The debate between toasters and toaster ovens has divided households for years, with no clear winner in sight. While both appliances have their pros and cons, it’s undeniable that toaster ovens stand out for their versatility. A true kitchen workhorse, toaster ovens not only make toast and heat up bagels, but can also function like a regular oven, baking or roasting small batches of food and heating up last night’s leftovers with ease. Since we’ve already covered our favorite toasters, it’s only fair that we round up the best toaster ovens. No matter what side you’re on, these appliances will make the most of your toast—and then some.
I grew up with no toaster oven and came to see them, when I was a child, as an unnecessary appliance that just took up more space. Cut to my adult future, living in my first apartments and then making quick meals for my daughter or self—toaster ovens are essential. Better than a toaster, quicker and more versatile than an oven, a good toaster oven will be your go-to most of the time. While on the low end I really like Black + Decker (see below—which my mother now has had for years), my personal fave is the Breville above. With clean lines, no fuss controls, a roomy interior and a satisfying easy open door, it toasts bread and can roast a small chicken. These things are going to be with you for years and you have to look at them every day, so I don’t worry about the medium price tag. My Breville never has broken and is one of the nicest things in my kitchen.
Simple, small and budget-friendly, this toaster oven is great for apartment dwellers and those new to the toaster oven scene. It has four functions: baking, broiling, toasting and keeping warm, plus a 30-minute timer for precise toasting. With a large window and removable tray, this basic toaster oven has all the necessities and performs well, all for a very low price.
Another budget pick, the Easy Reach from Hamilton Beach stands out for having a door that rolls up instead of laying flat. This simple but pretty genius design allows you to easily reach in for your food, as well as keep your door clean from potential messes. It includes bake, broil and toast functions, and fits six slices of bread or a 12-inch pizza.
This slightly retro-looking toaster oven from Oster is super straightforward and easy to use with a manual control panel and no knobs. Despite looking a bit old-fashioned, it boasts six cooking functions and a 90-minute timer with automatic shut-off, plus convection technology for faster and more even toasting. With two rack positions and room for six pieces of bread and a 12-inch pizza, this is a great lower-priced option.
This sleek toaster oven is one of the most versatile picks on our list. Able to hold six slices of bread, a 12-inch pizza or a four-pound chicken, it also has a wide range of toasting options. You can even choose to use convection or not—the bake, broil and pizza functions all have regular or convection functionality. If you live alone or rarely cook large quantities, this highly functional toaster oven could definitely replace a larger, traditional oven.
This super roomy option from Cuisinart can hold a 13-inch pizza, nine slices of bread, a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan or even an entire chicken. With 15 cooking functions and 1800 watts of power (plus convection functionality for an even faster toasting), this toaster oven is a kitchen powerhouse. It also comes with a 13-inch pizza stone, two cooking racks, a 9-inch x 13-inch enamel baking pan, and a broiling pan, making it even more worth the investment.
The compact version of Maxwell’s favorite, this toaster oven also has Element IQ technology that precisely transfers heat so you get a perfect toasting every time. Despite its small size it’s actually very powerful, with 1800 watts of power and eight functions (including a cookie function, because why not). This is the toaster oven to choose if you want the high Breville quality but don’t need to full size version—the compact size fits four slices of bread or a 12-inch pizza, perfect for solo living.
KitchenAid appliances, how we love thee. This gourmet toaster oven is big enough to roast a full chicken and two 12-inch pizzas (on separate racks) and has a convection setting for faster cooking. It has 9 pre-programmed functions, including Asado Roast for seriously precise roasting. On the inside you’ll find CeramaShield coating that is non-stick, scratch resistant and PTFE/PFOA free. And of course, it comes in a range of beautiful KitchenAid colors.
From Japan comes “the perfect toaster”—an attractive, minimalist toaster oven that cooks with steam to prevent the bread from drying out. Haters will say that it’s not worth the hassle (the Balmuda isn’t yet readily available in the US), especially since it’s made to be used at 100 volts (which is lower than the US standard). Believers will tell you that it makes the best toast they’ve ever had and is well worth the investment if you take your toasted foods seriously. Whichever side you’re on, you can’t deny the innovative technology behind the Balmuda and its superior abilities.
At the very high end is this professional toaster oven from Wolf, a brand known for superior quality and innovation. With its signature red knobs and sleek design, the Wolf is a great aesthetic addition to any kitchen, as well as a high-powered one. One standout feature is the integrated temperature probe, which allows you to cook meats to your preferred internal temperature without constantly opening the door to check. With advanced perimeter convection functionality precise temperature control, plus six cooking modes and five heating options, the Wolf is well worth the seriously high price.
Tips for Choosing Between a Toaster & Toaster Oven
- Think about space. If you have limited counter space, a toaster is probably your best bet—not only are they smaller, but they’re also easy to stow away when not in use. There are many compact toaster ovens out there, but a toaster is still more space-efficient.
- Consider what you need out of a toasting appliance. If you really only need to toast bread and bagels, a normal toaster will do the trick. On the other hand, if you’re always heating up leftovers a toaster oven is a much better alternative to a microwave.
- How many people are you toasting for? If you live alone, using a toaster oven is a much more efficient way of cooking small meals compared to a traditional oven. But, if you live with roommates or a family and use your oven all the time, a toaster is probably sufficient.