The KitchenAid KCO253CU is a large toaster oven that comes with two racks, which makes it a perfect fit for a large family. It evenly and thoroughly toasted everything we placed inside of it, while still maintaining a relatively cool exterior. You won't have to worry as much about singeing your hands on the outside of the unit. The non-stick interior makes this device easier to clean while the included broiling rack gives you more cooking options.
KitchenAid sells this toaster for $99.99, which is more expensive than many of the other devices in our comparison. Unfortunately, the price didn't get any lower when we looked for it on Amazon. Considering how well it works and its stylish looks, this really isn't a bad price for this device. It's obviously more expensive than many of the best toasters, though, so you'd need to make sure you want all that extra capacity.
In our testing, we filled the top rack up with bread to see just how evenly the device would toast. We were surprised to find that all of the slices were equally golden. There was no difference between the front or back slices. We repeated this test with bagels and found the results equally good. We then cooked a frozen burrito on the included baking pan using the settings described in the manual. The tortilla was just slightly over cooked but the beans and cheese were thoroughly heated and delicious.
In our cookie dough test, we covered the baking pan with parchment paper and then placed two one-ounce balls on top. After cooking for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the cookies were perfect, just a little gooey inside with a beautiful golden-brown outside. In comparison, many of the other devices burned the tops and bottoms of the cookies and/or left the insides doughy. Finally, we performed a day-old pizza reheat test, following the baking instructions in the manual. The results surprised us. The pizza tasted as though it had just been delivered, with the bread still being soft. Similarly, the cheese and pepperoni were heated through without getting singed and tasted fresh.
This unit can cook anywhere between 200 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit. We tested the accuracy of the heating element by setting the temperature to 350 degrees and measuring what the actual interior temperature was. The KitchenAid was only three degrees hotter than 350, making it the most accurate toaster in our comparison.
This KitchenAid toaster oven uses convection cooking to evenly and thoroughly heat anything placed inside of it. The two included trays are wide enough to fit 8 slices of bread each, which makes it the second-largest toaster ovens in our comparison to the Oster TSSTTVDGXL. You can set the timer up to 60 minutes or choose the stay on function to have it cook up to four hours. A white light turns on to let you know the device is preheating. The toaster and the light will immediately turn off once the timer runs out or when four hours of cooking is reached to prevent overheating. A small rack comes with this device and is intended to be used as a broiling rack when you place it inside the baking tray.
The cord is the second longest in our review, which means it will be easier for you to position this toaster oven where you want it and still reach an outlet. It offers four cooking settings, including broil, bake, toast and warm. The one thing this toaster oven is missing is a defrost setting. When you are done cooking, the nonstick interior and easily-removable crumb tray make the device a snap to clean.
KitchenAid covers this toaster oven with a one-year warranty, which is pretty measly compared to other units in our comparison. We were really impressed with the exterior temperature of this device when it was cooking. After allowing the device to reach 350 degrees, the front and sides only got as hot as 95 degrees and the backside only made it to 97 degrees. This makes the KitchenAid the second coolest device in our comparison. The handle was room temperature so you won't have to worry about grabbing it in just the right spot to avoid heat.
The KitchenAid KCO253CU outperformed the rest of the toaster ovens in our testing. It is a great device for any family due to its large size and relatively safe exterior temperatures. You won't have to worry as much about little children singing fingers on the sides or top of the device and you'll be able to use the various cooking functions and adjustable trays to cook a wide range of foods. The only thing that is somewhat lacking is the warranty, which lasts for a standard length of time, but isn't anything special.