Toaster oven air fryer

We Tested 8 Air Fryer Toaster Ovens to Find Out Which Ones Were Worth It

Air frying is absolutely less messy than traditional deep frying, even if you use a self-contained deep fryer. But our test quickly revealed one downside of using a toaster oven to air fry: the fat causes splatters when the tray is removed, which makes cleanup annoying. During our chicken wing tests, the rendered fat from the wings and oil splattered all over the glass door when we pulled out the basket to flip the meat. (The crumb or drip tray doesn’t automatically come out when the door is opened, so the fry basket will hover over the door as you pull it out.) We either had to balance the tray precariously over the door to flip and turn the wings, or set it on a trivet on our counter: Either way, it was a messy, oily business that required us to wash our oven mitts, kitchen towels, and of course, the oven door after each use.

Air Fry : Toaster Ovens

Whether you’re making some yummy banana cake or reheating some mini pizzas, a toaster oven is super essential and a must-have in your kitchen. At Target, find a large range of toaster ovens to choose from. A toaster oven lets your bake chicken, broil vegetables, and keep food warm for serving. Look through a variety of toaster ovens with features like time and temperature controls to make cooking fast and easy. Find a collection of convection toaster ovens and countertop ovens made from sturdy stainless steel that will also look attractive on your kitchen counter. Look through a range of air fry ovens that packs a lot of features and cooking capacity in a small countertop footprint. This powerful kitchen appliance lets you create full family-sized meals in no time. Toaster ovens come with features like an easy to read digital display that gives you at-a-glance updates on cooking progress and non-stick interiors that makes for quick and easy clean every time. So go ahead and create all your favorite pies and cakes in a toaster oven that you will love. Browse through a large collection of toaster oven and find the right pick for you.

We Tested 8 Air Fryer Toaster Ovens to Find Out Which Ones Were Worth It

Rochelle Bilow is a freelance food writer, as well as a novelist. Based in Vermont, Rochelle specializes in stories about home cooking, techniques, tools, and equipment. She has been writing about food professionally for over a decade.

Three air fryer toaster ovens on a wooden countertop

Straight to the Point

Our favorite air fryer toaster oven is the Calphalon Air Fryer Oven, which is a well-rounded, attractive option that outperformed the competition in every cooking task. We also like the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer, which is easy to use and offers an impressive variety of functions.

Increasingly, it’s easier than ever to cook a meal from scratch without touching your stovetop or oven. Pressure cookers, induction burners, air fryers, and toaster ovens are all taking a slice of the home-cooking pie. These gadgety countertop appliances suggest the revolution will be electric (and come with a flashy LCD touchscreen). But even the most spacious kitchens only have so much countertop real estate. In an effort to consolidate appliances, many kitchen brands now make countertop toaster ovens with air frying capabilities.

But can appliances that claim to do it all actually deliver? A recent month-long test of Breville’s new Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro showed promising results, with some minor irritations and shortcomings. In an effort to evaluate the increasingly busy dual air fryer-toaster oven space, we tested eight models from popular brands. With prices that range from $180 to $500, these aren’t casual purchases. And unlike some basic toaster ovens, they’re not petite, either.

We chose models from brands that were well-known and trusted in either the toaster oven or air fryer market. Although many of the units we tested can do more than just toast and air fry, we focused our tests on those functions, because that’s typically how they’ll most often be used. (Although the dehydrator feature on some may be handy for DIY-ers).

The Winners, at a Glance

The Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven

Calphalon Performance Air Fry Convection Oven

 Calphalon Air Fryer Oven, 11-in-1 Toaster Oven Air Fryer Combo

This unit is handsome and subtle, with a classic aesthetic that doesn’t feel overly trendy. It produced excellent toast and had minimal hot spots—an important consideration for baking and roasting. We liked that its fry basket was able to stand alone in the unit by sliding into grooves on the side walls; some other models required the basket to sit on a tray, which made maneuvering difficult and inhibited browning. All in all, this is a nicely sized toaster oven with a generous cooking chamber that excels in almost every cooking task.

Also Great

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer

A close runner-up to the Calphalon, this unit had all of the same winning ingredients, including a standalone fry basket; a simple, intuitive interface with manual knobs and dials; and an impressive air fry function. It’s no surprise this was a top performer; it’s the “air fryer included” version of our favorite under $250 toaster oven.

The Best Air Fryer Toaster Oven That’s App-Compatible

Breville Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro

Breville the Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro

Boasting a truly impressive number of functions—including proofing dough—this do-it-all air fryer toaster oven comes with a high price tag but has the goods to back it up. It also stands out from the crowd with an app that allows you to control the unit from your phone and offers helpful tips and recipes.

The Tests

A person using tongs to remove cooked fries from an air fryer toaster oven's basket

  • Toast Test: We placed one piece of white sandwich bread in the center of each oven, then toasted it on the medium–dark setting. We evaluated the evenness of toasting on both the top and bottom of the bread, as well as how long it took to achieve the desired results.
  • Hot Spots Test: We tested the basic baking capability by preheating the ovens to 350˚F without their convection function. Using the same brand of white bread, we filled each oven with as many slices as it could hold without overlapping, then baked for 10 minutes without flipping or turning. We recorded the quantity each oven could fit. By observing darker and lighter shades of toast, we were able to determine the oven’s hot and cold spots (if any).
  • Frozen Pizza Test: Toaster ovens are great at reheating leftover pizza, but how do they handle frozen pies? We used the same brand in each oven to evaluate. After preheating the oven to 400˚F without convection, we baked the pies on the provided sheet tray for 14 minutes, then evaluated for crust crispiness and evenness of cheese melt.
  • Frozen French Fries Test: Then it was time to air-fry. We used the same brand of frozen fries in 16-ounce batches. The brand we chose didn’t include preparation directions for air fryers; instead, we used the technique outlined in our original air fryer test: 400˚F for 20 minutes, shaking the fries only once, midway through cooking. If the oven included a “fries” setting on the air fryer (some did), we used that.
  • Chicken Wings Test: We tested the oven’s ability to air fry meat by cooking two pounds of chicken wings in each one. We used one tablespoon of oil, one teaspoon of salt, and a half teaspoon of pepper, then air-fried at 360˚F for 12 minutes, flipped the wings, and air-fried for another 12 minutes. To finish, we flipped the wings a second time and air-fried for six minutes at 390˚F. After evaluating for crispiness and evenness of the cooking, we cleaned the unit and washed the fry basket by hand.
  • User Experience and Cleanup Tests: With most cooking test results providing minor differences with which to compare models, our top picks relied heavily on user experience. We evaluated how intuitive it was to use the models straight from the box before reading directions, and considered the simplicity and efficiency of the controls (LCD touchscreen vs. toggle wheel vs. etc.) Finally, we considered how easy (or not) it was to manually set the temperature and time, as compared with the unit’s presets.

What We Learned

Air Fryer Toaster Ovens Didn’t Make Great Toast

Four slices of toast on an air fryer toaster oven's rack

Many older models of toaster ovens are pretty compact. They have a small countertop footprint and petite cooking chambers. But to accommodate the space needed for baking, roasting, and air frying, these new hybrid models have large, cavernous chambers. (There was one exception: the Ninja Foodi, which was a bit wider than our other models, but much more squat.) The large chamber is necessary for excellent air frying: ample room for a fry basket allows food to be arranged in a single layer, which results in crispier, golden-brown food.

Unfortunately, the extra-large chamber means there’s a greater distance between the racks and the heating units. We found that toasting on the middle rack (when available) took an almost comically long time—nearing 10 minutes for darker shades. While you could ameliorate this issue by moving a rack closer to the heating rods at the top or bottom of the oven, that may result in burning or uneven toasting, and you’ll certainly have to flip the toast halfway through. We’ll admit that waiting a few extra minutes for properly cooked toast is hardly an imposition, but it’s worth taking into consideration if you plan on regularly using your unit to make toast.

If you’re hoping to use your air fryer toaster oven to roast and bake, you’ll find it useful to know not every model can be dialed in to a specific temperature. Some feature temperature changes in 5- or even 25-degree intervals (such as having options for 325F˚, 350˚F, 375˚F, and so on).

Air Frying In a Toaster Oven Was Messier than Using an Air Fryer

A closeup look at fries in an air fryer toaster oven

Air frying is absolutely less messy than traditional deep frying, even if you use a self-contained deep fryer. But our test quickly revealed one downside of using a toaster oven to air fry: the fat causes splatters when the tray is removed, which makes cleanup annoying. During our chicken wing tests, the rendered fat from the wings and oil splattered all over the glass door when we pulled out the basket to flip the meat. (The crumb or drip tray doesn’t automatically come out when the door is opened, so the fry basket will hover over the door as you pull it out.) We either had to balance the tray precariously over the door to flip and turn the wings, or set it on a trivet on our counter: Either way, it was a messy, oily business that required us to wash our oven mitts, kitchen towels, and of course, the oven door after each use.

By comparison, self-contained air fryers are more efficiently designed to contain oil and fat within the unit, even when removing the basket (most traditional air fryers have a handled basket, rather than the handle-less square or rectangular ones found in the air fryer toaster ovens we tested). While the finished wings were crispy and golden, the cleanup was laborious. The baskets required vigorous scrubbing with a bristle brush, and the interior of the unit had to be cleaned with a vinegar-based solution to wipe away grease.

Fitted Baskets and Trays Made A Big Difference in Usability

french fries in the air fryer basket

Most models we tested had simple tray baskets, which had to be situated on the wire rack or baking tray. The baking tray option is a less messy way to fry, although it will hinder the 360-degree airflow needed for adequate crisping. However, a handful of units—the Ninja Foodi, the Breville, and the Calphalon—had a basket with a wide lip meant to slide into the oven’s side grooves, just like its oven racks. Not only did it allow for better airflow, but it also made pulling the basket out easier.

Some models, like the Toshiba, had so many side grooves, that it was difficult to slide a rack or tray in evenly on the first try. But generally speaking, we preferred models that allowed for multiple tray positions, which meant we could situate food on the top, bottom, or in the middle of the oven. The Ninja only allows for food to be positioned at the very top or bottom of the unit: there’s no middle ground.

Fan Placement Mattered

The models we tested had fans either on one side of the unit or installed on the top. Overwhelmingly, the top fans resulted in darker, more thoroughly cooked food, thanks to direct, intense heat—but not in a good way. While this is a great design in theory, in practice it sometimes results in burning or blackening. The largest top fans, as in the GE and Cuisinart, often yielded overdone food.

Side-installed fans, as in the Breville and Calphalon, resulted in food that was more moderately cooked. These units tended to have more hot spots when convection was not used, but this problem could be solved by rotating the food halfway through cooking. (It’s not necessary for toast.) Equally important, they made more efficient use of their space: the fans are installed behind the control panel. We found these units to be the least imposing when left on a counter, despite having similar footprints—most of the top-fan units looked hulking, thanks to their top-heavy design.

Multiple Dials and Knobs Were Easier to Navigate than Minimalist Interfaces

closeup photo of the screen with the cooking functions

While every air fryer toaster oven we tested came with a detailed instruction manual, we first attempted to use the units without reading it, to gauge how intuitive the interfaces were. Overwhelmingly, we preferred models with more than one dial or knob. The greater the manual options, the easier it was to use. In contrast, the Instant Pot Omni Plus has an entire touchscreen interface, which was more confusing to operate (and quickly got greasy when adjusted during cooking).

We didn’t like that some models had fussy interfaces that required a lot of babysitting. The Toshiba requires a preheat cycle, but it doesn’t automatically begin cooking once the chosen temperature is reached. During a few tests in the Toshiba, we overcooked food because we didn’t realize it had been sitting at temperature for a handful of minutes. (One of our top picks, the Smart Oven from Breville, also has that undesirable feature, but we liked enough of its other qualities to still recommend it.)

The Calphalon and Breville systems were our favorite, with multiple clearly labeled buttons and dials that made choosing a setting easy. It was also easy to adjust the controls while the unit was in use.

Noise, Steam, and Smell Differences

All of the units made some noise during their cooking cycles. But we found some of them to be offensively loud. The Instant Pot was the most intrusive, particularly when air frying. The Ninja Foodi had an irritating “cool down” period that caused the fan to whirr noisily long after it had stopped cooking. The Calphalon and Breville were the quietest on all settings, but barely perceptible when toasting or simply baking without convection.

Another consideration when buying an air fryer toaster oven: steam. Every unit we tested emitted some steam when air frying, but some turned our kitchen into a meat-and-potato-scented sauna. The Cuisinart was particularly offensive here, with clouds of steam escaping through the top of the machine. Both it and the Instant produced so much steam, that it collected on the glass door and eventually leaked onto the counter. The foggy kitchen windows and lingering “fried food” smell are annoying, but we see another, more serious problem with heavy steam emitters: they can damage wood cabinetry over time. We tested the units on a countertop directly under cabinets containing packaged foods. After a day of testing, there was condensation on the inside of the cabinet doors and on the shelves.

Are Air Fryer Toaster Ovens Worth It? What’s the Difference Between an Air Fryer and an Air Fryer Toaster Oven?

breville oven on terracotta tiles with tan backdrop

Our evaluation was based on performance and user experience, although after four rounds of testing across the units’ various capabilities, we noted that all models produced sufficiently crispy food with the air fry function. However, they were all, to varying degrees, messier to use than traditional air fryers, and some were a pain to clean up. Disappointingly, a handful of the toaster ovens struggled to make evenly toasted bread. So, are any worth buying?

Ultimately, air fryer toaster ovens are passable at all tasks, but not better than their single-function competitors. However, they are larger than many air fryers and can accommodate more food, for those regularly cooking for four people or more.

With this in mind, we determined that user experience trumps all when buying an air fryer toaster oven. If you have the room in your kitchen and will regularly use both appliances, we suggest investing in both an air fryer and an air fryer toaster oven or toaster oven. That said, budget and space may dictate your decision. Three of the models we tested outshone the competition, with better-than-average performance, as well as interfaces that were truly pleasurable to use.

The Criteria: What to Look for in an Air Fryer Toaster Oven

A seriously good air fryer toaster oven has a door that opens smoothly, control knobs, is spacious and cooks efficiently.

The best air fryer toaster ovens have spacious chambers with plenty of options for situating racks, trays, and fry baskets. Interfaces that weigh heavily on manual knobs are preferable for ease of use—and to minimize grease on touchscreens. Look for doors that open and close smoothly, without snapping or spring-back, which will extend the longevity of your unit, and work to keep steam inside. Finally, consider the footprint versus usable space. Some units are very large but have relatively small cooking chambers. Overwhelmingly, units that had convection fans on the top of the unit were bulkier and took up more space. Our top winners made efficient use of their size with large chambers and had side fans.