Best Toaster Oven America’s Test Kitchen, Cooks Illustrated

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  February 16, 2021
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You may not admit it – but a toaster oven is one of the most versatile additions to one’s kitchen. Not only does it take up little space, it also acts as a universal substitute for many appliances (namely toaster, air fryer…) and makes it much easier to prepare your favorite dish – be it bread, bagels, chickens, or even roast vegetables. Not to mention, it also helps reduce energy usage up to 50%.

Just like you, we’ve long been cooking maniacs – and have tested out several toast oven models from different providers. After multiple tests, we have come up with the list below – which is comprised of 7 of the best toaster ovens America’s Test Kitchen in terms of price and functionality. On top of that, we also provide a few tips on choosing and using one – and we are sure that you will be eager to learn them. Ready? Let’s dive in now!

Reviews of Best Toaster Ovens America’s Test Kitchen in 2021

#1. Breville BOV845BSS Countertop Oven

Best Toaster Oven America's Test Kitchen
Breville BOV845BSS

Breville BOV845BSS is rated as the #1 Toaster Oven from America’s Test Kitchen. What strikes us most when it comes to this product is the fact that it offers a total of 10 cooking modes – which range from slow cook to toast. This, combined with it being a spacious oven, allows users to truly experience the thrill of cooking. With this countertop oven, you can now prepare your favorite pizzas, cookies and roast meat within just a short time.

Breville BOV845BSS is a convection-powered toaster oven – it is designed with a built-in fan that acts to circulate air within the oven. As a result, cold air will be repelled, thereby speeding up the cooking process for more delicious dishes. Thanks to the non-stick coating on the wall of the oven’s interior, cleaning should be a true piece of cake.

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#2. Metal Classic Toaster By Cuisinart

Best Toaster Oven America's Test Kitchen
Classic Toaster Cuisinart

Cuisinart Classic Toaster has everything you need for a rich, flavorful breakfast. The product comes with 6 dial settings – as well as 3 cooking modes (Bagel, Defrost, Reheat). Such a design should be enough for users to make – and enjoy a warm, delicious dish of bread/meat for a dynamic start of the day.

As one of the best toaster ovens, Cuisinart Classic Toaster is not only a multifunctional one, but also works as a nice aesthetic bonus to one’s kitchen. Its polished stainless steel look results in a universally good-looking kitchenware that combines well with almost all types of furniture. Last but not least, it also offers convenient user experience – thanks to the 1.5inch toasting slot, carriage lever, crumb tray and cord wrap.

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#3. Breville BTA730XL 4-Slice Toaster

Best Toaster Oven America's Test Kitchen
Breville BTA730XL

This one is rated as the best Long-Slot Toasters choice by Cooksillustrated. Being made from polished stainless steel not only extends Breville BTA730XL’s lifespan – it also makes it an elegant-looking accessory that can be effortlessly added to any kitchen. With its output power capable of reaching 1800W, the toaster oven is perfectly well-suited for anyone who would like to enjoy a meltingly warm meal on a daily basis.

Breville BTA730XL has 4 slots for users to insert bread of various sizes into it. A LED indicator is featured – so that you may find it easier to keep track of your own food. What’s more, to have a clearer view, feel free to take advantage of the lift-up lever – without disrupting the process. With a total of 5 settings included, users should be able of to optimize the final toasting result easily. And guess what? In case you need an additional 30 seconds for a more perfectly toasted dish, the “A Bit More” function will surely not disappoint you.

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#4. Breville BOV900BSS Countertop Oven

Best Toaster Oven America's Test Kitchen
Breville BOV900BSS

Another countertop oven from Breville – and we deem it as The Best Air-Fryer Toaster Oven! This one, like the BTA730XL model mentioned above, is also capable of reaching 1800W in terms of output power. Therefore, you can prepare your favorite dish of bread for breakfast within just a few minutes. Thanks to the spacious interior, it is possible to roast up to 9 slices of bread at the same time.

With 13 cooking modes to choose from, Breville BOV900BSSUSC makes sure that the sky is the limit for all cooking gurus. Its featured Smart IQ system acts to distribute and adjust heat automatically – so as to ensure the most optimal dishes are produced in the end. Not to mention, 2 convection fans of different speeds (Regular and Super) are there to give you better control over the final results.

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#5. Dash DVTS501AQ Toaster: Best Mini

Best Toaster Oven America's Test Kitchen
Dash DVTS501AQ

Dash DVTS501AQ is another toaster oven that allows you to be creative with your own breakfast – it features 3 one-touch buttons (Defrost, Reheat and Bagel) and 7 toast settings to meet the requirements of the most selective cook. On top of that, the slot is designed to be extra wide, so that it can better accommodate bagels, waffles and other types of bread.

While cooking, you can effortlessly keep track of the food inside by peering through the see-through window. As soon as you are done with it, the tray and glass panel can easily be taken out for cleanup purpose. Thanks to the sleek design, not only does Dash DVTS501AQ make a nice addition that does not take up too much space to your kitchen, but it is also a worthwhile consideration as a gift for your loved one. For those looking for the best mini toaster oven, this one is definitely one you will not want to miss!

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#6. Hamilton Beach – Extra Wide Slot Toaster

Best Toaster Oven America's Test Kitchen
Hamilton Beach Toaster

With a total of 4 spacious slots, Hamilton Beach toaster oven is one of the best toaster ovens to bake your thick slices of bagels, artisan bread – as well as muffins and waffles. Once you are done with toasting, take advantage of the Toast Boost feature to have your food lifted up – so that you may take them out with little effort. This is especially handy when you need to handle smaller slices.

Hamilton Beach toaster oven comes with 3 modes – Bagel, Defrost, and Cancel. Its bagel setting allows you to toast on the cut side, while at the same time warming on the outer side. On the other hand, the Defrost function allows you to enjoy your favorite waffles/ pancakes soon after they are taken out of the freezer. While toasting, you can temporarily stop by pressing the Cancel button.

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#7. Amazon Basics Toaster

Best Toaster Oven America's Test Kitchen
Amazon Toaster

If you are looking for the best budget toaster oven – without compromising quality, here it is! With 6 adjustable settings available, preparing your favorite toast dish should be a piece of cake – even for newbies. Not to mention, 3 modes (Bagel, Frozen, and Cancel) are available to make things even simpler. When you only want to toast the cut side, turn on the Bagel function. To thaw frozen foods, use the Frozen one; and when you are done with toasting, press the Cancel button.

The toaster’s slot dimension is 5.25 inches in length and 1.25 inches in width, respectively. This extra width allows users to toast even more than usual. On top of that, there’s the liftup lever, which can be used to push foods up and take them out more easily.

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Buying guide Toaster Ovens

There are a few criteria to consider when it comes to choosing the best toaster oven. Here, we would like to share with you some top considerations:

Even roasting:  A good toaster oven should produce evenly golden brown dishes – without any burns or undercooked sections. One of the problems many toaster ovens have is that they only warm the foods up a little bit – and if you turn the heat on a little bit too high, it will burn the bread seriously.

Power: High-quality toaster ovens generally come with a high power output and wide power range to accommodate users’ needs.

Simple operation: Always prioritize those that come with simple, easy-to-use buttons and clear displays – instead of just random symbols that require users to look up and see what they are for.

Easy cleanup: Good toaster ovens generally do not discolor or get stained so easily after a few washes. In addition, they usually come with removable trays for easier cleanup. If you oven’s tray is dishwasher safe, that is even better!

Design: Most of the time, look for ones with a stainless steel finish – it will provide a sleek, yet elegant addition to your kitchen. Also, don’t forget to take into account the amount of space you can afford for one.

FAQs Toaster Ovens

1. How long should I wait for a toast?

The average time necessary to prepare a slice of toast is about 11.5-3 minutes. Overall, 2 minutes is the perfect time to go for.

2. Are there any rules about using a toaster oven correctly?

Here, we would like to share with you a few tips on how to handle one safely:

Conclusion

Compared to a traditional microwave, a toaster oven offers much more versatility – with one, you can easily prepare your favorite toast, roast vegetables, burgers, and much more in a really short time. Not to mention, it is energy-efficient and does not take up a lot of space like conventional ovens. For all of these reasons, never miss the chance to add one to your kitchen collection!

The above-mentioned picks are chosen based on extensive testing; hence, you can be assured that they are among the best toaster ovens in terms of both price and functionality. 

Joost Nusselder, the founder of BistroSK is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2019 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.