The Best Toaster Ovens Can Actually Replace Your Regular Oven

Bon Appétit

The Breville Mini Smart Oven has eight cooking functions and uses the same Smart Element IQ technology that’s featured in the Breville Joule, so you can expect similar precision and consistency. And while it’s super-compact—no 14-pound turkeys are going to fit in this gadget—it can still fit four slices of toast or an 11-inch pizza; it feels much more substantial than similarly sized models from brands like Black+Decker or Hamilton Beach. The cleaning process is also “a snap,” says Nguyen. Because it’s removable, the crumb tray is easy to scrub clean (you can even throw it in the dishwasher if you want, and the inside of the oven has a nonstick coating for easy wiping down. One downside of this appliance is that it doesn’t have a convection function, so it can’t double as an air fryer. But if it’s good enough for the pros, we think it’s a stellar option for home cooks, too. It’s a high-quality, straight-forward toaster oven that can fit in a small kitchen, but offers a big bang for your buck.

Specs

8 cooking functions: Toast, Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, Pizza, Cookies, and Reheat
Includes: 10″x10″ Enamel Baking Pan
Wattage: 1800 watts
Dimensions: 12.9″D x 17.7″W x 10.5″H
Weight: 13 lbs.


Wolf Gourmet Elite Countertop Oven

Bon Appétit food director Chris Morocco lived with the Wolf Elite convection toaster oven for many years and loved it the entire time. Wolf makes some of the most accurate, well-designed home ranges and ovens in the world, and Chris thinks this beast of a toaster oven is quite literally a Wolf range oven, shrunk to countertop size. It has the same heritage Wolf features, like bright interior lights to check on food, advanced temperature control, and an integrated probe thermometer. It’s a lot bigger than most toaster ovens (also a lot heavier), so it will take up more counter space, but Chris says it can hold more than you’d expect. “It’s up for much more than just reheating a half-eaten sandwich,” he says. “It will happily roast a whole chicken, bake a small pizza, or toast enough nachos for four hungry people.” This appliance is equipped with five heating elements to ensure quick, even heating, and it implements convection cooking, which means it can essentially double as an air fryer. It also has seven cooking functions, including bake, roast, broil, warm, proof, toast, and bagel—the bagel preset will toast the cut side of your bagel and warm the other.

Users have the option to use both accompanying oven racks to provide an extra level for double the cookies or slices of toast, or remove one rack to fit, say, a Dutch oven. The integrated probe, a thermometer that connects directly to the oven, provides instant temperature information on your cook displayed on the LCD screen, so you don’t ever have to open the oven door as your food cooks or deal with setting up and checking on a separate thermometer. While this toaster oven is capable of essentially any task, there are two big downsides: its size and its cost. With a $700 price tag, this is one of the most expensive toaster ovens on the market. If that’s in your budget, though, Chris says it’s good-looking enough and powerful enough that you won’t mind making the countertop space for it.

Specs

7 cooking functions: Bake, Roast, Broil, Warm, Proof, Bagel and Toast
Includes: Removable oven rack system, 2 easy-glide oven racks, Broil Rack, Baking Pan Crumb/Drip Tray, Temperature Probe, Black & Brushed Silver Knob Accessories
Wattage: 1800 watts
Dimensions: 16.6″D x 22.4″W x 12.6″H
Weight: 46.6 lbs.


How we chose the best toaster ovens

We relied on people who have used the ovens recommended here extensively and under different circumstances. Epicurious’ product testers performed head-to-head comparisons, checking for things like toasting performance and cooking time for projects like cookie and pizza baking. We also sought out professionals like Turshen and Nguyen who have spent years cooking with their models—not just for personal meals but to develop recipes, which requires a high level of performance.


What should you look for in a toaster oven?

You can ask “what’s the best toaster oven?,” but we think a better question is: “what’s the best toaster oven for you?” What does that mean? Well, there are the universal attributes everyone should want: even cooking and ease of operation, but don’t discount how important it is that whatever you get fits your space well. If you can’t even fit a 4-slice toaster in your kitchen comfortably, something like the Wolf will not be for you. “I don’t like appliances cluttering my countertop so I go for the smallest possible,” Nguyen says. “That said, it shouldn’t be just a cutie toastie.” If you’re anything like her, then you’ll want to aim for something small but mighty, like the Breville mini smart oven.

In terms of functionality, think about what you plan to use your toaster oven for. If you will primarily use your countertop oven for toasting bread and reheating leftovers, you don’t necessarily need an air fryer-toaster oven combo with a convection fan and functions galore. But if you want a versatile appliance you can truly use in place of your full-size oven, for tasks like making a whole roast chicken or meatloaf, you’ll want to consider a higher-end, higher capacity option like Breville Joule.

Lastly, consider the experience of actually operating the machine. With the number of functions on these ovens getting bigger and bigger, you’ll want a control panel that’s easy to read and intuitive to set. The people giving recommendations here all agree that Breville has this down. You’ll also want a machine that’s easy-to-clean, which means features like a removable crumb tray and dishwasher safe racks.


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Author:Tiffany Hopkins | Website:www.bonappetit.com

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