I've been on a quest since November 2010 to find a convection toaster oven that works like it should. So far I've tried four others and none of them worked like they should. I've gone through 2 Black & Decker ovens, a GE, and the last one was a Hamilton Beach.
Now this one works like its supposed to. It's easy to set the cooking time and temperature on it. The presets for CONVECTION BAKE and BAKE is 350 degrees and 30 minutes. It has a preset for PIZZA that is 400 degrees for 20 minutes. A DEFROST setting is for 150 degrees for 30 minutes. It also has a preset for WARM 30 minutes but the book doesn't say what the preset temp is for that and it doesn't show in the display. After testing it I found that it gets too and holds at 175 degrees. The best aspect with this thing is that it actually gets to, and holds within ten degrees, the temperature that its set for! This is the only one out of the five that I have tried that will get to the temperature that its set for, and hold it within 100 degrees of that setting. Most of the ones that I've tried were off from 100 to 150 degrees, or more, of what they are set for. When using the convection setting it is nice and quiet. The Hamilton Beach that I tried last, the fan was so loud I could hear it running in the other room. This one is so quiet that I can barely hear it running while standing right in front of it.
The other thing that I really like with this one is the inside light. It comes on automatically when you press the start button and it shuts off when the timer runs out. You can also turn it on and off with its own button. Its plenty bright enough to see how done what ever is cooking in it is and is something that the other toaster ovens should have. The ovens door closes tight and seems to seal pretty good and the rack inside fits tight enough in its groove that it can be pulled out a few inches without tilting down making it easier to take out what ever your cooking.
There's only a couple of things that I don't particularly care for. One is that the power cord sticks out of the bottom of the oven instead of the back or side. Its no big deal but it makes it a bit awkward keeping it out of the way when moving the oven. The other thing is the crumb tray fell out of it first time I went to set it on the counter and landed edge wise on my bare foot. Again, no big deal really, but it sure did hurt!
Over all, I do believe that this one is a keeper! At least till Oster makes one with a rotisserie in it.
I thought I had added that a 9"x13" cake pan, without handles, just fits inside. I uploaded pictures showing one inside of my oven. The actual size is 9 5/8" x 13 5/8", the 9"x13" is the inside. I also have a nice 2 1/2qt casserole deep dish with lid that just fits nice in it too. The other thing I forgot to add is that it heats up pretty quick too. Some of the others that I had would take 10 or 15 minutes to get up to 350 to 375 degrees. This one takes about 5 to 6 minutes to get up to 375 and a couple more to make 400. It takes about 6 to 8 minutes to heat up and lightly toast a pan of Honey Buns. At 350 they will be hot and a little soft, at 400 they will start getting a little crunchy on the edges and the frosting turning to caramel. Some of the smaller toaster ovens will toast faster and the bigger ones take a lot longer of course. Any who, I'm very happy with this one, it all depends on how long it will last.
The toast cycle works pretty good too. But, you have to remember that this was designed to be a convection oven first that can also do toast. Not a toaster, that can also be used as an oven. Several people have complained about toaster ovens burning their bagels and such. One guy complained that his toaster oven almost burned down his kitchen when the bagel caught on fire inside the toaster oven, while he was off in another room doing something. In the book it tells you not to leave it unattended while using the toast cycle. You have to remember that with a normal toaster, when it gets to the end of its cycle the toast pops up, removing it from the heat. When using the toaster oven to make toast, when it gets to the end of the toast cycle it shuts off. But YOU have to remove the toast from the oven or it will continue to toast until the oven cools down enough to stop toasting or you come along and remove the toast. They guy that almost burned down his kitchen with a flaming Bagel while he was off in another room doing something else, just couldn't grasp this concept.
I timed mine when toasting some whole wheat buns for Sloppy Joe's. It took 3 and half minutes for the buns to start to toast. Once they first started to toast it only took 30 seconds for them to get a nice golden brown and I had to remove them. Like I said, remember that this was made to be an oven first, that can also be used to make toast.
I've been using this oven for a year and a half now. I always use a good oven thermometer and I've found that mine consistently runs 15 to 25 degrees higher that what its set for. When set at 375 it holds its temperature at 390 to 400. Set it at 425 and it holds it at 440 to 450. And that is the closest that I have ever seen any oven hold a temperature. Counter top oven or fancy built in oven.
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