Exterior gets hot
Very short power cord
Only one rack
We’ve used plenty of toasters, toaster ovens, countertop ovens, and air fryers over the years, so the Black+Decker Crisp N' Bake Air Fry 4-Slice Toaster Oven wasn’t a stranger when it arrived in the kitchen. We started with toast for breakfast and kept using the toaster for everything from baking biscuits to reheating leftovers. Was it up to the task? Read on for the complete details.
Design: Shiny and compact
This is a compact little oven that won’t take too much counter space, while it also looks nice enough to leave out on the counter to make toast every morning. The silver exterior looks classy and sleek and the large front window offers a good look at what’s cooking.
Inside, there’s just one rack that fits in just one place in the oven. For toasting, baking, and air frying, a small baking pan and an air fryer basket are included. One clever feature we liked was that the rack had rails underneath that could hold the baking pan so it could be used as a drip tray when using the air fryer basket or when cooking food directly on the rack.
This oven has only two heating elements, one on top and one on the bottom. They’re covered with perforated metal pieces that protect them from splatter, reducing the chance of burning and smoking. Those shields may also help spread the heat a bit. A convection fan in the rear means this little oven can also be used as an air fryer and the convection heat provides more even cooking.
Light in weight, this is easy to move in and out of storage. However, that lightweight construction means it’s not heavily insulated, so it gets hot on the outside during cooking. Fortunately, we found that the large front handle always stayed cool enough to hold, no matter what we cooked.
This toaster has two knobs that control it, with one to set the temperature and the other to set the time. The print surrounding the two knobs is black on the silver surface of the toaster. While that should have offered enough contrast to read, sometimes we had to get close or approach at a different angle to see the settings clearly on the reflective surface.
The top dial, which controls the temperature, has temperatures marked, along with settings for warm, bake, toast, broil, and air fry.
The bottom dial has icons for several toast levels as well as time up to 30 minutes with a single “ding!” that signals when time is up. Turning in the opposite direction sets the oven to stay on. We usually chose that option and checked the doneness of the food as it cooked, sometimes setting another timer to warn us when to peek at the food.
We were pleasantly surprised how even the bread toasted considering our prior experience with toasters and ovens that often have a hot spot.
A single red light indicates when the oven is on, but there is no visual indication of when the oven has reached the set temperature. Since the oven is small, it shouldn’t take a lot of time to reach temperature, so we weren’t too concerned about the lack of an indicator. When we made toast or reheated pizza, we didn’t bother with a preheat. When we cooked fish sticks and jalapeno poppers, we turned the oven on ahead of time, letting it heat for a minute or two before the food went in.
The power cord on this toaster is worth noting. It’s very short. Very. This is going to need to sit close to a power outlet when in use, so if it’s going to live on the counter that placement is something to keep in mind.
Performance: Surprisingly good
This is billed as a 4-slice toaster, but of course, that depends on how big the slices of toast are. When we toasted some artisan bread, three slices were a good fit. We were pleasantly surprised how even the bread toasted considering our prior experience with toasters and ovens that often have a hot spot. While the toasting in this oven wasn’t perfect, it was better than we expected, perhaps because of the help of the convection fan.
Three grocery store English muffins, cut in half to make six pieces, fit into the toaster but it was a bit of a tight fit. Again, the toasting was even enough that we didn’t feel like we needed to move the pieces around to get an even toast.
Our frozen foods also cooked well. Interestingly, the jalapeno poppers cooked faster than the package suggested, while frozen fish sticks and frozen steak fries took longer than their packages suggested. They all cooked evenly, so we didn’t need to shuffle them during cooking. We had the same success when we baked a few cookies for a snack. Frozen biscuits rose impressively and browned perfectly.
We decided to try air frying some chicken legs using a recipe from the booklet that came with the oven. We ended up with cooked chicken, but a toaster oven may not be our first choice for making dinner. It’s good to know the oven can do the job if our oven isn’t available, but we appreciate this little oven much more for toasting bread, English muffins, waffles, and bagels, for baking cookies, for air frying French fries, poppers, and fish sticks, and for reheating all sorts of food.
Three grocery store English muffins, cut in half to make six pieces, fit into the toaster but it was a bit of a tight fit.
Cleaning: Mostly easy
When we used this for toasting, the crumbs fell onto the removable crumb tray, which was easy to remove and clean. When we cooked chicken, the grease spattered inside the oven, and cleaning needed to be a bit more thorough. It wasn’t the worst cleaning we’ve had to do in the kitchen, but it’s one of the reasons we’re not likely to use this oven for greasy or splattery foods.
Because of the holes in the air fryer tray, food tended to stick in the corners of the holes, but a brush solved that problem. The baking tray cleaned easily enough, but it also started to discolor in places. We didn’t want to scrub too hard or use harsh cleaners that could damage the pan’s surface, so we’ll just assume that the pan isn’t going to look pristine. For easier cleaning, the rack and air fryer basket are dishwasher safe, while the baking pan and crumb tray should be washed by hand.
This is a middle-of-the-road toaster in terms of price, at a number that we consider affordable rather than extravagant. There are plenty of super-cheap toasters for the uber budget buyers, and plenty of toaster ovens that cost multiple times the price of this one. While this isn’t going to do as much as one of the large, expensive models, this does a great job with the tasks it's built for.
Black+Decker Crisp N' Bake Air Fry 4-Slice Toaster Oven vs. Breville Smart Oven
The Breville Smart Oven (view at Amazon) is the polar opposite of the Black+Decker that we tested. The Breville is large enough to cook a frozen pizza, it has a digital screen, and it has smart programs. It’s also much more expensive. While they both can be considered toaster ovens and they both do their job well, they feed different needs. We like both, but for completely different people.
Better than we expected.
The Black+Decker Crisp N' Bake Air Fry 4-Slice Toaster Oven did the one thing that many other toasters and toaster ovens can’t do—it toasted evenly.
- Product Name Crisp N' Bake Air Fry 4-Slice Toaster Oven
- Product Brand Black+Decker
- MPN TO1787SS
- Price $39.99
- Weight 8.51 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 15.5 x 8.2 x 11.5 in.
- Warranty 2 years, limited
- What's Included 1 removable rack, 1 removable crumb tray, 1 baking tray, 1 air frying basket