What is the best toaster oven to buy for everyday use? It is perhaps safe to proclaim that the “Most Valuable Player” or MVP of the kitchen is the toaster oven. It is probably only rivaled by the microwave oven, but the latter is primarily used to heat up food and rarely for cooking. The toaster ovens make it more efficient to bake and toast modest portions of food in a short amount of time. They are are typically countertop units that are small and are used daily to easily prepare a wide variety of foods. The toaster oven is used as an alternative to using a larger kitchen oven, especially when the item to be heated, toasted or baked is not large.
The toaster oven does a variety of mundane kitchen tasks like bake, reheat, broil, toast, and defrost little portions of food. Typically, it comes with quick-acting heat elements that are set with easy to use controls. The control panel works via mechanical or digital settings. In some cases, the heating elements may be identical to a kitchen or convection ovens to give more versatility. Regular-sized toaster ovens range in size from 12 to 22 inches wide and from 8 to 12 inches in height.
|Product Image||Product Name||Expert Rating||Check on Amazon|
|Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro||Check Price|
|Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer||Check Price|
|Luby Large Toaster Oven Countertop French Door Design||Check Price|
|Calphalon Quartz Heat Countertop Toaster Oven||Check Price|
Unless you are on a diet that does not require cooking food, you do need an appliance or two in your kitchen to help you prepare meals every day. There are many ways you can do this with several devices in the market. One of the oldest ways is by using an oven, an appliance we all know used to heat food evenly until cooked. Most of us have a “conventional” or full-sized oven in the kitchen, but this is not always necessary since most ovens are big.
As an alternative, many people use a toaster oven as a better choice for everyday needs. We will go through the main differences between the two appliances in this post, so you can decide which one will be better to serve you at home. Who knows perhaps you need only one of the two, or perhaps both.
What Size Do You Require
Essentially a toaster oven is but a smaller version of a conventional oven. They function similarly, but a toaster oven saves space. This is because you can place it on a counter or even tuck it away in a closet when not in use. While many think that toaster ovens cook faster because they are smaller, this is actually not true. Conventional ovens have superior insulation, so they achieve temperatures quicker and keep the heat better.
Hence, despite the smaller size of a toaster oven, theoretically, your cooking times will not change. A toaster oven, however, is an energy saver. This is because a smaller oven needs less than half the amount of energy as a full-sized oven. A toaster oven can only take about a half-pan of muffins, cookie scones, and other delectable stuff. However, if you are cooking or baking for a large gathering or holiday meal a full-size oven is essential. It can take a turkey and one or two casseroles of dishes at a time, while a toaster oven cannot accommodate such volume.
If you have a proper kitchen that is busy every day, having both may be the answer. The toaster oven can do for smaller chores or supplement the full-sized oven as needed.
Placement and Installation
The great thing about toaster ovens is they do not need installation. After purchasing one, simply unpack it, identify an area, set them there, plugin and you are good to go. You can also transfer them from one place to another when your kitchen gets crowded or needs rearranging.
In contrast, full-sized ovens require professional installation, especially if they use gas or propane 1 as an energy source or if you are installing a wall oven. Full-sized electric ovens also require professional installation to make sure that the unit is level, plugged in correctly, and properly vented. Wall ovens need custom cabinets to house them, and these may need modification on-site to get the best fit for the appliance.
Budget Considerations When You Buy A Toaster Oven
Toaster ovens span a wide range of cost, beginning at about $40 for a very basic unit. However, if you plan to use the toaster oven like a full-sized appliance, the majority of larger and more sophisticated models will have price tags between $200 and $300, or even more. Full-sized ovens will usually set you back between $500 and $2,000 for both wall-mounted or range oven styles, and depending on the fuel source and features.
Current rates for installation of an oven go for around $162 for replacement of an existing oven, however, this can skyrocket to as high as $275-$300 for a double wall oven. As far as energy efficiency goes, a toaster oven consumes around $0.03 an hour to run, a gas oven about $0.07, and an electric oven around $0.16, making toaster ovens the most energy-efficient.
For even more energy savings and faster cooking, many opt for convection cooking. This method of cooking circulates hot air through the oven using an internal fan. This circulating air cooks food more evenly and at a faster rate even at lower heat settings. Full-sized conventional ovens and toaster ovens are available with convection but both are pricier than models without convection.
Pricepoints begin at $150 for toaster ovens, while $2,000 is the price base for full-sized ovens with convection. This places toaster ovens as a better bargain for those looking to have convection cooking or baking among their options.
Buy A Toaster Oven For Heating Snacks and Leftovers
Snacks are a common use for toaster ovens. Leftovers are also abundant after a large meal. Reheating in a toaster oven is often better than using a microwave. Microwaves are indeed quicker, but it usually makes the food wet, soggy or tough. Toaster ovens and conventional ovens heat more naturally. Furthermore, since you can reheat leftovers in either, toaster ovens are smaller, and consequently, they need less energy to do the same task.
Full-sized ovens have lots of internal cooking space, both horizontally and vertically. As a result, they provide many configurations for shelves, allowing you to access the broiler or lower-level heat filaments based on your needs. In comparison, toaster ovens often have fixed racks or fewer rack positions and less flexibility. In many instances, this could cause the food to burn due to the proximity to the heat, or require you to cover your food with foil.
During warmer months, many folks avoid using conventional ovens since they radiate heat into the kitchen. Toaster ovens, on the other hand, create less ambient heat owing to their size, making them more desirable during the warmer months.
Consider The Power Source Before You Buy A Toaster Oven
Practically all toaster ovens run exclusively on electricity. Full-sized ovens however can run on electric, gas, and propane 1. During rare electrical outages, gas stoves will operate, allowing you to cook while you wait for the power to restore. Obviously, a toaster oven will not work during this time. If you happen to live off the grid, then an oven toaster will also be useless to you. These circumstances are extremely rare though.
OUR TOP PICK
Product Name: Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro Convection Countertop Oven
Product Description: The Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro equipped with a slow cook setting is perhaps the first oven that has Element IQ. It regulates heating elements to what you are cooking with up to 10 preset functions. The Slow Cook Function automatically switches to Keep Warm for up to 2 hours and can be set up to 10 hours. Key features of the unit are a timer with auto shut off and alert, temperature conversion in addition to frozen food functions, an LCD with multi colors, and a magnetic auto-eject rack. The accessories that come bundled with your unit are a 12" x 12" enamel baking pan, a similar-sized enamel broiling rack, and a 13" non-stick pizza pan. The 0.8 cubic foot interior chamber will take 6 slices of toast, and can take most 3.5-quart Dutch oven vessels with lid, as well as 5-quart vessels with a foil lid. The unit requires 110 120 volts and is rated at 1800 watts power. The convection setting is estimated to reduce cooking time by up to 30%.
Value For Money
This is a handsomely designed toaster oven that will bring you many hours of functionality and delicious cuisine. It also carries with it the prestigious Breville brand.
Excellent build quality
Slow cook capability
Read manual carefully
The Runners Up
Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Oven Airfryer
This kitchen workhorse is a first-class full-size toaster oven that comes with a built-in air fryer. The unit has multiple functions since it bakes, broils, toasts, reheats, and also allows you to air fry right inside the oven compartment. The method of air frying makes use of strong ultra-hot air. It is a healthier alternative for preparing yummy fried favorites, from chicken wings to French fries. Furthermore, since toaster ovens are usually on a countertop, this unit does not have to move back and forth, from counter to cabinet. Enjoy fried goodies minus the calories and messy cleanup, using the Air Fryer Toaster Oven.
It is rated at 1800-Watts and has multiple functions. They are convection bake, convection broil, air fry, bake, broil, warm, and toast. The interior can toast up to 6 slices of bread at a time, bake a 12-inch pizza, roast a 4-pound chicken, or air fry 3lbs of chicken wings. It also has ab adjustable thermostat with a 60-minute timer/auto-shutoff feature and a toast shade selector-timer.
Luby Large Toaster Oven Countertop French Door Design
Enjoy the ability to prepare large meals for the whole family or friends with the Luby extra large toaster oven. The Luby countertop oven can easily take 18 slices of bread, a big 14” pizza, or even a 20lb turkey. This electric oven has separate temperature regulators for up and low heating tubes. It likewise has four positions for pans and rack, resulting in lots of cooking options. The 60-minute timer allows your foods to cook as long as you require, and the oven shuts off automatically.
The unique French door allows you to open a single door to inspect food, without letting too much heat out from the oven. The stainless steel interior is also super easy to clean.
Calphalon Quartz Heat Countertop Toaster Oven
The Calphalon Quartz Heat Countertop Toaster Oven comes with a unique quartz-heating element to provide 40% more even heat. This produces even cooking and crispy uniformity. Owing to faster preheat and precise cooking, the unit saves you precious time and lessens the need to use your full-sized range oven. The built-in preset cooking functions have all major cooking modes. Additionally, a dehydrator mode easily cooks goodies like apple chips or beef jerky.
The unit is large enough to take a 12” pizza and accurate enough to roast a chicken with delicious results. As for desserts, you can easily bake scrumptious cupcakes, brownies, and pies with predictable consistency.
Q. Can I rely solely on my toaster oven for baking and toasting?
Answer: It depends on your needs. If you simply want a device that can bake small items or heat and toast food for everyday consumption of 1 or 2 people, yes, the toaster oven can do the trick.
Q. Is there a limit to what I can do with my toaster oven?
Answer: The main limitation that a toaster oven has over a regular oven is size. Due to this, the limitation you will have is also the size of food items and portions that you can place in the oven compartment.
Q. Can the toaster oven take the place of a microwave oven?
Answer: The microwave oven and toaster oven are two very different devices, with many dissimilar and overlapping functions. These two kitchen items complement each other in function, so if possible it is ideal to have both.
Are you ready to get your kitchen “MVP’? While a microwave might appear more as a kitchen staple, a toaster oven elevates your cooking options by far more. Its functions go way beyond making toast. It can do all that a full-sized oven can do; bake, roast, broil, reheat and so much more. Some new toaster ovens even have features like air frying, convection, and slow cooking.
What’s more, a toaster oven heats up fast and comes in handy when your full-sized oven needs help, or when you are cooking for just a few people.