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How Do I Choose the Best Table Top Oven?

By Susan Grindstaff
Updated May 16, 2024
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If you are thinking of purchasing a counter top or table top oven, one of the most important considerations is the space you have available for the unit. In addition, you will need to decide if you want a regular heated coil oven, a convection oven, or a microwave. How you plan to use the table top oven will also be important; for instance, will it be your primary means of cooking or only serve as a backup? These are questions you will need to answer to avoid making a costly mistake.

To determine your available space, you will need to measure the area you have in mind. You should measure the width and depth and make a note of the measurements. If height is an issue, such as with tables or counters situated below cabinetry, be sure and measure that as well. Once you have those measurements in hand, you will have automatically narrowed down your choices. Any table top oven you purchase should be no larger than your available space.

Convection ovens are popular because the units typically cook more evenly than other types of ovens. Convection units heat food by the rotation of hot air rather than by heated coils or microwaves. These ovens also cook a bit faster than traditional ovens, though not nearly as quickly as microwave models. Some table top ovens can be purchased that offer both convection and microwave cooking options. These models are typically more expensive, but having more than one method of cooking available may be worth the added expense.

Another type of table top oven is the traditional toaster oven. These are available in various sizes, with some models being large enough to cook meal-sizes dishes such as casseroles and pizza. This type of table top oven is usually the most inexpensive and readily available of all counter top baking units. The oven cooks by using heated coils, and is suitable for most any type of oven cooking.

Microwave table top ovens are reasonably priced and come in a wide variety of sizes. They cook much faster than either toaster type coil ovens or convection ovens. These ovens are usually available with rotating discs that turn the food as it cooks. In spite of this, microwave cooking is often uneven, and does not work well for baking or broiling, because microwaves do not brown the food as it is cooked.

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Discussion Comments

By anon351228 — On Oct 12, 2013

In a 20 ltr. convection oven, how much food can I cook?

By nextcorrea — On Feb 16, 2012

I would really like to get a little rotisserie oven. It doesn't need to be massive, just big enough for a chicken or maybe a rack of lamb.

I love rotisserie chicken but I always feel like I am overpaying when I buy it at the store. You can buy a frozen chicken for half of what you pay for a premade rotisserie. With a little planning I could have delicious, juicy chicken any night I wanted.

By truman12 — On Feb 16, 2012

Its a good idea to check out the outlets around the place you will be plugging in your oven. I bought one a few years back and didn't even think to check. I went to plug it in and realized that I was trying to go three prong to two prong. I was able to get an adapter cheaply, but if I had checked fist I could have saved myself the hassle.

By ZsaZsa56 — On Feb 15, 2012

You should really consider quality when you are buying a table top convection oven. This is not just for the sake of your food. It's for your safety.

Some of the really cheap models present real fire hazards. If they are left on too long they can short a circuit or create so much heat that things around them catch fire.

I work with a lot of fire statistics and we see instances involving small ovens all the time. Most of these are the bottom of the line models. Ensure the safety of yourself and the people around you and invest a little money on a well built model.

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