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Toaster ovens


Andrew Fenton
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I own what is without a doubt the world's worst toaster oven: the Oster 6238 Inspire. It's slow, it's noisy, and worst of all, it doesn't even make toast. Each slice is guaranteed to be blackened on one side and cool on the other: not toast, not bread, but a piebald mess of ruined nastiness and shattered dreams. This machine is absolutely worthless, and every time I pass it in the kitchen, I can feel its baleful presence poisoning my otherwise serene existence. Fie upon you, Oster Corporation!

Obviously, I need to make a change here. While I'm tempted to switch to a regular vertical toaster, so that I can get on the Toast-N-Serve bandwagon, I like the mini-oven functionality. I also can hear the siren song of a convection toaster oven, but am so far resisting it: I don't want to spend that much money, and I don't want to take up that much counter space.

So, what do you use? What would you recommend?

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While Fat Guy swears by his utilitarian Black and Decker, I love our Cuisinart:

Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven Broiler (Amazon)

We use it in our kitchen more than any other appliance. The convection feature is awesome and we've actually baked and broiled stuff in it, quite frequently in fact.

Its more expensive than other Toaster Ovens. Ok, at $129, even at a serious discount from its original $200+ price tag, its damnned expensive for a toaster oven. But you may find you end up using it more than your regular oven. Its also kind of rediculous to refer to it as a mere Toaster Oven, since its totally computerized and its a 1500 watt appliance. Yes, it makes toast, if you really want it for that. It does a particularly good job on bagels.

However, for Toast-N-Serve, we have a $7 toaster from Target, exclusively for that purpose.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Dude, I haven't had the Black & Decker since before we started this crazy thing, back when it was just me, you and Fat-Guy.com. For the past 3 or so years I've had a KitchenAid toaster (not a toaster oven) like this

I have, however, recently catapulted myself several generations of technology into the future with the purchase of a Panasonic FlashXPress infrared digital toaster oven with kung-fu grip, like this except in stainless.

I will report on this thing once I actually put it into service, but right now I'm reorganizing the kitchen so it will be a little while longer.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I have what is virtually the same unit as Jason, except mine is older and has dials (husband doesn't like electronic keypads).

It is wonderful. Also serves as a mini-oven. Great for not only toast but small baking jobs when you don't want to spend what it costs to heat an entire oven for a couple of potatoes. Or during the summer. Quick to heat, quick to cool.

Great toast.

But for those toast-n-serve bags, the cheapo Target is the best (I got mine on sale for $4.97!). It too makes great toast.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I have an indoor, stove-top electric grill. Works great for toast! You can even do steaks on it, and it's so easy. For example, last Saturday night, I just pulled out a steak, sprinkled a little coarse salt and freshly ground pepper on it, flopped it on the hot grill, turned it over with my tongs, watched the fat drip, watched the fat catch fire, pulled off the steak to let the fire die down, watched the fire flare up, put a cookie sheet over the grill to strangle the fire, peeked under the cookie sheet, wached the fire flare and burn, walked to the cupboad, pulled out the fire extinguisher, and pppphhhhhhhhooooooot! All done!

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But for those toast-n-serve bags, the cheapo Target is the best (I got mine on sale for $4.97!).  It too makes great toast.

Okay, inquiring minds want to know: What is a Toast-n-Serve bag, and what is it used for, since I assume you don't need one for toast?

Moving on from there:

We had one of the original GE Toast-R-Ovens in our kitchen in KC, and I remember it rather fondly. I believe Black & Decker still makes this model or a lookalike successor to it. Compared to what else is out there, like that Panasonic gizmo, it's very simple and bare-bones, but it does the job for small stuff.

It also does the one thing I think everyone should have a toaster oven for well: make oven-buttered toast.

However, I do not have a toaster oven at present--I have a two-slice Sunbeam vertical toaster (a prize won at a bingo night about 10 years ago) instead. So I guess I'm all ready to go with those Toast-n-Serve thingies.

That Panasonic model looks pretty cool and versatile, and at about $80 on Amazon.com, it's not all that outrageously priced, either.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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I have an indoor, stove-top electric grill. Works great for toast! You can even do steaks on it, and it's so easy. For example, last Saturday night, I just pulled out a steak, sprinkled a little coarse salt and freshly ground pepper on it, flopped it on the hot grill, turned it over with my tongs, watched the fat drip, watched the fat catch fire, pulled off the steak to let the fire die down, watched the fire flare up, put a cookie sheet over the grill to strangle the fire, peeked under the cookie sheet, wached the fire flare and burn, walked to the cupboad, pulled out the fire extinguisher, and pppphhhhhhhhooooooot! All done!

Yours must be one of those grill-over-a-heating coil models.

I've got one where the heating element is incorporated into the grill surface (a DeLonghi Alfredo), and I've never had a problem with flareups. I also like the way it grills.

Cleaning it, however, is a minor PITA.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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I've got one called the Euro Pro. I have no idea where my husband found this. It has a convection baking feature, also a grill and broil feature. When it toasts, it kinda convects-toasts, which means that the bread slowly browns on the edges and dries out at the same time and doesn't really toast at all.

I have yet to figure out the difference between the grill and broil feature. I've spent many puzzled minutes hunched over, peering into the glass window at the top and bottom elements, wondering what was going on in there.

I've baked a chicken in it just fine. And mochi. But it doesn't toast. Don't buy this one (if you can even find it...)

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That Panasonic model looks pretty cool and versatile, and at about $80 on Amazon.com, it's not all that outrageously priced, either.

They actually just knocked $20 off the price a few days ago to bring it down to $80. It was $100 for the longest time before that. Who knows how long it will stay at $80, so grab it if you want it.

I confess part of the reason I chose this thing over some other contenders had nothing to do with the FlashXPress technology. What I like is that for a full-featured toaster oven it has a really narrow footprint. It only needs 13" of counter space (width). That's because all the controls and mechanisms and such are in a vertical arrangement. A standard Black & Decker toaster oven, by contrast, needs almost 19" (even though its interior appears to hold less than the Panasonic). That's a big difference in a New York City kitchen. Although, if you have an appropriate place for it (I don't) you can mount a Black & Decker under a cabinet, which is an excellent arrangement (my mother saves a nice parcel of counter space this way). Most other brands don't offer that kind of bracket.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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But for those toast-n-serve bags, the cheapo Target is the best (I got mine on sale for $4.97!).  It too makes great toast.

Okay, inquiring minds want to know: What is a Toast-n-Serve bag, and what is it used for, since I assume you don't need one for toast?

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=30747&st=0

You have been warned.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Ah, the pleasure of posting a topic before bed, then awakening to nine responses. Thanks, all.

Jason, that Cuisinart looks supa-dupa-fly. But I don't know whether I can persuade the missus to invest 130 clams from her holiday bonus to support my hobby. I'll try to get her liquored up tonight and work my magic.

Steven, 80 bucks for the Panasonic is a lot more reasonable, and I really like the 13" size. I hereby command you to try it out and report back! Or, um, something.

Anyway, I'm not going to order anything until after this weekend: any more recommendations?

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Ah, the pleasure of posting a topic before bed, then awakening to nine responses.  Thanks, all.

Jason, that Cuisinart looks supa-dupa-fly.  But I don't know whether I can persuade the missus to invest 130 clams from her holiday bonus to support my hobby.  I'll try to get her liquored up tonight and work my magic.

Steven, 80 bucks for the Panasonic is a lot more reasonable, and I really like the 13" size.  I hereby command you to try it out and report back!  Or, um, something. 

Anyway, I'm not going to order anything until after this weekend: any more recommendations?

Just a further endorsement of the Cuisinart - I love mine and use it almost daily for baking, roasting, broiling and toasting. But don't get the white model! Mine is now looking very used as it scorched around the door.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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What are your opinions on Delonghi toaster ovens? I was thinking of buying one that is also a convection oven and rotisere.

"Homer, he's out of control. He gave me a bad review. So my friend put a horse head on the bed. He ate the head and gave it a bad review! True Story." Luigi, The Simpsons

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What are your opinions on Delonghi toaster ovens?  I was thinking of buying one that is also a convection oven and rotisere.

I'm a huge fan of Delongi, and swear I'll put a couple into the yet-to-be-redesigned home kitchen! The older dial control style (as opposed to push-button)seems to be very reliable, and the thermostat is very dependable. Legs o' lamb, whole chooks, kids snacks, and yes, even toast, comes out perfectly every time, though I echo the previous comment about colour; the top of our previously white model now resembles the toast that it produces!

"Venite omnes qui stomacho laboratis et ego restaurabo vos"

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I have a Toastmaster Deluxe Oven Broiler, and I love it. Bakes, broils, makes great toast. It was probably fairly inexpensive as it was a grad gift to me from younger brother when I was heading out of state for grad school in 1996. We use it all the time and never have had any problem with it.

I just googled Toastmaster and amazon.com has one model on sale for $23.99 right now (the 4-Slice Toaster Oven Broiler, smaller than mine, but also only a 14.5" footprint, 8" deep). Probably good if you're looking for a small/inexpensive/no frills unit. They also have a fancy-schmancy model with timer for $79. Looks more like the one I've been using for 8+ years, with the larger interior/footprint of mine, but I have no timer. So I think you're paying for the larger unit with timer there. Also 3 yr warranty.

There a several different models of Toastmaster, including the Ultravection, that I would be interested in if I were buying now, for $99, convection/ radiant/conduction combo cooking. Bells and whistles included. :wink:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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I have a DeLonghi Retro toaster oven that I got to replace the cheapy Black & Decker model I'd had for the previous 10 years or so. Within two years, the dial that controls the toaster timer (and turns the oven part on) broke, so that the only way to turn off the toaster was to unplug it. :sad: I spent $50 to get it fixed, and THAT dial broke within a week. This time it was fixed for free (I might add, this was at a local repair shop, not through DeLonghi, since my toaster oven was out of warranty, and they basically told me I was SOL), and it's been fine since (going on a couple of months now), but I am leery. If it breaks again, I will probably switch to the Cuisinart, though it doesn't have the swinging retro styling of my deLonghi.

That and buying a $7 toaster from Target for those freaking toast-n-serve bags! :laugh:

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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But for those toast-n-serve bags, the cheapo Target is the best (I got mine on sale for $4.97!).  It too makes great toast.

We had one of the original GE Toast-R-Ovens in our kitchen in KC, and I remember it rather fondly. I believe Black & Decker still makes this model or a lookalike successor to it. Compared to what else is out there, like that Panasonic gizmo, it's very simple and bare-bones, but it does the job for small stuff.

It also does the one thing I think everyone should have a toaster oven for well: make oven-buttered toast.

The GE Automatic Toast-R-Oven was the best ever made, and still is to this day because it shut off automatically.

I was told, when I inquired of Black and Decker, that when GE sold their patents to Black & Decker, they did not include the patents for this appliance and it was no longer produced.

I have three, two I bought new, the first one in the late 60s and the second in the mid 70s and the third I picked up at a Goodwill store a few years ago, for a back up.

I have all of them rewired for safety by a great appliance shop that does great work.

Apparently a lot of people are hanging onto them for dear life because one rarely sees them on ebay when others are quite common.

One of the doctors in our office discovered one at a different appliance repair place and since he liked the one I had in the office, he bought it for his home. Like me, he wonders why this is no longer produced as it is fast, neat, has a small footprint and with the little pan that can be used for cooking drippy stuff, it is great for little English muffin pizzas and open-faced melted sandwiches and etc.

Since the pans have parted company with some appliances over the years, it is nice to know that the small disposable "biscuit" and "grill" pans made of aluminum foil fit this appliance nicely.

When it was first introduced, it was very expensive, far more than the usual toaster ovens, because it was automatic and had variable temperature controls that worked.

It was the culmination of several years of GE experimenting and evolving toaster ovens and it was a gem. If you can find one in good condition for a reasonable price, get it and have it rewired by a professional who will also check the rheostat. I guarantee that you will be pleased with it.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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What are your opinions on Delonghi toaster ovens?  I was thinking of buying one that is also a convection oven and rotisere.

I've had Alfredo for I don't know how long -- at least 20 years? The one I have is like the Elite, but no interior light. Just toast, broil, regular bake. Very early on, while it was still under warranty, I had to have one of the heating elements replaced, but it has been just fine the whole time since.

I use it for toast, melting cheese/browning gratins, baking potatoes, heating leftovers, drying bread for crumbs, roasting nuts -- small oven jobs for which it seems unnecessary to turn on the regular oven. I do NOT use it to broil anything that might spit, but that's mostly because I keep it right up at eye level.

I like it just fine, and have never wished it would just die so that I could replace it. And it shows no signs of dying, even after all these years.

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Just a further endorsement of the Cuisinart - I love mine and use it almost daily for baking, roasting, broiling and toasting.  But don't get the white model!  Mine is now looking very used as it scorched around the door.

Tell me about it! My "white" Cuisinart is all yellow and brown around the door and looks quite tired even though it's only two years old but it works like a charm. It does, however, take up a lot of precious counter space.

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  • 1 month later...

I've been very, very happy so far with the Panasonic FlashXPress unit. It looks good, it works well and it's really fast. It comes up to temperature almost instantly and it uses a combination of two types of elements to heat at an alarming rate. Or, you can use it for normal oven-type uses and it works very well at that too. I'm still getting used to some of the automatic settings, and I don't really understand the sensor technology that it uses to adjust the time -- some sort of thermostat, I guess? -- but it works well and that's what matters.

Sorry I haven't had a chance to get a good photo of the unit, but here's a bad photo of an 8"x8" Corningware casserole being used to reheat short ribs in the unit:

gallery_1_773_50410.jpg

Just out of curiosity, how long does it take you all to toast an average slice of bread in your toasters?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I have the DeLonghi convection model, dials, not digital. I am still in love with the thing after all these years.

Toast? Not fast. Maybe 5 - 7 minutes.

But it reheats a foil package of frozen meat (I never nuke meat.) in about 15 minutes.

We have used it to bake 9 inch pies around Thanksgiving when we were running out of ovens.

I have used the dehydrator setting to dehi tangerine peels and herbs.

I must use it at least once a day.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Allow me to chime in and endorse the Cuisinart toaster oven. It is a superb piece of equipment. I use it daily - as a toaster, an oven, and as a convection oven.

But I must also say that I agree with those who have warned about getting the white one. Don't do it. Get the black one. The white model discolors very quickly around the door and will start looking ugly very soon after you buy it. But it cooks beautifully.

Dave

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That Panasonic oven looks really cool. I have to admit I am a bit of a fan of anything Panasonic made, I have one of their microwaves, camcorders, DVD-players (one amongst many), and lots of other stuff, none of it has let me down. I also think it is cool how brightly it glows.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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