When it comes to making your breakfast in the morning, there are two appliances that can help you out: the toaster oven and the traditional toaster. Both of these appliances are designed to toast bread, but they have different functionalities.
In this blog post, we dive deep into the differences between toasters and toaster ovens, the pros and cons of each appliance, and which one is better for your home.
Choosing between a toaster oven vs a toaster comes down to your cooking needs, kitchen space, and budget preferences.
Toasters are designed specifically for toasting slices of bread, while toaster ovens offer more versatility.
Toaster ovens can do much more than just toast bread: they can bake, reheat, broil, roast, and even cook up small meals. They are also larger and can accommodate more food than toasters.
1. Toaster Oven Pros:
- More Versatility: A toaster oven offers more versatility compared to a traditional toaster. You can make a grilled cheese sandwich, reheat leftovers, bake meats, bake cakes, roast vegetables, besides making toasted bread.
- Larger Cooking Capability: Toaster ovens are larger and can accommodate more food than a toaster. This is great for those who like to experiment with different recipes and don't want a large traditional oven.
2. Toaster Oven Cons:
- More Expensive: Toaster ovens are more expensive than traditional toasters as they offer more features and capabilities, so they may not fit everyone's budget.
- Heavier & Bulkier: As a kitchen countertop oven, a toaster oven is heavier and bulkier compared to a regular toaster, and requires more counter space.
1. Toaster Pros:
- Speed & Simplicity: A toaster is perfect for those who prioritize speed and simplicity when it comes to toasting bread, just gets the job done without any additional features.
- Energy Efficiency: A toaster is much more energy-efficient than a toaster oven because it only uses the amount of energy needed to toast bread.
- Affordable Price: A toaster is much cheaper than a toaster oven. For basic toasting needs, a toaster will work just fine and is a great budget option.
2. Toaster Cons:
- Less Versatility: A traditional toaster is limited in what it can do. It's designed specifically for toasting sliced bread and does not have the capability of grilling, baking, or roasting like a toaster oven.
- Limited Capacity: Toasters can only accommodate a limited number of slices of bread, and some models may not be able to handle thicker slices of bread or bagels. Toasters are also not suitable for reheating food or cooking different types of food.
Toaster Oven vs Toaster
1. Cooking Capability:
A toaster oven can bake, reheat, broil, roast, and even cook up small meals. Depending on the size of the toaster oven, it can handle medium to small portions of food. It is versatile and can cook many things from (frozen) pizza and toast to roasted meat and reheating leftovers. For large food items you will still need a full size oven.
A toaster is built solely for bread toasting. However, if you only need to toast bread, a toaster will work just fine.
2. Size Matters:
A toaster oven is more substantial than a toaster and requires more space in your kitchen. It is designed to accommodate different types of food besides bread, such as a toasted sandwich, bagel, pizza, chicken, or fish.
A toaster, on the other hand, is more compact and can fit in any kitchen space. It is a great option if you only need to toast bread and don't have a lot of kitchen counter space.
As it's easy to move around, some people place it on their breakfast table. Larger toasters with extra wide slots can take care of bagels and thick slices of bread. For a large family, a four slice toaster is obviously a better choice than a two slice toaster.
3. Heating Source:
Toaster ovens work with radiant heat, and convection ovens have a fan to circulate hot air, cooking the food evenly from all sides (like in an air fryer).
Toasters use electric coils as heating elements to heat and brown bread. This is a great option for toasting bread as it will evenly toast the slices without burning them.
4. Energy Efficiency
A toaster oven uses more energy than a traditional toaster, mainly because it has a larger heating element. However, a toaster oven is much more efficient when it comes to cooking small meals. Instead of turning on your conventional oven, you can use your toaster oven to cook smaller meals that require less energy.
A toaster is much more energy-efficient and takes lesser time than a toaster oven because it only uses the amount of energy needed to achieve perfect toast.
5. Price Point
Toaster ovens are generally more expensive than toasters due to their versatility and extra features. However, if you're looking for an appliance that can handle more than just bread, then a toaster oven is a great investment.
Toasters are much cheaper than toaster ovens. For basic toasting needs, a toaster will work just fine and is a great budget option.
A toaster oven requires more maintenance, as it has additional features such as racks, trays, and a removable crumb tray. These need to be cleaned regularly to ensure that your toaster oven operates optimally.
A toaster, on the other hand, is much easier to maintain. All you need to do is wipe it down and clean the crumb tray. However, for deep cleaning, it may require disassembly to clean thoroughly.
Toasters vs Toaster Ovens FAQs
Is a toaster oven better than a regular toaster?
It depends on your needs. If you are looking for an appliance that can do more than just toast bread, then a toaster oven is the best choice. Some convection toaster ovens offer air frying as an option.
However, if you only need something simple and efficient for toasting slices of bread, then a traditional toaster will work just fine.
What should I look for when buying a toaster or toaster oven?
Can I cook frozen food in a toaster?
What are the benefits of a toaster oven over a traditional oven?
Toaster ovens are much more energy-efficient than regular ovens, and they require less time for preheating.
Also, consider the amount of food you need to prepare. If you like toasting nuts or baking English muffins, a regular oven is highly impractical; a toaster oven is just perfect for this task.
They also have more settings that allow you to adjust the temperature and time for optimal cooking. Plus, they take up less space in your kitchen.
Are toaster ovens safer than regular ovens?
They are much safer due to their smaller size and adjustable settings. Toaster ovens also have the capability of automatically turning off when your food is done cooking, which prevents any accidents from occurring while you're away.
Can I make toast in a toaster oven?
Toaster ovens come with the same toasting settings as traditional toasters, allowing you to make perfect toast every time. Plus, some models even have a dedicated setting for making bread or bagels.
Do I need both a toaster and a toaster oven?
It depends on your needs. If you can afford to have both appliances and have space, then it is best to invest in both a toaster and a toaster oven. This way you get the benefits of each appliance for different cooking needs.
However, if you are on a budget or don’t need two appliances for your kitchen, then one is enough. Just make sure to choose one that suits your needs.
How many types of toasters are there?
By functionality: There are two basic types of toasters - pop-up and conveyor toasters.
- A pop-up toaster is the most common type, as it can toast a variety of breads and bagels quickly and easily. Most feature adjustable settings that allow you to control how dark your toast turns out.
- A conveyor toaster is more expensive but offers faster toasting. It also has adjustable settings or touch screen.
By sizes: Toasters come in different sizes to accommodate a variety of bread slices. Standard size - two slice toasters are the most common, but you can also find mini toasters, four slice toasters, long-slot toasters, and wide slot models or a "bagel setting" to suit your needs.
By materials: Toasters can be made from various materials such as stainless steel, glass, or plastic. Choose one that is easy to clean and rust-proof.
How many types of toaster ovens are there?
Toaster ovens are countertop ovens. They come in a variety of sizes and styles. Some popular types include countertop toaster ovens, convection toaster ovens, commercial-style models, and compact toaster ovens. Depending on your needs, you can choose the one that best suits your specific needs and lifestyle.
Tips & Tricks
- Always read the instruction manual and perform proper maintenance for safety and longevity purposes.
- If you have limited kitchen space, check the size of the appliance before making a purchase. This will help ensure that the appliance fits perfectly in your kitchen.
- Consider buying an energy-efficient model to save money on your electricity bills over time. An energy-efficient model will consume less electricity than standard models and last longer.
When it comes to toaster oven vs toaster, both have their pros and cons. Decide which feature is important to you. If you only need to toast bread, a traditional toaster is the best option for you. But if you want something more versatile that can handle more than just bread, then a toaster oven may be the better choice.
A toaster oven is a great investment for families, couples, and individuals who enjoy preparing small meals without the need for a full-size oven.
Toasters offer simplicity, convenience, and affordability for people who enjoy a quick breakfast in the morning.
We hope this blog post has helped you understand the differences between the two appliances, and you can now make the best choice for your household.