Kitchen counter space is a valuable commodity these days. With an endless amount of "stuff" to put out, it's hard to find ways to consolidate. Under counter toaster ovens are the perfect start to getting more organized in the kitchen.
Countertop toaster ovens can take up a seriously large amount of kitchen real estate. They're big, bulky and unfortunately very critical for most of our daily tasks. So, how do we come up with an easy fix?
We find safe ways of sticking them under our cabinets.
There are 3 common ways to safely using a toaster oven underneath our cabinets:
1) Find a Mountable toaster oven
2) Find a Short toaster Oven
3) Find a Cool Touch toaster Oven
There are still some precautions you should take before making a purchase. Proper clearance is critical to maintaining a safe spot for you and your family. To make the process easier, we've created an extensive guide to the 5 best under counter toaster ovens available. We've also included helpful tips to finding which is best for you.
Related Article: GE Undercounter Nugget Ice Maker Review
1) Black+Decker Spacemaker Under-Counter Toaster Oven (unavailable at the moment)
- Equipped with Mounting Equipment to Save Counter Space
- Bake, Toast and Keep Warm Function
- Fits 4 Slices of Toast or a 9" Pizza
- Temperature Range 200-400°F
- Includes Rack and Drop Down Crumb Tray
- 30 Minute Timer
- 2 Year Limited Warranty
2) Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Convection Oven
- Very Short When Horizontal (Approximately 7.5" tall)
- Stores Vertically To Save Counter Space when Not in Use (Approx. 15" tall)
- Includes 8 Cooking Functions; Air Fry, Air Roast, Air Broil, Bake, Bagel, Toast, Dehydrate, and Keep Warm
- Fits 13" Pizza, 9 Slices of Toast, or 13 X 13" Pan
- includes Removable Crumb Tray
- Limited 1 Year Limited Warranty
3) Calphalon "Cool Touch"
- 75% Cooler Exterior (Compared to Last Previous Model 2101713)
- 12 Presets; Toast, Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, Pizza, Cookies, Reheat, Dehydrate, Keep Warm, Defrost, and Bread Proof
- Fits 12" Pizza
- Built-in Tinterior Light
- NonStick Interior For Easy Cleaning
- Includes 12" Pizza Pan, Dehyrdate Basket, Wire Rack and Crumb Tray
- 3 Year Limited Warranty
4) Breville Compact Smart Oven (BOV650XL)
- Only 10" Tall
- 8 Cooking Functions; Toast, Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, Pizza, Cookies, and Reheat.
- Fits 4 Slices of Toast, 12" Pizza, 6 Cup Muffin tray,
- NonStick Cavity Coating
- Smart Element IQ Heating Technology (4 Quartz Heating Elements)
- 1 Year Standard Warranty
5) Black+Decker 4-Slice
Toaster Oven (TO1313SBD)
- Only 9.4" Tall
- 4 Cooking Functions; Bake, Broil, Toast, and Keep Warm
- Fits 9" Pizza or 4 Slices of Toast
- 30 Minute Timer w/ Stay-on Function
- Includes Bake Pan, Broil Rack and Removable Crumb Tray
- 2 Year Limited Warranty
Things to Consider
There is only one mountable toaster oven on the market and it's the Black+Decker Spacemaker. This is ultimately the greatest saver of kitchen space, but it has some drawbacks.
You, or someone you hire, will have to install it. Installations are rarely ever as easy as they're made out to be. Make sure you look at the mounting advice section below before making your decision.
2) Low Height?
Shorter units are the easiest to work with when looking for under cabinet toaster ovens. The only thing you have to consider is how hot the unit gets, and how much clearance you need to safely operate it. All manufacturers have a different clearance standard, and a lot of them don't specify a top clearance at all. We believe this to be a huge flaw in the user manuals of most toaster ovens.
The downside of this option is that it leaves a lot of guesswork in finding whether you have enough space to comfortably, and safely, use your toaster oven. The ninja foodi convection oven below is only 8" tall when horizontal. This would be our first recommendation if you decide to go this route.
3) "Cool Touch" Exterior?
Another option is to find a unit that doesn't expel much heat. These units are rare, but they do exist. The Calphalon Cool Touch toaster oven is the only legitimate one we were able to find with commendable reviews. We read through the customer feedback to make sure the "cool touch" claims were true, and they were.
Unfortunately, these models tend to be on the bigger side. They are usually able to keep the outside so cool because they have thick exteriors that specialize in keeping the heat in. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on how much clearance space you have.
The prices of the toaster ovens we've outlined average at about $150. The Calphalon being the most expensive and the Black+Decker being the cheapest. More cooking options will cost more, while the basic bake, toast and keep-warm toasters will sell for less. Just keep in mind what you'd like your options to be down the line.
If you think you might want an air fry or dehydrate option down the line, go for one of the higher priced units. If you feel you want a toaster oven for its bare bone settings, you can usually find one for under $50.
5) Ease of Cleaning
We always recommend checking the reviews to see how other customers feel about the cleaning process. We tried to include this in the Pros and Cons section of each toaster oven.
Why Aren't There More Mountable Toaster Ovens?
I know it's disappointing to find how small the market is for mountable toaster ovens. We've read multiple forums from people saying that all companies were making them in the 80's and 90's.
Unfortunately, as companies look to reduce liability, mountable toaster ovens were the first to go. If you've ever owned a toaster oven, you're fully aware of the heat that these guys put out.
Even the proclaimed "cool touch" ovens get hot enough to cause discomfort.
With this in mind, manufacturing mountable toaster ovens and trusting buyers to install them correctly (and safely) leaves a lot of room for error. We wish it wasn't this way. We will keep you updated as technology improves.
For now, we recommend finding toaster ovens that you can easily bring out and tuck away. If you want to store it under the cabinet, make sure it has ample clearance and doesn't provoke a fire hazard.
Best Under Counter Toaster Ovens
1) Black+Decker Spacemaker Under-Counter Toaster Oven
Most countertop toaster ovens are big, bulky, and take up a significant portion of the counter. Having a toaster oven you can mount frees up kitchen space and allows you to prep, cook and clean free from obstructions. With such a common problem, it's a wonder why the Black+Decker Spacemaker is the only mountable toaster oven available.
Here's why nobody else makes a mountable toaster oven.
Companies do not install the equipment, the customers do. And having to create holes in the under side of your cabinets means tons of room for error. Installation is not a breeze. After reading review after review, the amount of negative responses due to the difficulty in installation was significant. That being said, there were a lot of customers who said they installed it no problem. It usually comes down to how "handy" the buyer is, and how difficult their cabinet set-up is.
Here's what you can expect:
Black+Decker instructions are apparently not well written. Even customers who were able to install the unit quickly, said the instructions were not of much help. There is a youtube video available which is useful for those who have a pretty straightforward cabinet space for the toaster oven.
The overwhelming consensus was "fine, once I got it installed." People were overall happy with the product and the kitchen space they saved. The unit is a fairly basic one, so don't expect all the functions that a Breville offers. It fits 4 slices of toast or a 9" pizza, and it bakes, toasts and keeps warm (no broil function).
Below we have the installation video, as well as some advice from customers who've completed the installation.
2) Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Convection Oven
This Foodi Ninja just recently earned a top position on our Best Countertop Convection Ovens article, and for good reason. With a review count that rivals that of the Breville models, this oven has maintained a 4.7 / 5 star Amazon review (as of 08/09/2020). Not only does it cook like a pro, but its design is perfect for those trying to fit their toaster oven underneath the cabinets.
With approximately 7.5" height horizontally (in cooking mode) this toaster oven can easily fit where you like it. It will take up a significant amount of room while cooking, but when you're done, just lift it vertically for optimal storage (15" tall). Keep in mind, this unit will always require some space between walls and cabinets. Check out foodi ninja's user manual for more info.
The foodi ninja oven also has 8 cooking functions to offer you some options while heating. Convection, air fry and dehydrate being the most unique and noteworthy.
Shark Ninja also confirmed in the Amazon comments that the oven can handle a 13" pizza stone for you pizza enthusiasts out there.
Keep in mind...the short height makes it near impossible to cook taller items like rotisserie chickens, turkeys and casseroles. So if you're looking for a complete oven substitute, this may not be the model for you.
The third and last way you can find an under cabinet toaster oven is by looking for a unit that has a cool exterior. After researching extensively, we have found the calphalon cool touch countertop oven to be the only true "cool touch" toaster oven. Multiple customers validated their ability to touch the outside of the cooking oven no problem.
Keep in mind, while this unit does have a cooler exterior, it does take up a fair amount of space. At 15" tall, this may not comfortably fit underneath your cabinets. No matter how cool it stays, there should always be some clearance between toaster oven and the walls of your cabinets. Make sure to check out calphalon's user manual to see how this will fit in your home.
On the plus side, if this is a good fit for underneath your cabinets, this oven is an absolute supercooker. It has 12 cooking presets, a large interior and an unparalleled 3 year warranty. This does come at calphalon's higher price, but when you want true quality, you usually have to pay for it.
4) Breville Compact Smart Oven (BOV650XL)
If you've been researching available toaster ovens, than you shouldn't be surprised that a Breville made it on the list. Breville continues to lead the pack in terms of customer satisfaction. With just over 2,700 Amazon reviews, this unit has maintained a 4.5 / 5 star Amazon review (as of 08/09/2020). It is a lean, mean cooking machine and Breville has earned quite a name for themselves.
The Breville compact toaster also only runs 10" tall, which makes it an ideal applicant for an under cabinet toaster oven. Keep in mind, the outside of this toaster oven gets very very hot. It's recommended to have 4" between this unit and the wall, but I would go further and say it requires more. If you decide to go this direction, make sure you have the proper clearance to comfortably and safely keep your toaster oven under your cabinets.
While this oven has some great cooking functions and a lot of positive reviews, they only offer a 1 year warranty. In my opinion, anyone that sells a toaster oven for over $150, should put a 2 year (or more) warranty on the product. Black+Decker models sell for a fraction of the price and offer a 2 year warranty. Just something to keep in mind.
5) Black+Decker 4-Slice Toaster Oven (TO1313SBD)
Definitely the lowest priced model on our list, Black+Decker specializes in making high quality equipment for a low price. This oven is the bare bone alternative to your higher end models. It has the foundational Bake, Broil, Toast and Keep Warm functions for those who aren't looking for anything crazy.
It also has a low height at 9.4" which could make it an applicant for an under cabinet toaster oven. Just make sure there is optimal clearance between the toaster oven and the walls of your cabinets. A smaller amount of customers commented on fires, wires burning, and a bad odor. While these comments were rare in the grand scheme of things, they're still worth mulling over.
As far as cooking functions, customers remarked that the unit was simple to use and heats up quickly. It does, however, seem to do a better job with baking than toasting. Just a few things to keep in mind.
Mounting the Spacemaker
As you can see, the video is only 2 minutes and doesn't go very deep into situational procedures. To help you along the way, we've picked out the most common complaints (and fixes) from customers to give you the upper hand during installation.
1) If you have overhang molding that drops down below the base of the cabinet, make sure to ask Black+Decker for extra spacers. They supply spacers, but none big enough to compensate for molding the drops down an inch or more.
2) Suggestion from a helpful Amazon customer: if spacers are needed..."A big challenge is keeping the spacers from falling off the screw while you are trying to maneuver the threads in the hood onto the screw threads, then turning the screw from above. This takes at least 3 hands, and one of them has to be VERY small to get into a tight space between the hood and the bottom of the cabinet. SUGGESTION: with the spacers in hand (not installed) place the spacers on any screw and snug them up with a nut. Then wrap plastic tape around the spacers to keep them together. Remove the spacers and add a layer of tape over each end, covering the threads. Puncture the end tape with an ice pick or other sharp, pointed object. The tape wrapped around will keep the spacers together, and the end tape will keep the spacers on the screw (not by adhesion but by friction). From below, install the spacers on the screw, threading/pushing through the punctured tape ends [I have included 2 photos].
3) Another Amazon customer..."I have read it's hard to install, took me five minutes. Go out and buy 3" screws, its going to be hard to find a M5 thread, so get #10-24 x 3" Flat Phillips with nut, 4 in a bag from Lowes. Forget the diagram, take the metal oven holder that goes under cabinet and use a clamp to put it where you want it. Drill with small drill bit from bottom through screw holes. Then remove clamp, drill bigger holes, drop screws in with black washer and screw in, that's it. So simple and oven works great, just can't broil because will get too hot for cabinet."
4) "If your cabinet has an overhang of 1¼" (BOTTOM of overhang to BOTTOM of shelf; measure behind overhang) you'll need 3" machine screws (5mm-0.80 thread). The longest screws supplied with the product are 2⅜". Save yourself the aggravation and have the 3" screws on-hand."
"Again, for cabinets with overhangs, the instructions direct you to fold the template on the line that represents the THICKNESS of your overhang trim (mine is ¾"). However, when I folded my template on the ¾" line I found (during a dry run) that it would have caused the unit to be mounted ¼" too much forward, which, in turn, would cause the top of the mounting hardware to extend ¼" beyond the face of the cabinet overhang, exposing the void in the mounting hardware. For whatever reason, the ½" fold line worked perfectly for me."
"You don't have to tape the template to the bottom of the cabinet shelf and drill the mounting holes from underneath. If it's easier for you to drill from the top, you can. Here's what you need to do: Use an awl or a nail to poke a hole through the four marked drill spots on your template. Fold your template on the line corresponding with your overhang thickness (if applicable), but remember to fold it BACKWARDS (the printed side of the template will not be visible when drilling from the top, but it doesn't have to be. The fold will localize the position of your template, and the holes you made with an awl or a nail will be visible. Remember to align the fold with the backside of the overhang trim (if applicable); this would be where the actual shelf begins. That's all you need to do to drill from the top. But remember, PRINTED SIDE DOWN WHEN DRILLING FROM THE TOP!"
Again, creating space in the kitchen is a must for most of us. Finding a suitable under cabinet toaster oven is one giant step you can take to making it happen. We hope this was helpful and that you find an amazing product to add to your kitchen arsenal.
If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to leave a comment below.
Founder of Robust Kitchen