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Benchtop oven reviews

Benchtop ovens are cheap and convenient but can get dangerously hot.
 
 
 
 
 
 

01.Introduction

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We review six small benchtop or toaster ovens, priced $109 to $300.

Through our rigorous testing, we reveal which models:

  • Perform best at reheating, roasting and making toast
  • Are the easiest to use
  • Are the easiest to clean

On this page you'll find information about:

For more information about Ovens and cooktops, see Kitchen.

A benchtop or toaster oven is a compact alternative to a full-sized oven. They claim to be able to bake, roast, grill and toast, and some even have a hotplate on top – all this at a fraction of the price of a full-sized oven. So why not use a benchtop oven all the time? Well, while they can be useful for small cooking jobs such as cheese on toast, and are obviously handy when space is an issue – in a caravan, for instance – they do have drawbacks.


Good points about benchtop ovens

  • Compact size.
  • Convenient positioning at bench height.
  • Use less energy than full-sized ovens for small cooking tasks. Also, none of the tested models consume any standby energy (they have no digital displays).

Bad points

  • Their small size rules out big cooking jobs.
  • Most aren't great at cooking, though with some experimenting you can get better results.
  • Despite their common description as toaster ovens, most of the tested models aren't good at toasting bread.
  • Their walls aren’t well-insulated, so the exterior top, rear and glass doors can get too hot to touch safely. While they use less energy than a full-sized oven for quick cooking, the difference is less apparent with bigger jobs; they lose heat through the walls and take longer (about two hours to cook a chicken, including pre-heating time; a full-sized oven would take about one hour). Some use almost as much energy as a full-size oven to cook a chicken, though most use quite a lot less despite the longer cooking time.

Brands and models tested

  • Breville Toast & Roast BOV550
  • DeLonghi EO2031
  • Kambrook KOT710
  • Russell Hobbs RHTOV18A
  • Sunbeam Convection Bake & Grill BT6700
  • Sunbeam Pizza Bake & Grill BT5300P

How we test

We test each oven's cooking performance for:

  • Making toast
  • Reheating a large chilled supermarket pizza
  • Roasting a 1.8kg whole chicken

We also assess ease of use: controls, labels, using the door and racks, instructions and cleaning the interior and exterior.

 
 

 

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