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To put that to the test, I toasted several batches of frozen Eggo waffles in each toaster at the darkest setting. That'll force you to search for a sweet spot between medium and dark on the dedicated doneness dial when you're toasting frozen food. Meanwhile, the weakest toasters of the bunch -- Hamilton Beach and Toshiba -- weren't able to get the Eggos quite crisp enough. They might have benefited from Bialetti's "A Little Extra" button. I also baked a bunch of frozen pizzas -- personal-sized pepperoni pies from DiGiorno, to be specific.
The box recommends baking them at F for 17 minutes, so that's what I did with each toaster oven. The results were all over place, but not terribly surprising. The Hamilton Beach toaster oven was a little wimpy in the toast tests, and it followed suit here, too, with an underbaked pizza that needed another couple of minutes in the oven. Meanwhile, the toaster oven with the most power -- the Bialetti -- gave us burnt pizza that cooked a lot faster than you'd expect.
Toshiba burnt the pizza, too. That was more surprising since it had the opposite problem during my toast tests. Like Bialetti, it offers a dedicated pizza setting. With both models, the result was basically identical -- burnt pizza when following the box instructions. In addition to DiGiorno's, I made sure to test a number of other frozen snacks, including mozzarella sticks short bake time , Pizza Bagels medium baking time and waffle fries long baking time.
Again, for the most part, I was less concerned with how things tasted than I was with how much each toaster oven matched the recommended temperature and cook times compared with the user's manual.
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The results largely lined up with what we saw from the pizzas, but if you want to read more details, you can check out my full testing notes here. My last tests were an office favorite: Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies. I baked five at a time in each toaster oven at its convection setting and according to the recommended time and temperature settings. The Toshiba toaster oven again produced an overcooked result, which fit the pattern -- it undercooked during toast tests and overcooked during baking tests.
Meanwhile, Nostalgia, Oster and Hamilton Beach produced our taste testers' top cookies they passed the eye test with my Twitter followers, too.
Nostalgia's convection setting gave us the most even bake -- a notable difference from the standard baking tests, where Nostalgia tended to cook faster in the back. In honesty, though, all of the toaster ovens did pretty well at the convection setting -- it's a feature that really makes a difference with baked goods. In fact, all of them can bake cookies or anything else just the way you like.
The ones that overcook or undercook will just require more of a learning curve. To that end, the Oster toaster oven emerged as my top pick from a performance standpoint -- it aced my toast tests and proved predictable throughout all of my baking tests, too. That said I've yet to test a toaster oven that makes food taste any better than a full-size oven would.https://barhatigalo.ml/soko-pasion-mujeres-lucena.php
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That's why I think you should take most toaster oven performance claims with a grain or two of salt. As long as your toaster oven doesn't overcook or undercook too much, and if it has enough power 1, watts is a good benchmark for an average-sized convection model , then you won't notice much of a difference in the way it cooks food as compared with other models like it.
And who the hell designed this door that opens more than 90 degrees, causing the glass to clank against your countertop? You will notice design flaws and clunky user interfaces, though, so if you can, head to the store and get your hands on the models you're zeroing in on before you buy.
Open and close the doors, adjust the racks -- look for the little things. For instance, the glass door on the top-performing Oster model opens down more than 90 degrees, which means that the glass can clank directly against the corner of your countertop if you don't have it pushed up against your backsplash. As for me, I hated the imprecise doneness dials on the Hamilton Beach and Nostalgia toaster ovens , and I was also bugged by the temperature dial on the Toshiba model , which starts at degrees Fahrenheit and moves in degree increments -- that means you can't hit a precise None of these countertop toaster ovens is perfect, but some in this price range look better than others, and feel much easier to use.
Those are differences worth shopping around for. You'll also want to think about what you'll be using your toaster oven for most often. If you like toast with your coffee each morning, prioritize a toaster oven with a precise preset. If you like to broil things like hamburgers, make sure you get a toaster oven with a high top rack position 2 or 3 inches underneath the heating elements. Many don't let you set the racks any higher than halfway up, which is too low from the heating elements for a good char.
One argument in favor of countertop toaster ovens is that they use less energy than a full-size traditional oven. That's true -- most full-size electric ovens will draw about 2, watts at medium to high heat , while the average toaster oven will draw around 1, watts. That means that every time you're using your toaster oven instead of your full-size oven, you're cutting your energy consumption by a little over a third.
What does that mean in dollars and cents? Let's walk through the math. After all, most people who own toaster ovens will continue to use their full-size oven sometimes, if not most of the time, and hardly any of us will stop using our ovens altogether.
That's still pretty good, but it's also less than you might expect. Think about it -- the average 1,watt toaster oven offers about 0. The toaster oven is 85 percent smaller, but it's only using 35 percent less energy.
If you've got a family to feed, or if you like to make multiple batches of cookies at a time, then you'll actually get more value from the full-size oven. There sure are -- but it's very early, and they're very expensive. Unless you're an enthusiastic early adopter of smart kitchen tech with lots of cash to burn, they're tough to recommend.
It's a capable cooking machine that uses built-in cameras to identify what you're trying to make, and it offers cooking guidance and an abundance of settings to tweak in its companion app.
It also isn't good at making toast. It doesn't feature built-in cameras -- instead, this smart oven uses a built-in QR code scanner to identify specific Tovala meal kits or, thanks to a recent update , frozen foods from Trader Joe's. From there, it automates the entire cooking process. You just put the food in and press start.
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Among toaster oven upgrades, it's a bit like Frankenstein's monster -- you get the same infrared heating elements as the Panasonic FlashXpress, the same built-in cameras as June, and the same meals kit approach as Tovala. I don't think any of these smart options are worth buying yet, but connected cooking gadgets are continuing to mature -- and with products like the Instant Pot proving that there's still a healthy appetite for well-featured kitchen tech and kitchen appliances, manufacturers are motivated to innovate. That includes the market-movers. Just recently, LG announced that its smart ovens will support Tovala's meals kits -- though you'll need to scan their QR codes with the Tovala app on your phone.
Whirlpool has a smart countertop oven of its own coming this spring ; more are likely to follow suit. Fresh competition like that might lead to something truly compelling -- and, at the very least, it should eventually help to bring prices down to more reasonable levels. When we get to that point, I'll update this section to include our top pick with its pros and cons.
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