The best toaster ovens can act as some of the best air fryers and so much more. These versatile machines can air fry, toast, roast, bake and broil, meaning you get several appliances in one. While there are things you should never put in an air fryer, you can use a toaster oven to make some of the best air fryer recipes. The two differ in that toaster ovens are larger and offer more functions, but they often come at a higher price.
If you’re sold on a toaster oven, but you’re not sure which to choose, we’ve tested a range of models to see which perform well on every setting. We roasted whole chickens, baked yellow cakes and crisped up some fresh-cut French fries amongst other tricky recipes. Whether you’re shopping on a budget, or you want one with the latest tech, we’ve found a toaster oven to suit every kitchen.
What are the best toaster ovens?
We think the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro is the best toaster oven for most people. In our tests, this multifunctional oven gave great results, especially for baking and roasting, and it has lots of extras to make it convenient to use.
However, it’s large and pricey. If you’re looking for the best value in a toaster oven, the Hamilton Beach Air Fryer Sure Crisp Toaster Oven is your best bet. It toasts, bakes, broils, and air fries, but won’t take up a lot of countertop space or break your budget.
Toaster oven deals
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The best toaster ovens you can buy today
The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro is a whole lot more than a humble toaster oven. In addition to making toast and heating frozen pizza, it can just about replace your full-size oven for everything from baking cookies to making a roast dinner. Come the holidays, it can handle the biscuits or the sweet potato casserole. It’s larger than a typical model and comes with a steep price tag, but with all its capabilities and handsome appearance, we think it’s worth the countertop space and the splurge.
In addition to the air frying, toasting, baking, and broiling settings found on most toaster ovens, the Breville has ones for slow cooking, dehydrating, proofing, and reheating. It does just about every task well, excelling at roasting a chicken, baking cake, and air frying breaded chicken cutlets. A large LCD screen displays the settings which are selected by using dials and buttons. With brushed stainless steel surfaces, the Breville has a beautiful upscale look. However, it can get excessively hot during cooking — the top of the glass window reached temperatures as high as 252°F during our tests. Thankfully, the towel bar handle and controls stay cool enough to touch. Several racks and pans for pizza and baking come with the oven. While they come in handy, you’ll have to find room to store them when you’re not using them. Breville doesn’t recommend placing them in the dishwasher and the air fryer rack in particular can take a bit of work to clean.
Read our full Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro review.
The Hamilton Beach Air Fryer Sure Crisp Toaster Oven has a traditional design updated with a stainless steel finish. It’s compact and affordable and is a great model for toasting, reheating, and broiling, but isn’t the one to choose if you’re looking for a secondary oven. In addition to not being large enough to roast a whole chicken, it’s not great at baking. Although it does air fry, it doesn't brown and crisp food as well as a dedicated air fryer or the other toaster oven air fryers we tested. Having said that, it’s less than a quarter of the price compared to our winner, and is great value for a fair performance.
This model is controlled by three small dials, which makes it easy to use. However, you set the time via a mechanical timer, which means it’s hard to set precisely — this could be an issue for baking where exact timing is important. The glass door of this unit reached a whopping 322°F when it was operating and we measured a temperature of 146.8°F on the handle, which means you must wear protection when you open/close it while running. The Hamilton Beach is exceptionally quiet when it's cooking at just 50.4dB — this is the quietest of all of the toaster ovens we had on test. With the oven you get a small aluminum roasting pan, which is prone to staining and discoloration. All of the accessories need to be hand washed. So it’s not the most convenient, but it’s a great entry-level model if you’re new to toaster ovens.
Read out full Hamilton Beach Air Fryer Sure Crisp Toaster Oven review.
For toasting and air frying, the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven is a great purchase. You can also depend on it to roast a whole chicken or broil burgers, so you won’t have to rely on your full size oven as much. However, it’s not the oven for you if you want to bake cookies or cake. In our tests, it consistently turned out close-to-burnt baked goods. That said, if you love bagels and toast, this is a sound choice.
The Cuisinart is boxy rather than rectangular like most toaster ovens, which means it will take up less space on your countertop. As it has well-marked dials rather than digital controls, the oven’s very intuitive to operate. However, it’s hard to set the mechanical timer precisely and there are no pre-programmed settings. For suggested temperatures and times, you have to refer to the manual. We found this model was fairly quiet in operation, producing readings of 54.7dB — so it shouldn’t interfere with kitchen conversation while you’re cooking. You need to hand wash the baking pan and air frying basket and be prepared to use a little elbow grease to get them spotless.
Read our full Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven review.
This toaster oven looks identical to the winning Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro — that’s because it’s actually an upgraded version of this model. For that reason, off the bat, we can tell you that the design, accessories and cleaning instructions are all very similar. However, where the Joule toaster oven differentiates is in its smart capabilities.
It can connect to the Breville Joule Oven app, which gives you access to a hoard of recipes with step-by-step guidance. Plus, with 13 settings to peruse, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. On top of that, the smart connectivity means you can change settings or set timers via Alexa or Google Assistant, although we admittedly found this a bit pointless.
Performance is where the Joule Oven and its predecessor somewhat differed. The Joule oven came out on top when toasting bread. It was the stronger of the two at crisping up chicken wings and frozen French fries as well. However, we found the Smart Oven fared best when preparing French fries from scratch, and it produced better breaded chicken. The predecessor came out slightly on top as a result, although every dish from the Joule oven still impressed — particularly the roast chicken which scored full marks. It’s worth flagging however that this model still gets hot to the touch, especially on the glass. It’s a costly toaster oven to boot. But, if you love to have the latest tech and you care about aesthetics, it’s worth considering.
Read our full Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro review.
We think the Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 XL Pro Air Fry Oven DT201 is an exceptionally well thought out product that gives an excellent cooking performance, no matter which setting you use. The digital controls and readout are all contained on the handle, which puts them at eye level where they’re very easy to see and read. It also means the size of the product is the size of the oven cavity, so you make the most use of the space. With the Ninja, you get two oven racks which can be used to heat up two 12-inch pizzas at once. You can also use one rack along with the air frying basket to cook a roast and a mess of veggies at the same time. Not only can the Ninja toast nine slices of toast at a time, it actually browns them all evenly.
When you select a function on the control panel, the oven tells you which rack position to use. Our only complaint about the Ninja is that the glass door gets super hot when it’s running — reaching temperatures as high as 282°F. It is also somewhat noisy, with a dBa reading of 61.3, which was on par with the loudest toaster oven we saw on test. Although the manufacturer recommends hand washing all of the accessories, they cleaned up fairly easily and they can go in the dishwasher. The incredibly thorough owner’s guide and cookbook are big pluses as they help you avoid trial and error and guide you through multi-rack cooking.
Read our full Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 XL Pro Air Fry Oven DT201 review.
If you’re really fussy about how your toast comes out, you’ll love the KitchenAid Digital Countertop Oven With Air Fryer. It produces evenly browned bread that matches the chosen setting. However, you can also use it for roasting, air frying, baking, and broiling. Even though it’s more compact than other toaster ovens, it has enough room to roast two chickens or bake a large lasagna. In particular, the KitchenAid excels at air frying, turning out made-from-scratch French fries to rival the ones you get at your favorite bistro.
On this model you use a dial and a series of buttons to select your settings, which are displayed on a small LCD screen. As on most toaster ovens, the glass door can get very hot. We measured temperatures as high as 278°F during the air fry mode, although the controls remained cool enough to touch. The KitchenAid is average in terms of noise at 54.4dB, but you can chat over it as you cook. You get a large, shallow enamel baking pan with this oven. While the pan and the racks are dishwasher safe, the manufacturer recommends hand washing them.
Read our full KitchenAid Digital Countertop Oven With Air Fryer review.
How we tested the best toaster ovens
To find the best toaster ovens, we tested a range of popular models to determine how well they toast, air fry, bake, and broil as well as how convenient they are to use. To test air frying performance, we cooked both frozen and homemade French fries, Brussels sprouts, chicken wings, and chicken breasts breaded with Panko crumbs. Using the broil setting, we also cooked hamburgers, assessing the browning and juiciness of each patty. We roasted whole chickens in ovens that were large enough to accommodate them, checking the evenness after cooking and the crispiness of the skin. In addition, we baked yellow cakes from a mix, chocolate chip cookies from refrigerated dough, and heated a 12-inch frozen pizza. We added a tablespoon of oil to the made-from-scratch French fries and Brussels sprouts, but otherwise added no other ingredients to any items. Everything was cooked on the setting recommended by the manufacturer until tender, fully baked, or cooked to a safe internal temperature. Each food was evaluated for browning, crisping, and how evenly it cooked as well as how moist and tender it was on the inside.
To rate the ease of use for each toaster oven, we considered how convenient it was to set the controls, slide the parts in and out, and of course, how easy it was to clean up. We checked to see if the manual adequately explained how to use the product, which we think is particularly important in view of the fact that toaster ovens offer so many different functions. We measured the sound level of each toaster oven while it was operating to determine how much it would interfere with conversation in the kitchen and took surface temperatures on eight places that the user is likely to touch during cooking to determine if it could be a hazard.
Toaster oven results
|Hottest surface temperature (°F)||Noise produced (dB)|
|Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro||252.1 (glass)||61.4|
|Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 XL Pro Air Fry Oven DT201||282 (lower-front)||61.3|
|KitchenAid Digital Countertop Oven With Air Fryer||278.3 (glass)||54.4|
|Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven||259.6 (glass)||54.7|
|Hamilton Beach Air Fryer Sure Crisp Toaster Oven||339.2 (lower-front)||50.4|
How to choose the best toaster oven for you
Toaster ovens vary in size, capacity, functionality, and price. The most expensive ones can do a lot more than toast and reheat — they can also air fry, roast, bake and pretty much serve as a second oven. However, they will also take up a lot more of your precious counter space.
Here are the five things to consider when shopping for a toaster oven:
Size — Be sure to measure the space on your countertop where you plan to keep your toaster oven before making a purchase. Don’t forget to check if your over-head cabinets will get in the way, and make sure the toaster oven will have space around it to vent as well.
Capacity — Start by considering what you cook regularly and plan to cook in your toaster oven. Models come with a wide range of capacities. The most compact ones can toast four to six slices of bread at once, while the largest can toast nine slices. In a smaller oven, you can reheat frozen foods, but may not be able to fit a 12-inch pizza. Most of the newer ovens on the market are able to roast a chicken and some can even cook two birds at once, or a small turkey. However, if you don’t cook for more than one or two people and your repertoire doesn’t include roasting, you may not want an oven with a large capacity monopolizing your countertop space.
Type of Controls — Dial controls are simple to use, but offer less precision. To set the time you’re basically turning a mechanical timer that dings when time is up. That might be fine for most tasks, except baking where exact timing is critical — one extra minute and your cookies are dry. While digital controls can take a little more work to figure out, they are exact and allow for presets for various types of cooking, so you don’t have to guess at what temperature to use and how long to cook.
Other functions — While by definition toaster ovens take the place of two appliances, today’s models can also air fry, slow cook, dehydrate, and more. This gives you more versatility and means you’ll have fewer products hogging space on your countertop. However, it also adds to the price of the toaster oven, so be realistic about whether or not you need the extra functions.
Price — You can spend anywhere from $50 to $400 on a toaster oven. While the best ones tend to be pricier, you can get a very good one for about $100. If you need a toaster oven primarily for toast, melted sandwiches, and quick reheats, there’s no need to spend top dollar.
When to replace your toaster oven
Toaster ovens have an average lifespan of five years, but there are reports of models lasting as long as 20 years. Most come with a one year warranty, although some brands can offer up to three year policies. To keep your toaster oven in good working condition, you must keep it clean — especially on the inside. Dirty elements can catch fire or break easily. Another common problem is a handle or door that breaks off. Try to avoid pulling on your toaster oven’s handle with excess force or letting the door bang shut to prevent damaging it.
If your machine stops heating and is no longer under warranty, your best bet is to buy a new one. If you do get a repair estimate, and it’s more than half the price of a new toaster oven, we recommend buying a replacement.
When you shop for a new toaster oven, you’ll find the latest models are made of stainless steel and will look good on display in your kitchen. They now come with a host of new features to expand their versatility, including air frying, multi-rack cooking, and even slow cooking. While in general more features are found on bigger ovens, even smaller models can now air fry.