The Best Toaster Ovens of 2018 – A Buying Guide
Let’s face it:
Your kitchen is incomplete without a toaster oven.
Sometime, not too long ago, toaster ovens were simply spacious toasters. Today, the best toaster ovens are actual, traditional, fully featured ovens in a compact form factor.
As terrific as that may read, it throws up a bit of inconvenience. Buying a toaster oven today isn’t as clear-cut as it once was.
There’re a lot of technobabble and marketing speak, which for most people, hardly ever appropriately answers the question—“What’s the best toaster oven for my needs?”
That’s where I come in. To make things easy for you, I have compiled a list of the best toaster ovens on store shelves.
- 1. Breville Smart Oven PRO [BOV845BSS]
- 2. Panasonic Flash Xpress [NB-G110PW] – Best Infrared Toaster Oven
- 3. Cuisinart Convection Microwave Oven with Grill [CMW-200] – Best Microwave Toaster Oven
- 4. Black+Decker 4- Slice Toaster Oven [TO1313SBD] – Best Toaster Oven Under $50
- 5. Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven [TOB-260N1]
- 6. Oster Extra Large Countertop Oven [TSSTTVDGXL-SHP] – Best Large Size Toaster Oven
- 7. KitchenAid 12” Convection Countertop Oven [KCO275SS]
- 8. Black+Decker Convection Toaster Oven [CTO6335S] – Best Convection Toaster Oven under $100
- 9. Cuisinart Convection Steam Toaster [CSO-300N1] – Best Combi Convection Steam Toaster Oven
- 10. Cuisinart Rotisserie Convection Toaster Oven [TOB-200N] – Best Rotisserie Convection Toaster Oven
Dimensions (in): W-18.5 x D-15.8 x H-11 | Max Fit: 6 slices, 13” pizza, a whole chicken | Number of Presets: 10 | Power: 1800W | Features: Convection, Excellent Element IQ technology, Auto Shut-Off, Auto Eject, Non-Stick Interior Coating, Interior Oven Light, LCD Display
Exquisite design that screams PREMIUM and DURABLE
Gorgeous isn’t a word many would use to describe a standard toaster oven. It’d appear sarcastic at best, or downright inappropriate at worst.
If you’re going to pay top dollar for a top-of-the-line model of the best toaster oven series on the planet, it may as well add to the aesthetics of your kitchen not detract from it.
The Breville Smart Oven Pro is a beaut adorned with brushed stainless steel, giving it a refined, sharp, sleek look that passes a firm message to any casual observer—‘this was not cheaply built.’
And, boy, is that an accurate message!
The Breville BOV845BSS will serve you well, and for a long time; regardless of whether you use it occasionally or every other day.
Performance that blows you away
The Breville Smart Oven Pro is the benchmark of toaster oven performance.
For starters, it employs the proprietary Element IQ technology exclusive to the Smart Oven series. Aptly named, the technology involves the use of FIVE (5) quartz heating elements that are independent and controlled smartly to deliver optimum heat to the right spots at the right time for precision cooking.
The result is outstanding. Toasts are sufficiently, evenly brown on both sides without grate marks. Roasts are succulent and crispy. Cupcakes have an even yellow shade with perfectly rounded tops, and are delectably airy and moist; especially in convection mode.
Talking about convection mode, it is one of TEN (10) pre-set cooking functions, each of which has a unique time and temperature setting suggested by the oven. The convection mode speeds cooking time by up to 30%, with terrific results. And that’s in addition to the general ultra-low preheating time of the BOV845BSS, thanks to its 1800 watts power rating.
However, should you want to take things slow, the BOV845BSS has a slow-cook function to tenderize and develop complex flavors. The slow-cook function can run for up to TEN (10) hours.
Another preset that deserves special mention is the warm function, which can keep your food warm for up to TWO (2) hours.
The Breville Smart Oven Pro isn’t smart in name only. It actually remembers your selections for easy replication next time and it has temperature conversion functions.
And it has ample room to perform all of its functions exceptionally. You could
- bake a cake in it,
- broil a handful of steaks,
- stick a 13-inch pizza in it,
- fit in a 3.5-quart Dutch oven with a lid or a 5-quart Dutch oven with a foil; or
- roast a whole chicken with it
Oh, and the top is designed to function as a plate warmer.
Unparalleled functionalities in a complete package
The Breville Smart Oven Pro BOV845BSS muffles the competition with its complete range of vital features. It includes all the bells and whistles that you’d expect a premium toaster oven to have, and then some more.
- Its digital backlit LCD display presents characters that are legible to read and the soft blue or orange backlight is easy on the eyes. Making for an easy and intuitive way to select or set preferred functions or controls.
- Complementing the LCD display are clearly marked buttons, dials, and very importantly, a visual guide on the glass door indicating the optimal position to place the wire rack for each cooking function.
- The Smart Oven Pro has the best implementation of the convection add-on feature on a toaster oven, as you can turn the convection fan on or off at any time. Unlike other models that limit the use of convection to baking.
- After you finish with the settings, place your food in the oven, and it is operational; the replaceable internal halogen light illuminates your food for improved visibility through the glass door. This allows you to keep track of the cooking process without having to open the door, take the food out, and inspect closely repeatedly.
- Once cooking is complete, open the glass door and the rack would slide out automatically thanks to the auto eject It is a practical feature that makes your food easily accessible and reduces the chance of accidental burns.
- Breville pushes the frontier of safety by also including an auto shut-off Safety is a big deal, as the consequences are dire. The auto shut-off feature is that extra layer of security that prevents avoidable accidents, especially for those who are forgetful or have the scary habit of leaving food unattended.
- Still, one of the most understated features of the Smart Oven Pro is its non-stick interior coating. Cleaning is hardly ever fun for most people, but the PFOA-free ceramic coating is safe and makes maintenance a breeze.
- The icing on the cake is a trio of handy accessories— the baking, broiling, and pizza pans, which complement the standard wire rack to make for a truly comprehensive, premium purchase.
The best toaster oven in 2018: Not a contest
The Breville BOV845BSS is so terrific; it is in a class of its own. Rarely do you find a product that delivers equally and exceptionally on aesthetics, functionality, usability, and safety—the FOUR metrics that matter most for a toaster oven.
- The luxurious, remarkable build and craftsmanship will fit just as nicely as any high three-figure or four-figure appliance in any kitchen.
- Its performance would make you forget to use your actual, conventional oven especially for routine baking, roasting, broiling, and reheating tasks.
- The functional, accessible, user-friendly design complete with a well-detailed, comprehensive instruction book/manual makes it a pleasure to use.
- And just as importantly, features such as auto shut-off and auto-eject are the little touches that really put it head and shoulders above the rest of the competition.
The Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven Pro is the best toaster oven for most people and there’s no contest.
|Exquisite design||ONE (1) year warranty|
|Robust set of features|
|Spacious interior with a volume of 0.8 cubic feet|
|Very easy and intuitive to use|
[When Money Is No Object]
There Is Always Room For Improvement
The Breville Smart Oven Pro BOV845BSS may be in a class of its own, but the Breville Smart Oven Air BOV900BSS dismantles the class system by instead taking the enviable title of best ever toaster oven to roll off the production line.
It competes with itself only as Breville outdoes itself with a toaster oven so premium it makes the Smart Oven Pro look average.
And this is not an exaggeration.
The BOV900BSS offers at least 20 new improvements over the BOV845BSS spanning virtually every department, from design to functionality.
This is because it is more than a toaster oven, and more than an oven even.
It replaces your toaster (obviously); makes your main oven near redundant, to be called upon only when you need all the space you can get (replaces a main oven in a small apartment cabin, or RV); has a proofer for rising dough; and possibly replaces your slow cooker; air fryer; and dehydrator.
In fact, the only con of the BOV900BSS is that it has more features (way versatile) than some people would need.
The BOV900BSS is unchallenged at the top of the totem pole.
Breville Smart Oven AIR versus Breville Smart Oven PRO: Which Should You Buy?
Buy the Breville Smart Oven AIR BOV900BSS if:
• You want to upgrade your current toaster oven and you want the best toaster oven money can buy
• You have a shortage of counter space and/or you are adverse to buying multiple kitchen appliances that perform singular functions
• You want the best available countertop oven that can, to a large extent, replace a main oven
Buy the Breville Smart Oven PRO BOV845BSS if:
• The 60% markup price of the AIR over the PRO is prohibitive
• You have separate appliances for most of the extra features baked in (and do not want duplication) and/or you do not need the larger size of the AIR
Panasonic is no stranger to the premium segment of the portable oven market. Its Flash Xpress NB-G110PW toaster oven is our runner-up best toaster oven giving the Breville Smart Oven Pro a run for its money (literally, at almost half the price).
Where Panasonic sets itself apart is innovation. It took the microwave market by storm with its patented Inverter technology, which actually make its microwaves regulate energy unlike the basic on/off implementation used by virtually every other microwave.
For the toaster oven market, it threw the Double Infrared technology in the works that sought to cut cooking times by up to 40%.
Not resting on its laurels, Panasonic takes it further by creating a new niche in the compact oven market. It is a bold (and expensive) step involving the expert use of three leading cooking technologies—its widely appreciated double infrared heating; the effective, increasingly popular induction cooking; and steaming.
The enticing result is an induction oven that should replace your main oven, toaster oven, and microwave. The Panasonic Countertop Induction Oven NU-HX100S gives you the excellent performance of a toaster oven (using its double infrared heating and steam jets) with the speed of a microwave oven (using induction). You can even grill with it.
Initial reviews are decent, with Consumer Reports giving it a clean bill of health in performance. But with a price that is around double the tag of our top pick, the Smart Oven Pro; the NU-HX100S is an enterprising investment for early adopters.
Other Compelling Options
The XL models are the original members of the Breville Smart Oven series (which presently include the BSS models, reviewed above). They differ primarily in design, size (capacity), price, and the presence (or absence) of select features.
However, they are alike in having quality build, incorporating the famed Element IQ technology, and in performance.
The Breville Smart Oven [BOV800XL]
The BOV800XL was the first member of the Smart Oven series (reason why its name is simply the Smart Oven) and it hit the market with a bang. Its success practically led to the development and subsequent release of other XL models for customers with tad more basic needs.
Breville Smart Oven versus Breville Smart Oven PRO: A Fairly Easy Decision
The BOV800XL and the BOV845BSS are alike in dimensions and performance; and share nearly the same feature set.
However, the Smart Oven PRO BOV845BSS is a newer release with FOUR key improvements over the Smart Oven BOV800XL.
1. A slightly improved (not easy to tell, unless you look closely) design with complete brushed stainless steel appearance; the BOV800XL has a stainless steel housing but with certain areas having a silver coating/appearance
2. The inclusion of an interior light that is replaceable and you can toggle on and off; the BOV800XL doesn’t have this light
3. The inclusion of a new slow cook preset function, with a default “keep warm” feature available for 2 hours; the BOV800XL doesn’t have either functions
4. It supports cooking times of up to 10 hours; the BOV800XL supports maximum cooking time of 2 hours
The Smart Oven BOV800XL does have two things going for it though:
• It has an exclusive CRANBERRY color option; not available on any other XL or BSS model
• It is a couple of dollars cheaper than the Smart Oven PRO BOV845BSS
My recommendation: Get the Smart Oven PRO BOV845BSS. The replaceable interior light alone is worth the slightly higher price tag, and that is beside the three other upgrades.
Breville Compact Smart Oven versus Breville Mini Smart Oven: Battle of the Ultra-Portables
If you want the best premium toaster oven available but find the footprint of the BOV900BSS, BOV845BSS, and BOV800XL to be rather too big for your available counter space; then you’d want to turn your attention to the ultra-portable Smart Oven models.
The Compact Smart Oven BOV650XL and the Mini Smart Oven BOV450XL ultra-portable duo are a lot like the Smart Oven PRO BOV845BSS and the Smart Oven BOV800XL duo; in that the Compact and Mini share many of the same features and have a small price difference (with the Compact being the more expensive and largest of the two).
The duo share several of the key features we’ve come to admire about the Smart Oven series with even the most expensive models, such as:
• durable stainless steel build
• the Element IQ technology
• same immense 1800-watt power rating
• committing customized settings to memory for seamless subsequent replication
• pull-out drip/crumb tray and non-stick interior cavity coating for easy cleaning and maintenance as well as auto shut-off for safety reasons
Furthermore, they perform just as well and use their smaller size as an advantage to reduce preheating time.
That said, partly owing to the lower price they command, you’d have to forego some of the more premium features in the top, larger models. The Compact and Mini:
• do not have the convection feature
• do not have the ‘warm’ preset function (available in the BOV845BSS and BOV800XL) and ‘slow cook’ preset function (available in the BOV845BSS)
• do not have an interior light
• do not have separate dials for temperature/toast shade and time/number of slices
• do not have a pizza pan accessory
• have FOUR (4) elements (the BOV845BSS and BOV800XL have 5, while the BOV900BSS has 6), although they probably do not need the extra elements because of their smaller capacity
If these trade-offs are not deal breakers to you, then you’ll find either of the duo models to be perfect.
Making a choice
The primary factor to guide your decision is how much counter space you can afford to give up, so get your tape measure out, and head to your counter. Don’t forget to note clearance requirements.
If you have the space to fit either models, then you should get the Compact obviously. However, if available space can only fit the Mini, the only features you’d be missing are:
• design that’s a lot like that on the higher-priced models; although the design on the Mini is unique for the Smart Oven line with a powder-coated housing, and it is built with same brushed stainless steel as all higher-priced models
• the “temperature/toast shade + time/number of slices” selection dial; the Mini has buttons instead
• a 0.6 cubic feet capacity that can fit a 12” pizza; the Mini has a 0.45 cu. ft. capacity that can fit an 11” pizza
• a broil rack accessory
Still, you do not have to brood over your choice if you go for the Mini, as Breville throws in a nifty “A BIT MORE” button to marginally make up for the missing features. The button adds 30 seconds or more to your cooking time depending on function, which is great for those times when you need a little bit more time to get a “perfect” cooking result.
And yes, the button is unique to the Mini model. How about that for an exclusive feature?!
Dimensions (in): W-13 x D-12 x H-10.2 | Max Fit: 4 slices, 9” pizza | Number of Presets: 6 | Power: 1300W | Features: Excellent flashXpress technology, Auto Shut-Off, Auto Eject, Non-Stick Interior Coating, Interior Oven Light, LCD Display
A unique direction
The modern toaster oven may be a better-designed, fully featured iteration of the original 20th century toaster oven; but the mode of operation is undeniably similar.
Manufacturers have mostly stuck to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” maxim. Toaster ovens still take time to pre-heat, a downside the microwave movement capitalized on. The convection feature may reduce overall cooking time, but it does nothing about the preheating issue.
Faced with this conundrum, Panasonic developed the flashXpress technology. It is a different take on how toaster ovens should function.
Rather than have elements heat the air in the oven; and the heated air in turn heat the food; the ceramic and quartz elements in the Panasonic Flash Xpress [NB-G110PW] transfer thermal energy via infrared directly to the food.
On paper, the difference may appear to be marginal. But in reality, the difference elicits a “Holy Smoke!” response.
It just works
Aside the name of the technology, there’s nothing really fanciful to it. No ‘smart,’ ‘next-gen,’ ‘AI,’ or some other buzzword-labeled intricacies: Just the systematic use of a type of light wave, your body also emits.
But the performance rivals and sometimes bests that of conventional toaster ovens. To start with, the flashXpress double-infrared technology eliminates the need for preheating. Infrared is a type of light wave, which means it travels very fast, way faster than hot air particles.
The implication is that it doesn’t only just provide instant heating, it cuts regular toaster oven cooking time by up to 40%. More importantly, the cooking results are remarkable—whether it is toasting, baking, reheating, or defrosting.
Toasts have a lovely golden-brown (you can adjust the browning using the toast shade selector) without uneven patches, Bagel Bites are crispy-yet-melty, it reanimates leftovers, and it defrosts food thoroughly without leaving still-frozen areas in the middle.
Features that enliven the cooking experience
The Panasonic Flash Xpress NB-G110PW is a premium toaster oven. The ‘premium’ tag comes with certain expectations, and the Flash Xpress delivers on most of them. Its prominent functionalities include:
- An easy to use touch-pad for configuring cooking settings with an LCD display timer and a pleasant reminder beep
- SIX (6) pre-set functions complemented with a 5-shade toast shade selector
- Extensive temperature range, from 250 to 500 degrees (in Fahrenheit)
- Interior oven light
- Auto-eject feature
- Auto-shutoff feature
- Non-stick interior coating
- Add-on baking tray accessory
If it is so great, why isn’t it the top pick?
Bar the Breville Smart Oven models, the Panasonic Flash Xpress doesn’t have a rival. It even contends with the Smart Oven top models with its unmatchable quick cooking speeds, excellent performance, and slew of high-end features; despite being considerably cheaper.
However, it falls short on a few aspects that may matter to some individuals.
The Flash Xpress isn’t built to handle lots of cooking at a time. Its square inner tray can only accommodate FOUR (4) bread slices or a 9” pizza. In comparison, the Breville Mini Smart Oven BOV450XL (the smallest smart oven model) can fit an 11” pizza.
For many people though, this isn’t much of a big deal. Not everyone needs a large toaster oven (nor have space for one), and for this crowd an oven with a compact footprint is a MUST-HAVE.
Furthermore, the speed and exceptional performance of the Flash Xpress offers a bit (maybe more than a bit) of respite for the size limitation. It consistently gives thorough, evenly browned/cooked results, batch after batch in less time than a conventional toaster oven.
Convection has become a sort of regular feature on modern premium toaster ovens, that it seems like an odd omission on the Flash Xpress. Except that, the Panasonic NB-G110PW probably doesn’t need it.
The purpose of the convection feature in a standard toaster oven is to speed up cooking, by increasing the circulation of hot air. The Flash Xpress is already a speed demon in its own right, all thanks to the double-infrared technology. Which makes convection one feature you likely wouldn’t miss.
And there’s a practical basis for this inference.
The Frigidaire Professional Infrared Convection Toaster Oven [FPCO06D7MS] is an infrared toaster oven with the convection feature. Still, its performance pales in comparison to that of the Flash Xpress.
Not for roasting or broiling
You couldn’t get a chicken in it if you tried. And it doesn’t have a broil feature either.
Other downsides include:
- Bland aesthetics; it wouldn’t win a design award
- Lack of a dial; simply a subjective preference for folks who dislike the ritual of pushing buttons to operate a toaster oven
- Maximum cooking time of 25 minutes; you’d have to restart after it elapses
- You can only select between EIGHT (8) temperature pre-sets; for example, you can’t select 300 °F, you get either 285 °F or 320 °F but nothing between. This quirk doesn’t negatively impact performance though.
- The infrared elements make the interior unusually bright (for a toaster oven) while in operation and without the oven light turned on; more of a manageable inconvenience for some users than a dealbreaker
In spite of all these, the Flash Xpress NB-G110PW is an amazing toaster oven with a hardcore consumer following. Its exceptional performance at an affordable price point makes all its diminutive flaws seem immaterial to many users.
The Flash Xpress may not be the jack-of-all-trades of toaster ovens like the Breville Smart Oven PRO flagship; but for the tasks it is built for, no competing toaster oven does it better—not even models that cost twice as much.
And for many users, that pretty much sums up why it is a MUST buy.
|NO preheating||ONE (1) year warranty|
|Cooks fast like a “flash”||Can’t roast, broil, nor bake cake/bread|
|Premium features||Maximum cooking time of 25 minutes|
|User-friendly and intuitive to use|
|Affordable price tag|
Panasonic Flash Xpress NB-G110PW versus Panasonic Flash Xpress NB-G110P: Is There Any Special Difference?
To answer the question: NO.
The NB-G110PW is the white model, while the NB-G110P is the grey model. Aside the exterior color difference, everything else about both products is the same.
Dimensions (in): W-20.5 x D-19 x H-12.5 | Turntable Diameter (in): 12.4 | Volume: 1.2 cu. ft. | Number of Presets: 9 | Power: 1000W | Features: Microwave + Convection + Grill, Automatic Multi Stage Cooking, Stainless Steel Interior, Interior Oven Light, LCD Display + Touchpad
An aesthetically pleasing design
It is hard to argue against the observation that, on average, microwaves have better designs than toaster ovens. The Cuisinart CMW-200 is one of, if not, the best-designed toaster oven on this list.
And that’s because it adheres firmly to the popular microwave design philosophy with its brushed stainless steel build, symmetric boxy design, and sleek accents.
Its attractive design extends to the interior with a 12.4” rotating glass turntable sitting at the bottom of an elegant space with complete stainless steel coating. The stainless steel coating choice isn’t all about appearance though, as it is has the desirable benefits of not absorbing odors and being easy to clean.
The best of both worlds
The Cuisinart CMW-200 is technically a convection microwave [oven]. It microwaves like any regular microwave oven. In addition, it has a heating element and a fan to function as a regular convection oven.
The best part is that both functions are independent of each other. You could use either singly (microwave popcorn or bake a cake using convection), use them together, or use them in quick succession (taking advantage of the multi stage feature).
The benefits are immense. You get the speed of a microwave for tasks like defrosting, while you get crispy, non-soggy cooking of a convection oven for tasks like roasting; without having to own two appliances.
And for a dual-purpose (actually tri-purpose, since it has a grill feature) portable oven, the cooking outcomes across the board are pleasantly surprising.
Fully spec’d out
The Cuisinart CMW-200 microwave toaster oven combo is chock-full of necessary functionalities to take advantage of its multi-purpose build.
- It has a power rating of 1000 watts (it may not be the highest on our list, but it gets the jobs done).
- It has NINE (9) presets for common cooking tasks—popcorn, potato, beverage, reheat, fresh vegetable, frozen vegetable, roast chicken, cake, and pizza (the last three presets use the convection function).
- Complementing these presets are EIGHT (8) functions that offer more control—microwave, convection, convection roast, convection fast bake, grill/combo, keep warm, defrost, and memory.
- The presets and functions offer precision in addition to control and ease of use: For example, you can press on the “popcorn” preset multiple times to indicate the appropriate weight or the “potato” preset multiple times to indicate the number of potatoes you’d place inside the oven compartment. You may also defrost by weight or by time or keep food warm at 100 °F or 150 °F.
- Get the best baking, roasting, and grilling results with the use of the reversible grill rack. The grill rack offers dual-level cooking—low or high position depending on how close you want your food to be to the heating element—simply by flipping it on its short or long legs.
- Combine any of the eight functions in a 2-3 steps procedure using the multi-stage cooking For example, you can defrost a casserole, heat it up with the microwave function, and grill it to brown the top, without having to wait to enter the functions singly. The oven beeps once to notify you when a stage is complete.
Better still, if you use a procedure often, you can save it for quick selection later, using the memory function. You can add up to 3 procedures to the oven’s memory.
- It has an extensive temperature range, from 100 to 425 degrees (in Fahrenheit); and allows you to increase cooking time in 30-second intervals.
- Cuisinart offers the best warranty coverage in the toaster oven industry. The CMW-200 has a THREE (3) years warranty.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
No, it’s not a typo.
The Cuisinart CMW-200 can microwave, can roast, can grill, can even microwave and grill at the same time; but it wouldn’t give you same amazing toast as you’d get with the Breville Smart Oven Pro or the Panasonic Flash Xpress.
It has only one grilling element at the top (the Smart Oven Pro has 5). Combined with the convection fan, it is sufficient for grilling, roasting, baking, and other convection cooking tasks.
However, for toast, it’d at best make the bread warm and dry its surface substantially. But the result wouldn’t measure up to that of a full-fledged premium toaster oven or toaster.
If a microwave toaster oven is a must-have for you and you still desire to make perfect toasts regularly, then I advise you also purchase a quality affordable toaster.
Exact temperature selections is not possible
This is a flaw shared with the Flash Xpress. Thankfully, as with the Flash Xpress, it doesn’t negatively affect performance.
This is a highly subjective drawback. Still, it is worth noting that the CMW-200 isn’t the quietest kitchen appliance.
And while the sound it emits doesn’t seem to bother most users, it can be nerve-racking for some.
The 1000W power rating of the Cuisinart CMW-200 may appear modest. Considering that the power rating of the Smart Oven Pro is an imposing 1800W and that of the Flash Xpress is 1300W; while both have a smaller volume than the CMW-200.
Even so, the CMW-200 holds its own in terms of performance. Certainly, it wouldn’t have hurt to add more power, but much of the complaints about the power are often directed at the convection feature. Which is fairly misguided, because convection and toaster ovens take a while to heat up in general, unlike their infrared and microwave cousins.
A powerhouse with a fitting price tag
Combo appliances have the unique ability to sound good on paper and sell prospective users on lofty propositions: Only to fall short of expectations during real-world usage.
The Cuisinart CMW-200 Convection Microwave with Grill drops this cloak by offering practical usage experience that lives up to its promise of offering a microwave and a convection toaster oven in the same package.
It looks as good as it performs; it is easy, intuitive, and pleasurable to use; it boasts a hefty load of functionalities; and its performance is satisfactory. And at a price that is considerably cheaper than our top pick—the Breville Smart Oven Pro—the CMW-200 offers exceptional value.
The CMW-200 is one of the lowest priced microwave toaster oven available that is worth its salt. Given that the Sharp R930CS, once the gold standard of convection microwaves is now discontinued and its replacement doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence; despite being at least twice as expensive as the CMW-200.
It may not toast that well, but the Flash Xpress can’t broil or roast. It is larger than both higher-ranked toaster ovens and trumps them in the warranty segment with its industry-leading THREE (3) years warranty.
It is a perfect fit for those living in tight quarters or who need its versatility for remote usage; such as in small apartments, RVs, and boats (note the clearance requirements though—3 inches at the sides and back, and 12 inches of vertical headspace).
|Design fits any upscale kitchen décor||Can’t toast|
|Lots of features|
|Incredible value for the price|
|THREE (3) years warranty|
Other Compelling Options
Samsung is a brand that needs no introduction, and the MC11K7035CG (I never really get why their naming scheme has to be so perpetually weird) is a recent refresh that aims to bring the best and latest in microwave toaster oven combo technology.
As expected, it has a premium design with a ceramic enamel interior for easy cleaning. In the functionality department, it equals and even supersedes the offering of the Cuisinart CMW-200 with its microwave, convection, grill, and slim fry combination.
It also offers Sensor Cook, Combination Cook, and Eco Mode (to reduce power consumption when on standby).
In a direct contest based on similar functionalities, the Samsung Power Convection Microwave Oven offers better performance. Power Convection and PowerGrill may sound like regular buzzwords meant to make you reach deeper into your wallet without offering anything tangible over the competition, but both are a step-up from the convection and grill features on the Cuisinart Convection Microwave Oven with Grill.
The Power Convection has a whooping 1790W power rating (comparable to the 1800W of the Breville Smart Oven Series), while that of the PowerGrill is 1300W. Cuisinart does not share comparable output power ratings for its convection and grill, but its input ratings (which is always higher than output ratings) of 1500W for convection and 1100W for grill are considerably lower.
The performance of the CMW-200 may be pleasantly surprising, but that of the MC11K7035CG is as close to perfection as you’d get on a microwave toaster oven combo.
Oh, and it toasts much better than the CMW-200.
Slim fry, sensor cook, and eco mode are exclusives that you wouldn’t find on the CMW-200. The Samsung Power Convection Oven offers much more though.
Its touchpad may not be as crowded as that of the CMW-200, but that’s more of a drive at improved simplicity than the lack of functionalities. For instance, while the Cuisinart Convection Microwave Oven has 9 presets, the MC11K7035CG has over two dozen presets. The Power Convection function alone has 14 different presets, with several presets offering improved precision like on the CMW-200—where you can adjust a preset by number of servings (weight) or volume.
It also offers custom single and combined use of functions.
Making a choice
The MC11K7035CG does not exactly surpass the CMW-200 in all aspects. The CMW-200 is negligibly larger (1.2 cu. ft. versus 1.1 cu. ft.), has a 3-year warranty (versus 1-year warranty), and is considerably cheaper.
Still, paying extra for the Samsung MC11K7035CG Power Convection Microwave is a deal you do not want to pass up if the price tag is not prohibitive to you.
However, if you don’t see yourself paying that much for a countertop toaster oven, then the Cuisinart CMW-200 is a safe choice.
The Samsung Grill Microwave Oven is gorgeous, prolly gorgeous to a fault—its mirrored finish reduces visibility of food inside of the oven.
That doesn’t take away from its premium design, sturdy build, and decent performance. Its sleek, stylish black stainless steel build fitted with a front-facing mirror design is a head-turner. Having the LCD display mesh seamlessly with the mirror finish and complementing it with a neatly arranged touch pad certainly shows that the design team went to town on the MG14H3020CM.
The Samsung Grill Microwave Oven isn’t meant to compete with the big boys. It is simply a full-fledged microwave with a grill and ceramic plate to make food crispy—great for pizza, sandwiches, fish, and bacon. It doesn’t have convection, and that’s the major reason for its affordability.
In a nutshell, a comparison between the Samsung MG14H3020CM Grill Microwave and the Samsung MC11K7035CG Power Convection Microwave boils down to needs and budget.
The MG14H3020CM doesn’t have convection, slim fry, or sensor cooking found in the Power Convection Microwave.
But it does have same:
• quality stainless steel build,
• ceramic enamel interior for easy cleaning,
• PowerGrill—grill + grill rack + ceramic plate,
• auto-cook presets,
• ten (10) power levels, and
• eco mode
Its 950W microwave power rating is comparable to the 1000W microwave rating of the MC11K7035CG, the grill offers a decent performance equivalent to that of the CMW-200, and it is larger than both higher-rated models with a 1.4 cu. ft. volume.
If you pretty much have your eyes set on a microwave—not willing to forego its phenomenal speed and ability to make popcorn for movie nights—but want food that your palates would prefer, and can’t be bothered about convection, then the Samsung MG14H3020CM Grill Microwave Oven is your best bet.
If its 22” x 18.1” x 12.3” (WDH) dimensions (excluding clearance requirements) is over the top for you and/or you suspect that the mirrored finish would seriously hamper visibility even with the interior oven light on; then you should get the Samsung MG11H2020CT Grill Microwave Oven with a 1.1 cu. ft. volume.
It is identical to the MG14H3020CM in everything but size, lack of front mirror finish, and slightly higher power rating of 1000W. It is also a couple of dollars cheaper.
Dimensions (in): W-15.5 x D-10 x H-8.5 | Max Fit: 4 slices, 9” pizza | Number of Presets: 4 | Power: 1150W | Features: EvenToast technology, Stay-on Function
Keeping it simple
Ok, let’s take a break from all the super-duper, top-of-the-line toaster ovens with tons of features crammed in to bloat the spec sheet.
Some of us really just want a classic toaster oven. A toaster in a portable oven form factor:
- with the extra real estate for food that may or may not fit in a slot,
- that toasts as well as bake and broil,
- but without the frills and a three-figure price tag
The BLACK+DECKER 4-Slice Toaster Oven is that oven.
No, it doesn’t have convection, LCD display, air fryer (slim fry), and what not. What it does have are essentials that make it a useful toaster oven with a decent performance.
Critical features that guarantee decent performance
- To start with, the T01313SBD has a stainless steel build for durability and to fit with the aesthetics of most kitchens
- It has a mini size, similar to the Panasonic Flash Xpress, that fits up to 4 slices and a 9” pizza
- It boasts an EvenToast technology to offer a solid performance—whether it is toasting crispy bagel or bread, baking a potato or soft cupcakes, or heating up a leftover
- It offers FOUR (4) basic pre-set functions—toast, bake, broil, and warm
- It is fitted with THREE (3) dials/knobs—to select temperature, cooking function, and time—for easy control
- It has a toast shade selector, removable crumb tray, and includes a bake pan and broil rack as accessories
No flaws worth pointing out
Before you purchase the Black+Decker TO1313SBD Toaster Oven, it is crucial to note that it is not a premium toaster oven. It isn’t priced as one, and you shouldn’t expect it to perform as one.
Once you acknowledge this fact, the value proposition of the TO1313SBD becomes undeniably apparent—acceptable performance at a budget-friendly price point.
It may not have the most power, may take a while to preheat, and may not be as fast as the Flash Xpress; but the results are not off the mark. It sufficiently browns toasts evenly and on both sides. Baking and broiling results are equally satisfactory.
And while its timer maxes out at 30 minutes, unlike the Flash Xpress you do not have to restart after it elapses. Rather, it has a nifty stay-on feature that you could select with the timer dial to keep it operational for as long as you need (although, I advise against this for obvious safety reasons, especially if you’d step out of the kitchen).
Its temperature range of 150°F to 450 °F is as extensive as you’d need for most cooking tasks.
The Black+Decker 4-Slice Toaster Oven TO1313SBD
- has a design that doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb;
- offers a better than average performance;
- is very easy to use;
- is simple to clean and maintain;
- is available at roughly 1/8th and 1/3rd the cost of our top pick and runner up respectively; and
- has a 2-year warranty (our top two picks have one year warranty)
If there’s a feature you can’t do without and it isn’t on the TO1313SBD, say convection or an interior oven light, up your budget and go for another toaster oven on the list.
However, if you want a modern iteration of the classic toaster oven that has served homes dutifully for decades, you can’t go wrong with the Black+Decker TO1313SBD.
|Stainless steel build||None worth mentioning|
|Decent array of features|
|Easy to use and clean|
|Very affordable price tag|
Black+Decker 4-slice Toaster Oven TO1313SBD versus Black+Decker 4-slice Toaster Oven TO1303SB: The Differences
Both models are identical in functions and performance. The difference between both models is cosmetic.
The 1303SB has a slightly shinier, more elegant appearance; and it has better knobs (dials) compared to the 1313SBD. Thus, it is marginally more expensive.
However, it is worth noting that although both models have had durability complaints most likely due to defective products, the rate of complaints was higher for the 1303SB.
Other Compelling Options
The Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Toaster Oven shares several similarities with the Black+Decker 4-slice Toaster Oven.
It has a stainless steel build, its power rating is 1200W (comparable to 1150W of the TO1313SBD), it fits up to 4 bread slices and a 9” pizza, it has a maximum temperature of 450 °F, and it has a maximum time limit of 30 minutes—with a stay-on feature as well.
It is also competitively priced at about the same price point as the TO1303SB (since it does feature similar knobs as the TO1303SB that are better than those on the TO1313SBD).
A unique offering
Although, the TO1313SBD one-ups the Easy Reach by offering a warm cooking function (they both can toast, bake, and broil), the Easy Reach counters with a unique, useful roll-top door design.
Most toaster ovens, premium models inclusive, adopt a pull-down door design. There isn’t much of an issue with it, but the roll-top door of the Easy Reach is a substantially better door design.
It offers three compelling benefits:
• It is way easier to reach food in the oven—staying true to its “Easy Reach” name. You do not have to pull the rack to check on your food, grab toast at the back, or season your food (say sprinkle cheese on a pizza).
• Prevents food accidentally spilling on the door—an occasional inconvenience with pull-down doors
• The door is detachable to enable effective cleaning for comprehensive maintenance as well as to ensure optimum visibility through its glass door
Dual rack positions
On first look, one of the differentiating features between the Black+Decker TO1313SBD and the Easy Reach is that while the TO1313SBD has THREE (3) knobs, the Easy Reach has TWO (2) knobs.
Admittedly, the extra function dial on the TO1313SBD makes using it a tad easier. But using the Easy Reach isn’t a pain either. The temperature dial doubles as the function dial.
The real deal however is the inclusion of two rack positions. Similar to the multiple rack positions feature in more premium toaster ovens, such as the Breville Smart Oven PRO with its three rack positions or the Smart Oven AIR with its whopping eight rack positions.
The low rack position is ideal for toasting and baking, while the high rack position is preferable for broiling. This is unlike the TO1313SBD that adopts an all-purpose approach with its single rack position for all four cooking functions.
The Hamilton Beach Easy Reach has two color variants.
• The 31334 which is metallic gray in color
• The 31337 which is red in color
Making a choice
Ultimately, the Black+Decker TO1313SBD/TO1303SB 4-slice Toaster Oven is the more popular model with its familiar boxy design, the extra warm function, and the dedicated function knob.
However, if you are a big fan of practicality (roll-up door and dual rack positions), find retro design appealing, and/or need a red-colored budget toaster oven, you should get the Hamilton Beach 31334/31337 Toaster Oven.
Dimensions (in): W-22.6 x D-18.5 x H-13 | Max Fit: 9 slices, 13” pizza, a whole chicken | Number of Presets: 15 | Power: 1875W | Features: Convection, Exact Heat and Always Even technologies, Auto Shut-Off, Non-Stick Interior Coating, Interior Oven Light, LCD Display
Appearance isn’t everything, but it sure is something worth noting. Especially when you’re about to swipe your card for a high-end toaster oven with a three-figure price tag.
The brushed stainless steel build decked with clean lines and elegant tones is the very definition of premium. Cuisinart goes all out on the TOB-260N1 from construction to styling.
On the control side of things, the Chef’s TOB-260N1 favors a “less is more” approach. It features an appropriately sized LCD backlit display, a dial, and six backlit buttons (to enable you use them seamlessly under low light conditions). But don’t read too much into that, the Cuisinart TOB-260N1 is chock-full of impressive features and functionalities.
Cuisinart extends its sleek, yet practical design to the interior with its use of BPA-/PTFE (Teflon)-free non-stick coating for an easy to clean interior—all accessories are BPA-free as well. It has FOUR (4) rack positions (clearly numbered), an interior oven light for improved visibility, and a convection fan installed by the side (as opposed to the back, which is the more popular implementation). It also has an auto-slide-out feature made possible by hooks placed on the inner side of the door (the hooks catch on a rack and pulls it out as you open the oven).
The Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven TOB-260N1 is a workhorse with terrific performance that places it firmly in the same category as the Breville Smart Oven Pro and the Panasonic Flash Xpress, and even slightly edges the competition in this regard.
- Its 95 cu. ft. (cubic feet or CFT) is more spacious than the 0.8 CFT of the Smart Oven Pro, allowing it
- To toast up to NINE (9) bread slices at a time, compared to SIX (6) in the Smart Oven Pro
- To properly distribute heat throughout the oven, Cuisinart outfits it with an 1875W power rating—the highest of any toaster oven on this list
- FIVE (5) thick interior heating elements (three on top and two at the bottom) make effective use of this power to deliver accurate temperatures
- To provide and maintain precise oven temperatures consistently, the TOB-260N1 incorporates smart functionality and proprietary Exact Heat technology that automatically controls each element—an element may be turned on or off, or have its power level altered, depending on the function (similar to the Element IQ technology of the Smart Oven series)
- Furthermore, thanks to the Always Even Toast Shade Control technology, the Chef’s TOB-260N1 offers even toasting results constantly, slice after slice.
- Use the selector to choose preferred shade (shades range from 1—light to 7—dark), select the number of slices you intend to toast (1-2, 3-4, 5-6, or 7-9), and select pizza size (up to 13”) to optimize heating time.
The Cuisinart TOB-260N1 complements exceptional performance with generous versatility.
Lots of cooking functions
The Chef’s TOB-260N1 boasts of an unprecedented FIFTEEN (15) cooking functions, most of which are the basic presets that are standard on premium toaster ovens—toast, bagel, waffle, keep warm, bake, broil, roast, pizza, leftovers, sandwich, and defrost.
That said, the Cuisinart Chef’s has two convection functions—standard convection and speed convection (which virtually eliminates preheating). Both functions have dedicated buttons to enable you turn them on or off at any time while cooking.
This implies that you can use either convection function in conjunction with another function, say roast, pizza, or leftover. For instance, you can use the leftover and speed convection functions at the same time.
In addition to offering the ability to use two baking racks to bake two different items at the same time owing to its increased capacity and four rack levels, Cuisinart equips the TOB-260N1 with an unarguably useful dual cook function. This function is similar to ‘phase cook’ in the Breville Smart Oven AIR BOV900BSS and ‘multi-stage cooking’ in the Cuisinart Convection Microwave Oven with Grill CMW-200.
As you’d prolly deduce from the name, the dual cook function allows you to program the oven to perform two functions in quick succession or program two different temperatures and times within the same function. For example, you can set a ‘bake + keep warm’ dual cook function for a casserole, to bake the casserole first and the keep warm function immediately kicks in afterwards to keep the casserole at serving temperature.
To cap it all off, the TOB-260N1 has a + 30 seconds option to add that itty-bitty time to make your food attain that sweet spot of perfect doneness. Like the convection functions, the dual cook and + 30 seconds functions have dedicated activation buttons.
Other useful features include:
- front pull-out crumb tray that is easy to clean
- extensive temperature range of 150 °F to 500 °F
- auto shut-off and reminder beep for safety
- comes standard with TWO (2) oven racks (grates or shelves), a baking or drip pan, a broiling pan, and a pizza stone (a fan favorite)
- offers an industry-leading THREE (3) years warranty
Flaws but not dealbreakers
- The TOB-260N1 adopts a minimalist design philosophy for the control panel whilst ramming in tons of features to pretty much guarantee a dip in intuitive usage.
The learning curve is not steep though. And when you get the hang of how to operate it, you would appreciate, if not prefer, its pared down interface.
- Lack of detailed visual guide to indicate optimal rack positioning for each cooking function.
To be fair, the Chef’s TOB-260N1 numbers the rack positions directly on the oven to make it easy to follow recommendations in the manual. However, it’d have been better not to have to consult the manual to identify optimal rack positions.
- The auto-slide-out feature is a rather crude alternative to the auto-eject feature in the Breville Smart Oven PRO and Panasonic Flash Xpress. The auto-eject on the Breville uses a magnet, while the TOB-260N1 uses hooks.
Granted, most times the auto-slide-out is seamless. But sometimes, the hook gets caught on other levels and jams the door in the process. It also has a bit of a misalignment that sometimes causes the rack to jump half of an inch to hop back into the hook, resulting in a spill if the dish on the rack has liquid in it.
- The interior oven light is not user-replaceable
- Lately, some recent buyers of the TOB-260N1 report the lettering on the buttons wearing off at an alarming rate.
Apparently, this isn’t just a tiny scrape nor does it occur after years of heavy use. Rather, it is happening with light use only after a few weeks, and over time leads to blank buttons that make telling what a button does near impossible.
This is a recent issue, only affects some units (enough to be worth noting though), and it is likely that Cuisinart would correct the error in their production line soon enough, as it also affects other models in the TOB series.
Admittedly, these drawbacks are minute (except the text/symbol wearing off) and overshadowed, several times over, by the Cuisinart’s long list of plus points.
Its elegant design, exceptional performance, competitive price tag, and lengthy warranty make it a top contender for the crown in the premium market segment. So much so that it is somewhat surprising it doesn’t have a cult following like the Breville Smart Oven and Panasonic Flash Xpress.
|Elegant design||Oven light is not user-replaceable|
|Outstanding performance||Labels wear off on some units|
|Brimming with unarguably useful features|
|Competitive price tag|
|THREE (3) years warranty|
Cuisinart TOB-260N1 versus Cuisinart TOB-260N versus Cuisinart TOB-260: How Do They Differ?
The Cuisinart TOB-260N1, TOB-260N, and TOB-260 have the same model name—Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven, have identical design, and you’d be hard pressed to tell them apart.
You’d be forgiven to think the TOB-260 is the original Chef’s, while the TOB-260N is the updated model with several under-the-hood upgrades. And the TOB-260N1 is the updated model of the TOB-260N.
In some respects, this is true. TheSweetHome contacted a Cuisinart representative who said they implemented “minor internal changes” in each successive model, which is why they have different model numbers.
The rep insisted though that the changes do not affect the performance.
And that is the key information really, the minor internal changes do not count as upgrades or improvements. All three versions are essentially the same. And anecdotal evidence points to this.
A user who reviewed the product on Amazon learned from his conversation with a Cuisinart support rep that with regards to the difference between the TOB-260N and the TOB-260, “there is no such thing as, and there never was, a model TOB-260.” According to the rep, “the model always has been TOB-260N, but it was suggested that retailers try to simplify matters by listing the item as 260.”
Makes sense. This is corroborated by the observation of other users that regardless of the model number (TOB-260N or TOB-260) emblazoned on the packaging or manual, the underside of the toaster oven had TOB-260N embossed on it.
Interestingly, I compared the manuals of the TOB-260N1 (the ‘up-to-date’ version) and the TOB-260N (the ‘discontinued’ version) and they were exactly the same (except the model number of course). Thus, at least in terms of design, features, function, usage, and performance; the TOB-260N1, TOB-260N, and TOB-260 are the same.
Unless otherwise stated, the same applies to other models in the TOB series with ‘N’ and ‘N1’ versions.
Other Compelling Options
Large, expensive, premium toaster ovens are not for everyone. It could be the size, cost, or both that put you off.
But it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with choosing from a plethora of small, cheap, so-so toaster ovens. The Cuisinart Chef’s TOB-260N1 has a number of siblings in smaller packages, with corresponding lower price tags, and pass as premium toaster ovens.
I’d be comparing them with similar models in the Breville Smart Oven series, since the Smart Oven models are the competitors to beat.
Cuisinart TOB ultra-portables versus Breville Smart Oven ultra-portables: Making A Pick Doesn’t Get Harder
In general, if you are in the market for a premium toaster oven that fits your limited counter space, the Breville Smart Oven ultra-portables (BOV650XL and BOV450XL) would be at the top of your list of potential buys.
For starters, the TOB ultra-portables and BOV ultra-portables share a decent number of similarities. Both have:
• 1800W power rating
• FOUR (4) heating elements
• Brushed stainless steel finish
• Easy-clean nonstick interior
• Slide-out crumb tray
• NO interior oven light
Not surprisingly, they have a couple of distinct differences. While the TOB ultra-portables fit up to SIX (6) slices and have the auto-slide-out feature, the BOV ultra-portables fit a maximum of FOUR (4) slices and do not have the auto-eject feature.
A major, and for some the most important, difference between both lines in the ultra-portable segment is that TOB models are up to 50% cheaper than comparable BOV models.
Cuisinart Deluxe Convection Toaster Oven TOB-135N versus Breville Compact Smart Oven BOV650XL: Should You Opt For A Bargain Or Go For The More Popular Choice?
In addition to the similarities shared earlier, the Cuisinart Deluxe and Breville Compact both have
• similar designs
• an LCD backlit screen
• THREE (3) rack positions
• same accessories—oven rack, baking pan, and broil rack
While the TOB-135N may claim to take up to SIX slices compared to FOUR slices for the BOV650XL, both have same 0.6 CFT volume. Clearly, the size of the bread slice would determine the maximum number of slices that’d fit in either toaster oven.
Furthermore, the TOB-135N with its proprietary Exact Heat and Always Even technologies (present in the flagship TOB-260N1) has similar top-end performance as the BOV650XL with its signature Element IQ technology (present in the BOV845BSS).
The BOV650XL goes on the offensive
That said, the Cuisinart Deluxe and Breville Compact have sharp differences. The Breville Compact is the better-looking and more user-friendly appliance of the two. No surprises here.
Its exquisite finish, user-friendly visual guide on the door, and sleek control panel stays true to the excellent build eccentricity of the Smart Oven series. In comparison, the Cuisinart Deluxe looks quite tame and adopts a pared down control panel design similar to that of the Cuisinart Chef’s.
As on the Chef’s, the Deluxe also has the “fading” issue, with text and symbols on buttons wearing off after a few weeks. That’s worth keeping in mind.
It’s also worth noting that the cooking temperature range of the Breville Compact is more extensive—120 °F to 450 °F. In comparison, the Cuisinart Deluxe cooking temperature range starts at 200 °F and ends at 450 °F.
The TOB-135N goes as high as 500 °F, but that temperature is reserved for the broil function, and can’t be altered. The BOV650XL, on the other hand, has HI and LOW broiling temperature settings.
The TOB-135N responds in kind
For all the BOV650XL’s advantages over the TOB-135N, the TOB-135N takes digs at the BOV650XL that are impossible to wave off.
• It offers convection, which is conspicuously absent on the BOV650XL
• It offers a THREE year warranty compared to the BOV650XL’s ONE year warranty
• It offers the aforementioned features and similar high-end performance & features as the BOV650XL at a lower price
Making a choice
The price difference between the Breville Compact BOV650XL and Cuisinart Deluxe TOB-135N may not be as high as that between the Breville BOV845BSS and Cuisinart TOB-260N1, but the difference in quality is minute.
And although the Deluxe may have the annoying “fading” issue, which understandably affects its rating negatively; it is worth pointing out that the older, now discontinued Deluxe TOB-135 model (that is identical to the newer Deluxe TOB-135N) had high rating comparable to that of the Breville Compact.
The better design and “quality” of the BOV650XL make for a sound value proposition, but it falls short due to the absence of convection despite toting a higher price tag.
Cuisinart Custom Classic Toaster Oven TOB-40N versus Breville Mini Smart Oven BOV450XL: Stay Within A Tight Budget Or Splurge For Better Quality
The widest gulf between two comparable models in the TOB and Smart Oven series exists between the TOB-40N and the BOV450XL. While the TOB-40N largely sticks to the core design language of the TOB series, the BOV450XL doesn’t immediately strike you as a Smart Oven series; but not in a bad way.
As the smallest-sized models in both lineups, they inevitable share a few similarities. They have roughly the same capacity—0.5 CFT for the TOB-40N and 0.45 CFT for the BOV450XL, both have THREE (3) rack positions and do not have convection. But beyond these and the similarities that all models of both series share, the TOB-40N and BOV450XL don’t share much in common.
The Cuisinart Custom Classic rides the bargain train
Cuisinart hasn’t been shy to portray its models as quality appliances available for cheap. And to be frank, that’s one of the core reasons why I dig the TOB series. But on the TOB-40N, Cuisinart didn’t quite hit the mark like they did on the TOB-135N or the TOB-260N1.
For starters, unlike its larger siblings, it features stainless steel only in front. We’d understand why it doesn’t have convection, but it doesn’t have the proprietary Exact Heat technology that pretty much defines the series.
Cuisinart includes the Always Even technology for even browning, so it’s not like the TOB-40N is at the Black+Decker TO1313SBD’s (our best sub-$50 toaster oven) level in terms of performance. But the lack of Exact Heat doesn’t inspire much confidence, considering that the BOV450XL includes the Element IQ technology (the Smart Oven series analog of Exact Heat).
The TOB-40N doesn’t also have an LCD display, while the BOV450XL has one. You’re stuck with the classic (well, at least on this count, its naming is apt) knob-only control panel; which looks kinda off on a toaster oven priced closer to $100 than $50.
Even then, the preset functions are about as basic as it gets. The TOB-40N has only toast, bagel, bake, and broil. There are no presets for pizza, roast, and warm (reheat), although you can select the bake function and customize temperature.
But here’s the part that I couldn’t wrap my head around, the TOB-40N doesn’t have a timer. To put that in perspective, the far cheaper Black+Decker TO1313SBD has a timer.
Apparently, Cuisinart thinks it is an acceptable idea for you to use a separate timer with a “premium mini toaster oven.” It’s not that big of a deal since you’d likely have a mobile phone (both feature and smartphones have a timer) close by to use, but it is an odd, unjustifiable omission.
And to top off a curiously long list of downsides, the texts/symbols on some Custom Classic models fade with time (an issue that plagues the entire TOB series).
That’s not to say the TOB-40N doesn’t have positives. It has a padded, cool-touch handle; auto-slide-out feature (using hooks); broil rack and baking pan accessories as well as the THREE (3) year warranty and relatively cheaper price tag (hard to justify when it doesn’t have a timer, but…) that always make TOB models stand out.
The Breville Mini defines high-end in a small package
While Cuisinart was exploring creative new ways to ruin an otherwise compelling model, Breville decided to go all in to solidify the edge of its Smart Oven series with the Mini.
The Mini wears a different design compared to its larger sibs; but still retains the core qualities of the Smart Oven line—exceptional design, top-of-the-line performance, and a matching three-figure price tag.
The BOV450XL maintains the Smart Oven tradition of having a better design compared to the TOB-40N. It sports an all-stainless-steel build, while Cuisinart only kitted up the TOB-40N’s front with stainless steel. However, what immediately stands out about the Mini design is its powder coating, unlike the brushed finish on the larger Smart Ovens.
It is an aesthetically pleasing refresh. Also part of the design refresh is its smaller handle and use of buttons for setting temperature and time. Although, it retains the signature symmetry, rack position visual guide on the door, LCD display, and function knob of the Smart Oven series, it feels different, but more importantly, in a good way.
You’d especially appreciate the difference/refresh with the inclusion of an “A BIT MORE” button in the control panel. It is a refined analog of the “+30s” button on the flagship Cuisinart Chef’s TOB-260N1 that surprisingly is missing on the TOB-135N and TOB-40N.
The “+30s” button on the TOB-260N1 is basic. It adds 30 seconds and you can only use it twice (that is, to add a maximum of 60 seconds) during a cooking cycle.
The “A BIT MORE” button on the BOV450XL is a lot more versatile. Each press adds a specific amount of time that is dependent on the cooking function you’re using. For example, a press when toasting adds 30 seconds, while a press when roasting adds 10 minutes. This is way better because an additional 30 seconds (or 60 seconds) is great for toasts, but not nearly enough when roasting.
Just as important as the varied added time is the fact that you can use it multiple times (no, not just twice as on the Chef’s) during a cooking cycle. When toasting, you can add as much as 10 minutes (that is 20x compared to 2x on the Chef’s). And when roasting, you can add as much as 90 minutes (that is 9x, the Chef’s can’t even go beyond 1 minute).
The “A BIT MORE” button is so remarkable and useful that I’m not sure why it is not a staple feature of the Smart Oven series. Even the most advanced model of the series—the BOV900BSS—for all its improvements doesn’t have the nifty button.
In addition to the exclusive “A BIT MORE” button, the Mini has “Defrost” and “Temperature Conversion” buttons; all three of which are absent on the Custom Classic.
Adding to an already long list of features on the BOV450XL that are not on the TOB-40N, including an LCD display, visual guide, and three aforementioned buttons; are:
• Reheat; the TOB-40N does not have this feature
• Specific roast, pizza, and cookies preset functions; on the TOB-40N you have to use the bake function as a sort of multi-purpose function for all three cooking functions, manually enter temperature, and set an external timer
• Timer; the TOB-40N does not have this feature
Furthermore, the BOV450XL outperforms the TOB-40N. The difference isn’t close as is the case between larger models of both lines, it is substantial. And it all boils down to the lack of Exact Heat tech on the TOB-40N, while the BOV450XL has the Element IQ tech.
The Breville Mini also allows you to increase temperature in 25-degree increments compared to 50-degree increments on the Cuisinart Custom Classic.
The BOV450XL does have a few drawbacks though. It doesn’t come with a broiling rack out of the box. Instead, Breville suggests you use the baking pan for broiling, but admits you’d get better performance with the broiling rack when roasting and broiling. You can buy the broil rack here (it fits in both the BOV450XL and BOV650XL).
And while you’re at it, you may consider getting the 11-inch non-stick pizza pan as well (I should state that the TOB-40N also does not come with a pizza pan out of the box).
Still talking about drawbacks, the Mini has the standard ONE (1) year warranty (the Custom Classic expectedly has THREE) and is considerably more expensive.
Making a choice
Choosing between the Cuisinart Custom Classic and the Breville Mini couldn’t have been any easier. The Custom Classic simply fails to put up much of a contest, which is an unpleasant surprise, considering how its larger sibs dug at competing Smart Oven models.
The Mini unarguably outclasses the Custom Classic in design (not surprising), features, and performance.
And while the TOB-40N has a broiling rack (which by the way is not at the same level as Breville separately sold broiling rack), better warranty, and lower price tag; on average, customers who buy the BOV450XL express better satisfaction than those who buy the TOB-40N.
The Breville Mini BOV450XL is simply the best high-end toaster oven with a small footprint. And unless its price is steep for you, it is the obvious choice.
And what about the Cuisinart Toaster Oven Broiler with Convection TOB-60N1? Is it worth buying?
The short answer is NO.
Read on to find out why.
It does have a couple of positives—a complete stainless steel build, it is the cheapest convection toaster oven of both TOB and BOV lines, and it has a keep warm feature; all three of which are lacking on the TOB-40N.
So what could be wrong?
How about we start with the absence of:
• Exact Heat technology,
• Timer (not again), and
And then it doesn’t have separate roast, pizza, and cookies preset functions. In fact, Cuisinart decided to have one function handle all three aforementioned functions, bake, and toast.
To complicate things further, the TOB-60N1 has the exact same volume (0.6 CFT) and design (bar its knob-only control panel) as the TOB-135N.
If you want a mid-sized high-end toaster oven, you should get the TOB-135N over the TOB-60N1. The better functionality and performance more than make up for the marginal increase in price.
Dimensions (in): W-21.65 x D-19.2 x H-12.91 | Max Fit: 14 slices, 16” pizza, a whole chicken | Number of Presets: 7 | Power: 1500W | Features: Convection, Auto Shut-Off, Easy Clean Steel Interior, LCD Display + Touchpad
Finally, a true oven replacement
You have your reasons. You want the largest toaster oven on the market. And every candidate you’ve checked out wasn’t quite up to mark.
The Oster Extra Large TSSTTVDGXL-SHP (I’ll avoid repeating the model number, sticking with the name instead—[Oster] Extra Large) is that “it” device that best satisfies your size, design, performance, and cost concerns.
This appliance is at the outer fringes of portability. By toaster oven standards, it is a behemoth. Its capacity (interior volume) is 50% larger than that of our top pick—the Breville BOV845BSS, double that of our top compact picks—the Cuisinart TOB-135N and Breville BOV650XL, and triple that of our top mini pick—the Breville BOV450XL.
The Oster Extra Large literally replaces your main oven for most everyday tasks and would provide ample supporting cooking real estate for times when you’d be having a lot of people over.
It would fit:
- TWO 16-inch pizzas,
- up to 14 bread slices,
- a whole chicken, or
- a 10–13 pound turkey
Top quality design and functionality to boot
The size of the Oster Extra Large may be its top selling point. But that wouldn’t matter much if it had underwhelming features, lackluster performance, and/or a prohibitive price tag.
Thankfully, it has none of those characteristics.
If there’s anything aside the size that Oster nailed to perfection, it’s the design. This big bad boy is a cross between a toaster oven and a microwave in appearance.
It has the complete stainless steel exterior (a common denominator of premium toaster ovens); large, clear pull-down door; and removable front crumb tray of toaster ovens. And complements these with the sleek touch pad control panel and easy-clean interior completely made of steel found in top-end microwaves.
It has a large padded handle, a thoughtful addition considering how much heat it produces. It also has two rack positions and two oven racks out of the box as well. And yes, it has a digital LCD display.
You really can’t ask for more from an oven that costs about as much as and is larger than our best infrared toaster oven—the Panasonic Flash Xpress, yet has an undeniably better design.
The Oster Extra Large is right up there next to the Breville Smart Ovens and best microwave toaster ovens in quality of build and design.
Features and performance
The Oster Extra Large gives you most of the features you’d want out of a standard toaster oven and a satisfying performance. Its major features include:
- Roomy 3 CFT volume
- 1500 watt power rating
- SEVEN (7) preset functions to cover the most important gamut of cooking functions—toast, bake (also used for roast), broil, convection, pizza, warm, and defrost
- Turbo convection for fast cooking
- Auto shut-off feature
- Easy clean steel interior
- Basic needed baking pan and broiling rack accessories
Flaws not worth bringing up
Oster had two choices with the Extra Large: Load it up with all the fancy features found in top-of-the-line toaster ovens and price it at mid three figures, or beef it up with a mix of basic and high-end features and price it much lower at the low three figures.
Oster went with the latter option. Going with the former option would have made many prospective buyers hesitate about going for it.
The Oster Extra Large is affordable. It costs around half the price of our top pick while being almost twice as large. And that means you aren’t going to find all high-end features on the Extra Large TSSTTVDGXL-SHP.
As long as you temper your expectations and are willing to be realistic about the immense value you get for the price, the flaws of the Oster Extra Large should be manageable.
|High-end design||ONE (1) year warranty|
|Spacious interior with a volume of 1.3 CFT||No interior oven light|
|Satisfactory performance||Others are not worth mentioning|
|It is intuitive and easy to clean|
|Excellent bang for buck|
Other Compelling Options
If you want a toaster oven
• without the downsides of the Oster Extra Large,
• lots of high-end features,
• you are willing to forego a bit of volume (it has a volume of 1.0 CFT, which is around 30% less capacity than the Extra Large), and
• you are willing to pay a much higher price for the completeness;
you should get the Breville Smart Oven AIR BOV900BSS.
Alternatively, if the Smart Oven Air offers way too many features than you’d need and you prefer a toaster oven that
• is nearly as large (0.95 CFT),
• doesn’t have the downsides of the Oster Extra Large either, and
• is a lot cheaper (although it is still double the price of the Oster Extra Large);
you should get the Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven TOB-260N1.
Dimensions (in): W-18.25 x D-15.75 x H-11.5 | Max Fit: 6 slices, 12” pizza, a Cornish hen | Number of Presets: 9 | Power: 1800W | Features: Convection, Even-Heat technology, Auto Shut-Off, Non-Stick Interior Coating, LCD Display
For the way it’s made
That is KitchenAid’s tagline. And it gives you an apt impression of their commitment to ensuring durability and reliability. The KitchenAid 12” is an embodiment of this philosophy. For a toaster oven, the build quality is phenomenal.
Of all the toaster ovens on this list, only the high-end Breville Smart Ovens rival it in this regard. Even so, the KitchenAid 12” edges out the Breville Smart Oven PRO in certain areas.
At the core, KitchenAid followed the current industry standard in the premium segment—a complete stainless steel build; with a large handle; front, pullout crumb tray; and a non-stick interior (it has an Interior CeramaShield coating that is scratch resistant and PTFE/PFOA free).
Its design elements though are markedly different from the Smart Oven PRO BOV845BSS.
- It has a raised handle
- It has a rack position visual guide that isn’t on the door (as is the case with the BOV845BSS), but at the top after pulling down the door. This is a cleaner, more efficient implementation.
- It also has a slightly different control panel with high-contrast, clearer LCD display, and more durable die-cast metal knobs. It sits between the Breville BOV845BSS and the Cuisinart TOB-260N1 in being intuitive and user-friendly.
That said, the convincing testament of the KCO275SS superior build quality is that it has the lowest exterior and handle temperature during operation of any model on this list. That is impressive, considering it has similar power rating and temperature range as other top-of-the-line toaster ovens.
High-end features and performance
The KitchenAid KCO275SS is the third leg (the other two legs are the Breville BOV845BSS and Cuisinart TOB260N1) of the tripod dominating the premium segment of the toaster oven market. It fits the ‘premium’ bill well with its quality range of features. They include:
- 1800 watt power rating; same as the BOV845BSS
- a proprietary Even-Heat technology; to take on the Element IQ and Exact Heat technologies of the BOV845BSS and TOB-260N1 respectively
- NINE (9) cooking functions
- FIVE (5) high-powered heating elements; same as the BOV845BSS
- THREE (3) rack positions; same as the BOV845BSS
- ability to commit selections to memory; same as the BOV845BSS
- temperature conversion; same as the BOV845BSS. It is a bit of a trick to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius, you’d have to press and hold the “convection” and “frozen” buttons at the same time for 3 seconds.
- auto shut-off and reminder beep; standard on most toaster ovens
Going forward, the KCO275SS does have a few standout features.
- Its temperature is adjustable in 5 degree increments; compared to 10 degree increments on the BOV845BSS and 25 degree increments on the TOB-260N1
- It has a slightly more extensive toast shade range of 1 to 8; compared to 1 to 7 on both the Breville and Cuisinart
- Its Asado Roast preset function is something special, providing awesome roast performance. It comes closest to the dual cook function on the TOB-260N1. But unlike dual cook which would require setting different temperatures and times each time you want to roast, Asado Roast is a preset with default temperatures and times (adjustable of course) that does not necessarily demand user input always.
- It has the most extensive color options of any toaster oven on the market. Available colors include stainless steel, aqua sky, cobalt blue, gloss cinnamon, majestic yellow, onyx black, white. Note that only the front of the appliance is colored. All other sides of the appliance are stainless steel regardless of the color option.
What do these features mean for performance?
In one short sentence, satisfactory cooking results. It wouldn’t amaze you, like the Breville BOV845BSS, Cuisinart TOB-260N1, and Panasonic Flash Xpress would, especially with toast.
However, its performance is well above average. And for most cooking tasks, the difference in performance between the KCO275SS and its two main competitors are negligible.
That said, the KCO275SS is by no means a perfect toaster oven. It lacks quite a number of features, some of which shouldn’t be missing on a high-end toaster oven, much less one bearing the illustrious KitchenAid branding.
- By far the least subtle omission is the non-availability of an interior oven light
- It has a 0.7 CFT volume, which on paper appears to be minimal compared to 0.8 CFT of the BOV845BSS and 0.95 CFT of the TOB-260N1. But in reality, that seemingly minute difference restricts the max pizza fit in the KCO275SS to 12 inches, compared to 13 inches for the BOV845BSS and TOB-260N1.
- It has neither a pizza pan nor a pizza stone. Granted, it has a chrome-plated oven rack, a chrome-plated broiling rack, and a non-stick baking pan; which is as much as you’d get with most toaster ovens. Still, with the competition offering a pizza accessory at no added cost, KitchenAid could have joined the party, but preferred not to.
- It does not have an auto-eject or auto-slide-out feature.
- Its temperature range is not as extensive at 150°F to 450 °F. No doubt, it is sufficient for most cooking tasks, but for a high-end toaster oven, it should be slightly more extensive. In comparison, the range of the BOV845BSS is 120°F to 500 °F, while that of the TOB260N1 is 150°F to 500 °F.
- Maximum cooking time is 120 minutes (two hours). Which is same as the TOB-260N1 and at or above what most other toaster ovens offer. Except the BOV845BSS that is. The BOV845BSS tops out at 10 hours.
The drawbacks of the KCO275SS compared to the BOV845BSS and TOB-260N1 (its main alternatives) range from possible dealbreakers (such as lack of oven light) to manageable (such as the two hours maximum cook time).
Nonetheless, its abundant color options and exceptional build prop it up as a worthy alternative to the Breville Smart Oven PRO and Cuisinart Chef’s, especially when its performance is in the same league as the competition.
|Excellent build quality||ONE (1) year warranty|
|Generous color options||No interior oven light|
|Decent array of features||Should be a bit larger|
|Easy to use and clean|
KitchenAid 12” KCO275SS versus KitchenAid 12” KC0273SS
Both models are practically the same. Their manuals are even identical, like letter for letter.
The differences that exist between both models are largely cosmetic.
- The KCO273SS does not have Interior CeramaShield coating for easy cleaning
- The knobs of the KCO273SS are not die-cast
- The KC0273SS is only available in stainless steel finish
Accordingly, the KCO273SS is cheaper than the KCO275SS.
Dimensions (in): W-19.25 x D-13.5 x H-11 | Max Fit: 6 slices, 12” pizza | Number of Presets: 8 | Power: 1500W | Features: Convection, Auto Shut-Off, Non-Stick Interior Coating, LCD Display, Stay-on Function
Staying under budget
KitchenAid may have built its legacy on outing top-quality, premium-priced appliances, but Black+Decker has always been about affordability.
The best convection toaster ovens are also the best toaster ovens, and they aptly carry triple digits price tags. But if your budget doesn’t quite cut it, Black+Decker has got you covered with the CTO6335S.
It wouldn’t give you all the fancy new exciting features nor the astounding performance of the Breville. And you should temper your expectations accordingly. What it does offer though is a slew of quality, essential features that make it a satisfactory buy.
Rolling with the best
A complete stainless steel build decked with a front slide-out crumb tray, an LCD display, and a nonstick interior is the common denominator of the highest-priced, top-of-the-line convection toaster ovens.
Black+Decker throws all of that in the CTO6335S at only a fraction of the cost. And that is impressive.
It has a padded handle, which is thoughtful and features a button-only control panel. It also fits up to SIX (6) slices and a 12” pizza, much like the KitchenAid KCO275SS.
Desirable features without breaking the bank
- 1500W power rating
- EIGHT (8) cooking presets—toast, bagel, bake, cookies, pizza, potato, broil, and frozen snacks (defrost)
- A decent 200°F to 450°F temperature range
- Uses a dual-level, reversible oven rack, similar to the CMW-200’s (our best convection microwave oven) grill rack in combination with two rack slots to offer FOUR (4) rack positions for optimum cooking
- Timer maxes out at TWO (2) hours, same as the KitchenAid KCO275SS and Cuisinart TOB-260N1
- Temperature is adjustable in 5 degree increments; same as the KitchenAid KCO275SS and better than the 10 degree increments on the Breville BOV845BSS and 25 degree increments on the Cuisinart TOB-260N1
- Extensive toast shade selector of 1 to 7, same as that on both the BOV845BSS and TOB-260N1
- Has the standard auto shut-off and reminder beep features for safety
- Boasts a refreshing TWO (2) years warranty; better than the standard one-year warranty on most premium toaster ovens and bested only by the three-year warranty of Cuisinart toaster ovens
Redefining the concept of a bargain
No, the CTO6335S is not a fairytale appliance with all of the best functionalities at a rock-bottom price.
You would miss out on amazing, exciting technologies (Element IQ, Exact Heat, Even-Heat) on high-end convection toaster ovens that intelligently vary the heat from elements to suit different cooking tasks. It doesn’t have an interior oven light. There’s no seamless auto-eject to push out the oven rack automatically. And that’s beside a host of features reserved for high-end toaster ovens.
It also has a number of flaws that aren’t exactly dealbreakers.
What you get when you buy the CTO6335S is a
- well-designed convection toaster oven
- loaded with features that used to be exclusives on premium toaster ovens,
- that performs better than the price tag suggests,
- gives you double the standard warranty for toaster ovens, including premium countertop convection ovens like our top pick;
- at less than one-third the price of our most affordable high-end convection oven—the Cuisinart TOB-260N1
Literally, no convection toaster oven offers a better deal south of $100.
|Quality stainless steel build||None worth mentioning|
|Easy to use and clean|
|Low price tag|
|TWO years warranty|
Other Compelling Options
The Oster Large Capacity TSSTTVMNDG is one of the best- and most-reviewed toaster ovens on Amazon and our top 10 list. And it’s no surprise. It checks all the right boxes.
It looks good with its near-oval shape, sleek stainless steel frame, and exquisite digital control touchpad with an LCD display. On the inside, it has a spacious interior that could fit up to 6 slices, a 12” pizza, or a whole 5-pound chicken. Oh, and it has an interior light for easy monitoring of cooking progress.
In the performance department, the Oster Large Capacity excels admirably. It has SEVEN (7) essential cooking functions—toast, bake, convection bake, broil, pizza, defrost, and warm. It has two rack slots, and thanks to its large size, you could cook with two racks (you’d have to purchase an extra rack) at the same time.
Between the Oster Large Capacity and the Black+Decker CTO6335S, there isn’t a clear-cut win for either appliance, as they both have their pluses and downsides. More importantly, the level of significance attached to the features each tote as advantages over the other vary from person to person.
Before we get down to how they differ, it is worth noting that they have a couple of similarities.
They both have:
• LCDs and control panels devoid of dials (knobs)
• similar capacity to fit up to 6 slices and 12” pizza
• separate convection buttons
• auto shut-off
• front, slide-out crumb trays
The CTO6335S goes all in
That said, the CTO6335S makes a compelling argument why you should consider it over the Oster Large Capacity.
• It has an all stainless steel build; the Oster Large Capacity only has a stainless steel frame
• It has a higher power rating of 1500W; compared to 1300W of the Oster Large Capacity
• Its timer stretches to a maximum of 120 minutes; compared to 90 minutes of the Oster Large Capacity
• It has a non-stick interior; absent in the Oster Large Capacity
• Its toast shade selector is more extensive with SEVEN (7) shades; the Oster Large Capacity only has two shades
• It has longer warranty of TWO (2) years; the Oster Large Capacity sticks to the standard one year warranty
• It is marginally cheaper
The Oster TSSTTVMNDG doesn’t back down
But the Oster Large Capacity retorts with specific plus points of its own:
• It has an oven light; absent in the CTO6335S
• It has a warm cooking function; absent in the CTO6335S
• It has a more extensive temperature range of 150°F to 450°F that goes as low as 130°F when using the warm function; compared to 200°F to 450°F of the CTO6335S
• It has a broil rack; absent with the CTO6335S
It has better and more reviews than the CTO6335S
Making a choice
On an objective note, the Oster Large Capacity advantages are harder to brush aside than those of the CTO6335S.
• the Oster still looks elegant without an all-stainless-steel build
• its 1300W power rating is exactly the same as that of the Panasonic Flash Xpress (our best infrared toaster oven and #2 pick), which means it is plenty enough to serve you well
• its one year warranty is an industry standard also used by our #1 pick. Besides, its reliability is hardly in question.
• the price difference isn’t that significant, considering that the Oster Large Capacity has an interior oven light
This is not to downplay the CTO6335S strengths, like its longer time allowance, non-stick interior for easy cleaning, and two-year warranty. But to buttress the point that you can’t go wrong with either of the two appliances, and that making a choice is a highly subjective affair.
The sub-$50 price range really isn’t the best place to look for quality convection toaster ovens. But there are a few hidden gems.
In addition to the features you’d expect to miss on sub-$100 convection toaster ovens, you should expect to forego LCDs, long timers, select cooking presets, amongst other functionalities.
That said, manufacturers often throw in enough features to make them worth every cent of their going price.
An interesting design in tango with an interesting feature
Earlier on, the Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Toaster Oven 31334 made a splash as a quality alternative to our best toaster oven under $50 (the Black+Decker TO1313SBD), with its practical roll-top door design and inclusion of two rack slots.
The Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Oven with Convection 31126 takes that further by offering the same 31334 package beefed up with useful improvements.
The shining features are of course the signature Easy Reach door and convection. But there are a couple of others.
• It still retains the quality stainless steel build
• It has a higher power rating of 1400W; more than the 1300W of the Oster Large Capacity
• It is larger as it can fit up to 6 toast slices and a 12” pizza; same as the Black+Decker CTO6335S and Oster Large Capacity
• It has the standard three-dial control panel to set temperature, function, and time
• It retains the dual rack slots and four preset functions—toast, bake, broil, and convection
• It has a 30-minute timer with auto shut-off and stay-on features—for tasks that require longer cooking times
Its 150°F to 450°F temperature range is as extensive as you’d need for most cooking tasks
As is standard for toaster ovens under $50, the 31126 doesn’t have a broil rack out of the box (the Black+Decker CTO6335S doesn’t have one either). You’d have to use the oven rack as a makeshift broil rack with the bake pan as a makeshift drip pan when broiling.
Performance is decent and it does have a removable crumb tray for effortless maintenance.
Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Oven with Convection 31126 versus Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Digital Convection Toaster Oven 31128: Stay Analog or Go Digital
The 31126 and 31128 are alike in many respects. In fact, they are identical, except that the 31128 is the digital, slightly improved variant of the 31126.
They both share the same features, including the Easy Reach design, 1400W power rating, capacity to fit up to 6 slices or a 12” pizza, and most of the aforementioned 31126 features.
Where they do differ is that the 31128:
• has an LCD and an all-button control panel (no dials),
• includes an extra Pizza preset function, and
• has a maximum time limit that is twice as long at 60 minutes
For these improvements, you’d have to dip into your wallet for an extra ten bucks, which is reasonable.
Check Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Digital Convection Oven 31128 Price On Amazon
Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Oven with Convection 31126 versus Hamilton Beach Convection Toaster Oven 31333: Retro versus Contemporary Design
If you are not a fan of the Easy Reach design and want a more contemporary boxy design with pull-down door design like most toaster ovens, then you should get the 31333.
It has all of the same features as the 31126, with the following exceptions:
• Brushed stainless steel design with boxy, more rectangular build; no easy reach
• It has a front slide-out crumb tray that you can access without pulling down the door; the removable crumb tray in the 31126 can only be accessed after rolling up the door
• It has a separate broil rack
Color options – 31333 versus 31331
The Hamilton Beach Convection Toaster Oven has two color variants.
• The 31333 that has a main stainless steel build with black accents
• The 31331 that has a main black build with stainless steel accents.
Not to be outdone by Hamilton Beach, Black+Decker has an extensive range of convection toaster ovens under $50. Check through the table below to compare them.
Rosewill 6-slice Convection Toaster Oven RHTO-17001 versus Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Oven with Convection 31126: Almost Isn’t Enough
Rosewill isn’t a brand you’re familiar with. They’re a traditional PC company looking to dabble in the kitchen appliance industry.
The RHTO-17001 has everything you would expect in a sub-$50 convection toaster oven and more. To be very clear, it has more features than the Hamilton Beach 31126 (our main pick for best toaster oven under $50).
• It has power rating of 1500W, compared to 1400W of the 31126
• It has an extra Warm preset; missing in the 31126
• Its maximum time limit is 60 minutes; double the 30 minutes of the 31126
• It has four rack positions; a major feature that is double the two rack positions in the 31126
• And the most exciting feature is that it includes a broil pan (note not rack) and a perforated pizza pan in addition to an oven rack and bake pan. Only the top-of-the-line Brevilles and Cuisinart Chef’s TOB-260N1 include a pizza pan/stone out of the box. The 31126 only offers an oven rack and bake pan out of the box.
Oh, and these are beside the other features that it shares with the 31126 such as:
• a removable crumb tray
• similar fit of up to 6 slices or a 12” pizza, although it has a larger volume of 0.8 CFT (cubic feet); same as our top pick—the Breville BOV845BSS. You could get an extra rack to bake two sets of cookies for example.
• three dials for temperature, function, and time
• temperature range of 150°F to 450°F
Its downsides compared to the 31126 aren’t deal breakers.
• You can’t select convection separately, unlike on the 31126
• It doesn’t have a stay-on feature, which I’m not a fan of because of safety concerns, although I admit it can be useful
If it’s so great, then why is it not the best convection toaster oven under $50?
Well, it has to do with its warranty. It isn’t clear or straightforward. Apparently, it has a one-year warranty, but good luck finding any reference to that in the manual or on the product’s sales page on Amazon. The only reference available mentions “all products” to mean all Rosewill products, which is not as specific as one would hope.
More worrying is that you’re likely only going to get any form of warranty within the first 30 days (one month); which is barely noteworthy because Amazon’s excellent return policy covers the first 30 days.
After the first one month, it’s tough luck to get Rosewill to resolve any issue without considerable expense on your part. For instance, cost of repairs after the first 30 days comes out of your pocket.
Thus, while the Rosewill RHTO-17001 undoubtedly offers way more features than the Hamilton Beach 31126, it falters where it matters. Sure, many happy buyers appreciate the RHTO-17001, but getting one is akin to a gamble. Great if there’s no issue, but a nightmare otherwise.
If you’re looking to score more savings, you should get the black variant—RHTO-13001.
That said, this is one option to keep an eye on, pending whenever Rosewill decides to clarify their warranty policy on the RHTO-17001.
Dimensions (in): W-20 x D-15 x H-11 | Max Fit: 6 slices, 12” pizza, a whole chicken | Number of Presets: 9 | Power: 1800W | Features: Convection, Steam, Combo Convection + Steam, Auto Shut-Off, Steam Clean, Interior Oven Light, LCD Display
A thousand-dollar technology in a three-digit package
Full-size convection steam ovens are expensive. Top-of-the-line fully featured models can enter the five-figure range.
Thus, having Cuisinart squeeze in such an exclusive tech into a portable form factor that costs about as much as the CMW-200 (Cuisinart Convection Microwave Oven with Grill) and our top pick—the Breville BOV845BSS—is impressive.
Just as impressive is that the only countertop combination steam oven available is the CSO-300N1. Well, the Panasonic Countertop Induction Oven NU-HX100S uses steam, but it isn’t a full-fledged steam oven.
Pulling off an exceptional performance
Combi steam oven tech is expensive for good reason.
- Steaming is a healthier way to cook; you do not have to add lots of fat and oils to get yummy results
- Steamed and combi-steamed foods are juicier, more succulent, and taste better. You could for example, crisp the exterior with convection while steam keeps the interior moist and juicy—perfect for fish, poultry, and other proteins.
- Steamed and combi-steamed foods lock in nutrients—vitamins and minerals—and better retain texture, color, and flavor
- You can use your steam oven for an extensive array of nutritious dishes that can’t go in a traditional oven or toaster oven, including vegetables, grains, eggs, pasta, puddings, pulses, curries, slow cooked casseroles, et cetera
- Steam ovens are perfect for reheating leftovers to just-made freshness, as steam rehydrates foods that inevitably lose moisture during the initial cooking process. No other oven type gives you better results for leftovers.
- Proof and bake bread as well as lots other foods such as pretzels, pasties, donuts, et cetera with golden crusts and flaky interiors without drying them out
- And all the other benefits that convection cooking offers; primarily higher temperatures as well as faster and even distribution of heat
Having a 0.6 CFT portable toaster oven offer all of these benefits is a tall order. But the CSO-300N1 pulls it off like a champ. Even without competition, it manages to set a high bar.
For starters, the build accurately defines the term “high-end.” It is a near-complete brushed stainless steel appliance with a sturdy, transparent, plastic 1.4-liter water reservoir at its right side. On the inside, Cuisinart uses a special steel material that better tolerates steaming and for easy cleanup.
In the control department, Cuisinart takes its defining “less is more” philosophy to new heights. Its control panel consists of a large-enough backlit LCD display, only one dial, and three buttons. It is a lot like that of the Cuisinart TOB-260N1—the Cuisinart convection toaster oven flagship—only more stylish and with fewer buttons.
Expectedly, it does take some getting used to. But you’d be able to catch on to it in no time and find operating the CSO-300N1 to be seamless.
On to the real deal. The CSO-300N1 boasts:
- 1800W of unreserved power to produce wet heat (steam), dry heat (traditional and/or convection), or a mixture of both wet and dry heat
- 6 CFT capacity to fit up to 6 toast slices, 12” pizza, 4.5 lb. chicken, 3 lb. of ribs, 12 doughnuts, 16 half-inch slices of bread (a loaf), or a pot of rice (or other grain, vegetable, et cetera)
- NINE (9) presets comprising standard toaster oven functions—toast, bake, broil, warm—as well as steam + combi steam functions—steam ( ideal for basic steaming tasks), bake steam (ideal for baking custard-style dishes without a water bath, for cooking tender and browned braised dishes with minimal or no liquid, or for re-animating leftovers), broil steam (ideal for steam roasting proteins), super steam (ideal for cooking rice), and bread
- Extensive 7-shade toast shade selector
- Specialized bread proofing technology; to tee up for exceptional bread baking results
- The widest temperature range in a countertop toaster oven—100°F to 500 °F
- Up to FOUR (4) rack positions using a reversible oven rack and two slots (like the CTO6335S)
- Clear glass on its door with an interior oven light to monitor your cooking
- Effortless maintenance as it has a drip tray to collect liquid when using steam or combi steam functions, which you can replace with a crumb tray when using standard or convection functions. You get both trays out of the box, and they are easy to clean.
- Effectual steam clean technology that you can activate with a dedicated button to penetrate burnt on grime and grease, for easier cleanup with a simple wipe
- Nifty “add water” indicator to alert you of the need to fill up the side water reservoir before using a steam or convection steam function
- Auto shut-off and reminder beep for both cooking and reservoir water level
- In addition to the drip tray and crumb tray, it has an oven rack, baking pan and broil/steam rack
- Cuisinart’s leading THREE (3) years warranty
Not perfect but comes close
The CSO-300N1 is such an amazing appliance that enumerating its downsides seems like nitpicking. I mean:
- it could have had a larger interior like similarly priced toaster ovens (it is compact); but that would’ve made it too wieldy owing to the need to add a proportionally larger water reservoir
- it should have had more presets like similarly priced toaster ovens, for example bagel, pizza, vegetable, and some other foods that’d go into it often; but the lack of presets doesn’t mean you can’t use appropriate functions, and manually set preferred temperature and time
- it doesn’t have auto eject or auto slide-out unlike similarly priced toaster ovens; but then pulling out a rack or pan manually cannot be that strenuous
Maybe, in a short while, when component prices fall enough Cuisinart would out a newer model that has some of these minor features, without raising its retail price (like it did by including the steam clean technology with a dedicated button in the CSO-300N and CSO-300N1, when it was absent in the original CSO-300).
Still, the Cuisinart Convection Steam Toaster Oven is a versatile appliance with durable build, exquisite features, exceptional performance, top-end technology, and excellent warranty at a price that is quite frankly a steal for all it offers.
If you are remotely interested in a steam oven or value the promise of healthier, tastier cooking provided by combi steam, buying the CSO-300N1 is a no-brainer.
|Quality stainless steel build||Nothing major|
|Deluxe combi steam technology|
|Easy to use and maintain|
|THREE years warranty|
Cuisinart CSO-300N1 versus Cuisinart CSO-300N versus Cuisinart CSO-300: How Do They Differ?
Deep down, they’re all the same appliance with minor, easy to miss differences. They have the same build, functionality, and performance. Heck, the online manual for the Cuisinart CSO-300N1 on Cuisinart’s website is the CSO-300’s manual. No kidding.
The CSO-300 is the original convection steam oven. The CSO-300N and the CSO-300N1 are the newer iterations in that order.
The major difference that’d immediately catch your attention is that the price of the convection steam oven has steadily fallen with each new model. Cuisinart shaved $50 off the CSO-300’s price when it released the CSO-300N. Cuisinart also prices the CSO-300N1 lower (albeit the cut is modest and actually negligible) than the CSO-300N.
This is because the CSO-300N and CSO-300N1 are the same appliance without any difference. However, compared to the CSO-300, the CSO-300N/CSO-300N1 have two distinct differences.
- The CSO-300N/CSO-300N1 have a dedicated steam clean button; absent on the CSO-300—on the 300 you had to select the steam function manually and have it run on its default setting to use the steam clean tech
- The oven rack of the CSO-300N/CSO-300N1 has TEN (10) wire bars; that of the CSO-300 had SEVEN(7) wire racks
Although all three models are usually available, you should get the latest—the CSO-300N1
10. Cuisinart Rotisserie Convection Toaster Oven [TOB-200N] – Best Rotisserie Convection Toaster Oven
Dimensions (in): W-19 x D-15 x H-13 | Max Fit: 6 slices, 12” pizza, a whole chicken | Number of Presets: 10+ | Power: 1875W | Features: Convection, Rotisserie, Exact Heat and Always Even technologies, Auto Shut-Off, Non-Stick Interior Coating, LCD Display
For the love of meat
Most toaster ovens higher up the list are great for roasting. Of course, on a scale, the premium models—Breville Smart Ovens, Cuisinart Chef’s, and Cuisinart Combi Steam— give you the best results. But affordable options like the Oster Extra Large, give satisfactory results as well.
There’s a reason why your local supermarket regularly stocks up on rotisserie chickens. Whoever invented rotisserie cooking in the mid 1400’s in Paris was a culinary genius.
Rotating meat skewered on a spit ensures even cooking of the meat in its own juices (for better taste and flavor) and provides easy access for constant self-basting (the meat’s juices consistently coats all parts as it rotates instead of just dripping into a pan, as is the case with traditional roasting in a toaster oven).
A full-on convection toaster oven with rotisserie
Considering rotisserie gives astonishing results for most meat types, including poultry (chicken, duck, turkey) to beef, you may want to invest in a flexible rotisserie convection oven that serves:
- as a standard convection toaster oven for your day-to-day cooking tasks—toast, bake, reheating leftovers and more; and
- as a countertop rotisserie oven for the occasional meat roasting
The Cuisinart TOB-200N is such an oven. It is a model in the top-performing TOB series and is in many respects a “Cuisinart Chef’s Lite.” This is because it shares many features with the flagship Cuisinart Chef’s TOB-260N1 and performs just as well.
Make no mistake. The TOB-200N is a high-end convection toaster oven. It isn’t mainly a rotisserie oven with convection. No. It’s a convection oven with rotisserie.
There’s a difference. It means when you don’t intend to roast, which is like most times (unless you have a meat-only diet), the TOB-200N performs excellently (not just decently) for all your regular toaster oven tasks. Its results very much rival those of the Breville Smart Oven PRO, Panasonic Flash Xpress, and Cuisinart Chef’s. The TOB-200N offers that much performance.
And a big reason why this is the case is that it has the same high-end, smart technologies as the Cuisinart Chef’s—Exact Heat and Always Even Toast Shade Control. Together, both technologies ensure the right amount of heat gets to the right part of your food for the right duration. To give you evenly cooked (and toasted), crisp, dainty meals.
In addition to these technologies, the TOB-200N
- like the TOB-260N1 is equipped with the highest power rating of any toaster oven on this list—1800W
- like the TOB-260N1 has FOUR (4) rack positions for increased flexibility
- like the TOB-260N1 has BPA-/PTFE (Teflon)-free nonstick interior coating for easy maintenance
- has MORE THAN TEN preset functions including, toast, bagel, bake, broil, roast, pizza, keep warm, defrost, leftovers (reheat), convection, and rotisserie
- has multiple programmable settings for some functions to get optimum cooking results. For instance, you could precisely select the number of bread (or bagel) slices you intend to toast, preferred shade (SEVEN different shades are available), and whether it is fresh or frozen as well as pizza size and whether it is fresh or frozen.
- has a dedicated rotisserie button labeled “Rotis.” Furthermore, you could also select between chicken, duck, meat, and custom options with their preset temperature and time. And yes, you can adjust the preset temperature and time as you please.
- allows you to use convection with any cooking function
- like the TOB-260N1 has a timer that maxes out at 120 minutes (2 hours)
- like the TOB-260N1 has an extensive 150 °F to 500 °F temperature range
- like the TOB-260N1 has an auto slide-out feature for easy usage
- like all Cuisinart toaster ovens provides a generous THREE (3) years warranty coverage (generous because the standard coverage is one year)
In addition to these top-of-the-line features, the TOB-200N also incorporates several standard functionalities such as:
- complete, durable stainless steel build (it heavily borrows the design of the Cuisinart Chef’s, except it is more squarish to provide ample room for the rotisserie)
- LCD display with backlit buttons and a dial (also like the Cuisinart Chef’s, except it has fewer buttons)
- front pull-out crumb tray
- auto shut-off and reminder beep
- an oven rack, a baking (also used as a drip) pan, and a broil rack. In addition, it has a full set of rotisserie accessories—spit, skewers, and handgrip.
Capacity: What can you use the rotisserie for?
The Cuisinart TOB-200N has a slightly smaller interior volume (0.8 CFT) compared to the Cuisinart Chef’s (0.95). But it is the same as that of our top pick—the Breville Smart Oven PRO. However, because of the in-built rotisserie it doesn’t have the same width as the Smart Oven PRO, instead having an extended height.
The implication is that the maximum pizza size it can take is 12 inches, while the Smart Oven PRO and Cuisinart Chef’s can take up to 13 inches.
The maximum fit of the rotisserie (for which one valuable pizza inch has been sacrificed) include:
- a FOUR (4) pound chicken
- a FIVE (5) pound duck
- a FOUR (4) pound pork
- a THREE (3) pound beef
Flaws but not dealbreakers
The TOB-200N has a competitive price. It is cheaper than the Breville Smart Oven PRO and the Cuisinart Chef’s in spite of its signature rotisserie feature.
To keep costs down, Cuisinart had to chop off a few functionalities that should’ve made its way to the TOB-200N from the TOB-260N1. For instance, dual cook, +30 seconds, and the extra oven rack (with the TOB-200N you have to purchase an additional rack) and pizza stone accessories.
These aren’t flaws per se, just ultra-premium features exclusive to Cuisinart’s flagship. Adding a rotisserie and concomitant accessories to a TOB-260N1 would only lead to an appliance priced beyond the reach of many potential buyers.
That said, the TOB-200N does have actual flaws. Flaws that’d hopefully be remedied in a future replacement model.
- The most obvious, and noteworthy, downside is the lack of an interior oven light. A premium toaster oven without an oven light is a rarity.
And it’s particularly appalling that Cuisinart did not include it in the TOB-200N, even after customers complained about its omission in the original TOB-200. Sure, you’d be able to use it without an interior light, the glass on the door isn’t useless. But an interior light substantially improves visibility.
- Like other models in the TOB series, the letterings on the TOB-200N buttons wear off with light use
- It also has other flaws of the TOB-260N1—less intuitive control panel, no visual guide to indicate optimal rack positioning, and the crude auto slide-out feature
These drawbacks notwithstanding, the Cuisinart Rotisserie Convection Toaster Oven TOB-200N does not have a competitor that offers all of its features and exceptional performance at a more competitive price point.
|Top quality design and build||No interior oven light|
|Excellent performance||Labels wear off on some units|
|Versatile rotisserie convection toaster oven|
|Competitive price tag|
|THREE (3) years warranty|
Cuisinart TOB-200N versus Cuisinart TOB-200: How Do They Differ?
Well, there is no difference between the TOB-200N and TOB-200, except that the TOB-200N is cheaper. They are effectively the same appliance. In fact, the manual for the TOB-200N is exactly the same as that of the TOB-200. Which is a common theme in the TOB series.
Thus, the reviews and answered questions for the TOB-200 also apply to the TOB-200N.