If you’ve never used one before, you might not think a toaster oven is a helpful appliance. After all, it does the same job as both toasters and conventional ovens. But it is precisely that versatility that makes a toaster oven one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy. Aside from toasting your morning bagels, a toaster oven can handle baked goods, be used for broiling, and some even work as an air fryer. Using one in place of a conventional oven gives you shorter pre-heating times, saves energy, and won’t heat up the whole kitchen on hot summer days. So to help you take advantage of all these useful features, we’ve gathered a list of the best toaster ovens available today. This guide will also give you tips on what to look for and how to use your new appliance.

Our Top Picks: Summary

The Best Toaster Ovens: Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Cuisinart TOB-260N1
Cuisinart TOB-260N1 Convection Toaster Oven

This spacious toaster oven has 15 functions for any cooking needs.

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Why We Picked It

This TOB-260N1 Convection Toaster Oven is a great choice overall because it balances a large capacity oven with efficient cooking options. Its oven cavity is big enough to fit a 13-inch pizza or nine slices of bread; it even comes with a 13-inch ceramic pizza stone. The Cuisinart also includes two oven racks, a broiling pan, crumb tray, and a recipe book.

Fifteen different cooking functions can handle anything from toasting to defrosting with enough space to roast a whole chicken. There are four slots for added versatility, and it has an incredibly even heat distribution compared to other toaster ovens. The Dual Cook option allows you to set two different functions to run consecutively. All of the heat settings are easy to keep track of thanks to the backlit LED display.

Keep in Mind

The Cuisinart TOB only has one knob and uses a single button for starting, stopping, and the timer; this might be more tedious to use than other controls.

In a Nutshell

  • Large LED display
  • Dual Cook function
  • Three-year warranty
Best Budget: Hamilton Beach
Hamilton Beach 6-Slice Toaster Oven

This toaster oven gives you great performance at a fraction of the price.

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Why We Picked It

If you’re looking for a no-frills toaster oven, it’s hard to beat the 31411 model from Hamilton Beach. This product has a stylish stainless steel finish and features easy-to-use controls. The controls feature three knobs for temperature, timer, and function: warm, bake, broil, and toast.

The Hamilton Beach Toaster Oven has a large-sized oven capacity, especially for the price. You can fit a 12″ pizza or up to six slices of bread. This model comes with a slide-out crumb tray for easy cleaning, a baking pan, and a baking rack with three possible positions. This toaster oven also heats up faster than other models and uses 64 percent less energy than similar models.

Keep in Mind

Due to the lower price, this model does not come with some more advanced cooking options.

In a Nutshell

  • Stainless steel finish
  • Six slice capacity
  • Energy efficient cooking
Best for Small Kitchens: BREVILLE
BREVILLE the Compact Smart Oven

The Breville Compact Smart Oven gives you premium features in a space-saving design.

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Why We Picked It

The Breville toaster oven manages to save you counter space while still being large enough to make your favorite foods. It’s big enough to cook a 12-inch pizza or up to four slices of bread. The interior of the Compact Smart Oven features a non-stick coating for easy cleaning and has a built-in crumb tray. A color-changing Easy Read LCD displays the cooking information while using an orange backlight to indicate when the toaster is on.

A standout feature for the Breville oven is its Smart Elements iQ. This intelligent warming technology transfers heat to four quartz elements for a consistent bake. There are eight cooking functions for any occasion, and the 1800 W preheat option gets your food to the table faster.

Keep in Mind

The Breville doesn’t include an interior light like other smart ovens, and the optional pizza pan costs more to add.

In a Nutshell

  • Smart Element iQ
  • Eight cooking functions
  • Compact design
Most Versatile: Cuisinart TOA-65
Cuisinart TOA-65 AirFryer Toaster Oven

The best choice for someone who air-fries as much they bake.

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Why We Picked It

The Cuisinart TOA-65 sets itself apart by functioning as both a toaster and an air fryer. While some other toaster ovens might have an air fryer setting, this model comes with a basket and presets for fried foods. The Cuisinart can fit four slices of bread or an 11-inch pizza. This model comes with a baking sheet, oven rack, and air frying basket.

This toaster oven has 13 cooking functions, including roast and Dual Cook. The low-temperature setting is perfect for slow cooking and allows this model to work as a dehydrator and proofing drawer. There is also pullout drawer designed to safely store the recipe book (which is included with purchase)

Keep in Mind

The Cuisinart AirFryer Toaster Oven is the most expensive option on our list.

In a Nutshell

  • Airfrying options and wire basket
  • Low-temperature settings
  • Dual Cook function

How We Chose the Best Toaster Ovens

We want to make sure you find the best toaster oven that fits your budget and still gives you great value for your money. We compared the specs of each model and paid close attention to a handful of key characteristics. For some insight into how we chose, some of our considerations are outlined below.

Versatility

We looked at the cooking capabilities of each toaster oven to find versatile and well-performing appliances. Not only should your toaster oven have the functions that you use the most, but it also needs to cook thoroughly and evenly in each setting. Models with more heating functions can permanently replace other appliances altogether and save you money. That’s why we carefully looked at models that include extra options, like convection, air frying, dehydrating.

Ease of Use

Operating your toaster oven shouldn’t be a hassle, so we wanted to make sure that our top picks had comprehensive and easy-to-use controls. Knobs are traditional and reliable, while digital displays can give you more information; some models over complicate the controls and can make a toaster oven difficult to use. We also wanted to ensure that you can easily keep the appliance clean. Non-stick coatings are helpful as are dishwasher safe racks or crumb trays.

Special Features

Most toaster ovens will come with an oven rack, crumb tray, and baking pan. We found that some of the best models include additional accessories like additional racks, pizza stones, and frying baskets. Some smart toaster ovens feature interior lighting so you can easily check on your food. We also focused on products with special cooking features like smart cooking, convection, and proofing.

Price

We know that the cost of a new appliance is one of the most important factors when you’re shopping. Everyone has his or her own budget, so we worked to find toaster ovens that could fit with an array of different financial requirements. Cheaper toaster ovens tend to be smaller in size and have fewer functions, so we made sure budget options were reliable and easy to use. Expensive toaster ovens come with unique technologies, larger cooking space, and numerous functions; we wanted to make sure any high-end product justified the price tag.

Customer Reviews

Reviews from previous customers are especially valuable to us. Finding common problems and unexpected downsides requires a lot of different opinions and interactions with a toaster oven, so learning about other customer’s experiences is key. User reviews also help us determine how effective a company’s customer service and return policies are in case you aren’t satisfied with a particular product.

What is a Toaster Oven?

Toaster ovens are a unique kitchen appliance that can tackle a wide array of jobs while taking up a small amount of space. These multipurpose machines can toast bread, reheat leftovers, and even roast a full chicken. Basically, a toaster oven can function as a toaster, a miniature oven, or an air fryer (sometimes more depending on the model). The smaller size makes it useful in compact kitchen spaces and saves energy compared to heating up your full-sized oven. Preheating times will be much faster, and your whole kitchen won’t get too hot in the summer months while using a toaster oven. More premium models have advanced technologies like air frying, convection settings, and dehydrating mode. When it comes to buying yourself a new toaster oven, the functions and applications will depend on what type you want and how much you’re looking to spend.

What to Consider When Choosing a Toaster Oven

When it comes to buying a toaster oven, you want to make sure you find a product that fits your individual needs. That means the model should fit your budget as well as be able to handle your favorite foods. To help you find the best toaster oven for your lifestyle, keep the points below in mind while shopping.

Intended Use

Toaster ovens are all versatile appliances, but knowing what it will regularly be used for can help you pick a product with the best features. If you just want a toaster oven for making toast, then you can probably save yourself some money by avoiding more advanced models. If you’re looking for a real all-in-one product, then toaster ovens with multiple functions and options are your best choice. The amount of food a toaster oven can hold will also impact how you’re able to use it.

Size

There are two essential aspects to consider when it comes to the size of a toaster oven: where it will be stored and how much food it will make. The amount of food (and size of what you’re cooking) will dictate which model is right for your needs. Making breakfast for the whole family, cooking a full pizza, or roasting chicken all require larger-than-average oven space for your appliance. However, you also don’t want a toaster oven that doesn’t fit in your kitchen. It’s crucial to make sure it can fit in a cabinet for storage or doesn’t use up all your counter space.

Design

While cooking performance is arguably more important, you also need to make sure you like the way your toaster oven looks. Since it will most likely be residing on your counter, a new toaster oven will impact the overall look of your kitchen. Stainless steel models are a popular choice since they tend to match other appliances. You also have a range of different smart ovens that prominently features digital displays.

Special Features

The extra features included with a toaster oven might make one more appealing than another. Most products will come with a rack and baking pan, but some take it a step further with additional racks or pizza pans. Removable crumb trays are common and make cleaning your toaster oven quick and easy. Baskets for air frying and rotisserie spits are extra pieces that make your appliance more versatile, and it’s even more helpful when the parts are dishwasher safe.

Price

Your budget is going to be a huge factor in which toaster oven you want to buy. You want to be sure that you’re getting a good deal, but your appliance will also give you the best performance possible. It’s essential to identify your budget first, and then check out what to expect from models in your price range. Opting out of premium features can save you money while they might be worth the high price if those features are needed for the foods you like to make.

Toaster Oven Care and Safety

To keep you and your family safe, make sure you pay attention to the following when using your new toaster oven:

  • Make sure there are no packing materials stuck to the toaster oven before you first turn it on.
  • Toaster ovens should be unplugged when not in use.
  • Toaster ovens give off heat, so it is important to position them away from towels, utensils, and other appliances while you are cooking. Never rest anything on top of the toaster oven while it is turned on.
  • Keep an eye on your toaster oven and whatever you’re cooking, and don’t leave it to run unattended for extended periods of time.
  • Use oven mitts for removing food and allow your meal to cool off.

It’s essential to keep your toaster oven clean and running efficiently, so here are some tips on the best practices:

  • Use baking trays whenever possible to avoid excessive crumb build-up.
  • Empty out the crumb tray periodically to avoid any fire hazards.
  • When cleaning the interior, make sure your toaster oven is unplugged.
  • Sponges and clothes can be used to scrub the inside. Avoid getting any liquid on the heating element.

Related Resources

For in-depth reviews of other kitchen appliances and helpful shopping tips, check out the links below.

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Bryan Long