Pros: price, appearance, size, non stick, pizza bump, performs well
Cons: Rack problem , smaller size height, Not extra speedy cooking, convection runs without options
UPDATE: 2/23/09: Im returning this oven. The stupid rack is now falling on the back burner on the back right. It started working hard to pull in and out in lower position and now it droops down on burner. I think quality control is very lacking in in B and D!
I know someone who purchased one on my recc'd and it had this rack prob' right out of the box! Never thought mine would develop it later! I suppose heat and cool downs makes it expand and contract and it later doesnt fit.
Also it always ran about 30 - 50 degrees lower then setting which I wasnt thrilled with. END OF UPDATE
I purchased this oven a few weeks ago to replace my several years old very heavily used GE large capacity toaster oven.
The GE didnt have convection thats newer.
This Blk & Dkr' was purchsed because I need a decent oven that I can actually use to its oven baking/ broiling limits (not so much for toast tho' we have toasted w/ it its fine).
The size of the oven and non stick coating (not teflon) attracted me as well as price.
The ovens that allow large cooking have gotten very large compared to my old one which baked almost all our meals (roast chickens, steaks you name it).
This oven is sized between the dinky toast ones and the larger baking ones. It fits fine in our tiny apartment and isnt heavy to move around as needed. Its chrome and black trim are attractive in a kitchen. And the coating of black on outside seems durable.
It measures on the outside:
just under ten inches high by 17 inches long/wide across front.
It bakes up to a 12 inch pizza w/ the bump out on back. (actual 14" deep on outside inc' bracket on back to keep it off the wall).
It fits steaks to broil w/ toppings (I was concerned it would not and we use med thick steaks generally).
It will fit casserole dishes and the baking tray/broil pan that comes with it which measures: 10 3/4 x 9 3/4.
The rack that comes w/ is 12" long by oven depth of just under 12" but that doesnt inc' pizza bump part of rack add an inch for that... w/ the rack shaped like the bump out to support the pizza. (nice so it doesnt sag down and drip or burn).
There is a purple on light while unit is running.
The outside of the oven does get hot to touch which is obvious, but apparantly some are insulated to protect from that, this one is not it appears.
NOt good for kids, but without little ones Ive not found it to be a problem, the heat resonates most from back and bottom tho' whole thing is hot.
It doesnt make my counter below oven very hot so it appears safe, I do allow plenty of room around the oven when cooking but it doesnt seem to over heat anything.
It does have divit like heat resistant type plastic dipped in grabbers at bottom of oven to move if ness" but Id use a hot mitt if its hot so as not to bump sides and get burnt.
It heats up and cools down faster then our old oven which was a standard heating element oven. This one uses the qaurtz glass looking heating elements which are protected w/ metal covers.
Its book says to pre heat for five min but not an absolute per instructions.
The timer function can control the oven on off feature or you can set it to stay on. The buttons seem durable, time will tell.
I find the handle on door sturdy enough to keep from burning oneself. Additionally the cord is a generous length with less need for the dangerous extension cord. (approx 22")
The rack has the standard safety catch you see on several models which hooks to pull rack out slightly but wont fall out. This function does not work if rack is in upper level for broiling or browning.
You can use rack in up or down positing on two levels.
The oven warms, broils, bakes and toasts as per usual.
I find toast to be fine, if you want it crispy just let it cool slightly w/ oven door open and it will be crisp. I suppose it does take longer then a standard toaster which is par for course w/ toaster ovens. It has the pull out crumb tray that is grasped from outside of oven front.
When cooking things especially pizza it tells you to rotate once during cooking because the pizza bump area is not over a burner so one side will be done more if you dont rotate, and Ive read the convection has something to do with need to rotate in front of fan area.
Our pizzas didnt get super crispy on bottom rack directly but I do understand this is common w/ small oven frozen pizza cooking.
It was slightly crispy and could be covered w/ a small amt of foil on top so bottom browns not top.
I suspect if I cool it slightly inside oven w/ door open the crust will get crunchy like toast, if foil on top of pie it will stay warm.
It says to broil w/ door slightly open, I do close it part of the time to speed cooking but I stand there with it and open it back up toward end. (the book doesnt recc'd this however).
Convection runs quiet as does timer, ding isnt overly loud pretty standard. I set an addit' timer for safety but use the timer to shut the oven off automatically for protection if Id forget to check it.
The convection runs automatically w/ baking fuction no option there. It does not run on broil or toast.
The oven is 1500watts, at first it seemed to take longer to cook then our old oven but I suspect our old oven may have ran high because our food is coming out more tender and juicy not so dried up as old oven which was also 1500w.
I do not have an oven thermometer to verify temperature should I do so I will update my review.
The oven book says to unplug it when not in use.
Something else that is nice it has no vent holes on top so if you sit light things or make crumbs on top whilst storing, crumbs wont enter oven inside workings.
I had read not so great reviews on B & D ovens recently people who had older models stating they arent as good, I can not attest to that but I have not had a problem so far and like this oven for the price and it does what it says.
Overall I find the oven made well, door sturdy, buttons sturdy and it does what it says. Time will tell on durability.
UPDATE: 1/5/07 I purchased an oven thermometer and the oven ran true to set if using center oven rack setting at 400 degrees and above (upper guide rack position,rack down ). If using lower rack track, rack down position, its off by about 25-30 degrees. The broiler works right on temp if not above (450-500 degrees, oven goes to 450 on dial) upper rack guide, rack up position. All of the above temp tests needed a preheat time of about ten to fifteen min (as per book really).
HOWEVER at the temps below 400's I have to turn dial almost half past what I want it set at or it runs below. (say for 325 set it at almost 400)
I will have to test my old forementioned oven I bet it runs over in temp as it dried things up and cooked fast. I didnt realize it till now. :O) Hope this new B and D oven lasts! Will update if any problems.