The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Countertop Toaster/Convection Oven Recommendations?

lammie10's picture

Countertop Toaster/Convection Oven Recommendations?

Hello! I have been thinking about getting a countertop oven so I can save some electricity since I only bake a little bit every time. I have been reading some threads on here, but still have some questions.

1. Are there differences between using a convection and a regular toaster oven to bake bread?

2. I am on a tight budget... Would the convection ovens priced around $40 or less do a decent job of bread baking?



Occabeka's picture

Welcome to the tribe, Eva!

I am not sure if an oven toaster will be a good choice to bake bread in. It is smaller than an oven, and that may limit the type of bread you intend to make. And I suspect an oven toaster may consume more electricity because it is not as well insulated. Temperature control will not be as close as you would like.



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

A convection blows hot air where a toaster heats with hot coils.

If the convection oven gets to 400°F it will bake bread but if it gets to 450°F it will do a better job.

If you opt for a toaster oven, watch that the coils on the bottom are close to the middle and not spread too far apart. 


lammie10's picture

Wow, thanks for the quick responses!

Any good brand recommendations? I've been eyeing one at Wal-mart (Black & Decker TRO4075B), and one at Bed Bath & Beyond (Hamilton Beach #31506)...


flyboy912's picture

I use a GE that works perfect for two banana breads in pans. The heat comes from the bottom and from a top element so that bread may get a bit too much heat for the top. Works great for carmalizing the BB though. Tuesday Morning carries the Cuisinart Brick Oven, but that is $169. Get the biggest you can, I think that WalMart and K-mart carry one that is quite large. I cut a 12x12 Saltillo tile to 10x8 1/2 and put it on the lowest position and it works for bread. Use an oven thermometer.

TimM's picture

We live in a Motorhome and must stay this summer in Florida. No way - can I use the gas oven until Ocober/November.

So, I went out last week and bought a GE Convection Toaster Oven for $50 at Walmart. Has a 2 year - return to Walmart warantee. The unit is qiute spacious inside, does go to 450F and I tracked the temp with 3 different thermometers.

I cut down a 13" pizza stone to 11"x 11" with a 7" masonery blade for < $3.00.

So far so good.

Placed the oven ouside under our awning on a small table and used a heavy duty appliance cord to minimize any loss with the unit drawing some 1,500 watts.

Heated the oven and stone to 440 in about 20 minutes. Let it stabilize for 20 more.

Now comes the big and only problem, which I should have thoiught of earlier.

Opening the door and loading a small amount of dough - applying some steam (small pan with boiling water) and baking for 20 min = some spring and about zero crust. Temp of crumb said 205F at 25 min and removed the bread.


I'm guessing that a 115V 1,500 watt oven cannot recover its heat loss, loading, introducing steam etc. Just not enough heat is generated to bake bread.

I've got one more idea to try before using this for tasks other than bread baking. On loading, cover the dough with a cheap aluminum pan from the grocery store and let whatever natural steam is generated attempt to form a decent crust and crumb. I'll let you know.

The oven - toaster - whatever, is great and does a fine job cooking many of the foods that would necesitate firing up the oven inside. I roasted a chicken on the bake setting (convection) and it turned out browned and perfect in just over an hour. It's a keeper.

Gardenwife's picture

I never thought about an appliance needing a more powerful extension cord in order to reach its full power. I know about safety reasons, but never thought about the practical aspect. I have the GE toaster/rotisserie/convection oven from Wal-Mart. I thought convection ovens cooked things faster, but this oven takes longer than my conventional oven for the same bread recipes and everything else I make in it. 

...And it's lousy as a toaster, the first reason we needed one. LOL

rhomp2002's picture

I live in a studio apt and have to use a toaster.convection oven.  I have a Hamilton Beach that I have been using for a couple of years now for bread and for about 7 years for an exclusive oven.  I got the rotisserie one, model 31197R.  I have had zero problems with this and it does heat up to 500 degrees F.  Very happy with this one. 

Also have a Breville Smart Oven which is about 3 times as expensive.  It is better insulated but is restricted in height and so not so useful. 

With the Hamilton Beach I can use one of the broiler pans to pour water in to make steam.  The only problem I have for now is that I don't get the crispest crust.  The crust is pretty good but just not as crisp as it would be in a larger oven.

I would strongly suggest the Hamilton Beach as an excellent buy.   Zero problems and big enough inside to work well.  Only problem is that you are pretty much restricted to a 12in by 12 in interior shelf.  I got a baking stone from Fibrament cut to 11.5 in  by 11.5 inches and it works well. 


Good luck.




Yippee's picture

This model probably would not qualify as an immediate best-buy if you're on a tight budget. However, if saving on utility bills in the long run is your goal, you may want to consider this as an option.  Several of my friends have bought this for its versatile and energy saving features.  They use it in lieu of the big oven whenever they can.  The outcomes of bakes are good, as far as I've heard.

rhomp2002's picture

As I mentioned the only problem is the height of the interior.  If I try to bake a sandwich loaf in a loaf pan, if I get the right spring from the dough, then the loaf hits the top of the oven and burns the top of the loaf.  If I try to use a LaCloche it does not have the clearance for that.  I did find a LaCloche type arrangement that was custom made for me and that works with about half an inch to spare.

Other than the clearance for height, this is a great oven.  I have done briskets, pot roasts, roast chicken, half a ham - all worked great.  It has controls that will do almost anything you want.  Excellent quality and comes with a pizza pan, a roasting pan.  I went to Fibrament and got a baking stone cut 11 x 11 and that fits just right.  Good crusts on my batards and baguettes (shorter than usual because of the size limitation) and the boule works just fine.