best countertop oven

5 Best Countertop Ovens for a Small Kitchen Space

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

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A countertop oven is a tinier version of other ovens like the wall or the kitchen range. The oven can be placed on a countertop and used conveniently. 

Best Countertop Oven

1) Instant Omni Pro Toaster Oven

Sale
Instant Omni Air Fryer Toaster Oven Combo 19 QT/18L,...
  • 7-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Air fry, broil, bake, roast, toast, warm,...
  • EvenCrisp TECHNOLOGY: Advanced technology that drives air flow...
  • EXTRA LARGE CAPACITY: Easily fits a 12” pizza, 6 slices of...
  • FAST PREHEATING: Little to no preheating time, from frozen to...
  • FAST PREHEATING: Little to no preheating time, from frozen to...

The Instant Omni pro toaster oven is the best air frying oven and that is why I have it in my kitchen. The oven has 14 cooking functions to try out, a feature that is twice as much as most ovens on the market. In addition, the oven has a split-cook combination, making it a very competitive option. The best part is that I can use these two features simultaneously.

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The oven has an even-crisp technology that ensures a consistently crisp finish to the food I am preparing. The toaster oven has a double-layered glass door to keep the heat inside for maximum cooking. In addition, the Omni toaster oven comes with a temperature probe and other accessories that make my time with the oven a fun cooking time.

Pros:

  • Large cooking space
  • Advanced safety features
  • Double layered glass door
  • Even-crisp technology
  • 14-in-1 functions
  • Split-cook feature
  • Temperature probe and other accessories

Cons:

  • Tending to different foods when split cooking might affect the cooking process.

2) Breville Smart Oven Pro

Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven Convection Toaster Oven,...
  • The Breville Smart Oven with Element iQ System is for the home...
  • ELEMENT iQ SYSTEM: Using 5 independent quartz elements, smart...
  • CONVECTION POWERED: The Smart Oven's convection setting reduces...
  • 9 COOKING FUNCTIONS: versatile countertop oven with 9 cooking...
  • LARGE CAPACITY: Large 18.5 x 15.7 x 11.1 inch interior with...

Breville smart oven is a smart oven with Element IQ, which allows me to roast, dehydrate and air-fry food. The oven has 6 independent quartz heat technology options with smart algorithms to steer heat where needed.

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Breville smart oven is a perfect oven air fryer for recipes such as French fries and common household delicacies. In addition, the oven has a super-convection feature that most cooking appliances lack. This places the oven at the top of the best toaster ovens.

The oven has 13 cooking functions, which makes it the most versatile option on the market. The interior light gives it a classy look and comes in handy in low-light situations. In addition, the oven comes with a pizza pan, basket rack, and more accessories.

Pros:

  • 30% faster than other ovens13 cooking functions
  • Air frying options
  • Element IQ system
  • Super-convection oven
  • Extra large capacity
  • Interior oven light
  • LCD

Cons:

  • The oven is ideal for home and not commercial use.

3) OSTER Convection Oven

Sale
Oster Convection Oven, 8-in-1 Countertop Toaster Oven,...
  • Single door pull opens both doors with 1 hand ease and...
  • Digital controls provide precise cooking time and temperature to...
  • Turbo convection baking technology cooks faster and browns more...
  • Two racks provide maximum cooking flexibility; This oven control...
  • Extra large interior accommodates 2 16 inches pizzas; Preheat...

OSTER is a good-looking countertop toaster oven that is good-looking and convenient. The toaster oven has two doors that both open when one door is pulled making it convenient to use on the go. In addition, the countertop oven has intentional designs to make it easy to use.

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OSTER countertop oven has a turbo convection baking technology that cooks food faster. The food in the oven also browns faster, making the toaster great for different recipes. I can fit up to 2 16-inch pizzas in the oven, making it one of the largest countertop ovens.

Pros:

  • Large countertop oven
  • Convenient and easy to use
  • Turbo convection baking technology
  • Auto-shut off
  • LCD
  • Fit up to two pizzas in the oven
  • Best countertop oven for a large family

Cons:

  • Limited to home use

4) LUBY Large Toaster Oven

LUBY Large Toaster Oven Countertop, French Door...
  • Large countertop oven - Enough for baking a 14-inch pizza,...
  • French door designed - When the door is open, it does not occupy...
  • Separate temperature selector - separate and precise temperature...
  • Simply control & 60-minute timer - set the temperature and timer...
  • Fast & even heating - Luby electric oven can be heated fast and...

LUBY toaster oven is the best-looking countertop oven in this category. The oven has French doors, which adds to its aesthetics and makes the food inside look delicious. A 14-inch pizza can fit inside the oven. In addition, the oven has multiple recipes that can be prepared inside, making it a versatile choice.

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LUBY toaster oven has a split cook feature with a separate temperature selector for the upper and lower racks. The feature allows me to prepare two different recipes simultaneously. In addition, the toaster oven has a timer to ensure the foods I am preparing are properly cooked.

Pros:

  • Auto-shut off feature
  • Split-cook feature
  • Fast and even cooking
  • French door design
  • Large countertop oven
  • Bake pan and other accessories included

Cons:

  • No digital display

5) Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven

Wolf Gourmet Elite Digital Countertop Convection...
  • A WOLF OVEN IN COUNTERTOP FORM: Enjoy all the features of a...
  • ADVANCED CONVECTION TECHNOLOGY: Countertop convection oven...
  • 7 COOKING MODES: Bake, Roast, Broil, Warm, Proof, Bagel and Toast...
  • PRECISION TEMPERATURE PROBE: Offers the control to cook meat to...
  • ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: 2 easy-glide oven racks, a baking pan with...

This is one of the best toaster ovens I have seen on the market today. The oven has precise temperature control and a convection setting that allows for energy-efficient heating. In addition, the oven has 7 cooking modes for recipes, including bagels and pastries.

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The Wolf Gourmet countertop oven is best for cooking meats with its advanced convectional cooking functions. The convection toaster oven has accessories, including a baking pan, rolling rack, and temperature probe.

Pros:

  • Compact size for best countertop use
  • Precision temperature probe
  • Accessories included
  • 7 cooking modes
  • Advanced convection technology

Cons:

  • The oven can not take very large portions at a time.

Types of Ovens

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Ovens are not limited to countertop ovens; there are other types of ovens in the kitchen. They include the following. The distinguishing factors in the oven include the heating methods, style, size, and features.

Here are the different types of ovens.

1) Electric Oven

These are ovens that use burner elements for cooking food. The burner elements are powered by electricity. As a result, ovens are more affordable than conventional gas and are more readily available.

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The electric oven works by emitting heat that comes from the bottom upwards, just like in the gas oven. However, the oven does not release a lot of moisture in the air and gives a more evenly cooked food than their gas counterparts. You can observe this by looking at whether the food is burned on the sides or has hot spots.

The downside of these ovens is that you will not be able to use them when there is no electricity.

2) Gas Conventional Oven

This oven works almost like an electric oven but uses gas as the heat source. The gas oven has been around for longer and is more common than other types. The gas ovens come in different sizes and can be free-standing or part of a kitchen range.

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The ovens have heating elements that heat food from the bottom upwards, just like the electric oven. The oven might come with a separate compartment used for broiling. In most cases, you can use the broiling rack and the oven simultaneously when using a gas oven. They have better temperature control, making them energy efficient. Food heats up quickly, and you can cook food in large quantities at once.

The downside of the gas oven is uneven heating due to possible fluctuating temperatures. The other downside is the humid air produced by the oven, making it harder for foods like crisps to brown while using the oven.

Gas ovens are popular because they are easy to use.

3) Convection Ovens

A convection oven has a fan and an exhaust system that circulates hot air for more consistent heating. The ovens have a more crispy result on food, and the browning is more consistent once the food is cooked. The convection oven is known to heat food faster than other ovens.

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Food from the convection ovens has no cool or hot spots and comes out evenly cooked.

The other advantage of the conventional oven is that you can find it as a gas or electric oven, giving you an option to choose from. Furthermore, the oven can be standalone or a feature part in other ovens that allow you to switch from one oven type to another.

Not most people are familiar with the ovens and steer clear of them. However, the oven is one of the best ovens you can buy.

4) Toaster Ovens

A toaster oven is smaller than a microwave oven and is used for smaller cooking functions. The toaster oven is much cheaper and more common. The ovens take the least space in the kitchen compared to other ovens and are the easiest to install and use.

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The toaster oven is more affordable and easily accessible. However, the downside might include the limited amounts of food you can prepare inside the toaster. This is due to the small size.

5) Microwave Ovens

These ovens are commonly known just as microwaves. However, the ovens are meant for more instant use and are more for on-the-go food preparation. Microwaves use high-frequency microwaves to heat food.

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The advantage of a microwave is the limited countertop space that they occupy. In addition, microwaves work in a matter of seconds to heat food.

The downside of the microwave can be its small size, limiting the amount of food that goes inside. Further, you can only preheat already cooked food in most cases. As a result, you rarely use a microwave for cooking food.

How to Choose a Countertop Oven

Before buying a kitchen appliance, there are some features that you have to take into account to fit your needs. Here are some features I look at when comparing countertop ovens.

a) Oven Size

Size will always be the number one factor when buying anything for the house or when looking at ideas to design the kitchen's interior. For example, when choosing a countertop oven, it is obvious that you will use it on the countertop. Luckily, these ovens are small and take the least counter space.

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Size also matters depending on how much food you will cook in the oven. For example, an oven you will use at home is likely smaller than one in a restaurant, where you might need an oven to fit a whole pizza pan.

b) Oven Material

While the material is not a functional feature, I like the stainless steel exterior on kitchen appliances. Some people prefer colorful finishes, while others a more matte finish.

The materials will come in handy every time you clean the oven. It will either be harder or easier to clean. The stainless steel exterior is easy to clean and has an attractive finish.

c) Heating Type

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Different ovens use different heating elements and styles for cooking food. How an oven heats, food will have a direct impact on how your food turns out. Your oven can be steam, convection, or a steam-convection oven.

i) Steam Oven

As the name suggests, the steam oven uses steam to cook food. The result is foods that have good moisture and nutrient retained after cooking. However, the food will not brown or become crisp like in other ovens.

ii) Convection Oven

The convection ovens use dry and hot air for cooking food. As a result, the ovens are faster and give a more even result than other oven types. The food from a convection oven is crispy and brown as you cook it.

iii) Steam-Convection Ovens

These ovens use both steam and convection methods to heat food. From this setup, you are getting the best of both worlds. Food from these ovens browns and becomes crispy while retaining moisture and nutrient value.

The ovens are energy efficient and versatile. The flavor of the food coming from these ovens is retained and unique. More importantly, you will get healthier food out of these ovens.

d) Oven Price

Product price is always a factor when making a purchase. Price will determine the size and the number of functions in an oven. A standalone oven will not be the same price as a countertop oven, and the features may vary vastly. Luckily, most countertop ovens are affordable and easily accessible.

e) Nonstick Coating

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This is a feature you should pay attention to because it will make cleaning the oven easier once you are done cooking. The nonstick surface allows you to simply come in with a wipe and have a clean surface after every cooking session.

f) Auto-Cooking Functions

Most ovens have automated functions like the timer and auto-shut-down features. However, other ovens have more advanced smart-oven features like the morning auto turn-on features that make it convenient for the user.

An oven can have other preset cooking functions such as switching between the oven types, reheating periods, durations, alarms, and more safety features that a regular oven would not have.

g) Interior Light

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This is probably a feature that every oven has. However, you will be surprised to find some other ovens that have no interior light. This light is vital in low light situations and is not just an aesthetic. Many countertop ovens come with light, and it should not be a worry.

h) Oven Trays

Trays manage the hygiene inside your oven. Your oven needs a roast tray, a drip tray, a broil rack, a removable crumb tray, and a wire rack to ensure the food cooked inside comes out as intended while leaving the oven clean. Nothing is as off-putting as an unhygienic oven interior.

i) Clear Oven Door

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You will get this feature in most ovens. The door allows you to see what is happening inside the oven without opening it up to check. Instead, the door works hand in hand with the oven light to ensure you can see how the food is cooking inside the oven.

j) In-Built Thermometer

Most countertop ovens are smart ovens and have inbuilt thermometer settings. Different foods have different heat requirements, and having an oven that can meet these requirements is an added advantage.

Advantages of Countertop Ovens

1) Small Size

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The Countertop oven takes up a small space allowing for other appliances such as blenders, toasters, tea kettles and more to be used on the counter. The small size means the ovens can be stored easily or fit into a wall compartment to be a wall oven. If you have a small space, these are the ovens for you.

2) Affordable

Compared to a whole kitchen range with built-in ovens, the countertop ovens are affordable and great for anyone starting. The ovens come in different sizes and have different functions across a wide price range. In addition, the ovens are easily accessible in any store.

3) Easy to Use

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The ovens are not very sophisticated and are straightforward to use. It did not take long until I figured my way around the oven. The ovens come with manuals, in case you need to be sure.

4) Convenient

Countertop ovens are not only convenient in terms of space occupied but also in terms of functions. You can prepare food fast and on the go. There are different recipes to try out on the ovens and a wide variety of options when it comes to cooking food.

5) Cooking Functions

Most ovens come with different cooking presets that you can choose from to give you different results. In addition, some ovens combine both the steam and convection oven features to enhance the cooking experience.

You can have different functions such as digital air frying, rotisserie, toasting, baking, broiling, roasting, steaming, slow-cook function, and more. In addition, you can cook various foods, from chicken wings to pizza.

6) Easy to Clean

As long as you know how to clean an oven, you will have a breeze with the countertop oven. The ovens do not pose a challenge when cleaning. Ensure you get easy-to-clean parts like the nonstick pizza pan or an oven with stainless steel construction.

Frequently Asked Questions About Countertop Ovens

Using an oven is straightforward in most cases. However, sometimes you have to be sure when using an oven. Here are some oven questions I had when I got my first oven.

a) Do I Need to Preheat an Oven Before Use?

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Yes. This is a vital thing to do when using an oven. Preheating an oven gives you a more accurate result, especially if you use a timed recipe. Preheating ensures the food cooks from the word go. Some ovens, like the electric oven, take a while to heat up, and preheating saves you a lot of time. You can start preheating the oven once you finish the ingredient preparation.

Remember to use a glove while touching a hot oven. I use a glove even when operating a cold oven to ensure I make no mistakes.

b) How Often Should I Clean the Oven?

Once you see some dirt, it is time to go in and clean the oven. If you use the oven frequently, you should clean it after two days. Otherwise, you can clean the oven based on your judgment and use. The oven's interior needs to stay clean at all times, and you need to know how to clean an oven properly.

c) Do I Need Special Pans to Use in an Oven?

No. However, when dealing with heat, you must know how best to direct it. For example, most bakeries use aluminum because they are better at directing heat than other oven materials such as glass or earthenware. Therefore, if you use aluminum, food will brown better, and the toasted bread will be better to look at.

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Some baking pans come with their pans, like an enamel baking pan or a nonstick pizza pan, to save you the trouble of looking for a pan.

You should not use materials like plastics inside the oven as they will melt. Instead, look for aluminum cooking pans and enjoy tasty-looking food results.

d) Are Convection Ovens Faster?

Convection ovens are known to be 30% faster compared to other ovens. However, you need to ensure the food inside the oven cooks properly due to lowered temperatures.

Oven Tips

When using an oven, some best practices will ensure you enjoy using the oven. Here are some tips to consider when using a countertop oven.

i) Use Timers

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Timers are built into the oven for a reason. Most recipes are timed; if you pay attention to the timer, your meals will never disappoint. Setting the alarm when using a timer is important to avoid overcooking or burning the food.

A timer is not only a cooking feature but a safety feature too. Ensure you pay close attention to how long the food in the oven takes.

ii) Use Mitts or Towels

This is more of a precaution than a tip. Never use your bare hands to hold things straight from the oven. You must protect yourself from burns at all times and all costs. Do not use a wet towel, either. Ensure the towel you use is a dry tea towel or a mitt. Heat travels relatively faster through wet towels.

iii) Never Overload an Oven

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First, the food will not cook well if you overload the oven. Secondly, the heat will not circulate properly in an overloaded oven. Third, the risk of causing a hazard increases when you fill the oven to the brim.

iv) Always Remove the Electric Cord After Using the Oven

This is the best practice for ovens and other kitchen appliances. Always remove the cord. When you remove the cord, the chances of damaging the appliance when moving it are greatly reduced. Secondly, the oven will be off when you remove the cord. Sometimes we are in a hurry and forget to turn off the oven. Removing the cord ensures the oven is off.

Always have the auto-off timer when the oven is not in use.

Final Thoughts

A countertop oven is one of the most convenient home appliances to have. There is a lot to enjoy with having one in the house. However, to get the best out of the oven, you must get the best in the market. The options we have provided above are the best yet.

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Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.