Looking for a new appliance to empower your kitchen? Craving crispy, perfectly baked toast every morning? A toaster oven might just be what you are looking for!
This comprehensive review is going to help you find the perfect one. Right here, on this page – you will dive into the world of powerful toaster ovens and learn what makes them tick! You will also get to see some of the best 4-slice toaster ovens money can buy!
In a hurry! This is our list of the best 4 slice toaster oven for most home cooks.
- Best Overall Toaster Oven: Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven
- Most Versatile toaster oven: Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven
- Best Toaster Oven for Storage: Hamilton Beach Countertop Toaster Oven
- Best Value Toaster Oven: BLACK+DECKER Countertop Toaster Oven
- Best Energy Efficient Toaster Oven: Mueller Toaster Oven 4 Slice
What's A Toaster Oven And Why Is It Worth Buying?
A toaster oven is usually a counter-top appliance that can be used to bake, broil or roast various food types. Its small, compact size and a variety of settings make it a good alternative to a conventional oven.
However, a toaster oven can’t actually replace it entirely. It has obvious limitations, such as size, temperature ranges and temperature control. It is still a very useful appliance and can be used for everyday cooking.
Toaster ovens definitely worth buying if your kitchen space is limited. They can easily be placed on kitchen countertops. Their generally lightweight build and easy setup makes them easy to relocate. Their size and compact design can transform even the smallest kitchen space into a cozy kitchenette, ready to dole out a quality meal!
What is A 4-slice toaster oven?
A 4 slice toaster oven is designed to toast up to 4 slice of bread or a 9” pizza at one go. Besides, you can also cook many recipes in this appliance. Since they're small in size, they won't take much space in your kitchen counter.
What's the difference between a toaster oven and microwave oven?
Although they do share some similarities, both of these appliances have very different uses. Starting with the way they cook food, over to the types of food they are able to cook, right down to how quick and energy-efficient they are during operation.
For starters, a toaster oven cooks food by generating heat inside to cook the food outside in. A microwave, on the other hand, uses electromagnetic waves to heat the food from inside out. This is why the microwave will always cook food faster than a toaster oven.
On the flip side, a microwave doesn’t have the capability to bake, broil or roast. It won’t be able to crisp or brown food. They can reheat, cook or defrost food. Food types that generally lack in water will not cook well in the microwave, coming out tough and stale after processing.
A toaster oven is perfect for baking, broiling and roasting. A lot of the toaster ovens come with those exact options and settings. Compared to the microwave, a toaster oven can easily bake, crisp and brown foods, but isn’t quite as good at defrosting or reheating. It will also take longer to heat up and generally cook slower than the microwave.
Are Toaster Ovens Safe?
The short answer is a very confident ‘Yes!’. Much like a wide range of kitchen appliances, to reduce the hazards of accidents or injuries, toaster oven have very advanced safety features.
A lot of the hazards associated with the toaster ovens occur due to improper handling or misuse. As long as you follow the best safety practices that come with each toaster oven – you’ll be good!
Of course, manufacturing defects and rare faults can still occur, but you can do a lot to prevent many of the risks. This includes always being present while your food is cooking, plugging the toaster oven out of the power socket when it is isn’t in use, and making sure you use toaster oven-safe containers and utensils when baking.
What is the advantage of a toaster oven with convection?
Think of these as your conventional toaster oven super-charged cousins. In addition to being able to cook food, a toaster oven with the convection powered heating will cook your food faster.
Not only will this make your ingredients cook faster and more thoroughly, but it will also heat up faster and consume less energy during use. Baking things like muffins and cookies is much easier with a convection-powered toaster oven.
The browning and crispiness the convection-powered toaster oven is unmatched by any other appliance. They might be slightly more expensive than a lot of the conventional toaster ovens, but definitely worth the extra price!
Best 4-Slice Toaster Oven Review
1. Panasonic FlashXpress Compact Toaster Oven: Best Overall Toaster Oven
The Panasonic FlashXpress is considered one of the best 4-slice toaster ovens you can find. It uses a special Double Infrared heating technology to ensure you cook quickly and with ease!
this 4 slice digital toaster oven is very flexible, temperature wise. It goes from 250°- 500°F. The functions aren’t limited only to toasting, baking or roasting. With the broil and defrost functions, you can easily use it in place of a microwave.
The temperature controls are very precise. Whatever temperature you set is what you get. You could also use one of the 6 preset auto-cook menus, designed specifically for certain types of food.
The Panasonic Countertop Toaster Oven is built with sturdy, heavy-duty stainless steel. Despite the materials, It is still very light, coming in at 7.5 pounds. This makes it easy to relocate and move around.
This toaster oven opens from the top, to get food in and out as soon as possible. The interior light and the see-through glass let you see inside as your food is cooking. Overall, we think this is the best toaster oven that makes the best toast faster than others in this price range.
Why we love it:
- Double Infrared Heating technology ensure evenly cooking food items
- Make toast faster and without any burning spots
- 6 auto-cook options to allow flexible food preparation
- Light enough to move around and carry if needed
- Built to last with industrial-grade stainless steel
- Working great for reheating smaller food items
- At best, it will fit a 9-inch pizza inside. That’s not too spacious.
- The pan that comes with this unit is discolors in dishwasher
2. Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven: Most Versatile toaster oven
The Breville Mini Smart Oven takes baking to the next level! With a new, innovative heating technology, you are guaranteed to get a bang for your buck out of this one!
It has 4 quartz 1800-watt heating elements that ensure stable heat of baked items. With its trademark Smart Element IQ feature, it transfers heat across them to get maximum baking efficiency. Toaster ovens are somewhat infamous for having terrible temperature control. This one begs to differ.
Rather than function buttons, the functions are turned on or switched through using a dial. The dial presents up to 8 different preset cooking functions. This lets you make perfect toast, toast bagels, bake pizza – and even make cookies! This is also one of the best oven for baking cakes at home.
To make baking easier, there is also a timer, to help you schedule and program preheating or cooking in advance.
This smallest toaster oven is made out of stainless steel. It has a steel powder coated housing. Even the interior has a non-stick interior cavity coating. Don’t let all of these metals scare you. The toaster oven only weighs 13 pounds, so it is still relatively easy to move.
Why we love it:
- Smart IQ heat distribution minimizes your electricity costs and maximizes baking power
- Whether you are in the mood for 4 decent slices of toast, an 11-inch pizza – this oven can take it
- 8 different cooking functions to give you enough variety
- A very sturdy, durable design
- Great for small space counter
- The alarm on the timer is extremely loud and there is no way to tone it down
- Does not support convection-assisted cooking.
3. Hamilton Beach Countertop Toaster Oven And Pizza Maker (31401): Best 4 slice Toaster Oven for Storage
Ready to hit the beach? The hamilton beach toaster oven will sizzle and bake your food like the heat of the Sun! This attractive countertop toaster oven fits 4 slices of toast, or a 9-inch pizza.
The interior of this small toaster oven is quiet spacious, so it can fit pizza, bread and a lot of small food items. Whether you are craving chicken nuggets, or a grilled cheese sandwich – this toaster oven will have it ready quickly!
This oven has only three settings. Bake, Broil and Toast. If you don’t like preset functions, you can always set the temperature manually. This toaster oven is extremely energy efficient. It is much faster and less power-consuming than other models and brands in this range.
If you like timed cooking, this oven comes equipped with a 30-minute timer. Simply start it and once the cycle is done, a bell will ring to let you know. It's also very easy to use and maintain.
This oven would be a great choice, if you're going to cook small batch of meal in a very short time. It wont take much time to heat up fully. However, the best selling point of this unit is that, it comes in a budget friendly price tag.
Why we love it:
- It heats very fast
- Spacious enough to make light dinners and crunchy toast
- Minimal energy consumption and maximum cooking power
- 30-minute timer with ready bell and safety shutoff feature
- Looks great on your countertop
- The power cord is very unusually short. That might be a problem
- The controls are very sensitive. Even the tiniest extra turn can drastically change the temperature.
4. BLACK+DECKER Countertop Convection Toaster Oven: Best Value Toaster Oven
If you need more than an ordinary toaster oven – look no further. Black+Decker has you covered with this powerful 4 slice convection toaster oven! This one is really great for serious toast afficionados. It goes as far as to let you choose the shade you want your toast to be!
This particular toaster oven packs quite a punch. Not because it can fit 4 slices of toast, or a 9-inch pizza. In addition to the standard toaster oven functions – there is a lot more to look forward to.
What makes this one stand out is that it has an air fry cooking function. This means that you can switch between traditional baking to air frying seamlessly. It has a total of five cooking functions. These are Air Fry, Broil, Bake, Toast and Keep Warm.
If you still don’t think this is powerful enough for you – no problem! Turn on the convection mode and bake even faster!
Why we love it:
- Triple Threat: Convection Cooking, Air Frying and Toasting all in one!
- Very spacious and compact
- Sleek countertop oven – It blends in with a modern kitchen design seamlessly
- The air frying function works great to cook food in a short time
- Extremely easy to use; great for elderly people
- Radiates a very large amount of heat when cooking
- Some users reported that it can get a bit loud at times
5. Mueller Toaster Oven 4 Slice: Best Energy Efficient Toaster Oven
And finally, we end our curated list with the Mueller toaster oven! This sleek looking appliance isn’t just eye candy. It is powered with the Even Toast Technology to evenly brown your toast and always ensure it is baked properly.
Reaching the maximum temperature of 450 Fahrenheit, it subs in very nicely for a conventional oven. It even has natural convection built in, to help the air circulate inside the interior. There is also a built-in 30 minute timer to help you time your baking for different food types.
The design is very polished and sleek, featuring a stainless steel finish to give it a layer of sturdiness and protection. It can toast, bake or broil things like toast, pizzas, bagels and instant hamburgers or hot dogs. You could even use it to fry up some crispy bacon bites if you wanted to!
The best things about this unit is that, it includes a baking tray and a rack which are easy to remove. Consequently, you will be able to cook smaller to larger size of food. Overall, a solid choice with a lot of cooking power.
Why we love it:
- An impressive 450 F maximum temperature
- Wonderful timer settings;
- Even Toast Technology to make sure your toast always comes out right
- 30-minute timer for the ‘set and forget’ bakers out there
- Natural convection cooking built-in
- The tray are easy to clean and remove
- It sometimes makes clicking noises while it toasts.
- The door handles sometimes get hot
What to look for when shopping for a 4 Slice toaster oven?
Now that we have a broad view of the range of the toaster ovens – we can talk about what to look for. With so many brands and different features available, finding the absolute best 4-slice toaster oven for your specific needs might be a little more difficult.
Keep reading to find out the best features and details to look out for!
Oven Size And Capacity:
Probably the most important feature, the toaster oven’s size and capacity will directly affect how much food you will be able to cook. The oven’s size might be an important factor if you want to save kitchen space.
Getting a smaller toaster oven probably means you’ll be sacrificing the amount of space you will have available for baking. Choose the size based on the available space.
Keep in mind that bigger is not always better. If you are only going to use a toaster oven to bake occasionally and maybe cook smaller servings of food – you may not want to pick up a larger model.
Useful Functions & Accessories:
It’s not at all a secret that kitchen appliances come with a load of useful features and goodies. Toaster ovens are no different. The functions are all fairly similar and straightforward to understand.
You can use these functions to toast, bake, broil, roast or even defrost food in some cases. Some toaster ovens will have food warming functions. These are especially useful when you want to keep food warm while other dishes are being eaten.
Other useful features include an LCD screen, timer for timed baking, or auto-eject racks, to push the racks out automatically once you open the toaster oven.
Goodies that come with your toaster oven vary based on the manufacturer. Some of them are going to come with non-stick baking pans and other bakeware. Others may include toaster oven liner, a crisper, or all of the above.
Ease Of Operation:
Certain toaster oven models can be difficult to operate. Whether it’s the layout of the control panel, or the buttons and labels being difficult to read – there could be some obstacles.
Try to choose a toaster oven model that has a bright LCD display, interior lights and clearly legible functions and labels.
If you are not used to operating toaster ovens, you might want to start yourself off with a model that offers less functions and then gradually work your way up.
This is something that is usually reserved for the higher end of the range. Even the best inexpensive toaster oven won’t include some of the extra features, that are usually there to give you more cooking flexibility.
A good example of this would be the steamer add-on. Some advanced models will have the ‘steam’ function and will have a water reservoir built in, to let you poach foods or make fancy artisanal bread!
Others will have additional settings and accessories to enable air frying or dehydrating food. This could bring your toaster oven closer to having some microwave features. Don’t worry, it will still be the baking powerhouse your kitchen needs!
Finally, you need to set a budget for your purchase. Some toaster ovens will come with a great deal. Some of them won’t be too harsh on your wallet. But some of the more high end models can cost up to several hundreds of dollars.
Before plunging into the shopping bit, take your time to figure out how much money you can afford to spend on one. This will also help you narrow down the range you are shopping in.
FAQ's For Toaster Oven
Q1: Can you make pizza in a toaster oven?
Ans: Absolutely! In fact, some professional pizzaiolos will argue that using a toaster oven is better than using the highest quality pizza stones! The secret is in the toaster oven’s size. As they are usually fairly small in size – they tend to heat up quicker. This leads to more thorough cooking, faster baking and efficient browning all at once! A lot of the toaster ovens are large enough to make 9" to 13" pizzas. Just keep the size in mind.
Q2: Can I use a toaster oven to bake?
Ans: Of course! Although, you might want to scale your ingredients down a bit. A toaster oven isn’t large enough to bake conventional oven-size servings in. You can very easily bake bread, roast a chicken, make lasagna or make brownies in a toaster oven!
There is no universal best 4-slice toaster oven. Everyone has the top pick according to their own needs. This is why this article helps you see different ranges and models. It educates you on the different features and functions you can find.
Be sure to research your brands and set a tight budget before you shop. As far as our personal recommendation goes – Panasonic FlashXpress knocks it out of the park. Definitely a good, versatile choice for your kitchen. It’s a bit on the expensive side but definitely worth it.
As for the best inexpensive toaster oven out there – we strongly recommend Hamilton Beach (31401) Countertop Toaster Oven for its reliability and efficiency.