5 On Your Side

Toasting Ovens May Not be Best for Toasting

Posted December 24, 2007

Some people find they cannot live without toaster ovens, but Consumer Reports says that the appliances might not be the best choice for their most obvious function: toasting.

Consumer Reports testers found that toaster ovens often leave tiger stripes on one side of bread. They also took twice as long as regular toasters to get the job done.

Companies, including Cuisinart, Black and Decker and Toastmaster, though, are encouraging cooks to look beyond bread when cooking with toaster ovens. Some newer models are designed to do such tasks as bake 12-inch pizzas and cook muffins.

With some models, however, the results of such culinary undertakings were not appetizing.

Black and Decker promotes a $135 model for "quicker cooking." Consumer Reports testers found that it does toast faster. But with muffins, that promise was half baked.

"Although the muffins come out brown on top, they were still underdone inside, a little bit raw," Consumer Reports tester Tara Casaregola said.

A better choice Consumer Reports found was a top-rated $180 Cuisinart toaster oven. It not only excelled at baking but also made very good toast.

For a less-expensive option, Consumer Reports suggested the $55 Rival T-O 600 toaster oven. Testers said it did not do a great job at toasting but did excel at baking.

7 Comments

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  • 68_polara Dec 26, 2007

    I love my toaster oven but the worst thing I've used it for was toasting bread. Ironic...

  • stevenw00 Dec 26, 2007

    I absolutely love having a toaster oven! Although it is a tad slow and takes some testing to find the right settings for toast, I use it for dozens of other things. There's no better way to cook pizza rolls, bagel bites, Texas toast, re-warm pizza, dinner rolls, etc. We use it for anything that will fit and find that it works as well as a conventional oven on those tasks, and in less time (energy.)

  • angora2 Dec 26, 2007

    Tiger stripes on the toast? Say it ain't so.

  • Sabertooth Dec 26, 2007

    NOW YOU TELL ME! GRRRRR!

  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Dec 25, 2007

    We have a toaster oven and it works. It is a multifunction kitchen appliance for me, and it saves counter space since I do not need 3 different appliances. We bake potatos, heat pizzas, cook stuffed mushrooms, etc. with no difficulty. And yes, it does decent toast too.

  • Timbo Dec 25, 2007

    Our toaster oven finally broke and I bought a real toaster.

  • djofraleigh Dec 24, 2007

    Consider a regular old $15 toaster for its convenience and energy savings, and resultant increased counter space.