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Jun 15, 2010 06:29 PM

Some good plug in appliances.

I currently just have a cheap euro-pro toaster oven and a non stick skillet, and I really would like to upgrade as well as getting something that will allow me to do more cooking wise in a single room by just having this appliance plugged into an outlet. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should look into buying? Also, if you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear it.

Thank you.

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  1. definitely consider a slow cooker/crock pot. are you using a single burner for the skillet? you could add another one (or invest in an induction burner) to expand your stove top-style cooking options...or buy an electric skillet.

    3 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Just looked up induction burner, and wow, I think I like it. Any suggestions on brand or place to get it, as well as a crock pot?

      1. re: SeattleHusky

        If you decide to get an induction cookpad, you could use it with a Le Crueset French oven to make stews and soups, possibly eliminating the need for a slow cooker.

        If you eat a lot of rice and/or oatmeal, you might also consider getting a rice cooker.

        1. re: tanuki soup

          Oats can be easily cooked in my electric skillet or microwave, but the induction cook-pad looks very tempting.

    2. I am looking through some induction cooktops on ebay, and I'm not exactly sure what i should be looking for, any suggestions?

      2 Replies
      1. I use my cuisinart convection toaster oven daily. It is a very versatile appliance, but it does take up a little room on my counter. I use a cuisinart slow cooker as well, and a rice cooker. I use the toaster oven more than the latter 2 combined.

        10 Replies
        1. re: sueatmo

          Agreed, a good convection toaster oven can do a lot of jobs for a small household. The best out there is the Breville Smart Oven - it even does toast well! (Don't laugh, a lot of so-called "toaster ovens" don't).

          It's not cheap - $250 list, and I've never seen it discounted below $200 - but worth it. And the price includes a couple of quality pans - a roaster/broiler that's a 12" square version of the ones that come with full-sized ovens, and a 13" round pizza pan.

          And the fact that it can accommodate those pans tells you that it's also a bit larger than most.

          1. re: BobB

            Bob, I just got the Breville based on your earlier rec and I agree it's overall a great unit and probably the best toaster oven out there - so many many thanks. For the OP, I second BobB's rec and just have a few relatively trivial questions/concerns about the unit which I list below. FYI, there is now a smaller non-convection version a/v for about $180 at WIlliams Sonoma (might be less on Amazon) - I think it's a 4-slice as opposed to 6-slice, to give you a sense of size, and does not have convection if you don't need it and don't want to pay for it.

            BobB, now that I have the unit, I have several questions which hopefully will help the OP too:

            (1) The door on my oven doesn't close with a tight seal and there is a several-millimeter opening around the entire perimeter of the door (created by the rubber 'feet' on the door which protrude beyond the rest of the door and prevent the door from closing beyond the feet). This lets heat escape and also allows bugs to get in, which might be a problem if they are attracted to any residual crumbs/food in the oven - also don't want to attract bugs in my kitchen as I try not to have any food left exposed! Does your door fasten with a tight seal or is the oven simply designed not to close airtight? I checked my conventional stove top gas oven, which is tightly sealed with a rubber gasket all the way around, and also my old cheap B&D toaster oven, which also closes tightly with no gaps for heat to escape or bugs to get in.

            (2) The oven, at least the one I got, is absolutely beautifully designed and engineered but seems not to have been built/manufactured to the same high standards. The oven door is pretty badly misaligned, leaning toward the left when closed and therefore protruding beyond the main cabinet at the top left side, and there is a slight dip in the top of the oven as well as chips and bubbling on the enamel trays -- does your oven/trays have this problem? The misalignment and dip are just cosmetic and I doubt will affect performance, but the chips and bubbling on the tray are clearly problems (although easy to fix by just buying new trays).

            (3) I just realized the oven interior is non-stick, after deciding to get rid of all my non-stick pans out of health concerns. Do you know what the non-stick is made of?

            Wondering if I got a bad apple re: (1) and (2) and should try to exchange my unit, or if all the units come this way (lack of seal, misalignment, dents, chips etc.) and I should just deal with it. I am mostly concerned about the gap in the oven door.

            Many thanks again!

            1. re: iyc_nyc

              Thank you for all of the suggestions, but what is the big advantage of a convection oven versus a one that doesn't have it built in?

              1. re: SeattleHusky

                Helps things cook more evenly, and at slightly lower temperatures, thus saving energy . Some say faster as well.

              2. re: iyc_nyc

                My unit has none of the defects you describe - I'd call them and get them to exchange it.

                As for the interior non-stick - I have no idea what the material is but you could ask them. I'm not on the "non-stick is bad for you" bandwagon.

                1. re: BobB

                  Bob, sorry to for all the back and forth -- but to clarify, does this mean your door closes completely flush against the oven to create a tight seal? If so, does that mean your oven doesn't have rubber 'feet'/bumpers on the interior surface of the door, which separates (and presumably protects) the door from the oven, leading to a gap around the perimeter of the door?

                  I looked at the oven at a different store from where I bought it, and this oven also had rubber bumpers, creating a gap around the door. I can't see how this would not attract pests if there are crumbs or residual food in the oven.. and also allows heat to escape.

                  If some units are designed differently that would be great, but don't want to bother trying to exchange mine if they're all made that way.

                  Hope this makes sense...

                  Sorry to OP - feel like I'm now hijacking this thread! (is there a way to PM a poster if one's questions start getting too specific to be useful on the public boards??)

                  1. re: iyc_nyc

                    There are two shallow rubber bumpers at the top corners. But there is also a very slight lip on the left and top edges within which the door fits, and a rubber gasket strip on the right next to the controls, so overall there is nothing that looks to me like a gap, at least not so much that I ever noticed it.

                    From your description it sounds like your door is misaligned - if it's not fitting within that slight lip then I expect there would be a gap, but that means you've got a damaged oven and should exchange it.

                    1. re: BobB

                      Yep, sounds like mine (and the one in the store) are defective.. Can you pls let me know where you got yours from? That might be a better batch.

                      Many thanks again - you've been super helpful.

                      1. re: iyc_nyc

                        I got mine from At the time (last February) I couldn't find anyone discounting them beyond Amazon's price of $245. Since then I've seen reports from others who say they paid as little as $200 using coupons.

                        1. re: BobB

                          Thanks. Okay, I emailed Breville and thought you'd get a kick out of their response (which to their credit, came w/i 24 hours), particularly their 'fix' for the misaligned door, which is apparently common enough that they have directions for fixing it. Be sure to sure to view the attached photo - it's hilarious. My response, to which I haven't heard back yet:

                          "No disrespect meant, but is the misalignment 'fix' a joke? Seems odd that the consumer would have to do this when it appears (from the fact that you have instructions to fix it) that the misalignment is a chronic defect that should be resolved at the root cause. What has caused the misalignment and is the company coming up with a better solution? I'm worried that my trying to strong arm the metal back into shape will damage the oven (and I'm not sure I'm even strong enough to do it..)."

                          Also, they say the door is supposed to have a gap, so now I'm really confused.

                          THEIR RESPONSE TO MY INITIAL EMAIL:

                          Point 1: the door gap is for two reasons

                          1. To allow steam to escape as the amount of moisture released when toasting is significant. If it is sealed, the door completely fogs up and the toast can actually steam instead of toast.

                          2. Most importantly, a normal pop-up toaster allows heat to escape out the top of the slot, so the radiant elements can stay on for the entire toasting cycle, and subsequent cycles. In an oven, we are limited to a maximum of around 500F (non-stick max temperature allowance). So if we don't let some small amount of heat escape, the elements will turn off before the end of the toast cycle, and the bread ends up getting baked rather than toasted. This problem is even worse if you then do a second cycle of toasting straight after, the elements would turn off quite quickly. Try cooking both sides of toast at once in a wall oven. It will only bake. Our ovens are multifunction and therefore the construction needs to be different.

                          Point 2: follow these instructions to receive replacement broiler trays:

                          email the following information: (you may also fax to (310-755-3039)

                          * Your proof of purchase/receipt, the unit’s model number

                          * The PDC (3 or 4 digit number stamped or engraved into the bottom of the unit)

                          * The Date and Place of purchase

                          * Your complete physical shipping address(no po boxes, please) with phone number.

                          Upon receipt and verification of the information requested, an order will be entered and your part(s) will be shipped within 3-5 business days. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at 1-866-BREVILLE (273-8455), Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. PST.

                          Point 3: View the attached picture to learn how to fix the misaligned door.


                          Breville USA.

                          Consumer Services Dept.

                          Ph: +1 866 273 8455 | Fx: +1 310 755 3039


                          19400 S. Western Avenue, Torrance, California, 90501, USA |

                          Please consider the environment before printing-----Original Message-----

                          From: Customer Support [


                          Sent: Monday, June 21, 2010 7:15 AM

                          To: AskUs Breville USA

                          Subject: Contact Form

                          Comment: Hi there,

                          I purchased the Breville convection Smart Oven, which is wonderful on most fronts.

                          I have several questions:

                          (1) The unit I puchased is not sealed around the oven door, letting heat escape and potentially letting in bugs that might be drawn to any residual crumbs, food, etc. inside the oven. I checked my range oven and my older B&D toaster oven, and they are both sealed. Is the Breville designed not to be sealed, and if so, what is the rationale and is there any way I can seal it on my own? I'm especially worried about bugs getting in because I often get bugs getting in from my neighbor's garden.

                          (2) The broiler trays are both bubbling on parts of the enamel and one of the trays is chipped with bare metal (and apparently rust, but not sure), showing in several places. How can I swap these out w/o having to swap out the whole oven?

                          (3) The door on my Breville is misaligned (slants to the right) and the top of the oven is slightly bent out of shape. This is already the second I've purchased (each from a different retailer) and both had this problem..This is largely an FYI, as it appears to be a manufacturing or shipping/order fulfillment problem so I'm not sure getting a replacement will lead to any better.

                          (4) How can I order a replacement oven rack?

                          Many thanks in advance.