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.