If you’d like to make 2012 the year you spend less time cooking, more time doing other things, and want to be environmentally friendly while doing it, then you’ll want to know about the best toaster ovens on the market. More than just a way to make English muffin pizzas, today’s toaster ovens can accomplish a variety of culinary tasks beyond simply making toast, and can use less energy while doing it. A great option for making an everyday meal, these super smart appliances can also function as a much-needed second oven for you avid entertainers. While the price tags may be a bit higher than what you’ve seen in the past, these great gadgets add up to a savings in both time and money spent on utility bills in the long run. Stop firing up those big, inefficient gas ovens to complete a cooking task; that’s so last decade! Now you’re cooking with toaster ovens!
Looking for a toaster oven that’s arguably smarter than you are (at least in a culinary capacity)? Look no further than the Smart Oven from Breville, a countertop convection wizard that can take on the traditional toast and pizzas as well as bake cookies and roast meats to perfection. With nine menu functions, including broil, reheat, and warm, this 1800-watt toaster oven will have you doing little more oven cleaning than dusting your range, and the non-stick interior of the Breville means what little clean up you’ll have will be easy to do. The convection option cuts down on cooking time by as much as a third, and the Element IQ controls the independent heating elements for a perfect result every time. The BOX800XL sells for about $250.00, or check out some of their smaller models for under $200.00.
In case the Breville is a bit too pricey for you, the Set & Forget toaster oven from Hamilton Beach costs just over $100.00, and will also give you a good result on things like toast, pizza, and meat. The built-in temperature probe means you’ll get your roast chicken to perfect temperature each time. Plus, the Set & Forget offers a convection option for speedy cooking. It will shift to warming mode once the desired temperature has been reached or the desired time has elapsed, and it’s big enough to fit a 12-inch pizza or seven-pound chicken so you can cook a family-sized meal in no time flat. Best of all? It’s super easy to use.
Another great option in quick and easy countertop cooking is the Convection Toaster Oven from Cuisinart. This brushed steel toaster oven offers more than just sleek good looks; it can bake, broil, toast, reheat, and defrost with ease. Pricewise, it sits right between the Breville and the Hamilton Beach at $180.00, and it offers a generous 0.6-cubic foot cooking capacity.
Toaster oven traditionalists who balk at the high price tags and extra features of many of the new options will love the Countertop Toaster Oven from Black & Decker. Priced at a mere $40.00, this compact oven can broil, bake, and warm, in addition to handling the usual bagel or toast.