The 30-Second Review

Whether you’re planning on roasting a whole chicken or you just want to reheat some of that pizza from last night, the best toaster oven should be able to cook food the way you want it without asking for too much of your time or energy. We baked cookies, toasted bread, made fresh pizza, and reheated leftovers on 11 of the best models on the market. We found three excellent cooking machines for different budgets and cooking needs.

Best Overall

If you’re planning on cooking small meals in your toaster oven, the Breville Mini Smart Oven can do it better than most full-sized ovens, providing customized settings that adjust its heating elements based on what you're cooking. We loved its easy-to-navigate features, which produced near-perfect toast and cookies at a midrange price ($150). The only downside is its size — the Mini Smart Oven couldn’t fit a full chicken, for example. But for a compact toaster that's adept at everything from toast to baked goods and frozen meals, this machine is unrivaled.

Best Budget

If you only imagine using a toaster oven for the basics — toast and leftovers — the Hamilton Beach produced some of our best results on these tests. And while it struggled on dishes that required longer cooking times like cookies and frozen mac and cheese, this is an excellent option for quick meals.

Best Oven Replacement

Cuisinart Chef's Convection Toaster Oven
The spacious Cuisinart Chef's Convection Toaster Oven ($260) can seemingly do everything a full-sized oven can: roast an entire chicken, cook a 13" pizza, and bake a fresh batch of cookies. But unlike other expensive all-purpose models, it didn’t leave us reaching for the manual at every step.

The Best Toaster Oven

Our overall pick, the Breville Mini Smart Oven, will suit the needs of most people. It has eight customized settings including "Cookies," "Toast," and "Pizza," and it adjusts its four heating elements for whatever option you choose. We were unsure how well these presets would work, but the results spoke for themselves: The Mini Smart Oven made chocolate chip cookies with crunchy edges and a gooey interior, and it produced the best batch of toast of any model we tested. It’s smaller than other toasters at its price ($150), but we found the Mini Smart Oven’s size to be as much of an asset as a weakness: It took up less room on the counter than its peers without sacrificing any functionality.

If all those features sound like overkill, consider the Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Oven, our budget pick ($50). The Hamilton Beach is a sturdy, no-frills machine, and despite it’s sing-songy name, it’s designed to do the basics really well. It toasted bread and reheated leftovers better than other toasters in its price range, producing results that were even and consistent every time. We also loved its unique door design; instead of folding down like every other model we tested, the Easy Reach's door slides over the top of the oven, keeping the glass clean when you pull out your food.

If you're looking for something that can completely replace a conventional oven, we recommend the Cuisinart Chef's Convection Toaster Oven ($260). While our other toaster ovens only had room for six slices of toast, the Cuisinart managed to fit nine, meaning you've got plenty of space for more ambitious meals. It also has 12 pre-programmed cooking settings, three more than anything else we tested. More settings isn’t necessarily a guarantee of better quality, but we liked knowing that whatever we could imagine cooking, it walked us through in an easy, intuitive way. Choose toast and the Cuisinart asks you how many slices, then targets its heating elements accordingly. And that functionality ultimately made for better meals — the Cuisinart produced the best fresh pizza we tested.

Our Top Picks for the Best Toaster Oven

Best Overall

Breville Mini Smart OvenThis toaster has an intuitive interface and consistently exceeded our expectations.

The Breville Mini Smart Oven is elegant to look at, intuitive to use, and produced the most consistent results of any toaster oven we tested. And while it is a little smaller than most other models in its price range, we actually liked how little room it took up on the counter.

Before we started testing, we were skeptical of the Breville’s Element IQ heating. But it’s not just marketing: The Breville delivers amazing results by targeting its heating elements according to the preset and quantity you choose. And while the Oster and Panasonic produced perfectly nice batches, the Breville was the only oven that truly surprised us when we pulled out the rack. It was the best toast we made, an even gold all over that was true to its medium shade setting.

We saw the difference in our cookie test as well. Along with the Krups, the Breville’s cookies had a perfect balance of crispy edges with a soft interior. And unlike the other models, each cookie was baked exactly the same. The Panasonic gave us cookies much darker in the back than the front, while the Oster’s convection feature completely dried out the dough, even after adjusting the time and temperature.

Breville for Toaster Oven

The Breville's control dial made it easy for us to start cooking.

Through all of our tests, the Breville was just the most enjoyable to use. We weren’t constantly forced to consult the manual or second-guess what we were doing. It holds your hand through every step to help you get the best results. If you choose the toast setting, it prompts you to pick a shade from from a seven point scale and then how many slices you’re making. It also tells you when it’s preheating and when it’s ready, a minor convenience in theory, but essential if you’re going to be doing a lot of baking. That stood in stark contrast to the Oster, which has a bizarre preheating method of having you set the timer at seven minutes, but makes you count it down from 30 to get there, one cruel click at a time, every time you use it.

In truth, the only thing that separates the Breville Mini from toaster ovens costing $100 more is its size. It has all the cooking functions, the same 1800 watt power (300 more than anything else in its price tier, so it preheats almost immediately), and scored as well on our tests as anything. But unlike our upgrade pick, the Cuisinart, it’d be hard to replace your conventional oven with something this small. We actually appreciated how snugly the Breville fit on the counter — you won’t have to rearrange your whole kitchen just to accommodate it — but if you imagine roasting a whole chicken in your toaster oven, you’re better off opting for something roomier.

Best Budget Pick

Hamilton Beach Easy Reach OvenA simple machine perfect for toast and leftovers, with a thoughtful design that minimizes cleaning.

For a simple, well-built toaster oven that’s mastered the basics, the Hamilton Beach is an absolute workhorse. And while it lacks some of the functionality of its more expensive peers, you can’t beat its reliability at $50.

As soon as we took the Easy Reach Oven out of the box, it felt more impressive than our other three budget options. It was by far the largest of the group, giving it an internal capacity usually reserved for models twice its price. It has settings for baking, broiling, toasting, and convection baking, more than any other budget option we looked at. The Black and Decker did have a convection option, but you also couldn’t turn it off, a problem if you wanted to bake something more delicate like a souffle or cake.

Easy Reach Door for Toaster Oven

What really won us over, though, was the door design. Unlike every other model we tested, the Hamilton Beach has a door that rolls up instead of folding down (hence its name). We get it — that seems like a pretty trivial detail to focus on. But it makes a huge difference in how often you have to clean. That’s because when you pull the rack out on most toaster ovens, it sits directly above the glass door. So while they became a magnet for crumbs after just one batch of toast, the Hamilton Beach looked pristine throughout all of our tests. It also just felt safer: instead of reaching above a scorching piece of glass to pull out your food, the door was safely out of the way.

Granted, not everything cooked perfectly. In our toast test, the middle pieces were noticeably darker than the edges of the outer slices. But that was basically what we saw on every larger toaster oven, even the ones costing over $200. If you’re going to be cooking four or fewer slices at a time, it would do the job just fine.

It’s also not really suited for dishes with long cooking times. The timer only goes up to 30 minutes, a good measure of what you should expect out of a toaster oven for this price. If you’re planning on using it for dishes that take longer than that, it’s worth upgrading to the Breville Mini Smart Oven or the Cuisinart.

Best Upgrade

Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster OvenA huge interior, smart preset options, and convenient accessories.

In all honesty, the toaster ovens in this price tier were all pretty great at cooking. For their high prices, they should be. Ultimately, it was the greater flexibility and customization that the Cuisinart provided that pushed it over the top for us. There was a thoughtfulness in features like the +30 second button and the interior light that the other models just didn’t match. Cuisinart also offers a three year limited warranty, where the Breville and Kitchen Aid only went to one year.

If you want to completely replace your conventional oven, the Cuisinart is worth its hefty price tag. It holds nine pieces of bread — three more than any other model we tested — and fits a 13” pizza. And with its excellent convection feature and myriad accessories, we could easily see this outperforming most full-sized ovens.

Before we even started cooking, the Cuisinart began to separate itself from our other two high-end options. It came with a 13” pizza stone, as well as separate pans for baking and broiling. While the larger Breville did include two baking pans and a pizza pan, we were disappointed that the Kitchen Aid only came with one multipurpose pan. The Kitchen Aid only has a 12” capacity, so it’s unlikely that any pans you’d already have on hand would fit. Granted, it’s not a dealbreaker, but for $280, it’d be nice to not have to go out and immediately spend more money.

Cuisinart for Toaster Oven

The Cuisinart's cooking presets plug in time and temperature automatically. Need to adjust? Just turn the dial to choose between settings and turn them up or down.

For as much functionality as the Cuisinart gave us, it was also one of the easiest to use. It has 12 preset cooking modes, three more than the Breville and Kitchen Aid. And while more isn’t necessarily better, it was nice not having to think too much about getting the settings just right. Whatever we could imagine cooking in an oven, the Cuisinart had an option for, and it guided us through it in an intuitive way.

Similar to the Breville Mini Smart Oven, we couldn’t really find much not to like with the Cuisinart’s cooking. Granted, every slice of toast wasn’t perfectly even, but we saw that problem with every bigger toaster oven, and it was still the best of our most expensive tier. Consumer Reports came to the same conclusion, declaring, “There were no discernible flaws in its performance.” It all comes down to what you want out of a toaster oven. The Cuisinart will take up a ton of room on your counter, but you may never have to turn on your oven again.

Others to Consider

Breville Smart OvenThe bigger brother of the Mini Smart Oven, this toaster features a sleek design and nine preset cooking options.

We were also impressed with the Breville Smart Oven, essentially a larger version of our best mid-price oven. Like its little sibling, the Breville Smart Oven has a lot to like. The controls are just as simple to pick up, and magnets on the door of the bigger version draw the cooking rack out automatically, meaning we didn't have to stick our hands in a hot oven. It didn’t do quite as well on our toast and pizza tests, but the margins were pretty slim. Ultimately it came down to space — they both had roughly the same external dimensions, but the Cuisinart held three more pieces of toast.

Krups Deluxe Convection Toaster OvenSpacious for its price, but struggles with even toasting.

If you’re looking for a big toaster oven without spending a fortune, the Krups is a solid choice. It was nearly twice the size of more expensive models in its price group, and could comfortably fit a large chicken or 12” pizza. It also had some nice convenience features like an internal light and memory function that saves your most recent times and temperatures for each preset. Its biggest flaw was its cooking time. While the other ovens we tested that were as big as the Krups all cost about $100 more, they also operate at 1800 watts. The Krups only has 1500 watts, so it takes a little longer to heat up. We also found the shade settings weren’t entirely accurate — the medium setting barely gave our toast any color, and it was hard to find a consistent shade.

Did You Know?

Toaster ovens could save you money.

According to a study by Energy Star, toaster ovens use about half the amount of energy as a conventional electric oven when cooking small meals. That could mean as much as 30 cents saved for every hour you spend cooking in some states.

Don’t use Pyrex or glass cookware in your toaster oven.

Pyrex specifically advises people not to use their products in toaster ovens. It’s the same reason you should never use glass for broiling — the dish is just too close to the heating element to be completely safe. Over time, they run the risk of fracturing or shattering from repeated exposure.

Parchment paper isn’t safe, either.

Just like glass cookware, parchment paper is not recommended for the tight confines of a toaster oven. Reynolds explicitly warns against it on their website, while other brands put it right on the packaging.

The Best Toaster Oven: Summed Up

Toaster Oven
The Best
Breville Mini Smart Oven
Best Overall
Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Oven
Best Budget
Cuisinart Chef's Convection Toaster Oven
Best Upgrade