Hamilton Beach 31230 Review – The Set & Forget Toaster Oven

Most toaster ovens share the same features. Rarely you will find a model with a unique feature incorporated into its design. Well, the Hamilton Beach 31230 Set & Forget toaster oven is a little different from its competitors. It has an additional feature built-in to enhance its usefulness and convenience to the user. In this review, we will see what this feature is all about and how it can help you in your cooking.

Hamilton Beach 31230 Set & Forget Toaster Oven Review

Hamilton Beach 31230 toaster oven

This Hamilton Beach toaster oven has a patented built-in probe technology. You won’t find this feature in other brands for the time being. How it works is that it has a food thermometer provided which you can plug into the oven jack below the control panel. In the probe mode, you can adjust the temperature required and then attach the probe and insert the thermometer into the thickest cut of the meat. You can monitor the progress through the LED display which will flash the desired and actual temperature alternately. Once your preset heat level is reached, the oven will automatically shut off after a beeping signal.

Other features of the Hamilton Beach 31230 that are worth mentioning are:

  • 1400-watt
  • 6 cooking modes
  • LED display
  • Digital touchpad controls
  • Nonstick interior
  • 2 rack positions
  • Timer
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Storage compartment
  • Removable crumb tray
  • Include: baking pan, broil rack
  • Size (approximate): 18″ (W) x 13.5″ (D) x 10.5″ (H)

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The cooking modes include bake, convection, broil, toast and warm apart from probe mentioned above. The warm function here is also worth mentioning in further detail. If you like to keep your food warm after using the bake, convection and probe modes, you can press the warm button at any time during the cooking cycle. Once the cooking is done, the oven will automaticlly switch over to the warm mode for an auto default time of 2 hours. This is a convenient way to automatically keep your food heated when dinner is not ready to be served.

Controls are operated with a touchpad. The functions are all listed out while the timer and temperature are adjusted with the arrow keys and reflected in the LED display. The probe can be stored away in the small storage compartment at the bottom of the control panel so it is always within reach.

With a fairly large interior, it has 2 height positions for the rack. The interior dimensions of the Hamilton Beach 31230 are roughly 12″ (W) x 12″ (D) x 7″ (H). With these measurements, it can fit a 12″ pizza or 6 slices of bread. The manufacturer claims that you can also cook a 7-lb chicken in the oven. The exterior dimensions are, of course, larger at 18″ (W) x 13.5″ (D) x 10.5″ (H). The depth is including the handle and rounded back wall. Do note that there is also a rear bumper at the back to ensure airflow.

Should You Buy The Hamilton Beach Set & Forget Toaster Oven?

Pros
  1. Hamilton Beach Set & Forget toaster ovenProbe technology – As mentioned, there is no other toaster oven in the market at the time of this review that has a built-in temperature probe for your meat. This is a convenient and highly practical feature because now, you can know for sure that the temperature has been reached for your food and hence, avoid under or over-cooking. There is no longer a need to check the temperature manually as well.
  2. Switch to warm mode – The automatic switch over to the warm mode when the cooking cycle is completed is another convenience. You don’t have to wait around until your food is cooked and then key in the warm mode to enjoy the benefit of a heated up meal. You can set it up to do it automatically with the Hamilton Beach 31230. You can also get this multi-step cooking feature with the Cuisinart Chef’s Convection toaster oven but this one is far more expensive than the Hamilton Beach with its own unique technology.
  3. Accurate temperature – The probe thermometer is pretty accurate and most buyers agree that their food comes out nicely cooked.
Cons
  1. Glass door safety issues – Like the Oster TSSTTVXLDG, there has also been a few complaints online of the glass door shattering for this Hamilton Beach unit which poses a safety risk. This complaint arose a few years ago on Amazon but the frequency of it has tapered off by the time of writing.
  2. Printed letters fade – The printed letters on the touchpad fade over time although this is also a common complaint for models with touchpads as controls.
  3. Takes longer to heat up – Many customers gave the feedback that the unit takes longer than other models to heat up and toast. We came across a user who remarked in an online review that it takes 6 minutes to get slightly browned toasts. As comparison, the Breville BOV650XL takes about 3 minutes to get your toasts done on medium setting which is much faster.

Overall, the Hamilton Beach 31230 gives fine cooking results although it is on the slow side when heating up. At 1400 watts, it will not be as powerful as a 1800-watt oven like the Breville BOV800XL.

However, this Hamilton Beach Set & Forget toaster oven is more reasonably priced compared to the top end models. It is not the best model in our books but close enough with its unique feature. The only real concern is the shattering glass door but if that has been taken care of by the manufacturer, then this would make a good buy for the money.

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