The Hamilton Beach Countertop Oven 31123D is recognized for its innovative roll-up door – we’re reviewing this and its other features.
With an already high rating on Amazon, I was excited to find out whether it would live up to my expectations. I found that this toaster oven won’t completely replace my conventional kitchen oven, but it would be a handy addition to my kitchenware nonetheless.
Whether you’re in a rush in the morning or want a quick snack after work, this toaster oven heats up quickly to get the job done with no fuss. Pizzas, toast, and cookies can all be cooked in this budget-friendly model. It may not come with all the bells and whistles of a higher-spec model, but it will save you time in the kitchen.
We’ve taken an in-depth look at this toaster oven to provide all the answers in one place – to find out if this product will meet your needs, read our review below:
This unit comes with four toaster functions – Convection, Bake, Broil and Toast, all of which are customizable to your unique taste. For example, to operate the Toast mode, you simply turn the Temperature Dial to 450°F, turn the Function Dial to Toast, and then turn the Time Dial to the shade of toast you would prefer. When the toast is ready, it will sound a ready bell.
This model evenly cooks, toasts, and bakes a variety of foods. It’s important to note that the manual explicitly advises users to never leave the unit unattended while using the Broil/Taste functions to avoid the food burning and creating a fire hazard.
A handy safety feature is the Stay-On option which can only be turned on intentionally. To use this feature, the dial must be pressed in while holding the buttons on the side of the dial and rotating to the ‘Stay-On’ option. It’s a safety feature that reduces the risk of this option being selected accidentally by the user or a child when you are not looking.
Compared to other toaster ovens on the market, this unit has a lot fewer toaster functions. Also, this unit will only bake and broil for up to 30 minutes before automatically shutting off. The safety shut-off is a handy safety feature, but the 30 minute time limit reduces the kind of food you can cook or bake.
This Hamilton Beach unit has enough functions to make plenty of small dishes, toast, and snacks, but it will not completely replace your conventional kitchen oven. However, if you are cooking your main dish in your normal oven, you can use this toaster oven to cook the sides – this is especially useful if you need to cook them at different temperatures. Or maybe you have a fussy eater in your household. With a toaster oven, you can cook the main meal for the family in your regular oven, and the alternative dish is your toaster oven – making everyone happy!
Hamilton Beach 31123D Convection feature
The Convection function on this toaster oven is ideal for cooking crisp, golden-brown pizza crusts, as well as baking cupcakes with moist, spongy insides. Not only that, Convection features typically reduce cooking time by around 25% because its fan circulates heat around the interior more effectively.
This means that you can bake your food at the same temperature as you would on the Bake setting but for a shorter period of time OR you can bake it for the same length of time but reduce the temperature by around 25 degrees.
Although the Convection feature works well on this toaster oven, a common complaint is that the internal fan can make a rattling noise. Sometimes this can be stopped by simply moving the unit to another location in their kitchen, however, this will not always work and it will make noise wherever it is placed.
Lowest setting: 150°F
Highest setting: 450°F
This unit heats up a lot quicker than conventional ovens. You’ll only have to wait 5 minutes before placing food in the oven – perfect for those after-work snacks!
Like most toaster ovens across all makes and models, this unit also gets very hot on the outside while in use so it’s important to take care and not touch the unit without protective wear such as oven mitts.
Is the Hamilton Beach 31123D easy to clean?
Most toaster ovens will need to be cleaned more frequently than conventional toaster ovens, however, the clean-up is a lot quicker. What makes this toaster oven so unique is the door that opens up instead of out, putting it out of the way of messy spills and drips. Plus, its crumb tray is accessible from the front and is easily removed, making clean up quicker and easier!
Like most toaster ovens, this unit should not be cleaned with metal scouring pads. Instead, simply use a damp, soapy cloth to remove dirt. For really stubborn stains, a plastic scouring pad can be used.
Exterior Dimensions: 15.00 x 18.50 x 9.50 inches
The interior fits a 9” x 11” bake pan
Due to the door’s design opening up instead of out, it will mean more space is needed above the toaster oven, so add a few more inches to the stated exterior dimensions when measuring the space you plan to place the unit in. As toaster ovens do get very hot on the outside while in use, leaving a few inches on each side is also advised so it does not affect any other items in your kitchen.
What can I cook in the Hamilton Beach 31123D?
Possibly one of the most important questions. With its spacious interior, you can fit:
– a 9” x 11” baking pan
– a 12” pizza, or
– 6 slices of toast.
You can also make cookies, cake, chips, potatoes, chicken nuggets, samosas, and much, much more.
Its innovative roll-top door is this toaster oven’s unique design quality. Because it rolls up and over the toaster oven, you can safely and easily take your food in and out of the oven, sprinkle cheese on your pizza, or quickly grab your toast – all without worrying about the door swinging back onto your hand. This unique door also saves space on your counter, meaning you can place your plate in front of the toaster oven to serve food on.
The roll-up door is made with tempered safety glass. This means it is stronger than normal glass and should reduce the likelihood of the glass shattering. Unfortunately, there has been a number of users who have found the glass has shattered while in use, so it is definitely something to be wary of. In fact, the manual clearly states that users should keep their faces away from the door in case the glass shatters.
The contoured dials make gripping and turning easier, simplifying the switch between bake, broil, and toast. Plus, as the stay-on setting on the timer dial has a stop mechanism, it’s less likely to be turned on accidentally – a great safety feature!
Although only one rack is included in the package, it has two rack positions, offering versatile cooking options. That way, you can use the top position for broil and toast, and the bottom for baking – helping you cook to perfection every time!
Many toaster ovens have a curved back – and the Hamilton Beach 31123D is no different. Its curved design adds vital extra space to make it easier to fit pizzas in – yum!
This particular model has been provided with a polarized plug (one wide blade) to reduce the risk of electric shock.
Warranty and Durability
Hamilton Beach offers a one year warranty in the US.
Although there are plenty of users who have used this toaster oven for years without complaint, there are some who have found problems arise within the first few weeks of purchasing it. A very common complaint is that the unit does not reach the desired temperature, and a few people have found the glass door shattered within the first few times of using their toaster oven. However, when these issues occur within warranty, many have found that Hamilton Beach is efficient in making repairs and sending replacements.
Overall, I think this means that there may be an issue with quality control with this particular design. You may find yourself having to try multiple units before actually finding one that works consistently, or it could work perfectly fine for years to come.
9” x 11” baking pan
Only one baking pan is included with this toaster oven. It is the ideal size for cooking food within the unit, however, it isn’t very durable and tends to bend and warp not long after use.
I would suggest purchasing a 9” x 11” stainless steel baking pan as this will withstand wear and tear.
Pros and Cons
Switches off automatically after 30 minutes
Stop mechanism on timer dial for safety
Two rack positions
Heats up quickly
Easy to clean
Only one rack
Poor quality baking pan accessory
Will not replace conventional kitchen oven
Overall, most buyers are happy with how this product toasts, broils and bakes their food. It’s easy to use and saves a lot of time in the kitchen.
Quality control seems to be a concern among some consumers. I have seen in some reviews that the toaster oven does not always heat up to the desired temperature, and a few consumers have found that the glass has shattered within the first few weeks of use. When this occurs within warranty, Hamilton Beach has promptly provided a replacement.
Compared to other makes and models, this toaster oven is on the lower end of the pricing scale. Ultimately, you get what you pay for. Unlike the higher-end models, this toaster oven will not completely replace your conventional kitchen oven. This is because it does not have as many toaster functions.
For example, a middle-range model like the Cuisinart TOB-260N1 has 14 toaster functions, offering complete cooking versatility, whereas this Hamilton Beach model has only 4. The Hamilton Beach 31123D is ideal for individuals who simply want to use their toaster oven to make a quick snack after work without having to wait for their conventional kitchen oven to heat up.
This toaster oven is ideal for couples or those who are living on their own, who don’t want to heat up their conventional kitchen oven for every meal. As this is a lower-end model, you do get what you pay for. It’s a bargain toaster oven that does what it says on the tin.