We finally decided to break down and splurge a little bit and get a new toaster oven for our kitchenette as our old one was just about on its last legs. It had served us very well and we had it for about 7 years. When we went looking at what was currently available we were quite shocked. It seems like countertop ovens have come an awfully long way in just a short amount of time. They have embraced the “oven” part of the toaster oven moniker and now you can cook just about anything you want in one of these.
We ended up getting a high end, modern, and very versatile Smart oven and we are simply amazed with what we have been able to prepare in this tiny powerhouse. We are enamored so much that we thought that we would share some of the top ovens that you can get for your own kitchen. These also make great gifts so we are thinking about sending a couple of these out to the kids and older grandchildren.
Our first step when we went looking for a replacement was to see what was available and find some feedback. We were digging through the toaster oven ratings at the Gourmet Worrier and came across a few models that we were interested in that received favorable reviews . Here are the top three that made our short list for our kitchen.
I have always have had good experiences with Cuisinart appliances throughout the years. They have been extremely dependable and tend to last a long time. The TOB-260N1 is their high end entry into the countertop oven space and it looks stunning. A modern LCD display and tons of stainless steel give it a futuristic design that should fit nicely into older and newer kitchens alike. It has a ton of cooking features that are perfect for the amateur chef in your family.
It has 11 preset cooking functions that include things like bake, defrost, broil, roast, bagel, toast, and a few more. It comes with something called “Exact Heat” cooking technology that Cuisinart came up with to ensure everything you place in the oven gets done to perfection. No hot spots or cold spots, just even food every time. It has a big interior that can do up to 6 slices of toast. This means that you can cook just about everything except a full sized turkey in there. It is quite expensive for a small oven but not quite as high as a Breville Oven. This was a very attractive choice for us, but we did not go with this particular model.
This is known as the “Smart Oven Pro” and it does indeed live up to its name. Breville toaster countertop ovens have been quite popular and given a closer look you can really see why. The BOV845SS is their latest model that includes an interior light and a “Slow Cook” feature that some of their older models don’t have. It also has a stainless steel body and modern LCD display that is very easy to use and read. They tried to make everything as simple as possible to use and it is just about a set and forget it type of oven.
It has 10 preset functions and convection cooking features, like the Cuisinart oven above, to enhance your experience and reduce recipe times. This has proven to be very handy for us and our food has come out perfect every time. Yes, this is the model we splurged on. It was the most expensive of all of the models on our short list, but so far it has been well worth it.
It looks complicated at first glance but the controls were very easy to understand. We did not even have to read the manual as we had it down in just a couple of minutes. It is extremely roomy on the inside and it can fit the baking dish we always use. So far we have made things like casseroles, baked salmon, and even barbecue ribs. The funny thing is, we have yet to try and make toast with it. This was a major step up over our older model which we basically just used to reheat items or make garlic rolls. We are actually cooking more homemade food now and it makes me wish that we had gotten one of these a lot sooner.
KitchenAid Digital Oven
KitchenAid is also another brand name that we have grown to trust over the years and their KCO273SS oven was quite appealing to us. It has an LCD screen and stainless steel materials like the other two, but it was a little more affordable. It has regular knobs and a black screen and it didn’t feel as modern as the Breville and Cuisinart ovens we were considering. It did get pretty good reviews and feedback from owners however that made us take a closer look. In the end however it was not what we were looking for. We had the money to spend a little extra, but if our budget was a little tighter then this is probably the toaster oven that we would have gotten.
Cooking More Than Ever
I have not really been a big fan of using a full sized oven and so I never really spent a lot of time in the kitchen. I would always take the easy way out and make frozen dinners in the microwave. However, since I got one of these more convenient smaller countertop ovens, I am now looking forward to dinner time and trying to find new recipes that I can make. It is actually a lot more fun now. Clean up is also a breeze which makes it less work and adds to the experience. If you are looking for a way to enjoy your time in the kitchen more, then we highly suggest you look into getting a toaster oven. You might just actually look forward to having a home cooked meal again.