Consumer Reports tests toaster ovens

SAN ANTONIO – Sure, you can reheat pizza and make a quick meal in a microwave, but don’t overlook the other trusty countertop staple: the toaster oven. Consumer Reports has been testing them for decades, including brand new models that do a lot more than toast and reheat.

Toaster ovens are versatile. You can bake cookies, broil burgers, and reheat leftovers.

To see how well a toaster oven can reheat foods, testers heated up frozen lasagnas. To check how well they can bake, testers whipped up batches of sugar cookies and corn muffins.

Consumer Reports also looks at the features and how easy toaster ovens are to use. And, yes, that includes how well the appliance can toast. Believe it or not, there is an industry standard chart that helps testers score how well each toaster performs. The best toasters match the evenly browned toast in the toast color chart. 

So which toaster oven handles all of those tasks? The $170 Breville is top-rated. Plus, it’s one of the least expensive models Consumer Reports tested. It turns out perfectly browned toast, is very good at baking and reheating and it’s easy to use. Even better, it’s compact, so it won’t take up as much precious counter space. 

Consumer Reports said some additional features to look for when shopping for a toaster oven include an interior light, so you can check in on your food without opening the door, and a countdown timer to see how much more cooking time remains.  

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