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The 7 Best Countertop Ovens for Compact Cooking

Whether you view cooking as a science or you want to bake pizzas on your counter, these are the seven best countertop ovens to buy.

breville® smart oven® air fryer pro
Breville

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 come replete with zone cooking, preprogrammed recipes and an in-oven camera to watch steaks sizzle from your phone.

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.

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?

    The Best Countertop Ovens of 2022

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    Best Overall Countertop Oven
    Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro

    • Jack of all trades
    • Clean design (stainless matches most kitchens)

    • Air-frying capabilities can’t compete against a dedicated air fryer
    • If you’re only reheating old pizza, this is expensive

    If you don’t know what to get, get this. It does what you need it to, and it does so extremely well. The design is sleek and the controls are intuitive. Its phenomenal preheat time makes cooking times faster and juggling varied dishes that much easier. It’s also big enough to handle a 14-pound turkey. While we’ve yet to verify that specific claim while testing, we’ve also never thought, "Gee, I wish this could fit more..." If you just plan to use it as a toaster, rest assured it can toast enough bread for the whole family in one go.

    This is a superb countertop oven but a less-than-stellar air fryer. If you want an appliance to supplement or replace your conventional oven for everyday cooking, it's a great buy — though you could definitely save the $120 premium on the version without an air fryer and not miss much. If you want an air fryer, just get a dedicated air fryer.

    Capacity: 1 cubic ft

    Overall Range: 80° to 480° Fahrenheit

    Overall Power: 1800 W

    Includes: The standard racks, pans, and temp probes, with additional goodies like a pizza pan and mesh basket for air frying

    Best Splurge Countertop Oven
    Anova Precision Oven

    • Sous vide capabilities are rare, and awesome
    • Moisture control makes this sneakily great for bakers

    • It’s big and expensive
    • Sous vide option is for those willing to experiment with cooking

    This is a very try-hard version of a countertop oven, but not in a disparaging way. This is one of the few countertop-sized ovens on the market that’s built like a commercial combi-oven, using an attached water reservoir to regulate moisture/humidity levels in the oven for cooks that require it.

    This is large for a countertop oven, which might be a hindrance if you have a smaller kitchen, but which might also be beneficial if you're looking to use this as a primary oven, which is a feasible alternative. It can roast a couple small chickens at once, or one small-to-medium-sized turkey without much issue. It's also big enough to put a Dutch oven inside if you're braising, which is a plus.

    What sets this apart is in its name: precision. The oven doesn't operate in temperature ranges (many countertops move in 10- or 5-degree increments), it shifts by decimals of degrees. More importantly, it stabilizes at those temperatures - piping hot (max temp just under 500°) or very low (sous vide mode can hold at as low as 77°) — extremely well. This makes it perfect for nerds as well as people who cook chicken, fish and other proteins that require a gentler touch.

    The Anova is expensive, bulky and kind of weird, but there isn't anything else like it that's available to home cooks. For instance, its Sous Vide mode means that you can easily hold thick steaks at 125° before dropping the moisture and ripping the heat to 482° for a nice crust.

    Capacity: 1.2 cubic ft

    Overall Range: 77° to 482° Fahrenheit

    Overall Power: 1800 W

    Includes: 1 pan, 2 racks, and an attachable food probe

    Best Budget Countertop Oven
    Panasonic Toaster Oven FlashXpress
    Now 12% off

    • Doesn’t steal much counter space
    • Perfect for 95% of reheat jobs

    • Small capacity is limiting for larger families
    • Aesthetics leave us wanting

    This is the grown up version of the small Hamilton Beach (or was it Black and Decker?) that my mother had on our counter when I was growing up. It’s small and able to find a spot among your cutting boards without stealing much real estate. And most importantly, it knows what it is — a reheating extraordinaire that gets hot fast and efficiently. No bells; no whistles — just two simple infrared heating rods that can toast, bake, and brown in an area that’s just big enough for four slices of bread. If you’re looking to mainly make toast, reheat pizza, and occasionally roast some veggies, this is everything you need and nothing that you don’t.

    Capacity: <0.25 cubic ft

    Overall Range: 250°F to 500° Fahrenheit

    Overall Power: 1300 W

    Includes: Square baking tray

    Best Countertop Oven for People With Kids
    Calphalon Performance Cool Touch Air Fry Oven

    • Cool to the touch is safer and keeps the kitchen cooler
    • Absolutely stunning design

    • Not quite as powerful as more expensive models
    • Some people prefer a stainless steel finish

    This sleekly Calphalon countertop oven addresses a concern we’ve had while watching countertop ovens grow increasingly large and powerful: the heat. This model stays cool to the touch during use, which is extremely handy if you have young, curious children, but also comes in clutch if you have cramped counter space and need to place the oven close to other items.

    Besides the Quartz Heat Technology, which preheats extremely fast and provides even cooking, we were also impressed by the oven’s ability to program back-to-back cooking functions using the Step Cook function. We could now combine a low and slow bake with a broiler finish without even being in the kitchen.

    If design aesthetic or hot-to-the-touch ovens are your concern, this will handle most jobs wonderfully (and safely).

    Capacity: <0.8 cubic feet

    Overall Range: Up to 425° Fahrenheit

    Overall Power: 1400 W

    Includes: Baking Pan, 12-inch Pizza Pan, Air Fry Basket, Wire Rack, and Removable Crumb Tray

    Best Countertop Oven with a Microwave
    KitchenAid Over the Range Convection Microwave
    KitchenAid

    • You don’t need to own both a microwave and countertop oven
    • Exceptional microwaving ability

    • This model prioritizes microwaving over baking
    • Requires a space over your range
    • Expensive

    OK, so it's not exactly a "countertop" oven, but it's still not an actual oven. This is the best option for those who don’t already own a microwave. If you're just putting in light duty with the occasional weekday reheat or Saturday morning toast, owning both a microwave and a toaster oven may not make a lot of sense. This is doubly true for smaller apartments.

    If you’re looking to fill that spot over your range with a multi-function workhorse of convection and microwaving power, this is the best option. It’s also the perfect upgrade for those who own an outdated countertop microwave and want convection oven capability, or vice versa.

    Capacity: 1.9 cubic feet

    Overall Range: Up to 425° Fahrenheit

    Overall Power: 1500 W

    Best Countertop Pizza Oven
    Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo

    • It can hit 750°F
    • Basically one of your only options for safe, indoor pizza making

    • Only makes pizza
    • Extremely expensive

    What’s a pizza-specific oven doing in a list of versatile, 12-in-1 ovens? Well, if the best reason to get a countertop oven is to cast the supporting role in the kitchen for big night, the second best reason is for doing things that your regular oven can’t.

    When Breville made the Pizzaiolo they made the first domestic countertop oven to reach 750°F, meaning it was capable of cooking authentic pizza in 2 minutes. A regular oven can’t hit high enough temperatures to give you the type of crispy crust they make Youtube videos about. If you want to leave the freezer section and step into the floury light of freshly-made pizza, you need something that can crank up the heat. With features like Element iQ and three types of heating (conductive, radiant, and convective) this may feel advance, but don’t worry - it still works with frozen pizzas.

    Capacity: 12-inch pizza

    Overall Range: 350° to 750° Fahrenheit

    Overall Power: 1800 W

    Includes: Pizza Peel, Pizza Pan

    Best Smart Countertop Oven
    Brava Smart Oven

    • Preheat times so fast they barely exist
    • Preplan meals like a scientist
    • Zone cooking is surprisingly effective at cooking diverse, one-button meals
    • You can monitor your Brava from your smart device

    • Takes the fun out of cooking (for those who like cooking)
    • Extremely expensive

    The Brava is our favorite in the lineup of tech-heavy, smart countertop ovens that have been hitting the market in recent years (others include June and Tovala). I’ll come right out and say that this isn’t for everyone, but for a select few, it’s worth the enormous price tag. To understand who this is for, take a look at a few of its best features.

    The Brava uses the light from six bright halogen bulbs to cook food in surprisingly narrow zones, resulting in the ability to cook steak, potatoes, and broccoli simultaneously on the same tray. A feat that we tested to considerable success (while the no-flip steak recipe left the bottom of the steak slightly more steamed than charred, the top had an amazing crust for having pushed one button).

    Second, the Brava recipes, which are presented on a touchscreen that may remind you of a photo-heavy diner menus, are fine tuned for food to go in cold, and relatively unfussed with. This means all aspects of prep, even just letting steaks come up to room temp, are minimized. And while some recipes could benefit from more seasoning and prep work, any problems with the actual cook can be edited at the end via the touchscreen, with changes automatically applying to future cooks.

    This all adds up to a device that was a little over-engineered for our home kitchen (and a little too hands off for those who love the process of traditional, pot-and-pan cooking). But for those families with rushed parents that want to be able to cook without much prep, cleanup, or thinking, or that want to leave their teens with dinner that they know will cook perfectly, this is a worthy contender. In this way, the microwave dinner had to walk so the Brava could run. And it runs beautifully.

    Capacity: <0.5 cubic ft

    Overall Range: Up to 500° Fahrenheit

    Overall Power: 1800 W

    Includes: TempSensor, high temperature glass tray, non-stick aluminum tray

    The 6 Best Air Fryers of 2022
    instant vortex plus air fryer
    Instant Pot

    We didn't get the hype about air fryers — and then we tried one.

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