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Toaster Oven vs. Conventional Oven: What’s the Difference?

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Choosing between a toaster oven and a conventional one can be a difficult task, especially if you have never bought either of them before. There are many factors to consider to ensure you select the most appropriate appliance for your kitchen.

This review provides the difference between a toaster oven and a conventional oven and the pros and cons of each.

Difference Between Toaster Oven and Conventional Oven

Size

The most obvious difference is that toaster ovens are smaller in size compared to the conventional types. Therefore, if you have a limited kitchen space, you may want to consider getting a toaster oven. It will save you on space and leave enough for other small appliances to fit in.

A conventional oven, on the other hand, is fantastic for mass baking because of its bigger size. If you have a large family, you may want to consider getting one instead. However, ensure it can fit well inside your kitchen without causing any obstructions to other appliances.

Use

A toaster oven is easier to use compared to a conventional one. It uses less energy, and thus, it would be a great addition to your kitchen if you are an environmentalist keen on greener choices.

The technology has been advanced so that you can bake muffins, cakes, cookies, among other delicacies in a toaster oven. 

If you don't cook a lot and there are only a couple of people in the household, then for some, a toaster oven is sufficient. However, you can always get both if your kitchen has high baking demands.

A lot of people believe toaster ovens cook faster because of their smaller size, but this isn’t the case. Conventional ovens are well-insulated to ensure that heat doesn’t escape during the baking process. The difference in cooking time is, therefore, negligible.

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Cost

Conventional ovens are much more expensive in comparison to more affordable toaster ovens. If a toaster oven will satisfy your culinary needs and you are looking to save some money then a toaster oven is a viable alternative as they are less expensive.  

Installation

When you buy a toaster oven, all you will have to do is unpack, place it on your kitchen counter, plug it in, wipe the interior walls and ceilings down with soap and water and it is ready to use. They are easy to move around your kitchen if you feel the need to change its location.

Full-sized ovens will require more work after purchase. If you aren't able to hook it up yourself, then sometimes there will be an added cost for a professional to install your new oven. If your oven cooks using propane or gas, then you will need to make sure it is properly connected.  

Electric installation requires checking that there is sufficient ventilation, proper outlets, and that the oven is level.

Energy Efficiency

A conventional oven consumes more power and fuel to keep it running. They also take longer to preheat, which means more energy is spent. Their temperature range is usually between 200°-500° Fahrenheit.

Toaster ovens take up much less power and are therefore very efficient in saving up energy. They run on 130°-500° Fahrenheit. Typical models consume about $0.03 an hour and will save some on your electric or gas bills.

Weather Considerations

It is essential to factor in weather and seasonal changes when making an oven purchase. Conventional ovens heat the kitchen, which could make it unbearable during hot weather.

Toaster ovens are more practical to use in hotter areas or when the temperatures rise during certain months of the year.

Fuel

Toaster ovens can only be run using electricity. Conventional types come with three options to choose from:

  • Electric types
  • Gas models
  • Those that run on propane

Convection Fans

Another critical factor you may want to think about is convection fans. These fans circulate the hot air within the oven, thus ensuring there is a better distribution of heat. They reduce the chances of your food burning on one side.

Both toaster and conventional ovens have models that come with convection fans, but they are more expensive than the non-convection models.

Related Content: Convection vs Non-Convection Toaster Oven

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Pros and Cons of a Toaster Oven

Pros

  • Consumes less space
  • Easy setup
  • Consumes less space
  • Requires less energy to run
  • Low maintenance costs
  • Can be stored after use
  • Great for reheating food

Cons

  • Can only be used for small meals
  • Not as versatile as conventional ovens

Pros and Cons of a Conventional Oven

Pros

  • Racks can be easily replaced
  • It can cook large meals
  • It offers more fuel choices
  • It can be used to prepare a large variety of dishes

Cons

  • It consumes a lot of energy
  • Installation is more complex can that of a toaster oven
  • Takes up more space in the kitchen
  • It costs more to purchase and maintain

Final Thoughts

Now that you have read about the difference between a toaster oven and a conventional oven you can decide which one, or both you want to purchase. 

The available space in your kitchen, your budget, and what foods you will be preparing are important factors to take into consideration when making your decision.

Another factor is how many people are in your household. If you live alone, maybe a toaster oven can be used instead of a conventional oven. Our article, Living Alone - Should I Buy a Toaster Oven, might be of interest.

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