Toaster Oven Buying Guide For 2015
For some people, a toaster oven is a must have appliance for a home. They can’t live without toasts, or the other home baked stuff- which you get from a toaster oven. It’s true that all toaster ovens can make toasts, but some toaster ovens have certain exceptional features. The idea of writing this guide is to help you buy a good and reliable toaster oven with all the features you expect. By going through this toaster buying guide, you will know the most important things to consider before you buy a toaster oven.
For your benefit, I have added a comparison chart at the end of this buying guide, so you can easily check the price and other features and go directly to the selling pages where you can see the additional features.
Brand – Although there is nothing to do with cooking regarding the brand, it is something you have to consider before buying a toaster oven.
Some people say that companies having bigger histories, have more experience regarding consumer needs. This is true upto a certain extent. The reputation of a brand can cost a bit of your budget because highly reputed brands have slightly expensive items due to the high demand. The most popular brands for the production of toaster ovens are the Black & Decker, Cuisinart, Breville, Panasonic, Oster and KitchenAid. Out site includes toaster oven reviews from all above brands.
Cooking Modes – What things do you expect from you toaster oven? Roasting, Reheating? Baking? Cooking chicken? Or to keep your food warm? Or what?
Above said are the most commonly used functions of a toaster oven. But you may have even more things to do with a toaster oven. Before you buy a toaster oven, make sure it’s capable of doing everything you expect.
To know whether a toaster oven is capable of something, there is one quick way for that. Check for the preset cooking functions of a toaster oven to know what it can do. These functions can vary from 3 to 15 according to the price of the toaster oven.
Size – When you think about the cooking functions of the toaster oven, you have to consider both external and internal measures. The external size gives you an idea on how much space will it cost in your kitchen.
The internal size tells you what you can cook inside. If you are going to cook a whole chicken inside, you must have plenty of space for that. If you plan to do only toasting bread, then a smaller one would be better.
The interior size of a toaster oven is given by cubic foot. Those come in various sizes as 0.35, 0.6, 1 cubic foot etc. In addition to that there is another basic way of telling the size by mentioning the number of slices of bread that can fit inside the oven. Some manufacturers also mention the size of a pizza which fits inside.
All our reviews contain a section about the dimension of the toaster oven.
Toaster Oven Types – There are various types of toaster ovens available. They have different functions as well as certain technologies. The commonly found toaster ovens are of the following types.
Basic Toaster Ovens – A typical basic toaster oven can do functions like toasting, baking, roasting and keeping warm. These are less expensive and come with dials and knobs. They don’t have high end technologies like, LCD displays, touch buttons or convection fans. But there is nothing bad about the durability or the functionality. Everything seems perfect except the missing high end technologies.
Convection Toaster Ovens – Cost convection toaster ovens are bit expensive and have tech rich features. LCD displays, touch sensitive control panels, so many preset cooking functions are common in these toaster ovens. The function of the convection feature is to activate a fan inside the toaster oven, so that the hot air circulates evenly and faster than in a typical basic oven. It allows faster cooking (about 20% faster) and even heating. Due to the efficient heating in convection toaster ovens, there is electricity saving too.
Controls – Although controls are not a big deal when thinking for a toaster oven, but later you may find controls are what help you cook a meal. Easy and well designed controls make a toaster oven much user friendly. When you have a toaster oven with a badly designed control panel, you will find the toaster oven is less flexible despite how expensive it is.
I have included a detailed review about controls in all my toaster oven reviews in this site. When you consider buying a toaster oven, always pay attention to its control panel. Are they big enough to press quickly, will the lettering fade by the time, are the knobs too hard to turn on and off… Make sure you ask these question yourself before you buy a specific toaster oven.
Additional Features – Toaster ovens come with optional features which makes the cooking enjoyable. Auto eject trays, non hot exteriors, LCD displays, touch sensitive buttons, automatic power off are some of those additional features you may find in toaster ovens. Some even have interior lightings with which you can observe the interior.
Extra Accessories – Modern toaster ovens come with certain accessories such as Baking trays, pizza trays, crumb trays and even roasting inserts. This looks like a reward you are winning for buying the toaster ovens, and these help you in several ways. First, those will save you money, so you don’t have to buy these must have accessories from the market. Secondly, you know that these fit perfectly to your toaster ovens. Although there are so many aftermarket accessories, you can’t sure whether those will fit inside or not. But these do. Thirdly, you save your time finding for those aftermarket products. Everything is in place when you have these ready.
Appearance – Although you may not agree with me, I count the appearance as one, you must consider before buying a toaster oven. It would be a problem if your toaster oven doesn’t match with the rest of the appliances in your kitchen. The color is the first thing you must consider here. But most toaster ovens designed today are so stylish and look highly appealing and fit nicely into most kitchens.
Price – In most cases the price of a toaster oven ranges from about $20 – $500. There are some which are even more expensive but this is the average. With the increasing price, the features of a toaster oven too increase. The less expensive ovens usually have less functionality. But even though you have a bigger budget, a less expensive oven could be your perfect match.
Best Toaster Ovens of 2015
This is a famous American company which was started in late 1971 by an inventor called Carl Sontheimer. They have a large range of kitchen products such as Blenders, Ovens, Coffee Makers, Food Processors and Rice Cookers. Having a long history and a good experience in consumer needs, Cuisinart manufactures durable and high quality kitchenware. They have toaster ovens ranging from about $20 to $500 with various functionality. Features such as automatic shut off, even-shade monitors are present in Cuisinart Toaster Ovens. Not only that, auto eject racks, such sensitive control panels and convection baking too are common features in Cuisinart toaster ovens.
This is an Australian manufacturer which was started in mid 1932, by the time of Second World War. After selling more than 400,000 units of a sandwich toasters in 1974 it became a household name in Australia. After their initiation in other countries, Breville even became the generic word for a toaster oven. In addition to toaster ovens they manufacture kitchen appliances such as contact grills, kettles, blenders and food processors. Breville has a wide variety of toaster ovens under various price tags and cool features. Non-stick interiors, auto eject racks, Element IQ technology and convection fans are the common features usually present in Breville toaster models.
Black & Decker
This is an American company started in 1910 as a small machine shop in Baltimore. Inventing several patent products such as the hand drill they leaded the market for power tools for a very long time. Their stepping into the manufacturing of kitchen products was very successful with the reputation they had gained with power tools. They also produce juicers, coffee makers, food processors and also blenders as kitchen appliances. Black & Decker toaster ovens are rich in high tech features. They have pre programmed cooking settings, monitored shade controllers and touch sensitive buttons in their toaster ovens. Their toaster ovens come in various sizes, to fit 2 or 3 to 9 or 10 slices of bread.
This is an American company owned by Whirlpool Corporation. It was started in 1919 by The Hobart Corporation to produce stand mixers. After a lot of product ranges, they started manufacturing toaster ovens with a big success. Their first toaster oven manufactured is recorded to have sold more than 200,000 within the first 6 months and those have been extremely popular. Nowadays, KitchenAid toaster ovens come loaded with many features and those are extremely user-friendly. They all have non stick interiors which allow easy cleaning. Convection fans, LCD displays and touch sensitive control panels are optional features found in bit expensive devices. We have reviewed many KitchenAid toaster ovens in this website.
Panasonic is a quite familiar Japanese brand to most of us. By the 2012 market, it has been the world’s 4 th largest television maker. Being a Japanese company Panasonic is familiar to us as a company that produces quality devices which lasts for decades. It was started in 1918 and currently it is headquartered in Osaka, Japan. Panasonic toaster ovens are rich in high techs such as convection fans, shade controllers etc. They have certain features in their less expensive items that are normally present under higher price tags of other brands. Auto shut off timers, auto doors, non stick interiors and user friendly control panels are common in most Panasonic toaster ovens.