I recently tested the T-Fal Avante Elite 6 slice convection toaster oven with a separate warming compartment so that I could provide a review to those considering buying this toaster oven. I replaced my usual toaster oven with this one for five weeks to get an idea of how it performs with regular day to day usage. Here is my review, plus you'll find my ratings for this toaster oven at the bottom of the page.
This countertop toaster oven will cost you about $115 including shipping, putting this model about mid-level as far as price range goes. This toaster oven has something unique: it is fitted with a separate warming compartment on the top, adding to the versatility of this model. The shape of this unit is similar to the ones introduced a few decades ago with a front that slopes inward toward the top, although the digital controls do give it a more updated feel. It is heavier than most toaster ovens in this price range, which lends to the impression of it being well-constructed.
I like to start out a review period with making toast, since this is one area where many toasters ovens fail to impress. This T-Fal toaster oven took longer than most to complete the toasting process (almost four and a half minutes) which led me to expect dried out bread. I was pleasantly surprised by the results. I won't say it was the best toast I've ever had, but it was good.
I had planned to roast a whole chicken for dinner the evening the oven had arrived. I was a little skeptical that it would fit, even though the manufacturer's picture shows a beautifully roasted chicken inside the oven. I was again pleasantly surprised as my four pound bird not only fit inside but came out beautifully cooked.
My third cooking task was whole grain blueberry scones. Whole grain baked goods require even cooking more so than those prepared with refined grains. They have a tendency to dry out more quickly. I am happy to report that my scones turned out perfectly, a sure sign of even heating.
Most toaster ovens have a maximum temperature of 450 degrees F, while this one tops out at 500 degrees F. That makes this model perfect for quickly charring a rib eye steak. I checked the temperature several times during the review period to see if it held true to its settings. It was always within 5 degrees, even at the higher temperatures.
I wasn't sure how much use I'd get out of the warming tray, but I must admit I've grown quite fond of it. I can toss frozen vegetables or a loaf of French bread in there while dinner is finishing up.
This toaster oven is better insulated than most, keeping it relatively cool while in use. This also means it wastes less energy since the heat stays inside, where it belongs. I found the controls to be very simple and easy to use. The entire oven and included pans are also easy to clean; the non-stick surfaces work very well.
I was very impressed with this toaster oven throughout the review period. It does everything a toaster oven should, and it does it well.
All ratings are on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest possible rating
Appearance rating: 6
True to set temperature rating: 10
Even heating/cooking rating: 9
Overall rating: 9