I recently tried out the West Bend 74766 Countertop 1500 Watt Convection Toaster Oven for a period of four weeks. I did this to provide an in-depth review to consumers considering purchasing this model. I banished my usual toaster oven to storage for the duration of the review period so that I could see how this West Bend toaster oven performs with daily usage. Here is my review, plus you'll find my ratings for this toaster oven at the bottom of the page.
This toaster oven costs about $60, making this a very budget-friendly option, especially amongst models with convection baking. I removed my new toaster oven from the box and to be honest, it does have the look and feel of an inexpensive appliance. The black and stainless steel finishes do give it somewhat of an updated look, but it comes together in a way that just looks cheap (in my opinion.) Closer inspection reveals thin metal and an overall feel of a inexpensively constructed item. However, this is an inexpensive product and you do tend to get what you pay for. This toaster oven comes equipped with old-fashioned dials rather than digital controls. This can be a plus for some who appreciate simplicity or a con for those who long for more high-tech items.
I like to start out a toaster oven review period with making toast, since this is an area where many toaster ovens struggle to impress. That was certainly the case with this West Bend toaster oven. The toast was not terrible, but a bit too much like dried out bread for my tastes. A regular toaster does a much better job, giving you well toasted bread before it dries out through and through.
My next task for this review period was baking bone-in chicken quarters. The convection baking did a fair job of cooking it evenly and the heating elements were strong enough to produce a good amount of browning. During the baking process I noticed two things. First, the outside of this toaster oven gets extremely hot. This is normal with inexpensive models, but still something you'll want to be aware of. Second, the convection fan is quite loud. I have a home office not far from where I keep my toaster oven so this is a problem for me. This may not present an issue in a kitchen that is used only for cooking.
I checked the temperature several time throughout the review period to see how true to the settings this toaster oven is. It was often off by 10 to 15 degrees F. Not surprisingly, I had some issues with cooking times for baked goods throughout the review period. This is one toaster oven which requires you to check often on food that is being cooked, to ensure proper results are achieved.
Overall, I would say this is a decent toaster oven but there are better ones out there, even in this price range. While this West Bend model does a decent job at most tasks, it does not do an exceptional job at any task. There is really nothing about this unit to set it above the competition.
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: 5
Even heating/cooking rating: 5
Overall rating: 5