We weren't blown away by this toaster oven's performance but we weren't dismayed by it either. It performed decently well in our cooking tests and it gives you a fair amount of space to cook with. The roll-top door makes it easier to remove your food without burning yourself. All in all, this is an affordable family toaster oven as it can cook lots of food at once and is easy to operate. However, it doesn't do much more than many of the best toasters.
You can purchase this toaster oven from Hamilton Beach for about $50, which isn't the cheapest price, but isn't the most expensive either. We also looked it up on Amazon and discovered it was selling for the same price there as well at time of publishing.
While it wasn't stellar, the Hamilton Beach performed well enough in our testing. We were able to fit six bread slices across the rack, and we found that this device toasted bread and bagel slices unevenly, leaving massive white spots in sections of one slice and not evenly toasting slices across the board. The front slices came out much lighter than the rear ones, with the middle slices toasting the most evenly.
The frozen burrito came out really well because we centered it inside the toaster. The tortilla was golden brown around the edges while the inner contents were cooked through. We anticipate that cooking more than one at a time would give varied results because of the centralized heating.
When we did the cookie test we followed the baking instructions outlined in the manual, setting the temperature to 350 degrees and the timer to 10 minutes. When time was up, the cookies looked pretty good. The exterior was a little too brown, but the inside was only slightly gooey. It took another minute for the cookies to be fully cooked.
When reheating our day-old pizza slices, this toaster performed on average. The crust was on the verge of being hard and burned on the bottom and the pepperoni definitely got a little burned around the edges. However, the overall taste and texture wasn't too bad.
When we measured the interior temperature, we did find that this toaster oven ran about 17 degrees hotter than the temperature we had set, which isn't the hottest but also isn't the best accuracy we've seen. This heat difference leads to drying out and overcooking food. Since this unit featured the roll-top door, it was very easy to reach in and grab food without touching the hot sides. You can also remove the crumb tray incredibly easily since you have this wide opening. Unfortunately, this oven does not have a non-stick interior so you might have to work a little harder to remove food.
The temperature dial allows you to set the temperature anywhere between 150 and 450 degrees, which is 50 degrees higher than most other toasters. You can only set the timer up to 30 minutes, which is shorter than we would have expected for a toaster this size. Fortunately, by pressing the buttons on either side of the dial you can also turn it counter clockwise onto the stay on position and have it cook even longer, but you’ll have to set an external timer.
The cord is an impressive 35.5 inches long, which gives you more room than most to situate your toaster oven where you want. You can adjust the rack and accompanying bake pan between two different positions to get your food closer or further from the heating element. The included cook functions include Bake, Broil, Toast and Convection.
Hamilton Beach only covers this toaster with a one-year warranty, which isn't bad, but isn't anything special either. As part of evaluating the safety of this toaster, we set the temperature to 350 degrees and let it run for a while. We then measured the temperature of the exterior. The backside only measured at 108 degrees, which is on the low side. The sides and top got up to 145 degrees, which is definitely hot, but not nearly as hot as some of the other ovens we tested. The handle did get a little warmer than room temperature, but you shouldn't have to worry about getting burned when opening the door.
The large roll-top door, similar to the one found on the Hamilton Beach 31334, creates such a large opening that we found it cooled the device down a lot faster than most other toaster ovens when you left it open.
The Hamilton Beach 31126 is an impressive toaster oven that produces powerful results. It wasn't the best in our cooking tests, but it still performed as well as could be expected. The exterior temperatures don't get as hot as some toaster ovens, so you don't have to worry as much about burning yourself.