What are the best toaster ovens? Toaster ovens are efficient devices for cooking small meals. They typically use two 750 watts heating elements and draw a total 1500 watts, whereas electric ranges draw about 3000 watts (and thus require a 240 volt electric socket).
Toaster ovens also heat up more quickly, due to their smaller size. But the most efficient toaster ovens are those that incorporate a convection fan and good insulation into their design. The fan blows heated air continuously around the food being cooked, thus reducing required temperature and cooking times. On average, they cut energy use by about 20%, and cooking time is reduced by about 30%.
Food also tends to cook better because of the more even temperatures in the oven. Some owners complain that convection fans are noisy, but others say the noise is exaggerated. One reviewer on Amazon says:
There is a hum from the convection fan but it is no louder than the sound of my refrigerator compressor or my microwave when in use.
Here is our round-up of the best toaster ovens:
The Krups FBC2 Convection Toaster Oven
The best sources for ratings of toaster ovens are Consumer Reports, Cook’s Illustrated, Real Simple, and Good Housekeeping. According to the reviews, the convection toaster oven with the best rating overall was the Krups FBC2 toaster oven. Not only does this oven include a convection fan, it also sports more heating elements other toaster ovens.
The toaster has a special function where it will alternate between powering each of its quartz heating elements. Each element is brought to its full 1600 watts power, so that radiant heat is maximized. Reviewers also say this oven is easy to use and cleans up easily.
You can get it from Amazon for around $160. Amazon reviewers give it 4 out of 5 stars (168 reviewers.)
T-Fal Avante Elite Convection Toaster Oven
Avanté Elite by T-Fal is another toaster oven that was highly rated in reviews. Many reviewers commented that this compact toaster cooks very evenly due to its convection fan.
It also has a roomy interior: you can fit a 12″ pizza inside or 6 pieces of toast inside. Avanté Elite alsopreheats quickly — it takes about 3 minutes for the oven to preheat to 350 degrees.
You can get it from Amazon for around $100.
12 thoughts on “The Best Toaster Ovens”
A toaster oven gets just as hot as your oven- 350 degrees is 350 degrees. The regular oven may have somewhat greater thermal mass, but that is compensated for by the insulation compared to most toaster ovens. Reviewers of most toaster ovens complain about how hot they are – to the point of causing burns. I think the “extra heat” from the oven is explained by the oven staying warm longer because it is losing heat a slower rate. The larger oven has more air – so takes longer to heat up, but probably does not come on as often.
I would guess that for reheating leftovers, and other short operationsthat take less than 15 minutes, such as toasting nuts, the toaster oven would be more efficient.
I wonder if myth-busters ever did this one.
As far as ghost load goes, I have seen recommendations for power strips with on/off switches which is a little easier than unplugging.
The convection ovens use approx half as much electricity as a full-size electric oven. As someone else posted, they cool very quickly, don’t get nearly as hot as a standard oven, so they won’t heat up your house in warm weather. As for the person posting as “Nate” above, I am still laughing that they are concerned about what he refers to as “ghost load.” Meaning the power used from the clock on the oven. It seems he is concerned that it will be running and using electricity while not in use. The tiny amount of electricity used by a clock would be extremely negligent on your power bill. If you are concerned about the amount used because you are an “eco-freak,” then I am just sad. Please get help for your imagined “carbon-footprint” mental issues.
The small amount of electrical power in “ghost loads” in not much per house, but when multiplied by 60 million households (estimated number of households in USA), you get a substantial amount of power.
When I’ve used toaster ovens in the past, it seemed like the toaster ovens had their heating elements on more than regular ovens do (based on ovens with lights that go on when the element is on, and the glow of a heated toaster oven element). If a toaster oven runs its elements twice as long to maintain temperature it would use as much power as a regular oven. Has anyone measured power usage, to determine which uses less power to maintain e.g. 350F for 30 minutes or an hour, a toaster oven or a regular oven?
stick* not still
A perfect remedy, though perhaps tedious to some, would be to simply unplug your appliance when its not in use. But I understand that some people might want their clock running on their toaster oven…I don’t have one with a clock (only a timer) but I’ll still to my hand and wall clocks I have 🙂
Can we get designs with no ghost load? Those things will probably use more energy powering those clocks 24/7 than they will actually cooking food. No thanks.
Another thing to consider is that less energy will be needed to cool down the kitchen in the summer time since it won’t get as hot.
And as a lover of the booze, I have to say that I like appliances that have built-in timers. I never have to get burned up by my stove just because I was hammered.
Although gas ovens tend to more efficient than electric ones, for small meals, I believe convection toaster ovens edge them out in terms of efficiency, due to their quicker cooking times.
Both of the listed toaster ovens seem to have dangerous design flaws especially with the doors. There are many positive reviews on Amazon about both toaster ovens but the negative reviews, although much fewer, are very concerning.
In terms of running costs, how to they compare to gas ovens?