Unless you have been living under a rock for the last couple of years, then you have probably heard all about air fryers and spiralizers. However, there is another new appliance for your kitchen that deserves the spotlight too! The Smart Oven. A lot of our everyday lives have been made easier with the creation of smart devices, such as Alexa’s, Google Home, and other Google products like TVs and speakers. But what about the kitchen? Smart Ovens are the best way to streamline the cooking process, leaving you with plenty of time to do what you love.
What is a Smart Toaster Oven?
Think of a smart oven as an all-in-one tool for your kitchen. They really do it all; air frying, baking, dehydrating, and steam cooking, nothing is off-limits with one of these devices. There are many different options when looking to buy a smart oven, and each one comes with its unique functions, but all of them come with built-in Bluetooth features. Alongside automatic ‘smart’ features, the Bluetooth allows users to better track the cooking process, meaning your smoke alarm will get a break!
Breville Smart Oven Pro
When choosing a smart oven, there are many factors to consider, the main one being the size of your machine. If you are looking for something small, but still packing a punch, then take a look at Breville’s Smart Oven Pro. With the ability to perform as a slow cooker, a microwave, and a convection oven, while still taking up minimal counter space, this machine is perfect.
For only $300 you get the ability to choose between 10 different preset functions, which include: bagel, roast, broil, bake, toast, cookies, pizza, reheat, slow cook, and warm. As someone who uses this machine every day, I can attest to its versatility and to how easy it is to use, plus it has an elegant chrome design that fits into any kitchen. With all these features, plus the low price point, what are you waiting for?
Anova Precision Oven
If you are willing to spend a little more money, Anova’s Precision Oven combines smart design and new futuristic technology, for $600. This smaller version of a combi-oven – a full-sized version would cost you thousands of dollars – is the perfect size for any cook’s kitchen.
If you are a well-rounded cook that likes to experiment with their food, the Anova Precision Oven is perfect. With the ability to air-fry, steam, and sous-vide, you have endless options at your fingertips. And if you are someone who is easily distracted, this machine will remind you when your chicken or slow-cooked pork needs checked on.
Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 Smart Ove
For under $350, you can invest in the Ninja Foodi that will last a lifetime and provide you with easy and quick meals. While the machine does take up more space than the other machines mentioned, it does come with two separate cooking racks, which allows cooking for large groups of people easy as pie.
With a whole host of settings such as whole-roast, bagel, toast, dehydrate, air-fry, reheat, bake, air-roast, broil, and cook pizza, all included in one 1,800-watt machine, the Ninja Foodi is a no brainer investment.
Tovala Gen 2 Smart Steam Oven
If you are looking for something a little more simple, the Tovala Gen 2 Smart Steam Oven is the ideal introduction to the world of toaster ovens. It comes with five separate cooking features including, broil, bake, steam, toast, and reheat, which makes steaming meat and veggies for meal-prepping a breeze. It is also a total steal at under $300.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Smart Toaster Oven
Design – The design of your toaster oven is important because it will always be on display in your kitchen. Mechanical toaster ovens have a more old-school look to them, while their digital counterparts are more modern and are usually made out of stainless steel.
Space – It is important to think about how much counter space your toaster oven is going to take up. If you have lots of space in your kitchen, consider going for a larger machine like the June Oven, or the Breville Smart Oven Air that are both large enough to fit a small turkey. If space is something you are lacking, you can find lots of smaller machines, the Hamilton Beach Sure-Crisp is compact, but can still fit a 13-inch pizza, or six slices of bread.
Rack Positions – Most machines have the capacity for two rack positions, but larger machines can have three. Added rack positions allow for more versatility when cooking and more space, this can come in handy when dehydrating or air-frying food. Typically, the top rack is used when broiling, while the bottom is used when roasting meat, or cooking pizza, the middle rack is used for baking and toasting bread.
Accessories and Additional Features – Most machines come with one rack position, at least, a pan for baking/broiling, plus a heavier pan for baking which means it is less likely to warp. Newer models are now more likely to come with a removable crumb tray that is safe for the dishwasher, something that is very beneficial as it makes for easier cleaning and maintenance. Some machines may come with a basket or rack for air-frying, or a pizza stone, or rotisserie spits. More toaster ovens now have an interior light that allows you to check on your food without opening the lid/door. This feature is extremely useful, but other toaster ovens come with large, glass doors, which make checking on food easy too.
Are Smart Toaster Ovens Safe?
As with most appliances, toaster ovens are safe assuming that you have read and follow the machine’s instruction manual, and the manufacturer’s guidelines. Below are some tips for ensuring the highest level of safety.
Unpack and get rid of all the packaging that comes with your toaster oven, carefully. Double-check and make sure that you have not left any small bits of paper inside, triple-check the areas near the heating elements.
Make sure that your toaster oven is in an area away from any other kitchen appliances, utensils, tools, and kitchen towels.
Keep the area around your toaster oven clear when using the machine. Especially the top of the oven, this area can get very hot while in use and melt certain objects.
Stay close by while your toaster oven is on, and keep an eye on it to make sure it is running smoothly.
The crumb tray should be removed and cleaned often to prevent buildup and any possible flare-ups within the machine.
Always use oven mitts, or an oven glove, when removing hot pans/racks from your toaster oven.
Make sure your toaster oven is unplugged when not in use to save electricity.