There is nothing better than the beautiful smell of homemade bread. Instead of heating up the entire house with your main oven, use a toaster oven and it will perform admirably baking your homemade loaf. Many people with small kitchens or secondary kitchens rely on toaster ovens as their main baking appliance. The key to baking bread in a toaster oven is ensuring you have an oven of adequate size that will allow the bread to rise.
Choosing a toaster oven seems like a trivial matter right? Well, not all ovens are created equal, and even though you normally aim to toast a few slices of bread in it, you might actually reheat some frozen pizza, or even bake some bagels and hot pockets. Which means that your toaster oven needs to be capable of doing at least 3 basic things – toast, bake, and broil (broil might come in handy for that chicken).
You obviously don’t need a giant full size oven if you’re a bachelor living in a small apartment who just wants to toast some bread for breakfast, nor do you want an oven with 9-12 preset functions if you’re not going to make a variety of dishes (baked, broiled, grilled, roasted, etc.). Check out our list of the 4 most efficient and popular toaster ovens in the market right now.
They offer the best price to performance ratios of any oven out there, and are the perfect choice for baking bread. Check out the features of each oven and choose the one that fits your needs. See which one we selected as the best toaster oven for baking bread.
Breville Smart Convection Toaster Oven
The Breville BOV800XL takes our top choice award for its incredible combination of intuitive controls, all-round performance, and perfect size that is neither too big, nor too small. Its Element IQ automatically adjusts the power supplied to each of the 5 individual quartz heating elements, so that food is cooked faster and more efficiently. Toasts are super-fast to make, and are perfectly done without any over-heated, or under-heated areas on the bread.
There are a total of 9 presets to make sure that you are always ready to cook whatever you want, without having to hassle with separate cooking timers and temperature settings. Baking, roasting, toasting, broiling, and grilling – this oven allows you to do it all with the help of easy to use presets. You can even adjust the wattage provided to each individual coil by turning a knob, and this is also automatically regulated by the software to keep the oven running at maximum efficiency and helps lower overall power consumption.
If you are buying this for toast, you will be happy to know that it features even heat distribution from both the top, as well as the bottom of the oven. Two separate heating surfaces work together to ensure that your bread is perfectly toasted, it will make the exteriors crisp, but will keep the interiors warm and fluffy, without drying the core of the bread.
STAR BUDGET PICK
Cuisinart Toaster Oven Broiler with Convection
Cuisinart is one of the most renowned kitchen appliance manufacturers and their products are known to be focused around design and functionality. Featuring a stainless steel body and a 1800 W heating capacity, this oven will easily hit a maximum temperature of 500F, so you can make a wide variety of dishes, including toast, pizza, bagels, whole chicken, etc.
It has a precise toast shade dial so you can color your toast perfectly, and achieve that crisp, golden texture. Or you can make it dull and soft if that’s how you like it – just set the dial and watch the oven prepare your toast through the tinted glass door. The interior is covered with a non-stick coating to make it easier to clean the oven after you’re done cooking, and a bunch of accessories come with the oven, including a baking tray, broiling rack, etc. It measures a compact 9.8″ x 19.1″ x 15.5″ and will easily fit on even the most crowded kitchen counters, and even includes convection baking for faster, more efficient cooking.
Breville Compact Smart Oven
The Breville BOV650XL is basically a more compact version of our top pick, the Breville BOV800XL. If you liked the 800XL, but felt like it was a tad too big for your needs, the 650XL is going to be just perfect for you. It packs the exact same features in terms of functionality, but is smaller and consumes less power.
It is a 4-slice oven, meaning that you can conveniently toast 4 pieces of bread in it and it has a 3/5 cubic-foot interior which is a little small for making large pizzas or whole chickens, but is still great for more than 75% of dishes that are made in the oven.
It comes with a 10″ x 10″ enamel baking pan, and a 10″ x 10″ enamel broil rack. The heating capacity is high at 1800 W, and it comes with convection cooking. The whole unit measures 16.5″ x 14.25″ x 10″ and is covered by a 1-year limited warranty.
KitchenAid Convection Countertop Oven
The KitchenAid KCO223CU 12″ oven features convection cooking and can hit temperatures as high as 450F. You can prepare two 12″ pizzas inside, or 4 slices of toast. It can also fit in a 4-lb chicken, 4 chicken breasts, a variety of breads and much more. You get a load of innovative control functions that let you comfortably set timers, control temperatures, set custom presets and choose one out the several operating modes (bake, toast, grill, broil, roast, etc.).
The Warm function for example, can be used to easily heat leftovers and the 60-minute timer lets you bake or broil foods that have longer cooking times. It features two stainless steel racks, a stainless-steel broil pan and a stainless-steel crumb tray (that’s a lot of stainless steel inside). The exterior is also made from tough stainless steel plates and the door is adorned by a tinted glass see-through panel. This oven is covered by a one-year limited warranty.
Choosing the Best Toaster Oven for Baking Bread
So, how do you select the right toaster oven? Well, we decided to make it as easy as possible, all you need to do is take a look at the steps below:
1. Decide how much capacity you really need. The smaller ovens can deal with 2-3 slices of bread at a time, while the larger ones can handle 4-6 slices comfortably. The larger ones can also fit 13″-14″ pizzas in them, which may come in handy if you’re a fan of frozen pizza, or if you like to bake your own pizzas.
2. Do you need a convection oven? Unless you plan on baking your own bread, chicken, etc., the answer is probably no. However, the convection ovens these days are much more affordable, and it does not hurt to have one in case you ever decide to expand on your cooking skills or have guests in the house who know how to cook. Convection ovens use a fan to circulate air around the interior, resulting in faster cooking times and evenly distributed heating.
3. Look for intuitive controls: The best oven is the one that does more, with fewer controls. Make sure the controls are straightforward, and the LCD readouts are clear. You should be able to change presets and set temperatures/timers comfortably.
4. Even though there are ovens out there with 12 or more presets, you don’t need all of that unless you live with a family, and cook several different types of food daily. Choose something that does exactly what you need it to do, this way you will save time and money. The following three basics are a must – toast, bake, and broil.
5. Make sure your oven has clear, audible alerts to notify you when your food is done, an automatic shut-down timer is also appreciated.
6. Extra features such as auto-eject racks and removable crumb trays are features that most modern ovens offer, even the cheaper ones. These two features are really handy if you want to do more work in less time, and help you bake and toast more conveniently.
7. Try to get a toaster oven with a non-stick interior, so cleaning up will be a lot easier. Also keep an eye on the accessories and their quality – baking racks and drip pans can be very useful.
Now that you have a good idea of what you need in a toaster oven, select the one that best fits your needs. We hope you have enjoyed reading our review and have looked at the unit we selected as the best toaster oven for baking bread.