Start here BEFORE reading the toaster oven reviews
Consumer reviews are a valuable resource when making any purchase. A toaster oven is no exception. Toaster oven reviews written by real people can offer information that you can't find anywhere else. People who have actually used a product can tell you honestly what the pros and cons are. However, reading toaster oven reviews should not be the starting point of your decision making process unless you plan on dedicating a great deal of unnecessary time to your quest. It's better to spend a few minutes now thinking about what you're looking for in a toaster oven.
There is a lot to consider when deciding which toaster oven is best for you. Price, size, power, reliability and accessories are all important. We suggest you first use these criteria to narrow your search. Don't waste your time reading countless toaster oven reviews for models that won't meet your needs. When you are ready, the toaster ovens are categorized to the right by price. Click on the price range that best suits your needs for detailed information and toaster oven reviews. There is also a section below that where they are categorized by brand. Use this if you've already narrowed your search down to a specific maker.
Size is definitely one of the more important aspects to consider when trying to find the best toaster oven. There isn't much of a reason to contemplate buying a specific toaster oven if it is too big to fit in your kitchen or is too small to cook what you want it to cook. That's why we have listed the approximate dimensions of each toaster oven in the overview. This way you can be sure the size of a particular model is best for you before wasting your time reading hundreds of toaster oven reviews for that model.
When looking at the listed dimensions for a toaster oven, there is something important to keep in mind. These dimensions refer to the size of the entire appliance, not the available cooking space inside. This allows you to measure the spot in your kitchen where you intend to use the toaster oven. This way you can be sure the model you want will fit.
Spend some time now thinking about your toaster oven size needs and limitations. Measure the available space in your kitchen. Think about what you would like to cook in your new countertop appliance. Measure the baking dishes you use most often. See if they will fit into the toaster oven you think is best. Recall what you have cooked in the last month. Use this information to determine what the best toaster oven size is for your cooking lifestyle. A good toaster oven with a size that lends to versatility will be able to take the place of a full-sized oven for many tasks in your kitchen.
We have listed the watts for each toaster oven in the overview, if that information is made available by the manufacturer. This is just to give you a general idea of how powerful each particular toaster oven is. Actual power per watt will vary from model to model. A more energy efficient appliance will actually need less wattage.
The best way to determine if a model is powerful enough to suit your needs is by reading toaster oven reviews. Someone who has actually used a specific model can tell you if it has sufficient power; look for that information in the toaster oven reviews.
Any toaster oven will likely be more energy efficient than your full-sized oven. When you have less space to heat, that heating occurs more quickly and with less energy used. That's why toaster ovens are a green alternative to conventional full-sized ovens.
The biggest complaint you will find throughout toaster oven reviews is that they get hot on the outside while in use. This will be true for any toaster oven. They are true ovens that produce real heat, unlike a microwave oven which only heats the food. There are, however, some toaster ovens that get VERY hot while others only get somewhat hot. The difference in external heat comes from the insulation provided by the materials used in construction. Cheap toaster ovens use thin materials while high-end toaster ovens use thick materials. The cheaper the toaster oven, the hotter it will get while in use. This is not a big deal for some people, but a deal-breaker for others (such as those with small children in the kitchen.) Looking for a well-insulated toaster oven that doesn't get too hot? Check out the Breville Smart Oven. Not only is the Breville Smart Oven well insulated, but it also consistently gets the best reviews and ratings of any toaster oven available, even besting those that cost more.
Even and Accurate Cooking
Think about how you intend to use your toaster oven. Will you use it occasionally for reheating items or on a regular basis for cooking raw food from scratch? Cooks that fall into the second category will want to choose a toaster oven that has even and accurate cooking. Otherwise, you could run into food safety issues that could ultimately result in food poisoning. Unfortunately, this usually means spending a little extra for a toaster oven with upgraded heating elements, such as quartz.
Controls: Digital or Dials?
This is one area where personal preference prevails. Some people love the simplicity offered by old-fashioned toaster oven control dials. Others want the best technology has to offer and would prefer modern digital controls. Either way, look for any issues regarding ease of use within the toaster oven reviews. Problems can pop up with both types of toaster oven controls.
This is one area where honest customer toaster oven reviews are absolutely crucial. Look to the individual reviews to see how reliable the toaster oven you want is. When a particular model has consistent reliability issues, we will state that in the overall toaster oven review we provide. This way you won't waste time during your search reading countless toaster oven reviews for inferior units.
Hungry for more? Check out Toaster Oven Cookbooks. You'll find cookbooks designed to help you get the most out of your new toaster oven and honest customer reviews to help you choose the best one. We have also set up a section with free toaster oven recipes designed to help you get the most out of your new appliance. You'll find tabs for both the toaster oven cookbooks and the free toaster oven recipes at the top of this page.