A toaster oven is an incredibly powerful kitchen tool. Not only can it toast slices of bread, but the best ones can reheat leftovers, bake, and roast. Toaster ovens also use less energy than the actual oven which helps you reduce power and keep the kitchen cool, which is especially great in the warmer months.
Choosing a good toaster oven can be overwhelming. You’ll want to choose one that has the functionality that you need and comes in the correct size (measure your counter space and pay close attention to the toaster oven’s dimensions). There are many toaster ovens out there with bells and whistles, but not all of them are used effectively. And if you just want a basic toaster oven, we found those, too.
To see how our favorites stacked up, we brought a few of our picks right into our kitchens. We tested these on a few key features. First, we wanted to see if the medium setting evenly toasted two slices of bread. Next, we baked up a small batch of cookies, just enough to handle late-night snacking. Last, we looked at how easy, or difficult, the toaster oven is to clean and whether the exterior got too hot since both are important for safety.
We’ve researched the market to help ensure you’ll have perfect evenly toasted buns and beyond. Here are the best toaster ovens to have on your kitchen counter.
Breville BOV900BSS Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro with Super Convection
What We Love: Large range of functions, can fit a small Dutch oven, great for small-batch cooking
What We Don’t Love: Heavy, expensive
If you need a toaster oven that can do it all, look no further than the Breville Smart Oven Air. It's an absolute beast that saves you the trouble of buying three separate appliances. Sure, the 1800-watt machine can toast your bagel, buns, and bread slices (there are even presets for that). But, it can also air fry, dehydrate, and slow cook. Not to mention that it can roast a small turkey and you can fit a small Dutch oven in there. Most importantly, it does all of these things well.
With 1 cubic foot of interior space, this is the toaster oven to choose if you have limited counter space and can’t spare room for a lot of appliances or if you have a large family to feed and need extra support. Our product tester found everything baked in this came out wonderfully, and the control panel was intuitive, not overwhelming. For setup, the glass door's labels let you know where to position the interior rack for whatever you want to cook. Two slices of Ezekiel bread took a little bit longer than in a conventional toaster, but came out "evenly browned and perfectly toasted." She also tested the Cookie setting, which automatically switches the heating to convection and takes time off your total bake. The final cookies came out nice and golden.
The main complaint with the Breville Smart Oven Air is that it can be difficult to clean when you use the air fryer or dehydrating components, but this seems to be a common complaint among toaster ovens and appliances with these features. Otherwise, the crumb tray is easy to access for a post-toast wipe down.
"I absolutely love this toaster oven. It's not something I had thought much about before I had it, and now I use it all the time. It's not an overwhelming size; rather, it fits pretty nicely into a corner on our countertop, and it looks very sleek. It's great for cooking smaller batches of things—roasting vegetables, toasting nuts, baking a half batch of cookies—when I don't want to fire up my full-size gas oven. It's also super versatile: I've made pizza, dehydrated tomatoes, and air-fried cauliflower in it! And bonus, my Nordicware quarter sheet pans fit perfectly inside it!" — Cambria Bold, Senior Editor
Dimensions (LxWxH): 21.5 x 17.5 x 12.7 inches | Weight: 39 pounds | Maximum Temperature: 480 degrees
Best Large Capacity
Cuisinart TOB-260N1 Chef's Convection Toaster Oven
What We Love: Large interior space, dual cook feature easily goes from baking to broiling
What We Don’t Love: Gets very hot
If you only have room for one countertop appliance, then it might be worth splurging on the Cuisinart Chef's Convection Toaster Oven. This 1800-watt toaster oven features Cuisinart's Exact Heat sensor to make sure it maintains a precise, even temperature throughout the bake.
With a 0.95-cubic-foot interior, you can fit a 13-inch pizza or 9 slices of toast in this stainless steel beauty. Its sleek design is aesthetically pleasing, but, it's also a workhorse when you want to bake treats, like muffins or cakes, and it’s fully capable of roasting a whole chicken and veggies. Users also love its “Dual Cook” feature, which allows you to queue up temperature settings and times (i.e. bake your lasagna and then finish it off with the broiler for a crispy top).
One thing to note is that it does get very hot, so be careful with where you place it on the counter.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 20.9 x 16.9 x 11.4 inches | Weight: 32 pounds | Maximum Temperature: 500 degrees
Best with Air Fryer
Cuisinart TOA-65 Digital Air Fryer Toaster Oven
What We Love: Air fries quickly
What We Don’t Love: Top of the interior can be tricky to clean
If air frying is your main goal, along with the ability to toast and bake, then this Cuisinart Digital Air Fryer Toaster Oven is for you. This model features an 1800-watt motor and a 0.6-cubic-foot interior, which translates to air frying up to 3 pounds of food, toast 6 bagel halves, or fit a 12-inch pizza.
Without much additional pre-heat time it produces crispy proteins and veggies (it only takes about 20 minutes to make chicken wings). On the flip side, all that high power can result in overcooking, so use caution and keep an eye on your food while air frying so you don't end up with scorched treats. While it can get hot, it can also handle low temperatures down to 80 degrees. This means it can proof dough and help you make dehydrated goods.
Cleaning this little machine is made easier with the help of a nonstick interior, and the air frying basket and baking pan can safely go into the dishwasher.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 21.7 x 17 x 15.75 inches | Weight: 28.5 pounds | Maximum Temperature: 450 degrees
Related: The Best Air Fryers
Panasonic NB-G110P FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven
What We Love: Lots of preset functions, two types of heating elements
What We Don’t Love: Small interior capacity
The Panasonic FlashXpress is a great choice for people who want a little more pizzazz than a basic toaster oven. Designed with retro flair, the 1300-watt machine is fairly compact and holds up to 4 slices of bread or a 9-inch pizza. It does have 6 preset heating options that include roll, pizza, toast, and hash browns.
What makes it so great at heating is the fact that it uses two types of heating elements: quartz and ceramic. This allows the toaster oven to heat up food quickly and evenly, as our product tester found out. Out of the box, it was easy to use, but you will need a quick glance at the instructions to figure out all the buttons. Toast done on the medium setting came out evenly browned with great texture. When doing our cookie test, the tester notes that not only did the cookies take longer for them to fully bake than cookies done in a conventional oven, but also that they didn't achieve crispy edges. Between that and its small capacity, this is more for helping you whip up breakfast or reheat leftover pizza than baking up dinner.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 13 x 12 x 10.25 inches | Weight: 7.5 pounds | Maximum Temperature: 500 degrees
Related: The Best Toasters
BALMUDA K01M The Toaster
What We Love: New technology, perfectly toasts bread
What We Don’t Love: Lack of digital display, expensive
Balmuda, a Japanese brand founded by Gen Terao who was a musician that got into design and manufacturing after his band broke up, created a sleek toaster oven that might be worth seeking out if you like to stay up on the latest tech.
The toaster oven uses steam technology, with the help of a small water vessel on the side of the toaster, to surround your bread in a thin layer of steam that keeps your bread moist while browning it. Users report that this technology does make rolls fluffier and toast spongier. The 1300-watt toaster oven can also support baking small trays of cookies, brownies, or even veggies and proteins.
Our tester found that toast done on a medium setting in the Balmuda comes out evenly browned, though toast done on the right side was cooked slightly faster than the one on the left. She also was able to bake up a small batch of cookies without any preheating. She did note that there is a learning curve to this toaster oven. "It is a beautiful toaster," says our product tester. "It looks like it belongs on a spaceship or in a fancy hotel, but for the price, I feel like it should be easier to use right out of the box, and I struggled for a good week to figure out how to toast things properly."
So it’s pricey and not flawless. Another glaring deterrent here is the lack of a digital display for the timer and the dials can be tricky for some people to see and use. There's also the issue of needing to handwash all the removable parts, instead of placing them in the dishwasher.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 14.1 x 12.6 x 8.2 inches | Weight: 10.2 pounds | Maximum Temperature: 450 degrees
With its double infrared cooking technology and precise temperature control, the Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven (view at Amazon) is a great toaster oven to have at an affordable price. If you're willing to splurge or want a toaster oven that can handle more than just toast, the Breville Smart Oven Air with Super Convection (view at Amazon) deserves a spot on your counter.
What to Look for in a Toaster Oven
Before you begin your hunt for the right toaster oven, there are a few things you need to keep in the back of your noggin. First, how much food do you need to fit in your toaster oven? While many toaster ovens indicate how many slices of bread they can toast if you’re looking for an appliance that can do some heavy-duty baking or roasting you’ll want to read the description and see how much it can handle. If you want to roast an entire chicken, aim for a toaster oven that’s around 0.6 cubic feet in capacity.
Of course, all of this is moot if you don’t have much counter space. If you have to contend with tight storage space check the toaster oven’s dimensions to make sure you have room for it. Also, some toaster ovens do better under cabinets while some get too hot so keep that in mind.
When it comes to keeping your toaster oven clean, a removable crumb tray is paramount. This is also what will catch your drippy cheese if you reheat pizza slices in your toaster oven. Some parts, like the crumb tray and baking sheets, might be dishwasher-friendly but others might not so keep your cleaning style in mind. It also helps to choose nonstick surfaces when possible. Whichever you go with it’s important to clean your toaster oven often to avoid smoking, or worse, flaming, toaster oven.
Possibly the most overwhelming aspect of toaster ovens are the features. Focus on what you want out of your toaster oven. Just want to toast lots of slices at once and maybe bake a small sheet of cookies? A budget toaster oven will probably do the trick. Trying to air fry, roast, and basically never have to use your full-size oven? Then definitely look for something larger capacity. Other buttons you’ll see on models across the spectrum include dedicated food heating buttons (i.e. bagels, pizza, etc.), reheating, and a convection setting.
How often should you clean a toaster oven?
The more often, the better! “I'm kind of a neat freak so I clean mine often," says Todd Nash, an executive chef with Good Time Design. "You definitely don’t want things in there that might burn and impart flavor on whatever you’re cooking. I usually line the drip pan or bottom with aluminum for easy cleanup.”
Keep in mind that cleaning your toaster oven helps to decrease the chances something will catch on fire, and this is especially true for crumbs around the bottom heating element.
What can you cook in a toaster oven?
The sky's the limit here. "Toaster ovens have become very advanced these days and sometimes have more options than a full-size oven," says Nash. "You can basically cook anything you want to as long as it fits and there is enough room for airflow around the food you’re cooking." DuVal Warner, chef at Ranch 45 Local Provisions in Solano Beach, California, has more recommendations. "Select a toaster oven that offers multi-functional uses such as a toaster/convection/air fryer, which are very popular right now," he says. "This could expand your use and give the large gas oven a break."
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Lia Picard has covered food, including cooking techniques and ingredients, for publications like The Kitchn and Bon Appetit. She is an avid user of her Breville toaster oven and wants people to have a toaster oven that they can love, too.
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