Can someone recommend a good, durable toaster oven?

AKA something that’s not going to crap out right after the warranty expires?

Are there really that many options out there? I know we had one once upon a time but I thought toaster ovens were a dieing breed.

I LOVE my Panasonic infrared-based toaster oven.

It’s a basically an EZ Bake oven on crack. Cooking times are half way between a microwave and regular toaster oven.

Easily my favorite small appliance in our kitchen.

Random question: why a toaster oven? I just use my oven.

And by oven, I mean the residual heat from my oven. Turn it on, wait a minute, turn it off. The residual heat toasts things perfectly.

Is it a convenience thing? I’ve never understood the toaster oven other than as an appliance you use if you don’t have an oven available. Seems like it takes up valuable counter space.

Help me understand the lure of the tiny electric oven!

Toaster ovens heat up faster than a full-sized oven and are obviously more energy-efficient, as well. Basically really good for reheating anything that doesn’t do well in the microwave. The main oven is better for the initial job of cooking.

Pretty much what Stepsongrapes said. It’s just faster and less muss/fuss than the big oven for small jobs. It’s great for reheating pizza if you don’t want to mess up a pan with the sautee method, and does about the best job you can manage with stuff like fried seafood and chicken (admitting that none of that rewarms particularly well). I’ve also found it’s great for reheating Indian breads like naan and paratha after I make a big batch.

I’ve had this (or at least whatever model they made ~6 years ago) for ages:

It has survived having a Gamecube controller melted into the back of it (cursed tiny dorm rooms and sub-optimal toaster oven placement to make it easier to hide when RAs came around) as well as having a plastic bag of tortillas melted onto it, as well as being shipped from TN to Boston, back to TN, and then being driven over to NC where I live now. I use it ~3-4 times a week, every week, and have never had a spot of trouble out of it that was its fault (I blame myself for the fallen Gamecube controller).

We’ve been using this B&D Infrawave Oven for years and love it. Doesn’t seem to be on the B&D website anymore. Might be time to buy a spare.

I have a DeLonghi Air Stream that’s still going strong after 15 years, but unfortunately it appears that their current reputation is not so hot. That said, a couple of things I’d look for in a new one: a convection fan, two robust elements top and bottom, simple controls—preferably knobs—and no fancy digital business, on the theory that it’s a pretty freakin’ simple piece of equipment, and I don’t need overly complicated shit going wrong with it.

The DeLonghi coffee/latte maker I bought for the wife was crap, total crap.

Does a convection microwave work like a toaster oven or do I not know what convection means?

Yeah, it’s disappointing. The model I have is a horse, but the ratings on their current machines are really dire.

Does a convection microwave work like a toaster oven or do I not know what convection means?

Not exactly. Convection in this context basically means that the heat in the cooking volume is being circulated, typically with a fan, to make cooking faster and more even. Some microwave ovens now include traditional heating elements and convection fans, which (it’s claimed) allow you to microwave things that you normally wouldn’t, like roasts and cakes.

A convection toaster oven will have the fan to circulate air, but no microwave component.

That said, a convection microwave may be what you’re looking for, in the sense that it will have a wider range of applications than a vanilla toaster oven. I don’t know enough about them, though.

I have a Cuisinart toaster oven. I haven’t had it very long, but it seems to work well, and quickly.

I have this model. It is quite expensive, but it’s the only toaster oven I’ve ever owned that doesn’t suck goat balls. It heats up very quickly and evenly, and I particularly like the bagel setting that toasts the top more than the bottom. When not toasting, it works like a microwave in that you set the temperature and timer, then it pre-heats, dings, you pop in your item, and it dings and turns off when done.

My 650 died last year, 2 years after I bought it, a full year out of warranty. I emailed them with a photo of the serial sticker and they replaced it absolutely free of charge. They didn’t even charge shipping. So yes, it’s an expensive toaster oven but it’s a really good one, and the company stands by it. Strongly recommend.

Armando, you just mentioned heating up pizza in a pan as a casual aside. I swear I’ve never thought of or heard of that. Always oven or microwave. So obvious! Especially in a non stick pan. Thanks!

I’ve always been thinking about getting the Breville but never knew anyone that actually had one.

— Alan

If you have a reasonably well-fitting lid handy, use that, too, to trap the heat and get the cheese back to a close approximation of original bubbliness (depending on quality of initial cheese used). It works wonders for thin-and-crispy and particular, while pan pizzas, ironically enough, have a tendency to burn a bit on bottom before heating through :(

We have the BOV800XL model. It is 100 bucks more but is rated higher in the reviews I read before purchasing. It is bigger than the other model. I can put a whole frozen pizza in this thing. It cooks evenly, good controls.

One problem is that the door gets hot so you have to be careful when you open it. If you have young children I would make certain they can not reach up to touch the door when it is open.

The Wirecutter recommends this one, too, and it looks like stusser’s not the only one they’ve done right by out of warranty.

I had a fancy Breville electric kettle that crapped out after two years—but I didn’t think to e-mail them and let them know I was disappointed!

I thought about the 800, but it’s really big. The 800 has convection fans also.

Story is that my apartment was new construction and didn’t have a gas line hooked up when I moved in, so I got the Breville to use as a real over for what turned out to be two months. That’s how I justified getting such a high-end toaster oven.

Thanks for all the replies. The thing is, my range is a crappy GE electric model from a billion years ago (likely 70s or 80’s vintage) and it needs a new oven thermostat badly (the oven temp is entirely random). Only problem is, the plaque that shows the model number is so worn down and faded that I can’t get a model number off of it, AT ALL. Now unless the stove somehow has a second plaque, my options are basically get a new range (which isn’t the worst idea in the world, and would give me the excuse to get a gas model, even though that would involve extra plumbing and would thus be quite a bit more expensive–and I’m already replacing my furnace this fall) or just get a toaster oven for my very limited needs (I’m single and not much of a cook).

It looks as if toaster ovens aren’t the durable beasts they used to be back in the day, however. One even sees reviews of rather expensive models that say they crapped out short of the warranty period or just after. I may end up getting that Panasonic model mentioned above AND a new range and just stick with electric.

If you own and plan to stay there for awhile, obviously replace the range. That’s your home.

If you rent or will be moving in the relatively new future, a higher-end toaster oven makes a lot of sense for a single guy.