DAILY BREAD -- AND MORE
A toaster oven is a kitchen workhorse that serves two purposes in the form of one countertop appliance. Aside from filling the essential function of a toaster, it serves as an extra oven for anyone needing an additional food-prep option or a small alternative to a full-size oven. Cheapism.com researched and reviewed toaster ovens costing $50 or less to find these top picks.
PROCTOR SILEX 31116R/31118R
Good Basic Toaster Oven
Compact, cheap, and fuss-free, this Proctor Silex toaster oven (starting at $25) comes in white (31116R) or black (31118R) and does its job capably. Users say the advertised four-slice capacity is a stretch, but this model wins over a majority for its toasting and baking abilities. The 15-minute timer is somewhat limiting, but a "stay on" function keeps the contents warm.
Small and Stylish Toaster Oven
Consumers drawn to the retro look of this basic, no-frills toaster oven are also satisfied with its performance, according to online reviews. The Oster TSSTTVVG01 bakes and toasts as well as expected given the price (starting at $28), although it seems smaller than its stated four-slice capacity. The rack can be positioned at two heights.
HAMILTON BEACH 31330
Best for Pizza
With a curved back and glass door, the six-slice Hamilton Beach 31330 (starting at $44) can hold a 12-inch pizza. It shines on the baking front, according to reviews, and toast generally turns out okay. The rack can be raised for broiling and slides out from the lowest level when the door is opened. The timer runs for 30 minutes.
BLACK & DECKER TO1322SBD
Best All Around
A toaster oven with a long history, the Black & Decker TO1322SBD (starting at $27) claims legions of fans. Unlike many other budget models, this four-slice toaster oven earns its stripes as a toaster as much as an oven. The rounded rear wall ensures space for a 9-inch pizza and the two-year warranty provides a measure of comfort, just in case.
HAMILTON BEACH 22703H/22708H
Toaster/Countertop Oven Hybrid
The Hamilton Beach Toastation (starting at $24) comes in red (22703H) or black (27708H). It features a 1.5-inch pop-up toast slot along with a mini-oven that holds two slices of bread or two personal pizzas. Users say it excels at toasting but has only limited use as an oven: Whatever goes in must be relatively flat. A drop-down crumb tray can be pulled out for washing.
Convection Toaster Oven
This six-slice toaster oven sits in the budget zone but looks like a million dollars and even boasts convection-fan technology, which bakes and browns foods faster than a regular oven. The Oster TSSTTVDFL2 (starting at $40) definitely holds its own on the baking front and sports three rack heights for optimal positioning, yet some users say it turns in disappointing results as a toaster. It comes with a five-year satisfaction guarantee.