Can a toaster oven replace your microwave? Maybe you have limited space or are worried about potential radiation from the electromagnetic waves that heat food in the microwave. Is there a way to downsize to just one small heating appliance?
Toaster ovens can certainly replace many microwave features, but not all. It is possible to have only a toaster oven, but liquids, coffees, and teas will have to be heated on a stovetop or in a specific kettle.
So what can each appliance do? What would be the loss if you chose to get rid of your microwave and kept only your toaster oven? We'll look at some points below.
Choosing A Toaster Oven Over A Microwave
You've only got room for one small heating appliance, and it's time to make a choice. Toaster oven or microwave? If you choose toaster oven, do not fear the loss of fast heating. Many models today come with a convection option that can heat up cooking times. You can buy toaster ovens that also make coffee, and you can use your stovetop for popcorn. Though the toaster oven can't do all of the same things a microwave can, it's an excellent choice for the kitchen. And for many people, it's simply a matter of preference. They like the even heating a toaster oven provides.
From Cuisinart, this model is a toaster oven, convection oven, and even has an air fryer. The only thing it can't heat up is a cold cup of coffee or microwave popcorn.
Plus, toaster ovens are cute. They come in so many colors and look great on the counter. Microwaves are sort of boring.
You can even get toaster oven models that come with their coffee pots, so hot coffee is always available to you. And this one has a griddle on top as well.
What Are The Differences Between A Microwave And A Toaster Oven?
Other than the fact that they both heat food, the two appliances are very different. This is not an apple to apple comparison.
Toaster ovens heat much like our ovens but in miniature. Electrical currents pass heat through elements inside of the coil. Heat radiates onto the food, and therefore it cooks from the outside in. It works well for baked goods, bread, meats, roasting vegetables, and casseroles. It doesn't really work well for defrosting, soups, heating liquids, or steaming vegetables.
Microwaves use, well, microwaves that are beamed directly into the heating compartment. They energize water molecule, and all of the liquid in your foods becomes heated. Frozen foods tend to heat from the outside in, much like with the oven, but dryer foods tend to cook from both the inside and outside, which is why they heat so much faster in a microwave. This is why people tend to use microwaves for frozen meals, defrosting meats, or a quick heat-up of liquids.
Is A Toaster Oven Safer Than A Microwave?
There are pros and cons to both toaster safety and microwave safety. Typically a microwave itself will not burn you if you touch the inside of the cabinet. A toaster oven does get quite hot on the inside. (Now the food is a different story, it can burn you if too hot regardless of which appliance you used.) But with the toaster oven, there's no microwave radiation to heat your food. You also can't use plastics in your toaster, where you might be tempted to in the microwave. And because certain plastics have been determined to be carcinogenic when heated in the microwave, that can be dangerous.
Can I Reheat Food In A Toaster Oven?
If you love leftovers, you may be wondering if you can reheat food in a toaster oven. The answer is varied. Liquid foods, like soups or stews, might be hard to reheat in a toaster oven. But when it comes to things like pizza or chicken wings or casseroles, the toaster oven is the perfect place for a reheat. Unlike microwaves, which can make bread and crispy coatings a little soggy, your toaster oven will do a great job at crisping your leftovers to perfection.
More Great Toaster Ovens
1. Instant Pot Toaster Oven
This one has so many features and cooking options. It has 11 settings: Air Fry, Dehydrate, Toast, Roast, Bake, Broil, Slow Cook, Proof, or Reheat. Choose Convection and Rotate for delicious chicken and roasts. The large capacity allows you to toast six slices of bread at once or an entire 12" pizza.
2. Calpholon Quartz Toaster Oven
This one has a Quartz heating element that delivers 40 percent more even heat and preheats faster than traditional ceramic coil toaster ovens. It has so many cooking settings including, Bake, Pizza, Broil, Toast, Bagel, Roast, Defrost, Warm, Reheat, Cookies, and Dehydrate.
3. Cosori Convection and Toaster Oven
The convection feature means faster cooking than a traditional toaster oven and more even heating than a microwave. Holds six slices of bread or a 12" pizza and looks sophisticated on your countertop.
4. Toaster Oven Baking Accessory Set
If you're sold on the idea of a toaster oven, there are lovely cooking utensils available in sizes specifically for the smaller countertop oven. This set of four includes a baking sheet, roasting grid, muffin pan, and baking pan, all from the well-known Chicago Metallic brand of heavy carbon steel kitchen utensils.
Toaster oven, microwave, or both is certainly an individual decision. They both serve their roles in the kitchen, but you can certainly survive with only one or the other.
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