best toaster oven

Best Toaster Oven Under $100 For 2018: Hamilton Beach vs. Oster

Here at RookieKitchen you’ll see that we review several products for the home chef. Today we’re going to show you eight of the best toaster ovens under $100 that even the most tight-budgeted cook can afford.

From reheating frozen food to cooking fresh meals with the best ingredients, toaster ovens can do it all. When space is at a premium, but you don’t want to rely on your microwave for cooking, then it’s time to consider a toaster oven. They use convection cooking to heat up food quickly and evenly, plus there are several options based on your size and budget restrictions. Let’s go through the eight best options so that you can see what this market offers.

Affordable 1: Hamilton Beach 31334 4-Slice Toaster Oven and Pizza Maker

best toaster ovens under 100This toaster oven can be summed up in three words: affordable, convenient and compact. At about 16 inches wide at 12 inches deep, you should have no problem fitting this anywhere, even if space is at a premium. While not large enough for family cooking, this is ideal for singles or those who don’t cook huge amounts of food. Feel free to cook meats, cheese, toast, pizza, vegetables and anything else your heart desires.

Space wise, the Hamilton Beach 31334 can fit four slices of toast or a 9-inch pizza, fresh or frozen. It comes with an automatic 30-minute timer so that you can easily set cooking time, and it can bake, broil or toast with ease. The timer cuts the power when it’s finished, ensuring that you neither overcook food or burn the house down. There’s also a setting to keep the oven on if you need longer cooking time. Just set the two dials and you’re ready to go.

This toaster oven comes with a baking pan and broil rack, and there are two different rack positions. Cleanup is simple due to the roll-top cover (more on that later) and the removable crumb tray, which keeps crumbs, melted cheese and liquids from collecting on the bottom of the oven. Just take out the crumb tray, pop off the cover and you’ll have everything clean in a matter of minutes.

Perhaps the most distinguishing trait of this toaster oven, and really one of the best reasons to buy it, is the roll-top cover. You won’t have to worry about crumbs collecting on the cover, plus it doesn’t get in the way as you’re putting in or preparing food. You get complete access to the cooking area, which most toaster ovens don’t allow.

There are two colors to choose from: gray or red. Both colors look great and it gives you more than the standard silver offering of most other toaster ovens. Gray would probably look better in most kitchens, but the red model is daring and really sticks out.

It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to cook (as long as it’s smaller than a 9-inch pizza), this is the toaster oven that can do it. This might be an affordable option, but it performs like a champ. If you need a compact toaster oven and you don’t want to skimp on performance, then this is a wonderful option. Plus, the roll-top cover is worth the price of admission as it prevents crumbs and food getting on the cover, plus it’s easy to clean.

best toaster oven 2018

Affordable 2: Hamilton Beach 31401 Stainless Steel 4 Slice Toaster Oven

If you’re in the market for a basic unit that can quickly and evenly cook both frozen and fresh meals, then this is a great model to choose. Not only is it very affordable, but it offers a reasonable amount of space and should be plenty for one or two people. Just how big is it? The Hamilton Beach 31401 is large enough to fit a nine-inch pizza or four pieces of bread. While there are certainly larger models, this entry-level toaster oven gives a lot of room for such a low-priced item. Not only that, but it’s made completely from stainless steel, ensuring that it can take a lot of punishment, along with many hours of cooking without breaking down or melting.

While it may be small, it definitely packs a lot of power. You can cook chicken nuggets and other frozen meals in 28% less time than a conventional oven, and with 75% less power. There are two models to choose from. One that toasts, bakes and broils, or a slightly more expensive one that can also cook bagels.

There is an automatic timer that shuts the toaster oven off when finished. You can set it up to 30 minutes. There’s also a baking pan included that you can set food in if you don’t want to put items on the grill racks. Speaking of the racks, there are two positions so that you can easily control the food’s exposure to heat.

If you’re looking for the convenience of a toaster oven without dishing out a lot of money, then this is the best toaster oven for you. It doesn’t have many extra features, but it does a great job with what it can do. This is perfect if you want hot food that cooks faster than it would in a conventional oven.

best toaster oven 2018

Solid: BLACK+DECKER CTO6335S Countertop Convection Toaster Oven

This is the toaster oven if you want to step up and get some premium options and features without sinking too much money into the unit. The Black and Decker toaster oven comes with a large number of settings, a compact size that makes full use of the available space and a bunch of extra pieces that help with cooking food or cleaning the unit.

When it comes to size, this model is able to fit a whole casserole pan or a 12-inch pizza. Aside from being wider than the smallest units, it can fit extra food due to its curved back that helps accommodate pizza and other large foods. In fact, the inside is so large that you can fit a whole chicken inside. Not only that but by utilizing convection cooking (which circulates hot air around the food to induce cooking), the Black and Decker can cook foods faster and more evenly than conventional ovens.

The default model comes with two rack positions, which should be enough for most people. However, if you want even more control or to fit more food, then you can get the upgraded model with three different rack settings. This will ensure that your food is perfectly cooked to your preference.

There are eight different settings to choose that will help you properly cook a variety of meals and dishes. These settings include toast, bagel, bake, frozen snacks, pizza, cookies, and potatoes. If none of these settings are correct or ideal, then you can set the time and temperature manually. The temperature goes to a maximum of 400, which should be more than high enough for almost any meal (include meats). The timer can be set up to 120 minutes for long, continuous cooking. When finished, the toaster oven will automatically turn off to ensure that your food isn’t overcooked.

Cleaning the interior is ridiculously easy. Everything inside has a nonstick coating, so food literally slides right off. You’ll have no problem removing the grill racks and other pieces to clean them and ensure you don’t burn any stuck-on food.

Speaking of pieces, this toaster oven has a lot of extra things for cooking and other features. First of all, there’s a baking pan that helps with baking or keeping liquids with the meal for extra flavor or just to make the meal easier to clean up. Next, we have a crumb tray that you can easily remove. This sits at the bottom of the toaster oven and collects crumbs as they fall. Not only does this make it easier to clean, but it also keeps your counter free of crumbs. Worried about your food burning or just want to see your items cook in real time? The see-through glass door lets you see the food as it cooks.

The design is quite beautiful with a brushed stainless steel finish. This will look marvelous on your countertop, fitting in with nearly any design or aesthetic.

If you want even more control over how your food is cooked and a bunch of unique features and pieces, then the Black and Decker unit is the best toaster oven for you. It offers top-tier performance at mid-level costs, making this a great value.

Best Value 1: Oster Large Countertop 6-Slice Digital Convection Toaster Oven

what is the best toaster ovenThis premium toaster oven has a lot of features that you’ve already heard of from the Black and Decker, but there is even more here and you get an even greater level of control, which makes this the best toaster oven for those who are very picky about how their food is done, or who want a toaster oven that is as close to a regular oven as possible. From high-temperature thresholds to a very large interior, this one definitely sticks out as a premium item.

Let’s start with cooking capacity. The Oster can fit a whole 13-by-9 inch pan, which equates to about a 12-inch pizza with room to spare. You can fit a maximum of six slices of bread for toasting, along with plenty of cookies, a whole chicken, and other large items. Not only can it fit a lot, but the convection cooking method allows it to cook items faster and with much less energy than a regular oven.

There are numerous settings available to ensure that your food is cooked just right. When it comes to toast, you can select exactly how light or dark you want it. Want to defrost meat or other frozen items? No problem. There’s a defrost option that will ensure your item is completely thawed before the real cooking begins. You also have pizza options that can be changed based on size, manual time and temperature settings, bake and broil settings and so much more. The timer can be set to a maximum of 90 minutes, which should be enough for most meals, and the temperature setting can be pushed all the way up to 500 degrees. There’s also a warming setting if you just want to keep food hot and not cook it any further.

If you want to watch your food as it cooks, then you’ll be happy to know there’s a glass front panel that you can look through. Not only that, but there’s a light that you can turn on for even better visibility. The stainless steel handle attached to the front is very sturdy, making it easy to open and close the toaster oven.

Two rack settings make it easy to move your food closer or further away from the heat source, ensuring it gets the proper browning desired. A removable crumb tray makes sure that all of the crumbs are gathered to make them easy to discard after cooking.

The design is very reminiscent of a regular oven. It’s black with stainless steel finishing and a panel of buttons for all the settings and options. It looks ready to fit into any kitchen but is stylish enough to add a little something extra to your counter. Unlike most other toaster ovens that have dials, which can be inaccurate, the entire console here is controlled with buttons and a digital display. This ensures that you get the exact setting, time and temperature that you want.

While the Oster is slightly more expensive than the Black and Decker model, it offers a whole new level of control that is appealing to those who want their food just so. If you want a unit that is close to a conventional oven in terms of versatility with all the benefits of a mobile unit, then this is the best option for you.

Best Value 2: Oster TSSTTVRB04 6-Slice Convection Toaster Oven

Oster TSSTTVRB04 6-Slice Convection Toaster OvenIf you didn’t know any better, then you’d swear this was just a regular oven shrunk down to fit on your counter. Not only does it look like a conventional silver oven, it fits the role too. From a good amount of space to a wonderful amount of power, this toaster oven gives you a ton of features while ensuring that it doesn’t take up all your counter space.

First up, let’s talk about the dimensions. It’s 17 inches wide, 14 inches deep and about 10 inches wide. To put that in perspective of food, you can fit either 6 slices of bread or a 12-inch pizza, which gives you enough room to cook big meals for small families or a hungry couple. It does require more room than the Hamilton Beach 31334, but that’s only because it allows you to fit more food.

Like most toaster ovens, this one uses convection cooking that is quick, reliable and ensures that superhot air rotates around the food until it’s perfect. You can set the temperate anywhere from 150 to 450 degrees with the temperature dial. There are two other dials here that expand the toaster oven’s functionality.

One is for function. This allows you to bake, broil, toast, warm and there’s even an option for making pizza. The other dial is for time. The dial goes up to 60 minutes and it’s easy to select a specific number of minutes from 0 to 60. Once done, the timer will ensure that the toaster oven shuts off, making it safe and ensuring that food doesn’t overcook. However, there’s also an option to keep the heat on as long as necessary.

There are two rack positions so that you can move the food around and get it the proper amount of heat. This toaster oven comes with a durable baking pan along with a wire rack. For those who are interested, there is no non-stick coating inside the toaster oven. If you don’t want to deal with those chemicals, then this is perfect.

The transparent door is easy to open, and the crumb tray at the bottom collects any juices or crumbs that fall, making it simple to clean. Just remove the tray, wipe it down and you’re ready to go. If you want a powerful toaster oven that is good for small families or anyone who loves to cook, then give this item a try.

Best Value 3: Hamilton Beach 31333 6-Slice Convection and Toaster Oven

Hamilton Beach 31333 6-Slice Convection and Toaster OvenThis large toaster oven comes with enough size and features to make single foodies, small families or hungry couples thrilled with their food. Much like with the Hamilton Beach 31334, you’ll see a few touches of design and ingenuity that make this a great product that you’ll love to have in your kitchen.

Let’s begin with size. You’ll find that this toaster oven is rather spacious and allows you to fit six pieces of bread or even a 12-inch pizza. Inch wise, the product is about 18 inches wide and 13 inches deep. Some people have even been able to fit a small chicken inside and cook it to perfection.

From cookies to meatloaf, this toaster oven gives you the features that you need. There are three knobs for controlling temperature, function and time. Temperature ranges from a low of 150 degrees to a maximum of 450 degrees. The function knob allows you to choose between bake, convection, broil and toast.

The timer goes up to 30 minutes and automatically shuts the toaster oven off when it’s finished. There’s also the option to keep the toaster oven on, but be sure to watch it so that your food doesn’t burn. It’ll be your fault, so no blaming the toaster oven if this happens.

The transparent door is slightly curved. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it allows you to reach the food much easier. Speaking of inside the toaster oven, you’ll see that this gives you two rack positions, plus it comes with a wire rack and baking pan.

The Hamilton Beach 31333 comes in three different colors to choose from. You can choose standard silver, black or red. All three are made from stainless steel and look great. It’s your responsibility to choose which one looks best for your kitchen. You’ll have no problem fitting this on your counter, and making anything from roast chicken to muffins is a breeze.

Best Value 4: Hamilton Beach 31156 2-in-1 Countertop Oven with 2-Slice Toaster

Hamilton Beach 31156 2-in-1 Countertop Oven with 2-Slice ToasterThis is going to be a polarizing option because the Hamilton Beach 31156 makes a few sacrifices in terms of size and features, but because of that it gives you a very unique offering that some people are really going to love.

Have you ever wondered how you could possibly fit both a toaster and toaster oven on the same counter, or why hasn’t anyone combined toasters and toaster ovens? If so, then this is definitely the right toaster oven for you. Not only do you get all the functionality and benefits of a toaster oven, but you also get a real two-slice toaster right on top of this unit.  Toast, bagels, English muffins and anything else that you can fit in a regular toaster can go in here. As an added benefit, this toasts bread 40% faster and more evenly.

The size is a little small for a toaster oven of this price, but it’s still a good fit if you don’t need to cook huge meals. It can fit a 9-inch pizza or four pieces of bread, and it comes with a 60-minute timer that automatically turns the heat off when done. As always, you can opt to keep the oven on as long as you like, but no one wants burnt food.

You can choose to set the temperature anywhere from 150 to 450 degrees, plus there’s a broil option for when you need it. Switching between the toaster and oven parts are easy. There’s a switch near the top that you push, that’s it. There’s nothing easier.

Along with the two rack positions, you also get a wire rack and baking pan. There’s a crumb tray that slides out for easy cleaning and the transparent door ensures that you can watch food as it cooks.

If you’ve been looking for a real toaster to go with your toaster oven and you don’t have a massive amount of space to spare, then this is truly a space saver. It takes over two kitchen appliances while giving you even, precise cooking for all of your meals. While a few sacrifices are made, many will feel that these sacrifices are well worth it so that you get the added functionality of a real toaster.

Premium: Oster TSSTTVDGXL-SHP Extra Large Countertop Convection Oven

Oster TSSTTVDGXL-SHP Extra Large Countertop Convection OvenIf you’re the type of person who cares about power, function and cooking larger meals, then look no further than the Oster Extra Large toaster oven. This premium offering is sure to give you everything that you’ve been looking for. It’s so close to being a real oven that you may start wondering why you have that large piece of junk crowding up the kitchen.

Let’s talk about size. This toaster oven is about 22 inches wide and 19.3 inches deep. That doesn’t sound very different from a few other toaster ovens on this list, but don’t let the numbers fool you. This one comes with two racks. That means two, 12-inch, full-sized pizzas, 18 slices of bread and anything you can imagine in between.

The timer allows you to cook for a full 90 minutes until it automatically shuts off, and unlike the other models where you used a dial, this one has a digital timer. That means no guessing or estimating. You’ll have an easy to read clock showing you how much time is left.

There are settings for making pizzas, baking, broiling, toasting and defrosting, and setting a specific temperature between 150 and 450 is as easy as setting the timer. Just a few buttons pushes and you’ll be ready to cook. There’s even a turbo convection option to cook foods faster and more evenly.

The transparent cover makes it easy to see food as it’s cooking, ensuring that you’ll see it the whole time and no mistakes happen, and the handle is easy to grip so that you don’t slip when you try to grab it. You’ll have no problem cooking a whole chicken or even a chocolate cake, it can all be done with this toaster oven.

Aside from the two wire racks, you also get a baking pan and a removable crumb sheets that makes it easy to clean up. This is the toaster oven for families or those who just want more power from their toaster oven. This premium option gives you everything you’ve been looking for while cooking your food quickly and evenly for the tastiest meals you’ve ever had.

Which One is Right for You?

Each of these toaster ovens fit a different type of user based on your size needs and how much food you want to cook. If space isn’t that big an issue and you’re looking for the most power and features, then the premium Oster Extra Large Digital Countertop Convection Oven is easily the best. It gives you optimal space for cooking two full pizzas at once and has the most features, it’s practically a full oven at a smaller size.

If space is the primary concern and you need a small toaster oven that can still cook fresh meals, then there are two options here that will fit your needs. The Hamilton Beach 2-in-1 31156 is probably the best space saver since it also takes up the space of a toaster while giving you enough room to cook a 9-inch pizza or 4 slices of bread.

However, if you want a toaster oven with an amazing cover, then the Hamilton Beach 31334 is your best bet. It gives you enough room for a 9-inch pizza, and it’s great because it has a roll-top cover that makes it easy to access food while having enough features to make anyone happy.

Are you between the two? If you have some extra space and you want good functionality, then there are two toaster ovens that fit the bill. You can choose between the Oster Convection TSSTVRB04 and the Hamilton Beach 31333. Both are similar in that they can fit a 12-inch pizza or 6 slices of bread, and they have similar functions.

The Oster has a better timer that can be set up to 60 minutes whereas the Hamilton Beach only goes up to 30, but the Hamilton Beach’s cover is a little more functional and you can choose a few different colors. Both are good, so it matters if you prefer a better timer or a better cover and design.

Just consider your needs and you’ll have no problem finding the right toaster.

Conclusion

Every toaster oven here is great. They are all budget-friendly, use little space on your countertop and allow you to cook fresh or frozen ingredients to craft amazing meals. It’s really a matter of matching up your space and functionality needs with the perfect toaster oven. Just take your pick and you’ll be happy with the results.