To be perfectly honest, I’ve always wanted to have a mini oven, ever since I was a child.
I wasn’t particularly adept at cooking until Tom and I got married (and even then I was known to burn the porridge every once in a while), but I always loved tinkering around in the kitchen, preferably tailing someone who knew what they were doing.
Sadly, I never did have a mini oven. I moved right onto the regularly sized appliance, and I still use one today. But out of my sheer love for the thing, I’ve compiled here a set of 10 models I think would come in handy if you are in the market for one.
Why own a mini oven in the first place, I hear you asking?
Well, there’s the whole childhood dream aspect to it. Then again, there’s all this:
- It’s compact enough to fit into the smallest of kitchens: in dorms, caravans, studios, on boats, in offices and the like
- It’s a great extra hand if you are preparing extra large meals
- It prepares meals faster than regular ovens do (something to do with the fans as far as I can gather)
- It is versatile enough to let you grill, roast and bake all manner of dishes
- It consumes less energy than a regular oven
- It is easier to clean, given its smaller size
If any of the above sounds even remotely appealing, let’s move right along.
What to consider when in the market for a mini oven
While you probably won’t go wrong with any mini oven you choose, there are still things you need to keep in mind while out on the prowl.
In no particular order, I’d say they consist of the following:
Size: which will largely depend on how large a meal you want to be able to prep in your mini oven, and how large a space you have at your disposal. Make sure you consider its positioning wisely. First, don’t consider using an extension cord with the mini oven: it might not be powerful enough to conduct the electricity you need, and all sorts of mishapps can occur. Also, bear in mind it will get hot, so don’t exactly put it on top of the fridge. Also make sure you consider what size of dish you want to be able to place into it. When we bought our built-in oven, I didn’t realize absolutely none of the larger trays we owned would fit.
Power: the more watts the mini oven has, the more energy it will consume, and the more efficient it will be. Depending on what you are looking for in terms of energy efficiency vs. speed, you will want to check the wattage of your chosen model.
Speed: speed is directly tied to the wattage of a mini oven – which will determine how long an oven will take to preheat, and how long it will need to get the job done. If you are often scrambling for time, and need an oven to do its job quickly, go for something with more power.
Timers: most mini ovens come with a timer, and expect you to tell them how long they need to operate for. Make sure this length of time is something reasonable enough – I’d say at least an hour. You may need to turn the oven back on if you are roasting something particularly long, so bear that in mind as well. There will also be mini ovens without timers, so think carefully if that is a dealbreaker for your particular case.
Functions: most models will come with two heating elements (one on top and one on the bottom), and they can work independently in the majority of cases. This will come in handy in all sorts of different situations: imagine how you would roast a chicken as opposed to making a pizza. The functions you want to consider (and look for) include baking, roasting and grilling, to name but the basics. You may also want to look for fans and hobs, and consider if you need either.
Temperature range: consider what sorts of temperatures you need for preparing the meals you prepare. If you need to bake something at a low 100°C, you might not want to go for a mini oven where the lowest temperature is 150°C. The same goes for the higher temperature ranges as well.
10 best mini ovens to buy in 2020
After doing a fair bit of research, I’ve found that these 10 mini ovens do the best job. Hopefully, one of them will fit into your needs as well:
There is a reason this model is called the smart oven – as it is certainly the cleverest one on the market. True, you will still need to control it yourself to an extent, but as it is capable of adjusting settings as it bakes or roasts, your meals will come out perfect (almost) every time, and you won’t need to keep checking on them every so often.
This mini oven comes with ten functions you can choose from (including bake, bagel, roast, grill, cookies, pizza, reheat, warm and slow cook), but you can also override these settings and create your own. There is a toast function available too, which means you can get rid of the toaster that only takes up extra space, and still enjoy Marmite on a fresh and crispy slice in the morning.
What also makes this mini oven stand out is the way it delivers heat: it uses a convection fan and has five quartz heating elements that will adjust throughout the cooking process and evenly distribute heat wherever it’s needed. This technology also means it will heat up very fast, so you won’t have to stand around waiting for it to get to a certain temperature.
The LCD monitor will let you know what temperatures you are cooking at and how much time is left until your dish is done, and as the oven lights up inside, it will be easy to check if something needs turning or basting.
There is a bit of a downside with this model though: the inside is rather small, so you probably won’t be able to fit any of the trays you already own in it. However, it does come with its own tray and rack, so you shouldn’t have too much of an issue.
On a similar note, if you are looking to do a lot of baking, this model might not be the best choice, as it is not as consistent with temperatures as others (due to its smart tech), which may not be the best option for some of your bakes.
What I particularly like about this model is that it only takes three minutes to heat up to 180°C (and a bit less than five to get to 230°C), which makes it very fast, and very convenient if you need to get lunch on the table in under half an hour.
Another great feature is the curved design, which means you can place plates and other circular dishes inside (like pizza trays or round cake tins), which makes heating up a plate of leftovers a bit more straightforward and less messy.
It comes with all kinds of different programs (including defrost which is particularly handy as well, grill, bake and convection) which will get all of your cooking done with ease.
It is also rather small, so it will fit into tiny kitchens very well, but it is still powerful enough to get the job done efficiently.
There is a downside, of course: actually, there are several.
First of all, the exterior of this mini oven will get very hot to the touch, so you need to make sure you only go near it with an oven mit.
There is also no interior light, which can make gauging if a dish is ready a bit more of a challenge.
Finally, the temperature and timer dials are a bit fiddly, as the temperature degrees are not clearly marked (it only has a 100, 140, 180 and 230-degree marker), and the timer dial is also a bit tricky to set. This may or may not pose a problem for you, but do bear the fact in mind.
If you are looking for a lot of precision in your cooking, this might not be the mini oven for you. Otherwise, it’s a great option, and one worth looking into if you don’t mind the downsides I’ve listed.
This particular mini oven also comes with a hob, which is particularly useful if you are looking for an appliance that can replace your regular-sized oven. Perfect for small flats, dorms or even boats and other movable homes.
There is a smaller and a larger hotplate, one at 1000W and the other going up to 1600W, so you should have no particular problem with cooking most standard dishes, boiling a kettle, or heating a dish up.
The oven itself comes with 3 heat configurations, and a top and bottom heating element, which can either be used simultaneously or separately, so all of your bakes and roasts will come out done to perfection.
It also comes with a wire stand, a bake holder and a non-stick plate, so you will have no trouble grilling, roasting or baking anything you can dream up. There is also a crumb tray that will help you catch anything that spills or drips, making it a bit easier to clean. Also included is a handy tray handle that will help you add and remove trays from the oven.
The temperatures can be set anywhere between 70°C and 230°C, and you can set the timer to up to 120 minutes (which might be a bit low, if you are looking to roast something larger, so you will need to come back to the oven and turn it on again – but is also more than some other models feature).
As this is rather a small mini oven model, the punch it packs is rather pleasantly surprising. An excellent choice if you need to save on space, but don’t want to compromise on taste.
This Oypla mini oven has enough capacity to help you make even more elaborate meals, while still remaining small enough to be able to fit into a compact apartment without making it feel too crowded.
It has four heating elements (two hobs and two in the oven itself), and its power ranges between 1500W and 2900W – meaning it can heat up to between 100°C and 250°C. These temperatures seem to be the most ideal for these kinds of ovens, from what I’ve managed to discover.
This model also comes with two hotplates, one with the power of 800W behind it, and the other at 600W, which means you can still boil something on the hob as well, even if you don’t have the space for a larger appliance.
This model does not have a timer – which can either be a great thing, or a bad thing, depending on how you like to cook. Personally, I’m used to setting my own timers and checking on my dishes as I go along, so I wouldn’t mind having no timer.
The three knobs control the three units (hobs + oven), but the temperature markings are a bit intuitive, as with some other models, and you will have to guess where exactly 180°C is, for example.
All in all, I’d say this is another great model you can use to grill, bake and roast anything you need. It’s easy to clean thanks to its non-stick surface, and the tongs that come with it make it easy to turn things over, and make cooking a bit easier. There is also a wire rack and a baking tray that will come in quite useful.
This is a mini oven model that can very easily be confused with a microwave – it certainly looks just like one.
However, let’s not let that put us off, as there is more to this one than meets the eye.
True, it has somewhat of a lower capacity, but that might just be what you are looking for, and don’t want to pay extra for a model that has features you don’t really need.
There are three cooking functions you can put to good use (a standard, a grill and a lower heating), and the temperatures range from 60°C to 220°C, which will be more than enough for most standard meals, and can be used to keep dishes warm while you wait for someone to join you for a bite.
Its smaller size means that you can make meals for one or two people, can heat things up, or even bake a full pizza. A dinner plate will fit inside as well, so you don’t have to use two trays and several plates simply for the act of warming something up.
The timer goes up to 120 minutes, which means you will have plenty of time at your disposal, and there is a handy bell sound emitted when the cooking is done.
The controls are easy to use and each setting is clearly marked, so you will have a much easier time adjusting times and temperatures than with some other models on this list.
The inside features an aluminium coating that makes it easy to clean, and there is also a crumb tray you will appreciate.
I can see this model of mini oven in a small home or a studio for one, where you don’t have the space for a full-sized appliance, but would still like to bake and roast every once in a while. I wouldn’t recommend it for larger families or meals, and the fact that it does not have a hob means you will still need something else to be able to make just about anything that comes to mind.
Another mini oven with a hob that’s designed really well, and looks like something out of a professional kitchen.
It has a fan-assisted oven that means you will get those perfect results, and it comes with different settings that can grill, roast, bake, defrost and even boil.
The defrost feature is particularly great, and much better with this model than with some other ones I have found. You can of course use a microwave for the purpose, but if you don’t have one, this oven will take care of your defrosting needs. Perfect if you meal prep in bulk and freeze a lot of your meals, then forget to pop them out of the freezer on time.
Another advantage of this model is that it heats up super fast, so if you are on the go and would like to get something in the oven quickly, this is the model for you. I just love how these mini ovens are much faster than the full-size models.
Temperatures range between 60°C and 230°C with this one, which is great if you are looking for a model that starts at lower temperatures, for whatever reason.
As with many of the other models I’ve found, the temperatures and times are a bit hard to gauge, but the most important (and most frequently used I guess) options are clearly marked. If you want to be super precise though, this will be a bit of a challenge, I do have to say.
As for the hobs, one downside is that you can’t use them at the same time as the oven, but they will heat up a bit when the oven is on, so you could in theory simmer something on the hob or keep a dish warm in the same go. Not ideal, I do have to admit.
Another downside is that you can’t set the temperature of the hob, so if you bring something to a boil, you can’t just reduce the heat and let it simmer – you will need to turn it off completely and use the residual heat for the purpose. This means you will need to keep a careful eye on anything you place on the hob.
Finally, the oven door is not clear, so you will have to open it every time to take a peek inside. Another potential pain, and not quite the standard, so I am admittedly a bit confused with this feature.
All in all, I’d suggest this as an addition to another oven you may have, or as a single oven in campers or on boats, as its oven is really good, and if you only need to boil a kettle, you should also be fine with the hob’s features.
Klarstein is a brand I first started exploring when we bought our table top dishwasher, and have come to realize they make some nice appliances all around.
This mini oven has 5 different cooking functions, and can go from 100°C to 230°C – not ideal if you need something lower, but should be okay for most cooking needs. It also has a rotisserie function, which can make preparing chicken or other kinds of meat even easier.
It comes with a spit and a handle for the spit (plus the usual baking tray and grill), which is not something other models have, and might be a very interesting addition.
The timer goes up to 60 minutes, which can also be a bit of a drawback, if you are looking for something with longer periods for cooking. You may need to come back and turn it on again.
It is large enough on the other hand to be able to feed more people, as its capacity is at the 30 litre mark – more than quite a lot of the models I’ve talked about so far.
Simply put, this is a well-rounded model from a well-known and reliable brand, which is mainly the reason why it has made it onto this list. It performs well, and has drawbacks that can be found in other mini ovens as well.
Moving on to another mini oven with a hob, this time from Andrew James, this one is compact and easy to use, and perfect for families of two (or one).
It has a double hotplate on top, which have their own independent controls, and are 700W each. They can both be used at the same time, and simultaneously with the oven too, which makes this a great little appliance. The hobs will be great for boiling and getting ingredients to mesh together nicely.
The downside of the hobs is that they can only be turned on and off, and the temperatures can’t be adjusted, so do bear that in mind before making a purchase.
This mini oven comes with a removable grill shelf, and the accustomed baking tray. This also has a handle you can use to add and remove things from the oven when it’s hot.
The oven itself can be heated up to 230°C, and the temperature dial has the standard issue of not having all of the numbers marked on it clearly – but this really does seem to be a standard downfall of most mini ovens, so nothing new there.
There is no timer though, so you will have to keep an eye on your dish with this one as well.
This Andrew James model is rather light too, and at only 9 kilograms it is easy to transport, so you might want to take it with you in a caravan or on a boat.
In short, another interesting mini oven to check out, and compare and contrast with the other models I’ve listed so far.
Honestly, I wanted to find a mini oven that was larger than others, just to see how it compares to the smaller models.
This seems to be the biggest model with the best reviews, but do correct me if you find or own something that is as large, but works better than this one.
Its capacity is 42 litres, which is significantly higher than some of the other models I’ve been looking at, so it can fit rather larger meals, and probably even work for a larger family that doesn’t have the space to accommodate a full-sized oven.
It comes with two hotplates – which can’t however be used at the same time as the oven. They can be used independently, or at the same time, but there is no way to adjust the temperatures of the hotplates, so you will just have to wing it. Far from ideal, I do agree with you on that.
The oven itself can go from 100°C to 230°C, as do most other models. There are three different oven settings you can use as well, and the timer goes up to 60 minutes.
This model comes with a wire rack, a baking tray, a rotisserie fork and a handle, all of which should come in quite handy when using it.
I’d say the main appeal of this mini oven is the size and the quality of the oven. If you can let go over the somewhat lacking features of the hobs, it’s still a decent appliance that can save you a lot of space.
This is another larger mini oven model, this time from Netta, which also comes with a double hotplate.
The hotplates and the oven are controlled by the same thermostat – but the good news is that they can all be controlled, which is a plus compared to some other models. Also, the hotplates and the oven can still be used at the same time, according to my research.
It comes with a 120-minute timer, and temperatures can go up to 230°C – both of which should be enough for most dishes, and you can always extend the cooking time by turning it on again if you need to.
It heats up quickly and is as easy to use as any other mini oven – but the single thermostat might need a bit of time getting used to.
It comes with a grill rack and a baking tray, as do all other models we have talked about.
Overall, another well-rounded model that can fit into small spaces and that does a good job at baking, grilling or roasting whatever you can throw into it.
What I’ve learned about mini ovens
Having based this review entirely on research, I have to admit there are some things that seem to be true of most mini oven models.
They all seem to come with all the trays and other tools you need to use them well.
Using the hob(s) and oven at the same time can be a challenge with some mini ovens.
Hobs in general are not the best addition in some cases – as their temperatures can’t always be controlled.
Most ovens have all kinds of different settings that will be very useful for different purposes.
Temperature and timer controls can be quite fiddly, and getting them right may at times be quite a challenge. Not ideal for dishes that require very specific temperatures or baking times.
All in all, I can claim that the mini oven is a great little appliance – if you are short on space or time, this can be a great addition to your kitchen.
Of course, do your own research, check out the models I’ve found, and let me know what you think of them.
A word of farewell
If you do end up buying a mini oven (or if you already own one), do let me know how it fares – I’d love to know how they actually compare to the full-sized thing in real life, with real meals and for real families.