We tried 6 baking sheets and cookie sheets to find the best ones you can buy in 2021

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  • Baking sheets are multi-purpose items, used for everything from baking cookies to roasting wings.
  • Our top pick is the Nordic WareNaturals Half Sheet, made of uncoated aluminum.
  • It did not warp at high roasting temperatures, and was the easiest to use.

Baking sheets are incredibly versatile pieces of cookware; they can be vessels for everything from one-pan meals and cookies to grandma-style pizza and loaded nachos.

A quality baking sheet doesn’t have hot spots, is easy to clean, keeps its shape, and evenly browns your food. Full-size sheet pans don’t fit in most home ovens, so a half sheet measuring 13 by 18 inches is the largest option appropriate for home cooks, according to Kristy Greenwood Bortz of Victory Love + Cookies. Check our FAQ section for a brief rundown of the four most common sheet pan types and their dimensions.

In this guide, we use the term “baking sheet” to refer to all of the products, while “cookie sheet” specifically means a flat pan with only one elevated edge. According to Beth and Maddie Barnett of Eat Me Cookies, cookie sheets’ unique structure allows you to slide baked goods on and off without having to lift them over a rim. That’s something to consider when choosing the best baking sheet for your particular needs.

In order to select our top three picks, we consulted food industry experts and ran each baking sheet through a series of tests. We baked butter cookies, roasted potatoes, and noted how each sheet handled being rotated in an oven. We also considered the sheets’ capacities and cooling times, as well as how difficult it was to scrub away burnt food.

Here are the 3 best baking sheets of 2021:

Our methodology

Two sets of cookies side by side: each set was baked on one sheet, and one cookie is top side up and the other bottom side up, showing how one sheet browned cookies more than the other.
The cookies in the above photo were cooked at the same temperature for the same length of time, just on different sheets.

We consulted three experts on their professional experiences with different types of baking sheets: Kristy Greenwood Bortz, owner of Victory Love + Cookies, and Beth and Maddie Barnett, founders of Eat Me Cookies. Their input informed our own testing methodology and the answers to our FAQs.

For this guide, we tested six baking sheets, including two rimless cookie sheets. We used a holiday cookie recipe from King Arthur Flour

Baking test: We baked 12 butter cookies on all test products, baking one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet once during baking. We evaluated the browning on the bottom of the cookies, comparing cookies on the edges of the sheets to the ones in the center. We did not use parchment paper. 

Roasting test: We roasted potatoes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes to evaluate how much they stuck to the sheet. We also noted the sheet’s capacity, and how well it handled the weight of the potatoes. 

Cleaning test: After baking, we washed the sheets according to manufacturer instructions. Dishwasher-safe sheets were washed in a dishwasher and then examined for surface damage. If a sheet was hand-wash only, it was cleaned with a non-abrasive sponge. We noted how difficult it was to scrub away burnt food by hand. 

Ease of use: During baking, we noted how it felt to handle the sheets and how easy it was to rotate them in the oven. After baking, we noted how long it took before we could hold the sheet without a potholder.

The best baking sheet overall

The top sides of nine cookies baked on our best overall sheet pan, the Nordic Ware Naturals Half Sheet.
We baked a batch of roll-and-cut butter cookies on every sheet we tested, including the Nordic Ware Naturals Half Sheet, above. The half-moon shape made it easy to evaluate spread and color.

The Nordic Ware Naturals Half Sheet delivers an even bake, wipes clean easily, and food slides off with little effort.

Pros: Conducts heat evenly, cookies release easily

Cons: Shows wear and tear after first use

The Nordic Ware Naturals half sheet is our top pick because it’s simple, effective, and affordable. When I roasted potatoes on this sheet, a coat of olive oil prevented most of the sticking, and any burnt pieces were easily scrubbed off with a scouring pad. In our bake test, the uncoated aluminum sheet baked the butter cookies in the time suggested by the recipe, as opposed to the nonstick sheets, which baked cookies faster than expected. Though there was slight resistance, the cookies came off without breaking. 

As someone who uses a baking sheet on an almost daily basis, it’s important that I don’t have to take my sheet’s limitations into account before I bake. It can be frustrating if you have to remember to position your cauliflower away from your baking sheet’s warped spot, or risk charring the bottoms of your cookies if you don’t take them out five minutes early. Using the Nordic Ware sheet requires little thought; it bakes evenly and keeps its shape. 

Here I should mention that this sheet will show wear and tear after the first use. I’ve already noticed scratches and slight discoloration from acidic foods, but the decline in appearance has had no effect on its performance.

The best cookie sheet

The top sides of nine cookies baked on our best cookie sheet, the Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Cookie Sheet.
The butter cookies came out crisp, but not burnt, on the Williams Sonoma Cookie Sheet.

The Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Pro Cookie Sheet‘s excellent heat conductivity and flat edges work to prevent underdone or broken cookies.

Pros: Sturdy, even browning, easy to maneuver 

Cons: Requires adjusted baking time or temperature

Cookie sheets can feel flimsy because they don’t have the structure of wire-reinforced rims. The Goldtouch Pro sheet felt sturdy, and when I held it using the one raised edge, I didn’t feel like it was going to tip out of my hands. When rotating it in the oven, I could lift the sheet with two hands on one of the rimless edges. 

In my experience with this pan, it bakes evenly browned cookies faster than usual. Since originally testing the Goldtouch Pro, I have used it to bake meringues and macaroons. With those recipes that tend to be low and slow bakes, there was no change in baking time and the cookie bottoms were golden and crisp. 

There was no resistance between the butter cookies and the surface of the sheet. I could pick them up with my hands and didn’t even need a spatula. The sheet didn’t warp in an oven heated to 400 degrees and cooled down quickly.

The best baking sheet for roasting

Chopped carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes roasted on our best baking sheet for roasting, the OXO Good Grips Baking Sheet.
Even the burnt onion pieces came off the OXO baking sheet easily with soap and a little scrubbing.

Oil and burnt food slide off the OXO Good Grips Half Sheet with ease, making it perfect for roasting vegetables, meat, and more.

Pros: Easy to clean, texture does not transfer to food, sturdy

Cons: Speeds up bake time, can’t clean it with steel wool

One of the OXO Half Sheet‘s main selling points is its textured diamond pattern, which is designed to limit direct food-to-sheet contact and thus increase airflow. While I didn’t see evidence of those benefits on the cookies I made, the pattern seemed to be a plus for roasting potatoes. 

I found that the burnt bits of potato and oil came off the OXO sheet much easier and with less scrubbing than the smooth sheets. And, the sheet is sturdy and balanced, so walking from the counter to the oven with a full, heavy pan of vegetables was easy. 

As with the other nonstick sheets I tested, the butter cookies baked in a shorter amount of time than the recipe indicated. While I expected the diamond texture to imprint on the cookies, that wasn’t the case.

What else we tested

Chopped potatoes on a rimmed Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Baking Sheet.
We roasted potatoes coated in olive and salt on all rimmed baking sheets.

NUCU Gold-Coated Aluminum Cookie Sheet: The NUCU cookie sheet baked cookies faster than any other sheet we tested, requiring even more significant adjustments to time and temperature. 

Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Half Sheet: The Goldtouch Half Sheet baked cookies faster than the Nordic Ware and was slightly more difficult to clean than the OXO.  

Nordic Ware Naturals Quarter Sheet: This product performed just as well as the half sheet size, but can only fit small batches.

Great Jones Holy Sheet: This brand is known for having accessible, high-end cookware. However, this sheet pan hasn’t held up under heavy use from other Insider testers — the ceramic nonstick coating is easily damaged. 

What we’re testing next

USA Pan Warp-Resistant Nonstick Cookie Sheet ($17.50): We plan on testing more textured options for future updates, and are curious to try a textured cookie sheet. This one has a PTFE, PFOA, and BPA-free silicone based nonstick coating.

Farberware Insulated Nonstick Cookie Sheet ($12.99-$14.99): This nonstick Farberware cookie sheet is light gray, and we want to compare it to the gold cookie sheets we tested to see if its lighter color slows the bake time.

FAQs

Six baking sheets stacked on top of each other showing all the products we tested for this guide.
We tested six sheets from four different brands and in two different styles.

What are the standard baking sheet sizes?


What is the difference between a baking sheet and a cookie sheet? 

In this guide, we use “baking sheet” as a general term for all sheet pans. “Cookie sheet” refers specifically to a flat, rimless sheet pan with one raised edge to hold it by. The structure of a cookie sheet allows you to slide cookies on and off without having to lift them over a rim, thus preserving their shape and structure.

All cookie sheets are baking sheets, but not all baking sheets are cookie sheets.


Does the color of the baking sheet matter?

Like all bakeware, a baking sheet’s color affects its heat retention. “Darker pans absorb heat and can cause the bottoms of cookies to burn,” said Maddie Barnett. 

If you use your baking sheets often, you’ll learn how to adjust baking times and temperatures, but it may require some trial and error. Remember that you can bake an underdone cookie more, but an overbaked cookie can’t go back in time. “You can always pull a cookie a little early and then put it back in the oven to finish baking if you determine that the center is still raw,” said Greenwood Bortz.

PFOA and PTFE

If you’ve shopped for baking sheets online, you’ve probably noticed the acronyms PFOA and PTFE in product descriptions. Here’s what you need to know about each:

PTFE stands for polytetrafluoroethylene, and is more commonly known by its brand name: Teflon. There have been concerns over the health effects of PTFE and PFOA, although studies have been mostly inconclusive.

PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, was originally used in the production of Teflon, which was invented in the 1970s. Most of the PFOA burns off during the manufacturing process, although trace elements remain in the cookware. These elements are then released if the cookware is overheated to temperatures of 570 degrees Fahrenheit or above. However, since 2010, the EPA has put programs and regulations in place to phase out the use of PFOAs in American manufacturing. The majority of cookware made in the United States since 2015 is PFOA-free, and so are all of our top picks. 

International standards are not the same as American ones, so PFOA may still be used in products from other countries.

Check out our other great baking guides

cake made in the kitchenaid cake pan as part of testing for the best cake pan in 2021
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Thrive Market is an online grocery store that sells organic foods at wholesale prices – here’s what it’s like to use

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a collection of groceries from Thrive Market against a yellow background

  • Thrive Market is an online grocery store that curates the best organic, non-GMO groceries, beauty, and cleaning supplies.
  • Its prices are 25% to 50% off regular retail prices, though you have to pay a membership fee ($60/year or $10/month).
  • I saved more than $100 on my first order at Thrive Market than if I were to shop at a regular grocery store.

Membership (Monthly) (small)Membership (Annual) (small)Table of Contents: Masthead StickyRelated Article Module: The 5 best places to buy groceries online in 2021

When I first tried Thrive Market, I was just coming out of essentially a reverse-cleanse: a 12-pack of macaroni and cheese that I bought at a “great deal” discount on Amazon groceries. A couple of months of eating that and an unrelated health scare, and I was ready to commit to a complete pantry overhaul. That’s when I started shopping at Thrive Market.

What is Thrive Market?

Thrive Market bills itself as “wholesome food at wholesale prices.” It’s an online wholesale grocery store that curates the best organic, non-GMO products at a discounted rate of 25% to 50% off retail prices to its members.

You have two membership options. The annual membership costs $59.95 (or $5/month) and is billed once yearly. If you opt to do a monthly membership instead, you’ll pay $9.95 per month.

You’ll get free shipping on your first order over $25, plus all orders $49 or more. Thrive Market currently ships to all contiguous US states.

How it works:

  • Sign up for free: You can browse the catalog, see member saving, and receive 25% off your first purchase.
  • Start a free 30-day trial: You can start a free 30-day membership trial with your first purchase on Thrive Market. Cancel anytime.
  • Join as a member: After your trial, you can sign up for a paid membership. If you do, you’re also sponsoring a free membership for a low-income family.

You can shop Thrive Market category, by values (ie. gluten-free, paleo, raw, vegan, etc.), or by current deals.

What can you buy at Thrive Market?

Thrive Market carries 6,000+ healthy products, and you can shop hundreds of categories. You’ll find food, beauty, bath and body, health, babies and kids, home, pet supplies, and the all-inclusive “other” from brands like Burt’s Bees, Acure, Annie’s, Seventh Generation, KIND, Bragg, Califa, Milkadamia, and Primal Kitchen.

While you can buy staples like meats and seafood, the rest of Thrive Market’s selection is mostly shelf-stable options. For produce, you’ll probably still want to stop at your neighborhood store, farmers’ market, or another grocery delivery option.

In addition to offering thousands of organic brands you could find at your local grocery store and online, they also have an in-house Thrive Market brand that packages organic products (the equivalent of your supermarket chain’s generic brand).

a smoothie bowl made from groceries purchased from Thrive Market
Thrive Market’s $60/year or $10/month membership gets you access to savings on healthy foods.

If you spend a lot of time researching healthy foods, have a dedicated diet or food restrictions, or consistently buy organic or non-GMO foods online, you’ll likely get the most value with Thrive Market.

Quality is a concern with organic substitutes, and it’s helpful to have customer ratings to simplify things as you go on Thrive Market. The healthy eating community is an intense one, so it’s nice that Thrive Market makes use of all that helpful, accumulative passion in a way that I, a newcomer, can utilize too.

The 25% to 50% price difference also could help to close the gap between the sometimes inflated “organic” prices at some grocery stores, making Thrive Market a viable choice for the average person on a budget.

If ordering food online seems risky to you, it’s good to note that you’ll be protected by a return policy. If anything is wrong with your groceries or your order, though, let them know here within 21 days.

When we price checked some of the items, Thrive Market was not always cheaper, but when it was, it usually offered a large enough gap in savings to be substantial overall. You could save more by buying local, though your selection may not be as wide or the process as convenient.

And if you’re concerned about getting value out of your membership, Thrive Market guarantees their annual membership will pay for itself. If your membership fee was $60, but you only saved $40 in a year, they will automatically give you the difference ($20) in Thrive Market credit after you renew.

Review of Thrive Market

two boxes of Simple Mills crackers from Thrive Market
Thrive Market stocks popular brands like Annie’s and Simple Mills, and has its own in-house Thrive Market brand too.

I ordered my groceries from Thrive Market in pursuit of a pantry not entirely reliant upon mac and cheese. In my first Thrive order, the total was $99.16 and the savings listed were $145.33.

The savings claims held up, and I technically paid off the $60 annual membership fee in my first order. The food was delicious, and I discovered new better-for-you snacks. I also found Thrive to be surprisingly cheaper for some of my favorite skincare products, like this Aztec Clay Mask.

Thrive Market carries ethically sourced meat and seafood in large bulk “box” options, but the options are slightly more limited than the average meat and seafood counter at a grocery store. I also don’t have space in my freezer or fridge to handle $100+ worth of meat, but if you do, it could be another great place to see your savings.

My colleague, Owen Burke, a lifelong fisherman with a background in commercial fishing and tending oyster bars, tried out Thrive’s bevy of seafood on offer, and had this to say:

“I tried Thrive Market’s Deluxe Seafood box, which runs you about $170. This is not something you’ll want to buy unless you have a solid shelf of freezer space to spare, but I’ll commend Thrive and call this nothing short of a feat on their part. You’re getting six different species of seafood, and everything I received was wild-caught, and not in some far-flung waters using questionable methods and labor practices, something with which the industry is rife. These might not be the absolute best practices for every product, but Thrive is going leaps and bounds above your run-of-the-mill grocery store.

My favorite was the shrimp. They were superbly packed, vacuum-sealed, and packaged, which is among the most important things to do with any seafood. Mess that part up in any way (which, admittedly, is an easy thing to do), and you’re fighting a losing game against oxidation and freezer burn. These shrimp still looked fresh after I thawed them and pulled them out of the packaging. They were beautifully peeled and de-veined, and they had no hint of off-flavor that you sometimes get when shrimp (especially frozen shrimp) aren’t handled all that well. I give them an A+ here.

The sockeye salmon was also vacuum-sealed well, and while I always appreciate skin-on salmon fillets, they often come at the cost of turned (brown) blood meat, which imparts that”fishy” flavor associated with frozen fish. This is per usual, though, when it comes to frozen salmon, but I recommend eating around it, if not to avoid the taste then to avoid the toxins blood meat bears. You’ll also get four to five fillets, which means four to five servings (about six ounces a pop).

The lobster tails are very nicely processed, de-veined, and split so you can pop them right in the oven or on the grill. They’re not vacuum-sealed, but loose on a tray covered in plastic, which lends them to some freezer burn and ice buildup, but that really doesn’t create the problem for lobster as it does for fish, due to the tough quality of the meat.

The scallops I received provided two servings, and while they weren’t vacuum-sealed as I would have liked, they were plenty tasty. Just note that these are not your jumbo-sized U10 (under 10/pound) scallops, but they were tasty and clean (free of residual sand and mud). You can find better scallops out there, but for what you’re getting for the price of this box, I’d file no complaints.

It varies depending on what you get, but in all, you’re looking at 10-15 meals of fresh-frozen (that’s fish that was frozen fresh, as soon as it was processed) wild-caught protein of high quality. That’s something like $11-$17 dollars a dish, which is about as good as you’re going to do with high-quality fresh seafood unless you’ve got friends at the fishing docks.”

The bottom line

a box showing meat purchased from Thrive Market
Thrive Market carries meat and fish to be ordered in bulk, but it isn’t likely to be the average person’s main source of meats.

I wish it was possible to find everything here (fresh fruit, more options for meat), but ultimately the discounts and the easy delivery make using Thrive worth it. And I wish it was free shipping always instead of just orders of $49 and up, but I typically clear that just by restocking my favorite basics. All in all, I liked using Thrive Market regularly for healthy snacks, healthy-but-fast foods, and kitchen basics like pasta sauce and olive oil.

If you need an added incentive, Thrive Market also has a program called “Thrive Gives” which gifts a free membership to someone in need through Feeding America and the Boys and Girls Club or directly through the site for every paid membership. The free membership also includes teachers, veterans, and first responders.

Start a free 30-day trial to Thrive Market

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The 6 best water bottles we tested in 2021

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  • A refillable water bottle is a great sustainable option for staying hydrated while you’re on the go.
  • The best should be durable, easily portable, and able to keep your beverages cold or hot for hours on end.
  • Our top pick, the Hydro Flask Wide Mouth, features rugged construction and excellent temperature retention.

Reusable water bottles are a must for anyone who wants to quench their thirst without leaving a trail of landfill-clogging plastic in their wake. But just like travel mugs, choosing a water bottle isn’t as simple as picking the prettiest option or the cheapest one.

If your bottle is mostly going to sit on your desk or travel from room to room in your home, your needs are quite different than if you want a lightweight companion for a weekend hike or a leak-proof option that rattles around in your gym bag without soaking everything inside.

To find the best currently available, we tested and researched a variety of bottles and bottle types. The following guide includes versatile stainless-steel options, inexpensive but reliable plastic bottles, and even a sturdy one for glass lovers. We also include picks for anyone who wants a bottle with a high-end design and a collapsible water bottle for situations when weight and portability are paramount.

At the end of this guide, we’ve also included some insight into how to shop for a water bottle and what to keep in mind when picking out which bottle fits your lifestyle best.

Here are the best water bottles:

The best water bottle overall

a vacuum insulated water bottle that people swear by

The Hydro Flask Wide Mouth water bottle is durable, keeps water ice cold for hours on end, looks cool, and is easy to use. 

Pros: Very durable, great at keeping drinks cold or hot, easy to use, compatible with three kinds of lids, comes in high-capacity options

Cons: Heavy, expensive, flip top may leak, not dishwasher-safe

Hydro Flask is a great choice if you hate gulping warm water in the summer. It also offers some much-appreciated versatility, with a wide opening that fits three lids depending on your needs: A flip lid with a loop, a flex cap with an even larger loop (included), and a straw lid for more convenient sipping. We like having the option to switch out lids, and the wide mouth also makes it easy to load this bottle up with ice. You can choose between 18-, 32-, 40- and 64-ounce capacities and a number of fun colors.

During Outdoor Gear Lab’s testing, ice resisted melting for nearly a full 24 hours, and water was ice cold for more than a full day. The insulated stainless steel also keeps drinks warm for several hours, so Hydro Flask can pull double-duty as a travel mug for coffee and tea. 

This thing is seriously rugged, too. Like all stainless-steel water bottles, it can dent when dropped, but in Outside’s tests, it managed to survive being pelted with large rocks and getting backed over by a Toyota Camry and a Chevy Silverado. After all that punishment, it sustained a quarter-inch dent and one small scratch.  It also has a loop on the lid that makes it easy to carry one-handed.

Insider Reviews senior reporter Owen Burke calls Hydro Flask water bottles “lightweight and nearly indestructible” (he tested the 24-ounce version). But he found the silicone loop on the lid to be “not the most durable thing in the world, and it will eventually break.” Nearly every member on the Insider Reviews team uses a Hydro Flask. You can read about their experiences on why they like the company’s products.

It’s heavier than other bottles (the 18-ounce version weighs in at 11.6 ounces, the 32-ounce closes in on 1 pound) so serious hikers looking to save on weight might want to consider lighter options.

The flip-top is not leak-proof, so consider sticking with the flex cap if you want to toss your bottle in a bag without worrying. A few also complain of a slight metallic taste. Finally, this bottle is hand-wash only – steer clear if you live and die by the dishwasher. — Saundra Latham

The best plastic water bottle

Camelbak

If you prioritize price or weight over temperature retention, consider the inexpensive and easy-to-use Camelbak Chute water bottle

Pros: Lightweight, inexpensive, durable, easy to carry, gulp-friendly spout, dishwasher-safe, comes in high-capacity options

Cons: Lid is tricky to lock down, won’t keep your water cold for long, may “sweat” with condensation on a hot day

Stainless-steel water bottles like the Hydro Flask have a lot of pros, but they’re heavy. A plastic water bottle like the Camelbak Chute is cheaper and a lot lighter. In fact, the largest 50-ounce Chute weighs a measly 7.6 ounces. If you’re not quite that thirsty, no worries: There are 20-, 25-, and 34-ounce versions, too.

Like the Hydro Flask, the Chute has a wide mouth that makes it easy to fill and load up with ice, and the large spout means you can gulp until you’re content instead of dealing with a valve that restricts flow, which is common on other water bottles. It also has a loop on the cap, making it easy to clip to a backpack or hook around a finger or two.

Though the Chute may not be as tough as stainless steel, it’s still relatively rugged for a plastic water bottle. It’s made of BPA-free, dishwasher-safe Tritan plastic that is engineered to resist cracking. Even better, most say the bottle doesn’t impart any funky plastic taste to their water.

A few minor issues: Other testers have found that it can be tricky to lock the cap down onto the lid while drinking, though they still appreciate having the option to keep the cap from springing back and bonking them in the nose. Of course, plastic isn’t great at regulating temperatures, so if you need to keep drinks hot or want to keep them cold for longer, take a look at the pricier and, of course, heavier stainless-steel Chute.  — Saundra Latham

The best glass water bottle

glass water bottle

The Lifefactory Glass Water Bottle is a better choice for the most discerning palates and a more eco-friendly choice for anyone concerned with green living.

Pros: Glass won’t alter the taste of water, more recyclable than other options, silicone sleeve provides good grip and protection from bumps and drops, compatible with three kinds of lids, dishwasher-safe

Cons: Heavy, glass is less durable than plastic or stainless steel, flip-top may not regulate flow well enough for sippers, may “sweat” with condensation on a hot day

If you hate that metallic or plastic taste you get with other water bottles, you’ll love the Lifefactory Glass Water Bottle, which keeps water fresh and untainted, even after a full day sitting in the bottle. You don’t get the aftertaste that metal or plastic tend to impart.

The Lifefactory is also a good option if you’re worried about the chemicals in plastic and want something that is more readily recyclable.

No, glass bottles won’t survive as many drops as stainless steel or shatter-resistant plastic, but the Lifefactory bottle is protected by its substantial silicone sleeve. The sleeve also provides a grippier surface for holding the bottle. Since glass “sweats” more than other materials, this is a feature most users should appreciate.

You have a few lid options with Lifefactory water bottles: A silicone flip cap (included), a straw cap, and a leak-proof classic cap meant for those who want to toss the bottle in a bag without worrying. Other testers have said the wide mouth makes it easy to fill, though they do note it can be easy to misthread the cap, raising your risk of leaks. The bottle is dishwasher-safe, even with the silicone sleeve on.

Other issues are minimal: The flip cap can pop off and doesn’t regulate flow well enough for users who may just want a sip. Of course, like all glass bottles, the Lifefactory is heavy — the 22-ounce bottle is just over a pound — so it isn’t the best pick when weight is a big concern. — Saundra Latham

The best water bottle for design lovers

S'well bottle

S’well Stainless Steel Water Bottles are a great blend of form and function, keep your water cold, and look amazing doing it.

Pros: Wide range of beautiful designs, great at keeping drinks cold or hot, relatively durable, doesn’t “sweat”

Cons: Heavy, expensive, narrow mouth, not dishwasher-safe

S’well has become something of a phenomenon in a few short years, thanks in part to powerful backers like Oprah and massive retail partners like Starbucks and Target. Stainless-steel S’well bottles are always a standout on store shelves thanks to their eye-catching designs, whether you like wood grain, marble, metallic, animal print, or more.

Insider Reviews deputy editor Malarie Gokey loves her stone-style S’well bottle for its slick design, ability to keep drinks cold, and its trusty lid. There are three sizes  — 9, 17, and 25 ounces — and the smaller two bottles can fit in standard cup holders.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the design of a S’well bottle, but its triple-walled body means it’s just as good as the Hydro Flask and similar bottles at keeping drinks cold or hot – up to 24 or 12 hours, respectively. Users note that the bottle doesn’t sweat, keeping their hands dry. S’well bottles should stand up to a good amount of abuse, but reviewers note that like any steel bottles, they can sustain dents and dings if dropped.

S’well features a simple twist cap that receives high marks for its ease of use, and it really is quite leak-proof. Though S’well’s classic bottles have a narrow opening many reviewers say they’re still able to fit standard ice cubes inside. S’well offers a flip-top sport lid, but if a straw lid is more appealing, S’well won’t be an option. You’ll also want to hand-wash these bottles, a common recommendation for stainless steel.

These aren’t the lightest water bottles around – the 25-ounce bottle weighs in at a pound, similar to the 32-ounce Hydro Flask. You can’t ignore the fact that S’well bottles are on the pricier side compared with others.  — Saundra Latham

The best flexible water bottle

Vapur water bottle

The collapsible Vapur Element weighs just one ounce unfilled, so you may even forget it’s in your bag.

Pros: Very lightweight, inexpensive, freezable, can be rolled up when empty, integrated carabiner makes for easy carrying, easy-to-use flip-top design

Cons: Slow to dry out, may spring a leak after extended or heavy-duty use

“Water bottle” may not be the best way to describe the Vapur Element. In fact, Vapur bills the Element as an “anti-bottle,” which does sound a lot cooler than “water pouch.” Made of a flexible BPA-free plastic, the Vapur can be squished, folded and rolled up when empty. Best of all, it weighs only about an ounce. There are two sizes: 24 and 34 ounces, though Vapur makes similar anti-bottles that are smaller and larger.

It’s the perfect water bottle for backpackers and anyone who’s always on the go. Insider Reviews deputy editor Malarie Gokey brings the Vapur with her every time she travels because it’s so easy to carry. It’s often in her bag during the weekend, too.

As if weighing next to nothing and flattening for easy packing isn’t enough, the Vapur has a few more tricks up its sleeve. It’s freezable, which means your water stays colder longer, and the mouth is wide enough to accommodate ice cubes. Despite its flexibility, it’s still designed to stand up on its own.

The cap has an integrated carabiner that can be used to clip the bottle onto a backpack or belt, or keep it neatly rolled up when it’s empty. The mouth is also large enough to allow a brush inside, and the bottle is dishwasher-safe.

As for cons, most have to do with durability and cleaning. Over time it may start to leak from the seams, especially if you’re rough on it. Some reviewers say it’s also difficult for the Element to thoroughly dry out between uses. While the lining is antimicrobial, germophobes may want to look elsewhere. — Saundra Latham

The best collapsible water bottle

Hydaway water bottle

If you feel like you spend much of your life on the road or on a plane, the Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle is the travel essential you can’t go without.

Pros: Lightweight, collapsible, great for travel or for folks on the go, easy to carry

Cons: Some customers have noted that it’s difficult to “un-collapse” the bottle after being collapsed

Not all collapsible water bottles are bottles. Some are pouches like the Vapur, some are basically water bags, but none of these are quite as cool as the Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle. It’s cylindrical, maintains its shape even as you empty it of liquid, and has a lid with a sippy top. But once you’re done drinking or need to get through TSA, you can collapse the Hydaway into a flat disc that won’t take up a huge amount of space in your bag.

Rather than toting about a bulky bottle that has nothing in it, you can simply compress the Hydaway and, as the name suggests, hide it away. Even though the water bottle can be collapsed to take up no space at all, when it’s full, it can actually contain up to 20 ounces of water. So don’t think that you’re cheating yourself of much-needed hydration simply by choosing a bottle that’s super portable.

The Hydaway is made with food-grade silicone and plastic, which have both been tested by third parties and certified safe. The bottle is also BPA-free and dishwasher safe for added convenience. Thanks to its watertight seals throughout, you won’t have to deal with any leakage from this bottle, and there’s a carry handle that easily fits your finger or a carabiner so you can attach the Hydaway to a backpack or piece of luggage.

While some silicone leaves its contents with a rather plasticky taste or odor, I didn’t have this problem at all when I tested out the Hydaway. — Lulu Chang

How to shop for a water bottle

Shopping for a reusable water bottle doesn’t have to be an arduous process, and comes down mostly to how you intend to use the bottle. The most important features to keep in mind when deciding how you’ll use it are the materials used to manufacture the bottle, the amount of liquid it’s able to hold, the durability of the bottle, and whether it’s easily portable. 

Here’s how each of those features factors into which bottle is best for your lifestyle:

Materials: The bottles featured in this guide are made of either stainless steel (Hydro Flask), glass (Lifefactory), or plastic (Camelbak and Vapur). If you plan on being on the go often with your bottle, consider buying a plastic or stainless steel model, as those will always be far less likely to shatter than glass. The Lifefactory glass bottle is quite durable but no matter how much reinforcement its rubber exterior provides, glass can still easily break. 

Capacity: Most brands offer their reusable bottles in a variety of capacities, with some of the smallest holding anywhere from 8 to 12 ounces of liquid, while the larger bottles can hold upward of 64 ounces (or more). If you’re shopping for a bottle to have around the house, a larger bottle would certainly suffice, though it would be harder to take on the go should you decide to tote it along to the office or anywhere else. 

Durability: This is sort of a 1b to materials’ 1a in terms of importance, and again depends on if you plan on just keeping the bottle around your house or taking it on the go. Stainless steel bottles can handle far more of an everyday beating than a glass or plastic bottle, so if you plan on commuting or traveling, stainless steel is the way to go. 

Portability: Though stainless steel water bottles are consistently the best for portability, a bottle like Vapur’s collapsible is also a great option for the frequent traveler or commuter. The fact it’s able to fold down to something as big as a small wallet makes it easy to store in a backpack, purse, or even your pocket. Stainless steel bottles are inherently portable thanks to their durability but they will take up far more room in a bag. 

Check out more Insider Reviews buying guides

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Nespresso machines and coffee pods are at some of their lowest prices ever for Amazon Prime Day – save up to 30%

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Prime Day 2021 Nespresso Deals

Amazon Prime Day 2021 is here, and as always, there are deals galore, including discounts on home and kitchen equipment and accessories, like Nespresso machines.

Nespresso machines perform outstanding feats of coffee making given their price and size, and if you like starting your day with an espresso or three, they’re a convenient alternative to four-figure, counter-space-hogging espresso machines.

Plus, now that Nespresso machines have been popular for a while, there is no shortage of third-party brands making capsules for them using fresh coffee: Starbucks, Peet’s, Cafe Bustelo, Kauai Coffee…the list goes on. Since those capsules aren’t exactly cheap, Prime Day is the perfect time to stock up. You can read more about our favorite Nespresso pods below or in our coffee pod buying guide.

Make sure your Prime membership is up to date, as you can only take advantage of discounts if you’re signed up. For more Prime Day coverage, follow the best Prime Day kitchen appliance deals.

Prime 30-Day Free Trial (small)

The best Prime Day 2021 deals on Nespresso machines

Nespresso machines produce a velvety, viscous, frothy coffee that is about as close to espresso as possible without being espresso, precisely. Our favorite pod espresso machines from our buying guide include the Nespresso Pixie by Breville, which is currently on sale, and the Nespresso De’Longhi Lattissima One Espresso Machine. The Pixie is our go-to choice for a simple, compact machine that will get the job done. If you’re making espresso drinks requiring steamed milk, you may prefer the Nespresso De’Longhi Lattissima, which has a built-in frother. For now, we’re not seeing much in the way of deals on Nespresso machines. It’s worth continuing to check back regularly, though, because there’s still a chance some new ones might pop up.

Pixie by Breville (medium)

Best Prime Day 2021 Nespresso Pod deals

Nespresso pods are a quick and easy solution to an espresso-like drink at home, and because there are more and more third-party brands out there, there are plenty of options for fresh and even compostable Nespresso pods. If you’re more the DIY type, you can buy refillable capsules, which let you customize the pod with whatever coffee you desire. Read more about the best Nespresso pods in our guide. Here are the best Nespresso pod deals today:

40-pack of Espresso Pods (small)Espresso Variety Pack (small)50-capsule variety pack (small)

Best Nespresso accessory deals for Prime Day 2021

You can accessorize your pod machines with frothers, refillable capsules, capsule holders and storage boxes, tasting cups and drinkware, syrups, and more. Here are the best Nespresso accessory deals today:

Reusable Nespresso Capsules (small)Vertuoline Nespresso Capsule Holder (small)

Other Great Prime Day 2021 coffee machine and coffee deals

Of course, Nespresso isn’t the only big name in coffee worth purchasing. We’re also seeing great deals on some of our favorite drip coffee machines, traditional espresso machines, and other pod coffee makers. Here are the best deals on coffee machines and accessories happening right now:

Temp IQ Espresso Machine (small)Certified Organic Dark Roast Beans (32 Ounces) (small)Supply Drop Variety Pack (96 K-Cups) (small)Colombia Medium Roast (32 Ounces) (small)100 Dark-Roast Keurig Pods (small)

How to choose the right Nespresso machine

Nespresso machines come in various forms, but the basic thing to consider is whether or not you want an ESE (paper) pod or capsule machine. Capsule machines are more versatile and what we primarily recommend, at least for now, because there are so many third-party options, including refillable capsules so that you can grind and load your own fresh coffee. Just keep in mind that this is time-consuming.

We tested pod coffee machines and really liked the Nespresso Pixie by Breville and the Nespresso De’Longhi Lattissima One Espresso Machine. The Pixie is the best choice for most people because it’s compact, easy to use, and not too expensive. The Lattissima might be a better choice if you plan on making espresso drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, since it has a built-in frother, but it requires careful cleaning and we’re not sold on it. Keep in mind that the frother poses a significant upgrade in price – we usually see the Lattissima retailing for $100 more than the Pixie. Instead, consider a simple, inexpensive hand wand milk frother like the Powerlix Milk Pro, our top pick from our milk frother buying guide, to save a significant chunk of change.

FAQs

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Prime Day is Amazon’s annual sales event exclusively for Prime members. During the event, there are millions of deals across every category imaginable. During the event, prices are competitive and can beat out deals we see during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

When is Amazon Prime Day?

Prime Day runs through Tuesday, June 22, but we expect to continue to see deals afterward. Some deals are only available on one of the two days, while others are available during the entire event.

Do I need to be a Prime Member?

Yes. If you’re already a Prime member, you’re all set to start shopping deals. If you’re not a member, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial right now to access Prime Day.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best Amazon Prime Day 2021 deals on robot vacuums, cordless vacuums, and upright vacuums

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prime day 2021 best corded cordless robot vacuum deals
Cordless vacuums from brands like Shark and Hoover always go on sale during Prime Day.

Amazon Prime Day 2021 has begun, which means if you’re in the market for a vacuum, today is the perfect time to find one on sale.

Every year, Prime Day features significant deals on robot vacuums, upright vacuums, cordless stick vacuums, and handheld vacuums. Right now, there are discounts on robot vacuums from Shark, Bissell, and Roborock, as well as cordless vacuums from Tineco.

Several of our top picks from our best vacuum guides are on sale:

  • The best robot vacuum overall: Roborock S6 is down to an all-time low price of $380 at Walmart (originally $650)
  • The best robot vacuum on a budget: Moosoo MT-720 is down to an all-time low price of $109 at Walmart (originally $160)
  • The best robot vacuum for pet hair: Bissell SpinWave is down to an all-time low price of $200 (originally $400)
  • The best robot vacuum for carpet: iRobot Roomba i3+ is $160 off, bringing it to $440 (originally $600)
  • The best cordless vacuum for pet hair: Tineco Pure One X is down to an all-time low price of $183.20 (originally $229)
  • The best cordless vacuum for carpet: Hoover OnePWR HEPA+ is $50 off, bringing it to $250 (originally $300)

If you haven’t figured out what vacuum you need yet, check our guides to the best vacuum cleaners, robot vacuums, cordless vacuums, and budget vacuum cleaners to help narrow down your search. Each of them has been recently updated with our latest fully tested picks and guidance on how to shop for the best vacuum for your needs.

To shop Prime Day deals, you’ll need to be a member. Sign up for a free 30-day trial to gain access to all of the deals and many other perks.

The best Prime deals on robot vacuums

Robot vacuums, after some initial set-up, are mostly hands-off and do all the cleaning work for you. Keep in mind they can’t climb stairs (yet) so they’re best for one-story homes. We’ll be on the lookout for deals from iRobot, Eufy, Roborock, Ecovacs, Moosoo, and more.

S6 Robot Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Walmart)SpinWave Robot Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Amazon)S6 MaxV Robot Vacuum (medium)MT-720 Robotic Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Roomba i3+ (3550) Robot Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Amazon)BoostIQ RoboVac 11S (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

The best Prime deals on cordless vacuums

Cordless vacuums are very convenient and usually lighter and more compact than corded vacuums. The downside is you might need to charge them often depending on the size of your space. Dyson cordless vacuums are notoriously expensive, but a few models are usually on sale during Prime Day. You’ll also see deals on cordless vacuums that are already pretty affordable, like those from Tineco and Hoover.

Pure One X Cordless Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Amazon)OnePWR HEPA+ Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

The best Prime deals on corded upright vacuums

Corded upright vacuums are good for large homes and long cleaning sessions where you don’t want to worry about battery life. They tend to be powerful and have large dustbins to collect lots of dust and particles. They’re also more affordable than cordless and robot vacuums. Shark, Bissell, and Hoover often discount their corded upright vacuums on Prime Day.

Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus Lightweight Upright Vacuum Cleaner (medium)

You can read more about the different types of vacuums and their pros and cons in these buying guides:

What vacuum deals to expect during Amazon Prime Day

There will be deals on all kinds of vacuums, whether you’re looking for a traditional upright vacuum, lightweight cordless vacuum, or time-saving robot vacuum.

We’re expecting (and already seeing) vacuum deals from most major vacuum brands, including iRobot, Shark, Hoover, Dyson, Eufy, and Bissell. Amazon already confirmed there will be deals on the Shark and Bissell brands.

The brand Tineco, the maker of one of our favorite cordless vacuums, has also confirmed with Insider Reviews that it’s offering up to 30% off its vacuums. Discounted models will include the Tineco A11 Hero Cordless Vacuum and the Tineco Floor One S3 Vacuum.

How we vet deals on vacuums on Amazon Prime Day

We see deals on vacuums all year long, but the discounts are the most significant on Prime Day and Cyber Weekend. We use historical price data to compare how the newest deals compare to those of past years. We’ll recommend the deal if the new deal is the same or better than in previous years.

In addition, we like to recommend deals on the best products from our buying guides. At their normal price, they already provide great value and top performance. We want to help you get even more value out of these high-quality products by highlighting any applicable Prime Day deals.

For vacuums specifically, we also take into account whether the deal includes additional attachments or bundled offerings that aren’t ordinarily included.

Learn more about how we vet deals and terms like “MSRP” and “street price” you might see in our deals roundups.

Where to shop more vacuum deals on Prime Day

Retailers like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy will also have competing vacuum deals that are comparable if not better than Amazon’s deals. Here’s when you can shop their sales:

We’ll be covering these competing sales on Prime Day as well. And no, you don’t need a special membership for these retailers’ deals – just for Amazon Prime.

Other Prime Day FAQs

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Prime Day is Amazon’s annual sales event, featuring millions of deals across all categories from fashion to tech. During the event, prices drop to all-time lows, often beating out prices we see over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

When is Amazon Prime Day?

Prime Day starts at midnight PDT on June 21 and ends at 11:59 pm PDT on June 22. Some deals are only available on one of the two days, while others are available during the entire event.

Do I need to be a Prime Member?

Yes, deals are exclusive to Prime members. If you’re already a Prime member, there’s nothing additional you need to do. If you’re not a member, you can sign up for a 30-day trial to access Prime Day. You can activate your trial now in time to shop for Prime Day deals.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Best Amazon Prime Day 2021 Nespresso machine and espresso pod deals

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Prime Day 2021 Nespresso Deals
Pod machines are fairly simple things, and our favorite, the Breville-Nespresso Pixie (above), is as affordable as they get.

Amazon Prime Day 2021 is here, and as always, there are deals galore, including discounts on home and kitchen equipment and accessories, like Nespresso machines.

Nespresso machines perform outstanding feats of coffee making given their price and size, and if you like starting your day with an espresso or three, they’re a convenient alternative to four-figure, counter-space-hogging espresso machines.

Plus, now that Nespresso machines have been popular for a while, there is no shortage of third-party brands making capsules for them using fresh coffee: Starbucks, Peet’s, Cafe Bustelo, Kauai Coffee…the list goes on. Since those capsules aren’t exactly cheap, Prime Day is the perfect time to stock up. You can read more about our favorite Nespresso pods below or in our coffee pod buying guide.

Make sure your Prime membership is up to date, as you can only take advantage of discounts if you’re signed up. For more Prime Day coverage, follow the best Prime Day kitchen appliance deals.

Prime 30-Day Free Trial (small)

The best Prime Day 2021 deals on Nespresso machines

Nespresso machines produce a velvety, viscous, frothy coffee that is about as close to espresso as possible without being espresso, precisely. Our favorite pod espresso machines from our buying guide include the Nespresso Pixie by Breville and the Nespresso De’Longhi Lattissima One Espresso Machine. The Pixie is our go-to choice for a simple, compact machine that will get the job done. If you’re making espresso drinks requiring steamed milk, you may prefer the Nespresso De’Longhi Lattissima, which has a built-in frother. We’ll keep an eye on those two models to see if they go on sale, but for now we’ve listed some solid alternatives below. These are the best Nespresso machine deals available today:

Vertuo Next Bundle with Aeroccino and pods (small)Vertuo Next Machine + Capsules (small)Vertuo Next Machine + Capsule Set (small)

Best Prime Day 2021 Nespresso Pod deals

Nespresso pods are a quick and easy solution to an espresso-like drink at home, and because there are more and more third-party brands out there, there are plenty of options for fresh and even compostable Nespresso pods. If you’re more the DIY type, you can buy refillable capsules, which let you customize the pod with whatever coffee you desire. Read more about the best Nespresso pods in our guide. Here are the best Nespresso pod deals today:

40-pack of Espresso Pods (small)Espresso Variety Pack (small)50-capsule variety pack (small)100-pack of Nespresso-compatible capsules (small)

Best Nespresso accessory deals for Prime Day 2021

You can accessorize your pod machines with frothers, refillable capsules, capsule holders and storage boxes, tasting cups and drinkware, syrups, and more. Here are the best Nespresso accessory deals today:

MilkBoss Milk Frother (small)Reusable Nespresso Capsules (small)

Other Great Prime Day 2021 coffee machine and coffee deals

Of course, Nespresso isn’t the only big name in coffee worth purchasing. We’re also seeing great deals on some of our favorite drip coffee machines, traditional espresso machines, and other pod coffee makers. Here are the best deals on coffee machines and accessories happening right now:

14-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker (small)K-Slim Coffee Maker (small)100 Dark-Roast Keurig Pods (small)

How to choose the right Nespresso machine

Nespresso machines come in various forms, but the basic thing to consider is whether or not you want an ESE (paper) pod or capsule machine. Capsule machines are more versatile and what we primarily recommend, at least for now, because there are so many third-party options, including refillable capsules so that you can grind and load your own fresh coffee. Just keep in mind that this is time-consuming.

We tested pod coffee machines and really liked the Nespresso Pixie by Breville and the Nespresso De’Longhi Lattissima One Espresso Machine. The Pixie is the best choice for most people because it’s compact, easy to use, and not too expensive. The Lattissima might be a better choice if you plan on making espresso drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, since it has a built-in frother, but it requires careful cleaning and we’re not sold on it. Keep in mind that the frother poses a significant upgrade in price – we usually see the Lattissima retailing for $100 more than the Pixie. Instead, consider a simple, inexpensive hand wand milk frother like the Powerlix Milk Pro, our top pick from our milk frother buying guide, to save a significant chunk of change.

FAQs

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Prime Day is Amazon’s annual sales event exclusively for Prime members. During the event, there are millions of deals across every category imaginable. During the event, prices are competitive and can beat out deals we see during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

When is Amazon Prime Day?

Prime Day is live now and runs through Tuesday, June 22, but we expect to continue to see deals afterward. Some deals are only available on one of the two days, while others are available during the entire event.

Do I need to be a Prime Member?

Yes. If you’re already a Prime member, you’re all set to start shopping deals. If you’re not a member, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial right now to access Prime Day.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best Amazon Prime Day 2021 kitchen deals, from Instant Pots to Anova sous vide machines

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Amazon Prime Day 2021 Best Kitchen Deals Amazon Prime day 2x1

Amazon Prime Day 2021, which runs from midnight PDT on June 21 through June 22, is quickly approaching, and with it are many discounts on cookware, countertop appliances, and kitchen essentials. Early deals have started dropping, and we are updating this post regularly with the best kitchen deals available.

Competing retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, and Target have also announced they will offer steep discounts or price matching to coincide with Prime Day, so there will be plenty of opportunities to snag a bargain, even if you aren’t a Prime member. We’ll be here in the lead-up to Prime Day, helping you shop the best kitchen and cookware discounts online.

While Amazon hasn’t released much information about what kitchen deals to expect, we’ve been covering the event for years and typically see sales on hot-button items like Le Creuset cookware, Instant Pot multicookers, and Nespresso machines. Some deals are already live – we’re showing you the best early deals below.

Early Prime Day kitchen deals happening now

Here are the best kitchen deals from Amazon you can shop now. We’ll be updating this list as more deals become available.

Foodi Deluxe XL Cooker & Air Fryer (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Duo Plus 6-Quart (medium, Preferred: Amazon)MilkBoss Milk Frother (small)Air Frying Lid, 6 Quarts (small)Deluxe Electric Air Fryer (DFAF455GBAQ01) (small)Smart Cooker (small)Precision Cooker Nano (small)All Metal Sous Vide Precision Cooker Pro (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

What kitchen deals should I expect?

Amazon recently teased that SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker bundles, Stasher reusable storage bags, and Dash immersion hand blenders will be on sale, in addition to 40% off AmazonBasics kitchen products.

There should also be top deals on Cuisinart, Instant Pot, Le Creuset, and Nespresso, among other kitchen tools and small appliances.

What’s the best Instant Pot to buy?

We tested 10 Instant Pots and electric pressure cookers and found the Crock-Pot Express Crock XL Multicooker to be the best, based on ease of setup, cooking, and cleanup. For a budget option, the Instant Pot DUO is comparable, while the Chef iQ Smart Cooker is another great option for modern, smart features.

If you’re interested in getting the most multi-use appliance you can, we really love the Instant Pot Duo Crisp, which was not only named a pick in our guide to the best Instant Pots and electric pressure cookers, but also our guides to the best sous vide machines and the best air fryers.

What’s the best Nespresso machine to buy?

For at-home, cafe-style coffee, you can’t go wrong with Nespresso. The Nespresso Pixie by Breville is our favorite coffee and espresso pod machine and was also named a pick in our comprehensive guide to the best espresso machine.

For a machine that comes with a separate milk frother and pod sampler, the Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Machine is perfect for whipped-up brews.

What are the best Le Creuset products to buy?

Le Creuset is a leading kitchen brand, namely for its enameled cast iron cookware and Dutch ovens (which we love). Some products to watch out for this Amazon Prime Day include its classic mugs, kettle, frying pan, and casserole dish.

Other Amazon Prime Day FAQs

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day is a perk exclusively for Prime members, so we suggest signing up for a free 30-day trial if you’re looking to shop.

When is Prime Day?

This year, Prime Day 2021 runs from June 21 to June 22. The savings will kick off at midnight PDT on the 21st. Be sure to sign up for Amazon Prime to take advantage of the big savings.

Though Prime Day began as a one-day event, it has been extended to a two-day sale in recent years. And, to help you score the best deals the internet has to offer, we’ll also be covering competitor sales, like Target’s and Walmart’s.

Do I have to be a Prime member?

Yes, you have to be a Prime member to qualify for the event. Be sure to sign up below for your 30-day free trial.

Prime 30-Day Free Trial (small)

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The best early Amazon Prime Day 2021 Instant Pot deals

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10 Instant Pot pressure cookers lined up as part of testing for the best Instant Pot in 2021

Instant Pot’s multicookers have a fervent following. And, for the uninitiated, Amazon Prime Day 2021 might be a good time to hop on the bandwagon, with several deals to take advantage of. With Prime Day starting tomorrow Monday, June 21 and running through Tuesday, June 22, we don’t know the deals just yet, but we’ve typically seen more than 50% off popular Instant Pot models across multiple retailers during past Amazon Prime Days.

You’ll also find great savings on electric pressure cookers and multicookers that aren’t specifically Instant Pot brand during the event. These models can sometimes be even better than Instant Pot – our top-rated model from our guide to the best electric pressure cookers is actually the Crock-Pot Express Crock XL Multicooker (8-quart).

That said, we still really love Instant Pot, which took home the “best budget” and “best multitasking” picks in our guide. A model from Instant Pot, the Instant Pot Duo Crisp Pressure Cooker with Air Fryer (8 Qt), even won spots in our guides to the best air fryers and the best sous vide machines. These devices can do a lot.

Below you’ll find some FAQs about Amazon Prime Day 2021, along with an outline of the early Instant Pot deals you can shop now. Be sure to check out our other coverage of best kitchen Prime Day deals, too, for other deals on small appliances. And, check back daily for the the latest deals now through the end of Prime Day.

Early Prime Day 2021 Instant Pot deals happening now

With Prime Day starting tomorrow, Amazon is releasing more and more early deals. There are only a couple of Instant Pot and multicooker deals happening now, but we’ll update this post with more deals as they become available.

Duo Crisp Pressure Cooker with Air Fryer (8 Qt) (small, Preferred: Amazon)Duo Plus 9-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker (small)Air Frying Lid, 6 Quarts (small)Foodi 9-in-1 Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer (5 Quart) (small)

What Instant Pot deals to expect during Prime Day

We currently don’t have the deal information to provide, though the Ultra 3 model – originally $119 – was on sale at an all-time low of $50 last year. Most other models were on sale for 50% off, too. We will continue to update this guide often now through the end of Prime Day 2021.

Do you need an Instant Pot?

If you’re looking for a kitchen appliance that can pressure cook, slow cook, saute, simmer, and more, a multicooker like the Instant Pot is the way to go. We mainly use the pressure cooking function on our multicookers because it uses heat and pressure to shorten cooking tasks that typically take hours. For instance, an Instant Pot can produce easy-to-shred pulled pork in an hour, rather than the usual eight-plus hours. It’s also great for making broths, roasts, hard-boiled eggs, egg bites, beans, rice, and much more. If this sounds appealing to you, take advantage of the Prime Day 2021 deals.

What Instant Pot model should I buy?

Our favorite “Instant Pot” from our guide to the best electric pressure cookers isn’t actually an Instant Pot at all. We love the Crock-Pot Express Crock XL Multicooker (8-quart) for its even cooking, easy to use interface, and roomy interior. That said, it’s on the pricier side.

One of the benefits of Instant Pot branded multicookers is that they have so many additional functions. If you’re interested in an economical appliance that can do things like sous vide and air fry, the Instant Pot Duo Crisp Pressure Cooker with Air Fryer (8 Qt), has earned spots in our guides to the best air fryers and the best sous vide machines, in addition to being named “best multitasking” in our multicooker guide.

If you’re primarily interested in slow cooking and pressure cooking (the base Instant Pot tasks), the Instant Pot DUO 60 7-in-1 (6-qt) is our best budget pick and usually retails for around $89.

What size Instant Pot should I buy?

We think most people will get the best use out of a six or eight-quart model. Most people start with a six-quart pressure cooker and upgrade as needed. If you plan on cooking larger meals, an eight-quart model may be best. We didn’t notice any difference in performance between the six and eight-quart multicookers we tested. Also, while larger Instant Pots are available, we don’t think most people will find the extra space of a 10-quart or larger model necessary.

Other Prime Day 2021 FAQs

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day is the company’s annual event offering millions of deals across kitchen gadgets, fashion, tech, and more. Prices are some of the lowest we see, even surpassing deals and discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

When is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon announced that Prime Day will run from tomorrow June 21 to June 22, with deals kicking off at midnight PDT. Some deals are available on both days, others take place only on one. Walmart is running a competing “Deals for Days” event running now through June 23. And, Target’s sales event “Deal Days” is now through June 22. Be sure to visit this page regularly for the latest Instant Pot deals from the top retailers.

Do I have to be a Prime member?

Yes, deals on Amazon Prime Day are exclusive to Prime members. If you aren’t a Prime member, you can sign up for the 30-day free trial to have access to all the great deals.

Prime 30-Day Free Trial (small)

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 4 best toaster ovens we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • A good toaster oven is easy to use, preheats quickly, and stays at the temperature you set it to.
  • We cooked whole chickens, frozen pizza, cookies, and toast in eight toaster ovens to find the best.
  • The Cuisinart Digital AirFryer Toaster Oven is our top pick with its fast and even cooking.

Toaster ovens are the unsung heroes of kitchen appliances. If your living situation doesn’t allow for a standard oven, a toaster oven allows you to bake, roast, and make anything else you might cook in a regular oven, only on a smaller scale.

During the holidays when a big turkey is hogging the oven, you can prepare your sides in the toaster oven. And, in the summer, you can cook meals efficiently without heating up your home.

Many convection toaster ovens are now marketed as air fryers. You should know that “convection cooking” and “air frying” are the same thing. Both methods brown your food by using heat and a fan. So, if you see that a toaster oven is an “air fryer,” know that it also does convection cooking and vice versa. We use both terms in our guide.

So, what’s the difference between the two? Convection toaster ovens give you the option of baking or broiling, while air fryers tend to only have one function: convection baking. Also, the typical toaster oven looks like a miniature standard oven with a window, while most air fryers have a small drawer that you put your food in.

For this guide, I roasted, toasted, air fried, and baked 32 pounds of chicken, eight dozen chocolate chip cookies, eight pizzas, and four loaves of bread in eight toaster ovens.

I also consulted with Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore, known as “The Electrified Cooks” and authors of the new toaster oven cookbook Toaster Oven Takeover.

I have reviewed kitchen appliances for four years and have developed many objective tests to determine which models are best for different needs and budgets. You can find details about how I test toaster ovens here.

Here are the best toaster ovens in 2021

Our testing methodology

A cooked whole chicken on a baking sheet

I tested all of the toaster ovens in this guide. I put each through many objective tests, and during the testing period, my traditional oven sat idle as I relied exclusively on the toaster ovens. When testing toaster ovens, the most important factors to consider are ease of use, temperature accuracy and consistency, and how quickly it preheats.

Here are the main attributes we look for and how we test them:

Ease of use: I evaluate ease of use several ways. First, I look at how intuitive the functions are. I was able to get all but the Anova up and running without the use of instructions. I see how easy it is to clean each, if there’s a removable crumb tray, if there are a few rack positions for different types of cooking, and if the timer allows you to run the unit for extended periods. I also looked for helpful functions, such as smart connectivity, convection/air fry cooking, and steam. 

Temperature variance: When you set a toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, you want it to reach that temperature and stay there. To assess this, I set each unit to 350 degrees and took digital readings of the temperature every 15 minutes for two hours. Then, I looked at the average and range of the temperatures. All of the models I tested averaged less than 350 degrees. The median was about 336 degrees, and the median range was 9.7 degrees.

Preheating: One of the main benefits of a toaster oven is that it preheats faster than a standard oven, and thus, you can enjoy your meal faster. I timed how quickly each oven reached 350 and 425 degrees, repeating each test several times, to see which models preheated fastest. Most models reached 350 in under six minutes, and half of the units had trouble even achieving a reading of 425 degrees.

Cooking performance: I put each toaster oven through four cooking tests:

  • Toasting bread: I evaluated how many slices of Hillbilly Old Fashion Bread each model held. Then, I set the controls to toast the bread to a medium shade. I looked at how long and how evenly each toasted.
  • Frozen Pizza: In addition to evaluating how large of a pizza each unit can fit, I timed how long it took to bake the pizza and how even it turned out. I used Kirkland Signature Pepperoni Pizza in all but two of the toaster ovens. The Hamilton Beach and Panasonic models couldn’t fit the 10.5-inch pizza so I used Totino’s Party Pizzas in those models instead.
  • Whole chicken: I cooked a whole chicken (between 3.5 and 4.5 pounds) according to the recipe in Toaster Oven Takeover. I used the Meater Block to monitor the internal temperature and removed the chicken once it hit 165 degrees. I timed how long it took to cook the chicken, how evenly it was cooked, and how different parts of the chicken tasted.
  • Cookies: I baked gluten-free chocolate chip cookies using a homemade dough and evaluated how quickly and evenly they cooked.

The best toaster oven overall

The front of the Cuisinart Digital AirFryer Toaster Oven with three pieces of bread in it

The Cuisinart Digital AirFryer Toaster Oven maintains consistent heat to cook quickly and evenly, and it doubles as an air fryer and dehydrator.

Pros: Has convection cooking/air frying, large enough to fit a 12-inch pizza, provides consistent heat, cooked pizza, chicken, and cookies quickly and evenly 

Cons: Temperature settings appear to be inaccurate, did not toast evenly

The Cuisinart Digital AirFryer Toaster Oven (Model TOA-65) had the best overall performance in our objective tests. It took less than five minutes to set up and features an easy-to-read backlit digital display. You navigate through the many different functions by turning a knob and pressing it to select the function and adjust the time and temp.

The Cuisinart toaster oven was one of the best models for making pizza, chicken, and cookies. It heated a frozen pizza in under six minutes, and the cheese, crust, and pepperoni were evenly cooked. Using the convection cooking function, the chicken reached a safe internal temperature in 52 minutes, and the skin was a beautiful golden brown and tasted outstanding. The meat was moist and flavorful. And, the cookies were evenly cooked in about 12 minutes, which was significantly faster than the average, 13 minutes and 45 seconds.

When we ran the Cuisinart Digital AirFryer Toaster Oven for two hours at 350 degrees, we noticed the temperature only varied by four degrees. However, the display said it was preheated when our thermometer read 270. It continued to heat up and reached 350 after eight minutes. The average temperature during the test was 314, well below 350.

The Cuisinart toaster oven fell short of perfection in two other categories. We used the presets to toast six slices of bread, but after a blazing fast toasting speed of less than three minutes, the top was lighter than the medium shading we set it to. And, the bottom was uneven with the center almost burnt and the edges barely toasted. If I were to use this toaster oven for regular toasting, I’d likely up the time a little bit and flip the bread halfway through.

Lastly, by our measurements, the Cuisinart was slower than average to preheat to 350. However, it was quick to get to 425, which made it ideal for frozen pizza.

The best budget toaster oven

The Black+Decker toaster on a kitchen counter with a chicken in it

If you want a cheap toaster oven but don’t want to sacrifice performance, we recommend the Black+Decker Crisp ‘N Bake Air Fry Toaster Oven with its fast preheating and accurate temperatures.

Pros: Fast preheating, accurate temperature settings, even cooking, features air frying/convection cooking, timer has stay-on function

Cons: Uneven toasting, was among slowest to roast a chicken

Despite costing less than a third of the price of the other models in our guide, the Black+Decker Crisp ‘N Bake Air Fry Toaster Oven (Model TO3217SS) held its own in our tests. We like that it has intuitive, no-nonsense analog knob controls, a roomy interior, and convection cooking/air frying. Another nice touch is the “stay on” option on the timer, which makes it so you don’t have to keep adding more time during longer cooks.

The Black+Decker toaster oven appeared to have the most accurate thermostat. At 347 degrees, it came closest to reaching a 350-degree average during our two-hour test. However, the temperature varied by 13 degrees, which put it in the middle of the pack.

It was consistently one of the fastest to preheat. The oven reached 350 degrees in under four minutes, and getting to 425 only took about a minute more. 

The Black+Decker Crisp ‘N Bake Air Fry Toaster Oven excelled at making cookies and frozen pizza. Each batch took about 14 minutes to bake, which was just fair, but the results were even and delicious. The story was the same with frozen pizza: the cooking time was about average, but the pizza was excellent. The chicken was also great: flavorful, juicy, and evenly cooked. However, it took nearly an hour and a half to finish, which made it one of the slowest models.

The Black+Decker oven’s toasting was subpar. It toasted six slices of bread in three-and-a-half minutes, which was about average, but the results weren’t very even. The top of the toast was close to consistent, but it was noticeably less done near the front, and the bottom was much less toasted than the top.

The best large-capacity toaster oven

The Breville Smart Oven on a kitchen counter with a pizza cooking

The Breville Smart Oven is large enough to fit nine slices of toast, a dozen cookies, or a 12-inch pizza making it ideal for larger families or if you just want to use it in place of your standard oven.

Pros: Can fit nine slices of toast and a 12-inch pizza, provides consistent and even heat, features convection cooking/air frying, attractive backlit digital display with several functions and sub-functions

Cons: Temperature settings were consistently higher than what we measured, slow to preheat

Along with our best combination pick below, the Breville Smart Oven (Model BOV800XL) was one of two models that could toast nine slices of bread at once, and it did a good job of it. Plus, it can hold a 12.5-inch pizza. This is impressive considering the exterior dimensions aren’t inordinately large.

Like our top pick, the Breville Smart Oven has a backlit digital display with separate knobs for quickly adjusting the function, temperature, and time. It also has sub-functions that adjust the cooking time and heat based on the size of the pizza you are baking or the slices of toast you’re toasting. Plus, the Smart Oven features convection cooking/air frying.

The oven excelled at chicken and cookies. It took a little more than an hour to roast a whole chicken, and it was the best tasting and most evenly cooked of all the birds in our tests. We baked a dozen cookies at once in the roomy Breville Smart Oven using the Cookie function, which utilized 350-degree convection cooking. The cookies came out evenly baked in 14 minutes, which was average.

The oven also cooked pizza evenly, but it took 17 minutes, which was longer than all but one of the models. It was also one of the slowest ovens to preheat. And, we weren’t able to get it to preheat to 425 degrees. It maxed out at 387. This was a consistent problem. In our temperature variance test, we measured an average temp of 292 despite setting the controls to 350. Because of this, we’d recommend utilizing an oven thermometer to find your target temperature setting. 

On the plus side, the Breville toaster oven held its temperature consistently, only wavering by four degrees over the course of two hours.

The best combination toaster oven

The Anova Precision Cooker on a kitchen counter cooking a steak

In addition to baking, toasting, and air frying, the Anova Precision Oven offers sous vide cooking, and you can control it and monitor the internal temperature of your food using your phone.

Pros: Features sous vide and air fryer/convection cooking, smart WiFi connectivity via app, comes with probe thermometer that connects to oven, does a good job of roasting

Cons: Slow to preheat, bake, and toast, temperature didn’t stay consistent during our test

The Anova Precision Oven is the first toaster oven that offers sous vide, in addition to air frying/convection cooking. And, while most sous vide devices require vacuum sealing, the Precision Oven cooks your food without the need for additional packaging. 

I cooked several steaks and pork ribs using the sous vide function and found it worked just as well, if not better, than an immersion circulator. I especially liked that the oven comes with a probe thermometer that plugs into the unit so I could monitor the internal temperature of the meat while it cooked, which you can’t do with vacuum-sealed meat in an immersion circulator

The touch buttons on the handle of the oven aren’t as responsive as I would like, and adjusting the temp one degree at a time using the up and down buttons is a hassle. So, I mainly used the Anova Oven app (available for iOS and Android), which allows you to key in your preferred temp and time. Or, you can automate the cooking process. The app features hundreds of recipes. One time, I used the app to preheat the oven as I waited in line at the store to pay for a frozen pizza so I could just pop it in when I got home.

This feature is particularly important since the Anova Culinary Precision Oven was one of the slowest to preheat. It takes about 10 minutes to heat to 350 degrees and 17 minutes to reach 425. 

Also, while it has a relatively accurate setpoint, the temperature varied by 16 degrees during our two-hour test, which was more than most models.

The Anova Precision Oven also took a long time to toast. We used the toast preset, which involved a little steam to keep the bread from drying out. However, the process took longer than any of the other models, and the toast was still underdone. 

It did much better on the other cooking tasks. The Anova oven fits a dozen cookies, and they baked quickly and evenly. We had the same experience with pizza: fast and even cooking. But, the oven really excelled at roasting a whole chicken. It completed the task in under an hour. The skin was crispy and flavorful, and the meat was moist and delicious. I particularly liked that the thermometer let me monitor the internal temperature of the chicken in the app.

What else we tested

We tested eight toaster ovens for this guide. These are the ones that missed the cut.

What else we recommend and why:

Hamilton Beach Countertop (Model 31401): There are two main reasons why you should consider the Hamilton Beach toaster oven. First, at $50, it’s the cheapest model we recommend. Second, it was one of the best at quickly preheating. Plus, it was in the middle of the pack in our toasting, cookie, and temperature variance tests. However, there are a few negatives. The oven is small, only fitting four slices of bread. It also took the longest to cook pizza and chicken.

Dash Chef Series 7-in-1 (Model DAFT2350GBGT01): There’s a lot to like about the Dash toaster oven, but it just wasn’t the best in any category. It has convection cooking/air frying and did an outstanding job baking cookies and pizza. The Dash oven was also one of the fastest to roast a chicken and one of the most even toasters. Yet, it took a long time to toast, parts of the chicken skin were burnt, the unit took longer than most to preheat, and it had the largest variance in temperature during our tests.

Emeril Lagasse Power AirFryer 360 (Model S∙AFO-001): Though we prefer to roast our chicken on a roasting pan, we like that this toaster oven from superstar chef Emeril Lagasse comes with a rotisserie spit. It also has an easy-to-use knob control system with backlit digital display. The Power AirFryer 360 preheated quickly and did a good job with chicken, pizza, and cookies, but it took a long time to toast and was uneven. It also did the worst in our temp variance test.

What we don’t recommend and why:

Panasonic FlashXpress Compact (Model NB-G110P): We really wanted to like this attractive toaster oven because it looks like something you might find in a child’s kitchen playset. It did the best job toasting and maintaining a consistent temperature. However, it was a pain to use. There are only eight temperature settings, and the timer only goes to 25 minutes. If you want to cook anything longer, you have to keep resetting the timer. Despite its small size, it took a long time to preheat. And, it didn’t do well making cookies, pizza, or chicken.

What we’re testing next

We’re always testing new toaster ovens and retesting our top picks to determine the best ones. Here’s what we’re looking forward to testing for potential inclusion in this guide:

Chefman Toast-Air (Model RJ50-SS-T – $135.97): We’ve tested several Chefman kitchen appliances and have found the manufacturer makes quality products at an affordable price. We like that this features several preset functions and comes with two dehydrator racks, an air fry basket, baking/drip pan, and more.

Breville Smart Oven (Model BOV900BSSUSC – $399.99): This is the best upgrade pick in our air fryer guide and appears to be quite similar to our best large-capacity toaster oven pick. I’m curious to see how it stacks up and if it’s worth its hefty price tag.

Calphalon Quartz Heat Countertop ($199.99): I tested this years ago but wasn’t able to put it through our current testing methodology. I’m hoping to give it another try since it performed well, has an attractive appearance, and the digital display has an impressive array of functions and precise presets.

Oster (Model TSSTTVMNDG-SHP-2 – $91.11): We think the Oster Toaster Oven has a chance to contend for the best budget model. It has convection cooking/air frying, an attractive display, easy to read and adjust buttons, and a large capacity.

FAQs

What are the benefits of using a toaster oven over a standard oven?

Roxanne Wyss, co-author of the toaster oven cookbook Toaster Oven Takeover, gives several reasons, including that it’s a green alternative. “When compared to a standard oven, the toaster oven preheats quickly,” said Wyss. “This means it is convenient to use for quick, everyday meals. It also means that it is a ‘green choice’ as there is no big oven to heat up and the toaster oven will not put a strain on the AC on a hot summer day.” 

“Newer toaster ovens on the market, with electronic controls and even heat, brown food beautifully and cook quickly,” added Wyss. “You can place a toaster oven where it is convenient to use, which means at countertop height so no bending or lifting. It also means you can place the toaster oven in the family room or on the bar so it is easy to use for appetizers and snacks when friends gather.”

Additionally, since I started testing toaster ovens more than a month ago, I have not touched my standard oven. Every meal I’ve wanted to make for my family of four, I’ve been able to make in a toaster oven.


Should you get a toaster or a toaster oven?

Wyss believes toaster ovens are superior to toasters in several ways. “The versatility of the toaster oven outshines the regular toaster,” said Wyss. “You can toast a wide variety of bread sizes and often toast the number of slices you need for a larger family. Once toasted, you can top the toast with sandwich fixings or appetizer spreads so hot sandwiches or crostini are ready to serve in minutes. The toaster oven easily toasts English muffins, bagels, rolls, and a wide range of specialty rolls, pastries and buns.”

As with the standard oven, I found my toaster gathered dust while I was testing toaster ovens. The single-purpose toaster just didn’t seem worth the counter space. And, when making BLTs, it was nice to be able to toast six or more slices of bread at once.

However, there are a few key ways in which a toaster is often superior. First, most of the toaster ovens I tested didn’t toast as evenly or as quickly as most toasters. Second, toasters tend to cost much less than toaster ovens. Lastly, they take up less countertop space.


What should you look for when shopping for a toaster oven?

Kathy Moore pointed to several tips covered in the Toaster Oven Takeover cookbook she co-authored. “Think about what you want to prepare,” said Moore. “Do you want to cook a pizza or do you know you want to broil steaks? Do you foresee casseroles or toasted sandwiches? What pans fit into the oven? If you want to cook pizza, does your 12-inch pizza pan fit? What about a 9 by 12-inch rectangle pan? Some toaster ovens accommodate larger pans while others do not. Select one that accommodates the pans you own and for the food you would like to prepare.”

She also suggests thinking about where you will put the toaster oven. “Does it fit under your upper cabinets with room to spare or is it too wide to sit securely on a cart?” added Moore. “Does the door open conveniently for you?” To help you with this, we list the interior and exterior dimensions of each unit in our guide.

Also, think about the settings that are most appealing to your cooking preferences. “If your toaster oven advertises that it has a dehydrating setting, but that is not something you will do, it is not a necessary function,” said Moore. “Many now slow cook, but if you typically use a slow cooker and enjoy taking a hot meal in a slow cooker to a gathering, you may never use your toaster oven’s slow cook setting. Many people enjoy the toasting settings for bagels while others will enjoy the air fry settings. Evaluate the array of settings offered and be willing to experiment, but do not feel obligated to purchase an oven with settings you may never use.”


What’s the difference between a toaster oven and an air fryer?

Air fryers use a fan to blow hot air over your food to produce the Maillard reaction, which gives food its distinctive browning. Prior to the rise of air fryers, blowing hot air on food was known as “convection cooking,” and it’s something that all convection toaster ovens do. “Air frying” is essentially a wildly successful marketing campaign for technology that has been around for decades. 

That said, not all toaster ovens can air fry, or convection cook, but a lot of them can these days. If this is a feature that’s important to you, look for a model that advertises that it air fries or convection cooks. In my experience, this is a useful feature. It can cut down on cooking times, give your food a nice browned exterior, and I’ve found it does an excellent job of revitalizing leftovers, especially pizza and french fries.

Check out our other buying guides for small appliances

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