Whenever there’s a big game on, I almost always try to find a good pizzeria or sports pub so I can eat a slice while I watch my game. After COVID hit, though, I had to find ways to enjoy pizza at home. This meant that I needed an easy way to get that “oven-baked” pizza flavor in my own kitchen. So, that being said, what’s the best countertop pizza oven?
Based on my experience, I have to say that Oster’s Countertop Convection Oven is the best I’ve ever used. My favorite thing about this oven is that it has a built-in drawer designed specifically for pizzas. This means I can cook a pizza in the drawer while cooking my appetizers in the top part of the oven!
Today, I’ll be reviewing the Oster Countertop Convection Oven and some of the features that I’ve grown to love the most about it. Additionally, I’ll do my best to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about this model, so you can decide if it’s right for you or not. It’s time to start cooking at home again!
Review: Oster Convection Oven With Pizza Drawer (link)
If you’ve been keeping up with some of my latest posts, then you’ve no doubt seen that I’ve been on my homemade pizza-making game. Once I learned how to make my own homemade pizza dough, the rest was history. All I had to do was perfect my topping and sauce recipe. With a few weeks of practice, my DIY pizzas were as good as the ones I’m used to eating at pizzerias.
If the thought of making your own pizza dough at home scares you, then you can always use Jiffy’s “dough in a box” that you just mix with water. Or, if you prefer to minimize your workload, then there’s nothing wrong with a good frozen pizza either!
Whether you’re making your own pizza or cooking a frozen pizza, though, you’ll need a good oven to cook it in. While conventional ovens get the job done, they often require a lot more energy, take a long time to cook, and are harder to clean.
That’s why I prefer to use pizza ovens. I recently reviewed my favorite outdoor wood-fire oven – the Ooni Oven. The only caveat to my Ooni is that it can only be used outdoors. It’s great when the weather is nice. However, I needed to buy something that I could use indoors whenever I wasn’t trying to cook outside.
After a lot of research, I eventually settled on Oster’s Countertop Convection Oven. I had a couple of other Oster products, so I knew that it was a good brand. Now that I’ve had a few months to use it, though, I figured that it was the perfect time to write my review for the readers who’ve been asking. Let’s check it out!
What Size Pizza Fits In The Oven?
Although the oven may look a bit small in the pictures, it’s a lot bigger in person. It can fit a full-sized 12-inch pizza inside without any problems. While it won’t be able to fit extra-large 14 or 16-inch pizzas, I haven’t found it to be a problem. It’s also deep enough to fit a 12-inch casserole dish if you’re making an appetizer or other dishes!
How Many Pizzas Can You Fit In The Oven?
Although the oven has two separate cooking areas (the main oven and the pizza drawer), you can’t use both at the same time. This means that you can only cook one pizza at a time. However, thanks to Oster’s fast-cooking convection technology, you can cook single pizzas back-to-back a lot quicker than you’d be able to do with a normal kitchen oven.
Now, let’s take a few minutes to discuss some of the key features of this oven! Although it may look like a simple toaster oven, there’s a lot more than meets the eye. From the easy-to-clean design to the turbo convection oven technology, this truly is one of the most well-built indoor countertop pizza ovens on the market.
Convection Oven For Fast Cooking
Above, I mentioned that I also have an Ooni oven. One of the things that I like about it the most is how fast it cooks my pizza. It’s able to get up to 1,000-degrees, which means I can cook my pizzas in less than 3 or 4 minutes tops. Initially, I was concerned that my new Oster oven was going to take a lot longer than I was used to.
Thankfully, that’s not the case! In fact, the Oster Countertop Oven uses “turbo convection” technology to cook the pizza. Unlike a conventional oven (which is the hottest close to the heating coils), convection ovens fan the hot air throughout the oven. This means that your pizza not only cooks more evenly, but it also cooks a lot faster.
While it’s not quite as fast as my wood-fired outdoor oven, it also pre-heats faster. So all-in-all, from the time I turn the oven on to the time I pull my pizza out, the total cooking time is around 9 minutes. Considering my usual wait time at a pizzeria is about 20 minutes, I’d say this is a pretty good.
Dedicated Pizza Drawer
The pizza drawer is great for cooking entire 12-inch pizzas or just reheating a leftover slice of taco pizza from the night before. Since it’s a smaller space than the main oven compartment, it cooks your pizza about 30% faster than normal. This means that an entire pizza can be heated in around 6 to 7 minutes!
Easy To Clean
One of my favorite features of this oven is how easy it is to clean. I’m a bit of a clean-freak, so I can’t stand it when a bunch of crumbs and pizza toppings are sitting at the bottom of my oven. Thankfully, both compartments have their own crumb trays.
I typically empty them every time I finish cooking. Not only does this prevent the smell and taste of burnt pizza crumbs from affecting your pizza, but it’s also a good safety measure. It will prevent smoke and potential fires (something that has happened with my regular conventional oven in the past).
When I was in college, I used to have this small countertop toaster oven that would always burn the skin off of my fingers. It was great for heating up Hot Pockets or a slice of leftover pizza, but you always had to open it using an oven mitt.
At first, I was worried about the same thing happening with this new Oster countertop pizza oven. To my surprise, though, it didn’t burn me at all! As it turns out, all of the handles on this particular oven are insulated and separated from the hot surfaces. This means that your oven could be at its maximum temperature (450-degrees) and the handles would still be cool to touch.
Durable Stainless Steel Design
Although most ovens are made with stainless steel, some use thin, flimsy sheets of metal that are easily dented or dinged. The stainless on this Oster oven is very high quality, though. The sheets are thick and able to stand up to regular high-temperature cooking. Whenever you open the box, you’ll immediately be able to tell this is a solid, well-built pizza oven.
Built-In Timer and Automatic Shut-Off Feature
Last but not least, I love the fact that I can put everything on a timer. I often find myself getting distracted, and I can’t count how many times I’ve burnt a pizza in my outdoor oven or my regular conventional range oven.
This Oster oven allows you to set a timer for your pizza (or whatever else you’re cooking), that will automatically shut it off once the timer goes off. This ensures that you’ll never have to worry about burning another meal again!
F.A.Q.’s About The Oster Convection Oven
In addition to the main features of the oven, my friends and readers have also asked me a couple other questions about the oven. So, I figured that I’d answer two of the most common questions here.
How Does It Compare To Other Popular Pizza Ovens?
I’ve owned and experimented with a bunch of different ovens. However, this is, by far, the best indoor personal pizza oven that I’ve found. It’s able to cook a large 12-inch pizza in less than 9 minutes, it’s super easy to clean, well-built, and I love the timer (something that none of my other outdoor pizza ovens have).
Should You Use A Pizza Stone With This Oven?
Although a pizza stone is not required, I still think it’s a good idea to use a stone if you’re going to be cooking a pizza in the main oven compartment. It will help limit the amount of crumbs that fall into the crumb tray and will give the bottom of your crust a nice crunchy texture. If you’re looking for a great stone, check out my review of the Green Egg pizza stone.