Best SMALL toaster oven?
Our elderly Black & Decker died recently, and we are not having an easy time finding a replacement. We are looking for a compact model that toasts evenly, hopefully without a lot of noise or beeping. We picked up a Cuisinart, but will be returning it because it produces excessive steam, browns too aggressively, and beeps annoyingly when the toast cycle has ended.
The dimenion we're most concerned with is depth -- even at 12" the Cuisinart was a little tight. Length and height are not as important. I'm not sure what we're looking for even exists anymore!
I can't offer too much help, other than to pass on one simple tip I learned. I also had an older Black and Decker that died, and I ended up getting a similar newer model to replace it.
My biggest complaint with some of the newer (non-digital) models is that they come only with a 60 minute timer. You have to use this timer for everything, including toast. For toasting, you have to turn a 60 minute timer only a very small amount otherwise you'll burn the toast. So, it just isn't very repeatable. The old models had a different design that worked a lot better.
I'd suggest if you are looking at the ones with non-digital timers to find something that has a 15-30 minute timer on it, and no more. A 60 minute timer on a toaster oven is kind of a dumb idea in my opinion.
Check out Breville brand. They have three models, essentially a small, medium and a large, each with somewhat different features. We have the "large" and love it, probably too big for you though. Check the dimensions and features of the other models. If you find one that meets your needs, you'll love it.
I have a very unusual little toaster oven made by Sanyo called the Super Toasty.
There is a picture here
It is a double decker, so it takes more vertical space, the countertop footprint is smaller. Mine is 8" deep x 9" wide x 13" tall.
It is more of a toaster than an oven, but that is how I use it. I don't expect to bake a batch of cookies in it or cook something that's going to take an hour. The vertical racks are great for toast (definitely toasts evenly) and you can toast larger size items, like pastries or bagels. It's also great for melting cheese on sandwiches and such.
As far as noise, it has a mechanical timer knob that you can set for your desired shade of toast (or for up to 15 minutes or longer cooking) so you hear the timer ticking, then a single bell ring when it is done.
As I said it is an odd little gadget, but it works great for what I tend to use it for and it takes up very little space on my small counter.
Oh no, it looks like they are out of stock at most places. Walmart.com says out of stock online (does that mean they might have some in stores?) I hope they have not discontinued them.
There are a couple of them on ebay. I will keep my eye out. I bought a new one about a year and a half ago from Amazon.