You can easily avoid that problem by never making dark toast or by taking it out early, but it seems like a hazard that could point to a larger issue. If you're using this toaster oven for the first time, happen to enjoy dark toast, and walk away from the machine to do other things, you could come back to a big, smoky mess. The Cuisinart, Breville, and Panasonic all produced much more consistent results at the light, medium, and dark toast settings.
The Frigidaire made decent cookies, although they were slightly brown and bordered on overdone. The preset timer inaccurately estimated the cooking time once again, but not by as much as the dark toast setting. The preset defaulted to 350 degrees for 11 minutes using convection. I adjusted the timer down to 8 minutes on the third test and the results were much better. This is where I started to call into question the overall functionality of the presets.
The frozen pizza setting on the Frigidaire was similarly off base. If I had let it bake for as long as the default pizza setting suggested, there might have been another dark toast situation. Like the toast and the cookies, there’s a huge difference between the amount of time needed and the default time given on the pizza setting.
During the next two tests, I followed the instructions on the pizza box instead of the presets and they were quite undercooked and floppy. So ultimately, neither option made a substantial pizza. It seems particularly difficult to find a cooking sweet spot using the Frigidaire, no matter what food you're making. At this point, I'm inclined to blame the presets and the heating technology since it doesn't seem to follow a predictable pattern. The Panasonic was the most consistent out of all four toaster ovens, but it can only make small, personal-serving pies. Go for the Cuisinart or Breville if you plan to make larger pizzas.
With no roast setting, I followed the instructions suggested for the weight of the drumsticks and cooked them at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. The very first run on the Frigidaire was fairly successful; the chicken was pretty juicy and crisp. The second run yielded moist chicken that was not at all crisp, and the third run produced chicken that wasn't moist or crispy. So once again, the results were extremely inconsistent. Overall, the chicken was edible, but not as reliable as what we cooked in the Cuisinart, Breville, and Panasonic.
The maximum temperature on the Frigidaire is 450 degrees, although the suggested temperature for broiling burgers in toaster ovens is 500 degrees. As a result, the meat took much longer to cook than it did for the Cuisinart, Breville, and Panasonic. In this case, though, it didn't matter because none of the toaster ovens made a good burger. After some deliberation, we decided that the small size of toaster ovens and the high heat required for broiling just doesn't create an ideal cooking environment. So, cooking burgers in this or most other toaster ovens will either require a lot of practice or you should just avoid it completely.
I toasted a couple of frozen waffles on the dark toast setting to see if there was a reasonable explanation for having such a long preset default. They were also burnt, although not to the same extent as the toast. You can see the result below.
I also toasted two frozen waffles in the Panasonic, since it has a dedicated frozen waffle setting. I can't draw a direct comparison since I didn't use a dark toast setting in the Panasonic, but it does make it clear how much easier it is to use other toaster ovens. The Panasonic easily achieved the desired result and the Frigidaire floundered.
The cooking rack, crumb tray, bake pan, and pizza pan are all removable and simple to clean. Similarly, the inside of the toaster oven is nonstick and easy to wipe down as needed. However, if you accidentally allow your toaster oven to toast bread for 12-plus minutes, you are going to end up with smoky, charred food residue that will cover both the inside and outside of your appliance -- now that will take more effort to clean.
I can’t recommend this product to anyone. While it has the appearance of a capable machine, it completely fails to meet my basic expectations. The features and settings are positives in its favor, but how useful are they if the results are so unpredictable? I can't quite pinpoint why it cooks so inconsistently, but there's a clear issue with the convection and infrared heating and how they work both separately and in concert with the presets.
If you completely ignore the presets and tirelessly tweak your cooking times, you could probably reach a point where you are satisfied with the way the Frigidaire cooks. But, why go through the hassle when there are far better options out there? For a smaller, less expensive toaster oven that performs extremely well, I would recommend the Panasonic FlashXpress. You can find it on Amazon for $89 (at the time of this writing), which is far less than its $149 sticker price and it won't regularly surprise you with wonky results. Or, if you want something that looks like the Frigidaire, but, you know, works, go for the Breville. It has an even larger capacity than the Frigidaire, so it's ideal if you're keen on cooking a lot of family-size pizzas.