Black and Decker toaster ovens are amongst the most popular available today. Black and Decker is a well-recognized brand with a long-standing reputation. So is a Black and Decker toaster oven the right choice for you?
One of the most appealing attributes of a Black and Decker toaster oven is the price. They are very affordable, with their cheapest models costing less than $30, often with shipping included. Their most expensive model costs less than $90. That is much lower than most other brands. Are Black and Decker toaster ovens just cheap garbage or worth your time?
Black and Decker does offer several toaster oven models. Each of them has a similar shape: straight sides and back with a curved front. The curve helps to accommodate larger round food items, such as a pizza. Straight out of the box you'll notice they do not have the same solid, well-constructed feel of the higher end models. But heavier materials cost money and these toaster ovens do not feel as flimsy as some other budget brands. It is certainly a case of "you get what you pay for."
All of the Black and Decker toaster ovens use the same type of heating elements. They work well and are suited to the small cooking environment. They provide mostly even cooking and they do it quickly. You won't, however, get the same type of fast, even heating associated with a convection toaster oven with Black and Decker's standard models. They do offer one with convection for about $90. Even with the convection feature I recorded a temperature differential of about 10 degrees F from the top to bottom shelf, but overall the hot spots are eliminated.
These ovens do cook the food quite well. All of the models have temperature settings adjustable up to 450 degrees F, which is hot enough to properly cook and brown food. When I checked the temperature at its highest setting, all models were within 5 degrees. This is pretty impressive for the price.
As the oven cooks, you will notice the exterior gets very hot. Again, this is a matter of cost. Insulation prevents this from happening in more expensive models, but with the Black and Deckers there is nothing more than a sheet of metal between the inside heat and outside world. All of the models do have handles that stay cool for safety, but this doesn't always prevent burns from happening. Sometimes it is all too easy to accidentally touch the sides or top while the oven is in use, especially if there are small children in the kitchen. This may not be an issue for you unless you are accident prone.
All in all, I feel the Black and Decker toaster ovens really do offer great value for the money. If you have realistic expectations, you can expect years of use out of these countertop ovens. As long as you don't buy one expecting it to perform like a $200 toaster oven, you are not likely to be disappointed.