11 of the Best Toaster Ovens for Your Home Kitchen and Why You Need One

Are you looking for a convenient, budget-savvy alternative to using a full-size oven?

While the microwave has its place, for entrees it doesn’t always produce the most appealing results. And that’s where the toaster oven fits in nicely.

A collage of photos showing different views of various countertop convection and infrared toaster ovens

Convenient, energy efficient, and easy on the pocketbook, a good quality toaster oven can handle most tasks of a standard-sized one. They preheat quickly, draw little electricity, and they won’t excessively heat up your kitchen – which makes them a sweet option on a hot summer day.

Because of their compact size, they’re a brilliant choice for small space cooking, dorm rooms, the cabin, tiny homes, and micro apartments that have no kitchen at all!

Close up view of a batch of double chocolate biscotti cookies being baked in a convection toaster oven.
Double chocolate biscotti…mmm. These appliances can do many things their full sized counterparts can do without heating up the entire kitchen. Photo by Mike Quinn.

They’re a great choice for those who cook in small batches, or for helping with holiday dinners. And another appealing feature of their small footprint is that they’re quick and easy to clean.  

With a range of sizes and cooking options available, they’re a smart choice for any kitchen.

Bottom Line Up Front – The Best Toaster Ovens

Some of our favorite models include:

  1. Breville BOV900BSS Smart Oven Air
  2. Wolf Gourmet
  3. Cuisinart 260N1 Chef’s Convection
  4. Panasonic Flash Xpress
  5. Cuisinart CSO-300N1 Steam and Convection
  6. Black and Decker CTO6335S
  7. Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart
  8. Cuisinart TOB-200 Rotisserie Convection
  9. Oster Large Capacity
  10. Elite Cuisine Maxi-Matic ERO-2008SC
  11. Morning Star Extra Large Infrared Convection

Our 11 Favorite Toaster Ovens in Review

1. The Breville BOV900BSS Smart Oven Air: Our Top Rated Model

For most folks, the Breville Smart Oven Air is the model that offers the best value and cooking performance.

Breville Smart Oven Air sitting on a white painted wooden surface
Photo by Mike Quinn.

The Breville went from zero to 450°F in five minutes in our preheating tests. And that’s a significant improvement compared to almost all other models.

This speedy preheating is thanks to the five quartz elements that are controlled by Breville’s Element IQ which automatically adjusts the heating elements to deliver power to where it’s needed most.

Breville BOV900BSS The Smart Oven Air

The Slow Cook setting is another brilliant feature, as it allows for up to 10 hours of low temperature cooking – which makes this model a great alternative to a slow cooker.

Several more thoughtful design elements were Incorporated into this newest edition of the Breville Smart Oven:

Like the intuitive and simple-to-use control panel, with solid, sturdy components.

An interior halogen bulb casts a clear light to monitor cooking and can actually be replaced at home. (Some brands need their ovens to be shipped to a service center to replace a light bulb!)

The smart “pizza bump” accommodates a 13-inch pie, and the middle rack will auto-eject halfway when the door is opened – which makes it easy to handle and remove hot items.

Plus, cleaning is swift and simple with the nonstick interior and pull out crumb tray.

The Breville Smart Oven Air easily handles all the cooking functions of a full-sized unit with its thoughtful and user friendly design.

With capabilities and functions that truly bake, broil, and roast to perfection, this model can be used for much more than toast or a pizza. Great for small batch cooking, the Breville is indispensable for dinner parties, holiday cooking, and summertime meals – and even daily use for a small household.

Check prices on Amazon now or read our full review.

 

2. The Wolf Gourmet: A Step Up

A number of countertop ovens offer a broiler setting, but results can often be disappointing – not so with the Wolf Gourmet.

Front view of the Wolf Countertop Oven on a white, isolated background.

Wolf Stainless Steel Convection Countertop Oven

For outstanding roasts and broiler performance, the Wolf Gourmet is a top contender.

Countertop roasting, broiling, and baking is taken to a whole new level with this model. The five nickel-based incoloy heating elements with extra high-grade stainless steel delivers precision heat throughout the oven.

Perimeter convection heat ensures even cooking on all surfaces, and a handy internal probe thermometer ensures dishes are cooked to perfection.

At the higher end of the price range, Wolf Gourmet also offers the best guarantee at five years – an unusual, and popular, benefit in a niche known for skimpy warranties.

Check prices on Wayfair now or read our full review.

 

3. Cuisinart Chef’s Convection: A Solid Choice

If fast heating and a large capacity are important features for you, the Cuisinart Chef’s Convection model is a worth considering.

With a large 9-slice capacity, it will also accommodate a 13-inch pizza.

Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven TOB-260N1 Review | Foodal.com
Photo by Mike Quinn.

The standard convection fan and turbo convection setting deliver fast and even air circulation, while 5 heating elements and internal sensors produce exact temperatures where needed. Well designed for easy use, features to note are multiple rack positions, an interior light, a 2-hour timer, and included pizza stone. 

Oblique view of the Cuisinart TOB-260N1 Stainless Steel Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven on a white, isolated background.

Cuisinart TOB-260N1 Stainless Steel Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven available on Wayfair

The generous, extra-large capacity and fast, even heating gives the Cuisinart Chef’s Convection great value and convenience as a replacement for full-sized models, in the cottage, and for dinner parties or holiday meals.

Read our full review or check prices on Wayfair now.

 

4. Panasonic Flash Xpress: Best for Toast

The Panasonic Flash Xpress is a compact model that uses double infrared power for speedy, efficient heating that eliminates the need for preheating – and delivers the best golden toast.

Mid-sized in capacity, it holds up to 4 slices of toast and fits a 9-inch pizza.

Panasonic NB-G110P Flash Xpress Toaster Oven in Silver available from Amazon

The two quartz/ceramic elements are extremely efficient for delivering consistent, even temperatures that bake, brown, and toast to perfection. And an interior light plus digital timer add convenience.

A dependable compact model for baking, broiling, and reheating, the Panasonic Flash Express also produced the best evenly-browned slices of toast in our test kitchen.

Read our full review or see what others on Amazon are saying.

 

5. Cuisinart CSO-300N1 Steam and Convection: for Healthy Steam Cooking

Another multi-feature model from Cuisinart, the Steam and Convection Toaster Oven provides the moist results and healthy benefits of cooking with steam plus the efficiency of convection heat.

Mid to large-sized, it holds 4 slices of toast or a 12-inch pizza.

Cuisinart CSO-300N1 Steam & Convection Oven

The removable water reservoir, multiple rack positions, and steam cleaning function are notable features and it also has a steam proof selection for rising buns and breads.  

Fast, efficient, and user-friendly the Cuisinart Steam and Convection makes a dependable choice for reduced-fat cooking with the time-saving effectiveness of convection heat – a great kitchen combination.

Read our full review or check out more customer reviews on Amazon now.

 

6. Black and Decker CTO6335S: No Frills Convection

Black and Decker’s Countertop Convection Toaster Oven gives reliable convenience and the high-performance efficiency of convection heat – with an economical price.

BLACK+DECKER CTO6335S Countertop Convection Toaster Oven

Its compact size leaves a small footprint, but the interior has a pizza bump for extra depth that allows it to accommodate a 12-inch pizza or 4 slices of toast.

A nonstick interior makes cleanup fast and easy and the 2-hour timer with an automatic turn-off adds to the user-friendly features.

Compact, dependable, and fast heating, the Black and Decker Convection provides reliable, easy performance with no-frills economy.

See it on Amazon now.

 

7. Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart: Compact Convenience

For space-saving convenience, and the very same technology as our top-rated model the Breville Smart Pro, the Breville Mini Smart is a savvy choice when a compact footprint is required.

Front view of the Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven on a white, isolated background

Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven

 

While the design may be small, the Mini Smart still holds 4 slices of toast or an 11-inch pizza.

Four quartz elements and Element IQ technology delivers heat to where it’s needed for outstanding even coverage without any hot and cold spots. The Mini also has 3 rack positions and a nonstick interior for added convenience and easy cleanup.

Compact but powerful, the Mini Smart delivers the same effective performance as it’s bigger cousin but has a size that’s perfect for small spaces.

Check prices and read customer reviews on Wayfair now.

 

8. Cuisinart TOB-200 Rotisserie Convection: Built in Protein Roasting

Does the idea of a rotisserie in a countertop model appeal to you? Then check out the affordable rotisserie/convection combo from Home Labs.

The Cuisinart TOB-200N Rotisserie Convection Toaster Oven on an olive green background.
The rotisserie is suitable for a whole chicken or lamb shank while the convection fan quickly circulates heated air for reliable, even temperatures without the need to preheat.

Cuisinart TOB-200 Rotisserie Convection Toaster Oven available through Amazon

The Cuisinart TOB-200 has a large capacity that holds 6 slices of toast or a 12-inch pizza. It also features 3 rack positions and a metal safety handle to pull out a hot tray, and the rotisserie fork assembly is included.

Generous in cooking area, this model is a dependable, reasonably-priced choice for rotisserie cooking and the fast results of convection heat.

Check prices and read customer reviews on Amazon now.

 

9. Oster Large Capacity: Full-Size Dependability on a Budget

In the full-size convection range, the Oster Large Capacity Convection Toaster Oven provides another dependable choice that delivers fast heating, even heat distribution, and no preheat times.

Oster Large Digital Countertop Convection Toaster Oven

It has a larger interior that holds 6 slices of toast or a 12-inch pizza. Handy features include an interior light, adjustable broil temperatures, and a 90-minute countdown timer with auto shutoff.

The Oster Large Capacity gives dependable one-touch performance with a roomy interior making it suitable to replace a full-sized model in small spaces or for second-oven convenience for holiday meals, dinner parties, and large families.

Check prices and read customer reviews on Amazon now.

 

10. Elite Cuisine Maxi-Matic ERO-2008SC: The All In One Cooking Station

For true all-in-one countertop convenience, the MaxiMatic provides the fast, efficient heat of convection, the delicious results of a rotisserie, and the convenience of a grill on top.

Maxi-Matic ERO-2008SC Elite Cuisine 6-Slice Convection Toaster Oven with Rotisserie and Grill/Griddle Top

The rotisserie delivers healthy fat-reduced cooking and convection provides fast, even temperatures throughout. And while using the oven, the nonstick griddle-top can be used as a grill – or as a steamer along with the tall, dome lid. 

The large interior has a 6-slice capacity and will hold a 12-inch pizza. It also features a 60-minute timer with automatic shutoff, a pan-removal handle clip, and includes the rotisserie fork and assembly plus rotisserie removal tongs.

Elite Cuisine’s MaxiMatic reliably combines several cooking styles in a single station for convenience and efficiency. But check the measurements of your counter-to-cupboard clearance because this one is taller than most.

Check prices on Amazon now.

 

11. Morning Star Extra Large Infrared Convection: Big and Fast

For extra-large capacity and the fast, efficient heating of both infrared and convection heat, the Morning Star Infrared Convection Toaster Oven delivers on all fronts.

Morning Star Extra Large Infrared + Convection Countertop Digital Toaster Oven

Infrared heat cooks from the inside out, which helps to retain moisture, and the convection fan quickly distributes heat evenly and eliminates the need for preheating.

The extra-large Morning Star holds a whopping 12 slices of toast or a 13-inch pizza, and it also holds the bread pans and quarter baking sheets most countertop models can’t accommodate.

Features of note are 4 rack positions, an interior light, a nonstick interior, and an included tray handle for easy removal of hot pans.

Infrared and convection heat make the Morning Star fast and effective. And its extra-large size and capacity make it reliable replacement for a full-sized model – ideal for the cottage, dorm rooms, or in-law suites.

Check prices and read customer reviews on Amazon now.

 

What to Look For When Choosing Your Toaster Oven: From Basic to Deluxe

Like many appliances, the toaster oven has evolved from its first appearance back in 1910, and today’s versions can be basic in their performance, or multipurpose units that serve a variety of cooking tasks.

The door of countertop convection toaster oven opened to reveal a puffed apple pancake in a glass pie pan.
Puffed apple pancake? Yes Please! Photo by Mike Quinn.

They come in a variety of sizes, and can be either freestanding on the counter, or mounted to the underside of cabinets.

Some features remain the same. They still have horizontal heating elements on the top and bottom, with an adjustable rack.

A removable crumb tray is another standard feature, and most will have a door window so you can keep an eye on what’s cooking.

But traditional models are still fairly basic in what they offer. Naturally, you can toast multiple slices of bread, and they preheat quickly. Plus, they’re good for light broiling duties, melting a cheese topping, or warming up an entree.  

And if that’s the extent of what you’ll be using one for, then you won’t need the more advanced features – which, of course, increase the cost as well.

But if you want to step out a bit, you’ll want to invest in some of the more progressive, twenty-first century options.

Much More Than Just Toast

High-end models offer a variety of cooking features such as bake, convection, and steam, and are easily able to roast a chicken, grill steaks, and even bake bread.

A close up of a roasted chicken and veggies in a small rimmed pan being removed from a convection toaster oven.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Yep, you can quicker prepare weeknight dinners with a good quality convection style toaster oven. Photo by Mike Quinn.

Let’s have a closer look.

Convection

Just like their full-sized kinfolk, there are now models that come with a convection fan for quick and even cooking. As cooking time is reduced, you’ll use even less energy and release less heat into the kitchen – and it offers a touch of sophistication to your cooking choices.

 

Top down view of a tasty spatchcocked and roasted lemon chicken with veggies in a rimmed baking pan and prepared in a convection toaster oven.
Photo by Mike Quinn.

An affordable solution if your current oven isn’t convection, many brands offer both convection and conventional settings.

Steam

Steam settings, such as steam bake, steam broil, and basic steam, are wonderful for light, healthy cooking and are ideal for steaming fish, veggies, or dumplings like gyoza.

And when combined with convection, they make baking bread a dream – with crusty tops and fluffy, fully risen interiors.

Bake

A bake setting is perfect for small batch cooking or side dishes. Pizza, meatloaf, small roasts and poultry, veggies, muffins, cookies, and so on are all viable in in these mini ovens.

Some with more advanced features offer specialty settings for roasting, pizza, and baking cookies as well.  

Infrared

Infrared cooking transfers heat directly to the food, as opposed to heating the surrounding air, and is superb at even cooking, browning, and crisping.

It eliminates the need to preheat, and food is cooked much quicker than with conventional heating coils, both features that offer considerable energy savings.  

Broil

For those who enjoy a nice steak, a broil option is a good choice.

This is also great for melting cheese, browning casseroles before serving, and making pans of nachos.

Rotisserie

Rotisserie cooking is another attribute that’s offered on higher end models. Some brands will use the standard heating elements for rotisserie cooking while others offer infrared heat, and often it will be combined with a convection feature.

Appliance Features

Control Panels

Easy to understand settings are best for straightforward operation and make any model more enjoyable to use. But more doesn’t necessarily mean better when it comes to settings, as they can often over complicate operation.

However, control panels that offer a few preset features are handy for one-touch operation, and audible alerts that sound when your food is ready are a nice feature as well. And most models today will come with an automatic shutoff that turns off heating elements after 30-60 minutes.

A digital control panel provides a flat surface that won’t collect as much grime and debris as will knobs, making them easier to clean.

Auto-Eject Racks

Some of the more expensive models will also have auto-eject racks that partially pop out when the door is opened, making it easier to remove food. 

Interior Light

Another useful feature is an interior light. It lets you monitor food as it cooks, which is very handy for delicate tasks that you don’t want to overcook – like broiling a steak or melting cheese.

Insulation

An unseen item, insulation is important, particularly for mounted units. Many lower priced models will be skimpy with the insulation, which can result in the exterior getting very hot when in use.

If you choose one of the basic models, always ensure that there’s plenty of space around the exterior for proper ventilation, and keep the top free of papers, plastic, or any flammable materials.

Cord Length

You’ll also want to ensure that your model has the necessary cord length to easily reach a nearby electrical outlet without the use of an extension cord.

Wattage

If you plan to use your toaster oven for any more advanced tasks, be sure to invest in a model that has adequate wattage. In general, they’ll run from 750 watts for basic units up to 1800 watts for convection models.

Serving It All Up

While most of us probably won’t be giving up our full-sized ovens any time soon, the toaster oven offers a lot of versatility.

Whether you cook in small batches or need more leverage for holiday dinners, they’re an affordable option that saves time and energy, and makes cooking a little more convenient.

Oblique view of a convection toaster oven being used to prepare roasted stuffed acorn squash
Photo by Mike Quinn.

And before you make any decisions, be sure to check our reviews in the toaster oven category. We dish on some of the best models available in today’s marketplace, and they’re a treasure trove of useful information.

Now readers, it’s your turn. What are some of your favorite uses for a toaster oven? Let us know in the comments below and share your expertise!

Photos by Mike Quinn, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Additional photos courtesy of Breville,Wolf, Cuisinart, Panasonic, Black and Decker, Oster. Elite Cuisine, and Morning Star.

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About Lorna Kring

Recently retired as a costume specialist in the TV and film industry, Lorna now enjoys blogging on contemporary lifestyle themes. A bit daft about the garden, she’s particularly obsessed with organic tomatoes and herbs, and delights in breaking bread with family and friends.

Toaster ovens have gone through considerable changes in their history. Today’s models can offer a variety of pre-set functions, infrared elements, convection fans, a rotisserie, bake, broil, and steam functions. Oh, and they still make toast. Join us now for a look at 11 of the best and the features that make them so.

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