Toaster ovens are useful appliances for those who may not have room for a traditional oven.
Despite its smaller size, you can cook almost anything in a toaster oven that you would in a traditional oven.
Because of their size, you might think that toaster ovens are affordable, but that isn’t always the case.
In fact, toaster ovens can be quite expensive.
Considering that it’s not as big as a traditional oven, you may wonder why toaster ovens are so expensive.
Why Are Toaster Ovens So Expensive? (10 Reasons)
The average price of a toaster oven is around $40, but some models can cost $100 or even much more.
Toaster ovens are expensive based on the materials they contain, the features they possess, and their cooking capacity.
Let’s look at these factors in more detail.
1. Stainless Steel
One of the reasons toaster ovens are expensive is many of them have stainless steel as their main material.
The price of stainless steel is always fluctuating, but it usually increases in price.
That means anything that uses stainless steel is also more expensive.
It can be difficult for manufacturers to lock in a low price, too.
Stainless steel might be cheap one month, and suddenly it’s quite expensive the next.
As such, the company has to set its prices based on the higher price point of stainless steel.
They can’t vary their prices based on the price of steel.
Their customers wouldn’t be happy with the constant changes.
It’d also make marketing difficult.
As such, companies tend to choose a higher price to ensure they always have enough money to keep sourcing their stainless steel even if the price is high.
Since toaster ovens contain stainless steel, manufacturers sometimes have high material costs.
To offset the costs, they put high prices on their ovens.
Toaster ovens are expensive because the cost of stainless steel can sometimes be expensive.
2. Additional Cooking Features
One benefit that some toaster ovens provide is additional cooking features.
For example, some ovens just bake while others also offer broiling capabilities.
You can switch between the different cooking modes to best cook the meal that you want to eat.
This makes toaster ovens expensive because it requires more engineering and manufacturing.
The company has to equip the oven with the capability of cooking in that particular way.
That might mean that it needs additional parts to cook at certain temperatures, for example.
Baking and broiling aren’t the same, and some ovens need the parts and technology to perform both tasks.
Because production costs are higher, the price of the toaster oven is also going to be higher.
It’s also more convenient.
You don’t need to buy a traditional oven and a broiler.
You can perform both types of cooking in your toaster oven.
Since you’re essentially buying a few appliances in one, you’re going to have a price that matches that feature.
Toaster ovens are expensive because some offer different types of cooking settings like baking and broiling.
3. Larger Capacity
The size of the toaster oven also impacts its price.
Toaster ovens with large capacities tend to be more expensive than those with small capacities.
That’s because larger toaster ovens require more materials in their production.
It’s going to use more stainless steel than a smaller toaster oven.
Since the material costs are higher, the price is going to be higher to offset that cost.
Larger toaster ovens also offer more convenience.
You’re able to cook more inside them.
Since you’re able to cook more items, it means you can get the bulk of your cooking done in one round.
You don’t have to pull the food out, then put another dish in to cook and wait for that one to cook because you can’t fit all the dishes inside at once.
Larger capacities tend to come with more racks as well.
That also lets you cook a few more dishes at once.
Since it’s more convenient, manufacturers know that some people are going to be willing to pay a higher price for that convenience.
They make their toaster ovens expensive as a result.
Toaster ovens are expensive because larger capacities have higher production costs.
4. Shipping Costs
The cost of shipping certainly plays a factor in how expensive your toaster oven becomes, too.
When buying a toaster oven, you have the initial cost of the oven, itself.
Then you might have to pay for shipping, too, if the company doesn’t offer free shipping.
The problem with shipping a toaster oven is that it can be quite expensive.
Shipping companies tend to base their fees on weight or size.
The heavier or bigger something is, the more expensive it is to ship.
That’s because it impacts the shipper’s ability to pack more boxes into their trucks.
Since they’re not able to carry as many deliveries, they’re not earning as much money.
To ensure the trip is worth it, they charge more for boxes that are heavy or take up a lot of space.
Toaster ovens aren’t the heaviest appliances you can buy, but they aren’t light either.
Depending on the size that you buy, they can be quite bulky as well.
As such, they tend to have a high shipping fee attached to them.
This makes a toaster oven expensive because you’re paying for both the oven and the expensive shipping fee.
Toaster ovens are expensive because shipping fees can add a lot of money to the total purchase.
5. Energy-Efficient Toaster Ovens
Some toaster ovens offer energy-efficient operation.
Because it’s an oven, a toaster oven can sometimes use a lot of energy.
It needs that energy to heat its interior and cook your food.
Companies know that their consumers want to try and limit energy use as much as possible.
As such, they spend a lot of time and money to develop energy-efficient toaster ovens.
This usually means that they use high-quality materials or more expensive materials that are better at doing what the company needs them to do to heat food.
Since their costs of production are higher, they sell their toaster ovens at higher prices.
Toaster ovens are expensive when they offer energy-efficient benefits.
6. Precise Temperature Control
One of the best features that a toaster oven can offer is precise temperature control.
You can set the temperature of the oven to exactly what you need with a turn of a dial or a press of a button.
Then the oven maintains that temperature for a certain amount of time.
Expensive toaster ovens tend to do a better job of maintaining temperatures than cheaper ovens.
Cheaper ovens might start to lose heat or even produce too much heat.
As a result, your food might come out burnt or even still need some time to cook.
Since you’re relying on the toaster oven to cook your food, it can be frustrating when it doesn’t do its basic function well.
To offer precise temperature control, the company has to rely on high-quality materials and parts.
The oven’s shell needs to be tight and sealed up to ensure heat doesn’t escape needlessly.
The parts also need to work well and last for a long time.
The oven, as a whole, needs to undergo testing to ensure the dials match the temperature inside the oven.
All these factors add higher production costs to the oven.
Since the production costs are higher, the price of the oven is going to be more expensive.
Having precise temperature controls also means that the oven is more appealing.
More people are likely going to buy it if they can get the exact temperature they need to cook their food out of it.
Because it’s more appealing, there might be a higher demand for the product.
That can impact the price as well.
Toaster ovens are expensive because some offer precise temperature controls.
7. Timers And Auto Shut-Off Technology
Another benefit that some toaster ovens provide is having a timer or an automatic shut-off.
Toaster ovens without these features can be difficult or troublesome to use.
You have to set your own timer to ensure you don’t leave your food in there.
When a toaster oven has its own timer, you can easily set the timer and leave the food to cook.
When the timer reaches zero, it will alert you that the food has finished cooking.
Some toaster ovens take it a step further and will actually shut off when the timer hits zero.
This ensures that the oven doesn’t continue cooking and burn your food in the event that you don’t hear the timer.
To offer that sort of benefit, the company has to include more parts in its oven.
The oven timer has to be able to count down.
Those with automatic shut-offs also need to be able to turn themselves off at the end of the timer.
Since this type of toaster oven is a bit more sophisticated, its production costs are a bit higher.
Toaster ovens are expensive because timers and automatic shut-offs are more expensive to make.
8. Cleaning Features
Some toaster ovens also come with self-cleaning features.
Some traditional ovens can clean themselves.
Toaster ovens may not offer the same benefit, but some do provide additional features that make it easier to clean them.
As anyone who owns a toaster oven knows, cleaning them isn’t the easiest task.
Some ovens will have non-stick interiors.
This allows you to clean out crumbs easier since they’re not sticking to the walls or floor.
Others let you remove the racks, so you can reach deep into the oven.
Since these are additional features to make using the oven more convenient, the price of the oven is going to be higher.
Toaster ovens are expensive because some offer cleaning features.
9. Keep-Warm Functions
Other toaster ovens have a keep-warm feature that some consumers find beneficial.
The keep-warm feature essentially keeps the toaster oven at a warm enough temperature to keep the food warm.
It doesn’t continue to cook the food until it’s burnt.
To offer that sort of benefit to consumers, manufacturers have to spend more money on parts to include a keep-warm function.
They have to test it to ensure the function just keeps food warm and doesn’t continue to cook it.
Since it costs them more money to create and offer such a function, they sell the product at higher prices.
Toaster ovens are expensive when they offer keep-warm functions because it’s costlier to produce.
10. Preset Cooking Settings
A final reason toaster ovens are expensive is that some of them come with preset cooking settings.
You might see an option to cook pizza or bread or burgers or any other number of popular foods.
When you press that button, the toaster oven will start to cook the food at a precise temperature and for a precise amount of time.
The benefit is that cooking that specific food is easier than ever.
You don’t have to waste time experimenting yourself and risking a burnt pizza, for example.
To make those preset cooking settings, however, the manufacturer has to spend more time testing and designing their ovens.
They want to ensure that the oven is perfect.
Since it requires more time to produce, it’s going to have a higher price on it.
Toaster ovens are expensive because some come with preset cooking settings which are a bit more expensive to produce.
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