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Best Toaster Ovens, Cheap Toaster Ovens
Cheap Toaster Ovens Buying Guide
A toaster oven is an energy-efficient, space-saving, multi-tasking alternative to two appliances: a traditional toaster and a traditional oven. There is a dizzying array of choices out there, including good quality toaster ovens for less than $45.
Our research found that no cheap toaster oven is perfect. Virtually none earn glowing reviews across the board although several stand apart from their budget peers. Our top choices, the Black & Decker TRO480 (starting at $30, Amazon) and Proctor Silex 31116Y/31118Y (white or black, respectively, both starting at $25, Amazon), are compact models that draw commendations for their value pricing along with moderate-to-strong praise for their toasting and baking skills. The runner-up picks include the larger Hamilton Beach 31508 (starting at $30, Amazon), which makes quick work of toast and simple baking chores, and the Hamilton Beach Toastation (starting at $37, Amazon), which doubles as a pop-up toaster with a tiny oven and claims some loyal fans. Two cheap toaster ovens pale by comparison. Users say the Oster Vega TSSTTVVG01 (starting at $29, Amazon) is nice to look at but the toasting process is overly complicated and the build seems rickety. The Maxi Matic Elite EKA9210 (starting at $24, Amazon) is marred by an odd control mechanism and the absence of a temperature gauge on the oven.
Cheap toaster ovens toast, bake, and usually broil. Users often crow about the benefits of being able to toast a bagel or piece of bread in the same countertop appliance that frees them from turning on a large oven to reheat leftovers, prepare an after-school snack, or cook up an entrée for two. Reviews reveal that consumers appreciate the relatively small footprint that finds a spot even in compact kitchens and the price-to-performance ratio. What users are not so happy about is the frequency with which cheap toaster ovens produce mediocre toast (uneven, underdone, and/or burned) and indifferent results when baking, and whose interior capacity is actually less spacious than the marketing materials indicate. Some consumers also gripe about too many knobs and hard-to-adjust controls and others contend that newer cheap toaster ovens are less durable than units that once graced their kitchens.
High-end toaster ovens generally outperform budget models and come with more bells and whistles. The wildly expensive Breville BOV800XL (starting at $250, Amazon), for example, win accolades from experts at America's Test Kitchen and Good Housekeeping, and from consumers partly because it toasts and bakes to near perfection (it boasts convection capabilities) and partly because the digital controls and numerous settings afford lots of flexibility and fine-tuning. The DeLonghi RO2058 (starting at $80, Amazon) sits closer to the Cheapism range and also comes with convection fans that speed the baking process and circulate heat more evenly; it includes a rotisserie. as well. Upmarket alternatives do have their downsides, though: Apart from the high price, they hog more counter space than cheap toaster ovens.
But for all the carping, consumers seem to really like these convenient budget appliances. And at least for the models on our list, users generally say they've gotten their money's worth.
Best Cheap Toaster Ovens
Black & Decker TRO480
Experts say the four-slice Black & Decker TRO480 can bake a cake as well as a full-sized oven and consumers say it produces proper toast without a long wait.Read more »
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Good Cheap Toaster Ovens
Hamilton Beach 31508
Dubbed a six-slice toaster oven, the Hamilton Beach 31508 isn't as large as it seems, say users, most of whom nonetheless like its fast and effective performance; others gripe about minor design issues.Read more »
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Don't Bother Budget Toaster Ovens
DeLonghi RO2058 Review
Oster Vega TSSTTVVG01 Review
Maxi Matic Elite EKA-9210 Review
Hamilton Beach 31508 Review
Hamilton Beach Toastation 22708 Review
Black & Decker TRO480 Review
Proctor Silex 31116Y/31118Y Review
Black & Decker CTO6120B Countertop Oven
Oster 6071 6-Slice Toaster Oven
Proctor Silex 31115
Black & Decker TRO964
Hamilton Beach 22708H Toastation
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