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Best Toaster Ovens for 2024

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I set out to cook a wide variety of common toaster oven fodder. With the exception of the toast tests, where I looked at each toaster oven’s individual settings for light, medium and dark toast, I used standardized temperature and cook times, and followed the recommendations on the box for whatever I was cooking wherever possible.

Toasting capabilities: Speed and consistency

Making toast is one of the critical tasks for a toaster. I mean, it’s right there in the name. I hauled in a whole lot of bread to see how fast and evenly each oven made this breakfast and sandwich staple. 

Most low-end toaster ovens use a built-in kitchen timer to set the broiling, toasting and cooking time. Typically, those timers include a couple of preset options for toasting: medium toast, dark toast and in some cases, a setting for light, barely toasted bread, too. Higher-end models with an LCD display will usually let you dial into a specific doneness level when you’re toasting. You’ll typically get about six or seven settings to choose from with those, each with preprogrammed toasting times. That’s more precise than turning a timer knob, and worth it if you’re a stickler for the perfect shade of golden brown.

For my purposes, I toasted four slices of thin, white sandwich bread in each toaster oven on medium. The aim of this test was to see how evenly each oven toasts in all areas of the oven and how well-calibrated the medium toast setting is. Evenness is especially important when you’re making breakfast for a group. Ideally, you’ll want them all to come out looking as close to identical as possible.

A chart comparing the toast of all the different toaster ovens.

I toasted four slices of white bread on medium to test how evenly each toaster cooks and the calibration of its doneness setting.

David Watsky/CNET

I also tested two pieces of bread on the lowest doneness setting (light) and the highest (dark), to see how well these presets were calibrated. After each of the three toast tests, I photographed the results and made sure to let the toaster oven cool to room temperature before testing again.

For overall evenness, the results were surprisingly uniform across the board, with the exception of the Cruxgg, which toasted extremely unevenly. The Hamilton Beach, Panasonic’s FlashXpress and Breville Mini Smart Oven were among the top finishers with mostly even cooking and a solid medium color. The Balmuda also toasted four slices of bread evenly.

Two pieces of toast side by side.

The Panasonic FlashXpress’ well-calibrated dark toast setting delivered a proper dark without burning the bread. 

David Watsky/CNET

The FlashXpress also had the most accurately calibrated settings. The light setting delivered barely-there toasting while the dark setting produced proper dark pieces of toast without burning them. The Breville and Balmuda also nailed the light and dark toast cycles when I put them through their paces.

Besides the Cruxgg, which burned the toast, even when set to medium, none of the doneness presets were too far out of whack, although toast made in the Hamilton Beach was, oddly, about the same color for dark as it was for medium.

Cooking times

Speed was also a factor. I think we can all agree that, on a busy morning, the less time you have to wait for toast the better. I noted the time it took for each toaster to complete a cycle on each of the three settings: light, medium and dark.

In terms of pure speed, the infrared Panasonic was the fastest, living up to its FlashXpress nickname. It toasted to a nice medium in just 2.5 minutes. The Balmuda also toasted four slices in under three minutes, while the Breville Mini Smart oven did it in three. The slowest was the clunky Oster, which took well over six minutes to hit medium, followed by the GE, which took nearly five minutes and was still underdone.

A Balmuda toaster oven in use.

The $299 Balmuda toaster uses a bit of steam to keep things moist.

David Watsky/CNET

Temperature consistency and accuracy

If you plan to make things like cookies and pizza or use your toaster to make more complicated recipes, you’ll want an oven that holds its heat consistently over time. To test the consistency of each oven, I tested how much fluctuation each oven experienced when set to 300 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of 15 minutes. I used a RisePro thermocouple thermometer to measure the highest temp, the lowest temp and the average temp over the course of that period.

A toaster oven with a digital thermometer hooked up to measure the temperature.

I ran each toaster oven for 15 minutes at 300 degrees F to measure the temperature accuracy and consistency. 

David Watsky/CNET

All of the ovens performed fairly well in this test, with the exception of the Cruxgg. The Breville Smart Mini and Panasonic FlashXpress both held an average temp of 310, just 10 degrees more than the target temp which is a good mark for any oven. The Balmuda Steam oven can only be set to 350, 400 or 450 degrees F, so I ran the same test at 350 F. It also did well, running an average of just 12 degrees above the target temp. 

In a shocker, the Comfee toaster oven fluctuated the least — only 15 degrees from start to finish — placing first in the consistency test, but that is likely because it is both small and has no convection fan to stir the air up. The Comfee was fairly accurate too, although it ran an average of 22 degrees hotter than the temp I set it for. See full results below. 

Temperature consistency

Min. temp Max. temp Avg. temp Difference from target
Breville Smart Mini 288 F 327 F 310 F +10
Panasonic FlashXpress 261 F 330 F 310 F +10
Hamilton Beach 268 F 299 F 284 F -16
Oster 270 F 319 F 285 F -15
Cruxgg 320 F 363 F 341 F +41
GE 260 F 340 F 320 F +20
Comfee 320 F 335 F 322 F +22
Balmuda (set to 350 F) 320 F 365 F 360 F +10

Testing the convection and bake functions

To test each toaster’s power and ability to cook more substantial foods, I baked three pizza bites placed on a rack in different parts of the oven. This was to test how accurately each toaster melts cheese and another test of how evenly the cooking is spread out across the oven. The box recommends baking a frozen pizza at 425 degrees F for 18 minutes, so that’s what I did in each toaster oven. 

In addition to pizza bites, I cooked a frozen Jamaican meat pie in each oven as directed by the box: 25 minutes at 400 F. This test was designed to see how well an oven would cook a denser frozen food without burning the outside. We’ve all bitten into what appears to be perfectly browned and previously frozen food only to find it still frozen in the center. Not fun.

In the Jamaican patty test, all of the ovens heated the frozen meat pies through the center, but the Breville and Balmuda produced the best browning on the outer pastry shell. The hand pie that emerged from the Balmuda Oven (see below) was nearly overcooked (and perhaps it would be for some folks) but that’s just how I like mine. 

A toasted pastry with dark brown spots.

The Balmuda Oven delivered a hot center and lovely browning on this frozen Jamaican beef patty.

David Watsky/CNET

The FlashXpress just slightly overcooked the patty, while the Cruxgg burnt it well past edibility. While all of the ovens produced meat pies that were hot in the center, the least outer browning came from the Hamilton Beach toaster and Oster. Not surprising, considering both ovens both ran cool in the temperature consistency and accuracy test.

A lightly toasted pastry.

The Hamilton Beach ran a little cooler so it’s no surprise the Jamaican patty had less browning than other ovens I tested.

David Watsky/CNET

Toaster buttons and display

I found the toaster ovens with digital displays easiest to program since you dial into your preferred level of doneness on a six- or seven-point scale rather than guesstimating with a timer knob. My favorite display was on Breville’s Mini Smart Oven, which was simple and easy to use with dials that accurately adjust the cooking time for both doneness and number of slices. This model also has an “a bit more” button and a cool-down mode to stop cooking faster. I also liked the Panasonic FlashXpress’ display which is slightly simpler than the Breville with fewer special modes but more programs for specific items like one for frozen waffles, frozen pizza and even hash browns. 

An up-close shot of the controls on the Breville Mini Smart Oven.

The Breville Mini Smart Oven had my favorite display out of the bunch.

David Watsky/CNET

In truth, I don’t find toaster oven cooking programs very helpful, and I rarely use them. Since every brand, be it frozen pizza, waffles or mozzarella sticks, vary in size and density, it’s generally best to follow the instructions on the box. 

My least favorite display was on the Oster, which had one-dimensional backset buttons and a wonky digital screen that offers very little information. The buttons would often not react and required a forceful push, sometimes two. The super-cheap Comfee Toaster has manual dials and no display. Manual dials are difficult to set accurately both for temperature and time. They often make a ticking sound as well, which can be annoying.

The easiest toasters to clean

This was less of a cooking test and more of a cleaning test, but one that’s near and dear to my heart. Every toaster oven comes with an aluminum baking sheet with a nonstick coating, but some are much easier to clean than others. Because these sheets are mostly fitted to the oven, you’re sort of stuck using that one until you replace the toaster entirely, so it’s nice when they come clean and don’t stain or collect gunk after just a few sessions. 

A side-by-side comparison of two toaster oven baking trays.

The baking tray that comes with the Panasonic FlashXpress was much easier to clean than the one that accompanies the Hamilton Beach. 

David Watsky/CNET

After the pizza bites finished cooking, there was inevitably some spilled sauce and cheese left on the sheet. I allowed the pan to cool enough to handle without gloves and then scrubbed it vigorously for one minute using a sponge, hot water and Dial dish soap. The easiest baking sheets to clean belonged to the Breville Mini Oven (which is black, so that probably helps), the Panasonic FlashXpress and the $43 Comfee toaster. 

The trays that came with the Hamilton Beach and GE Toaster remained the most stained after a minute of cleaning, with the rest falling somewhere in the middle.  

Toaster oven specs

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Comfee CFO-BB101 Hamilton Beach 31128 Oster TSSTTVMNDG-SHP-2 Panasonic FlashXpress NB-G110P Breville Mini Smart Oven BOV450XL Cruxgg Nefi 14985 GE G9OAAASSPSS Balmuda, The Toaster
Energy draw (watts) 1,000 1,400 1,300 1,300 1,800 1,800 1,200 1,300
Settings Toast, Bake, Broil Bake, Broil, Toast, Pizza, Convection Toast, Bake, Convection, Broil, Warm, Pizza Toast, Waffle, Roll, Quick, Hash Brown, Pizza Toast, Broil, Bake, Roast, Reheat, Pizza Cookies, Bagel Toast, Bagel, Air Fry, Broil, Bake, Pizza, Cookies, Dehydrate, Warm, Reheat Air Fry, Toast Bake, Broil, Convection, Warm, Proof, Roast Toast, Artisan Bread, Pastry, Pizza
Toast time, medium 4:15 4:40 6:00 2:30 3:00 4:00 4:40 2:30
Exterior dimensions 14.6 x 11.4 x 8 15 x 19 x 9 20 x 16 x 11 12 x 13 x 10 16 x 14.25 x 8.5 11.5 x 18 x 15 16 x 17 x 14 14 x 13 x 8
Weight (pounds) 7.68 13 20 7.5 15 16 21 10
Key features None Flip-up door Large capacity Infrared heating Precise toasting Air fryer mode Air fryer mode Uses steam
Colors Black, White Gray Black Silver Silver Black, White Silver Black, Cream, Gray, Tan
Warranty 1-year 1-year 1-year 1-year 1-year 1-year 1-year 1-year

A size comparison of two toaster ovens side-by-side on a kitchen counter.

Be sure to consider the toaster’s size carefully before you buy. Here’s the big Oster, large enough to roast a small chicken, next to the itty-bitty Balmuda. 

David Watsky/CNET





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