Toaster Oven Vs Microwave Oven

Households look for greater convenience in contemporary times, perhaps a toaster oven and microwave is synonymous to it. The two have become more of a necessity to kitchens, though depending upon users’ preference. Technology has provided choice, and one of those choices is the microwave oven or the toaster oven.

Comparing Toaster Oven Vs Microwave Oven

Toaster oven Microwave
Toasting and Browning Yes No
Cooking Potatoes Yes Yes
Crisping Yes No
Heating Bread Yes No
Convection Cooking Yes No
Cooking Large Quantities No Yes
Cooking Pizza Yes No
Reheating Food Yes Yes
Energy EfficiencyE No Yes
Countertop Convenience Yes No

The microwave oven and the toaster oven are small, convenient modern day kitchen appliances that provide alternative methods for cooking and reheating meals.

With the busy schedules between work and family, microwave ovens and toaster ovens provide a healthier alternative to the fast food options.

The amount of time it takes to wait in line for a food laden with fat and calories can equally be spent reheating leftovers from a previous nutritious meal. While the microwave oven and toaster oven both offer a helping hand in the kitchen, deciding which one to purchase or use can be a struggle.

In such case, one must weigh the pros and cons.

The microwave oven is an appliance that can set on the countertop, or be installed within the cabinets, or above the stovetop range. In comparison to a convection oven, a microwave uses less energy and takes a significantly less amount of time to heat or cook food.

The larger the microwave oven, the larger the capacity and size meal that can be cooked.

The microwave oven cooks by using radio wave that circulate and stimulate the water particles in the food, ultimately causing friction, which in turn creates heat.

The microwave has several preset options for cooking various foods from popcorn, to baked potatoes, to fish, to defrosting frozen foods.

The conveniences of the microwave oven may make it seem to be a miracle appliance, but it does have its drawbacks. For instance, food prepared in the microwave cannot be browned and food cooked in the microwave has a tendency to turn out sodden.

On the other hand, the rapid cooking method has also been known to extract moisture from food, making it tough and dry. The fast heating method has also been proven to rob food of nutritional components, thus making food less nutritious.

In short, the microwave oven can make food less appealing.

In addition to the inability to brown, and make food crisp, foods heated in plastic containers run the risk of transferring poisonous, cancer causing toxin into the food.

Further, metal containers are not microwave safe and can cause fires, thus leaving glass dishes to be the safest containers.

Cleaning microwaves can be a cumbersome task due to the difficulty of reaching into the back of the appliance and cleaning the top of the unit. Cooking in microwave ovens poses another safety hazard, burns.

Because the food is cooked by causing friction among water particles, liquid vapor burns are a potentially dangerous risk.

The toaster oven, another modern day kitchen convenience is much like a convection oven, only smaller. Toaster ovens are weigh less than most microwave ovens and can be moved to and removed from the countertop to free up space much more easily.

The toaster oven has interior coiled heating elements on the top and bottom of the appliance that heat up and provide heat to cook and or reheat food.

This heating method provides for a more balanced and even heating that does a microwave oven. Much like a convection oven, a toaster oven requires time to preheat to be most effective, thus requires more energy than a microwave oven.

The various settings of a toaster oven make it the preferred appliance for most people. The settings include grilling, baking, toasting, warming, and broiling; the broiling feature is especially admired for browning the top of food.

A toaster oven also enables food to be crispy, such as bacon.

Another positive feature of a toaster oven is that it is self-cleaning. When preparing food, should something spill onto the heating elements, it will simply clean itself the next time it is turned on.

Read How to Clean a Toaster Oven

However, a safety concern of the toaster oven is crumbs that catch on fire, and forgotten food that burns.

A major drawback to the toaster oven is the limited capacity. Because a toaster oven is typically smaller than the microwave oven, it is not ideal for large meals or for preparing for a large family.

The microwave oven and toaster oven are convenient, energy saving alternatives to traditional convection ovens, however, they both pose risks and have drawbacks.

When deciding which appliance will best serve one’s needs, consider the size and quantity of the food to be heated, the quality of food you want to eat, and the risks involved.