Black & Decker TRO490B Review – A Black Toaster Oven

Most toaster ovens will have a stainless steel look to match the appearance of most other kitchen appliances. But the Black & Decker TRO490B 4-slice countertop oven and broiler has a black/grey exterior to make it look a little different. Appearance aside, the more important consideration is its performance as a toaster oven. How does it fare overall? In this review, we will give you the pros and cons to help you make up your mind.

Black & Decker TRO490B Review – Does It Have A Timer?

Black & Decker TRO490B toaster oven

This Black & Decker unit has a 30-minute timer with an audible signal when a cycle is completed. Once the timer has completed its countdown, the oven will shut off automatically. A stay on feature is also built in to offer flexibility in terms of cooking times. You certainly do not want to have to reset the timer a few times if your recipe requires a long cooking cycle. However, using your own timer would be advisable if you engage the stay on feature as the unit needs to be manually turned off for this option.

What are the other features of the Black & Decker TRO490B?

  • 1200-watt
  • 4 cooking modes
  • Removable crumb tray
  • Accessories: bake pan/drip tray, slide/broil rack
  • Dual position rack slots
  • Size (approximate): 16″ (W) x 10″ (D) x 9″ (H)

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The cooking functions are keep warm, broil, bake and toast. The function selector is the middle dial on the control panel. The top dial sets the temperature while the bottom dial is the timer and toast shade selector. There is also a power indicator light which will illuminate when the oven is in operation.

There are 2 height positions for the rack. You can also get the rack to slide forward when you open the oven door if you engage the hook. The crumb tray is removable for cleaning and is pulled out from under the oven glass door.

The size of the  Black & Decker TRO490B is about 16″ wide. It’s depth and height is roughly 10″ and 9″ respectively. Inside, it can fit 4 slices of bread or a 9″ pizza. It has an extra deep curved back wall for a round pizza. The interior dimensions are not very big – about 11″ wide by 9″ deep by 3.5″ high, and powered by one heating element each at the top and bottom.

Black & Decker TRO490B vs TRO490W

Black & Decker TRO490W

Black & Decker TRO490W

There are 2 versions of this toaster oven. The TRO490B has a black casing while the TRO490W has a white one. Both have more or less the same design and features. In fact, they also share the same manual which has the Toast-R-Oven countertop oven name on its front page.

Should You Buy The Black & Decker TRO490B Toaster Oven?

Pros
  1. Works reasonably well – It does heat up quickly enough and reheating food and cooking basic meals are what you should get this toaster oven for. It cooks your food thoroughly and fast with its small size and it can handle a variety of meals with its adjustable temperature and timer.
  2. Easy access crumb tray – The crumb tray is easy to access from the front of the unit. Rather than having to slide it out from the inside, you can pull it out like a drawer from the bottom for easier clean-up.
  3. Compact size – This model would not take up as much space as the 6-slice units which will add at least another 2″ to the width. At about 16″ wide, the Black & Decker TRO490B is similar in size to most other 4-slice toaster ovens. If space is really a problem, then you might like to consider an under cabinet toaster oven instead
Cons
  1. Numbers difficult to read – The numbers and characters on the control panel are too small and with its grey color against a black background makes it even worse for those with poorer eyesight. White letterings against a dark background like those found on the Hamilton Beach 31334 would have been a better design.
  2. Uneven toasting – Some online reviews have raised this issue as they find that their toasts end up with uneven shades on both sides. The default setting for toast also tends to run a little too dark that it might be better to lower the temperature to avoid having burnt toast. Such complaints are far fewer for the Breville BOV650XL which is more precise in its settings being a digital model.

An interesting observation that we have come across is that the Black & Decker TRO490W which is the white model has far worse ratings and reviews than this black unit. While both are Toast-R-Oven models, the big difference in reviewers verdict is indeed a big surprise. Many of the TRO490W complaints point to the safety aspects of the oven including a malfunctioning timer and fire hazards which is a worry for any prospective buyer.

On the other hand, the Black & Decker TRO490B doesn’t seem to have the same issue. But we would still be hesitant to purchase it because the selling price is hardly attractive at the time of this review. It is being sold for over $50 which is nearer to the price point of a convection model. We believe this should sell for no more than $40 and in fact, you can get the more popular Black & Decker TO1303SB for about $30 only. So, why take the risk with the TRO490B?

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