In Search of Toaster Oven Advice

kitchen

I’m veering a bit off the beaten canning path today. I find myself in need of small kitchen appliance advice and I know of no better place to turn than you lovely, well-informed people.

So. Here we have my kitchen. It’s not a large space (it has a footprint of 80 square feet), but as you can see, I manage to squeeze a lot in there. This is where nearly every cooking project you’ve seen featured on this site was created. Never let it be said that you need a giant, gourmet kitchen to make good stuff.

appliance corner

Here’s my primary small appliance area. Microwave (that curvy, space-age looking device), toaster oven, Vita Mix (best blender in the whole, wide world) and beloved Soda Stream.

toaster oven

And now to the toaster oven, the focus of our little tour here. I am a devoted user of toaster ovens. Yes, they’re good for morning toast (that then gets slathered in homemade jam). However, they’re also great for roasting sweet potatoes, reconstituting leftover pizza and baking up a few frozen cookies when a late-evening dessert craving strikes.

Up until last summer, I had an ancient Black & Decker that was paneled in fake wood grain (much like my cabinets) that I bought at a thrift store in the first weeks I moved to Philadelphia in 2002. It was ancient but highly functional. However, after eight years of heavy use (and who knows how many before it came to me), it slowly stopped working effectively. It started taking three full toasting cycles to get a nice brown on a slice of bread and so Scott and I decided to replace it.

Because that original model had been so good to us, we bought what we thought was the newer model of the same toaster oven. Sadly, it has not proven to be as wonderful as my thrift store oven. Ten months in, the spring on the door has already broken. The rack is really hard to scoot in and out. And it heats really unevenly. All in all, it’s been a stinker of a toaster oven. I use it at least once a day and so the decision has been made that as soon as we get through tax season, we’re buying a new toaster oven.

This is where you guys come in. I’m looking for a reliable, unfancy toaster oven that can fit in the space over my microwave. If you have a toaster oven you love, please let me know. Alternately, if you know a particular model to be poorly built and frustrating to use, please tell me that too. Thank you all!

 

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67 Responses to In Search of Toaster Oven Advice

  1. 51
    Yosha says:

    May I ask where you got your chalk board? I’ve been looking for something like that for a while!

    Thanks!

  2. 52
    Nathalie says:

    Great site! I know this is a bit late, but we have a GE toaster oven/rotisserie oven, and it’s awesome! The trays move in and out beautifully, it cooks very evenly, the door (the main reason I bought it) sits a bit inside its frame so you don’t lose heat, and the door is very very study! I couldn’t recommend it more. Ours is like this one: http://www.gehousewares.com/Browse_Product.aspx?category_id=6

  3. 53

    […] jars winking from the stocked pantry. But the reverse is true: all the magic happens in her 80-square-foot apartment kitchen in Philly, jam-packed (heh!) with tools & gadgets, and complete with electric range, chalkboard […]

  4. 54

    […] preserving in and around everyday life, producing jars of goodness, one season at a time, in her tiny Philadelphia kitchen. Congratulations, Marisa: the book is truly a gem, and one that I will treasure for years to […]

  5. 55

    […] many of you know, I live in a fairly compact apartment (remember these pictures of my kitchen?). My husband and I have something in the neighborhood of 1,050 square feet that we […]

  6. 56

    Can not wait to go purchasing! I am cashing in about the Kitchen
    Aide this yr, thanks for the tip!

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