While many cooks overlook the toaster oven, those who use them are thrilled with how convenient they are. They don’t take up much room, they are inexpensive and they work well at baking and roasting foods. Surprisingly, toaster ovens don’t toast foods very well although the broiler feature can do a good job of browning and melting foods One of the best priced and best made toaster ovens is the Hamilton Beach countertop oven with a roll top door.
Hamilton Beach made a change with this oven that is both cosmetic and practical. The front of the toaster oven is curved, giving the appliance a sleek, aerodynamic look. That’s the cosmetic change. The practical change came with the additional of a roll top door that follows the curve. This gives you easy access to the oven rack, allowing you to pull out the pans and food without running the risk of burning yourself an the door. What a great idea!
Toaster ovens work by having a steady source of heat, in this case the heating unit at the bottom of the unit. A convection oven works by having a heat source and then using fans to circulate the heat, making food cook more evenly and quicker. This is the benefit you receive with the Hamilton Beach oven. It’s a toaster oven, and a very good one. But it’s also a convection oven, meaning the your foods will be evenly baked and in a shorter period of time. Convection ovens seem to intimidate some people, but they are very simple to use. You will hear some fan noise, but it is surprisingly quiet.
There’s A Lot Of Room In This Toaster Oven
One of the complaints with toaster ovens in the past has been that they were too small to hold a baking sheet or even a frozen pizza. That may have been true 20 years ago, but that has changed dramatically. There is room in this oven for a 12″ pizza or a 9″X 12″ baking sheet, meaning you can bake almost anything that you would usually do in your conventional oven. The glass front allows you to see how things are progressing and the roll top front makes it very easy to rotate foods and pull them out when they are done.
Thanks to the roll top door design, clean up is a breeze. The crumb tray slides out and can be wiped off with a towel. The oven rack also slides out easily and can be cleaned with a damp dish cloth. The inside of the oven is smooth and wipes clean in seconds with a damp towel.
The controls are also easy to use. Situated on the right front panel, they clearly spell out what each control is for. Set the temperature with one dial, the process with the middle dial and a timer with the third dial.
Why use a toaster oven? Convenience is the main reason. If you have a frozen pizza to make, why heat up your entire kitchen? Same if you want to make just a dozen fresh baked cookies. Your toaster oven heats up in minutes, cooks in the same time cycle as your traditional oven but saves energy. You use less electricity and you waste a lot less heat. If you bake a lot, you won’t be giving up your traditional oven for a toaster oven, but you may be surprised at how often you use the toaster oven for small projects.
This unit is a very good deal. It almost always for less than $80 at retail, making it a good value. It’s well made (Hamilton Beach is a very respected manufacturer of quality kitchen appliances) and will last for a long time.