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Toaster Oven VS Countertop Oven

Googs Jan 11, 2009 09:43 AM

Hubby and I don't like wasting energy firing up the oven during the week. It's just dinner for two really. We're in search of a high quality, mini oven. As the toast function isn't critical, we'd gladly sacrifice it for quality . However if one of the best was a toaster oven we certainly wouldn't let that get in our way. Can anyone recommend a brand and model? To take one name off of the list...

We can't take another minute of our horrible Black & Decker Toaster Oven. It's poor at both being an oven and a toaster. The only delight is that it's convection so I can at least truly say it blows.

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  1. JonParker RE: Googs Jan 11, 2009 10:13 AM

    I have an Oster 6248 convection countertop oven that I got from Costco. It's indispensable -- I use it instead of the real oven for all kinds of tasks -- baking, broiling, and reheating pizza. The only real problem is that it's lousy for toast.

    1. BerkshireTsarina RE: Googs Jan 11, 2009 10:22 AM

      We have a Cuisinart that is satisfactory as a toaster (slow, though) and good as an oven (also convection). You might want to check out this link:
      http://aveceric.com/
      Eric Ripert, chef at Le Bernardin, has some recipes on this blog under the heading Getting Toasted. (There are videos also for them.) He uses a fancy Cuisinart (more upscale than ours) for which he is surely paid handsomely. I've tried several of these recipes in our toaster oven and LOVE LOVE LOVE a few of them. They will make you look very kindly at mighty mini toaster ovens. Take a look --
      Absolute favorite are the chicken tenders (there are just two of us for dinner most of the time, like you guys.)

      1. jayt90 RE: Googs Jan 11, 2009 10:27 AM

        I use a Waring Pro .9 cubic foot oven for daily use. I chose it because there is a rotisserie, and the controls are manual and easy to use. The avatar turkey was cooked perfectly on convection, although it was a tight fit. I like this unit and try to use it whenever possible. It heats up to 500 F in minutes, and is great for a simple round loaf of bread.

        1. j
          Jack_ RE: Googs Jan 11, 2009 12:52 PM

          Just as an aside if you are doing this to save energy. Gas is pretty efficient check here to see how you electricity is generated

          http://www.epa.gov/cleanrgy/energy-an...

          you might be saving gas but creating more nuclear waste than you think

          1. e
            EscapeVelocity RE: Googs Jan 11, 2009 02:40 PM

            Your needs and wants drive the recommendation. How are you going to use the oven? How many people do you generally cook for?

            Some people have auxillary ovens for use at holidays for extra oven space (cooking pies and caseroles while the Turkey bakes or the Beef roasts. In that case, maybe a 2 shelf 1 cu. ft model is your best bet. Like the Cuisinart Brick which has convection or Hamilton Beach 1.1 cu ft Convection Bake Broil Rotisserire.

            If however you wish to use this as a cooking for 2 save energy oven then a 6 slice toaster oven/ 0.5 cu. ft toaster convection oven is the way to go. The 4 slicers are just 2 small to be very useful as an full size oven substitute....limiting you to one slice of pizza or the 9" Tostinos if you are lucky....though they are better bread toasters generally.

            Of the .5 cu. ft Toaster ovens that can take a 12" pizza, these are highly rated.

            Krups FBC2 (some other and older Krups too)
            Cuisinart 195 and 175
            Black & Decker 6301
            The Oster mentioned above and its available at Walmart.

            Of those mentioned I like the Cuisinarts and the B&D. The B&D is a little wider interior oven space that can accomodate 13" wide broiler and jelly roll pans. However the Cuisinart has more interior space because of the rounded front of the B&D(which also has a slot in the back to accomodate a 12" Digornio....however the B&D has better viewing of the interior because of same and may get up to temp a bit quicker because of the reduced interior space.

            The Krups feels abit cheap, but it has ceramic elements and 3 of them top and bottom which allows for quick heat times and even toasting.

            The Oster feels abit cheap as well, but its controls are nice, especially the LCD and it is spacious. Does everything but toast well (like most of these units).

            The Cuisinart has very loud timer beeps, and doesnt shut off at the end of the timer countdown. The B&D does shut off after the timer countdown ends. The Cuisinart has a rear removal crumb tray, the B&D and all others front removal which is much preferred...however the Cuisinart is not as wide on the exterior dimension as teh B&D and others because its controls are located in that crumb tray position on the bottom....which may be advantageous for placment on the counter.

            Im looking for a toaster oven too. I cant decide between the Cuisinart 175 and 195 or the B&D 6301.

            1 Reply
            1. re: EscapeVelocity
              JonParker RE: EscapeVelocity Jan 12, 2009 04:30 AM

              When I was looking I narowed my decision to the Oster and the Cuisinart. I've always had very good luck with Cuisinart appliances, so I was leaning that way, but some feature (I can't remember what) tipped me over to the Oster. That said I've been very happy with it. It was quite a bit cheaper as well.

              I have never had good luck with B&D appliances of any kind. They work fine, but they tend to fail fairly quickly.

            2. Joe Blowe RE: Googs Jan 11, 2009 03:41 PM

              http://www.google.com/search?q=cadco+...
              http://www.google.com/search?q=cadco+...

              Those links lead to posts I've made about my Cadco convection oven. Instead of repeating myself, I'll let you just skim through those messages. In my not so humble opinion, I believe the Cadco to be just about the finest countertop convection oven you can buy for your home...

              http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/3367...
              http://www.cadco-ltd.com/sample_cadco...

              Be sure to shop around for the best price.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Joe Blowe
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                EscapeVelocity RE: Joe Blowe Jan 11, 2009 04:50 PM

                If you are going to go 1 cu. ft or there abouts like the Cadco .83 cu ft. OV 250, then you might consider the Cuisinart Brick which is considerably cheaper, but not cheap. There is also the Hamilton Beach 1.1 cu foot Convection Broiler Bake Rotisserie oven, which is a bit cheapish looking but it gets the job done and is a great addition to oven space when you need it. However, I still think the 0.5 - 0.6 cu. ft ovens are the best compromise for the most people.

              2. jayt90 RE: Googs Jan 11, 2009 03:44 PM

                There are three levels of convection heat quality:
                1) A fan blows in air from the outside. Most convection toaster ovens do this.
                2) A fan re-circulates hot air within the oven.
                3) There is an element in front of a fan, for a hot blast of air.

                I haven't seen '3' in a consumer model, although you can get it in a range.
                '2' is the best compromise, as it does not introduce outside air.

                5 Replies
                1. re: jayt90
                  Googs RE: jayt90 Jan 15, 2009 11:09 AM

                  jayt90, do you know of any particular '2' consumer models?

                  EscapeVelocity, in the main we use it for dinners/breakfasts for two. I might roast chicken or pork, grill salmon, or broil bacon amongst other things. We also use it for extra oven space when we need to cook at two completely different temperatures as in slow roasting pork in one and roasting potatoes in another. You sure do know a great deal about toaster ovens!

                  For all of the models being rec'd, I wouldn't mind knowing the following as these are all problems with the Black & Decker:

                  What's the zero to 60 on these in terms of coming up to temperature;
                  How well/quickly do they broil;
                  How much heat do they radiate;
                  How noisy are they when using convection;
                  Can you bake, say, muffins without risk of burning the top?

                  For those rec'ing the Cuisinart Brick (I must say it does look and sound darn sexy) do you or anyone you know actually own one? Not that I've ever encountered a bad Cuisinart product, but there's always a first time.

                  1. re: Googs
                    e
                    EscapeVelocity RE: Googs Jan 15, 2009 05:47 PM

                    I dont own and have never owned a toaster oven. So I cant answer those questions.

                    However, I did a lot of professional cooking in a Steak & Seafood restaurant a few years ago, for a few years, in college and just after.

                    The pre heat times are faster than larger ovens on all of these, around 5 minutes.

                    Some of them broil pretty good, the trick is looking for high wattage. The ones mentioned here are the cream of the crop.

                    Toaster ovens get hot on the outside, that is just the nature of the beast. The Cuisinart Brick has brick insulators which may keep the exterior a bit cooler, as they absorb/insulate and slowly radiate heat. The Cadco apparently has good insulation as well, for effeciency and heat retention.

                    Some are noisier than others.....I wouldnt worry about it though.

                    Many of the DIGITALLY CONTROLLED toaster ovens, like the Krups, B&D, Cusinarts, and Oster above have a "Bagel Button" which turns the bottom elements on high, and top broiler elements are at a reduced level so your muffins (bagels) wont burn on top. The Cuisinart Bricks, Hamilton Beach 1.1 cu ft (3 knob non digital jobs dont have this function).

                    Another you might consider is the Breville BOV800XL The Smart Oven. This might be the best all around compromise for your wants and needs. Its .8 cu ft. and has digital controls and smart burners(they arent just on or off but digitally adjusted power levels).

                    http://www.amazon.com/Breville-BOV800...

                    I think the Krups is the best performer from professional and others reviews. However the Cuisinarts arent too shabby either, and they look and feel much higher quality. Given your comments, I would recommend the Cuisinart 195 Digital Convection Toaster Oven.....and you should look at the Cuisinart Brick and the Krups FBC2 before you take the plunge. Or maybe the Breville is the perfect countertop "toaster" oven for you. If you like the simplicity of the 3 dial knobs, then the Cuisinart Brick 200(non convection) or 300(Convection optional) is for you, but you lose some fancy features(fancy control of the burners and temps).

                    Good Luck

                    1. re: EscapeVelocity
                      e
                      EscapeVelocity RE: EscapeVelocity Jan 15, 2009 06:19 PM

                      Here is a video on the Breville Smart Oven...

                      http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                      There is also a good video and some thorough reviews towards the bottom of the Amazon page.

                      1. re: EscapeVelocity
                        Googs RE: EscapeVelocity Jan 16, 2009 06:15 AM

                        Thank you so, soooo much. This helps a great deal. You've been really terrific.

                    2. re: Googs
                      jayt90 RE: Googs Jan 16, 2009 08:04 AM

                      I think Cadco, Cuisinart, and Waring Pro are all interior convection, but I haven`t actually seen the Brick. When you examine a cheap toaster oven with convection, you will find an air intake on the outside, supplying air to the fan. The true convection models don`t do this.

                      Cadco is pro level, has high heat bearings, and a special squirrel cage fan. Expensive, and worthwhile if you want the best, for heavy use.

                      The Cuisinart brick seems to be aimed at bakers, for pizza and bread. You would have to remove the bottom brick for other uses, or else waste a lot of BTU`s heating it up.

                      The Waring Pro (at Home Outfitters) comes in 1.5 cu ft or .9 cu. ft models, both with manual controls and stainless steel finish. The 1.5 has a larger fan, similar to Cadco, but has to distribute the same amount of BTU`s in a 50% larger space, so may not heat up as fast. I bought the .9 cu ft. model, with rotisserie, to use instead of the range, for roasts, bread, and casseroles. It heats up to 450 F in 5 minutes. Another minute for 500 F. Fan noise is quiet, about like a microwave, and there is no excessive heat leakage. It has a heavy glass oven door.

                      I haven`t done muffins, but bread browns evenly without charring.
                      The broil cycle and the rotisserie mode are both without fan, but they work well.
                      The largest roast I have done is a 14 lb turkey, and it was a bit uneven (tight fit), and I could have turned it for evenness, but I was snoozing and let it go to 3 hour completion at 425 F. It`s in my avatar on on the left.

                      This is one of my favorite purchases. Roast chicken or a large loaf of bread takes 50 minutes, a duck slightly longer, but crisp and tender.

                  2. Beach Chick RE: Googs Jan 16, 2009 06:28 AM

                    Googs/Patsy..
                    I have the Cuisinart Brick Toaster Oven and I love it..
                    We have the Wolf 6 burner with the griddle and double oven and I hardly ever use it because my Cuisinart kicks butt and saves me $$ for not firing up that Wolf bad boy!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Beach Chick
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                      EscapeVelocity RE: Beach Chick Jan 16, 2009 11:36 AM

                      So to break it all down we have in the larger .8 to 1.1 cu ft size we have the

                      Cadco 250 $600+
                      Waring Pro .9 $250+
                      Breville 800 .8 Digital $250+
                      Cusinart Brick 300 .9 $250+
                      Cuisinart Brick 200 .9 $225+ (no convection)
                      Hamilton Beach 1.1 $100+

                      On the smaller .5 to .6 cu ft side we have the

                      Krups FBC4 $175+ Digital
                      Cuisinart 195 $175+ Digital
                      Cuisnart 155 (no convection) $150+ Digital
                      B&D 6301 $90+ Digital
                      Oster 6897, 6898, 6899 $90+ Digital
                      KitchenAid $90+ NOT digital (no convection)

                      1. re: EscapeVelocity
                        e
                        EscapeVelocity RE: EscapeVelocity Jan 16, 2009 03:08 PM

                        My favorites are the

                        Breville 800 & Cuisinart 195

                        The Cadco is just too expensive, but I bet its a real performer and built to last.

                        The Hamilton Beach is a Best Buy Value.

                    2. FoodChic RE: Googs Jan 16, 2009 04:05 PM

                      The toaster oven gets used frequently in our house. I've got double ovens with extremely large capacity, so for heating items up we use the convection. It's cheaper to use and consumes far less energy. Plus we almost never use a microwave, so for heating up certain leftover dishes the toaster over does a nice job....especially for leftover pizza.

                      We had a Delongi w/ convection that we just loved. The knobs broke off after 6+ years of regular use. Now we have the Cuisinart and it's not as good as my old Delongi, but it serves its purpose. Toasting takes a lot longer, but I've helped that along by running a short toasting cycle while I cook.

                      If you don't want to keep it on the counter make sure you have plenty of room to store. The cuisinart takes up a lot of cupboard space. I hate clutter on the counters, so fortunately I have a large number of cabinets.

                      1. Googs RE: Googs Jan 18, 2009 06:53 AM

                        What can I say, but WOW. You've all been so kind and informative. Thank you for your generous donation of time and information. It's very much appreciated. We've now narrowed it down to either Waring Pro or Breville. We wouldn't have known about either of these choices without your help. Again, thank you.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Googs
                          e
                          EscapeVelocity RE: Googs Jan 18, 2009 09:40 AM

                          The Waring Pro will probably be longer lasting, more reliable than the Breville, because of its simpler controls. Heat and electronics dont mix well. However Im smitten with the Breville.

                          1. re: EscapeVelocity
                            e
                            EscapeVelocity RE: EscapeVelocity Jan 22, 2009 10:03 AM

                            After much research, I went with the B&D 6301. Ill let you know how it goes.

                            I found that Bed, Bath, and Beyond had the best selection of Toaster Ovens to physically inspect. Including the B&D 6301, Krups FBC2, Cuisinart 195, Cuisinart Brick 200, KitchenAid, and a couple of others. The Oster can be seen at Walmart.

                            One note I would like to make, is that the Krups has 3 elements on top and 3 on bottom. And they are the quartz style elements, not the traditional elements. The B&D also has Quartz elements, 2 top + 2 bottom(4 total). The Cuisinarts have traditional heating elements.

                        2. b
                          bugmenot RE: Googs Apr 20, 2009 07:24 PM

                          Hi everyone - this is a great post! Does anyone recommend a larger convection oven that can fit a 14 inch wide pan? It seems like most of these are just a bit too small.

                          The Waring Pro CO1500 1.5 cubit foot oven (for $400) looks like it could be big enough. Has anyone used this one? Are there any other ones I should consider?

                          Thanks so much!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bugmenot
                            e
                            EscapeVelocity RE: bugmenot Apr 20, 2009 09:27 PM

                            I dont know the inside dimensions of the Waring Pro 1.5. You could probably do a search and find out.

                            However, they do make countertop pizza ovens for commercial and home use. You can probably find one that can take a 14" pizza.

                            Here is an example at Amazon...

                            http://www.amazon.com/Fusion-Commerci...

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