How does an appliance that will speed up your cooking times, use lower temperatures, and save you money on energy bills sound? If this is appealing to you then getting a countertop convection oven is something that you should think about doing. Cooking can be a mundane and laborious task which is one of the main reasons that some us prefer to order out or just pop a frozen dinner in the microwave. Having the right oven, however, can change the way that you think about making your own meals and get you into the kitchen more often. We aim to shed some light on this cooking technology and give you three quality options that will help you fall in love with cooking again.
What Is A Convection Oven?
This is a cooking technology and a feature that has mostly been seen in commercial ovens for professional chefs. Convection ovens work by having a fan that rotates and blows the heated air inside of the oven. This air circulation allows the food to be cooked evenly on every side. The rush of air also has the added benefit of reducing cooking times while operating at lower temperatures. High end home ovens started adding this feature a few years ago and now it has found its way into the more convenient toaster oven market.
I Thought Toaster Ovens Only Did Toast
If you have not used one of these appliances in quite a while, then it is easy to have this misconception. Even though they have “toaster” in their names, they have advanced light years to the point where you should be focusing on the “oven” aspect. Today’s countertop ovens are full featured cooking machines with the ability to handle everything that your full sized range oven can achieve. While they are indeed smaller, and probably not a great option for a full Thanksgiving dinner, they are perfect for a majority of the recipes that you currently use.
Advantages of Owning A Countertop Convection Oven
If you have the counter space to accommodate one of these ovens, there are several reasons why you should consider buying one.
- Convenience – Smaller ovens heat up faster, clean up faster, and with a convection feature, can end up cooking faster. Spend less time preparing dinner and more time enjoying it.
- Savings – With the ability to use lower temperatures while operating for shorter amount of time, you will wind up reducing your energy bill. Getting a convection toaster oven will also be a lot cheaper than getting a new conventional oven with a convection feature.
- Easy To Use – Most of the top ovens have multiple cook settings that adjust the time and temp automatically. In a lot of ways they are similar to the controls and settings that you see on microwaves.
- Clean Up – Tinier ovens also require less clean up. With accessible crumb trays and non stick coatings, these small appliances are a breeze to get looking like new.
Our Top 3 Choices
We have searched long and hard to find the top convection toaster ovens and have narrowed it down to the top 3 ovens that will allow you to best take advantage of what convection cooking has to offer. Below are toaster ovens that should help you transform your kitchen into a more efficient area of your home and allow to you enjoy your food without having to work so hard to prepare it.
Cuisinart TOB-260N Chef’s Convection Oven
This is a relatively new entry into the toaster oven arena but it is already getting some very high reviews from owners. Cuisinart is one of the premier small kitchen appliance makers and they do a really good job making some outstanding countertop ovens. The TOB-260N has 1875 watts of power, which is the most in its class. It features two separate convection settings, one for baking, and speed convection feature that allows you to skip the preheating process. All Cuisinart ovens feature their “Exact Heat” technology that helps produce even results. It is a very big countertop oven so you will want to make sure that you have the space for it. It has digital control display that looks to rival Breville ovens. Overall this is a very robust convection oven that takes our top spot.
Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven
In a very close second place comes this very highly owner rated oven from Breville. We love their appliances because of their design quality and their advanced features. The BOV800XL is a great example of their eye for detail when it comes to user convenience. This model comes with 9 preset cooking functions including a convection setting. The fan in this oven blows at an even an quiet pace and works as advertised. With enough room for 6 slices of toast, this oven has the capability of cooking rather large meals and can replace a lot of what you may use your full sized oven for. It also has a modern look and an easy on the eyes LCD display that we like. The only knock on this model is that it does not have an interior light which we think is a major oversight. It is, however, a very capable toaster oven despite some of its minor quarks. It is also the most expensive oven in our top 3 and will cost you around $250.
KitchenAid KCO273 Series
KitchenAid stepped up their game to create an equally modern convection oven that has gotten some rave reviews from owners. The KCO273SS is similar to the other ovens on our list in but functionality and styling. It is a little less than the Breville BOV800XL and can be purchased somewhere around $200, which for its features and performance is a really good price.
If you are always looking for something new and improved for your kitchen or you are just looking for a way to reduce some of your workload while saving a little money along the way, getting a convection oven for your countertop is a smart option. Not only will you save time while preparing your favorite recipes for your family, you will end up spending less time and energy while doing it.
Update: This post has been updated to include the top models of 2017.