In this post we will be looking at best toaster ovens.
A microwave oven can be found in almost all kitchens. But having a toaster oven lets you do so many different things that if you purchase, it would be a star addon to your kitchen, a powerhorse.
The tests we did to find the best ones:
Here they are
We wanted to see which toaster ovens re-heated food to perfection. By pre-heating the ovens and setting food inside them for a given time we were able to see ones that reheated food in the best way possible and one which is most conducive to our mouths.
We also clocked the timer to see how long it took our toasters to toast a bread and how did it look after toasting.
Ease of usage was another factor we looked into. A toaster should be simple to use. After all the main purpose is toasting bread and how complicated will it get?
Heating should be equally spread on all sides.
In 2010, the total sales of toaster ovens stood at 3.4 million units in the United States. Conventional toaster ovens have a share of 67% while convection ovens have a market share of 33%.
What do we expect from a toaster oven
A toaster oven will change your life and you will realize that this is not an understatement once you’ve finished reading this section.
The toaster oven is more than just a tool to get perfect toasts. That’s not to say that you don’t get crisp toasts with the appliance but there’s so much more they can do and so little written on them that I feel the humble toaster oven is an underdog in the kitchen.
It’s energy efficient and uses lot less power to carry out dozens of things. Microwaves can’t crisp food the way toaster ovens do. They bake eggs, make pizzas, fry fish, roast kebabs and create cupcakes.
The only limitation is the size. They’re mini ovens and you can’t fit in more than six slices of bread. Stretch your imagination to see what else of six slices you’re able to fit inside them.
For instance the Breville oven is big enough to comfortably fit a 13’ pizza. Due to convection heating it heatens quickly. There’s also a magnetic rack that pulls out when door’s opened. For small apartments this oven is ideal.
Here are just a few things you can use it for
You can also do a lot of everyday cooking and grilling with these countertop ovens saving a significant portion of your gas bill.
You could consider it as a replacement for traditional ovens that are inefficient and power-hungry.
They are multi-functional. Most can easily fit a nine-inch round or square baking pan, can broil steaks, defrost and bake cakes and pies.
Double racks ensure even heating and convection ovens get your fries even more crispier than on regular ovens.
Leftovers are common in any household. And sometimes you get portions leftover from the neighbourhood party. It can all go to garbage and or be repurposed into curries and meals for the next few days. If you prefer more than just a cursory warmth from your food counter-top ovens are your best bet. You just don’t want to eat for the sake of eating do we?
This gives you more flavor and food doesn’t turn out bland or soggy. I’d exchange a microwave for a meal that’s more flavorful, chicken not tasting like rubber.
It’s the best way to double your oven. Thanksgiving and other festivities are cooking marathons and sure more hands on deck are always helpful but nothing beats the dexterity and number of things you could accomplish getting an extra partner as an oven.
You might have seen people hosting group dinners sporting double wall ovens. Now you get all those benefits for nearly nothing.
What is the technology behind toaster ovens?
Every year we see appliances with different kinds of technologies being released. These days the trend is for appliances that are energy efficient. Convection or infrared appliances are highly energy efficient. They are often dubbed as sporting Element IQ in them. Convection technology is considerably cheaper now because of the benefits of mass manufacturing. This allows you to cook faster than regular ovens.
Controls can make the ovens look better and if they’re fairly intuitive people won’t have trouble using them.
In toaster ovens they’re generally dial or touch pad type with popularity leaning towards touch type.
Dial -type are difficult for those with small hands or those who are slow moving.
Pricier versions also sport touch buttons for defrost, toast, bake and broil making life easy.
Most ovens will have a set of pre-set functions which can be accessed via the menu. Wire tracks that can be removed or ones that slide out. Accessories including crumb tray, baking trays and cake tins. Automatic shut-off mode and timer functions.
The Breville Toaster
It toasted bread evenly on all sides.
When cooked was reheated on the toaster it resulted in even heat distribution to all ends.
The accessories are as follows
Included are a single rack, broiler pan, pizza pan and baking pan.
The pizza pan is a round metal pan and can be helpful in baking frozen pizza.
Breville toaster oven scores well on ease of access and use. The controls are fairly intuitive and easy to understand.
Breville toaster oven uses Element IQ technology that adjusts heating automatically based on what you put inside. Everything from pizza, to cookies, to cupcakes cooks really well with intelligent temperature adjustment.
Inside you can place 6 bread slices, a medium sized pizza or a small chicken. Convention feature helps the cooking process which goes faster.
The slow cook function helps cook slow pots and you can use it for cooking pots and set it up to 10 hours at low temperature. There’s an auto eject rack along with non stick coating which is blessing. It’s easy to poach, toast, cook and bake with the oven.
The Breville Smart Oven runs on Element IQ technology which is another way of saying that it’s a convection oven. It’s a little smaller than than Cuisinart oven we reviewed but bigger than most ovens in this price range.
It has an intuitive control panel board which makes it easy even for the novice among us to start cooking food on it.
The baking functions are superb.
The baking performance is the highlight. Everything we tried was cooked to a golden brown color- the kind that you like the most. It offers quality and stands out among cheap models with features that are comparable to models priced $1000 or more.
Bread toasting performance leaves us wanting more but they did come out reasonably good. For toasting Cuisanart is better than this.
There is also not the problem of the toaster getting hot with each batch of toasting that can wreak havoc and get your charred remains.
Fast toasting times, even cooking and great price.
Of all the toaster ovens we tried, this model has the easiest-to-use controls. In fact, we understood how the controls worked without having to refer to the user manual, which wasn’t the case with the Cuisinart. The legend displayed on the door also conveniently tells you where to place the rack for broiling, toasting, and baking.
Cuisinart Convection Steam Oven
Cuisinart Convection Steam Oven comes loaded with all the cooking features that we saw in Breville above. Along with the fact that it toasts much better and there’s also the bigger size. Toasting, baking and broiling is easy enough. Convection heating enables quick cooking. There’s also the addition of steam cooking which I found wonderful for cooking momos.
A above 4 pound chicken can easily fit into it. It also toasts bread evenly.
Breville Smart Oven is what we picked as the top choice in this post. However it sits at above $250 and may be expensive for some.
You can always choose Cuisinart Steam Oven which is toe to toe on almost every respect.
Cuisinart is very versatile and ideal for bigger cooking jobs. It can easily fit inside of itself a 13 inch pizza. Other things it can do are roasting whole chicken. It supports 9 slices of bread and so many things.
The big cavity is the defining feature of the model. The appliance comes with a 3 year warranty and relatively more number of accessories.
Even with the large size Cuisinart is able to evenly distribute heat all over the space and cook bread and other food to perfection. It doesn’t leave spots uncooked or undercooked and on bread we found a nice golden toast all around.
It comes with two wire racks, baking pan, pizza stone, broiling tray and so on.
Metal pizza pans provided by most competitors or cheap toasters don’t match the quality of the ceramic stone that this model comes with.
Each rack has four slots with metal hooks. Preheating takes under 4 minutes.
It also supports dual-mode cooking.
How to maintain it?
Caring for your oven can extend its life. To prepare it you need to run it several times without any food inside the machine.
Doing so removes any residues, fumes and other harmful chemicals from it that are generally applied to prevent corrosion when being shipped and stored. They need to be burned of completely so that they don’t get inside the food you eat.
You should smell fumes up to the second round of doing this and possibly third. Do it once more and you’re good to go.
Also make sure you wash all the provided accessories, trays and wire tracks with warm water and soap.
When you’re using the appliance on a regular basis empty out the crumb tray regularly and Use foil and pan under the item you’re cooking to avoid grease plattering inside the appliance.