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Which toaster ovens excel at toast?

January 17, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
A lot of people love to make their morning breakfast in a toaster oven. Some of the newest models now boast they can do more than just toast your bread. But you have to buy wisely.Consumer Reports has tested eight toaster ovens. Interestingly, one thing they generally don't excel at is toast.

Toast ends up with "tiger stripes" on one side, and toaster ovens take twice as long as toasters to get the job done. But companies like Cuisinart, Black and Decker, and Toastmaster want you to think beyond bread when cooking on your countertop. Toaster ovens now promise to bake and deliver a 12 inch pizza.

But with some, the results were not pretty.

As for the promise of quicker cooking, testers found the $135 Black and Decker Infrawave does do toast faster. But when it came to cooking muffins, its promise turned out to be half-baked.

"Although the muffins came out brown on top, they were still underdone inside, a little bit raw," said Tara Casaregola of Consumer Reports.

A better choice is the top-rated, $180 Cuisinart Toaster Oven (Model number TOB175BC). It not only excels at baking, it also makes very good toast. And after all, shouldn't that be the final word?

Consumer Reports says if you're looking for a less expensive toaster oven, a $55 oven from Rival (Model number TO600) is a pretty good alternative. Although it doesn't do a great job toasting, it excels at baking.