Best Countertop Oven Reviews
Ovens are some of humanity’s oldest inventions – the first ones dates back to 29,000 BC, were used to cook mammoth meat, and therefore were difficult to do countertop oven reviews on. Over 30,000 years later we’re still using these machines, albeit with a couple modifications. The modern oven is still a pretty big thing – often weighing as much as an adult human and moved by loading onto a cart. There are smaller versions of this machine though – in the form of the countertop oven.
Toaster Oven Convenience
The countertop oven brings all the convenience of a traditional oven in a much smaller size. Also called toaster ovens, these machines can easily toast, roast, broil, and cook just about anything that can be fit inside of its interior. While they might not have as much space as traditional ovens, these machines can still feed a typical family of four. It seems as thought the typical space requirement is similar to many microwave ovens. Of course they all vary in size, but this is a pretty good estimation of the basic space required. Read on for some safety recommendations regarding the overall footprint needed, in order to eliminate any fire risks.
Features & Toaster Oven Technology
Included in many of these machines are state of the art technology that can greatly alleviate your cooking and allow an ease of use considered impossible before. Before you jump into getting a countertop oven though, there are a few things you need to know. As the market is saturated with different brands, styles, and features, this can make it really confusing to see what the best oven is for you. By the end of this toaster oven reviews guide, you’ll know what to look out for, what the best countertop toaster ovens are, along with a few maintenance and safety tips to get you started.
What to Look out for
Size of the Oven
This first thing you need to look out for when in the market for a countertop oven is what size you want. If you are just looking to cook some toast and rolls, than a smaller oven will suffice for you. If the goal is to cook a pizza or a whole chicken, look at models that boast an extra large interior.
Inside Racking and Pans
The size isn’t the only part of the interior you should be looking at either, as countertop oven manufacturers often include various racks and pans for the inside. Check to also see if the racks can be moved – the more you can manually adjust these pieces the more cooking you can do.
Control Panel Features
From here it is good to look at what the control panel has to offer. Once again, what you are looking for should be influenced by what you intend to cook – often times many higher end machines come with a smorgasbord of different preset options like broil, roast, toast, slow cook, etc. that you might not need. Some machines have knobs, buttons, or sometimes both – while buttons give more fine tune control, the knobs are easier to use.
Maximum Temperature & Timer Settings
Also look to see the maximum temperature and timer settings for the oven you are looking for – temperature usually goes up to 450°F with a timer that is typically anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes.
Aesthetics & Easy Cleaning
Finally you gotta take a look at the aesthetics of the machine. Some may say that aesthetics and style is a personal preference, and shouldn’t be within the scope of a countertop oven reviews article, we feel otherwise.
However, in the spirit of trying to stay objective, we will simply provide a few guidelines to help your thought process, when shopping for your new appliance. Go here for our Ultimate Small Appliance Buying Guide. This is sure to help!
While the overall style of toaster ovens is pretty uniform across brands, some companies do offer different colors and styles. The most common colors to find are red, black, and stainless steel. Of these, stainless is considered the easiest to clean, but also shows the most amount of build up.
Best Countertop Ovens
To help you in your search for a countertop oven here is a carefully picked list of the best ones on the market today. This list give a pretty large cross section of the highest quality machines with the most features.
Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven with Convection
This Wolf Gourmet oven comes with a half a dozen cooking modes – toast, warm, roast, proof, broil, and bake. Which is great because that means you can cook just about whatever you want in the way you want with the three flexible rack positions.
Inside is a built in temperature probe that can be easily used with one hand and gives you a quick temperature reading.
To maximize the cooking power this machine uses convection – the fan forced airflow distributes and circulates heat evenly, allowing for your food to be cooked all over at the same time. To help with this process there are 5 heating elements that provide consistent heat throughout.
The outside has two easy to use knobs for temperature and timer control. This Wolf Gourmet machine comes in either black, red, or stainless steel.
Customers like how high quality this oven is – with the built in probe in particularly being a nice bonus. Most importantly people comment that this product is great to use because of how easy it is to operate and how consistent the temperature stays.
Oster is known for making incredibly well made products, and this countertop oven is no exception. This digital machine has a simple to use operation panel with soft press buttons. You can expect to find buttons for defrost, toast, bake, broil, and pizza, all of which helps cut back on time spent cooking your food.
The dual racks inside are big enough to hold a pair of large pizzas. The LED panel shows the temperature and time – cook anywhere from 200 to 450°F for up to 90 minutes. This extra large interior can easily be cleaned with just a bit of elbow grease on your part. The oven itself cooks with convection heating – this oscillates the heated up air evenly throughout the interior, giving an all over cooking without any cold spots.
Users mention the prodigious size of this Oster oven was the main selling point for them and they weren’t disappointed. Most importantly this countertop machine doesn’t get too hot – this is important because that means it doesn’t inefficiently radiate away too much heat.
Breville Smart Countertop Pro Oven
An impressive machine by Breville that brings countertop ovens to the 21st century. The built in digital screen gives a play by play on all the setting and features of this oven.
Each heating element can be specifically adjusted to cook in the way that you want. You also have the choice of 10 pre-set function like slow cook, warm, reheat, pizza, broil, roast, bagel, toast, bake, and cookies.
Most impressive is the slow cook function which turns to warm after the slow cook cycle is completed. Inside there are 5 quartz heating elements that move 1800 watts of power efficiently.
For ease of use the inside has a built in light that you can turn on and off.
This machine comes in black sesame, cranberry red, and stainless steel colors.
Reviewers like to say that Breville make exceptional products of the highest caliber, and this machine doesn’t miss that mark. One of the many positives of this machine is it’s utter versatility – able to cook a plethora of different types of food easily.
Morning Star Infrared Convection Countertop Oven
Using infrared technology, this Morning Star countertop oven can cook ultra fast with its no preheat necessary feature.
This stainless steel oven is easy to use and even easier to clean – just get a little bit of cleaner and a rag to wipe it off after use.
The extra large interior can hold large items like a full chicken or a dozen slices of bread.
The fan forced heat distributes the heat around evenly, giving you an all over cooking for whatever you are trying to make. Which should be a lot of things considering it comes with many preset buttons for quick selection.
Back inside you’ll find a removable crumb tray, wire rack, and baking tray all with non-stick coating.
People who use this machine are impressed with how well the food comes out. Many comment it’s like getting food at restaurant quality.
Also notable is how many things this Morning Star convection oven can cook – everything from french fries and pizza, to chicken and salmon.
KitchenAid Convection Countertop Oven
KitchenAid is a great brand that makes a wide variety of different machines. Their countertop oven has 9 pre-programmed functions such as reheat, cookie, toast, pizza bake, broil, keep warm, bagel, and asado roast.
This last function is probably the most impressive as it adjusts from a brutal searing to the perfect temperature for the best roasting.
The timer on front is easily adjusted all the way to 120 minutes. Inside there is enough room to cook a pair of 12” pizzas.
Being stainless steel and having a non-stick coating inside, this machine is incredibly easy to clean.
KitchenAid has included a broiling rack, cooling rack, multipurpose pan, and a drip tray. This machine also uses convection technology, allowing for an even cook every time.
This countertop oven is often compared to a conventional oven – cooking just as well if not better than them. This machine preheats quickly, has quality controls, and operates almost silently.
While this is not one of the larger machines, it has good functions, and KitchenAid quality. Being one of the best priced machines in this level of countertop oven, really makes it a serious contender, and an oven deserving of consideration.
This concludes the actual products section of our countertop oven reviews research. Keep on reading to learn how to take care of these handy kitchen appliances.
Toaster Oven Setup and Upkeep Tips
Before you attempt to use your new countertop oven, make sure you look at all the safety precautions. For one, don’t touch any of the hot surfaces – when the machine is on just use the handles and knobs. You’re going to want to keep at least 3” to either side of the oven and 12” above to avoid the potential of a fire.
Countertop ovens almost universally use a traditional 115 volt outlet, so make sure you follow all the necessary safety procedures with electricity.
Make sure whatever you put inside the oven is bakeware safe – anything made of plastic or certain metals might not be usable.
While every machine is different, there are a few market standards that come with every machine. Make sure to use the included non-stick pan in case you are cooking something that can melt. To further minimize any cleanup reinforce this non-stick spray with a likewise cooking spray.
For best results you should only use oven approved containers that are smaller than the oven itself – if any of the sides are touching the heating element, then that probably means your container is too big.
Make sure to regularly change the crumb tray, as build up can be a potential fire hazard or attract bugs.
When cleaning, make sure to unplug the oven and take all the racks and pans out. Make sure everything is cooled down to room temperature before you attempt to clean it. Use a typical kitchen cleaning spray with a rag.
If you have a stainless steel model you should go ahead and use a stainless steel specific cleaner. Make sure to avoid any abrasive cleaners or aggressive scouring pads as these could chip off the non-stick surface or scratch your machine. The rack and pan can be cleaned with dishwashing liquid in the sink.
Countertop ovens are a snazzy machine that offer the cooking versatility of a traditional oven in a fraction of the size.
- If it’s affordability you are looking for, take a gander at the Oster model oven – despite its relatively low cost it still offers an incredible amount of features.
- For the most customization there is the Breville machine that comes with smart technology to control each burner element.
- The KitchenAid too is a tough machine with plenty of cooking functions and extra long 120 minute timer, priced very affordably.
- The Morning Star using infrared technology to cut out preheating completely, while it is the Wolf Gourmet machine that gives the perfect balance of features, size, and quality.
- Regardless of what machine you get, make sure to check the user’s manual on how to properly use it. Cook with only pre-approved items and make sure to give proper ventilation on the sides to avoid any burning or fires.
- Use your new countertop oven correctly and it’ll work great for many year to come.
- Any of these countertop ovens can greatly improve your kitchen life by easily cooking just about whatever you need.
These machines are great for a busy college student or a big family, as they offer a wide variety of different sizes and features. Now go out there and get the machine that is best for you.