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If you think toaster ovens are only good for heating more slices of bread than a pop-up toaster can handle, you probably don't own a toaster oven–yet. Once you realize today's toaster ovens are versatile enough to give your large oven a run for its money, you may wonder how you ever managed without one.
"I would choose an electric fan countertop oven over a regular-size gas oven any day," says Rachel Khoo, chef, author, and host of the BBC's "The Little Paris Kitchen," in which she cooked using just a countertop oven. "If you're short of space, it's well worth the investment."
Toaster ovens can be used for so much more than just toast and brown bagels. They can also be used to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies, roast vegetables, heat frozen snacks, broil meat and seafood, bake a whole chicken, and melt cheese on mini pizzas or open-faced sandwiches.
Many toaster ovens now offer multiple cooking functions, like convection baking and air frying, and most are more energy-efficient than a standard oven, which can help cut costs and keep the kitchen cooler during hot summer months. We've researched and reviewed top models to compile our favorites with versatility and multi-functionality in mind.
Here are the best toaster ovens on the market.
Best Overall: Oster Large Digital Countertop Oven
Various cooking options
Top gets hot when in use
This oven will toast six slices of bread or cook a 12-inch frozen pizza, whole chicken, or pan of brownies. There is only one rack, but there are two rack positions, so you can fit taller foods or pans. While this is rated to hold a 9 x 13-inch pan, it has to be one without handles. A straight-sided metal baking pan will fit no problem; your 9 x 13-inch Pyrex dish will be too long.
Many customers rave about the toaster oven's versatility. Preset cooking functions include bake, convection bake, broil, toast, pizza, defrost, and warm. The functions offer a suggested time and temperature, but you can adjust both for your recipe. For the toast function, you can set it for light through dark toasting.
There’s an internal light so you can check the progress of the food as it cooks, which some customers say they've rarely found in other toaster ovens.
It's always a good idea to check the internal space of a toaster oven before buying, even if the footprint of the oven is generous. "It might look big from the outside, but sometimes the actual inside oven space can be small," says Khoo. If the space is on the smaller side, be aware you might need specially sized trays, pans, and other bakeware.
Best With Air Fryer: Cuisinart 1800 W 6-Slice Brushed Silver Toaster Oven and Air Fryer
Takes less counter space than a typical air fryer
Runs slightly hotter than set temperature
Air frying has become popular—there’s no better way to cook mess-free crispy wings or potato wedges—but standalone air fryers take up valuable counter space. This air fryer toaster oven also takes counter space, but it does much more than a typical air fryer, so it may just be worthy of a permanent place in your kitchen.
This model is roomy enough to handle up to six slices of toast or air fry 3 pounds of chicken wings. When it’s time for dinner, there’s even room for a standard frozen 12-inch pizza.
Most reviewers rank it highest for its versatility: It has settings for air fry, convection bake, convection broil, bake, broil, warm, and toast, so it’s easy to bake muffins, cookies, or biscuits, or air fry chicken breasts for dinner.
You can find the Cuisinart in several finishes to match the rest of your kitchen appliances.
Best Capacity: Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro
Preheats and cooks quickly
Has dehydrate and air-fry functions
If you're looking for a toaster oven that can handle a lot at once, and you're willing to spend a little more, we recommend the Breville Smart Oven Air Convection Toaster Oven.
This glamorous appliance is chock-full of cutting-edge features, such as 13 different cooking functions (including a dehydrate function and air-fry function), two roomy oven racks, an enamel baking pan, a 13-inch nonstick pizza pan, and a broil rack.
You'll be able to fry, roast, bake, and toast all your food to absolute perfection with this appliance. It can toast up to nine slices of bread or roast a 14-pound turkey and can accommodate a 5-quart Dutch oven for slow-cooking a roast or batch of chili.
For gourmet chefs and serious foodies, this popular Breville toaster oven is certainly worth the splurge—online reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with hundreds of users reporting that this model “far exceeds” other toaster ovens.
Best Splurge: Brava Countertop Oven
Easy to use
Can cook various foods on same tray
Requires a dedicated 20-amp circuit
The Brava Oven is a smart oven that can make standard toast and also has programs to cook different types of food on one cooking tray. That makes it possible to cook foods together that would normally require different cooking times or temperatures.
The oven can also handle normal cooking tasks and has settings for sear, toast, reheat, bake, dehydrate, air fry, and keep warm.
One caveat is that this oven requires a dedicated 20-amp circuit, so it’s wise to check the kitchen’s electrical capacity before purchase.
Customers who have jobs that prevent them from having much time to cook praise the oven for its simplicity and versatility, as well as how quickly it cooks food. Some recipes are available directly from the oven, while others are on the Brava app.
Best Smart: June Oven
Recognizes a wide variety of foods
App includes video recipes
Users can create custom programs
Great for people who just can’t get the knack of choosing the right cooking time and temperature, for busy folks who want to streamline cooking, and for creative cooks who want to try new methods and recipes, the June Oven is a smart oven—"scary smart," according to our tester—that does a lot more than just set a timer. It has an internal camera paired with recognition software so it can tell the difference between an English muffin and a burger bun and count the number of tortillas you pop in, and it adjusts its time and temperature for the perfect toasting.
Customers newer to cooking will also appreciate that the oven has programs for cooking a wide variety of foods, a recipe app that makes cooking a breeze, and easy-to-understand manual controls. Our tester found the video recipes impressive and cooked perfect air-fried chicken parmesan with the app controlling the oven temperature at every stage and prompting her to turn the chicken, add the sauce and cheese, and take it out. This has settings for bake, roast, broil, toast, dehydrate, air fry, slow cook, reheat, and keep warm, so it does a whole lot more than toast.
We tested a Generation 2 June Oven, but the Generation 3 is now available and it addresses one of the only concerns of our reviewer. The updated June Oven has guard rails added to the top heating elements, helping to protect them from accidental breakage.
"Inexperienced cooks will love that it reduces cooking failures, and experienced cooks will love passing off basic tasks to the oven, experimenting with fun video recipes, and creating custom programs." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best Budget: Black+Decker 4-Slice Toaster Oven TO1313SBD
Removable crumb tray
Many options for a small toaster oven
Power cord is a bit short
If you’re looking for a compact, budget-friendly toaster oven that can toast your bread and heat your pizza, but you don’t need an oven-replacement, this one fits the bill. It can toast up to four slices of bread at a time and has space for a 9-inch pizza.
This has functions for baking, broiling, toasting, and keeping food warm. For toasting, it has different toast settings so you’ll get just the right level of brownness, and the 30-minute timer lets you cook foods longer.
Customers are happy with how uncomplicated the oven is to use, and those with cramped kitchens praise its compact build. The removable crumb tray makes it easy to clean. It comes with a baking pan, broiling rack, and toasting rack.
As with full-size ovens, countertop ovens can also have varying degrees of accuracy when it comes to temperatures. To remedy this, Khoo recommends investing in a small oven thermometer so that you can monitor your cooking and see if there are any hotspots and adjust accordingly. This might mean turning a cake tin or baking tray around to ensure even cooking.
Best for Easy Cleaning: Black + Decker Countertop Convection Toaster Oven
Quick to heat up
Compact and lightweight
Comes with a baking tray
Door spring can become overstretched with time
Like other ovens, this one features a variety of presets including cookies, pizza, frozen snacks, and potatoes. The functions include bake, broil, toast, and bagel, and the convection fan can be turned on or off. There’s a large digital display that shows time and temperature, but it’s not backlit, so sometimes it can be hard to read.
The oven can fit a 12-inch pizza thanks to a rounded bump-out on the back of the oven, and there are two positions for the rack. The 120-minute timer shuts the oven off automatically and announces itself with a single bell to let you know the time is up.
The crumb tray removes easily from the outside for easy cleaning and to keep crumbs from getting stuck in the door.
Some reviewers note that the oven should be placed so that the door can rest on the counter when it’s open, or the spring that holds it can become over stretched over time.
Best Space Saving: Breville Compact Smart Oven Toaster Oven
Spacious for a compact toaster oven
Inside walls have nonstick coating
May take time to get to set temperature
Breville is known for quality appliances, like this compact smart oven that takes up less space on the counter than the brand's heftier countertop ovens. While it’s compact, there’s still space for a standard 12-inch frozen pizza or 6-cup muffin pan. When it comes to toasting, it can handle four slices of bread at once.
This oven has cooking presets for eight different cooking functions: toast, bagel, bake, roast, broil, pizza, cookies, and reheat.
The inside walls of the oven have a nonstick coating, so cleaning is easy, even after food has dripped or spattered during cooking.
Several reviewers rave about how simple the oven is to use, especially in comparison with their regular oven. Some do note, however, that it could take a bit of time for the toaster oven to preheat to the set temperature.
The Oster Large Capacity Digital Convection Toaster Oven (view at Amazon) earns our top spot due to its versatility and large capacity. Plus, it comes with an internal light so you can check on your food as it cooks. If you're on a budget, we suggest the Black+Decker 4-Slice Toaster Oven (view at Amazon). It's compact, easy to use, and quite spacious for a small oven.
What to Look for in a Toaster Oven
Toaster ovens with smaller capacities take up less room overall, making them great options for small spaces, like dorm rooms. If you just want to make more toast than a traditional 2-slice toaster can handle, capacity won't matter too much.
Ovens with more capacity eat up more counter space but allow you to cook larger amounts. If you like to bake brownies, muffins, and cakes or heat up a lot of frozen pizza and snacks, you'll want to make sure the toaster oven can fit standard baking pans and has the depth to accommodate larger pizzas. If you enjoy baking things that rise significantly (think cakes or souffles), Khoo notes that you should ensure you'll have enough clearance from top to bottom.
Measure your counter space before buying so you can compare the toaster oven's dimensions to your available space and know exactly how much room you can give to a new countertop oven. You'll also want to make sure the location you've chosen is close to an outlet and that the cord length can reach it.
Consider what sort of controls (and automation features) you like. Toaster ovens may be controlled with buttons, knobs, dials, or touchscreens.
Pay attention to what kind of notification the toaster oven gives you when the cooking time is up and if the oven has automatic shut off. Also check to see if you can turn on the oven light without opening the oven door to check on food without losing heat.
While the simplest toaster ovens can toast, bake, and broil with ease, others have cooking features that rival your full-size oven plus other kitchen appliances. If you want to broil a steak, make a rotisserie chicken, air fry chicken wings, or dehydrate jerky, there are toaster ovens that can do all of that and then some. You'll also find more toaster ovens with the ability to convection bake.
You'll also find ovens loaded with cooking presets for items like bagels, frozen pizza, cookies, proofing bread dough, and slow cooking. These settings help take the guesswork out of choosing cooking time and temperature, but they're only useful if you'll actually use them.
Most toaster ovens include a baking pan and a removable crumb tray to help keep the interior of the oven clean. Not all toaster ovens include accessories beyond those basics, but it's nice a feature when you know you'll also be receiving baking trays, pans, and racks that all perfectly fit the toaster's interior. Some ovens include more unique accessories like rotisserie spits, pizza stones, and broiler trays.
How do you use a toaster oven?
A toaster oven should be used in an area where it has plenty of clearance since the outside can get hot to the touch and give off a good bit of heat. When you're ready to cook, you'll either begin by preheating the oven or placing your food directly inside. Not all toaster ovens require preheating so be sure to check your instruction manual.
Whether you preheat the oven or not depends on what you're cooking. The toaster oven should be preheated to the desired cooking temperature for traditional baked dishes like cake, cookies, and meat. Doing so allows the food to begin cooking as soon as it's placed in the oven. Placing uncooked food in a cold toaster oven will take longer to cook since the oven has to warm up. Preheating is optional for toasting a few slices of bread or warming a plate of leftovers, but be aware that these too may take a little longer without preheating.
You'll then place your food on the toaster oven baking rack or tray and set the cooking time according to a recipe, choose a level of brownness for toasting, or select a cooking preset if your toaster oven has them.
Can you put aluminum foil in the toaster oven?
Most toaster ovens can be used with a small piece of aluminum foil, but it depends on which toaster oven you have. To be absolutely certain it's safe to use foil, check your toaster oven's manual. Foil should not touch the heating element, interior walls, or the crumb tray since it poses a fire risk. Lining the baking tray or tenting a dish with a small piece of aluminum foil without any overhang is usually okay for most toaster ovens.
What can you cook in a toaster oven?
Most foods that can be cooked in a standard oven can also be made in a toaster oven since it bakes, broils, roasts, and toasts. Some popular items include:
Toast: Toaster ovens can be used to toast sliced bread, bagels, and english muffins. Instead of being limited to toasting only two or four slices at a time, toaster ovens can usually brown 6 slices of bread or more at once.
Grilled cheese: You can also use the toaster oven to make grilled cheese sandwiches, open-faced melts, and quesadillas. To make grilled cheese, you'd simply assemble a grilled cheese with bread, butter or mayo, and cheese as usual while your toaster oven preheats. Then, place the sandwich on the baking tray, bake for a few minutes, then flip and bake on the other side for a few minutes more. It's best to keep a close eye on grilled cheese and melts in the toaster oven to make sure your cheese melts and your bread doesn't burn.
Baked goods: Traditional baked goods like cookies, cakes, muffins, brownies, and quick breads can be baked in a toaster oven. The process, cooking temperature, and cooking time are no different than baking in a standard oven.
The only difference with baking might be the size pan you use, since full-size cake and loaf pans may be too large for a toaster oven. You can find mini cake and loaf pans that are just right for small-scale toaster oven baking.
Leftovers: A plate of leftovers can be reheated in a toaster oven, too. Just make sure to use an oven-safe plate. You can even reheat leftover pizza. You should be able to fit one or two slices of pizza, depending on the size of the slices, and the cook time shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Keep a close eye, since pizza crust can burn quickly. You'll know your leftover pizza is ready to eat when the cheese has melted.
Frozen snacks: Things like mozzarella sticks and french fries can also be prepared according to package directions in a toaster oven. You'll just fit a smaller amount on the baking tray than you could on a full-size baking sheet.
Meat: Proteins, like chicken, steak, burgers, sausages, hot dogs, and fish fillets can be baked, broiled, or roasted. Bacon slices can be arranged on a toaster oven pan and baked for fool-proof perfectly cooked results.
Vegetables: Small baking pans of vegetables can also be roasted and a toaster oven is useful for roasting potato wedges and classic baked potatoes.
How do you clean a toaster oven?
"Like with any oven, it's good to clean it regularly," says Khoo. "Bonus with a smaller oven—there's less to clean." Prior to cleaning, make sure the toaster oven has cooled completely. After each use, remove the crumb/drip tray and brush away any crumbs that may have gotten trapped in cracks or near the oven door. Most crumb/drip trays can be washed in warm, soapy water to remove any grease or splattered food residue. You'll also want to remove and wash cooking racks and baking trays after each use.
For a deep cleaning, the interior and exterior of the toaster oven can be wiped with a damp rag. If the oven interior is nonstick, make sure to use a soft rag or sponge and avoid scouring pads or sharp bristled cleaning brushes, which can damage the coating.
Baked on grease that won't wipe away with a damp rag can be tackled with a mix of baking soda and water. Add enough water to baking soda to make a paste, spread over the problem area, and let sit for several hours or overnight. Then, wipe (you might have to apply some elbow grease) with a clean rag.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats. Not only is she a bread-making expert (she wrote a book about it!), but Donna has also written roundups on various kinds of ovens, including roaster and pizza, for the site. She's also reviewed a diverse range of ovens for us—one standout was the NutriChef Multi-Function Rotisserie Oven, which she loves making kebabs with.
This roundup was updated by Sharon Lehman, a home cook who happens to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She happily makes space for any gadget that makes cooking faster and easier, and specializes in small kitchen appliance testing and reviews for The Spruce Eats.
Additional quotes and information were provided by Bernadette Machard de Gramont, who interviewed Rachel Khoo, chef, tv host of the BBC's "The Little Paris Kitchen," and author of the cookbook of the same name. Khoo's show and four cookbooks were developed while living in Paris, using just a single burner hob and a countertop oven.