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Showing 1-10 of 345 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 361 reviews
on September 7, 2011
I've had the Set and Forget for a month now and, overall, it works pretty much as advertised.

Toast settings are accurate and produce perfect toast, although it takes a while. Baking works well as long as you are mindful that the temperature settings are up to 25 degrees low across the range, particularly on the lower rack position. This can be corrected of course by raising the temperature, or by using convection mode which more evenly distributes the heat (don't look for 450 degrees). I have not tried roasting a chicken, and probably never will. Baking a 12 inch pizza works fine, but takes longer than expected. The warm setting is a nice feature. Broiling works fine, but for some reason the instuctions don't mention keeping the door in the detent open position for broiling.

Speaking of the instructions, at one point they recommend not placing the toaster-oven inside a full size oven. Good advice I'm sure. But I must say that really got me thinking.

The exterior quality is a little cheesy. It was probably made in China,(ha ha). IT NEEDS AN INTERIOR LIGHT! I only hope that the heating elements don't become distorted as on my old Delonghi.

I would recommend it to anyone, but with the aforementioned caveats. If "Cook's Illustrated" likes it, I like it.

Did I mention an interior light?
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on April 29, 2013
(updated 2/19/15, see bottom)

Since I noticed while reading reviews before buying it that several people had asked but nobody I saw had answered, the inside cavity is 12" deep at the deepest point (The inside back is curved), 11" wide and 8" tall. It will hold a '12" pizza stone' that I bought, but just barely.

Overall, it's a decent machine. It has four heater elements, two on top and two on the bottom, which do not have drip covers. Personally, I like this; the covers were a huge pain to clean when you couldn't remove them, and severely lowered the amount of radiant heat the bottom of the food would get. The crumb pan sits in the bottom beneath the bottom elements and is easily removable. It does tend to flex when preheating the oven and will make a crashing sound, don't worry about it.

I've had it for just about a month now, and have made toast, frozen pizzas, reheated pizza, a LOT of baked potatoes, and cooked frozen fish both sticks and battered filets, broiled hotdogs and toasted the buns and a few other things I'm sure I've forgotten. It's done a decent job on all of these. The rack is in theory big enough for six pieces of standard square (Wonder-type) sandwich bread, but they'd have to be jammed together edge to edge and up against the side walls. I usually only make four pieces at a time, which is enough for me normally. The two pieces in back get a little darker than the two in front; and the bottom shows untoasted grill marks where the rack was. It has specific settings, Lite, LT+, Med, MD+, Dark. I normally do my toast on lite plus, which gives a nice golden brown. Med is much darker, no golden in it, just straight brown. I haven't tried anything darker; the results from medium is as dark as I like my toast. (Edit) I've since put six pieces in; they were shoulder to shoulder but had some space between the front and back, and were about the same as four pieces, the ones in back a little darker than the front. Probably because of the door not having a seal. (I have yet to see a toaster oven with a real seal or internal light)

Temperatures are not, with the limited testing I could do (an external probe thermometer) incredibly accurate, but are close enough. I put the probe as close to the middle of the oven as I could get it, and tried 350 and 450 on both bake and convection. It heats to 450 in less than five minutes. The probe read 430 for 450 on bake, 447 on convection. While true purists would not accept this for accurate baking, for frozen pizzas and fishsticks for the kids it's perfectly adequate.

The oven remembers the last temperatures you set, for cooking, for the probe and for toast it will go back to the one you used last. It does not remember the timer; it always starts at 30 minutes. If you hold the up/down button it will jump by ten minutes at a time (about half a second apart), if you press and release it changes by one minute. Unfortunately, you can't use the timer by itself if you're cooking something else, it only works with the oven running.

The probe has its own storage space that works but is a little clumsy to jam the cord into and get the door closed. It could also benefit from having the jack for it closer to the front; my big paws have difficulty getting a good enough grip on it to pull it out easily. It seems fairly accurate; I baked two medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes at the same time several times, one with my external probe, one with the built in, and they were within a degree or two of each other.

The bad parts; the control panel is very cheap. It came out of the box with the top right corner either not fully attached or having peeled off in transit. I pressed it back into place and it stayed for a while, but has started peeling off again. I'll probably end up supergluing it. The buttons are clicky-membrane type, a flexing dome under the spot on the panel. They can be hard to press accurately, and the start button's one seems to have slipped out of place, it's much more difficult to press than the others. I'm a little surprised so many people had this problem after America's Test Kitchen recommended it.

The top gets very hot, but it is marked 'hot surface', and is probably intended as a warming tray or something. I usually leave the baking pan and rack that came with it up there, while using the smaller one from my old oven. It allows more air circulation around the edges, for more even cooking/reheating, and most of what I cook doesn't need the extra space of the larger one that came with the oven. I've used the bigger one with its rack to make the fish sticks/filets to allow them to crisp on the bottom successfully.

(Updated 5/5/13)
All in all, I'm glad I bought it; it's MUCH better than the tiny Black and Decker one I had previously, a lot more accurate, easier to clean and all around better. The only reason it got 4 instead of 5 stars is the problem with the control panel and the minor difficulties with the probe.

(Update 2/19/15)
Still going strong. The faceplate stopped peeling off, but the top left LED segment died, so a 4 looks like a sideways T, but it's still obvious what it says.

(Update 7/12/15) The bottom left LED segment died, so H's now look like -|, but still otherwise fine. Probably because the faceplate wasn't waterproof, it let some steam in and caused the problem, but I'd still buy another one.
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on November 23, 2013
I'd give it 5 stars if it worked. Good sized, good features, etc. However what good is any of it if it doesn't work? Right out of the box failed to achieve set temperature within 100 degrees (verified with two oven thermometers - see picture which shows oven set to 425 with both thermometers showing 350). It varies between 50-100 degrees below set temp, slightly better when using convection. Speaking of convection fan (others have reported fan quit on them), turned oven on this morning (third time it's been used) and convection fan has already started making a whirring, vibrating noise that can be heard outside the kitchen. Lot's of good reviews but this one's going back. I guess you get what you pay for.
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on December 15, 2016
Two years of owning and enjoying the Hamilton Beach 31230, still love it! I like the extended-rounded area in the back of the oven to fit a pizza into. One can get a lot of food into this oven. My own add-on helper is a second rack. Although the product comes with just one rack, I have a second rack which fits perfectly, so no safety hazards. Have loved the convenience of using this second rack for baking and keeping foods warm!.
Cleaning is easy. I wrap foil over the bottom-crumb rack, discard the foil when needed. It's easy to vacuum the crumbs from the interior. Am going to order this product again for a Christmas present.
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on May 19, 2015
I bought this toaster for a wedding shower gift. She has not used it yet. I, however, bought this same model toaster oven for myself more than a year and a half ago. I planned to use it to supplement my main oven. I wanted to cut down on the heat generated by my regular oven when the weather was warm. Shortly after I tried out my new toaster oven the computer control on my regular stove went out. We tried to replace the computer control unit but found it had been discontinued because of some design flaw. Well I used my little toaster oven often. I made canned biscuits. They were so lovely and better than when my big oven was working. I have made pies, cornbread, rolls, meats, cakes, cookies. When I bake a cake that I usually put in a 9 by 13, I just put it in 2 round layer pans and bake them one after the other. It has never damaged the second layer to wait till the first layer is finished. My husband is still trying to deal with the computer
unit of our full size oven. He considers it a challenge. I would be crazy if it were not for my Hamilton Beach 31230 Set and Forget Toaster oven. On a scale of 1 to 10 I rate it 20 or 30.
It has made my life so smooth and easy through a period that could have been a nightmare.
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on March 12, 2013
Got this a few days ago. It works beautifully, especially considering its size - does everything it's supposed to; toasting, broiling, holding temperature reasonably well and even making toast properly (toaster ovens' usual weak point).

Why one star? This device is dangerously hot on the outside. When used for high temperature cooking, the top outside surface was in excess of 315°F and the left outside surface near the door is in excess of 250°F**. Interestingly the back surface - the usual hot spot - was much cooler than either of these. These temperatures are hot enough to cause serious mishap, promote a fire or cause painful injury. Better design and engineering could easily have prevented the problem.

After giving it such a review I'm going to keep it. Why? I'm used to industrial machinery and am careful with it. More importantly I don't have small children, hungry and forgetful teens, or rowdy pets at home. If you do you may want to think carefully before you get one of these.

**Update (8/15/13): After using this for some time, I have to say that it works as well as any toaster/convection oven I've ever used - really good stuff. The hot surface hazard is there but is mitigated by storing the extra trays etc. on the top as a sort of impromptu burn shield and we haven't had any problems with it. Again, if you have pets, small kids etc. you may want to either rethink one of these or set it in a protected location.

** Oven set to 425°F/Bake/Convection mode and allowed to stabilize (power cycling on and off) for approximately 10 minutes. Temperatures were measured with a NIST-traceable FLIR I-7 thermal imaging camera. Images and captions posted on product page. Lower set temperatures exhibited proportionally hot temperature profiles. Note other reviews comments about the excessive temperatures.
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on October 6, 2015
Though the built-in thermometer probe is not something I use all the time, it is really handy and makes this appliance much more useful than other toaster ovens, because you can program it to cook just until the done temperature is reached, and then either turn off or switch to keep warm. This is useful not only for meats, but also for baked goods (bread is done from 200-210), casseroles and reheating frozen food (165 degrees +). I found a comprehensive list of internal temperatures for all different kinds of foods, and at WhatsCookingAmerica that got me going, and then when I cook my own recipes, I notice at what temperature they are "done", and then the next time I make them I can program it to stop cooking at the precise moment, even if I am not around.

The one problem is that the lowest temperature you can specify as a stopping point is 140 degrees, so if you want to cook a meat to rare or medium rare, you have to watch it yourself and manually stop it at a lower temperature. However, "Warm" is just the right temperature to slowly raise a piece of meat to rare, so I've made some great steaks by first searing the meat, and then letting it slowly come up to my desired doneness on "Warm" while I then work on other parts of the meal.

As a toaster oven, it isn't perfect, but the advantages of probe controlled cooking makes the flaws easy to ignore. In particular, it is warmer on the left, so I simply utilize that feature by putting larger pieces to the left, or by rotating half way through cooking. Also, there are two rack positions but it comes with only one rack. I ordered a second rack on their site, and frequently use both racks during a meal. They say it is 11" wide on the inside, but it is just a smidgen under, so my 11 inch pizza pans have to go in slightly tilted until I get to the middle of the toaster and can find a spot that will let them lie flat. As a toaster, it is a little on the slow side, and often I will "preheat" it by turning on toast while I am preparing whatever it is that I am going to put inside.

I had an older one of these, and after many years of use, the number display became hard to read -- I could figure it out but others could not. But I liked the features of this model so much that I bought a new one, but have kept the old one as an extra to bring out and use when I have lots of cooking going on.

Note, Hamilton Beach has a number of temperature controlled kitchen appliances. They have a slow cooker with a temperature probe, and a water kettle that will heat the water to the precise temperature you want. I'm definitely watching this line of appliances to see what else they will come up with that has innovative features.
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on September 26, 2015
Since this was recommended by America's Test Kitchen as a Best Buy, and it was almost $160 less than the Breville Smart Oven they preferred, we trusted we would still love it. Unfortunately, that's not the case so far, after almost three months of use. Perhaps this oven will prove to be durable and reliable, but in terms of features, the old, crappy Cuisinart we threw out better met our needs. The second big factor in choosing this oven over the Breville is that it has a toast feature, whereas the Breville does not. Since our cooking needs are basic -- mostly toasting and baking simple dishes -- having a toast feature was important to us.

This HB oven has four heating elements, so while toasting, there are hot spots and cool spots. That's not a big problem. What is a problem is that the elements seem to take forever to reach optimal temperature. We've been preheating them before placing the bread into the oven, to try to speed thing up. I would expect toasting to occur with high heat quickly applied, but the bars seem to be calibrated more for extended baking. Our old oven also had one nice feature this HB is lacking: a bagel setting, which toasts the tops more than the bottoms. To compensate, we set the oven to broil the tops for a couple of minutes, turn it off, then restart with the toast setting. Having to set and reset the oven like this negates the advantage of having a toast feature. In addition, there are only five toasting levels available. Sometimes "light+" is too light, but "medium" is too dark.

The other feature that disappoints me is the rack positions. There are only two grooves along the interior sides to slide the racks in, which is too limiting, in my opinion. Our old oven had two grooves as well, but the wire rack was designed with a slight offset, so you could flip it over for a total of four positions.

To be honest, we haven't fully explored all of the features of this oven. I have to try the convection option some more, and maybe try to cook a whole chicken and bake some pastries, before I can form any opinions about the roasting and baking abilities. But at this point, we are wishing we had paid the extra cost and got the Breville.
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on November 29, 2014
I took a risk and bought this toaster oven due to the good reviews on its cooking function. I saw the stories about the door not opening smoothly and the glass door shattering. I figured I'm lucky I won't get one of the defective toasters... The door was awkward to open and close from the beginning and then wasn't able to close completely. I was bummed that I got one with the defective door. But the oven worked well. Toasted and baked well. In all I could handle the door being totally un-smooth. Then this afternoon...I was toasting some bread for lunch and opened the door and the door shattered and exploded outward on me. It crumbled into small pieces like safety glass onto the counter and floor. This is totally uncool for HB to be continuing to sell a toaster oven that has such a clear defect. It is more then an inconvenience to bring this into your house and have it stop working, it is dangerous. I've had this oven for 4 months, purchased it July 26, door shattered on Nov. 29. Amazon warranty expired on August 28. I'll call HB on Monday. I'm not going to be interested in a replacement... I'll report how they respond.

I completely do not recommend this toaster oven with its current door design. Such a shame it worked well otherwise! Two gorgeous pieces of toast ended up with glass on them :-(
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That's really all I ask: to be able to put a two dollar frozen pizza in a toaster oven, set the temperature and time, walk away, and when I hear the buzzer pull it out evenly cooked so I can split it in half and feed each of my kids dinner for a buck and then let them go back to "screen time". This toaster oven does the job. It's the fourth one our family has owned. I just hope it keeps working for a year or two. Nice going Hamilton Beach Division of Chinese Small Appliance Manufacturing Inc.
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