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Countertop/Mini oven recommendation please

Hi friends,

I hope everyone is doing well. I am slowly moving to cooking more at home, as I am drifting towards family life (after being a bachelor for long) and need to equip my kitchen a bit at a time.

I use my full size Oven on occasion but just for simple recipes, like roaster vegetables or baked potatoes (yes, I am an amateur). I am told that using the large oven consumes a lot of electricity and I believe I observed that in my recent bill!

Thus, I am looking for suggestions for a good countertop oven/mini oven that can fit my needs. I plan to use it to cook vegetables, toast bred (not bake bread) and associated recipes. It will rarely be used to cook meat.

There are two of us in the household.

I look forward to and appreciate your suggestions.

Thanks,
desidude

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  1. I am very happy with the Breville that I bought based on an America's Test Kitchen reco. There isn't much difference between the 650 and 800 - but I bought the latter because it accommodatea a 12 " pizza. If you have a 20% off coupon at BB&Beyond - they seemed affordable.

    4 Replies
    1. re: spicegirrl

      Did BBB honor the coupon for the Breville? It's listed on the exclusions, but they are sometimes really lax about such things there.

      1. re: ccbweb

        They did- that brought the price below what Macy's had listed as well.

        1. re: spicegirrl

          Came back to say thanks. We went to BBB and got the oven and we love it so so so so much. My wife has been making cherry pie all summer because it's so easy to toss it in there and doesn't heat up the whole house. It's such a fantastic upgrade from the Delonghi (which I still recommend because you can get it for $99) for us. Well worth the money if you can afford to spend it. (Bonus was we used a gift card we'd been given for Christmas by my in-laws.)

          1. re: ccbweb

            Congratulations! I too recently the Compact Smart Oven, and am slowly trying out some recipes, as I am a very amateur cook!

            Bon Appetit!

    2. I also have the Breville 800 and use it more than my large oven. Not only does it make toast, English muffins or bagels every morning, it gets called into service for most baking/roasting tasks.

      We're a small family and find it more convenient, less expensive and it keeps my kitchen much, much cooler. That's no small thing here in Tampa. Tonight, I baked and broiled mini meatloaves. Last night it was a pan of brownies.

      1. I use a Cuisinart convection/toaster oven that I believe is no longer made. I think either a Cuisinart or a Breville (which gets a lot of good comments on Chow) would be fine for you. I use my small oven a lot. If you have the counter space for it, I think you will too. I believe there are several sizes of these, so you should choose the best oven for your use.

        1. Another vote for Breville. It gets more use than my regular oven and came in handy at Thanksgiving. The convection is a nice option as well.

          http://www.brevilleusa.com/the-smart-...

          1. We have the Breville Compact Smart Oven and love it! Can do 4 potatoes, a dozen cookies, 10" pie plate, etc. And it makes decent toast to boot ;)

            1. Breville Smart Oven. Most used appliance in the kitchen.

              Perfect for cooking for two. Many dishes for four will fit easily.

              Get the big one. Given the utility, the added cost is small.

              1. Hi friends,

                Thank you for you replies. It seems like the Breville is the way to go?

                I do not have a Bed Bath and Beyond $20 coupon :( and there seems to be some question about whether it will be accepted.

                Are there any other in store or online vendors that sell these at competitive prices/discounts.

                Of course I will look at sites such as Amazon but sometimes there may be specialty retailers which may be more competitive?

                On a separate note, any good recipe/cook book for cooking using such an oven?

                Thank you!
                desidude

                2 Replies
                1. re: desidude

                  The BSO is a real oven. No special recipes needed. Just scale them to the size of your cooking vessel.

                  BSO comes up to temp fast and most who use it find cooking times are shorter because it heats so quickly with less swing in temps.

                  It is also better at low temp cooking than most regular range ovens. A steady 225 degrees is no problem.

                  1. re: desidude

                    It's a 20% off coupon, so better than 20$. Macy's may get that low or will be within striking distance.

                  2. Hi friends,

                    I hope everyone is doing well. I purchased the Breville Compact Smart oven BOX650XL and it is waiting to be opened from the box!

                    Me and my partner would like to use to 'cook' mostly vegetables and at times, Chicken.

                    We will also use it to toast breads every so often.

                    Can anyone suggest some recipes/links to recipes for vegetable based dishes.

                    We are also amateurs on simple recipes to roast vegetables, e.g. roasted asparagus, mushroom etc.

                    Any tips and suggestions are welcome!!

                    Thanks,
                    desidude

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: desidude

                      All you need for roasting vegetables is some olive oil, salt and pepper. For vegetable recipes, try allrecipes.com. Just do a search for whatever vegetable you want to make. Be sure to read the comments, too. Now and then you get a good pointer. If too many people (in the comments or reviews) have changed the recipe, look for a different recipe that's well liked just as it is.

                      1. re: desidude

                        I found that it was a bit of a search to find pans to fit in my counter top oven. If you can find a pizza pan or small cookie sheet, you can roast almost any veggie. I like to roast asparagus at 400 deg until you reach desired doneness. Brush on some EVOO first and maybe some seasoned or plain salt. Then place in preheated oven and roast. It will take at least 15 minutes, I think. But you might like more of a char on your asparagus, so check it a couple of times before pulling it out.

                        I have used my Cuisinart counter to oven many, many times through the years.

                        Don't forget that you can use the broil function to make toast, four slices a time.

                        1. re: desidude

                          Hi desidude,

                          Roasted veggies can be super simple.

                          Size matters - cut veggies into similar size pieces so they'll cook evenly. You don't want skinny green beans cooking with big chunks of carrot. But if you cut the carrot into sticks to match the beans, you'll have more success.

                          Bring the heat - I like to crank my oven up to about 425-450ºF.

                          Simple seasonings are best - I'll often use only salt & pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Then I toss them together and roast. Fresh herbs in season are wonderful, too. Garlic is always in season. It's a law or something.

                          Grab some veggies that will work well together, like root veggies, squash and sweet potatoes in fall/winter or sweet peppers, tomatoes and onions in summer. Combinations are endless, and roasting is an easy way to use whatever's readily available.

                          One thing I've found is that parchment paper on my roasting pan can help prevent sticking. And crowding tends to steam the veggies.

                          Here's a huge collection of recipes from Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/roa...

                          Happy Roasting!

                          Duffy

                          1. re: desidude

                            Also, I like to bake 1/2 potatoes in the oven. Slice a large baking potato in half lengthwise, oil and salt it, make two slits in the white flesh, and place skin side down, flesh side up, in the oven. Bake at 400 deg until done. I believe this would be about 20 minutes. Check for doneness. The potato should be tender.

                            These will be beautifully blistered on top, and look quite appetizing.

                            I hope you enjoy your new oven.

                            1. re: desidude

                              Thank you friends, I appreciate these replies!

                              Please keep them coming!

                              Thanks

                              1. re: desidude

                                Actually, for recipes, look here at chowhound on the "home cooking" board.

                                Also google cooking for one or two, for downscaled recipes.

                              2. re: desidude

                                Hi friends,

                                Thank you for your replies, I appreciate them.

                                I am slightly confused between the Roast and Bake function when cooking vegetables and potatoes.

                                Many recipes just state to heat the Oven to a certain temperature and cook for a certain time.

                                Any suggestions on when to use Bake and when to use Roast?

                                Thanks!
                                Desidude