Despite using our toaster oven every day and moving with it six times, it’s still as good as new.
When my husband and I were engaged in our early twenties, my grandparents did more for us than serve as amazing role models (they were happily married for 50+years). They gave us an engagement gift that would last longer than any other—one that would ensure we'd always be able to put a hot meal on the table, despite our questionable cooking skills: a toaster oven.
Back then, I thought it was a weird gift. I had never used a toaster oven; the microwave was more my thing. My incredibly wise grandmother, however, knew about the glories of the Oster toaster oven she gifted us (she never once used a microwave). We could use it to toast our bread every morning for egg sandwiches. We could make homemade pizzas in it for dinner, or we could reheat just about any kind of leftover in it (made by our own hands or ordered from a restaurant). Basically, it would keep us from starving.
What she may not have imagined was how long it would last us. Since we received this incredibly useful kitchen appliance, we've lived in six different apartments in two different cities, become the parents of two young children, and finally learned how to cook a decent meal (well, my husband has—I'm usually the one who chooses the wine).
And here's the thing: Despite owning all kinds of shiny new kitchen gadgets, including a flashy microwave (sorry, Grandma), our toaster oven is the one thing we use every single day, whether it's to make croutons for salad, our beloved breakfast sandwiches, or perform some other cooking task. The only difference is that now the handle is coated in sticky little fingerprints (yes, it's even withstood toddler assault).
The specific model of toaster oven we received is no longer sold, but this upgraded version of the Oster toaster oven we own—the Oster Large Digital Countertop Convection Toaster Oven ($61, amazon.com)—offers digital controls (ours is manual), an interior light, and it's large enough (12 inches) to roast a whole chicken, cook a pizza, or reheat a casserole. Really, it's as versatile as what we have, just better. For now, though, there's no need for me to upgrade—my toaster oven is still working perfectly.