Top 5 on Amazon Prime – In this series we compare and contrast the top 5 reviewed and best-selling of a given product available on amazon prime.
Today we are taking a look at the best reviewed, bestselling toaster ovens available on amazon prime and comparing their positives and faults. At the end we will give you our best pick and why.
Hundreds of different toaster oven models are available on Amazon but our search is limited to those rated 4 stars or more with 100 or more reviews, prime eligible, and cost between $50 and $150 which seems like a good range for the average persons toaster oven budget.
The Panasonic Flash express features an infrared cooking element to offer instant heat without the need to preheat. Infrared is sort of cutting edge when it comes to toaster ovens, if you are not familiar with it you can learn more about infrared cooking but it basically boils down to that it cooks best flat food items like a fillets, pizza, toast, steaks and bagels but has trouble with a more three dimensional object like whole chickens without a rotisserie (which this unit lacks) .
Currently the Panasonic Flash Xpress Toaster Oven has 701 reviews on Amazon with the average review working out to 4.5 stars. Most people love this toaster oven but of the 701 reviews, 27 have rated this toaster oven one star. Some common reasons include the heating element dying quickly and having to pay shipping for warranty repairs (though amazon allowed returns at no expense within 30 days).
With 509 five star reviews, most people found this toaster oven to be quick, convenient and wouldn’t consider using a conventional toaster oven after their experience with this product. They like the instant heating, the preview lighting, and how easy it is to clean. At 10 1/4″ (H) this toaster oven can fit in compact spaces but only has a 9″ available diameter for cooking or re-heating pizza which should be enough for a small frozen pizza or a couple of slices from the local spot.
Another compact toaster, the Breville Mini Smart Toaster Oven has a more traditional 4 quartz, 1800 watt heating element setup featuring what Breville refers to as “Element IQ Technology”. This adjusts the power between the elements to provide for a more consistent temperature, helping to cook food evenly.
In addition to Element IQ, the Breville Mini also comes with 8 preset functions (toast, bake, boil, roast, reheat, bagel, cookies, pizza) which automatically changes the power levels between the elements based on what you would like to use the toaster for. Even more, the presets can be further customized for recipe, food volume and personal taste.
This might all seem a bit much for a simple toaster oven but for that slight investment in initial learning, you get a toaster oven that works more like a traditional oven cooking foods in the expected manner, leaving burnt outsides and frozen insides a thing of the past. I admit, some foods I wouldn’t dream of cooking in my toaster oven because of the uneven cooking they are known for and it seems as though Breville has focused on tackling this issue.
Of the 425 reviews on Amazon, 302 people have rated this oven five stars with only 21 one star reviews. Those who gave this toaster oven one star have noted error messages that stop the oven from functioning, thermostats gone bad and shipping costs for warranty repairs.
Of the 302 5 star reviews, people love the toast and bagel settings claiming it makes perfect toast every time. They also love the compact size, the even baking and its ease of use. Some customers have noted they wish it was just a little bit bigger to improve its versatility but understand it is suppose to fit in compact spaces. Dispite the small size, the Breville still boasts the ability to handle up to a 11″ pizza (2″ more than the Panasonic) though this may be something to keep in mind depending on what you plan to use your toaster oven for.
Moving up in size and down in price we have the MaxiMatic Elite Cuisine Toaster Oven which drops some of the more modern features of the Breville and Panasonic but adds a rotisserie. At 16″H x 20″L x 14″W the MaxiMatic can handle up to a 12″ pizza but at 1500 watts the elements are less powerful than other toaster ovens.
With the larger size, it could take a bit longer to get up to temperature than some of the smaller toaster ovens, which can make a huge difference when just trying to cook a quick piece of toast in the morning but the larger size also allows for up to six slices of toast to cook at a time, bringing down the overall time it takes if preparing toast for multiple people.
The real feature of this toaster oven is the added functionality of the rotisserie a feature only one other toaster oven that made our list has. More so, the MaxiMatic is much more of an oven replacement than the first two, due to it’s larger size which can be great in the warmer months where preheating a large oven and the heat that goes along with it, could be very undesirable.
Of the 116 reviews on Amazon, 66 have given the MaxiMatic five stars to only 14 people giving two stars or less. Of the negative reviews, the common complaint of warranty repair costs was present with others noting the rotisserie motor dying after a few months of light use while others thought it was just too hard to clean.
Of the positive reviews people loved its ease of use, size, price, steaming function, rotisserie and raved about its use as an oven replacement.
Next on our list is the Hamilton Beach Countertop Oven. As a convection oven, this is a true oven replacement and not really considered a toaster oven. This made our list because many people don’t use their toaster ovens for actually making toast. At 21″H x 18″L x 15.5″W the Hamilton Beach model is the largest on our list and as such can bake pies without burning the top and can cook two 12″ pizzas at the same time using the double racks.
Like the MaxiMatic, the Hamilton Beach Countertop Oven features a rotisserie but at $115 comes in at twice the price. For the added money you get a true convection oven with more capacity. Having the double trays is a nice option allowing you to cook more at once and is the only unit on our list that is tall enough to offer this option.
Of the 303 total reviews on this product, 173 people rated this oven at five stars compared to only 34 one star reviews. Of the negative reviews people noted “flimsy construction” with “thin metal”, a restocking fee for returns, convection fan malfunctions, and uneven cooking.
Of the over 200 four star or better reviews people love its fast cooking times, ease of use, convection cooking, relatively roomy interior and versatility.
The Cuisinart Compact Digital Toaster Oven is the second least expensive on our list at $59.95 but packs in many features. At it’s size, one would never think it as an oven replacement but for toast, bagels, pizza or reheating leftovers, the Cuisinart delivers. Featuring seven different cooking functions (Toast, Bagel, Bake, Broil, Sandwich, Reheat, Keep Warm) what it can do, it does so well. One feature the Cuisinart promises is that your toast will always come out even, which is great as I have had plenty of toaster oven that burn the edges but barely brown the middle.
Despite its compact size (8″H x 15″L x 13″W), it can handle pizzas up to 12″ but with the small height I worry that items may more eaisily burn than in some of the other, taller toaster ovens on the market though this should also greatly reduce the amount of time the oven takes to heat up and ultimately cook your food.
Of the 192 reviews, 128 rated the Cuisinart four stars or above. People love the easy to read display, ease of use, precise digital control and quick heating. The 38 people to rate it 2 stars or below noted that they would often burn their food, that the unit was hot to the touch after use, and that it is hard to tell when to unit is on or off.