A small toaster oven saves energy and time compared to a large built-in oven. As our evaluation of hundreds of customer reviews shows, there are mini-ovens that are mainly used to bake pizza baguettes and Sunday rolls, as well as those that are the only ovens to bake cakes and casseroles in a single household.
The grilled chickens often shown in the product picture are, however, rather difficult to cope with according to external tests. The chickens need to be both small and perfectly balanced. Our excellent consumer portal introduces you to the models that most will be satisfied with.
COMFEE Toaster Oven Countertop
- Space Saver – Compact and versatile design fits nicely on…
- 3 Functions in 1 – Bake, broil, and a toast to satisfy your…
- Control Console – Two easy-to-use dials to control…
- Built in Timer – The 30 min timer includes precise toast…
- Easy to Clean – Nonstick, detachable crumb tray makes…
COMFEE' Toaster Oven Countertop, 4-Slice
- 3 Functions in 1 – Bake, Broil, and a Toast to satisfy your…
- Comfort stretch, articulated knees
- Built in Timer – The 30 min timer includes precise toast…
- Easy to Clean – Nonstick, detachable crumb tray makes…
- Space Saver – Compact and versatile design fits nicely on…
Black+Decker TO1313SBD Toaster Oven
- EvenToast Technology – The toaster oven interior is…
- 9” Pizza, 4 Slices of Bread – The compact toaster oven…
- Four Functions – The stainless steel toaster oven’s…
- 30-Minute Timer – The timer includes precise toast settings…
- Removable Crumb Tray – Keep the toaster oven clean with the…
Hamilton Beach 31344D Toaster Oven
- Easy access to food and countertop. The roll-top door moves…
- Easy to keep clean. Door is up and out of the way of messy…
- Bake, broil & toast. 2 rack positions and included bake pan…
- Fits 4 slices of toast or 9” pizza. Spacious interior…
- Easy-to-use contoured knobs. Not only is this new design…
COSORI CO130-AO 12-in-1 Air Fryer Toaster Oven
- 12-in-1 Presets: Pizza, Roast, Airfry, Toast, Bagel, Bake,…
- Air Fryer: Enjoy air fried meals with up to 85% less fat…
- Large Capacity: Easily fit 6 slices of toast, a 13 inch…
- Thoughtful Design: Enjoy easy cooking with the crisp LED…
- Recipes & Accessories: Check out the included recipe book,…
Chefman Air Fryer Toaster Oven
- FRY WITH AIR NOT OIL: Use the Air Fryer Mode to create…
- FOR ALL YOUR COOKING NEEDS: This versatile 7-in-1 appliance…
- LARGE FAMILY SIZE: Extra guests, or just extra hungry?…
- AUTO SHUTOFF & EASY CLEANING: For added safety, the toaster…
- RJ50-M ASSURANCES: CETL approved with advanced safety…
Toaster Oven 4 Slice
- Even Toast Technology – The toaster oven interior is…
- Small Package With Big Oven Heat – Wide temperature range of…
- Multi Functional – Our toaster oven comes with many features…
- Built In Timer – The 30 min timer includes precise toast…
- Dual Position Rack – 2 rack positions and included…
Toshiba AC25CEW-SS Digital Toaster Oven
- 1500W powerful output and convection fan circulate warm air…
- Larger interior can accommodate 6 slices of bread, a 12”…
- 10 cooking settings with adjustable temperature from 150 °F…
- Bright digital display, easy-to-turn control knobs, dual…
- Came with one year and six accessories including removable…
Toshiba AC25CEW-SS Digital Toaster Oven
What is a small toaster oven?
Outwardly, a small toaster oven often resembles a microwave oven, but with which it cannot be compared in terms of function. Like a traditional built-in oven, the small toaster oven is mainly used for baking, but it is usually designed for smaller quantities. It can be plugged into a normal socket and does not require a high-voltage current, and it also uses significantly less energy than a conventional oven.
Nevertheless, with at least 1000 and sometimes even more than 2000 watts, it has a respectable performance. For this reason, it can be found in many single or small households, but not only there but also more and more often as a “second oven” in normal family households.
Because a ready meal, a pizza or a couple of rolls can be prepared much faster in the small toaster oven and also more energy-efficiently and cost-effectively than in the “large” oven. The small ovens get hot so quickly that there is usually no need to preheat. That saves time, energy and costs.
Another advantage is that it is very flexible. It is not permanently installed, so it can be easily transported and used in different places if necessary, for example to bake cookies in the kitchen today and on the terrace tomorrow to bake baguettes for the barbecue. Another popular place to use a small toaster oven is on the campsite.
Target and long-term campers in particular do not want to do without comfort and warm rolls or freshly baked pizza in their caravan or mobile home. A small toaster oven does not take up a lot of space, but offers a lot of preparation options depending on the device.
Another, but rather rare, area of application can be found in the hobby area. If you like to experiment with modeling clay or other materials that can be hardened by heat, you might not want to use the family oven for this. On the one hand, it is not advisable to prepare meals in the same oven in which the fumes from plasticizers or other chemicals have just evaporated.
On the other hand, it is often not worthwhile to heat the large oven for a few things that you have just made. A cheap second device in the hobby room is a very good alternative here.
How does a small toaster oven work?
In principle, a small toaster oven works just like a “large” oven. However, since it heats up much faster, it usually does not need to be preheated. Make sure that the food does not touch the walls of the cooking space anywhere, otherwise it can easily burn in these areas. If the food touches the heating elements, this can even cause a fire.
You should keep this in mind when baking cakes, because they should usually rise nicely, so it becomes significantly higher during baking than you put it in the oven.
In general, a small toaster oven is only suitable for the preparation of smaller quantities, depending on its size for about one or two normal sized portions or for about four rolls at the same time. Many devices have a time switch or a timer that indicates the end of the baking time or even switches the device off automatically.
However, you should not leave your small toaster oven completely unattended while it is in operation. For safety reasons, do not prepare food that cooks longer than the timer can be switched on.
It is possible that the device is not suitable for a longer period of operation, which could result in overheating of your small toaster oven. For this reason, some devices cannot be switched on again immediately after the maximum operating time has elapsed, but only after they have cooled down completely.
What are the advantages & use cases of a small toaster oven?
The biggest advantages of a small toaster oven compared to a conventional built-in stove are the smaller space requirement, the great flexibility and the significantly lower energy consumption. A conventional built-in oven must first be preheated for many applications. Depending on the device and the desired heat, this takes 15 to 20 minutes. With a small toaster oven, preheating can usually be dispensed with entirely.
If it is necessary in a few exceptional cases, the small cooking space will of course heat up much faster than a large oven. If you only have a very small kitchen, you often have to limit your choice of electrical appliances and cupboards. This quickly raises the question of whether a large oven is even necessary and can really be used, or whether an additional cupboard is more useful and a small toaster oven is sufficient for your own purposes.
Thanks to a normal power connection, a small toaster oven can be connected to any socket. So it is not a problem if the kitchen is redecorated or the oven is even used in another room. It can even be taken to a party with friends, to the allotment garden colony for the weekend or on a camping holiday in a mobile home. You can also operate a small toaster oven in a shared room. So you don’t have to go to the communal kitchen for every small (snack) meal.
How are small toaster ovens tested?
In our mini-oven test, we checked the most important criteria to make it easier for you to decide on the “right” mini-oven. Most of the criteria, such as the size, the number of functions or the accessories supplied, should be assessed subjectively. Decide for yourself whether the price or the design, the brand or the usability or perhaps the accessories supplied are more important to you. However, when it comes to safety and ease of use, you shouldn’t compromise, but choose the best that you can get.
The specified oven dimensions are always the external dimensions. These are important in order to know how much space you need to set up the small toaster oven or whether the desired appliance fits into your kitchen. There should be at least four centimeters of clearance on both sides and behind the small toaster oven, and even one meter above.
This enables a quick exchange of air during operation and reduces the risk of overheating. Of course, you can slide the small toaster oven into the corner when you are not using it and pull it back to work with it. Do not touch the device until it has cooled down completely. A small toaster oven usually gets very warm during operation.
The size of the cooking space is always given in liters. This may be a little confusing for you because it says nothing about the width, depth or height of the interior. This is why you should always see this number in combination with the external dimensions.
A very small small toaster oven has a cooking space of around eight liters, in which you can only bake two rolls, but hardly a pizza. This device isn’t much bigger than a toaster. A large small toaster oven can hold up to 42 liters. That’s enough even for a casserole or cake. However, you have to be careful that such a large oven really fits into your kitchen.
The higher the output of a small toaster oven, the higher the energy consumption. Most small toaster ovens have an output of around 1000 to 1800 watts, but some also have 2200 watts. The savings compared to a normal oven are of course no longer that great. But there are definitely other reasons for buying a small toaster oven.
Before you buy, think about what your new small toaster oven should really be able to do and adapt the device to your wishes and needs. The occasional baking of rolls or a ready-made pizza does not need as much power as it does for baking a cake or grilling a chicken.
Type of Heating
In principle, every small toaster oven has top and bottom heat that can be switched on individually or together. With some ovens, you can also switch on circulating air. A separate grill function may set the rotisserie supplied in motion at the same time. It should be easy to insert and remove.
Small toaster ovens with this additional feature often cost a little more money. You should only spend this if you are going to use the grill function. Some small toaster ovens also have a microwave function that can be switched on. This enables frozen food to be defrosted and food to be cooked faster. If you do not own a microwave yet but are thinking of purchasing a combination device, a combination device may be a good alternative for you.
We find many of these properties, for example, in the Omnichef 30 2G from Klarstein, which is why we want to take a closer look at the points for this product.
What should I pay attention to when buying a mini toaster oven?
The most important points that should be considered when buying a small toaster oven are the following: the available space and size of the device, the desired functions and of course the price. You should not ignore the aspects of security and user-friendliness. You may also attach particular importance to the accessories supplied. So first you have to know exactly what you want and what is important to you about a small toaster oven.
Inexpensive small toaster ovens are often available for less than 40 euros, while expensive ones cost a multiple of that. The price does not only depend on the size and the different functions but also on the manufacturer. Branded products usually cost a little more than no-name variants.
Every buyer has to decide for himself whether they are worth it. However, it is also worth considering that brand manufacturers often offer more extensive accessories that are either supplied with the product or can be purchased at a later date or in addition.
Is it enough if the oven only offers baking with top and bottom heat, or should it also work with convection heat? The prepared dishes cook more evenly and brown more evenly. In addition, less heat is usually required with circulating air. You can then set the temperature a little lower, which in turn saves energy.
To keep food warm, the mini-oven must be adjustable to low temperatures of around 80 – 100 ° C, which is not possible with every device. If you want to bake pizza, on the other hand, you need an oven that can bake very hot. Here the minimum is 230 ° C, but 250 ° C would be better, which is also rarely offered. Only special pizza ovens get really hot. The temperatures here can rise to around 400 ° C – ideal for a professional pizza.
The hotter the small toaster oven, the more important good insulation is. On the one hand, the outside of the housing should not get too hot so that nobody gets burned on it; on the other hand, a tightly closing door makes sense so that the heat cannot escape there, because this consumes unnecessary energy and causes useless costs. So both help to save energy and avoid burns. Not all small toaster oven doors close tightly, some even have a wide, open slot at the top.
Presumably this is supposed to be used for ventilation, but it is by no means energy-saving. If your small toaster oven has a timer, it should not only give an acoustic or visual signal after the set time has elapsed, but switch the device off automatically.
Otherwise the food in it can easily become black and inedible or even catch fire. Another point is that all control buttons and switches on your small toaster oven should be firmly seated and processed stably. They shouldn’t come loose or wobble during normal use, but shouldn’t be jammed or difficult to move.
The size of the small toaster oven is not only decisive for its use but also for where it will be located. The cooking space is measured in liters and is only partially dependent on the external dimensions, because the description and photos hardly show how thick the housing of the small toaster oven is. The information about the cooking space of the various small toaster ovens is between around eight and 42 liters. Here you have to think carefully about what you want or what you need.
For example, cakes or large casseroles cannot be baked in a small or shallow oven. In contrast, the external dimensions of the furnace play a decisive role for the location. This is because, for proper use, a reliable exchange of air around the device must be guaranteed during operation so that it does not overheat.
That is why a small toaster oven must never be used in a cupboard. It shouldn’t stand in a corner during operation. There must be at least 4 cm of clearance behind the stove and on the sides, and even a meter of clearance above is recommended. Of course, more is always better.
If you only have very little space, then it may make sense to buy a smaller small toaster oven. Perhaps you will choose an alternative device with limited functions, for example a pure pizza oven or a toast ‘n grill. If there is enough space and you are not yet sure what you want to do with your small toaster oven, then if in doubt, opt for the larger oven. It offers significantly more options and usually more functions than a small small toaster oven. You probably won’t regret it.
A user-friendly device always includes clearly legible operating instructions. The best device is of no use if you don’t know how to get all its beautiful functions going and use them. But also make sure that, in case of doubt, you can operate your small toaster oven correctly even without instructions. You won’t want to read the instructions every time you start using your small toaster oven.
Are all buttons and switches clearly labeled? Can the temperature really be set precisely? With some devices, the user almost has to guess where exactly the 220 ° C he needs for his dish should be set, since the device is only labeled in 50 ° C increments or there are only lines.
The interior lighting should be bright enough that you can follow the cooking process of your food without having to constantly open the door. Of course, a viewing window must then also be available. Opening the door of your small toaster oven loses around 20 percent of the heat it contains. So your furnace has a lot to do to make up for that loss.
Small Toaster Oven Accessories
Anyone who buys a small toaster oven usually also has a need for suitable accessories. A baking sheet and a wire rack are actually included with all devices. If your small toaster oven also has a grill function, a grill skewer may also be included, but unfortunately not always. Much more is usually not included. If you want to have additional accessories, you have to buy them separately.
Please note, however, that e.g. trays or grids from other manufacturers may not fit in your small toaster oven, even if the ovens look very similar. Ideally, you should see before you buy which accessories you can buy later for your small toaster oven directly from the manufacturer.
The pizza stone
A pizza stone is rarely supplied free of charge. A pizza becomes particularly crispy on it and gets the typical stone oven taste. If you are a lover of these Italian pastries, then you should consider getting a pizza stone.
If you buy it at a later date, make sure to note the inside dimensions of your small toaster oven and compare them with the dimensions or the diameter of the stone. The greatest likelihood that the stone will fit in the oven is when both come from the same manufacturer. The thicker the pizza stone, the longer it takes to heat up, but the better the pizza will be.
If you bake several pizzas one after the other in one baking process on the stone, the stone should be properly reheated every time. Incidentally, this is one of the few exceptions in which the small toaster oven, or in this case the pizza stone, has to be preheated.
The removable crumb tray
A removable crumb tray is also very useful. Unfortunately, this is not (yet) a standard accessory. It makes cleaning the oven much easier because it is often impossible to prevent crumbs from falling into the oven, for example when baking bread rolls. These are difficult to remove from under the heating coils.
If the tray is removable, you can also remove the crumbs. In addition, grease that has dripped down on this tray is much easier to wipe off than directly in the oven.
Even the inexpensive versions of the small toaster oven often have a timer today. If the set baking time is over, this is indicated by a light signal or an acoustic signal. In the ideal case, the device then also switches itself off. However, this function does not release you from checking when your dish has actually been cooked.
At least in the beginning, if you are new to your device, keep an eye on it while it is operating. Because a small toaster oven often takes less time to prepare than stated in the recipe or on the package insert for a dish.
Matching baking and casserole dishes
Usually not included, but still a useful accessory for small toaster ovens, are small baking and casserole dishes in different versions. The usual large shapes often don’t fit in the small toaster ovens. Be careful not to burn your fingers when removing the hot tins from the oven.
So the shapes shouldn’t be too big. You usually need a little more space to take it out than to put the cold dish in the oven, which is also cold, because you have to keep more distance from the hot inner walls.
Small Toaster Oven Alternatives
If, after careful consideration, you have determined that a device from our large small toaster oven test is not suitable for you after all, then perhaps one of these alternatives will help you to solve your problem and make it easier for you to prepare delicious dishes in the future.
A pizza stone for the large oven
If you already have a normal built-in oven and are really just looking for a way to bake better pizza, then a pizza stone for the large oven might be an alternative for you. You can bake an excellent stone oven pizza on the stone. To do this, heat up the oven including the stone at the highest heat.
Only then do you push your freshly prepared pizza onto the stone. It is perfectly baked within a few minutes. However, this stone is less suitable for ready-made pizzas because it takes a long time to heat up. If you want to bake several pizzas one after the other, you should ideally heat the stone completely up again and again in between. This is how you get the best baking results.
Incidentally, it is not enough if you just keep an eye on the thermostat of your oven; it is better to place an oven thermometer directly on the stone. Only when this shows the ideal baking temperature should you put the pizza in the oven.
Alternatives to baking rolls and other little things
A toaster or a Danish bread toaster, which offers a large surface area, is often sufficient to bake rolls. It is therefore also suitable for baking several rolls at the same time or for baguettes.
If you only want to bake or gratinate small items and prepare toasts, then a toast ‘n grill might be the right choice for you. This device combines a toaster with a very small small toaster oven. There are no disadvantages compared to a simple toaster; you can also bake small (mini) pizzas or the sometimes very popular bistro baguettes.
The preparation of baked camembert or gratinated fish is also possible without problems, but the quantities are very limited, you can prepare one large or two small portions with this device.
The classic microwave
If you only value the heating of the food and less the baking and browning, then a microwave is also a possible option for you. The space requirement is similar to that of a small toaster oven. Dishes can be cooked and heated very quickly and energy-efficiently.
The microwave is also often used for warming up food, mainly in multi-person households when not everyone is at home for meals. As a rule, these devices also have a defrost function, which can save a lot of time. Combination devices that can be used as a small toaster oven and a microwave at the same time are particularly practical.
The contact grill
A contact grill is ideal if you mainly want to prepare meat or grill vegetables. It heats up quickly and can be stowed away in the closet to save space after use. Baking is not possible with it, but you can expect the best results when grilling.
The halogen oven
In halogen or hot air ovens, dishes should only be cooked with light and very energy-efficiently. However, this new technology is not yet very widespread. Cooking is said to work quite well, but roasting or frying less well.
Last product update on 2021-01-22 | Source: Amazon Affiliate