Which Is Better: Toaster Oven or Microwave?

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It’s wonderful to have tools that function to make things simpler in today’s corporate world. As a result, many individuals now perceive significant value in purchasing kitchen equipment such as a toaster oven or a microwave. Many of us, particularly on hectic days, need fast, on-the-go cooking choices.

A toaster oven and a microwave are two kitchen appliances that many of us cannot live without. As a result, it is essential to choose a high-quality brand with the appropriate functionality for your lifestyle.

So, do you really need both for your kitchen? Or should you just choose one to add to your cooking arsenal? We’re here to assist you in figuring things out!

How Does a Toaster Oven Work?

To begin the toaster oven versus microwave discussion, we must first understand each gadget and how it operates. We’re going to start with the toaster.

The toaster oven combines a microwave and an oven into a compact gadget that may fit in even the smallest of kitchen counter spaces. Many people use a toaster oven to prepare quick toast for breakfast or to reheat leftovers.

A toaster oven features toasting capabilities that enable you to brown bread and other items at various degrees. It is also handy for roasting seeds such as sesame when a standard oven or stove cannot be used.

Since a microwave cannot conduct browning, this is a function unique to a toaster oven. Other tasks of an oven-type device include baking, broiling, and defrosting.

How Does a Microwave Work?

Another kitchen need that many homes cannot live without is a microwave. This gadget heats food by creating microwaves that bounce about the inside of the device.

browning ability. This heating technique makes a microwave ideal for reheating ready-made food packets, but it cannot create rapid bread like a toaster oven due to a lack of baking power.

Besides from warming food, the microwave has additional uses. If you possess a heating pad, you know that they occasionally need to be heated in a microwave. You may also disinfect kitchen objects with intense heat by using a microwave.

Pros and Cons of Toaster Oven vs Microwave

Toaster Oven


  • Fits into narrow places
  • While not in use, it may be stored.
  • It keeps meals warm.
  • Food that browns and toasts
  • Purchase is affordable.


  • Just one rack may be used.
  • Can’t prepare a significant amount of food
  • Foods get dry as a result.
  • Thawing and defrosting are inefficient.
  • Liquids cannot be heated.



  • Quick cooking and heating
  • Excellent for heating liquids such as soups and beverages.
  • Energy-efficient
  • Simple to clean
  • Foods are not burned.
  • Several functionalities are available, such as popcorn production.
  • Foods defrost quickly.


  • Overheating may cause the dish to get mushy.
  • It is not possible to brown or toast
  • It dries out food.
  • Significant footprint

Cooking Process

The cooking operations of a toaster oven and a microwave are not the same. A toaster oven uses infrared radiation, but a microwave uses microwaves, which are electromagnetic waves that heat your food.

Still perplexed? Let us dissect it.

As electrical energy travels to an oven toaster, tiny filaments called coils that are joined together emit infrared radiation. When electricity travels over these coils, the interior of the toaster becomes hot enough to cook the food.

A toasting effect results in crispy food that a microwave cannot provide. It is essentially a miniature version of a standard oven. Browning occurs because heat is transmitted directly to the food from the coils.

Meanwhile, microwave ovens generate and bounce microwaves inside the oven to heat water on the meal itself. When the water molecules warm up, they create heat, which is used to cook and warm the food as required.

Its heating element prevents it from browning or crisping the outside of the food as toasters do. On the plus side, microwave ovens can fast heat liquids such as tea, which toasters cannot.

Cooking Time

When comparing cooking times between a toaster oven and a microwave, the microwave comes out on top. Microwaves function quicker because all of the water molecules in the meal heat up at the same time. This enables for speedier cooking of the whole dish’s food composition. While a toaster oven cooks in the same manner as a standard oven, it takes longer to heat up and cook.

But, for best speed, you must consider the wattage of the microwave oven you are using. Keep in mind that the greater the wattage, the quicker it warms and cooks.

Cooking Options

Both the toaster and the microwave share similarities in terms of cooking possibilities. Both can greatly assist you with many of your everyday culinary requirements. Nevertheless, professional application is limited since the temperature of both the toaster and microwave is not as high as that of a regular convection oven.

As previously stated, the toaster oven is ideal for baking, toasting, or crisping dishes such as French fries or pizza. When your recipe asks for it, it may also roast little items like almonds and sesame seeds.

However, microwave cooking is ideal if you are short on time and need to create a meal quickly. Here, quick frozen meals and liquid-based meals like soup work nicely.


Several toasters and microwaves need no installation at all; just place it on top of your kitchen counter and move it about anytime you like.

For consumers who desire a permanent kitchen fixture, certain types may need installation. If an installation is necessary, we recommend that you use an expert to avoid electrical problems, fires, and other mishaps.


The size and capacity of a toaster oven versus microwave is a difficult topic to answer. These might vary substantially depending on the brand and model you choose. In most cases, the microwave will be the bigger of the two.

Since toaster ovens are mostly used for toasting bread, the capacity is generally classified as 4-slice or 6-slice. Toaster oven dimensions vary from 16 x 8 to 20 x 10.

Microwaves, on the other hand, measure size in terms of watts and cubic feet. It may range from 700 to 1,200 watts, with cubic feet readings ranging from 1.4 to 2 cu.ft. A typical microwave has a footprint of 24 x 19.


Toaster ovens are often less expensive than microwaves, however this depends on the model and size. A small 4-slice toaster oven may be purchased for under $35, with 6-slice versions ranging from $55 to $75. There are also traditional toaster ovens that cost more than $200.

A microwave typically costs $60 to $250, depending on power and cubic feet. The price of a microwave is also affected by features such as different settings and the structure’s component make-up.

Installation-only toasters and microwaves are more costly than countertop models. You must account for installation charges in addition to the cost of the kitchen equipment. A portable toaster oven may cost approximately $150, whereas a microwave can cost between $300 and $600. Installation charges vary depending on the installer, but are often between $150 and $200.

Energy Efficiency

When buying any appliance for your house, search for the ENERGY STAR Certified emblem. Appliances that have received the ENERGY STAR certification consume less energy than those that have not received the certification.

hr. It’s also worth noting that a toaster oven cooks food more slowly than a microwave. As a result, it would cost you extra. hr of operation, while the microwave costs between $0.08 and $0.15. Of the two, a toaster oven consumes more energy than a microwave. A toaster oven may range in price from $0.15 to $0.25.


The only maintenance required for these gadgets is cleaning. Microwaves are simple to clean since most include a detachable glass tray that makes the inside easy to clean. A moist cloth or paper towel may be used to clean a microwave.

When it comes to a toaster oven, though, the situation is rather different. It features a wire rack that must be cleaned and a crumb tray that must be emptied on a regular basis. During cleaning, be cautious of the coils, since they should not be exposed to water or moisture.


In the kitchen, safety should always come first! The most serious issue with a toaster oven is heat, since it may grow quite hot while in use. During cooking, avoid touching the surface and staying away from the coils. It should also not be put near combustible items or in a location where children may readily access it.

In contrast, the microwave oven is safe as long as the door is closed. Radiation from the microwave might flow into your house if the door is cracked.

You should also be cautious of the components of the food containers you place in the microwave. Metal may react negatively in the microwave, and styrofoam and other plastics can melt, contaminating food.


What are the disadvantages of a toaster oven?

It’s not the best option for just toasting bread pieces for breakfast.
Toaster ovens range in price from roughly $25 to $250, making them somewhat pricey when compared to a standard toaster.
It’s a loud machine.
More to come…

Can a toaster oven replace a microwave?

A toaster oven cooks food by browning and crisping it using a heating element. A microwave, on the other hand, uses electromagnetic radiation to heat water molecules. Both function differently and generate distinct consequences in the end. A toaster oven may replace a microwave, but you give up convenience for better food quality.

How safe are toaster ovens?

As long as they are utilized appropriately, toaster ovens are typically safe to use in any household environment. There is no need to be afraid of using this useful kitchen gadget if it is used according to the manufacturer’s directions and with a few simple safety measures.

Are toasters healthy?

On food contact surfaces, many toasters and toaster ovens include nonstick coatings produced from hazardous per & poly-fluoroalkyl compounds (PFAS). These hazardous coatings have been linked to the release of hormone-disrupting substances into food.

Why not recommended for toaster oven?

We do not advocate utilizing toaster ovens since they vary greatly in size, heat distribution, distance from heating element, and insulation. The product would be too near to the heating source, which might result in a fire.

Is a toaster oven less radiation than a microwave?

Despite the absence of radiation, toaster ovens are not healthier than microwaves. This is because, whereas most cooking techniques lose nutrients, microwaves lose less nutrients owing to their speedier cooking manner.

Can I reheat food in a toaster oven?

You’re in luck if you have a toaster oven. This is the best method for reheating items in this category. Also, it is much more handy than a standard oven. Five to ten minutes at 350 degrees should enough.

What are the benefits of a toaster oven?

When you don’t want to turn on the oven, a toaster oven may heat up faster than an oven and serve in place of the bigger equipment for smaller size recipes. It may also augment an oven by cooking or reheating an additional dish. It can also toast foods that have been topped or buttered, something a toaster cannot.

Can you reheat coffee in a toaster oven?

A: You certainly could! My microwave suddenly failed, and I’ve used this toaster oven to cook up a variety of items, including my coffee!

Is zinc coating in toaster ovens safe?

The exterior, interior, and rack of these versions are all constructed of stainless steel. At this time, there are no recognized health risks associated with the zinc coating.

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