The best toaster oven for compact kitchens

This multipurpose oven can cook more than just toast.

Toaster oven

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

The best toaster ovens are perfect for compact living spaces such as flats, caravans, and offices. It's a versatile appliance that cooks toast and a whole host of other meals, making it a valuable substitute for a missing oven. Most of these appliances are multifunctional, seamlessly blending the capabilities of traditional ovens with innovative features. Some even double as air fryers, offering a healthier, quicker, and more energy-efficient way to prepare your favourite dishes.

Budget and space are often the first considerations when choosing a toaster oven. While some models have an extensive range of cooking features and accessories, others offer exceptional value and are simple in design. The size and configuration of these ovens are tailored to fit snugly into smaller kitchens, as not everyone can fit in a double oven. Whether you're an avid baker, love an oven pizza or are quite happy eating toast for dinner from time to time, there's a toaster oven out there that's just right for your needs.

Best Toaster Oven At A Glance

• Best overall toaster oven: Ninja Foodi SP101UK 8-in-1 Flip Mini Oven – View on John Lewis
Best smart toaster oven: Sage the Smart Oven Air Fryer – View on Amazon UK
• Best budget toaster oven: Belaco BTO-109N Mini 9L Toaster – View on Amazon UK

But how does a toaster oven differ from an air fryer or halogen oven? At their core, both appliances have a similar cooking experience. While air fryers use convection to circulate hot air, ensuring quicker and even cooking, toaster ovens typically employ heating elements at the top and bottom. Both will have similar outcomes, using significantly less oil, making them great for healthy cooking.

Just like a combination microwave, a toaster oven allows you to reduce the amount of applies in your kitchen. So, let's get onto the list. Whether you're looking for a compact solution for your caravan or a multifunctional oven for your flat, this guide is your companion to making the best choice for your kitchen needs.

Best Toaster Oven

Best overall toaster oven

The Ninja 8-in-1 Mini Oven is practical, sleek and consistent. It boasts eight distinct cooking functions; this appliance ensures your toast, muffins, flatbreads or whatever your heart desires is cooked to perfection in record time. With a swift 60-second preheat time, it's ideal as a replacement for a large over or making breakfast for a large group. Its compact, easy-use, and digital display ensures you're always in control of the level of toastiness.

Customer review: "I have a tiny kitchen and needed an oven that didn't take up too much of the worktop. The Ninja 8 in 1 Flip is perfect for the space I have. Easy to use and great for traybake style of cooking and so much more."

Pros

  • Very slim and compact
  • Easy-use digital display
  • Eight cooking options

Cons

  • As it is so slim, it can't be used to cook large foods

Best smart toaster oven

Upgrade your toaster experience with the Sage Smart Oven™ Air Fryer. With its ten diverse cook modes, this appliance promises versatility like no other. The Element IQ system ensures every dish is cooked evenly. It uses five independent quartz elements and smart algorithms to command where the power needs to go and senses cold spots for precise cooking for your breakfasts, lunches and dinners. The 'toast' function ensures an even toast, and reviews have said that fairs better than conventional toasters. Its sleek stainless steel design adds a touch of elegance to your kitchen and promises durability.

Customer review: "I loved the speed of coming up to temperature, it pop out shelf and in general the fantastic look of the thing."

Pros

  • 10 functions
  • Easy-read digital display
  • Sleek stainless steel design
  • Element IQ system for smart concise cooking
  • Large capacity

Cons

  • Some many not need all the smart features

Best budget toaster oven

Efficient, affordable and compact cooking with the Belaco BTO-109N Mini Toaster Oven will not only save space in the kitchen but time too. This compact marvel is designed for small spaces like snug kitchens, caravans, or even your office. It boasts adjustable temperatures ranging from 100°-230°C, a 60-minute timer, robust 750W power, and a black powder-coated body that is sleek while resisting scratches. Accompanied by a baking tray and chrome wire rack, this oven blends style, functionality and affordability.

Customer review: "I used this mini over to cook pie and chicken nuggets it's great. It's very lightweight too."

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Good value
  • Compact

Cons

  • The timer isn't very accurate
  • Doesn't stay too hot

Best value toaster oven

Whether it's toast, leftovers or dessert - the Russell Hobbs Express Air Fry Mini Oven has five versatile cook functions designed to cater to every baking, roasting or toasting need. Its generous cooking capacity ensures that whether you cook for one or many. It's a great all-rounder for any kitchen.

Customer review: "I bought this for my sister as a new home present. She didn't think she needed one, but once she had this Russell Hobbs Airfryer in her house she didn't know how she lived without one. She is really happy with the performance and the outcome of the food. She's cooked chips, jacket potatoes, toasties, chicken wings and homemade popcorn chicken and she's been impressed with all."

Pros

  • Great value for the money
  • Large cooking capacity
  • Multiuse

Cons

  • On the large and clunkier side

Best toaster oven for large capacity

This is an excellent pick if you want to replace your oven and toaster with one handy and compact appliance. The Salter 22L Multifunctional Air Fryer Oven is a great value option - it even has a rotisserie function. Its seven distinct cooking functions ensure versatility, while its large capacity is perfect for those family gatherings. Its design fits modern aesthetic kitchens, too

Pros

  • Large capacity
  • Sleek compact box design
  • Range of cooking options

Cons

  • Cooking is inconsistent if the trays are stacked

Best toaster oven and air fryer

Compact at 10L, the Breville VDF127 Halo Rotisserie Air Fryer Oven is crafted precisely and offers four preset modes, ensuring every dish cooks thoroughly. The rotisserie function, three rack levels and three different capacity models promise flexibility, providing every meal, from toast to roasts, is done properly.

Customer review: "I am so pleased with this purchase. Wondering why I waited so long but glad I did because this is such a timesaver. Easy to use, clean and stylish piece of equipment. Heats up super fast to the right temperature. Sits on my worktop and although it’s not the most compact machine, it looks fab especially when it’s switched on. Doubt I’ll ever use my oven again! Would highly recommend!"

Pros

  • Three levels of cooking surfaces
  • Comes with a 3.2-litre mesh bask
  • Air frying option and four presets
  • Air frying function means no to little oil required

Cons

  • Quite a small capacity for an air fryer

Best retro design toaster oven

If you love vintage-looking appliances for your kitchen but with contemporary tech, you will love this Ariete Vintage 97904 Mini Oven. Its retro design has a timeless elegance, making it not just an appliance but a statement piece. The adjustable timer, with a temperature spectrum reaching up to 230°C, an 18-litre capacity and accompanying grill and drip pan, along with a handy accessory, ensure every cooking session is a breeze. This oven is where vintage charm meets modern functionality.

Customer review: "I bought this oven to bake in. It has served the purpose well. The temperature control isn't precise and it could do with a bit more insulation but actually it is worth the money. It looks really nice on my worktop and is big enough to take a 2lb loaf or large pizza. Convenient and cheaper than a full size oven. I'm so far pleased with it."

Pros

  • Adjustable Rack
  • Cook up to 230°C
  • Three colour options
  • Retro design

Cons

  • Some may find the functionality too old-fashioned

OUR VERDICT: Best Toaster Oven

The Ninja 8-in-1 Mini Oven stands out not just for its compact design but for its unparalleled versatility. With eight distinct cooking functions, from baking to frying. It is perfect as a toaster or compact oven. If you are looking for a budget option, the Belaco BTO-109N Mini is a great choice. It is a conventional oven and toaster with no bells and whistles but is efficient and does the job well.

What to Consider When Choosing The Best Toaster Oven:

Design: Consider the available space in your kitchen. While some toaster ovens are compact, others might be bulkier.

Functionality: Make sure to check out the range of cooking modes the oven offers. If you have specific cooking preferences, like baking or air frying, ensure the oven caters to them.

Energy efficiency: With rising energy costs, it's good to opt for a toaster oven that's energy efficient. Look for models with quick preheat times and low wattage.

FAQS

How does a toaster oven differ from a traditional oven?

A toaster oven is typically more compact and energy-efficient than a traditional oven. It preheats faster and is ideal for smaller cooking tasks.

Can I use aluminium foil in my toaster oven?

While it's possible, always refer to the manufacturer's instructions. Some models might not be compatible with foil.

Is a toaster oven more energy-efficient than a regular oven?

Yes, toaster ovens generally consume less energy due to their smaller size and quicker cooking times.

Can I bake in a toaster oven?

Absolutely! Most modern toaster ovens come with a baking function. However, ensure the oven's capacity suits the size of your baking dish.

Do toaster ovens with air frying capabilities use oil?

While they can use oil, they require significantly less compared to traditional frying methods, making them a healthier choice.

Ellen Kinsey is a Senior Health & Wellness Product Writer for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in sustainable living and healthy cooking. She lives and breathes all things food, travel and wellness.

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