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These are the Best Toaster Ovens For Busy Parents

They heat up fast, and cook your food even faster.

While toaster ovens do take up coveted counter space, they’re well worth the sacrifice. The best toaster ovens are roomier and more versatile than slot toasters, heat up more quickly than full-size ovens, and can give your food crispiness that microwaves can only dream of. If you ever find yourself with soggy leftover pizza or burnt bagels, a compact toaster oven can be a godsend. It’s certainly a clutch piece of kitchen gear. 

Whether you’re replacing an older model or buying your very first toaster oven, toaster ovens provide a quick, easy, and energy-efficient alternative to your traditional oven. With so many brands offering different bells and whistles, it’s challenging to pick the right one for your kitchen. Do you want a basic toaster oven model, one that simply heats up food? Or do you want a toaster oven that’s fancier, which is essentially a multi-purpose oven that air fries, broils, slow cooks, warms, and, oh yeah, heats up food? 

Calling the Tovala a toaster oven is a misnomer. First of all, if you're really into saving time, you just order the brand's prepped meals, scan the QR code, and the oven does all the cooking for you. If you'd rather freestyle it, the countertop machine that combines four types of appliances: a broiler, a steamer, an oven, and a toaster, so you can cook whatever you want. As for the brand's meals, they're delicious (albeit, the portions are small), in particular the salmon. Comes out flawless every time. This is particularly a boon for busy parents, who don't want to bother with reading instructions and just need something hot on the table. And it's got a small enough footprint that it's at home on your counter.

No, the Breville doesn't do the thinking for you. But it's the next best thing if you want a smart oven that checks all the boxes. You can use it to toast, bake, roast (an entire chicken), broil, make a pizza, reheat, warm, and slow cook. It reduces your cooking time by around 30 percent in the convection setting. It looks good, it's easy to use, and we've used this thing to make casseroles, roast lamb, and perfect chocolate chip cookies.

If you need an air fryer, this oven delivers. It comes with an air fry basket. Plus it has 11 precision cooking functions including air frying, baking, toasting, broiling, roasting, dehydrating, warming and defrosting. This oven is a great choice for kitchen-challenged parents, because of its high contrast LCD screen that gives you superior cooking control.

So you say: Screw the smart cooking, and forget the air frying. I just want a damn fine toaster oven. Here you go. The handsome Balmuda uses steam technology, heat control, and five different modes to make any kind of bread the height of perfection. Use on sandwich bread. On pizza. On artisan bread. Everything comes out soft, fluffy, and savory.

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