To reheat leftovers or make a warm snack quickly, you typically use one of two essential appliances: a toaster oven vs microwave. When space is limited in your kitchen, you may not have enough room for both. Each of these appliances has its own advantages and features, but which one is right for you?
In the following article, we weigh the benefits and drawbacks of both toaster oven vs microwave.
Toaster Oven Vs Microwave : Cooking Process
An electric current is used to create infrared radiation, which is used to cook foods in toasters. Depending on the oven, there may be one or more coils that heat the interior and heat food throughout. Because the coils heat the food directly, toaster ovens can caramelize and crisp your food as well as toast it! Toaster ovens are better if the food taste is solely considered when comparing these two appliances.
Food molecules are heated by microwaves by bouncing electromagnetic waves off of them. Despite cooking food faster and more thoroughly, they lack the same crisping ability, leaving bread and meat much chewier. However, the microwave can quickly reheat coffee, bring soups to temperature, or heat up water for tea.
Toaster Oven Vs Microwave Cooking Time
Direct heating in a toaster oven results in longer cooking times. The temperature must increase enough to cook the food while staying low enough to prevent the outside of the food from burning.
Microwaves, however, can cook food faster than toaster ovens. Microwave power and heating ability are influenced by wattage, which we will discuss later.
Toaster Oven Vs Microwave: Installation
Microwaves and toasters both come in countertop models as well as models that can be hung underneath your cabinets (usually over the stovetop).
Over-the-range microwaves free up counter space and streamline your kitchen. If you choose to hang your appliance, ensure it is the right size for the space and that there is enough clearance from the stovetop. Since this requires electrical work and exhaust ducts must be considered, you should consider hiring a professional to complete the installation. As a result, you’ll stay in compliance with building codes and the minimum spacing required for installation.
Installing a countertop microwave in a nook in the cabinets and surround it with a trim kit, giving it a custom appearance, is an option in between. Because of the amount of heat the small appliance emits, countertop toaster ovens usually do not have this option
Toaster Oven Vs Microwave: Size
A toaster oven’s size is determined by the number of bread slices it can toast, such as a four-slice model or a six-slice model. Most toaster ovens have a countertop space of 16 by 8 inches, with larger models reaching 20 by 10 inches.
Power, cubic feet, and range are the measurements of microwave ovens. The power of microwaves varies from 700 watts to 1,200 watts, and the size ranges from 1.4 cu ft to 2 cu ft. Microwaves are the larger of the two appliances, averaging about 24 inches by 19 inches, so prepare your kitchen accordingly.
Toaster Oven Vs Microwave: Costs
Toaster ovens can be purchased for as little as $30 for a four-slice model or $50 – $70 for a six-slice model. However, these prices represent models with only basic features. A more aesthetically pleasing toaster will typically cost between $80 and $150. Costs will likely increase by $100 if the unit has convection. Additional hardware costs will also apply to under-cabinet installation.
Microwaves tend to have a more variable cost. You can expect to pay $50 – $170 for a 700 – 1,200 watt microwave. It is important to keep in mind, however, that this price will only increase as the wattage and cubic feet increase. In addition to improved finishes and more cook settings, you can also increase the price with a toaster. An over-the-range microwave will add $50 – $100 to the cost, and a built-in microwave will cost $300.
Toaster Oven Vs Microwave: Energy Efficiency
Microwaves and toasters offer homeowners an energy-efficient option and can be ordered in a variety of EnergyStar models. In comparison to microwaves (700-1,300 watts), toaster ovens use more power (1,200-1,800 watts). Moreover, since toaster ovens take longer to cook, the energy will be used for a longer period of time. Regardless of whether it is EnergyStar certified or not, the microwave is an energy-efficient appliance.
Toaster Oven Vs Microwave: Maintenance
Cleaning kitchen appliances can be a hassle, and can affect which one is right for you. If you have kids who tend to make a lot of messes around the house, microwaves are ideal.
In comparison to a toaster oven, a microwave is easier to clean. There are more parts of a toaster oven that need to be cleaned, such as the rack, crumb catcher, and glass door. In contrast, a microwave has a bare interior and a removable glass tray that you can clean easily with soap and water or vinegar. Glass trays can also be placed in the dishwasher.
Toaster Oven Vs Microwave: Safety
In general, microwave ovens are safer than toasters. The outside of a toaster oven can become very hot as the inside heats up, whereas a microwave stays cool unless you cook something for a very long time. Because of this, you should also leave space on both sides of a toaster oven, and never stack anything on top of it. Microwaves are also less likely to catch fire than toaster ovens.
Whenever you use a microwave, be aware of heating styrofoam and some plastics, which can release harmful chemicals, as well as foil-wrapped leftovers or an accidental fork, which can cause sparks.
We have a list of best buy toaster oven in case you need more recommendation.