Hamilton Beach 22703H/22708H Review

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Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

Pros: The Hamilton Beach Toastation Toaster & Oven (starting at $38) has two things going for it: a pop-up toaster function and a narrow profile. The traditional toaster component alleviates the main problem of most toaster ovens, which is mediocre toast. More than 1,100 reviewers assign it an average of 4.3 stars out of 5 on Walmart.com, and many say the Toaststation produces exemplary toast. Users report that the 1.5-inch slot is wide enough to hold a bagel, toaster pastries, and almost any type or size of bread. This toaster oven is about the same size as a regular toaster, and its slim footprint is a welcome feature for many reviewers. Toastation partisans crow that the combination of traditional toaster with mini-oven below gives them the best of two essential kitchen appliances.

Cons: The Toastation may shine as a toaster, but the oven is less than ideal. First, it's really small. One post on Walmart.com says there are only about 1.5 inches of clearance above the rack, so whatever goes in must be quite flat. In other words, foods such as pizza, open-face sandwiches, and a few chicken nuggets are about all that fit. This limitation may suit consumers who crave toast above all but will disappoint those who want additional, albeit it small, oven space for bulkier items. Some consumers balk at a crumb tray that drops down rather than pulls out, and are disappointed that the rack doesn't slide out when the glass door is opened, as it did on older versions of the Toastation.

Where to buy

Features: The Hamilton Beach Toastation relies on a lever to switch between the toast and oven functions. In toaster mode, foods are partially visible through the oven door, and a cancel button lets users cancel the oven or pop the toast if it's getting too dark. This is billed as a "two-slice" model that can accommodate two 5-inch pieces of pizza. There are two control knobs -- one for toast shade and one for oven temperature, which ranges up to 450 degrees -- but no timer. This model comes with a baking pan and a rack, and the crumb tray can be removed for washing. The exterior dimensions are 16.4 x 8.9 x 8.1 inches. It comes in red (22703H) or black (22708H).

Takeaway: For people who require a toaster more than a small oven but like the versatility of a two-in-one appliance, this hybrid toaster oven provides good value with a small price tag.

Elizabeth Sheer

Elizabeth Sheer is a Brooklyn-based writer and researcher. In addition to researching and writing about household appliances and other consumer items, Elizabeth draws on her history of preparing cooking-related articles to conduct taste tests on all things delicious.

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