By Paul Hope
Perfect pizzaSure, toaster ovens are great for making toast or reheating pizza, but many new models function as a miniature oven. When we tested 35 for our most recent roundup, even we were impressed by the results!
1. Beautiful Cakes: Most of the models we tested easily handled baking potatoes -- and many, including our winning models from Breville, Black & Decker and Avanti, also turned out cakes that were fluffy and beautifully browned. While they won't replace a full-sized oven for baking large batches of goodies, they're perfect for a single cake or half-dozen cookies. Companies like NordicWare even offer full lines of toaster oven bakeware, including cake pans, cookie sheets and muffin tins.
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2. Golden Brown Chicken: Almost all toaster ovens can broil pieces of chicken, but the majority can roast a whole bird, too. We got great results from most toaster ovens we tested, although we didn't necessarily find it to be any faster. Still, it's a great option if you're short on oven space or don't feel like dirtying your range or wall oven.
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3. Perfect Pizza: Many new ovens have a rounded back to accommodate larger pizzas. Some can even hold an 11-inch pie! While only a handful came with pizza stones or pans, Emile Henry offers a set of two ceramic stones ($49.95 at Williams-Sonoma) to solve that problem. In an informal lab test, they turned out crispy pies with a beautiful, evenly browned crust. If you're a serious pizza baker, consider the full-size stone.
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