Cooking requires a lot of skills and the right set of tools. When it comes to baking and roasting, two popular appliances come to mind: toaster oven and regular oven.
Both ovens are capable of cooking a variety of dishes and tasks: baking, roasting, broiling, and reheating, but each comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
If you are wondering which appliance is best suited for your cooking needs, then read on as we explore the details of each oven.
Toaster Oven vs Regular Oven
Choosing between a toaster oven vs regular oven depends on your needs, but ultimately, it comes down to what works for you.
If you live alone or have a small family, a toaster oven may be more than sufficient. It can cook small portions quickly, saving time and energy.
If you love baking and cooking large dishes, enjoy hosting dinner parties, a regular oven is a must-have. Its size and even heating allow for consistent and delicious meals that can feed a crowd.
1. What Is A Toaster Oven?
A toaster oven is a countertop oven, a small kitchen appliance that can be used for toasting, baking, roasting, and broiling. It is much smaller than a regular oven and can fit on your countertop.
One of the most significant advantages of a toaster oven is that it heats up quickly and can save energy as it does not need to heat up a large space. It can also cook small portions, making it ideal for single people, couples or small families.
Portable: Its compact size and portable possibility can be used for cooking or reheating smaller portions of food. If you have a small kitchen, a toaster oven can be a lifesaver, giving you the ability to cook without taking up too much space.
Versatile: Another advantage of a toaster oven is that it can be used to cook a variety of foods, from chicken to pizza to cookies. They also often come with settings such as broil, toast, and bake, making it a great multipurpose appliance.
Energy-Efficient: A toaster oven heats up quickly and uses less energy than a full-sized oven, which makes it a great option for those who are looking to reduce their energy consumption.
Limited Capacity: Due to its small size, it may not be able to handle larger portions of food or big meals like a regular oven. It may take longer to cook larger meals, and may limit the type of dishes you can prepare.
Temperature Variability: Toaster ovens can be difficult to regulate and they don’t always get hot enough for certain dishes. Some recipes may not turn out as expected if the temperature isn’t regulated correctly.
1. What Is A Regular Oven?
Regular ovens (like convection ovens) are larger built-in kitchen appliances. They can be used for baking, broiling, and roasting, and can fit more substantial portions than a toaster oven.
A regular oven is ideal for families or those who enjoy hosting dinner parties. This oven heats up evenly, allowing for consistent cooking.
Larger Capacity: It is larger than a toaster oven and can fit more substantial portions of food, making it ideal for bigger portions of food, larger meals or multiple dishes.
More Powerful: Its size and more features can handle anything from a turkey to a roasted beef, and its even heating allows for consistent cooking. If you live alone or have a small family, a regular oven may not be necessary.
Consistent Cooking: The size of a traditional oven allows the heat to be distributed evenly, resulting in consistent and even cooking. It is suitable for dishes that require longer cooking times, such as roasts and casseroles.
Long Preheat Time: Since it is larger than a toaster oven, it takes longer to preheat and consumes more energy. Additionally, it takes more time to heat up and can generate more heat in your kitchen, which may not be ideal in hot weather.
Require More Space: If you have a small kitchen, a regular oven may take up too much space. They are also not suitable for small households or people who don’t cook large dishes often.
More Expensive: It can be more expensive and may increase your energy bill.
Regular Oven vs Toaster Oven
- Toaster ovens are much smaller than regular ovens and can sit on a countertop. They are great for small kitchens, apartments, and solo living.
- Regular ovens, on the other hand, are usually built-in appliances and take up a lot of space.
2. Heating Mechanism:
- Toaster ovens use heating elements on the top and bottom, while regular ovens have heating elements in the back and sides.
- Regular ovens distribute heat more evenly throughout the cooking space, while basic toaster ovens have hot and cool spots. However, most modern toaster ovens now use convection technology to distribute hot air more evenly.
- Toaster ovens heat up faster and cook food quicker than regular ovens. They are also more energy-efficient, as they only heat up a small area.
- Regular ovens take longer to preheat, but they are best for cooking large dishes like turkey, ham, or casserole.
Toaster Ovens & Regular Ovens FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions to consider when deciding between traditional ovens and toaster ovens.
Does a toaster oven work like a real oven?
A toaster oven can work like a real oven, but it does have some limitations.
- Toaster ovens are smaller than regular ovens and may not be suitable for cooking larger dishes or multiple dishes at once.
- However, they are fit for cooking small dishes, toasting and reheating leftovers, tasks that are not really suitable for a full sized oven.
- They may take more cooking time and may not get hot enough for certain dishes.
- Toaster ovens are more energy efficient, but they do require careful monitoring while cooking as the temperature can be difficult to regulate.
What are common problems with toaster ovens?
- Common problems with toaster ovens include uneven heating, which can lead to burning or under-cooked food.
- They are limited in terms of capacity and size, making it difficult to cook larger meals or multiple dishes at once.
- Toaster ovens may not heat up enough for certain recipes, or they may take significantly longer than a regular oven.
- It is important to read the instructions carefully before purchasing an appliance so that you are aware of all its features and capabilities.
Can you bake a cake in a toaster oven?
You can bake a cake in a toaster oven.
- Depending on the size of your oven, you may need to adjust the recipe and the baking form accordingly.
- To prevent burning, make sure that your toaster oven is set to the correct temperature and that it has been preheated before adding the cake batter.
- Keep an eye on the cake as it bakes since it may burn on the top more quickly in the toaster oven than in a regular or convection oven.
Tips & Tricks
- Take time to research what features and settings regular, conventional ovens and countertop ovens have as this will help you make an informed decision. Consider the cooking features, and energy efficiency before purchasing.
- Always to read the appliance's instructions and follow the safety guidelines to avoid any accidents.
- Make sure to measure the space and built-in possibilities before purchasing a regular oven, as they are much bigger than toaster ovens.
- For those who want to save energy, consider investing in an air fryer and/or a toaster oven. Both use significantly less energy than traditional cooking methods while still delivering excellent results. They are also great for those with limited space as they can be stored away when not in use.
- If you're looking for the best of both worlds, consider getting both a toaster oven and a regular oven.
Choosing between a toaster oven and a regular, conventional oven depends on your lifestyle, budget, and cooking preferences.
By understanding the differences between these two appliances and their advantages and limitations, you can make an informed decision and improve your cooking experience.
So, pick the best oven for your kitchen, and cook like a pro! If you have the space and budget, buying both a regular oven and a toaster oven can be beneficial as it gives you the best of both worlds.