Toaster Oven vs Convection Oven

Many people get confused when it comes to shopping for a countertop oven. There are different types available and you can be at a loss trying to figure out which one you should buy. One comparison that often gets potential buyers looking for more information is the toaster oven vs convection oven. What is the difference between the two appliances? Is one better than the other? So, let’s explore this topic further and see which one would suit you better.

Toaster Oven vs Convection Oven : How Do They Work?

A toaster oven works like a conventional oven. It is small in size and sits on your kitchen counter. In fact, it is a good replacement for the large conventional oven. A toaster oven cooks food by relying on heating elements that are found at the top and/or bottom of the interior. When turned on, the heating elements will generate high heat to slowly cook the food from the outside to the inner layers.

A convection oven has something extra compared to a toaster oven. That extra feature is a fan. The function of the fan is to blow air inside the oven to let the heat circulate. With hot air being circulated all over, the cooking process becomes faster. It also helps to cook the food more evenly as hot spots are eliminated.

Differences Between A Toaster Oven And Convection Oven

Size

A toaster oven is a countertop model. It is small and most of them are designed to accommodate 4 to 6 slices of bread. Some are even smaller with a 2-slice capacity like the MaxiMatic toaster oven. One of the functions which are they designed to do is to toast bread. Hence, if the size is too large, the toasting efficiency will be affected. This is due to the distance between the heating element and the bread on the rack.

On the other hand, a convection oven can be very large in size. Although there are countertop models too, you also have the option to go large with a built-in single or double wall oven. This allows you to cook large meals for parties and family gatherings.

Cooking Speed

A toaster oven will tend to cook slower than a convection oven. Because the convection model has a fan to circulate the hot air, the cooking process tends to be quicker. The temperature too needs to be decreased from what is stated in a recipe meant for conventional ovens. Otherwise, the food will end up being overcooked.

How much time and temperature to cut down will depend on what you are cooking. Different oven models will also require different settings. Trial and error might be needed to get the best results.

Cooking Outcomes

Whether you need a convection feature will depends on what you are cooking and hope to achieve. If you want to roast and have a nice crust while retaining the juices in the meat, then using a convection oven is best. The fan would also help with the extra lift for food such as pies and pastries.

But not all foods require the use of a convection fan. If you like to retain much of the moisture in the food, using just heat from a toaster oven is recommended. For instance, certain types of cakes might be better if baked using a toaster oven to avoid ending up with a crusty layer.

Cost

A wall convection oven is obviously more expensive compared to even the best toaster oven. The size is much bigger and the cost of this type of oven can easily run up to $1,000 to $2,000. Even when you compare countertop models which are of similar size, a convection oven will be costlier to take into account the additional fan feature.

For example, you can get a basic toaster oven like the Hamilton Beach 31330 for about $50. But throw in a convection fan and you will have to pay about $20 more to get the Hamilton Beach 31333.

Which One Should You Buy?

If you are looking at a large size oven that has enough space to cook for a big family, then you will no other choice but to get a wall unit. A toaster oven could be too small for your needs. You can find an extra large toaster oven like the Oster TSSTTVXLDG but the choice of models is pretty limited.

If you are deciding between a toaster oven and countertop convection oven, then bear in mind that the smaller toaster ovens usually do not have a convection feature. This include the 4-slice toaster ovens. The 6-slice models will tend to have a convection fan like the Cuisinart TOB-135.

In other words, you can get a convection toaster oven which will give you both a convection and conventional oven functions if you are willing to invest in a 6-slice model. So, you don’t really need to scratch your head over which appliance to buy. Just shop for a 6-slice toaster ovens and you will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds.

In conclusion, buying a convection toaster oven will solve the toaster oven vs convection oven debate. You might need to pay a bit more or go one size larger than a 4-slice model. But the benefits will be worth it because there will only be one appliance on your countertop to take care of your toasting, baking, roasting and other cooking functions.

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