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. They're much more versatile appliances with numerous cooking functions—in addition to toasting slices of bread and bagels, they 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 favorite air fryers are also toaster oven with a convection setting).
Our top picks can even turn out a roast chicken or broiled salmon and functions as a conventional oven. Through all our testing, we found toaster ovens are getting faster and better at toasting than they used to be. A toaster oven may just turn out to be your favorite kitchen appliance, especially if it melts cheese easily (and visibly) through its glass doors and gives your bread that perfect toast.
We've named the Breville Smart Oven Pro(available at Amazon for $223.95) as the best toaster oven we tested and believe it's worth the investment. Once you buy and own it, you may never use your full-size convection oven again. But we also found a great, inexpensive model in the Hamilton Beach 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
Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop 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
Black and Decker 2-Knob 4-Slice Toaster Oven
Hamilton Beach 6-Slice Capacity Toaster Oven
Oster 6-Slice Convection Toaster Oven
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Breville Smart Oven Pro
Hamilton Beach 6 Slice Easy Reach Toaster Oven with Convection
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 ovens 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 oven 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 of the oven 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 the oven, 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 toaster oven 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 around the oven 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 toaster oven 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 over than ten categories on this toaster oven'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 Toaster Oven 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.
In spite of its name, the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven is a toaster oven and not a steamer. It uses superheated water to make some foods, like salmon, moist, and others, like frozen pizza, crisp. In toast mode, it browned bread perfectly evenly and in bake, it made beautiful biscuits without requiring a preheat. The Sharp really shined at broiling, searing fish and chicken while keeping it juicy. And frozen pizzas came out with impressively crispy bottom crusts. When we tried reheating chicken parm, it delivered that combo of crispy breading and moist meat that it’s hard to get from a microwave or an oven.
This unit is solidly built, comes with a sturdy crisper rack and broiling pan, and is easy to use and clean. But it has its limitations. Before each use you have to remember to fill the water tank and at the end of the day, to run it empty for 20 minutes to dry it out. While it’s operating, it’s noisy, kind of like a microwave oven. But you rarely run your microwave for more than a few minutes and the Sharp can be on for as long as 30. Lastly, the cavity isn’t high enough to hold a roast chicken. But perhaps the biggest drawback is the price: $400 MSRP, and close to $200 on sale. The Sharp is only worth the big bucks if you broil more than you toast and bake a lot of frozen pizza. Read our full review here.
Controls easy to operate
Large and heavy
Filling/emptying the water tank adds an extra step
Another good choice for a large toaster oven that can double as a second oven is the Calphalon Cool Touch Countertop Oven. 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 Toaster Oven 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 on this oven. 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 provided with the oven.
If the main reason you’re buying a toaster oven is to toast and maybe occasionally reheat pizza or make a tuna melt, the June is not the one for you. This is a large countertop oven that can just about replace your regular oven for everything but the Thanksgiving turkey, and its an excellent choice if you’re looking for a second oven that can also toast. But at $700, it’s way too expensive to buy for crisping bread or heating up chicken nuggets.
What makes the June special is its “smart” features. Inside the top of the oven, there’s a camera that recognizes some foods (think toast, pizza) and automatically programs a cook setting. The June’s sophisticated touchscreen allows you to choose functions like Toast, Bake, and Broil and programs like Meat, Vegetables, and Baked Goods. After you select one, the oven sets cooking temperatures and times for you and offers tips such as which rack position to use.
You can also program the oven to cook at a temperature and for a time of your own choosing. the June also comes with a probe that you can use to cook to a specific internal temperature. You can connect the oven to WiFi and then use an app on your phone to monitor and control cooking and receive alerts about cooking progress. The iOS version of the app also gives you access to a cookbook of about 150 recipes, but this is missing from the Android app. The June can also communicate with Alexa through WiFi.
None of the parts that come with the oven are dishwasher safe, and the oven itself has to be cleaned with oven cleaner, which is not an easy task. Only buy the June if you can’t be bothered with a full-size oven and only cook for one or two.
If price is your number-one consideration, or if you’re really space challenged, the Black and Decker 4-Slice Toaster Oven is for you. Barely bigger than a toaster, you don’t get the functionality of larger, pricier models. However, you can still depend on it for toast, baked goods, and broiled foods. To start heating, you turn a mechanical timer. If you’re cooking something that needs more than the timer’s half-hour limit, you can select a stay-on mode. Just be sure to turn it off when cooking is finished.
A small lightweight aluminum baking pan comes with the Black and Decker. When I baked refrigerated biscuits, I was only able to fit six, as opposed to the standard eight that come in a package.
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 oven 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.
Although not a top performer, the Oster 6-Slice Convection Toaster Oven is moderately priced and offers lots of functionality. It’s large enough to accommodate a whole chicken and has convection capabilities to help crisp up the skin.
You won’t be buying the Oster for its looks or state of the art technology. It works on an old-fashioned timer so if you want to bake a cake for a precise amount of time, you might want to also set the timer on your phone.
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.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.