Have you been thinking about purchasing the best countertop oven on the market? There are so many benefits to owning a toaster oven, and more often than not they are not very expensive. However, not all countertop ovens are created equal. We put together a guide to buying the best countertop oven for your home so your hard earned money doesn’t go to waste to a dud.
Check out our handy guide below!
What Is A Countertop Oven?
A toaster oven is an energy efficient cooking appliance. Toaster ovens are portable and are typically kept on the countertop in a kitchen, giving it its alternate name “countertop oven”.
Toaster ovens are a step up from microwaves– they can cook food to be much crispier and browner than a microwave can.
There are many benefits to owning a countertop oven, including, but not limited to:
- They often take less than five minutes to heat up for use, where regular ovens can take well up to twenty minutes.
- Countertop ovens can consistently cook food up to 30-40% quicker than conventional ovens.
- Toaster ovens can cost under half the price to use as a traditional oven.
- Toaster ovens don’t cause kitchens and the rest of one’s home to get uncomfortably warm.
- The initial cost for a countertop oven is a fraction of the cost of a conventional oven. They are also often cheaper than microwaves as well.
- Countertop ovens are smaller than most microwaves and almost all conventional ovens, giving you substantially more prep space.
- For cooks with back problems, the need to bend over and pull things out of the oven is erased with the purchase of the best countertop oven.
- If you hate getting on all fours to degrease and scrub your conventional oven, a countertop oven may be an excellent alternative– they are substantially easier to clean.
However, a downside to a countertop oven is that a large family-sized meal may not be as easy to cook. For this reason, countertop ovens are ideal for singles or couples that wish to have more energy-efficient options for cooking.
How To Find and Buy The Best Countertop Oven
Are you ready to find the best countertop oven around? Finding the ideal choice may be easier than you think.
Consider The Size
Think about what qualities of a countertop oven you’d like to utilize. If the main problem you’d like to solve in your kitchen is a lack of space, then you should keep an eye on the sizes of countertop ovens you’re looking at.
If you opt for an extra small countertop oven, you’ll gain a lot of extra counter space. However, you may have to sacrifice certain meals that require more space in the oven for cooking.
Take the time to think about the kind of meals you like to cook. If you like roasting a full chicken for dinner, then a super small countertop oven may not be the best choice. However, if your meals don’t require a ton of cooking space, then a small countertop oven would be perfect for you.
If you’re willing to sacrifice certain meals for much-needed counter space, try looking into countertop oven recipes that can accommodate you.
When looking at the specs of a particular toaster oven, measure the size of your counter space and compare those measurements to the measurements listed on the product specs.
Think Of Your Price Goals
As we mentioned previously, countertop ovens are often much cheaper than regular ovens and sometimes microwaves.
However, you really do get what you pay for with countertop ovens. If you just want a toaster oven for casual use, you may not need to spend a lot on a high-end product.
However, if you’re going to be using your toaster oven several times a week or every day, you should look into toaster ovens with higher power and more cooking space. These will often cost more money, but the investment is likely worth it if you want to phase into a more energy-efficient appliance.
Consider The Temperature
Countertop ovens all have various maximum temperatures. Since countertop ovens are generally more energy efficient than conventional ovens, they may not get quite as hot.
Consider, yet again, what you make on a regular basis. Do you regularly cook food at 400 degrees or more? Be sure to purchase a toaster oven that has the maximum temperature you need to use it comfortably.
Thorough And Even Cooking
One concern that many people have about toaster ovens is how evenly they cook. This is a valid worry– who wants to invest money into something that won’t cook meats and vegetables thoroughly?
A quality toaster oven will cook very thoroughly. In fact, this is a superior quality that countertop ovens have over conventional ovens.
With a conventional oven, one will often have to constantly check that different parts of the food are cooking thoroughly. A countertop oven with convection capabilities will essentially solve this problem for you.
Consider The Presets
If you’re a convenience junkie (don’t worry, we totally get it) then you may want to opt for a countertop oven that has a fair amount of presets.
Presets often have several of these settings:
- Broiling, Browning, and Baking
- Reheat and Warm
- Food-specific reheat settings like Pizza, Meat, Veggies, and Steam
Most countertop ovens have some of these presets. If you want a toaster oven with more bells and whistles in this department, be sure to investigate their product pages for a full list.
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