Toaster Oven / Countertop Oven
Can anyone recommend a reliable toaster oven or countertop oven suitable as a substitute for my regular oven?
With summer approaching, I am considering purchasing a toaster oven. I really like to roast and broil, but I hate turning on the oven during the summer because it just heats up the place something terrible. I have been reading a surprising number of "summer recipes" that involve the oven, and I have also just joined a CSA for the first time, so I am expecting to do a fair amount of cooking in the next few months. Reviews on websites are surprisingly mixed on all models, so I'm curious to see if anyone particularly loves their countertop oven.
I have a Cuisinart CTO-350 Convection Oven Toaster Broiler that sees regular use during the summer months. It's 5 years old and no problems. It may take a bit longer to actually toast bread than the older smaller toaster ovens but it's ability to handle larger items makes up for that.
The noise the fan makes during convection mode is lower than our microwave. In standard oven mode the heat is pretty even unless you get too close to the heating rods.
For one or two people it does a nice job and for a family it comes in handy when the full size oven is already in use or you are able to cook in batches.
Although the model I have is no longer in production the current model I looked at TOB-155 is similar and uses the Exact Heat technology that has been in use since at least 2005.
I second the Breville. Bought one to replace a Krups that died after 2 years. The Breville does everything well, toasts, reheats and is a great second oven for baking or roasting when cooking a large meal. Plus it looks great. Even my SO complements it on how it does his bagels!
Pricey, but worth it. Look for it at BB&B for 20% less.
Another vote for the Breville Smart Oven. It does everything well, plus is larger than almost any other (maybe than all others), and is the only brand that comes with truly functional pans, not tinny trash.
My only quibble is that it even though it will broil at 500°, it won't roast at anything above 450°. Certain things just need to be roasted at 500° to come out right. But I doubt any other toaster oven can do that either.
We've had a Krups FBC2 6-Slice Digital Convection Toaster Oven for about 2 1/2 years and we love it. It does everything we want it to do and does it well.
Full Disclosure: If I'd had the extra scratch at the time, I'd have sprung for the Breville. I do not regret this purchase, tho, and would recommend it to you.