The 4 Best Digital Toaster Ovens
Though their name suggests a single function, the best digital toaster ovens are capable of more than just browning sliced bread. Offering precise temperature and time control (and in some cases, convection capabilities), digital toaster ovens take the guesswork out of perfectly baking, toasting, roasting, and reheating a wide range of foods. Models vary widely in their features, capacity, and cost, so here are some key things to keep in mind as you shop:
First, just as you would when purchasing any new appliance, decide what you want to prepare in your digital toaster oven. If you simply want to toast bread, bagels, pastries, or frozen waffles, you can get away with a relatively pared-down model. If you’re interested in broader meal-making, consider getting a toaster oven that has pre-programmed settings for things like roasting veggies or baking cookies. Depending on the oven’s size, some have enough space to bake a 12-inch pizza.
For versatility, look for a toaster oven with manual temperature and time controls. This will ensure you can prepare what you might otherwise make in your wall oven. Since some standard baking pans don’t fit in most digital toaster ovens (here’s one exception), look for a model that comes with compatible baking pans, or check the dimensions of your own bakeware before you make a purchase to ensure it fits.
So, if you’re ready to invest in an easier-to-read, high-tech toaster, read on to learn about four of the best digital toaster ovens.
1. The Best Digital Toaster Oven: Breville Mini Smart Oven With Element IQ
This mini smart oven from Breville shares many of the same features as the brand’s more expensive toaster oven models but with a lower profile. Four quartz heating elements heat up the chamber quickly for precise and stable heat and browning. The Breville comes programmed with eight common toaster oven functions including bagel, toast, bake, broil, pizza, roast, cookies, and reheat. A “darkness” setting lets you dial-in on your preferred color for toasting items, and the time and temperature buttons let you use the oven manually.
Though it’s not as tall as some other toaster ovens, the Breville is large enough to roast a small tenderloin, toast four slices of bread, and bake an 11-inch pizza. The included wire rack moves easily for optimal use with each function, and a rack level guide is printed directly on the glass door so you never have to guess where it goes. Cleanup is easy thanks to nonstick interior walls that can be wiped clean, which helps prevent burnt-on bits from smoking. One note, due to the Breville’s 1800 watts of power, it’s not recommended for under-the-cabinet placement as it can get quite hot.
2. The Most Compact: Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven With Double Infrared Heating
Don’t let the small footprint of this toaster from Panasonic fool you, it is still large enough to toast four slices of bread and bake a 9-inch pizza. It also won’t disappoint when it comes to performance. Dubbed the FlashXpress, it’s equipped with a double infrared-ray heater that can cook foods up to 40% faster than conventional toaster ovens. Six presets offer one-touch cooking for toast, frozen waffles, rolls, frozen pizza, quick reheat, and frozen hash browns. You can also manually control the temperature and time, so it functions like a small oven for anything you may want to roast or bake. In addition to the wire rack, it comes with a small baking pan, which is handy for roasting vegetables, meats, or containing dripping cheese if you like making melts. Bonus: This is also one of the smallest toaster ovens you can buy. The Panasonic measures just 10.2 inches high, 13 inches wide, and 12 inches deep.
3. The Best Value: BLACK+DECKER Countertop Convection Toaster Oven
This may look like every other toaster oven you grew up using, but this model from BLACK+DECKER has the added benefit of digital controls and convection technology. Unlike most toaster ovens, a built-in fan circulates hot air throughout the cooking chamber which leads to faster cooking and browning. Choose between two different rack heights and, for even more versatility, flip the convertible rack to move it closer or further away from the heating element. The rack fits six slices of bread and a 12-inch pizza, and a small baking pan is included for roasting and baking. When used manually as a convection oven, it can get as hot as 400 degrees Fahrenheit and has a 120-minute timer for longer-cooking recipes.
4. The Most Versatile: Cuisinart Chef's Convection Toaster Oven
Offering the most generous cooking capacity of the toaster ovens featured here, the Chef’s Convection Oven from Cuisinart lets you cook a wide range of foods manually or with one of 15 preset functions. In addition to the common toast, bagel, bake, broil, roast, and pizza settings found on some other models, you have the option of selecting speed cook (similar to the 30 second timer on a microwave), as well as leftovers, sandwich, and defrost.
The Cuisinart’s rack can fit a 13-inch pizza, and is large enough for a standard 9-by-13-inch baking pan. The adjustable racks allow you to roast and bake taller items including small chickens and quick bread recipes. A small pan is also included for roasting and broiling. Though slightly more expensive than standard toaster ovens, the Cuisinart offers so much versatility, you may find yourself using it more than your conventional oven.
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