Best Countertop Convection Oven 2017 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
A countertop convection oven is a cook’s fantasy. It heats food evenly and quickly, and it can save space in the kitchen.
The best countertop convection oven saves energy and time, using lower temperatures than conventional ovens to cook the same type of food. It’s a great way to add an extra cooking element to your kitchen without redoing your conventional oven.
Learn all about the benefits of a countertop convection oven and how to select the best one for you.
How Does A Convection Oven Work?
In a conventional oven, a heating element warms up the air within it in order to heat food. The air stays stagnant, and the areas closer to the heating elements are usually hotter than the area in the center of the oven.
In a convection oven, the heating elements are usually placed at the top, bottom and back of the appliance. A fan circulates the air around the food. This allows every area inside the oven to reach a consistent temperature.
It also eliminates the narrow layer of cool air that can surround the food and insulate it from the heat. The top and bottom of the food will cook just as well as the center. It doesn’t matter where you place the food within the oven as food on all of the racks will cook at the same temperature.
Can A Convection Oven Replace Your Microwave?
Microwave For Warming Up Foods
A microwave is typically used to warm up foods, and it doesn’t use airflow to cook items evenly. It has a singular heat source, which ends up steaming your food instead of cooking it. This can lead to loss of flavor and limp food.
A microwave can’t brown or crisp the surface of foods the way a convection oven can. Plus, microwaves are usually less expensive than convection ovens.
You also can’t prepare traditional baked goods in a microwave. Although it’s possible to find recipes for cakes and muffins that you can make in a microwave, the recipes tend to be altered, and you most likely won't achieve consistent, high-quality results.
Convection Oven For A Consistent Temperature
A convection oven is more like a traditional oven in that it browns the surface of the food and helps it develop and retain its flavor. You can preheat it to achieve a consistent temperature before inserting the food, allowing you to make cookies, cakes, brownies and breads in a convection oven.
Because convection ovens can be used like a microwave to reheat foods as well as like a conventional oven to bake and roast meals, they're usually more expensive than microwaves.
A countertop convection oven can accept any type of cookware that you would use in a conventional oven. High-quality glassware or any oven-safe dish can be used in a convection oven, except for plastic, even if it's safe for use in microwaves.
You also can’t load a regular dinner plate to reheat food in the convection oven unless the plate is safe for use in a conventional oven. Unlike a microwave, a convection oven can accept metal containers.
When using a convection oven, you should treat the exterior as you would a toaster oven. You can’t place heat-sensitive items on top of or around the appliance because the outside of the oven will heat up. You can use the top to warm up your dishes, however.
Benefits Of A Countertop Convection Oven
A countertop convection oven can make your food taste better, even if your cooking skills haven’t improved. This type of oven has several advantages.
Countertop convection ovens become the best choice due to its size . A countertop convection oven is smaller than a conventional oven and you can put it anywhere you like on the counter since you don't have to connect it to the gas line.
It's also very convenient. If you’re cooking small meals in an apartment, you might be able to trade a regular oven for a countertop convection appliance. If you're cooking large meals, you don’t have to buy an extra full-size oven.
Because convection ovens are smaller than traditional ovens, there is less space to heat. That, in addition to the shorter cooking times, means that you use less electricity than you would to cook the same meal in a conventional oven.
It takes about 20 minutes to cook a pound of meat in a regular oven. A convection oven can cook a pound of meat in closer to 10 minutes.
As mentioned above, you can use top of the oven to reheat your dish. Some countertop convection ovens even have hot plate electric cooker on the top, so much time could be saved with this kind of oven.
The Best Countertop Conventional Oven Roundup
*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
This convection oven can be used to reheat, toast, broil or bake foods quickly and easily. Nine pre-programmed settings take the guesswork out of cooking with this appliance.
If you’re roasting a large piece of meat, set the oven to the “Asado Roast” function to ensure that you’re using the proper amount of heat. Use this oven to sear the meat so that you don’t have to sear it on the stove first.
If you’re making pizza, you can ensure that the crust is optimally crispy with the “Pizza” setting. The inside of the oven has a non-stick surface that makes it easy to wipe down. This oven comes with a one-year, hassle-free warranty.
Editor's Rating: 95/100
- Gives off less heat than some other convection ovens.
- Easy-to-read display.
- Offers a true broil rack position.
- Comes with a baking sheet, broiling rack, cooling rack and drip pan.
- 30-inch cord for easy positioning.
- Does not include an internal light, making it hard to see the food while cooking.
- Some users have found this product to have a shorter life than expected.
- Does not fit standard baking sheet sizes.
- User must press start to preheat the oven and press start again to begin the cook time.
This convection oven is compact enough to fit in almost any kitchen. Although it's smaller than other models, it features a unique extension in the back to accommodate larger round items.
The digital display is large and easy to read, although some users say that the text on the buttons is more difficult to make out. A variety of settings allow you to cook foods with one touch, and the toast setting allows you to adjust for varying levels of crispness.
If you use the timer, the oven will automatically shut off when cooking is complete. Because the vents are only located on the right-hand side, you can place other appliances close to the oven on the left-hand side. This oven comes with a two-year limited warranty.
Editor's Rating: 91/100
- Back of the unit extends to fit 12-inch round pizzas.
- Broiler rack tall enough to fit a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dish without handles.
- Pre-programmed cooking settings.
- Automatic shutoff.
- 22-inch cord may be a little short.
- Oven door swings open quickly and may bang down on countertop.
- Buttons and settings are awkward and not intuitive.
- Heats up slowly.
- Buttons beep loudly when pressed, but timer beep may not be loud enough in some households.
- Door handle gets very hot during use.
- No interior light.
The revolving rotisserie feature on this oven adds to its versatility. Meat turns and self-bastes as it cooks, ensuring more even cooking without excess moisture loss. It can fit a 5-pound chicken or two 12-inch pizzas better than many other countertop convection ovens.
This oven claims to include a toast function, but some users argue that it does not. The broiler function can double as a toast function, however. The oven also comes with two cooking racks, two baking pans, a broiler rack and rotisserie accessories, so you'll be ready to make all your favorite dishes right from the start.
Editor's Rating: 89/100
- Has a stay-on feature.
- Rotisserie option allows for more even cooking of meats.
- Low price.
- Timer alarm is not overly loud.
- Accepts 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dishes.
- Has large, bright light indicating that the unit is on.
- Glass door is large for easy loading and unloading.
- Does not accommodate a standard-sized baking sheet.
- No interior light.
- Interior temperature may be inaccurate.
- Broil and bake functions are not as reliable as convection functions.
- Hard-to-read temperature and timer displays.
- Timer knob does not stay stable.
This oven has an interior that can accommodate a 13-inch pizza, a Dutch oven with a lid or a 5-quart container without a lid. The interior light allows you to see what you’re cooking without opening the door and losing heat.
It also includes a slow-cook function that can run for up to 10 hours. This feature automatically switches to a warming function when cooking is completed so that you can keep your food warm until you’re ready to eat.
The LCD display changes colors and is easy to read, and functions include a frozen food setting. It comes with a 12-inch square baking pan, an enamel broiling rack and a 13-inch pizza pan.
Editor's Rating: 84/100
- Slow-cook feature makes this an appropriate alternative to a crock pot.
- Interior light.
- Large capacity.
- Magnetic auto-eject function for rack.
- Heating elements adjust independently.
- Accurate and reliable cooking temperatures.
- Sleek, modern finish complements any kitchen décor.
- Intuitive settings and buttons.
- Crumb tray is easily removable from the front of the oven.
- More expensive than other models.
- Timer alarm is fairly quiet and may not be heard in a large or busy house.
- Toasting function may take longer than expected.
This is a powerful and versatile oven that features baking and rotisserie options. The large interior capacity fits standard-sized baking sheets and pizza stones. This is an uncommon feature in most convection ovens, which are usually smaller.
Most convection ovens only heat to up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit, but this unit reaches 500 degrees. It also includes a variety of settings that allow you to adjust the type of heat based on the food that you’re cooking.
The oven must be cured to release certain chemicals from the finish before its first use. You may want to do this outside so that the smell from the process doesn’t permeate your home environment.
Editor's Rating: 80/100
- Fits standard-sized baking sheets.
- Made of stainless steel.
- Accurate and reliable cooking temperatures.
- Six heating elements provide versatility and reliability.
- Solid, durable design.
- Adequate insulation maintains an even cooking temperature.
- Five-year warranty on the fan motor.
- Interior is not as easy to clean as some other models.
- Large unit may not be useful in smaller kitchens.
- Requires significant clearance behind the appliance.
- Slow to heat up to the maximum temperature.
- Only includes a one-year warranty on everything but the fan motor.
Which Countertop Convection Oven Should You Buy?
If quality and cooking consistency is important to you, you may want to spend more money on your convection oven. Many of the lower-priced models do not achieve consistent cooking temperatures, although they still cook your food in less time.
Overall, we preferred the Breville Smart Oven Pro. It costs more than the other models that we reviewed, but it’s the most reliable option.
Its slow-cooking feature makes it even more versatile than the others, although we love the rotisserie feature on the Hamilton Beach and Waring Pro ovens. The Waring Pro model was just too expensive compared to many of the other available options for us to give it the highest rating.
Have you used one of these countertop convection ovens? Let us know in the comments below if you found this article helpful, and share it with your foodie friends.