Do I Really Need a Toaster Oven?

July 26, 2022
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Convenience, Less Energy, Heats Up Quickly

A convection oven is a small oven that uses infrared radiation to cook food. Toaster ovens are similar to conventional ovens, but they generally have a smaller capacity and use less energy. Some toaster ovens even come with an air fryer function.

All the Things You can Do With The Breville Mini Smart Oven (Toaster Oven)

So, does one really need a toaster oven? This article will provide all the necessary information to help individuals and families decide.

What Purpose Does a Convection Oven Serve?

Many toaster ovens use convection to cook food evenly. Toaster ovens are beneficial because they can cook food more evenly than a regular oven. This is due to the convection cooking method, which circulates hot air around the food. Toaster ovens reduce the chance of burning and the need to continuously flip food to prevent it from overcooking in one area.

Photo of an Empty Toaster Oven Heating Up

Convenient, Fast, and Less Energy than a Conventional Oven

A toaster oven can be used for a variety of tasks, including:

Cooking Small Meals

For those who live alone or have a small family, a toaster oven can be a great way to cook smaller meals. Toaster ovens are also convenient for reheating leftovers and saving time in the kitchen.


Toaster ovens can be used for baking, although they may not produce quite the same results as a conventional oven.

Air Frying

Some toaster ovens come with an air fryer function, which allows one to cook food using hot air. Using the air fry feature enables healthier cooking practices as it requires less oil than traditional frying methods.


Of course, one of the primary uses for a toaster oven is toasting bread or other food. It eliminates the need to preheat a conventional oven for such a small task.

Advantages of A Toaster Oven

There are several conveniences to using a toaster oven, including:

Energy Efficiency

Toaster ovens use less energy than conventional ovens, so they can help families save money on their energy bill.

Photo of Food Being Heated Up in a Toaster Oven

Cooking Small Portions of Food Consumes Much Less Energy in a Toaster Oven vs a Conventional Oven

Compact Size

Toaster ovens are much smaller than conventional ovens, so they take up less counter space. It can be a great bonus for those who have a small kitchen.


As mentioned above, toaster ovens can work for various tasks, from baking to air frying.

Disadvantages of a Toaster Oven

There are also some flaws to using a toaster oven, including:

Limited Capacity

Toaster ovens have a much smaller capacity than conventional ovens, so they may not be suitable for large families, meal prepping, or entertaining guests.

A Toaster Oven Illuminated by Heating Elements

The Limited Cooking Space of a Toaster Oven Means That It Likely Won’t Play a Major Role in Cooking Activities During Large Holiday Family Gatherings

Inconsistent Results

Toaster ovens can sometimes produce inconsistent results, especially when baking. This is because they cook food much faster. Baking is an art that works best when cooked slowly.

Higher Price Tag

Toaster ovens tend to be more expensive than toasters and microwaves, so one may need to spend a bit more money to get one.

The Great Impact

Millions of American households have a toaster oven. Toaster ovens can significantly impact the life of a household, depending on its needs. Even if one already owns a conventional range, a toaster oven can be a handy addition to their kitchen, providing them with an additional cooking appliance that is more compact and energy-efficient.

Are Countertop Ovens Safe?

Toaster ovens are generally safe to use, but there are a few safety concerns to be aware of.

Fire Hazard

Toaster ovens can pose a fire hazard if not used properly. Always ensure the toaster oven is clean and free of any crumbs or debris.

Hot Surfaces

The interior of a toaster oven can get very hot, so be careful not to touch the walls or door while the oven is in use.


Be careful not to touch hot food or surfaces inside the toaster oven. Use pot holders to protect the hands.

Unplug When Not in Use

To safely use a convection toaster, unplug it when not in use. Also, avoid use if the cord is frayed or damaged. If using an air fryer function, be sure to read the manual carefully to avoid any accidents.

Don't Stack

Avoid sitting anything on top of the oven even when not in use, as it can still get hot and cause a fire.

Follow the safety precautions above to get the most out of the convection oven and keep household members safe.

Is the Toaster Oven a Replacement for Conventional Ranges?

If considering replacing the conventional oven with a toaster oven, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Toaster ovens have a much smaller capacity than conventional ovens, so they may not be a suitable replacement for large families or entertaining guests. Not to mention, the energy it would take to prepare food for the whole family won't balance out the use of an oven.
  2. Toaster ovens won't replace conventional ovens when baking.
  3. Toaster ovens tend to be more expensive than toasters, so one may need to spend a bit more money to get one. It may not be a good option if one already owns a standard oven.

Therefore toaster ovens are not necessary. However, they can be a convenient and versatile appliance to have in the kitchen. If still thinking a toaster oven would be helpful, we recommend researching the model with all the features that will make life easier.

What Are the Differences in the Financial Investment of Conventional Ovens Versus Convection Ovens?

Let's look into how much one may save money long-term on owning a conventional oven versus a convection oven.

  • Toaster ovens use less electricity than a regular oven, resulting in cost savings on the energy bill.
  • Toaster ovens can heat up faster than a regular oven, saving cooking time.
  • Toaster ovens can cook smaller meals more evenly than a regular oven, which helps avoid overcooking or undercooking food.

So, a toaster oven may be a good investment if looking to save money, time, or cook more evenly.

Toaster Oven vs. Conventional Oven

Toaster ovens are better for some, and conventional ovens are better for others. Toaster ovens can work as a great add-on appliance in lieu of a traditional range. For example, one can use a toaster oven to heat lunch or to cook smaller meals to save time.

If someone meal preps their food for the entire week, preheating the conventional oven is a waste of time to heat up one meal. In most cases, a conventional oven takes up to 30 minutes to preheat, while a toaster oven can take as little as 5-10 minutes.

At the same time, the conventional oven is required to meal prep. The countertop oven offers strengths in the oven's weaknesses. Therefore both appliances work together to make life easier.

There are many perks to a toaster oven. If one resides in a studio apartment or a small space that's 150 square feet, a toaster oven is a space-saving appliance that can do the work of both a toaster and an oven. Overall, a conventional range is a better appliance for families for meal prepping and baking.

Microwave vs. Toaster Oven

If looking for a quick way to heat food, the microwave is the better option. However, the toaster oven is the better option if looking for a way to cook or bake food. Toaster ovens reach higher temperatures than microwaves, so they can cook or bake food more evenly.

Microwaves also tend to dry out food more than toaster ovens. Unfortunately, this removes nutrients from the food. If looking to preserve nutrients in the food, then the toaster oven is the better option.

Toaster ovens use more energy than a microwave, so a microwave may be the better option if looking to save on the energy bill. Microwaves use less energy than toaster ovens. Microwaves use 1000 watts. Toaster ovens use 1225 watts.

Toaster ovens have many functions that microwaves do not. For example, one can use a toaster oven to broil, roast, dehydrate, and even bake. A microwave cannot do any of those functions. However, microwaves can thaw out frozen foods and heat food faster than a toaster oven.

Both seem like necessary appliances in place of a conventional oven.

Toaster Ovens and Pop-Up Toasters: Which Is better?

A pop-up toaster may be the better option for one who is looking for something that can toast bread evenly. However, a toaster oven may be the better option if looking for an appliance that can do more than just toast bread, like air fry or roasting food.

Pop-up toasters are much cheaper than toaster ovens, so a pop-up toaster may be the better option on a budget.

Is a Toaster Oven Necessary?

A countertop oven is the best investment if the conventional oven doesn't get used often or if one wants to spend less time cooking.

However, a toaster oven may not be the best investment for those households with three or more members that won't use it often or don't have the space. Ultimately, it depends on the needs and preferences of the household.

The Best Toaster Ovens on the Market

Some of the best toaster ovens on the market include the Breville Smart Oven and the Cuisinart Toaster Oven.

Breville Smart Oven

The Breville Smart Oven was designed with nine different functions, so it can do everything from toasting bread to cooking a 12-inch pizza. It has an interior light enabling one to keep an eye on food as it cooks, and it comes with a baking pan and a broil rack.

It uses smart element IQ heat technology to distribute heat evenly. It also has a non-stick interior for easy cleaning. The Breville Convection toaster oven preheats fast with a 1800watt power source. This toaster oven also has a slow cook function and can dehydrate foods.

One thing that makes the Breville Smart oven stand out is that it has nine smart cooking functions to help cook food perfectly every time. They include toast, bagel, bake, roast, broil, pizza, cookies, reheat, and warm.

Cuisinart Toaster Oven

The Cuisinart Toaster Oven is a versatile toaster oven that can bake, broil, and toast. It has a digital display so one can easily see the temperature and timer, and it includes a broil rack and baking pan.

It's big enough to fit two whole chickens and has seven different functions so that individuals can cook just about anything in it. The Cuisinart is easy to clean with a non-stick interior. It also has a defrost function.

Unfortunately, neither of these convection toasters offers an air fryer functionality. However, both provide safety features such as automatic shut-off and a stay-cool exterior.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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