer reports are flawed.
Best Advisers picked the best-rated toasters on Amazon, so they are essentially ignoring cheaper/poor-performing toaster ovens that do not heat and cook as consistently well as their more expensive/better-quality brothers and sisters.
Consumer Reports, Inc. have flawed results because they are asking people to give opinions on their own devices, which means most users have very little perspective with regards to how one performs in comparison to another. Most couldn’t fill out a comparison table because most had only ever owned one toaster oven.
Still, fact that both studies were able to hold toaster ovens in juxtaposition and still found that they all performed their job well is very encouraging.
Did the consumer reports mention any hazards?
Consumer Reports, Inc. also found that some toaster ovens may become very hot in unexpected places. Some users noted how the corners of the device, where the metal is joined, seemed to get very hot after several minutes of activity. Reviews.com only ran control product test scenarios with highly-rated devices, and they found no hazards if the device is used properly. However, they did state that people should study the product instructions prior to using the device because some settings may produce more heat than expected, which turns things such as flaky pastry into burnt pastry.
Toaster Oven Top Brands
- Better Chef
- Black & Decker
- Hamilton Beach
Facts and history about toaster ovens
In 1905, the pacific electric heating company developed the toaster in 1909. Toaster ovens were invented in the 1910 by a man named William Hadaway, and he had help doing it from the Westinghouse Corporation. In the old days, toaster companies used ceramic heating elements because it was the best way to ensure that the thing you are heating will heat evenly and won’t burn.
Toaster ovens are more energy efficient than regular ovens. They also have the ability to brown foods in a way that a microwave can’t. You are able to cook pizza, fish, cakes, and eggs that are in their shells. You can cook a whole chicken, depending what size toaster you use. Thanks to toaster ovens, you are able to reheat food from in the same day or from the night before.
Conventional ovens are powered with between 1200 – 1400 watts. A toaster oven uses 1/2 to 1/3 less energy that an electric oven. A conventional oven is better insulated, so it will cook main meals faster than a toaster oven, which is why toaster ovens are used for things such as warming up, defrosting, crisping, broiling, and roasting.
When it comes to toaster ovens and microwaves, they are both better for the environment than conventional electric ovens because they both use less electricity than a conventional oven.
Toaster ovens allows you to cook meals that a normal oven will have trouble cooking, like Risotto, apple cider, and dog jerky treats. Toaster ovens are designed to be a mini oven, so it won’t make your toast faster that an original toaster. An average toaster oven takes 5-6 minutes to fully preheat, which is much quicker than larger conventional ovens.
10 care and maintenance tips for your toaster oven
Does toast taste different in toaster ovens?
Some people say that the bread tastes more like it has been baked, and others say that the bread toasts more evenly. Most people cannot tell difference between a regular toaster and a toaster oven. Suffice it to say that toasting bread is just one of the functions that this oven performs.
Do toaster ovens cause fires?
If your toaster was very cheap, and cheaply made, then there is a chance it will cause fire problems after extended use.
Usually, any fire horror stories you read on the Internet were caused by people leaving them on all night. Do not forget that most horror stories are written for shock value.
Will my toaster warm drinks up?
Many people use a microwave to reheat their drinks., which is good because the heat penetrates the cup and heats up the liquid very quickly.
However, some people do not like how this process creates a scum/film/skin on top of the drink, so they try using their toaster to heat up drinks. Sadly, it takes longer in an oven, and it often heats up the cup and handle in a way that means you cannot drink it for a while until it cools.
When reviewers claim that the oven will boil things, they are being honest, but they are thinking in terms of stew pots, not in terms of ceramic cups full of fluid. When reading user reviews, do not forget that many positive reviews may be fake, and even if they match up and numerous people say a positive thing in reviews, you should take positive reviews with a pinch of salt.
Are these types of ovens quiet?
Many people see the word “Toaster” and they think their toaster oven is going to be very quiet, but that is not the case. Usually, you can hear the internal fan(s) turning, and some of the more advanced ones can be quite loud. The noise amounts vary from device to deceive.
What happens if something burns?
Small amounts of smoke will escape the oven, but most of the smoke will remain within the device and grow thicker as the heat remains. The smoke will escape more and more as the pressure builds. It acts the same way your conventional oven acts when something is burning inside.
Is a toaster oven healthier than a toaster or regular oven?
Is a toaster oven better than a conventional electric oven?
Both toaster ovens and an electric oven work at the same rate but does not use the same amount of energy. Both ovens have their pros and cons, so it is unfair to say that one is better than the other. A conventional oven is able to cook larger meals at a faster rate and is able to achieve higher temperatures.
Can I use the toaster oven to bake a cake?
Are toaster ovens safe to use?
Horror stories about these ovens are always related to very cheap ovens, poorly made ovens, people mistreating them, people misusing them, or people leaving them on all night. These types of oven are no more dangerous than microwaves and regular ovens.
Are toaster ovens non-stick?
The interior of these types of ovens are made in a way that makes them easy to clean. However, only a few of them have non-stick coating. The general consensus is that non-stick coating is not a standard or even necessary because people’s food doesn’t make direct contact with the internal top, bottom and sides of the cooker when it is in use.