Can a Toaster Oven Replace a Microwave?

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Do you own a microwave oven and wondering whether you can replace it with a toaster oven? Well, if this is so, you need to learn about both appliances to get the answer to this.

What does each appliance do? Would you suffer any loss if you decided to replace one with the other?

In this post, we discuss how these kitchen appliances work, and how they differ from each other. We aim to help you get the right choice for your kitchen, so stick around.

What’s a Toaster Oven? How Does It Work?

A toaster oven is simply a microwave and oven combined in a smaller appliance. Most people use this kitchen appliance to toast bread for a quick breakfast.

It is designed to fit in tiny spaces on your kitchen counter.

A toaster oven features heating elements (placed at the top and bottom of the oven) that heat the food. The amount of these elements vary with the type of toaster.

Some toaster ovens come with built-in fans that help distribute the heat efficiently for even cooking. Others feature the quartz and ceramic heating elements that improve the heating process.

Toaster ovens have toasting abilities that enable you to brown bread at different levels. They also help roast seeds such as sesame, something you can’t do in a typical oven or stove.

However, although highly effective, toaster ovens take more time to cook meals than microwaves.

Also, toaster ovens tend to be hotter than microwaves, which is why you can never use plastic containers in them. These containers can melt and cause a fire.

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COSORI 11-in-1 Convection Countertop Toaster Oven, latest price on Amazon

Made from stainless steel and with a 25 liters capacity, this toaster oven is durable and the best for larger families. It can bake, toast, dehydrate, roast, warm, and even help you ferment your food.

The toaster comes in a manual silver color and features a non-stick interior for easy cleaning. For convenience, the product features easy controls and fully-equipped accessories.

What’s a Microwave and How Does It Work?

Step in almost every household, and you won’t miss a microwave. Most people simply can’t do without one. They are that essential!

Microwaves use electromagnetic waves to heat water molecules collectively and evenly. As a result, your food gets well-cooked fast.

The heating method of a microwave makes it the best appliance for ready-made heating food. It, however, can’t make a quick toast like a toaster oven as it lacks the baking/browning ability.

You can use glass or plastic cookware in a microwave as electromagnetic waves don’t damage these. However, never use metal pans as these can cause arcing in the oven.

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Panasonic NN-SD975S Cyclonic Wave Inverter Countertop Microwave, latest price on Amazon

This microwave oven from Panasonic will help you take the guesswork out of cooking, thanks to the 20 auto cook options. It enables you to cook or reheat without setting a time hence highly efficient.

NN-SD975S uses cyclonic inverter technology that circulates heat in 3D waves for efficient cooking. It has a 2.2 cu ft. interior, a compact footprint, and elegant controls.

Thanks to the child safety lock, it is also child safe and can keep food warm for up to 30 minutes. It allows enough time for everyone to gather at the dinner table.

Difference Between a Toaster Oven and a Microwave

Cooking Results

Toaster ovens use direct heat that adds new flavor and odor, creating a caramel-like taste to your scones and sandwiches. This heat allows even browning of meat and food, which might be impossible when using a microwave.

A toaster oven can also help you prepare crispy bacon and pizza to perfection, unlike a microwave, which makes food have a soft and soggy feel. This is because microwaves heat food via heated water molecules that make it impossible for your food to get crispy.

When it comes to baking, toaster ovens are the best alternatives. However, this doesn’t rule out microwaves as you can bake anything in them, including pizza, bread, and cakes.

Using a microwave to boil high water content food is extremely convenient. You can heat milk, coffee, or tea in a microwave with ease and get the best results.

When it comes to warming food or preparing something cheesy, a toaster oven makes the best option. You also enjoy the luxury of temperatures and the convenience of racks when using a toaster oven.

Energy Consumption

In terms of energy consumption, both appliances are more effective than traditional ovens. However, the variation of energy use between a toaster oven and microwave is insignificant. The toaster oven slightly uses more energy (1200 – 1800 watts) than a microwave (700-1300 watts).

Always choose energy-star-rated models if looking forward to getting an environmentally friendly kitchen appliance for your home.

Ease of Cleaning

Of the two appliances, microwaves are the easiest to clean. For the best results, you just need to steam its interior and wipe it down.

Although toaster ovens come with removable crumb trays and pans that are easy to clean, the glass door and heating elements take more time and effort.

To make cleanup more manageable, it’s advisable to place a silicone-baking mat in your toaster oven’s baking pan for easy cleanup.

Capacity

The capacity of these kitchen appliances varies depending on brands and models. Nonetheless, a microwave is slightly larger than a toaster oven.

Reason?

Toaster ovens are mainly used for baking bread and are usually categorized according to the slices they can toast at a go. For instance, it can be a 4-slice or 6-slice model.

On the other hand, the size of a microwave is determined by wattage and cubic feet. The cubic feet reading is usually between 1.2 cu. ft and 2.0 cu. ft. and the wattage 700 watts to 1200 watts.

Cost

When it comes to costs, toaster ovens usually come at a lower price than microwaves. This, however, depends on the capacity and brand. While the most basic model of a toaster can cost around $35, a microwave will cost between $60 and $250 depending on the wattage and cubic feet.

You also need to note that the more features the microwave have, the higher the price. Various settings and component make-up affect the price of microwaves.

Microwaves and toaster ovens that require installation come at a higher price than the countertop ones. This is because aside from the appliance itself, you also have to budget for the installation costs.

Safety

A lot has been said about the safety of microwave ovens in the past. That having one in your home exposes you to high chances of kitchen fires. Manufacturers didn’t take this lightly and responded by adding more safety features like the auto shut-off.

This feature not only prevents kitchen fires but also overcooked or burnt food.

When using a microwave, you need to be extra careful with the food containers you place in it. Metal can cause arcing in the microwave, while Styrofoam and some plastics can melt and contaminate your food.

Toaster ovens have the same safety concerns as full-size ovens. And if you can touch a full-size oven with bare hands, don’t do the same when using a toaster oven. Its exterior can become quite hot as well.

When using either of these electrical kitchen appliances, guard against contact with water and damaged cords.

So, Can a Toaster Oven Replace a Microwave?

Not at all. Although the 2 appliances have a similar appearance, they do different things. You can therefore not replace one with the other.

If torn between the two, your buying decision will be determined by the functionality you require.

You can never replace a toaster oven with a microwave because each appliance carries out different functions. If you can’t afford both, consider your preferences and needs and go for the one that you require the most.