Though it has the smallest capacity of any device in our comparison, this toaster oven did very well in our cooking tests. However, the lack of basic features and the flawed button design makes it a hassle to use. And honestly, if you've got something this small, is it really better than any of the best toasters?
Hamilton Beach sells the Toastation for $39.99, which seems decently priced considering it's a retro looking toaster/toaster oven hybrid. We were also able to find it selling on Amazon for $35, so you might be able to get it a little cheaper if you keep an eye out for sales.
The regular push down toaster section only toasts one side of your bread and leaves the other cold. Even then, only half of the toasted side shows any browning. It is wide enough to fit two bagel slices in the opening or a long sourdough bread slice, but that doesn’t do much when only half of it is getting toasted. There is a switch that allows you to close the top of the device so you can use the toaster oven. This switch is finnicky. It wouldn't always detect that the top was closed and therefore wouldn't turn on half the time. We had to slide it back and forth repeatedly until we saw the red indicator light come on telling us that the toaster oven was heating. Even then, the heating element would sometimes turn off on its own and we'd have to mess with the slider again for it to come back on. By then, some of the heat would escape from the top so the cooking process would take longer. Additionally, you can adjust the toasting settings on the regular pushdown toaster section, but there is no timer for the oven section so you have to set a separate timer when using it. An annoyance to say the least.
The rack can only fit two slices of regular bread, which makes this the smallest toaster oven in our comparison. If you’d prefer a toaster oven that can handle more food at once, you might be interested in the Cuisinart TOB-40. When we performed the frozen burrito test in the Toastation, the beans and cheese were heated through and the tortilla was warm without feeling dried out. We then baked cookies on the baking tray. They were a little too brown on the top but cooked relatively well in the middle. Similarly, the day-old pizza slices came out heated through without being rock hard or burned.
When we measured the interior temperature, we found this toaster oven was running about 12 degrees higher than the setting we chose. This definitely wasn’t the most inaccurate measurement but it isn’t nearly as good as other devices we tested. You can set the temperature dial between 200 and 450 degrees, which is a standard range to work with.
This is a very basic toaster oven, so it doesn’t have a convection fan or a non-stick interior. It only offers a toast setting, unlike most other devices which usually also offer at least broil and bake. You cannot adjust the rack as it only has one position it can be placed in. However, the door is set up so that the rack gets ejected whenever you open it, which makes it easier to remove your food without burning your fingers.
Hamilton Beach’s warranty covers the toaster oven for one year, which is a standard length of time for these devices. When it had been running at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, we measured the back side of the device at 241 degrees and the tops and sides at 234 degrees. This was by far the hottest toaster oven in our comparison and can easily burn fingers or objects in your kitchen if they get too close. Be careful when using it and keep it away from children when in use.
The Hamilton Beach Toastation is a hybrid between a regular toaster and a toaster oven. It has a small capacity and doesn’t offer a lot of the most basic conveniences offered by most other machines. The finnicky controls make it a hassle to use which keeps it from being a top pick. However, if you really like the retro design, it can produce great cooking results when it decides to turn on.