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The Best Toaster Oven

Updated


We spent 40 hours toasting, broiling and baking to determine that the Breville – BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro is the best toaster oven. Since our review, the Breville has been slightly updated, but it’s virtually the same high quality, feature-packed and most versatile toaster oven that we originally reviewed. For this 2019 update, we tested two new toaster ovens and have selected a new runner-up, the Cuisinart – TOB-260N1 Chef’s Convection. The Cuisinart is almost identical to the Breville in features and performance, but it’s about one-third less expensive.

Our Top Choices

Best Overall


Breville

BOV845BSS

Runner-up


Cuisinart

TOB-260N1

Budget Pick


BLACK+DECKER

TO1313SBD

We spent 40 hours toasting, broiling and baking to determine that the Breville – BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro is the best toaster oven. Since our review, the Breville has been slightly updated, but it’s virtually the same high quality, feature-packed and most versatile toaster oven that we originally reviewed. For this 2019 update, we tested two new toaster ovens and have selected a new runner-up, the Cuisinart – TOB-260N1 Chef’s Convection. The Cuisinart is almost identical to the Breville in features and performance, but it’s about one-third less expensive.

Table of contents

(Editors note: For this 2019 update, we checked manufacturers’ websites to see if any of the toaster ovens we originally reviewed had been updated and discontinued. All models, except for the Waring – TCO650 and the Panasonic – NB-G110P, had minor changes and didn’t warrant our retesting them. We found two new toaster ovens released in the past year — the Cuisinart – TOB-260N1 Chef’s Convection and the KitchenAid – KCO-211BM — and tested them to see how they compared. The new Cuisinart handily outperformed our previous runner-up, the Cuisinart – TOB-135, and we’ve named it our new runner-up.)

How we chose toaster ovens to test

We began our search for the best toaster oven by reading reviews and research from websites such as Amazon, Best Reviews, Good Housekeeping and Bon Appétit.

We also read countless individual consumer reviews and cooking blogs to find out what people use their toaster ovens for, what the most useful features are, what the most common complaints are and what makes the ideal toaster oven.

We discovered that people valued the following toaster oven characteristics:

  • Capacity: How much food can be accommodated?
  • Accessibility: How easily can the toaster oven be used?
  • Functionality: How do the features affect your usage?
  • Versatility: Can the toaster oven cook a wide variety of foods?
  • Dependability: Do the preset cooking functions produce expected results every time?
  • Consistency: Is the food item cooked through evenly?
  • Attractiveness: How aesthetically appealing is the appliance?
  • Impression: How much kitchen space does the appliance require?
  • Tidiness: How easily can the toaster oven be cleaned?
  • Affordability: Do you have to spend more money to yield better results?

To narrow the extensive list of toaster ovens we researched down to our seven finalists, we only chose the toaster ovens with the highest ratings. With all of them boasting Amazon ratings of 4 stars or more, we ordered them and performed a series of tests. We then compared the data we collected against each of the finalists.

Compare the best toaster ovens

ProductPriceWattsSize (cubic ft.)Build QualitySpeed
Breville - BOV845BSS$$$$18000.505/54/5
Cuisinart - TOB-260N1$$$18000.505/55/5
Black+Decker - TO1313SBD$11500.153.5/53/5
Cuisinart - TOB-135$$18000.335/54/5
KitchenAid - KCO211BM$$18000.744/53/5
Oster - TSSTTVMNDG$$13000.554/54/5
Waring - TCO650$$15000.333.5/53/5
Panasonic - PAN-NB-G110PW$$13000.213/55/5
Hamilton Beach - 31334$12000.143.5/53/5

Who needs a toaster oven?

Whether your living space lacks a full kitchen or you are simply looking to add to your collection of kitchen appliances, a toaster oven can benefit any household. In addition to toasting your favorite breakfast items, a toaster oven can do anything from baking a classic rotisserie chicken to broiling some home-style barbecue ribs.

Toaster ovens provide the versatility that a slot toaster lacks and offers the convenience that a conventional oven does not.

While you may have to wait up to half an hour for a conventional oven to preheat, a toaster oven can cut the preheat time substantially. For the eco-conscious home cook, toaster ovens are a budget-friendly and energy efficient alternative to conventional ovens.

A toaster oven is also a pragmatic appliance for people who often cook smaller portions or feed smaller households.

What is convection cooking

closeup of convection fan

Out of the seven finalists we originally tested and the two new finalists, five featured convection cooking: Breville Smart Oven Pro, Cuisinart – Chef’s Convection, Cuisinart Deluxe Convection, Oster 6-Slice Counter Top and Waring Pro Digital Convection. A convection toaster oven has a fan and exhaust system that can be used to better circulate and ventilate the hot air.

The fan blows hot air directly onto the food, which allows it to cook faster, and in turn, save energy. The convection system also eliminates any hot spots by evenly distributing the hot air around the food and throughout the oven, which allows you to achieve more even cooking.

Another benefit is that the convection mode minimizes the amount of moisture in the toaster oven. The dry environment allows you to achieve better browning compared to the normal mode because it will roast your meats and vegetables instead of steaming them.

In addition to roasting, the convection setting is great for baking cookies, pies and pastries as well as toasting and dehydrating food products. If you are braising or cooking something covered, you can also use the convection setting for faster cooking since dryness will not be a concern.

While toaster ovens with convection cooking are generally more expensive than those without, the additional benefits make the option worth considering.

What are infrared heating elements?

Panasonic's infrared heating element

To provide a complete roundup of heating methods available in toaster ovens, we tested one that uses infrared technology, the Panasonic Flash Xpress. Infrared technology uses light energy to cook food, similar to a microwave. The intensity of the light speeds up the cooking process dramatically, and the toaster oven requires virtually no preheating time.

However, the strength of the heat limits its use for more delicate foods. Infrared technology is better suited for toasting bagels and reheating pizzas and less ideal for cooking fish. The soft, flaky texture of fish requires more delicate handling. Speed and efficiency is by far the greatest advantage of infrared technology.

Important features to consider

The oven you choose will largely be determined by your kitchen space, cooking needs and budget. Then you can further narrow by aesthetics and features which usually come at a premium.

Capacity

For people who plan on using their toaster ovens to reheat or cook single servings of food, a small toaster oven that can accommodate four slices of bread or a 9-inch pizza will suffice. People who plan on using their toaster ovens to prepare multiple servings would benefit from a large toaster oven that can accommodate six slices of bread, a 13-inch pizza, or a whole chicken.

The size of your kitchen and your aesthetic taste will also determine how much of your counter space you want to allow to a toaster oven. If you have a small kitchen with limited counter space, a smaller toaster oven may be ideal.

Crumb tray

The crumb tray is a small, thin, stainless steel sheet that slides out from the bottom of the toaster oven. All of our seven finalists have crumb trays, and we strongly recommend purchasing a toaster oven with one. The tray is an essential feature because it makes cleaning your toaster oven much easier.

The tray covers the entire bottom of the inside and catches all of the crumbs and fragments that fall during the cooking process. Instead of watching the debris burn at the bottom of your toaster oven over time, you can simply pull the tray out after each use and sweep the contents into the trash. If you’re dealing with tougher substances, you can also easily wash the tray.

Features

Toaster ovens are one of the most versatile kitchen appliances because they can perform a variety of cooking tasks. Our finalists feature anywhere from three to 10 preset cooking functions. Six out of the seven finalists offer bake and broil settings, which is what differentiates a toaster oven from a regular toaster. Baking surrounds your food with hot air for even cooking while broiling directs the heat to the top of your food for a searing effect.

Other popular functions include bagel, pizza, and warm. The bagel setting will produce a slightly toasted outside and a crispier inside. The pizza setting can be used to melt the cheese and heat the toppings while crisping the crust. The warm setting maintains the temperature of hot foods to prevent bacterial growth. A few of the finalists also provide a reheat setting for leftovers and a defrost setting for frozen foods.

Beyond preset cooking functions, other convenient features to consider are interior lighting, digital displays, nonstick interiors, and automatic shut-off. You can also decide between dial and touchpad controls.

Price

Pricier toaster ovens almost always feature a sleeker look and more luxurious feel, but they aren’t necessarily better than cheaper options. However, some of the more expensive toaster ovens have more wattage for faster, more even cooking.

The price of more expensive models may account for the higher quality of materials and durability of components, which means that they are likely to last longer. Some of our finalists even offer limited product warranties. Ultimately, your decision will be determined by your personal budget and preferences.

How we tested

Speed

One of the most popular reasons why people use toaster ovens is convenience, specifically when it comes to speed. When it came time to start testing our finalists, we paid close attention to preheating and cooking times.

On average, toaster ovens with higher wattage were able to perform cooking tasks faster than toaster ovens with lower wattage. However, the toaster oven that won our speed test by a large margin was the only one that featured infrared technology.

Despite being powered by a modest 1300 watts, the median wattage amongst our finalists, the Panasonic Flash Xpress was the speed demon to beat them all. The Panasonic was able to produce perfect toast in one minute and 45 seconds, garlic bread in one minute, and frozen pizza in 12 minutes.

In our new testing, we were also impressed by the Cuisinart – Chef’s Convection’s speed. It has 1800 watts, just like the Breville, but an added feature is its “speed convection” setting. Not only does the convection function decrease cooking time, but the speed convection setting eliminates the need for preheating the oven: It immediately heats up to the desired temperature.

Cooking functions

Toast

We began our testing process with the classic toast function available on all of our finalists. The goal was to toast a slice of bread to a crisp, golden brown. We used a generic brand of pre-sliced white bread in order to get a clear visualization of the color and texture after toasting.

The toast setting works by emitting even heat from the top and bottom of the oven, similar to the way a 2 or 4-slice slot toaster emits heat on two sides of the bread simultaneously. For this setting, we placed the wire racks on the middle level of the toaster ovens. For the five finalists that allowed us to choose a level, we set the toaster ovens to level two.

For the two that did not, the BLACK+DECKER and the Hamilton Beach, we simply watched and turned off the toaster oven once a crisp, golden brown color was achieved. The toasting time ranged from one minute, 45 seconds to four minutes.

When it came to evenly toasting bread, the majority of our finalists were disappointing, including our new finalist, the KitchenAid. Most of the toaster ovens produced shading that graduated from top to bottom with the edges of the bread either under- or over-toasted. In our prior testing, only the Oster and the Waring evenly toasted the bread on both sides. Our new runner-up, the Cuisinart – Chef’s Convection, also gave us evenly shaded golden-brown toast.

Garlic bread

To test the broil function, we decided to make some fresh garlic bread. With our French baguettes generously slathered in herbed garlic butter, the goal was to melt the butter and crisp the edges while maintaining the soft interior.

On the broil setting, the heat source comes from above the food. Since the Panasonic lacked the broil option, we utilized the toast option once again. We preheated all of the toaster ovens to 450°F or 500°F, depending on the temperature range available. We only kept the garlic bread in the toaster ovens until the optimal color and texture was achieved. The broiling time ranged from one minute to two minutes and 30 seconds.

While the cooking times varied, the cooking results of all of our finalists were nearly identical. Each toaster oven successfully produced a slice of garlic bread with melted butter, crisp edges, and a soft interior.

Frozen pizza

To kill two birds with one stone, we decided to evaluate our finalists’ ability to bake a pizza and cook frozen food in a single test. We chose to conduct our comprehensive test with frozen pizza. Our goal was to thoroughly defrost and heat the pizza so the cheese was melted and gooey and crust was browned and crispy.

We used the preprogrammed pizza function on the Breville, Oster, Waring and Panasonic and the two new models, the Cuisinart – Chef’s Convection and the KitchenAid – KCO211BM. For the toaster ovens that did not have a pizza function, we used their bake function and preheated them to 400°F as the pizza packaging instructed.

The pizza setting works similarly to baking as it distributes heat from above and below the rack. We also followed the packaging’s instructions to bake the pizza for 16 to 18 minutes. The Panasonic cooked the pizza in 12 minutes and the Cuisinart and KitchenAid in 15 minutes.

The cooking results for our frozen pizza test were identical to our garlic bread test in its uniformity. In our first review, each toaster oven fully cooked the pizza with minimal variations in browning the crust. In this update, both the Cuisinart and KitchenAid performed similarly, although the pizza crust that was cooked in the KitchenAid was somewhat flabby.

Cupcakes

Since baking is a cooking function that can be used on almost any food item, we decided to test it on more than one. First, we brainstormed through the baked goods options, and to satisfy our sweet cravings, we chose to bake cupcakes using the Betty Crocker Super Moist Yellow Cake Mix. The goal was to produce cupcakes that were light in density, moist in texture, and even in color.

On the bake setting, the heat source comes from above and below the food. As instructed by the packaging, each toaster oven was preheated to 325°F and each timer was set to 12 minutes. They all produced essentially the same results in density, texture, and color, but the shape of the cupcakes varied.

Baking cupcakes also gave us an opportunity to see how the convection mode compared to the normal mode. This test was where the Breville and Cuisinart toaster ovens excelled as their convection baking produced the lightest, moistest cupcakes. In our 2019 testing, the Cuisinart – Chef’s Convection gave us perfect cupcakes as well.

Baked potato

For our final test subject, we needed to ensure that we covered the wide range of food that people use their toaster ovens for. We decided to bake potatoes, the item opposite of cupcakes on the density spectrum. The goal was to achieve a baked potato that had crispy skin but was soft through and through.

Using the bake function, we preheated our finalists to 425°F and set our timers for 45 minutes. Once again, the results were the same across the board. Our forks and knives were met with minimal resistance.

Design

Panasonic vs. Oster size comparison

The design of the toaster oven goes beyond how much space it will take and how it will look in your kitchen. While the aesthetic appeal can only be determined subjectively, we took it upon ourselves to judge the build and functionality presented by each model’s design.

The convection toaster ovens weigh significantly more than the others. The Waring is the heaviest at 22.8 pounds, nearly triple the weight of the Panasonic and BLACK+DECKER, which tied for the lightest at 7.5 pounds. While the weight difference accounts for the size, material, and addition of the fan and exhaust, the heaviness of the toaster ovens translates to the heaviness of the doors and their ability to insulate the heat. Among our finalists, the Breville had the heaviest, sturdiest door.

To evaluate functionality, we looked at the controls and displays. The toaster ovens were split evenly on whether they featured dial or touchpad controls, but every model featured digital displays except for the Black+Decker and the Hamilton Beach. By omitting this feature, they made it more difficult for us to set accurate times and temperatures.

Other features

Finally, we considered every other feature that our finalists advertised and how they benefited the user experience. We judged each toaster oven carefully on how simple the instructions were and how easy the model was to use. We considered how much effort was required for the crumb trays to be removed and cleaned as well as how effective they were in collecting food debris.

We looked at timer and temperature range. We took into account the presence of an interior light and the effectiveness of a nonstick interior. We evaluated how clear the displays were to see, how difficult the buttons were to push and how smooth the dials were to turn. We compared every tangible aspect of using a toaster oven to help determine the best overall.

Best overall: Breville – BOV845BSS

Breville convection solo photo

The Breville – BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro proved to be the superior choice in almost every way. We say “almost every way” because when we tested the toasting function, the toast produced uneven shading after three minutes, which was the median toasting time among our finalists. While both sides were identical (sans grate marks), the toast got gradually darker towards the top. However, since most of the toaster ovens yielded the same results, we would recommend a slot toaster for optimal toast.

Top Pick: Breville - BOV845BSS Smart Oven

Refined features like the knobs, screen, and auto-eject rack made the Breville a clear winner.

The Breville toaster oven boasts the highest wattage at 1800 watts, which boosted its preheat speed despite its large size. Once it was hot and ready, the Breville performed every other cooking function successfully. While the cooking results of all of the models were similar across the board, its convection mode pushed it past the rest. Appearance-wise, the cupcakes were an even yellow and had perfectly rounded tops, and with just one bite, we also determined that the cupcakes were more airy and moist than the rest.

The Breville toaster oven proved itself as the latest in technological advancement and the greatest in thoughtful design. Ultimately, the multitude of features is what makes it the clear winner.

The interior light is bright enough to get a clear visualization of its contents. The LCD display employs a sans serif font and a soft blue or orange backlight that is easy on the eyes. There are three separate easy-to-use dials: function, temperature and time.

The auto shut-off feature is an added benefit for anyone who has a habit of being forgetful or leaving their food unattended. The auto-eject rack is a luxury, but makes your food more easily accessible and lowers the chance of accidental burns. In addition to the clearly marked buttons and dials, the glass door provides indications for where you should place your wire rack for each cooking function.

Combining all of these user-friendly features, the Breville toaster oven was clearly designed with the customer in mind. The average consumer could painlessly operate the Breville using his or her intuition alone. For those who prefer to read the instructions, the easy-to-read instruction book is comprehensive and includes several bonus recipes. There is also a one-year limited product warranty.

Even before cooking anything, the Breville was stunning just to look at. The brushed stainless steel gave it a sharp, sleek look that made all of its competitors pale in comparison aesthetically. Along with the traditional wire rack, the toaster came with an enamel broiling rack, an enamel baking pan and a nonstick pizza pan. The remarkable quality of material and craftsmanship is in the price tag. As demonstrated by the Breville’s price tag, these luxuries come at a price.

The design closely mimicked that of a conventional oven and so did the size. At 0.5 cubic feet, it can fit up to six slices of bread and a 13-inch pizza. The capacity, along with the 10 pre-set cooking functions, makes the Breville the most versatile toaster oven we tested. The cooking functions include toast, bagel, bake, roast, broil, pizza, cookies, reheat warm and slow cook, and the convection fan can be turned on at any time whereas other models solely offer convection baking.

In addition, with a new technology developed by Breville called Element IQ, there are five independent heating elements that are controlled to accommodate whatever you are cooking. Once you choose a cooking function, the power is automatically funneled to where it is needed most, delivering the optimal amount of heat at the perfect time for precision cooking.

Swayed by the luxurious design that complements any high-end kitchen and the unparalleled functionality that provides the greatest user experience, we concluded that the Breville Smart Oven Pro was our pick for best overall.

Key takeaways:

  • The Breville toaster oven uses 1800 watts for efficient preheating and cooking.
  • Convection mode is great for baking.
  • It features auto shut-off and an auto-eject rack for a more foolproof approach to cooking.
  • The functional design makes it the easiest to learn how to use intuitively.
  • It has a spacious capacity of 0.5 cubic feet and 10 pre-set cooking functions.

Runner-up: Cuisinart – TOB-260N1

Since our previous review, our pick for runner-up was the Cuisinart – TOB-135, which was subsequently updated to the TOB-135N. There was no visible difference between the two models; however, Cuisinart recently released the TOB-260N1 – Chef’s Convection, and except for a couple of minor details, we found it to be very similar to the Breville and a worthy competitor.

The Cuisinart doesn’t have the Breville’s sleek curves, and it’s actually a bit bigger than the Breville, so this isn’t the toaster oven for a small kitchen with limited counter space. It has the same 1800 wattage and capacity, easily accommodating a 13-inch pizza, a standard cupcake tin or six pieces of toast.

Runner-up: Cuisinart - TOB-260N1

With its identical high-end features, Cuisinart's new convection toaster oven can do everything the Breville can but it's one-third less expensive.

Breville has also updated the model we reviewed and now has 12 instead of 10 programmed functions. The Cuisinart ups the number of functions to 15, including a “speed convection” function and an innovative “dual cook” function. The dual cook function allows you to program two modes of cooking — for example, slow-cooking followed by browning — for two different times.

The speed convection super-heats the oven to the programmed temperature in seconds, so you don’t have to wait to preheat the oven before putting food in. We programmed the pizza function, which is pre-set at 450℉ for 15 minutes, and the oven heated to 450℉ in 45 seconds.

Exactly like the Breville, the oven is programmed with an LED panel that has a menu selection for cooking modes, including one for warming up leftovers. The toast, bagel and waffle functions give you the option to choose shade and number of slices. We tested three different toast shades, from lightest to darkest, and all were evenly colored with no burnt or under-toasted edges.

The Cuisinart doesn’t have the handy built-in auto-eject rack like the Breville, but it does have two door hooks that latch onto the upper rack and pull it out when the door opens. The Cuisinart comes with the same extras as the Breville: two racks, an enameled broiler rack and baking pan and pizza stone, which produced a great pizza with crispy crust.

Although the Cuisinart is a bit bulkier and heavier, it offers almost identical features and performance as the Breville, but it’s one-third the price. If you’ve got the kitchen space and don’t mind a less esthetic design, the Cuisinart – TOB-260N1 is an excellent option.

Key takeaways:

  • The Cuisinart – TOB-260N1 has all of the same features as the Breville, but it’s one-third less expensive.
  • Its innovative “dual cook” function allows you to program two different cooking modes and cooking times all at once.
  • The Cuisinart’s “speed convection” function heats up the oven to the desired temperature in seconds, eliminating preheating.

Budget pick: BLACK+DECKER – TO1303SB

Black+Decker budget pick

(Editor’s note: The BLACK+DECKER we originally reviewed was updated to the TO1313SBD, but there are no notable differences between the new model and the model we reviewed.)

At a very budget-friendly price point, the BLACK+DECKER – TO1313SBD is the perfect choice for anyone cooking on a budget. This toaster was in fact about 1/8th and 1/3rd the cost of our other winners. While the price tag is reflected in the design, the black and stainless steel finish make it suitable for just about any kitchen. The quality of materials is lacking, which is evident in how easily it can scratch, but this has no effect on its performance.

Budget Pick: BLACK+DECKER - TO1313SBD

Smaller and slower, the BLACK+DECKER is by far the least expensive yet still delivers nearly identical cooking results.

The ultra-light seven and a half pound appliance can accommodate up to four slices of bread and a nine-inch pizza, which is the perfect size for the average toaster oven user.

With 1150 watts, the BLACK+DECKER is one of the slower toaster ovens, but it yields the same cooking results in the end. During testing, it did not stand out with any particular food, but it performed well. The BLACK+DECKER was able to produce crispy toast, melted cheese and soft cupcakes.

Black+Decker three dials closeup

The three dials control the temperature, cooking function and timer. While the timer dial turns easily, the temperature and cooking function dials are slightly more difficult. The BLACK+DECKER provides four pre-set cooking functions: bake, broil, toast and warm.

The crumb tray is only accessible once the door is open. Since the door is light and opens easily, removing the crumb tray is quick and painless. The toaster oven also comes with a baking pan and broil rack. The instruction manual is a pamphlet that unfolds to one large piece of paper.

The most budget-friendly option amongst our finalists, the BLACK+DECKER 4-Slice does the trick without breaking the bank.

Key takeaways:

  • The BLACK+DECKER toaster oven is perfectly sized for the average individual.
  • It uses the least amount of energy at 1150 watts.
  • There are four pre-set cooking functions: bake, broil, toast and warm.

The other finalists

Cuisinart – TOB-135

Cuisinart convection runner up

Although the Cuisinart – TOB-135 is no longer our runner-up, we still love this very capable toaster oven. This oven is a fraction of the price of the Breville we reviewed and it goes for a similar look and feel. With a capacity of 0.33 cubic feet, it includes a broiling rack and baking pan and can accommodate six slices of bread, a 12-inch pizza, or a four-pound chicken.

It is one of the most versatile toaster ovens with nine preset cooking functions: toast, bagel, warm, bake, broil, reheat, defrost, convection bake and convection broil. The instruction and recipe booklet is well-written and simple to follow.

A formidable size, the Cuisinart also boasts a high 1800 watts in order to preheat quickly and cook effectively. The cooking results of the Cuisinart were nearly identical to the Breville. While toast evenness was not achieved, all of the other food items succeeded as expected. When we tested the convection mode, it produced exceptionally light, moist cupcakes compared to the other finalists.

The Cuisinart toaster oven also employs many features that promote a positive user experience. The buttons are easy to press and allow you to choose which aspect of cooking you want to control, including shade, temperature and timer. The selector is a dial that is easy to turn and highlights the buttons below if they’re available for your selected function allowing you to adjust values quickly.

The LCD digital display utilizes a soft blue backlight that prevents eyestrain. The auto shut-off is a convenient feature for multi-taskers who can’t always reach their food immediately. The crumb tray is easily accessible from the outside of the toaster oven.

While the brushed stainless steel is virtually the same, the clean, modern design remains second to our top pick. Sporting a more approachable price tag without sacrificing the sharp look or any important features, the Cuisinart Deluxe Convection claimed the runner-up spot.

KitchenAid – KCO211BM

For this 2019 update, we tested the KitchenAid – KCO211BM, the company’s newest toaster oven. The KitchenAid has nine programmed settings that are the same as the other toaster ovens we tested. One function we hadn’t seen before is the program specifically for baking cookies. In this mode, the KitchenAid works like a convection (which it is not) and distributes heat evenly from top to bottom. We tested this function by baking cupcakes, and results were identical to the cupcakes we baked in the convection toaster ovens.

In fact, although the KitchenAid took a little longer to bake, its performance matched our budget pick, the BLACK+DECKER. Two design flaws, however, knocked it down in our rating. It’s on the expensive side, about $50 less than the Cuisinart, but it has only two slots for racks, as opposed to the Cuisinart’s four.

We found that the upper rack was too high, and the lower rack was too low, so we needed to move food between them to prevent over- or under-cooking. The second issue we had was with the KitchenAid’s internal capacity. It’s about the same size as the Breville, but we could not fit a standard-size cupcake tin inside.

four runners-up

Oster – 6-Slice Counter Top Oven

The Oster 6-Slice Counter Top Oven is the largest toaster oven that we tested, with the ability to fit six slices of bread, a 12-inch pizza and a whole chicken. It provides six different pre-set cooking functions along with its convection mode. While its convection fan didn’t yield cupcakes as light and moist as our top two choices, the Oster was one of the two toaster ovens to produce evenly shaded toast.

The interior light provides decent visibility of the food. The touchpad controls are easy to navigate and the crumb tray is easy to access. The black and stainless steel design gives it a moderate aesthetic appeal.

Waring – TCO650

(Editor’s note: The Waring – TCO650 is no longer available on Amazon, but it can be purchased directly from the Waring site.)

The Waring – TCO650 Pro Digital Convection Oven is the heaviest toaster oven on our list. Weighing 22.8 pounds, it can cook up to six slices of pizza or a 12-inch pizza at once. Powered by 1500 watts, it can perform five different pre-set cooking functions. The Waring was the other toaster oven that succeeded in producing evenly shaded toast, but when it came to the convection cooking test, its cupcakes were also not as airy and spongy as our top two picks.

The design is somewhat dated, but the black and stainless steel makes it moderately attractive. It lacks an interior light, but the simple, clearly marked buttons and dial selector are redeeming qualities.

Panasonic – NG-B110P

The Panasonic – NG-B110P Flash Xpress Toaster Oven is the most unique finalist. While it is made of stainless steel like the others, it is the only white and square toaster oven. With 1300 watts and infrared technology, it is the most powerful toaster oven without convection cooking. In all of the tests, it led in cooking speed, and in turn, it had a tendency to brown all of the food items too quickly. The speed demon offers some interesting pre-set cooking functions: toast, waffle, roll, pizza, hash browns, reheat.

With useful features like an interior light, nonstick interior and auto-eject rack, it is also the most impressive toaster oven without convection cooking. However, Panasonic’s inefficient design is where it fell short. You cannot adjust the time or temperature for any of the preset settings, and when you can, you have to commit to the tedious task of excessive button-pushing because of its lack of a dial.

Hamiton Beach – 31344D

The Hamilton Beach – 31344D Easy Reach Oven is the adult version of the Easy Bake Oven. The gray color and curved design distinguish it from its competitors and with a sliding door that you push upwards from the bottom, it lives up to its name. The lightweight toaster oven uses 1200 watts and can accommodate four slices of bread and a 9-inch pizza.

It performed well in the garlic bread, frozen pizza and baked potato tests, but it did not produce even toast or rounded cupcake tops The Hamilton Beach is notable in its simplicity with three basic cooking functions and two dials to control the temperature and time.

The bottom line

The toaster oven is an all-in-one product that can perform any number of cooking functions efficiently and effectively. A good toaster oven provides a household with simple user experience and convenient cooking method.

Our pick for the best toaster oven is the Breville Smart Oven Pro because of its style, usability and versatility. Its features made operating it a breeze, and the pre-set cooking functions made for endless possibilities.

We also recommend the Cuisinart – TOB-260N1 Chef’s Convection, which has the same features as the Breville, but it’s one-third less expensive.

If you’re on a tight budget or have limited counter space, the BLACK+DECKER – TO1313SBD is a great choice. This lightweight, low wattage four-slice toaster oven performs just as well as its pricier counterparts.

If you’re looking for a regular toaster, check out our review of the best 2 & 4 slice toasters.

Top Pick: Breville - BOV845BSS Smart Oven

A refined and capable convection toaster oven that is packed with useful features. This toaster oven is worthy of any kitchen.

Bryan Vu, Editor

Bryan is our cooking and kitchen expert, with more than 15 years of experience of cooking and testing kitchen products. When outside of the kitchen, he enjoys woodworking, photography, videography and figuring out how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. He thoroughly enjoys discovering the best, whether it’s ingredients or equipment, and finding products that can stand the rigors of daily use.

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