Best Toaster Ovens

by Sam

Tips and reviews to help you choose the best toaster oven for your needs - and budget ;-)

My guess is that you are here because you are looking for a small, i.e. mini, toaster oven or grill that fits in your caravan, motor-home, RV, university dorm, first apartment, boat, office, guest flat, hall of residence, garden shed, man cave or ...
You see there are a lot of places where it comes in handy to have a toaster oven or a mini grill ;-) And don't forget, they are portable also! There is also a lot of choice around when you are looking to buy one, so much that it can be sometimes confusing. To make your life easier, ask yourself a few simple questions:

Before You Buy a Toaster Oven

Where will you put the toaster oven or mini grill?
This is not only important for choosing the right size, but you have also to take into consideration how close the toaster oven or grill will be to things that can be affected / damaged by heat and therefor how well insulated your new, small oven or grill has to be. Most toaster ovens or grills are of the table top variety, only a few are meant to be build in.

How often will you use it?
Do you only plan to use it during your vacations? Just to warm pizzas and bagels, or do you want to cook full-sized meals for more then one person in it?

What do you want to cook with it?
Similar to the above; do you mainly plan to use it for reheating and toasting or do you also need the possibility to broil for example vegetables and / or to roast a whole turkey for Thanksgiving in your toaster oven grill? Do you need additional burners for cooking or do you have already a stove in your kitchen?

Here some great little toaster ovens that will fulfill different needs:

My Top Suggestion

Cheaper than the one on top of this page, but the essential features are similar:

  • 1800 Watts, strong enough to quickly toast, broil and bake your meals and snacks.
  • Large interior, an 11 in pizza, 4 bagels or 6 normal slices of toast will fit easily, but not at the same time obviously ;-)
  • Non-sticky interior for easy cleaning. If you hate cleaning as much as I do, that is important!
  • Cool stainless steel look that will fit most kitchen designs.
  • Cool to the touch door handle.
  • Includes all the necessary pans, trays and racks. Click on the image at the right to see what all is included for this really affordable price!
  • Lots of safety features like oven-on indicator light and auto shut-off.
  • The crumbs tray slides out from the front, making it easy to clean. Did I mentioned how much I detest cleaning? ;-)

This is, at the time of writing, the best-selling toaster oven on Amazon, and for a good reason! The price-feature ratio is hard to beat!

Presto Pizzazz Pizza Oven

Now this one I call an innovation. If you are only after a pizza oven, with the odd pie and quiche thrown in, this might be your fun solution! Seriously, this pizza oven is a real “looker”.

If you are looking for a pizza or toaster oven for yourself or for a great gift for a pizza lover, you just found it. Apart of pizzas and the like, it also works great for all sorts of “flat food” like cheese toasts and other toast varieties, biscuits, cookies, chicken wings and the like. Just be creative and experiment. As long as the food doesn't touch the top heating element, all should be fine!

Now how does it actually work and what can I do exactly with it? Glad you asked!

The Presto Pizzazz Pizza Oven is a 1200+ Watts countertop oven that bakes pizzas in less of half the time that a conventional oven needs (taking in account the time the traditional ovens need to heat up). Top and bottom heat can be regulated completely separately so that you can bake your pizza exactly to perfection and this pizza maker is suitable for fresh and frozen pizzas between 7 and 12 inches. Plus you can bake and grill also a wide variety of other “flat food” on it.

Further features include a timer and an automatic shut-off (security feature). The biggest time saver with this gadget for pizza aficionados is that it is good to go from the moment you turn it on and that it doesn't need time to preheat. This makes it for sure the fastest pizza oven available! Are you tired of soggy pizza? This mini pizza oven is exactly what you are looking for, mini it might be in size, but it is surely great in results! Do you now get the impression that I am excited about this kitchen gadget? Right, I am! ;-) By the way, it is also great for pizza freshly made during a party! Your guests will love this addition to your hot buffet.

Simplest and Cheapest

You can't beat the price, and if you are an one person household on a small budget that looks for a toaster oven that, uhm?, makes toasts! and has no superfluous bells and whistles, the 'Ps Compact Toaster Oven Broiler' made by Hamilton Beach might fit your bill perfectly!

Just big enough for two normal slices of toast and with an easy-clean, non-sticky interior it is a great solution for very small kitchen and cooks that don't need any of the advanced features of the more expensive models.

Useful Toaster Oven Accessories

Most toaster ovens come with all the essentials, like racks, trays etc but I still would recommend two additional purchases, none of them costing an arm or a leg ;-)

A Cookbook

Cooking with a toaster oven is not just cooking in a smaller oven! There are a lot of tips and tricks to learn so that you can make the most out of your new kitchen gadget. Also if you are lazy or math-challenged and don't want to convert 'big four person recipes' into 'one person portions that fit into a toaster oven' a good toaster oven cookbook is a God send.

An Oven Thermometer

All ovens lie when it comes to how hot they are ;-) - at least in my experience! Having an accurate oven thermometer allows you to get used to your new kitchen gadget quickly and to avoid burnt or under-cooked food.

Updated: 03/06/2012, Sam
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Sam on 07/15/2012

You are welcome Sheri, glad to meet another toaster oven fan ;-) And yes, using a thermometer is a good idea when it comes to baking ;-) SY

Sheri_Oz on 07/14/2012

I have been using a toaster oven instead of regular oven for a few years now because I have been moving around a lot. I should get myself a thermometer as I still have trouble with baking because I can't figure out how hot (or not) the oven really gets. Thanks for this.

Sam on 03/10/2012

Do so, Mladen, and thanks for the comment. I forgot to add some important points in this article, might add them later:
Toaster ovens save money and energy because you don't need to heat up your big oven for one slice of pizza and toaster ovens are great in summer as they heat up your kitchen far less than a big oven. ;-)

Mladen on 03/10/2012

Thank you for great info you put in this article! I have almost forgotten about toaster ovens. :D But I might try to get one for the house.

Sam on 03/08/2012

Thanks bynackmor! Funny how many people think they are not in use anymore ;-) Yes, the last toaster oven is best for people that just want to reheat the occasional pizza slice and / or make a toast.

Sam on 03/06/2012

Yes, we had one of these mini grills as I was, uhm, a bit younger ;-) and it made a delicious Toast Hawaii! They are actually quite popular right now, especially with people that live in their, first, small, apartment!

Lissie on 03/06/2012

Amazing I remember toaster ovens from pre-microwave days - hadn't realised they had survived! Though I agree they are very useful in holiday homes and RVs

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