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Best Toaster Oven For The Money  
Everything You Need to Know to Get a Great Toaster Oven at a Great Price
Top Five for the Money (Based on our Frugal5 Formula)
How do we pick these products? We spend many hours doing unbiased research to only give you the highest rated products at the best price. We first come up with a list of features, which you can see below, that we feel the majority of people will need. We then look for the highest quality products with these features and only show you the top five with the best value. Our mission is to provide you with the best five options based only on the facts. Don't see the product you were thinking about getting? Click here to calculate it's frugal score.
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Product
Frigidaire Professional Stainless Programmable 6-SPanasonic Flash XpressOster TSSTTVXLDG Extra Large DigitalBreville BOV800XL SmartCuisinart CS0-300 Combo Steam Convection
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Product Rating
 
 
 
 
 
Great
 
 
 
 
 
Good
 
 
 
 
 
Average
 
 
 
 
 
Amazing
 
 
 
 
 
Amazing
Average Price
 
 
 
 
 
Cheap ($132)
 
 
 
 
 
Cheap ($115)
 
 
 
 
 
Cheap ($108)
 
 
 
 
 
Average ($249)
 
 
 
 
 
Average ($269)
Frugal5 Score
Details
8.4
7.9
7.7
7.5
7.3
Features Needed
Limited Warranty
- 1 year
- 1 year
- 1 year
- 3 Year
Pre-Set Functions
- 8
- 6
- 5
- 9
- 8
User Friendly Control Panel/Display
- LCD
- Digital
- Digital
- LCD
- LCD
Wire Rack
- Automatic
- standard
Features Not Needed
Baking Pan
- Broil Pan
Broil Rack
- Automatic
Convection Cooking
Crumb Tray
Drip Tray
LCD Display
Pizza Pan
Preheat Ability
What You Need To Know In 5 Minutes

A toaster oven is a convenient and space-saving kitchen helper for chefs who cook for a big family, and needs some extra cooking capacity, or for a first apartment with no room for a conventional oven.  Bake quick snacks with less mess in a hurry for teenagers who are always hungry, make roasts while you cook side dishes in your conventional oven, and even bake holiday cookies without tying up the whole kitchen.  

As with all appliances these days, toaster ovens are available in multiple different shapes, sizes, colors and with different options.  It is a good idea to consider the uses you will want to be putting it to, the amount of space available on your counter top and the ease of storage.  Larger ovens with more features and upscale materials are obviously going to come at a higher price than a smaller, simpler model.    Also think about the level of importance you place on appearance.  If you spend all your time in the kitchen, and you have color matched everything from your back splash and lighting down to the handles on the spoons, you will probably be more interested in spending money on colors and materials than someone who plans on keeping this in the cupboard until kids blow through after school. 

Price-wise, you can spend in between twenty-five dollars for a simple four slice toaster oven that makes a great cinnamon toast to a upwards of a hundred dollars on the large size programmable stainless steel version that will handle your whole Thanksgiving dinner.  The most important features to look for when making your decision are also the most common and inexpensive.  The first is the auto shut off feature which causes the unit to shut down if it overheats, or if it is left on for a certain amount of time.  This feature negates the possibility of the oven being left on accidentally, avoiding wasted energy and any potential fire hazard.  The second important feature is the pull out rack that allows you to remove prepared food without getting fingers close to the heating rack.  Both of these options are especially useful when the oven will be used by or around children.  

Moving up the list to special features that offer added convenience of use to the traditional basic model, we see a few different types of upgrades: size, material, and programmability.  Toaster ovens tend to be sized by the number of slices of bread that can be accommodated at one time.  You can find two, four, and six slice sizes.  If you can measure a family breakfast in terms of how many pieces of toast you want, then you will know the size you are looking for.  This is a good rule of thumb, even if you never intend to make anything other than personal sized frozen pizzas.  Another consideration in the size category is that some models come with multiple shelves, so that some cooking can be done at a higher tier than others, rather than everything lining up flat.  This is useful because it gives you cooking capacity while taking up less counter top space.  It is important to make sure the upper rack is removable if you think you will be using the toaster oven to bake roasts or other foods that require more vertical room to slide in and out of the oven easily. 

The range of available materials is equally extensive.  More inexpensive models can be made with glass, metal, a plastic.  A more pricey option would be the stainless steel choice.  Color also comes into effect here.  For a color matched kitchen, toaster ovens come in a variety of colors beyond the expected black and stainless steel.  Hamilton Beach's Toaststation oven is available in their retro red "Ensemble" series that offers matching appliances from  blenders to coffee pots.  Bella's "Dots" collection offers several core appliances in colors from black to pink and teal for the serious color lovers.  The final set of options includes different levels of program functionality.  Panasonic's Flash Express gives you simple programming options that so make it easier for you to do other tasks while it's cooking, because you won't have to keep an eye on it.  Separate presets are available for common foods like toast, waffles, and pizzas, and a twenty-five minute timer lets you set things a little more exactly.  This is a little bit of a price increase for a bit more convenience.  Breville carries the "Smart Oven" with a higher price for a longer list of programming options including a convection option and a roasting setting to handle a wider variety of foods, along with a larger size capacity.  

Maxi-Matic has several choices in toaster ovens to offer, but some of the cheaper models might be avoided because the heating element is very tight on the rack, making accidental burns more likely.                

Depending on your situation, taste, and price range, it is easy to find a toaster oven that suits you.  If your biggest concern is inexpensive functionality,  the auto shut-off and pull out tray features are the only necessities.  Options like special colors, designs,  and programmability are nice additions that raise the price on the tag more than they add to the basic usefulness of the appliance unless you have a specific use in mind that demands a certain feature like one button control to make pizza rolls. Cuisinart, Black & Decker, and Panasonic have good quality versions of the toaster oven in the mid-range of pricing.  

A great tool for breakfasts, quick snacks, and as a back-up for big dinners, the right toaster oven can make your time in the kitchen easier and more convenient.  Choose the number of slices size that's right for you and the features that are most important to you, and you can get an appliance that will be making toast for many mornings to come without blowing your budget in the process.                     

Features You Need
Limited Warranty, Pre-Set Functions, User Friendly Control Panel/Display, Wire Rack
Features You Don't Need
Baking Pan, Broil Rack, Convection Cooking, Crumb Tray, Drip Tray, LCD Display, Pizza Pan, Preheat Ability
What You Should Pay
Between $108.00 - $269.00
Top Of The Line Price
Over $500.00