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What's behind our toaster Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 87 models in toasters to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Based on performance, convenience, cleaning, and safety. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points. Ratings order may differ from earlier reports because of a new scoring method.
  • Baking
    Reflects how evenly each model baked a batch of muffins and a pizza
  • Broiling
    Reflects how evenly each model broiled.
  • Ease of use
    Reflects how easy the controls are to set and how clear they are.
  • Ease of cleaning
    We look for a crumb tray that slides out smoothly and that is easily accessible. We look for areas that might trap dirt or food stuffs. For toaster ovens, most have a non-stick interior for easier cleaning.
  • Color range
    How well the toasters or toaster ovens produced both very light toast and very dark toast.
  • Full batch
    How well the toasters or toaster ovens produced a batch of even, medium-brown toast.
  • One slice
    We toasted just one slice of large white bread in each model, aiming for medium brown toast.


Toaster user reviews

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Recommended toasters

Recommended toasters are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
Should you buy a basic pop-up toaster or a countertop toaster oven that can do more? Think about your cooking habits, your budget and available counter space. If you're looking for information about toasters, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ toaster reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our toaster buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased ratings and toaster reviews to help you choose the best toaster for your needs.

Recently reviewed toasters

Convection Steam CSO-300N
This Cuisinart
  • 1875 watt
toaster oven was Very Good in overall performance, and has
  • pushbutton, dial controls
  • a temperature range of 125-500
  • Digital display,
  • Convection Oven,
  • and the following additional functions: broil, convection bake, steam bake, steam broil, steam, super steam, bread,warm.

Toaster buying guide

Some very snazzy looking toasters have passed through our test labs recently. Given the prominent place this appliance has on many countertops, style is important. But you also want your toaster to make great toast. As for toaster ovens, we're also seeing new designs and innovations there, as well as some very large models. But again, the ability to heat items quickly and evenly should be your first requirement. Our latest tests of dozens of toasters and toaster ovens found many capable models. And a lot of them look darn good in the process!

Toasters top our toast tests. Though we're still waiting for a model that does the job perfectly every time, toasters continue to brown more evenly and consistently than toaster ovens.

Toasting times depend on volume. Even the fastest toaster ovens take twice as long as toasters. But if you're toasting for a crowd, an oven with a six-slice capacity can quickly make up for lost time. Four-slice toasters combine the best of both worlds.

Convection doesn't pay. There's little proof from our tests that this fan-driven technology enhances baking performance, probably because air circulation is less of a factor in a small oven.

Size can be deceiving. Some of the toaster ovens with the biggest dimensions couldn't fit six slices of toast. If you plan to cook frozen pizza, make sure the rack is at least 12 inches deep. Look for variable or extra-wide slots in toasters.

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