There has been a considerable evolution in toaster ovens – from simple devices that your grandma owned to make toast and tuna melts to something today for fulfilling your culinary needs. In this era, you now have the option to purchase models from small ovens to over sized toasters. However, the most crucial thing you must consider while buying a toaster oven is how you plan on using it. Will you primarily use it to make toast? Does it have to be large enough to fit a frozen pizza? Are you going to cook baked potato in toaster oven? Will it be a permanent setting on your counter or do you intend to store it when not being used?
You have landed on the right place if you want to know what features you should be looking for while buying a toaster oven. You certainly want the best countertop oven for cooking delicious toaster oven recipes for yourself and family. Thus, make sure you consider these factors.
Factors To Consider While Buying a Toaster Oven
1. Types of Toaster Oven
There are a few different types of toaster ovens. The truth is, the word toaster oven has come to have an exceptionally broad concept, often including the less complicated units that are typically referred to just as toasters and that exclusively toast bread and bagels of food that will fit into the slots.
But, you must know that the true toaster oven will do a lot more than just toasting bread and bagels. Your modern toaster oven is a versatile kitchen appliance designed to give you a new experience with comfort.
- Countertop Toaster Ovens: Countertop ovens are basically used to warm up, brown or toast different meals, and in case you’re hoping to purchase a toaster oven for the accommodation of speedy cooking, then this might be the best unit for you. They are commonly big enough to fit somewhere in the range of two to six cuts of toast or bagels at once. Countertop ovens frequently give settings for the distinctive ways you’d want your food prepared.
- Countertop Convection Oven: Convection ovens are getting more and more prominent as they use technology that displaces the hot air inside the oven around so that the food is heated more evenly. Food cooks quicker and at lesser temperatures in these ovens than in a conventional oven, which in turn will save you both money and time. You can browse online through countertop convection oven reviews, and you will know that this is a great option to go with to cook a larger variety of food with quality.
- Rotisserie Oven: A rotisserie countertop oven has a certain use as its top priority: cooking meat. This type of toaster oven features a rotating spit that guarantees the meats you cook are prepared more evenly, and additionally turn out pleasant and succulent. Some rotisserie ovens are big enough to fit an entire chicken (or even a couple), so they will take up somewhat counter space.
2. Size Of Toaster Oven
Your kitchen has a fixed counter space to adjust with. So, before you buy a toaster oven, you need to consider how much space will you be willing to dedicate to your countertop oven. Toaster ovens are large, and depending on your use, they can be very big! What’s actually that you plan to do with your toaster oven? Would you just toast or prepare meals? What quantities you would like to cook? Do you need to fit in a 10-inch pizza? Or do you just want to toast 4 bread slices at a time?
If you are inclining toward buying a small toaster oven to save some space on your counter, you might not do the justice with what toaster oven is capable of. The reason they come in different sizes and have large capacity is because you can prepare lots of delicious and healthy toaster oven recipes. Make sure to check the exterior and interior measurements on models before you purchase. Avoid purchasing a model just to find out that your most loved pie tin or oven plate won’t fit.
3. Uses of Toaster Oven
Once you have decided on the size, questions like these must filling up your mind:
- Can you put foil in a toaster oven?
- Can you bake cookies in a toaster oven?
- How to cook kabobs in the oven?
- How to cook baked potato in toaster oven?
If you are making an investment in buying a kitchen appliance, make sure it will make a big difference to your lifestyle. Go beyond than just making toast. Buy a model that will let you use your countertop oven for baking cookies and cooking kabobs as well.
4. Price Of Product
Do you want to buy the best countertop oven for your kitchen? Or do you want to settle on something modest and simple? You don’t have to go for the high-end brands of toaster oven if you’re new to it. The ones that will cook the most are also going to cost you more than the simple versions of these ovens.
To your surprise, there are some of the best toaster ovens under $100 that will do quite a lot for you. Some of the best brands that offer toaster ovens under $100 are:
- Black and Decker
- Hamilton Beach
Functionality wise, these ovens are the best bids even for the existing users of toaster ovens. The under $100 toaster ovens of these brands have convection property, come with a warranty, have pizza size capacity between 11-12 inch, and some of them even have digital controls. What’s more, they are not just good enough to toast your bread but can also broil, bake, defrost, warm, can cook bagel & pizza, and some can even do rotisserie! Doesn’t that sound exciting? It is safe to say that these are close to a full-service conventional oven.
You have seen your friends using a Breville Smart Oven and must be wondering why haven’t we included that in the best toaster ovens under $100 list. Well, the answer to that is people have recently reported some Breville toaster oven problems. There have been issues with its thermal fuse, heating elements pulsing on and off, LCD glitches, unevenly cooked pizza, steam coming out of the unit, auto rack coming out too far, etc. Though these problems do carry a solution with them, we have only highlighted them here for user awareness. And for those of you who are facing any of the Breville toaster oven problems, just do a little surfing on the internet and you will find your solution.
5. Toaster Oven Settings
You must familiarise yourself with the toaster oven settings before taking off. One way to do that is either learn through tutorials or visit your friend who already owns it. A simple know-how about its basic settings and functions will take your use of the toaster oven a long way.
The technology keeps changing. So, if you’re replacing your old toaster oven with a new one, some functions may vary, but the operating principle will remain same for most brands. However, the type of toaster oven you have (simple or a convection one) will change toaster oven settings for you. The entry level toaster oven will have basic settings of broil, toast and bake. As you move up the higher-level models and brands, the settings might also include defrost and roast.
The settings on various toaster oven brands will vary according to the maker. Therefore, it is important to carefully read the manufacturer’s guidelines before you start using your toaster oven. This does not just guarantee that you get the best results out of your oven, you will likewise ensure the security of yourself and those in your family.
Employing the correct settings additionally, ensures that whatever you are cooking will turn out how you want it. Also, make sure that you use the toaster oven only for what that particular model has been designed for.
And now back to what we were talking about, all of the factors discussed above constitute for the modern toaster oven. There could be more, but the basic factors should be prioritised before you give a thought to fancy features. Be that as it may, get a toaster oven that does more than just toast. You will be delighted with how it comes in handy, particularly when you quickly want to warm your food or defrost something. Also, you will save quite many bucks on electricity by using your little toaster oven rather than the big one.