Black & Decker TRO700W Toaster Oven

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Epinions Product Rating: Disappointing
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Black & Decker TRO700 Toaster Oven: It was a gift, I swear it!

Aug 24, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Very Good

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Ease of Cleaning:
  • Style:

Pros:Attractive, spacious interior, relatively inexpensive

Cons:Questionable Black & Decker reliability/durability, gets very hot

The Bottom Line: While it's not a stinker by design B&D's appliances have declined seriously in quality. If it wasn't a gift it would have been exchanged.


Background
A little more than 3 years ago, when our Black & Decker TRO355 Toaster Oven gave up the ghost after 13 years we replaced it with another of the same model. A modestly priced toaster oven with modest features, it did pretty much everything we needed from a toaster oven for a very modest price.

After looking at and trying out several more advanced and expensive units that just didn't cut the mustard so to speak we figured if this little Toaster Oven could offer the kind of endurance its predecessor had, we would be more than satisfied.

Well, of course it didn't last or we wouldn't be here discussing the Black & Decker TRO700 Toaster Oven with Convection Cooking. After 3 years the toaster toggle stopped toggling and left us with merely an oven. Sure, were were able to toast by setting the oven, but clearly this was an appliance needing replacement.

What happened to Black & Decker Reliability?
Why did a unit that had lasted 13 years previously last little more than 3 years? Where had B&D's reliability gone? It went to China, that's where. And, it went to a company known as Applica Consumer Products, Inc. who bought the rights to the Black & Decker logo when it came to household appliances. Located in Miramar, Fl, Applica has its appliances made for them in China.

So, while they may have the Black & Decker appearance, they often have the performance and durability characteristics associated with cheap Chinese household appliances.

So why the B&D TRO700?
Simply put, it was a well intentioned gift from my in-laws and we just didn't have the heart to tell them we returned it. They own the same model. Yes, the Xenos can be wimps, but wimps with a heart. So let's take a look at this toaster oven.

Black & Decker Textured TRO700 Toaster Oven with Convection Cooking
The first thing that strikes you is its attractive looks. Ours is the S model which is primarily stainless steel with black textured trim. But my, it's grown some.

Our little TRO355 has been replaced with a Toaster Oven that measures 16.5"L x 10.5"H x 11"D. Fortunately this model didn't just bloat up. Its growth in outer dimensions are matched by similar growth in inner dimensions. It will in fact comfortably toast 4 slices of bread of pretty much any size.

Controls
The TRO700 has three control knob on its right hand front panel. The top knob adjusts the temperature (200F - Broil).

The middle knob is a 60 minute oven timer with automatic shut-off. This is a major improvement over the TRO355 which had the dangerous characteristic of staying on if the door was closed. It had to be deliberately turned off.

The bottom knob is the toast shade selector. Well, it's not really a shade selector, but rather another timer that controls the toaster function. There is no real toast sensor in this model and a darkish piece of toast takes a long 5 minutes to produce.

Finally, at the bottom of the 3 knobs is a convection fan rocker that can be switched on to speed roasting and baking functions.

The front door is an almost all glass curved number that really gives you a view of the contents of the oven. Unfortunately, the handle is poorly situated at the top of the door making it very easy for your fingers to come in contact with very hot stainless steel or glass when opening and closing.

Inside
The oven has four shielded ceramic heating elements (2 on top, 2 on bottom). They are slow to heat up.

A baking/toasting rack can be placed in either of two positions (high or low) and a drip/roasting pan is included. The pan is smallish and appears not really to have been designed for this unit. A small ceramic or pyrex dish would make more sense when using it to roast.

Intelligently, the crumb tray on this unit is easily removed from the front exterior making cleaning easy.

So how's it doing?
When it comes to toasting, with a little trial and error you can produce some decent toast albeit slowly. Typically, tops will be a shade darker than bottoms.

The oven is about as good as any toaster oven, which is to say, merely adequate. It's fine for re-heating food where a microwave would be in appropriate, but for real cooking? I think not. Testing the heat settings I found it to be consistently off (under) by about 50F. That's not unusual for a toaster oven, but should be considered if you really use it to bake.

The convection fan speeds up cooking, but only slightly. If you use this feature keep an eye on your items until you have a good feel for its effect, then make adjustments to your cooking/baking times.

Other Observations
The outside of this unit gets very hot and stays hot for a long time. This is an important consideration if children will be using the toaster oven. Our 11 year-old daughter uses it regularly to toast pop tarts and heat frozen waffles. She has been trained.

If you purchase this model make sure you have more than adequate real estate on your counter-top. The manufacturer recommends that it not be placed under cabinets. Where else it would ordinarily go in a typical kitchen is beyond me. Ours is actually set up in a specially heat insulated cabinet designed for this type of appliance.

Conclusion
So, it's an attractive appliance that so far has performed at least adequately. But my recent experiences with Black & Decker Toaster Ovens and Food Processors leave me skeptical about their durability. If I wasn't the warm hearted appreciative son-in-law that I am, I probably would have exchanged it for another brand. I'd suggest you look elsewhere as well.

Regards,

Rudi

© Rudi Xeno 2008




Recommend this product? No


Amount Paid (US$): Gift

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