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Mini Smart Oven by Breville

Looking for a small toaster oven that doesn't take up much counter space? The mini version of our favorite toaster oven performs just as well and takes up a fraction of the space.
More on the Best Toaster Oven
The Breville Mini Smart Oven is the smallest version of our favorite full-size toaster oven. This review originally appeared in a 2014 issue of Cook's Illustrated magazine. Since that time, we have used the Mini Smart Oven for an additional 2 years in our kitchen and confirmed with Breville that the product remains unchanged. The Mini Smart Oven still receives our highest recommendation for a small-size toaster oven.

How We Tested

With five precise quartz elements for even heating, our top-rated toaster oven, the Smart Oven by Breville, out-toasted, roasted, baked, and broiled the other machines in our lineup. It also impressed us with its simple, intuitive format, with clearly marked buttons for useful preset cooking functions, like “pizza.’’ In fact nothing about it could be beat— except maybe the almost $250 price and its countertop-hogging size. For smaller kitchens and budgets, Breville more recently launched the Mini Smart Oven, using the same quartz heating technology (with four elements in the smaller space) and button format but costing about $100 less. And while it isn’t big enough to roast a whole chicken, heat a 12-inch pizza or bake a full batch of cookies, we used it to cook smaller foods to see how it would compare. Whether roasting a bone-in chicken breast, baking eight cookies, or heating an individual-size frozen pizza, the Mini Smart Oven aced our tests, preheating in five minutes or less and baking evenly. Its accuracy was spot-on, cycling no more than 30 degrees off the target temperature. Its one slight downside was toasting. Only the middles of one side of the bread browned on the first batch (subsequent rounds were far more even). Likewise for broiling: Cheese melted more evenly across the surface of open-faced tuna melts on follow-up rounds. At just about $150, the Breville Mini Smart Oven did almost everything the bigger Breville could do.

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The Results

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Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

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Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

Admittedly expensive, this handsome block certainly seemed to live up to its billing as “the last knife block you ever have to buy.” The heaviest model in our testing, this block was ultrastable, and its durable bamboo exterior was a breeze to clean. Well-placed medium-strength magnets made it easy to attach all our knives, and a rotating base gave us quick access to them. One tiny quibble: The blade of our 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a little

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Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

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Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.