Full-sized toaster ovens are essential parts of our kitchen but using them just to prepare a small batch of food is a waste of good energy. Plus, they can heat up your kitchen pretty fast and it is not a good idea when the sun is blazing hot outside. That being said, toaster ovens can be a good alternative.
Toaster ovens save so much space and can be easily placed on counters. They also have almost the same controls you have in their full-sized counterparts and most of them even implement convenient features.
Toshiba AC25CEW-SS steals the show in this category with its digital system that offers users plenty of controls. It also has preset modes which can make your work much easier by tailoring the settings according to the certain types of food you put in it. Let us also not forget the brilliant design of Elite Gourmet ETO-4510M and Geek Chef 24QT that can both handle a whole chicken, thanks to their capacious interiors.
And while the controls and capacity might be the major things you want to check in a toaster oven, it is also important to have a look at the other features of the unit. With this, we had picked a total of 5 toaster ovens after weighing on the attributes of the leading models on our shortlist. Together with the aid of the SolidSmack Household Appliance and Tool Research Team, we tested the units to bake, broil, and toast a wide variety of food items such as steak, chicken, slice bread, and more. Here are our honest reviews based on the actual performance witnessed by our reviewers and analysts:
1. Toshiba AC25CEW-SS
stainless steel and black stainless steel
Unlike the other models on the list, Toshiba AC25CEW-SS offers a digital display. The beauty about it is that it allows it to do more and provide more information on the cooking process of your foods.
You can control it using the 3 dial knobs (Function, Temperature, and Time) next to its door. Using them is very intuitive but most of all, we love how precise they are. Turning them also feels so good! The display is illuminated and huge enough for users to easily see everything. Besides the basic info, another bonus is that it informs you of the remaining time and once the unit has reached your target temperature.
On the other hand, it boasts plenty of functions with a total of 10 options (Toast, Bake, Broil, Pizza, Cookies, Defrost, Reheat, Rotisserie, Keep Warm, and Convection). With this, you will certainly find one that will suit your needs. One of our personal favorites is the Rotisserie mode. It comes with a rotisserie kit composed of rod and prongs and a rotisserie removal tool. We tried the mode for a 4-pound chicken and guess what: it cooked it with the doneness we aimed for and at the exact time we anticipated. Further, the convection fan was completely soundless!
On the other side of the coin, the suggested 12-inch size of pizza seems overkill, since the interior dimension from its front up to its back measures 11-3/4 inches. Nonetheless, it can still handle 6 slices of bread at once. When using it for toasting bread, you can also indicate how many slices of bread you are toasting, so the system will make adjustments to achieve even browning. Sweet!
2. Elite Gourmet ETO-4510M
Elite Gourmet ETO-4510M is literally a miniaturized oven. If not for the limited 60-minute timer, it would literally be a direct replacement for a full-sized model. Nonetheless, it is a perfect beauty that can definitely shock you in every way.
When we finally had our chance to check it, we were amazed by its exterior and overall build. There is nothing to criticize about it: flawless stainless steel body, intuitive control panel, and wide opening. Personally, we love the French door design of the two doors. With this, it will allow you to get your food out of the oven with ease. Opening just one door is also helpful to prevent too much heat from escaping when you are checking the meat being broiled inside. We also want to give 5 stars to the build of both doors that leave no gap when closed.
It has a relatively large body, so you might want to allot ample space on your kitchen counter if you are considering it. This is not a downside in any manner as it means a wide interior cavity and that is true! We love how generous its interior dimensions are (16-3/8 W x 15-7/8 D x 8-1/2 H). There are also 4 rack positions that give you the freedom to cook multiple dishes all at once using the 2 removable wire racks. And as for the capacity, it is indeed phenomenal! It has a 45 L capacity that can fit casseroles, 12" to 14" whole pizza, 18 slices of toast bread, and a 20-pound turkey or whole rotisserie chicken! We really love it!
On the other hand, given that it can accommodate a whole chicken, its control panel has a dedicated setting for rotisserie. You can even enjoy the Convection and Rotisserie Convection modes which ensure you have plenty of options for other dishes. Further, there are two dials that can separately control the top and bottom heating elements up to 450°F. Neat! When we tested it for roasting a whole chicken, we have to admit that we enjoyed the entire process. We used the included fancy spit and fork tool that rotated the item inside and boy, the oven heated up pretty fast! Once done, we got an evenly cooked and browned dish. Its meat was cooked perfectly down to the center. It also toasted slices of bread within 4 minutes and we would suggest it to bakers due to its even increments and consistent temperature.
3. Geek Chef 24QT
If you want an oven but can’t afford it and don’t have a space for a full-sized one, Geek Chef 24QT might be the best option for you.
Outside, it resembles conventional. It has the same design as the old models we love such as the door that you can pull and lay flat on the counter. There are 4 dials above the door handle that are meant for the timer, temperature, toast level, and functions. Under the last, there are a total of 7 functions to choose from and we adore just how plenty your options are. Unlike others, it has a dedicated option for warming foods and air frying. Also, there is a separate button for the interior light, so you have the option to turn it on and off unlike in Elite Gourmet ETO-4510M.
We also love that its Toast Darkness dial is labeled in words instead of numbers (Light, Medium, and Dark). However, in terms of toasting performance, we can’t say that it is as fast as other units we tested. When we used it for medium and dark toasting, it took a total of 6 minutes to toast bread. This, however, shouldn’t discourage you from getting it as it excels in other sections.
It has a sufficient space inside that it can handle a small-sized chicken. It comes with a baking tray that can also double as a drip tray. However, what we love the most about it is the air fryer basket is perfect for French fries! Together with its 2300 RPM fan and this tool, we were able to get crispy French fries during our test. It also worked great for chicken wings and the result was amazing. Tender and evenly fried! We can even compare it to other standalone air fryer models due to its efficiency and consistency of work. The same goes for its broiling feature that we didn’t even check and flip it but we still got perfectly cooked steak!
4. Hamilton Beach 31156
60 minutes & Stay-on Mode
Hamilton Beach 31156 is an amalgamation of an oven and toaster which can save you so much space on your counter. Most of its competitors tried the same concept and there is always one section that suffers: either a faulty heating element in the oven or a toaster that can’t produce evenly toasted bread. Well, not this bad boy.
Hamilton Beach 31156 has bake, broil, and toasts functions which are all possible due to the 2-in-1 combination of an oven and toaster unit. Though the functions can’t be performed simultaneously, shifting to its Oven and Toaster mode is a cinch with just a slide of a lever.
The toaster has a good width to fit Texas toast slices and bagels. We also love its undivided long slot that can cater to artisan bread. When the lever is pushed, it has a good depth that can handle average-size slices. There is also a separate toast shade selector up to 6 levels and all throughout our test, it proved nothing but pure consistency in toasting both sides with uniform browning. Each toast level also produced distinctive output, proving how efficient its toasting system is.
Its oven, on the other hand, works as great as its toaster. It has a 60-minute timer and an auto-shutoff function. We weren’t really pleased with its rather tight cavity but it is the only tradeoff to have here. When it comes to its performance, we were surprised that it works like a real oven. Though it can’t fit huge food items, it can still handle up to 9” pizza. There are also 2 rack positions that you can adjust to let it accommodate a small casserole. When we tried it for steak and a batch of brownies, everything came out perfectly. And although the manual states that the front and rear heating elements work at different wattage levels (We noticed that under low temp setting, some heating elements didn’t seem to glow.), it still cooked the food items we put in it evenly.
5. BLACK+DECKER TO1760SS
30 minutes & Stay-on Mode
BLACK+DECKER TO1760SS might be the smallest of all the models we reviewed here, but it is the point of having it. It is a compact toaster oven that can save you a lot of counter space. Despite this, it is able to perform effectively what a toaster oven is supposed to do.
It has 3 dials that you can use for choosing the temperature, function, and timer. What surprised us about it is that despite its size, it comes with a Stay-on capability that is mostly available just in big models. Even better, we find its functions and temperature work the way the manufacturer has stated.
When we tested it, it got hot pretty fast and the temperature was able to reach 450°F. However, we found its cavity truly limiting. It can accept 4 slices of bread and 9” pizza, but you can’t use it for whole chicken just like others. Nonetheless, we were able to broil two slices of steak using BLACK+DECKER TO1760SS and the result was astounding. (The dripping pan also did a good job of catching the juice!) Its convection capability was able to cook it down to the center without burning its exterior. It also did great when we used it for bread slices. Extremely fast that within 4 minutes, we got perfectly browned bread.
Best Toaster Ovens - Buyer's Guide
Toaster ovens differ a lot when it comes to their capacities and internal dimensions. For casual toasting and broiling of small cuts of meat, models with the size of BLACK+DECKER TO1760SS would be enough. However, if you intend to use the toaster oven to roast a whole chicken, you might want to consider bigger models with ample space inside.
One of the main reasons why some individuals shift to toaster ovens is to save space. That being said, if it is your main concern, look for one with small body dimensions (if you don’t mind the limited interior cavity).
Most toaster ovens have a 60-minute limit on their timers and it is no problem. Nonetheless, there are some dishes that will require longer hours to cook so it is better to have those with Stay-on functions.
It is nice to have a toaster oven that offers a wide variety of modes and functions. This will help you get better results and less room for error. We like how Toshiba AC25CEW-SS boasts its 10 functions that can handle most typical dish preparations. Since it is digital, it also lets you have more power over the settings such as indicating the exact number of bread slices to customize the toasting process of the machine.
On the other hand, we also suggest looking for additional features that can give you more convenience. This includes the French doors of Elite Gourmet ETO-4510M, dedicated toasting slot of Hamilton Beach 31156, Rotisserie mode of Elite Gourmet ETO-4510M, and more.
Best Toaster Ovens - FAQs
Yes, toaster ovens can be used to roast chicken. Just make sure to check the internal dimensions of the unit to ensure it can handle a whole chicken.
Some toaster ovens now employ a specific function for defrosting food items. For models that don’t have it, it can still be done by setting the toaster oven to 200°F at 15 minutes or less.