If you’re cooking for one or space is tight, a benchtop oven may be a useful addition to your kitchen.
Snapshot: The Home & Co Convection Oven AOT-F901 has a stated capacity of 12L. How well does it cook toast, pizza and roast chicken?
Snapshot: The Sunbeam NutriOven Convection Oven CO3000 has a stated capacity of 11L. How well does it cook toast, pizza and roast chicken?
Snapshot: The Sunbeam Pizza Bake & Grill BT5350 has a stated capacity of 19L. How well does it cook toast, pizza and roast chicken?
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The compact oven looks like a mini full-sized oven, while the glass convection oven is a large heat-resistant glass bowl with a lid containing the heating element and fan. Both types bake, roast, grill and toast.
In our tests we’ve found compact ovens are easier to use than glass convection models. The glass models have a glass bowl, which is heavy and awkward to wash in a domestic sink. It’s difficult to stir food in the glass models because the lid is heavy and gets very hot, although both types comes with a lid stand to rest the hot lid.
Benchtop ovens are small, so they heat up faster and use less energy than a full-sized oven for quick cooking jobs. But in dollar terms, the savings aren't likely to be huge.
For example, using a benchtop oven three times a week for one hour will cost you $17 to $34 a year depending on the model. In our recent test of single built-in ovens, the same amount of cooking sets you back $21 to $45 depending on the oven.
We measured the surface temperature of the external door, handle and controls while operating. There were no problems with the handles and controls – they all stayed cool enough to touch. However, the glass doors on the compact ovens and the glass bowls of the convection ovens can become very hot – between 75°C and 99°C – so be careful.
In previous tests, we’ve found the rear of the ovens was generally the hottest place so it’s important to allow plenty of clearance behind the oven. The top of the oven can also get hot so never place items there.
Check out more of our tests, articles, news and surveys in our Appliances section.