The Breville Smart Oven is the one I always see recommended by sites like trustworthy sites like America's Test Kitchen. And they have a compact model available at Bed Bath & Beyond (where you can use 20% off coupons!).
I have the Breville Smart Oven on my wish list for awhile. The big one gets rave reviews from what I've seen. Of the three sizes available, the largest one gets great reviews, though for the newest (smallest) model, it looks like they still need to iron out some issues. I'd go for the medium or large size.
We replaced a dead toaster oven with the Breville Smart Oven, large size, about six months ago. It is the most wonderful machine! It makes perfect toast, melted cheese sandwiches, broils fish beautifully, bakes cookies, pies, whatever. I obsessed for ages, read all the reviews, including in Consumer Reports, finally forked over the considerable moola (about $250, though you can get a factory refurbished model for about $200 with the same guarantee). Have never looked back, it really is terrific.
That's a lot more than I was hoping to spend, but does sound like an excellent product. Thanks for your input!
Read the reviews on Amazon before you buy the Breville. I just did -- I am not in the market for a new toaster oven, but the negative reviews would make me think twice.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
Personally I'm not much of a believer in Amazon "reviews" but anyway on the lower price end you might want to check out DeLonghi (Italian made). When I had one it fit nicely in a small area of counter space.
Beautiful, Memorable Food --- jumping back in here, it really depends what you want to do with a toaster oven and how much space you have, not to mention your budget. Like pierino, I had a DeLonghi (two actually, over the years) and was ready to buy another. But I found my most recent DeLonghi to be somewhat unwieldy to use (awkward to pull out the rack and re-position it, even using the little tool provided for that very purpose. I seem to recall paying under $100 for both of our DeLonghi toaster ovens. Consumer Reports, though I don't always agree with their reviews, does combine their own testing with reviews by actual users, so you can read all of that through the lens of your own situation. It was actually through reading a CR article on toaster ovens that I learned the Breville exists. It is an Australian brand, has been around for some time there, and has only been available in the US for the past year or two. CR started their article by asking rhetorically whether it ever makes sense to pay $250 for a toaster oven... and they came up with yes, amazingly in this case, it does. But keep your own counsel --- after soliciting others' thoughts, only you know what is best for you.
In the past few years I have gone through a breville and cuisinart. When I burnt the second expensive one in a short period of time I decides to go cheaper. Found a Euro-pro at bed bath & beyond with coupon for about $70. I love it. It is indestructible.
I agree with everyone who recommended the higher end Breville model. I only have one large oven, and I find I use my Breville for the times I have the need for extra oven space as well as times (like this summer) when I don't want to overheat the kitchen.
I have had a large Breville oven for at least 4 years, never had a problem with it. I probably use it every day for something: toasting bread, roasting chicken, baking small batches of whatever, etc. It's large enough for a small Le Creuset or Staub casserole for braising. It's really one of the most useful small(er) appliances I have. The temp is as accurate as it could be for a small oven. It does take up considerable counter space (I put mine on a wall shelf which is perfect). Beware, though, it does give off heat if on for a while or at a higher temp, but less than a lot of other counter ovens. If this one ever goes, I'd get another in a heartbeat. Would not want to be without it.
Sorry I have no experience with toaster ovens, but our Breville toaster is going strong these last three years. I like to toast nuts in a pan so my nose knows.
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