We've updated this article to include the Sharp Steam Countertop Oven—but the Breville Smart Oven Pro remains the best one we've tested.
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—in addition to toasting slices of bread and bagels, they can reheat leftovers, crisp up frozen pizzas, 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). I’ve found the best ones can even turn out a roast chicken or broiled salmon as well 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.
Our winner, the pricey Breville Smart Oven Pro(available at Amazon for $269.96), is worth the investment. Once you own it, you may never use your full-size oven again. But we also found a great, inexpensive model in the Hamilton Beach Easy Reach for quick melts, convenience foods, and perhaps a few baked potatoes.
To help you spend wisely, we chose seven highly rated toaster ovens and put them to work toasting, baking, and broiling.
Here are our top picks for best toaster ovens 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
Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven
Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven with Double Infrared Heating
Black + Decker 4-Slice 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.
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.
I tested five different models, chosen based on their retail popularity and user reviews. I also tested the Oster Digital French Door Oven at Oster’s recommendation but found it too large to qualify as a 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 4 sides come out looking the same?
Could it evenly toast bagels?
I baked up frozen pizza, refrigerated biscuits and broiled chicken breasts to see if they came out cooked 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 special features, were also an important part of our rating process. I looked at its size, construction, and design of each toaster oven during testing.
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.
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.
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.
Attractive and solidly built and comes with sturdy accessories
Controls are easy to operate and the water tank is easy to fill
Performs well as a toaster, oven, and broiler
Large and heavy
Before each use, you have to remember to fill the water tank, and at the end of the day, to empty the tank and run the oven to dry it out
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 + 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’s finished.
A small lightweight aluminum baking pan comes with the B + D. When I baked refrigerated biscuits, I was only able to fit six, as opposed to the standard eight that come in a package.
Cassidy covers all things cooking as the kitchen editor or Reviewed. 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. Since joining Reviewed in mid-2018, 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.