Toaster Ovens: Good Tiny Ovens, Bad At Making Toast

Do you eat toast? Our lightly browned colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports spend a lot of time testing things that you might not think of to test. For example: the quality of toast produced in toasters vs. that produced in toaster ovens. Turns out that you’re better off with a plain old toaster, unless the “oven” part is important to you.

Sometimes that “oven” part is important, especially if you do a lot of cooking for one or two, or eat a lot of frozen pizza.

How much toast do you usually make? If making lots of toast in a short period of time is important to you, you’re probably a very impatient person. Even when you are in a hurry, opting for a toaster oven instead may not pay off. A toaster oven will always take longer than a toaster, so being able to fit six slices in there at a time may not pay off in the long run. At least, if your toast taking four to six minutes instead of two to three minutes is a key part of your breakfast routine.

One surprising thing that Consumer Reports determined is that even though convection toaster ovens are the new hotness, they don’t perform much better than regular toaster ovens. Most likely it’s because moving air around in a tiny space doesn’t make as much of a difference as having convection oven fans in a conventional oven.

Don’t buy a toaster oven if you just want good toast [Consumer Reports]

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  1. theoriginalcatastrophegirl says:

    i haven’t had a toaster in years, and rely on my toaster oven a lot. my previous toaster oven was terrible at toast, but my current one (both yard sale finds) is excellent at toast when i use the toast setting. the previous one did not have a toast setting and i am pretty sure that makes all the difference.
    but also, regular toasters cannot do broiled cheese toast.

    • They can make broiled cheese toast if you tip them sideways. That might be more trouble than it’s worth, though: I’ve never tried it.

      • theoriginalcatastrophegirl says:

        i’ve read that, and then i’ve read comment about the hell of trying to clean melted cheese out of the inside of the toaster and about it being a fire hazard. so i don’t think it’s something i would want to try

  2. SpeakBob says:

    If I’m making more than one slice of toast per person and want all the toast done at the same time, I don’t have any problem waiting the 4-5min for my toaster oven to finish 6-8 slices instead of 2-3 times at only 1-2min per toast in the regular toaster. Plus, I can toast multiple bagels at the same time in my toaster oven instead of waiting for multiple toast cycles of my toaster. The other issue I have with this article is that my toaster needs a cool down time between toast cycles or I need to keep turning up the darkness setting to get the same darkness every time but the oven does not, did Consumer Reports add that into the equation?