Determining the best model (Best Toaster Ovens) among the various toaster ovens isn’t always an easy task. In fact, it shouldn’t even be the first question you need to ask and answer. Instead, you first have to make sure that you need a toaster oven in the first place!
If all you want to do with your toaster oven is to make toast, then you don’t want to use up more money and more counter top space by going with a toaster oven. Just get a toaster instead.
How Do You Find the Best Toaster Ovens?
The first thing you need to determine is what you plan to do with your toaster oven. Presumably you want to do more than just toast bread. A basic toaster will suffice if you just need to do some broiling or if you plan on reheating a lot of pizza slices. But if you’re planning to bake your own bread, you need a convection toaster oven or one with a steam feature.
Now we have to consider oven capacity. You have to know just how big a pizza it can accommodate, the number of bread slices it can fit, and the size of the chicken breasts it can cook. A bigger family will usually need an oven with a larger capacity.
This is also related to the counter space you have available. If you don’t have enough countertop space, you need to consider an under cabinet toaster model.
Here are some other features you may like to have:
- You need to have the right accessories, and most ovens made by reputable brands come with a drip pan and baking rack at the very least. A removable crumb tray is also very convenient, especially for cleaning.
- The controls should be easy to use and understand, and you should get several presets for commonly used settings.
- An automatic shutoff with a timer is also a necessity, so that you minimize the risk of fires with ovens that remain turned on for hours. Now some may have a “stay on” feature, but you need to make a habit of having your smartphone ring an alarm to remind you to turn it off at the right time.
- An audible alarm is also nice, so you’re notified when the food is done. It should be just loud enough to hear without making too loud a noise.
- It may also be a good idea to get one with a nonstick interior, so cleaning the inside is a lot easier.
What about Finding the Best Under Cabinet Toaster Oven?
An Under Cabinet Toaster Oven is a bit different from your conventional toaster oven. As its name implies, these aren’t meant to stay on your countertop. It’s designed to fit under the kitchen countertop or under a cabinet instead. This gives you more space on your countertop for your other appliances. Also, it may be easier to use since it’s placed higher so you don’t have to bend down to use it.
What you just need to check is that this under cabinet toaster oven is securely help in place. After all, it’s just hanging there, and you don’t really want it to fall from its place. Also, you should make sure that it is designed not to heat up when it is toasting and cooking something. This is a standard feature of this type of oven, but you need to check anyway. You don’t want to risk a fire under your wooden cabinet.
Finally, it would be nice if the cord is long enough to reach your wall socket without needing an extension cord. With extension cords, or risk disconnecting the power when you’re trying to cook something, and when they’re hanging the risk of disconnection is much greater.
You need to think about not tripping on them as about 2,000 injuries are caused by tripping on extension cords each year. And you also have to think about fires prevention and safety, as each year 50 people die and 270 people are injured in about 3,300 extension cord fires each year.
A Look at the Black & Decker TO1303SB 4 Slice Toaster Oven
So let’s take a closer look at the Black & Decker TO1303SB and then we can apply what we know about toaster ovens to see if this is the right one for you.
- This is a countertop toaster oven. If you’re planning to get the TO1303SB, it means you’re sure that you don’t just need a toaster and that you have the countertop space to place this on.
- More specifically, you have enough countertop space to accommodate its dimensions. It measure 15.5 inches across, 9.8 inches from front to back, and 8.8 inches high. Now this may be advertised as a 4-slice oven, but that may not apply to all types of bread. So this may not be the best for a large family in the morning.
- The cord is only 2 feet long, so you should really have a wall socket near the countertop space where you plan to put this on. Supposedly, this short cord is a safety feature to prevent you from putting this too close to a wall, and there’s also a plastic knob at the back to ensure this.
- Inside, it measures 10.75 by 9 inches and 7 inches high. That’s enough to fit in a 9-inch pizza. But you also have to settle with just a single rack level available. It comes with a bake pan and a broil rack, so these functions should be among your needs. It also comes with a removable crumb tray to go with the sliding rack and drip tray.
- The knob controls are easy enough to use, although it may be a bit harder to turn than usual. You have presets for “warm”, “broil”, “bake”, and “toast”, as well as another knob to set it to a specific temperature. There’s also a timer up to 30 minutes, so that should help prevent accidental fires. The toast setting may be a bit too dark for a few folks, so you may want to try the lighter settings first.
- If you’re worried about uneven heating, this unit has the Black & Decker Even Toast Technology, which ensures that your brad is toasted evenly on both sides due to the heating elements on top and at the bottom. However, since there’s a wire rack at the bottom there will be some grill marks on one side.
- This can be used for various meats as well, such as chicken breasts and pork chops. But the small interior size will prevent you from putting in too many.
- It’s easy to clean, as the space inside is small, and you can easily reach in because the glass door opens up flat. And the various accessories are also
Basically, this is a great toaster oven for a small family or a couple and It’s very affordable, and Amazon is our favorite retailer to buy it from. This makes it ideal for students living in a dorm. It works great for toast, for reheating leftover food, and for reheating pizza.
And that’s how you pick the best toaster oven for you. Determine your budget, your cooking needs, and your available space, and then find the toaster oven with the features that suit your needs.