Breville’s Do-It-All Mini Toaster Oven Might Be the Only Small Appliance You’ll Need (It’s on Sale!)
When it comes to kitchen gadgets, I’m a bit of a minimalist. My stand mixer and my blender are pretty much it in terms of small appliances. I do also have a food processor, which was a gift and is currently collecting dust on the shelf above my refrigerator. Part of this is my personality — I have a deep and profound love for streamlining my life and only owning the things I absolutely use — and the other part has to do with my kitchen. It’s small. It’s not as small as other rental kitchens I’ve had, but cabinet space and counter space are tight, so I need to be smart about what I do have.
That said, I have been on the market for some kind of toaster (regular or toaster oven) since I started eating toast late last year. I know that sounds impossible, but I just started eating toast! Ever since I the beginning of WFH life, I’ve had more time to devote to breakfast. And, that breakfast now involves making toast — with butter and jam, with nut butter and honey, with scrambled eggs, and, yes, with avocado. I’m about to make myself a slice of avocado toast with hard-boiled eggs on top right now.
I’ve tried using my oven and my stovetop, usually in combination with my cast-iron skillet. And, it’s fine. Really, it’s fine. It gets the job done. But, it takes time and patience and cleanup — and sometimes, especially on Mondays, it’s just too much. So, I’ve been searching for the perfect, compact, small-kitchen solution and, a few times, I thought I may have found it. There’s this extremely sleek version from BALMUDA, but as spiffy as it looks, it has a pretty hefty price tag ($300) and I wasn’t really looking to shell out a ton of dough if I knew there might be another viable option out there.
I also considered the considerably cheaper Courant Toaster Oven that’s just under $70, but it had several complaints about not working right out of the box or needing to be replaced. And, this mint green toaster oven from Dash, which is the cheapest of all for just $25. In this case, small is maybe too small. “This toaster oven is super tiny. Even one slice of wheat bread barely fit. Only one half of a bagel would possibly fit,” wrote one reviewer, adding, “It’s quite cute, however.” Ultimately, though, I decided on a tried-and-true brand and model recommend by a colleague here at the Kitchn’s who’s a gear pro: the Breville Mini Smart Oven.
This countertop workhorse can do everything from baking the perfect pizza and making delicious cookies to toasting fat slices of sourdough to perfection. Our pro describes this as the Tiffany box of toaster ovens — luxury in a tiny package. Its dimensions — 16 by 14.25 by 8.5 inches — make it just right for my 24-by-24-inch bit of counter space next to the stove, which is really too small to do much prep work on.
Most importantly, the toast setting is a no-brainer that gets it right every time. And, in addition to successfully toasting my morning bread, it’s also a winner for roasting, baking, and broiling, when I can’t be bothered to take out the sheet pans and cast-iron skillet I have stored in my oven. Plus, it has a nonstick coating on the interior, smart algorithms that prevent uneven heating, a fast preheat time that’s perfect for weeknight meals, and an easy-to-read LCD display.
Even better, it’s usually $180, but right now it’s on sale for $127, which is good news for you — but less good for me, as I paid full price!
Buy: Breville Mini Smart Oven, $127.95 (Normally $179.95)