Popular Budget Toaster Oven

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Black & Decker TRO480BS Toaster Oven Review

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Price: $39.99

One of the most popular budget toaster ovens you can find. It is a basic toaster oven, but for the price, customers are generally quite happy.

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If you are shopping for a basic toaster oven and want a great price, then you may want to consider the Black & Decker TRO480BS.  It is not the biggest or the best toaster oven out there, but at a price tag of under $50, it is one of the best value toaster ovens.

Features and Specifications

  • 1200 watt toaster oven
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 15.0″ x 10.0″ x 9.0″
  • Convection: No
  • Slice capacity: 4 slices
  • Functions: Bake, broil, bagel, toast, and keep-warm
  • Adjustable temperature up to 450 degrees F
  • 30-minute timer
  • 2 rack positions
  • Front access removable crumb tray
  • Baking pan included
  • Grounded 3 prong plug

The biggest attraction to the Black & Decker TRO480BS is its price.  65% of users gave it a ranking of 4 or 5 stars, and the primary reason for this was because they felt the toaster oven was an excellent value for the price.  Many admitted that there were probably better toaster ovens out there, but considering the features, the performance, and the price, it was worthy of 4 or more stars.

The other 35% of reviewers, however, were not as generous with their reviews.  Almost all of these people agreed that the price was great, but as far as a toaster oven goes, they were not satisfied.  Therefore, this toaster oven comes with a very mixed bag of reviews.

When considering this toaster oven, it is important to keep in mind that this is a basic toaster oven and it is also one of the cheaper toaster ovens available.  Therefore, expectations must be realistic.  It is unfair to think that this toaster oven is going to be made of the best materials or that it’s going to toast or cook the best.  The reality is that if you want a high quality toaster oven, then in all probability you are going to have to look at toaster ovens over $100.  But, if you want a basic toaster oven and don’t want to spend a lot of money, then this will probably do the trick.

Aesthetics

The majority of customers liked the the black exterior with the stainless steel front of the TRO480BS.  They also said the door handle was a nice size and that it comes securely attached to the glass door, so there is no worry about it falling off (a common complaint found with other similar priced toaster ovens).

One thing that makes this toaster oven stand out from others is that the front of the toaster oven is curved.  This may have been designed for aesthetic purposes or it could have been to better accommodate a pizza.

Toasting & Cooking

The Black & Decker TRO480BS is not the smallest toaster oven, but at the same time it’s a good size and doesn’t leave a large footprint, so it can also be easily stowed away.  It can comfortably fit 4 English muffin halves, or 4 slices of toast, or an 8″ pizza.  There are also two rack positions that you can choose from.  Overall, it is a good size toaster oven and comes in handy for basic toasting and baking tasks, but it won’t replace your full size oven.

With regard to the toasting and cooking capability, reviews ranged greatly.  The majority of customers who used the bake, broil, bagel, toast, and keep-warm function were happy with the results.  However, there was a significant amount of people who were not happy with the results.  For example, many people said that the toaster oven bakes/toasts evenly and heats up quickly, while others said the complete opposite.  Therefore, this discrepancy probably goes back to the differing expectation levels.  Those that were not happy with the results probably expected more from this basic toaster oven.

Using the Black & Decker TRO480BS

The black & Decker TRO480BS is a three dial toaster oven, which requires particular settings by the user.  The 1st dial controls the temperature, the 2nd controls the cooking function, and the 3rd controls the timer.  The control knobs are also full sized, easy to clean, and twist.

There were differing opinions on the functionality of the TRO480BS and ease of use.  As with most twist dial toaster ovens, there are those that like the simplicity of the twist dials, and others who prefer digital controls.  One of the main issues people have with twist dials (in general) is that the cooking results are more prone to vary each time.  In the end, it comes down to personal preference.

The timer on the Black & Decker TRO480BS was also at the center of much debate.  The max time on the timer is 30 minutes, unless you select the “Stay On” mode, and will tick until finished.  Some people liked that the ticking helps them not to forget they have food in the toaster oven and others found it too loud and annoying.  Also, if you wish to cook your food for less than 10 minutes, then you must turn the dial past 10 minutes and then back down to the time that you want.  Lastly, there is a “Stay On” mode that is located right next to the off setting.  Therefore, customers said it was very easy to accidentally set the “Stay On” mode instead of off.

Accessories

The Black & Decker TRO480BS comes with a slide out crumb tray that is accessible from the front and is easy to clean.  Many customers liked this user friendly feature.  The toaster oven also comes with a baking pan.  Both the baking pan and crumb tray are pretty standard.

Customer Wishes & Complaints

By far the biggest and most common complaint customers had with the Black & Decker TRO480BS  was that it’s a potential fire hazard.  Going back to the issue with the timer, customers said that it was too easy to accidentally set the “Stay On” mode.  For example, if you manually end a timed cycle early, it is very easy to go slightly past the off setting and engage the “Stay On” mode.

Customers also mentioned that sometimes during a normal cycle, the off mode didn’t engage and instead went to “Stay On.”  The result was burned food and in some cases the food actually caught fire.  It should be noted, however, the majority of users did not have any problems with this.  Therefore, this fire problem may also be attributed to food being placed too close to the heating element or the toaster oven not being kept cleaned of food particles.  Nevertheless, the were a large amount of people that experienced this problem which is enough to raise concern.

Another common complaint found was that the door does not close easily after being opened.  When opening the door fully, the metal rack inside pulls out, which makes it easy to get your food.  The downside, however, is that due to the design of the metal catch arms that pull the rack out, it makes it difficult to close at times.

This toaster oven also gets quite hot, but this is very common with low-end toaster ovens that are not as well insulated as more expensive ones.

Lastly, many complained that the knobs or the timer broke in just a few months time.

Summary of the TRO480BS

The Black & Decker TRO480BS does come with many mixed reviews, but it is important to keep in mind that the vast majority of those reviews were very positive.  So, if you want a basic toaster oven at a great price, and you don’t have high expectations, then this toaster oven should be just fine.  We recommend, though, that you keep a watchful eye on the timer and be careful not to accidentally set it to the “Stay On” mode.

Note: If your budget permits, we think you would be much happier with something like the Cuisinart TOB-40 Classic Toaster Oven.  It is a bit more expensive, but it toasts better, is easier to use, and most importantly, doesn’t have any safety issues.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Front access slide out crumb tray
  • Secure door handle that is cool to the touch

Cons

  • Potential fire hazard
  • Tendency to break early

 

 

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