While the latest countertop oven has evolved far beyond the basic, brown-stained glass of your childhood’s Toast-R-Oven, it’s still the same basic tool. Namely, it earns its counter space by excelling at the sort of light kitchen jobs that a microwave simply cannot.
The result is reheating pizza that doesn’t turn steamy. It’s watching closely as the cheddar melts on a sourdough tuna melt. It's roasting snappy Brussels sprouts without touching the big oven. Is the countertop oven necessary to a kitchen? No. But is it recommended? Absolutely.
A modern lineup of the best countertop ovens includes options that range from $150, for a dressed-up toaster, to over $1,000 for the newest generation of smart oven that comes replete with zone cooking, preprogrammed recipes and an in-oven camera to watch steaks sizzle from your phone.
Best Overall Countertop OvenBreville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro Read More
Best Splurge Countertop OvenAnova Precision Oven Read More
Best Budget Countertop OvenPanasonic Toaster Oven FlashXpress Read More
Best Countertop Oven for People With KidsCalphalon Performance Cool Touch Air Fry Oven Read More
Best Countertop Oven with a MicrowaveKitchenAid Over the Range Convection Microwave Read More
Benefits of a Countertop Oven
Even in their most basic forms, countertop ovens offer a great alternative to turning on your stove. They’re more efficient, faster and more convenient, and while you obviously have to sacrifice some counter space to use one, their pros almost always outweigh their cons (unless you’re in a place with extremely limited countertop space).
While these countertop versions obviously can’t compete with their conventional siblings in terms of volume, many kitchen jobs don’t require all that cooking space. (Plus, a few of the new countertop models can even fit your standard Dutch oven or 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dish.) To take it further, it’s because a countertop oven is small that it excels. They preheat fast. They use less energy. Their air-frying abilities shine due to advantageous fan-to-volume ratios.
If you’re someone who cooks a lot — or is looking to cook more often — but you don’t need to feed a large family or an entire household, then a countertop oven might just become your best friend in the kitchen. They take up countertop space, there’s no way around that, but their conveniences will get you cooking and/or reheating more. And isn’t that why we’re all here?