What’s the difference between a convection oven vs toaster oven?
Over the last 10 years or so technology has advanced and we don’t only have traditional ovens, microwaves, and toaster ovens, we also have a variation and even a combination of these products that make their usage a lot simpler, more efficient, and even affordable.
You must have heard or even seen toaster ovens around. But what is exactly are toaster ovens and what are they good for – and most importantly, are they better than traditional ovens or countertop convection ovens?
If you’re looking to learn more about toaster ovens, find out whether it’s a great choice for you to upgrade your kitchen appliances, or even decide between toasters or convection ovens – this is the right article for you!
What are Toaster Ovens?
As the name says, a toaster oven is a combination between a toaster and an oven. It’s very similar to a countertop oven (and convection oven as well), but yet it is not the same appliance.
You can think of toaster ovens as a more compact version of conventional ovens that don’t only toast but can also circulate heat during the cooking process to bake and broil, which is what a convection feature is.
But what is a convection oven then and why do both convection ovens and toaster ovens exist?
There is one key difference in the way both ovens are built, so let’s get straight into convection ovens!
What are Convection Ovens?
The convection oven is a smaller, countertop version of a traditional oven but has a built-in fan that circulates air inside around the food for better cooking.
These fast warming heating elements and circulation is especially good for baking baked goods because it gives you a consistent cooking temperature inside the oven, lower cooking time, and uses less energy.
Therefore, you can think of a convection oven as an upgrade to a regular oven. The convection oven is far more efficient, provides better texture & flavor to food, and is also more energy-efficient.
And my favorite benefit is the time. Convection ovens require a lot less time to cook a meal, which makes it an ideal choice for a busy professional.
What are Convection Toaster Ovens?
You might have lost me right here, but convection toaster ovens are the third type of oven and you shouldn’t let it confuse you.
Even though the terms & names are pretty similar – these special toaster ovens are actually a combination of a couple of different oven models.
Therefore, a convection toaster oven is a regular toaster oven you might have already seen, yet in this case, it features convection fans that blow hot air.
This is ideal for people who are toasting a lot and would love to be a bit more efficient and faster – but also for people who would ideally require a toaster oven for other cooking rather than just do toasting.
What’s the difference Between Toaster Ovens and Convection Toaster Ovens?
Since toaster ovens and convection toaster ovens are two very similar appliances, if you have to make a decision between these two – you might have a hard time.
Therefore, let me explain to you the main difference between these two.
Toaster ovens were first invented and then a variation of a toaster oven which includes fans that blow hot air throughout the interior was invented – this is the convection toaster oven.
Convection toaster ovens do the same job as toaster ovens, the only difference is it features the circulating air.
Oftentimes, a toaster convection oven is also a bit more advanced when it comes down to technology, with more cooking functions, better energy consumption, and all the features you would expect from a high-end kitchen appliance.
Toaster Ovens vs Microwave Ovens
So should you make up your mind and go for a toaster oven or should you just replace your microwave with a newer model?
This is fairly a straightforward decision to make. Are you looking for an appliance that will help you cook or reheat? If you have a primary appliance for cooking and you’re just looking for an appliance to help you heat up your pizza slices – the microwave is a great choice.
But if you’re looking for a kitchen appliance that might replace your oven, cook food, and still have the ability to warm up the food (all with an appliance that fits on your kitchen counter) – a toaster oven makes a great choice.
Conventional Ovens vs Toaster Ovens
Should you upgrade from conventional ovens to toaster ovens?
Other than freeing up plenty of space in your kitchen by kicking out your conventional oven – a toaster oven is more than capable of providing good cooking results.
Since technology has advanced quite a lot since the oven has been introduced – toaster ovens have the capability of replacing most conventional ovens and still keeping up with producing enough power to cook your favorite meals.
Another great thing is that toaster ovens require less space so you can give it a try before getting rid of your conventional one.
And by getting “rid” of it, I don’t necessarily mean throwing it out.
Let’s be realistic, every once in a while you’ll need to preheat that giant appliance and although your energy consumption and cooking time will be high for that meal, sometimes your enormous casserole baking pan or large turkey needs to go in the big oven.
However, for most other meals that you’ll cook at home, toaster ovens or countertop convection ovens should do just fine.
Which One Should You Choose?
With so many variations of conventional ovens- the choice is up to you. I highly recommend writing down your needs so you’re sure the decision you make will fit your wants and needs.
Also, you should consider the budget since every type of oven runs at a bit different price range. Therefore, this will most likely play a role in your decision.
Countertop Convection Ovens are ideal for everyone who would like to keep their counter space maximized, improve their cooking and baking, and possibly free up some space in their kitchen.
Not to mention, a convection oven helps you cook better by keeping your food at a consistent temperature. This is especially important if you’re baking and need a very specific temperature for your food.
Depending on your budget, you can always upgrade to a higher-end convection oven for better performance.
However, if you aren’t a big of an oven user – you could benefit from a very affordable toaster oven.
Wrapping up – Convection Oven vs Toaster Oven
Having a look at a couple of products in each category will help you get an idea of what each oven type is and whether it would be a good fit for your needs or not.
It’s all about finding the best oven countertop type that won’t break the bank and yet will provide either more space, better efficiency, better baking, or maybe all of the above.
In this article, you didn’t only learn what toaster ovens are, but also what is the difference between a toaster oven, conventional oven, countertop convection oven, and a traditional one.
Who wins the toaster oven battles?
I’ve tried to write in a way that will help you find out exactly which appliance type would be an ideal choice for your needs.
A lot of this does come down to budget and personal preferences. For example, having to cook a meal for yourself, a spouse, and for small children means that you might need more space than others.
For someone living alone, they might just need to reheat already cooked food most of the time.
There’s no need to own two appliances when just one will do.
For this reason, I always recommend going for a convection oven that can fit on your countertop. Although they run a little pricier than toaster ovens, they’re well worth it!