The Best Toaster Oven

Today’s high-end toaster ovens are Mini-Me versions of full-size ovens, and they’re useful for so much more than just making toast. They can also do everything from roasting a beautiful, golden-brown chicken to baking a cake. After many hours of testing since 2015—making stacks and stacks of toast, mini pizza bagels, and cookies—we think the small Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven and the large Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven are the best options, depending on your space and needs.

Types of Best Toaster Oven

There are two types of toaster ovens: those with toasting capabilities and those without. We tested toaster ovens with toasting capabilities because, well, toasting is in the name. But we found that the toasting feature wasn’t always accurate or consistent from one model to the next. So even though toasting is a key function of a toaster oven, we didn’t base our decision on that feature alone.

What we did look for: Even toasting, consistent baking, and the ability to broil. We also considered size (four-slice toaster ovens are more common, but we found some two-slice models that worked just as well), features (such as a stay-on setting or a dedicated toasting button), and price.

The Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven was our top pick in 2015, and it’s still the best toaster oven you can buy. It toasts evenly, bakes quickly, and is simple to use. The Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven came in a close second in our tests, and it has a few more features than the Panasonic toaster oven, including an automatic shut-off timer and the ability to set the toasting darkness level.

If you’re looking for a toaster oven that can do it all, the Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven is the way to go. But if you want a toaster oven that’s simple to use and takes up less counter space, the Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven is the better choice.

How We Selected and Tested

To find the toaster ovens to test, we consulted with experts including Wirecutter staff writer Lesley Stockton, who has written about toaster ovens; cooking teacher Alison Cayne, the founder of Haven’s Kitchen cooking school in New York City; and baker and author Phyllis Grant, whose toaster oven is “literally the only appliance I use to cook.”

We also read through toaster oven reviews on Amazon and other retail sites to get a sense of which models were the most popular and best-rated. We narrowed our list down to about 15 toaster ovens, including both two-slice and four-slice models.

To test the toaster ovens, we started by toasting bread to see how evenly they toasted and how quickly they could do it. We also baked cinnamon rolls, cookies, and mini pizza bagels to see how well each toaster oven performed with different types of food. We noted how long it took to preheat, how evenly the food baked, and whether there were any hot spots.

We also tested the toaster ovens’ broiling abilities by cooking steak tips until they were browned on the outside but still pink in the middle. For good measure, we also baked a whole chicken in each toaster oven to see if it could roast evenly.

In the end, the Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven and the Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven were the clear winners in our tests. They both toasted bread evenly and quickly, and they did a great job with everything else we cooked in them.

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