If you’re still using a pop-up toaster and can spare the counter space, you might want to consider trading up for a toaster oven. This much more versatile kitchen appliance includes several cooking functions—in addition to toasting slices of bread and bagels, it can reheat leftovers, crisp up frozen pizzas, defrost frozen foods, bake casseroles and sheet pan dinners, and lightly fry veggies and chicken wings (in fact, some of our favourite air fryers are also toaster ovens with a convection setting).
Our top picks can even roast chicken or broil salmon and function as a conventional oven. Through all our years of testing, we found toaster ovens are getting faster and better at toasting than they used to be.
The Breville Smart Oven Pro(available at Amazon) is the best toaster oven we tested and we believe it's worth the investment. Once you buy it, you may never use a full-size convection oven again. But we also found a great, inexpensive model in the Hamilton Beach(available at Amazon) for quick melts, convenience foods, and perhaps a few baked potatoes.
Here are the best toaster ovens we tested ranked, in order:
Breville Smart Oven Pro
Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Oven with Convection
Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven
Cuisinart Chef's Convection Toaster Oven
Instant Omni Plus
GE Calrod Convection Toaster Oven
Cosori Original Air Fryer Toaster Oven
Calphalon Cool Touch Countertop Oven
DeLonghi Livenza EO141150M Digital Compact Oven
Black and Decker 4-Slice Toaster Oven TB1303SB
Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven with Double Infrared Heating
Hamilton Beach 6-Slice Capacity Toaster Oven
Breville Smart Oven Pro
The beautifully designed, stainless steel Breville Smart Oven Pro gives you an energy-efficient second oven, limited only by its size. The toasting is incredibly even and consistent, aside from the stripes left by the wire rack—common to all of the products we've tested. Whether you’re heating up a frozen pizza, baking refrigerated flaky biscuits, or broiling chicken breasts, you’ll get the same (or better) results as if you used the regular oven. In fact, the Breville was the only toaster that broiled chicken breasts so well that they looked like they could have been grilled outdoors. That’s something few toasters of any size can do.
The LCD screen presents choices for toast, bagel, bake, roast, broil, pizza, cookies, reheat, warm, and slow cook options. Turn the dial to select the function, temperature, and time. With so many choices, operation is slightly more complicated than usual, but you quickly get the hang of it. The oven automatically preheats when appropriate. During operation, the display counts down and there’s an interior light so it’s easy to keep tabs on your food.
I was skeptical that the Breville could really slow cook, so naturally, I had to try it out. Using a slow cooker beef stew recipe on low power for 8 hours, I got incredibly tender meat and veggies in a delicious, velvety sauce. One caveat: I had to scale down the recipe to one pound of meat, enough for two to four portions. Sadly, the otherwise thorough manual didn’t include recipes. Breville, flaunt it if you got it! Add some slow cooker recipes, please.
Included: a heavy porcelain-coated broiling/baking pan, a pizza pan and, of course, a crumb tray. There are also more versions of the Breville Smart Oven, including smaller sizes, but we can’t speak to their cooking prowess, as capacity is a factor in performance. Read our full review here.
Incredibly even toasting, baking, and slow cooking
Hamilton Beach 6 Slice Easy Reach Toaster Oven with Convection
The Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Oven with Convection won’t take up space that more expensive toaster ovens do, while still delivering excellent toasting and baking. In addition, the door rolls back, making it exceptionally easy to put in and take out food. It also means more room on the countertop in front and a slimmer chance of getting burned. (On all toasters in this guide, the door gets very hot to the touch.)
Of all the models we tested, it was the fastest at toasting bread, with times fairly similar to a pop-up toaster. Biscuits come out as high, flaky, and golden as if you had made them in the oven—and faster, too.
While you can broil in the Easy Reach Oven, it doesn't brown food well. You should know that this low-cost option lacks electronic controls. Instead, to operate, simply pick a setting and turn a mechanical timer. The cooking times aren’t precise, but you will see the minutes counting down. While the timer only goes to 30 minutes you can choose the “Stay On” option. If you use it, remember to turn the oven off when your food is done. A lightweight aluminum baking pan is included.
Hi, I'm Sharon Franke, and I’ve been testing kitchen equipment for the past 30 years. When I’m not reporting on everything from wooden spoons to high-tech ranges and refrigerators, you can find me cooking in my own kitchen. In another life, I worked for seven years as a professional chef in New York City restaurants. While I can crank out a huge holiday meal with the best of them, using every tool in my kitchen, these days most family meals involve the toaster oven.
To find the best toaster oven, each toaster in this guide was rated first on how well it toasts bread, just like a pop-up toaster. Could it produce a range of shades and toast evenly enough that all its sides come out looking the same? Could it evenly toast bagels?
I cooked food such as frozen pizza, refrigerated biscuits, and broiled chicken breasts to see if they baked on the inside and nicely browned on the outside in a reasonable amount of time. The convenience of using the product, including how easy it was to set the controls and the helpfulness of the cooking functions, were also an important part of our rating process. I looked at its size, construction, and design of each product during testing. Is it all stainless, or are there plastic parts? Do the glass doors get dirty easily?
What You Should Know About Toaster Ovens
While a toaster oven certainly isn't the most involved purchase you're ever going to make for your kitchen, you might have a few questions before buying. How are they different than regular toasters? What can you make in them? And what's the deal with convection toaster ovens, anyway?
Pop-up toasters are great for making, well, toast—and that's about it. Toaster ovens, on the other hand, can handle a whole range of tasks, including broiling, baking, toasting, slow-cooking, and even air-frying. We've gone in-depth about why you don't need a regular toaster before.
Some of our favorites are small convection ovens. This means that they use convection fans—and often an additional heating element—to circulate air for more even heating and faster cooking. Convection technology is beloved by bakers who want super precise temperature control, and also favored by healthy eaters who want to get crispy foods without the added oil (our round-up of the best air fryers goes into more detail about this).
If you're interested in this technology but don't want to shell out for a convection-capable oven, a model with a convection setting can be a great alternative. They'll cost you more than their non-convection counterparts, but we think the benefit is worth the price.
The Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven is somewhat unusual in that it’s wider and shorter than your typical toaster oven. Before you consider it, be sure you have the counter space to accommodate it. Because of its width, it can toast nine slices of bread at once without squishing them. And it comes with a large nonstick sheet pan which you can use to cook enough chicken, beef, or shrimp and veggies for four in under 30 minutes. However, it’s not tall enough to roast a chicken.
Whether you prefer plain white bread or a doughy, delicious bagel, the Ninja will toast them beautifully. It can also bake up biscuits and broil a few chicken breasts as well any oven, countertop or full-size. It can also air fry, so you can try out the trend without investing in another large appliance.
The digital controls, which you navigate with a dial, are easy to read and navigate. I loved the Ninja’s one-minute preheat, its light for checking on your food during cooking, and how quiet it is while on. When this oven isn’t in use, you can flip it over and stand it up at the back of the countertop. The back also opens up, which gives you easy access to the interior for cleaning. Read our full review here.
The large, handsome Cuisinart Chef's Convection Toaster Oven is worth the countertop real estate if you’re a serious cook. Not only does it turn out exceptionally well-browned toast, but it bakes and broils superbly. It even comes with two racks so you can bake a pair of cake layers at once.
There are more than 10 categories on this toaster's LCD screen, including one that allows you to program in two different cooking temperatures and times—e.g. when you want to bake a lasagna and then brown it off at the end. Using the “Roast” option I made absolutely perfect roasted potatoes. However, so many choices do make programming somewhat confusing. Even with the manual in hand, I was occasionally stumped. Cooking time is displayed and there is an oven light, so checking on your food is very easy. Included is a heavyweight porcelain-coated broiling pan and a pizza stone. The manual features a collection of interesting recipes.
If you're looking for a large countertop oven that you can also use as a toaster, rather than the other way around, the Instant Omni Plus Multi-Use will fill the bill. It evenly browns toast and cooks an incredibly crispy chicken on a rotisserie. It can even compete with the best air fryers making when making French Fries in its included basket. Just note that toasted bread and bagels tend to come out a little lighter than the selected setting, while baked goods, like rolls and pizza, cook up a little darker.
The oven is beautifully designed with electronic controls that are intuitive to use and very easy to read. It has lots of functions, including settings for broil, dehydrate, slow cook, and reheat.
There are also preprogrammed times and temperatures for different types of foods.
The guide that comes with the Omni Plus gets you started, but for complete instructions, for example, when you want to use the rotisserie, you have to visit the company website. All the parts are dishwasher safe, too. Before buying the Omni Plus make sure you have enough room on your countertop and under your cabinets to accommodate it, as well as storage space for all the accessories.
While the GE Calrod Convection Toaster Oven isn’t necessarily inexpensive, it costs a lot less than the Breville and the Cuisinart yet competes favourably with them when it comes to good looks and functionality. Unlike other toaster ovens, it excels at toasting, browning bread and bagels evenly and as quickly as a pop-up toaster.
It can crisp up convenience foods like pizza and chicken nuggets, as well as beautifully roast chicken and other proteins. However, if you’re looking for a second oven to bake up biscuits or crescent rolls, this is not the one for you.
The only thing that’s missing when it comes to features is an interior light, but this is an inconvenience that’s worth putting up with for a great toaster oven with digital controls at such a reasonable price.
The Cosori Original Air Fryer Toaster Oven does a nice job of baking and broiling but struggles a bit with toasting. Even though it toasts evenly, the programmed times for each setting are extremely long (more than 7 minutes at medium) and bread comes out darker than expected and smokes heavily at the longest setting.
For a multifunctional appliance, however, you’ll have to compromise a bit on air frying results, too. French fries or chicken nuggets, don’t come out much crisper than if you baked them in an oven, however, frozen convenience foods cook up with an extra crunch.
This is a large well-designed appliance with an LED screen that’s controlled by dials. The air fryer basket will need a good soak to get it clean but the baking dish has a nonstick coating. It also includes an excellent cookbook to help you get the most out of your oven.
Another good choice for a large toaster oven that can double as a second oven is the Calphalon Cool Touch. It toasts exceptionally evenly, but it runs dark, so you might want to select one setting lighter than you usually prefer. While there’s a broil function, don’t expect it to give results anywhere close to what you’d expect from high-heat cooking.
With its black stainless-steel housing, the Calphalon is the latest in appliance chic. It has an LCD screen with various settings. True to its name, and rare among cooking appliances, the exterior of the Calphalon doesn’t get hot as it operates. Minimal instructions are provided with the oven. If you want detailed directions, you have to download the complete manual from Calphalon’s website.
The DeLonghi Livenza Digital Compact Oven will give you lots of functionality without devouring countertop space. It can broil hamburgers, bake up a cake layer, reheat a 12-inch pizza, or even roast a small chicken. And of course, it can toast, although if you're super fussy about even browning, this might not be the model for you.
All stainless steel, the Livenza will definitely dress up your kitchen. Its dials let you select from preprogrammed settings and adjust the time and temperatures which are displayed on a small screen. The oven’s inside is coated with a nonstick finish which makes it easy to wipe clean.
When it comes to toasting, the Black and Decker does a remarkable job, especially considering its low price, lack of frills, and petite size. This is the perfect model for a small household that primarily wants to make toast or tuna melts and perhaps occasionally broil a couple of chicken breasts for dinner.
It’s not large enough to hold a 12-inch pizza or even a Cornish hen, never mind a whole chicken. While it was much slower at baking crescent rolls and heating frozen pizza than the other toaster ovens we tested, it browned perfectly evenly.
Not much bigger than a pop-up toaster, the Black and Decker is also lightweight so it’s easy to move around or stash away. To operate, you have to set two dials and then activate a timer. It comes with a small baking pan that’s just large enough for two open-face sandwiches.
Much more compact than other toaster ovens, the Panasonic FlashXpress with Double Infrared Heating has a cult following. Not only does it brown bread super evenly but it does it in record time for a toaster oven or even most pop up toasters. Our only quibble is that our toast was darker than I thought it should be on the light setting. There are preset programs for convenience foods like frozen waffles and pizza and reheating that work quite well.
However, if you’re looking to actually cook in your toaster oven, this isn’t the one for you. Some common temps like 350°F, 375°F, and 450°F aren’t offered. When you’re baking you need to experiment with the time and temperature. I never figured out how to bake biscuits that weren’t burned outside and raw inside. Broiling isn’t an option with this product. No preheat is required. Remaining cook time is displayed in 30-second increments and there’s a very bright interior light. An aluminum baking pan is included.
If you're not looking to spend a lot and primarily want good toast, the Hamilton Beach 6 Slice Toaster Oven will make you happy. It excels at browning bread and bagels evenly and can bake a batch of crescent rolls or biscuits or broil up some chicken breasts but is not designed for roasting a whole chicken.
This product looks fairly utilitarian and won’t add any pizzaz to your countertop. To use it, you have to set three separate dials and it operates on a mechanical timer so it isn't terribly precise. However, it does what it’s intended to do well and won't put too much of a dent in your budget.
Cassidy covered all things cooking as the kitchen editor for Reviewed from 2018 to 2020. An experimental home chef with a healthy distrust of recipes, Cassidy lives by the "Ratatouille" philosophy that, with a few techniques and key tools, anyone can cook. She's produced in-depth reviews and guides on everything from meal kits to stand mixers and the right way to cook an egg.
Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.