Toaster Oven vs Convection Oven

It’s been decades since ovens have been the mainstays of people’s passion for cooking. Traditionally used for baking, heating and drying, ovens also serve many other purposes in the kitchen. Now that the traditional oven has evolved into the convection type and microwave, people are generally confused between the two. Which should they buy? The dilemma is always between the toaster oven vs convection oven.

Before we go into the differences between these two kinds of ovens, let’s first see how each of them works.

Toaster oven

The toaster oven works by enveloping the food in the oven with hot air, thereby cooking the food from outside.

Convection oven

A convection oven comes with a fan and an exhaust system. Together, they blow hot air over the food and around it and then through the exhaust system, they expel it from the oven. Consequently, the hot air surrounds the food, making it cook evenly and fast.

Here are a few leading differences between the toaster over and the convection oven which might help with deciding between them:

  1. Size: A toaster oven, though more versatile than a convection oven, is also smaller than it.
  2. Chief uses: A toaster oven is ideal for warming food that won’t go into a traditional toaster, like bagels and croissants. However, a toaster oven uses less energy than a convection oven for warming dishes.
  3. Space-efficient: A toaster oven isn’t space-efficient as they take up a lot of kitchen space on the countertops. On the other hand, convection ovens use less space.
  4. Energy-saving: A toaster oven takes more time to heat the oven than its convection counterpart. So, ultimately, it also uses more energy than a convection oven. However, a convection oven cooks food faster due to the hot air that circulates inside it, thereby reducing cooking time and in the long run, reducing energy expenditure.
  5. Heats food unevenly: A toaster oven heats food unevenly because its heating elements are very near the food. It does not have the fans of a convection oven, so it has hot spots at the back, causing food to overcook or burn on one side. However, a convection heats food evenly because of the fans it has.
  6. Nature of cooking done: A toaster oven is ideal for warming small food items like bagels, muffins or pizzas or any leftovers. It also grills fish or any other foods. However, a convection oven browns chicken, bakes pies and croissants, among others.
  7. Electricity-based device: A toaster oven works only on electricity, whereas a convection oven runs on both electricity and gas.
  8. Expensive: A toaster oven is not as expensive to buy as a convection oven. Also, the latter is not ideal for baking food that needs moisture.
  9. Small quantities of food: A toaster oven can make only small amounts of food. It also takes time to heat up and cook. For large food quantities, a convection oven is the one to choose.
  10. Need to buy special baking pans: When using a toaster oven, care should be taken to see that the pans used are thick and strong. However, when cooking in a convection oven, pans should have low sides for optimum use in this oven.
  11. Easy to clean: Usually, a toaster oven comes with trays handy enough to pull out in case of a spill and put into the sink immediately for cleaning. It is also accessorized with non-stick spoons, etc that are used in the oven and an adjustable rack for cleaning. Convection ovens call for daily cleaning and care once the oven cools down. However, manufacturers are now making these ovens with materials and designs that reduce the spillage inside so that cleaning it is easy.

Conclusion

When choosing between these two types of ovens, a lot of importance should be given to the kind of food you’re going to cook, for how many people and how often in the week it will be used. Based on these factors, an informed decision should be taken for toaster oven vs convection oven.

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