Toaster vs Toaster Oven

Many people have this toaster vs toaster oven debate in their mind when it is time to buy one of these appliance for the kitchen. If you can buy only one, which should it be? There are pros and cons to each. Thus, one is not necessarily better than the other. It depends on your needs and what you can afford in terms of money and counter space. So, let’s list out the points that could influence your buying decision and take it from there.

Cost

Obviously, a toaster is the cheaper alternative if you are on a tight budget. You can get a simple toaster for about $15. But the cheapest toaster oven would most likely cost you about $10 more.  For instance, you could probably get the Black & Decker TO1332SBD 4-slice toaster oven for about $25. So, you will definitely have to spend a bit more if you want a toaster oven.

Of course, there are also high end toasters such as the Cuisinart Touch to Toast Leverless Toaster which has a price tag that is comparable to a good quality toaster oven. In fact, buying a toaster oven may end up to be cheaper if you are just gunning for a mid-ramge oven and not a top end model like the Breville Smart Oven Pro.

Size

If you lack the counter space in your kitchen, a toaster would definitely be a better fit in terms of size. Of course, you can also get a small toaster oven to save space like the Panasonic Flash Xpress. The other alternative is to have a 2-in-1 unit such as the Hamilton Beach Toaststation. This one has a toaster on top and an oven at the bottom to minimise its footprint.

But bear in mind that if the oven is too small, it defeats the purpose of getting one in the first place. This is because you are limited in what you can cook with a 2-slice toaster oven.

Sandwich

One of the most common food that you can make with bread is sandwiches. With a toaster, you can only toast the bread. You can’t melt cheese and lay other ingredients onto the bread to make your sandwich. However, you can do it with a toaster oven.

So, if you like eating sandwiches, a toaster oven will be a more suitable choice. Otherwise, you will need a separate sandwich maker if you just have a toaster at home. Another appliance means more cost involved and more space needed to store it too.

Cooking Options

A toaster oven will be able to offer you cooking options. You don’t use it just for toasting bread. You can cook your dinner with it with the various functions such as roast, broil and bake. Some models will also allow you to defrost, reheat and keep warm. The more expensive ones such as the Breville 800XL will have all the functions that you can think of to cook a wide variety of recipes.

Because a toaster oven can do a lot more, it is definitely a more versatile piece of appliance in the kitchen than a toaster. Even the cheap ones will allow you to cook frozen food such as pizzas and pies to make life a lot easier for busy people.

Toast Shade

Toast Bread

A toaster tends to give you better results. This is because the toast shade will be more even and consistent on both sides. Comparatively, a toaster oven relies on a tray or wire rack to hold the food. Because some parts would not be exposed to direct heat due to the rack, the toast shade will tend to be inconsistent throughout the slice.

However, the more expensive models will work better to get more consistent results. This is because of the more advanced technology used. For instance, the Cuisinart TOB-260 has the Even Shade technology incorporated into its design. But the price for such models is also more expensive.

Ease Of Use

A toaster is simple and easy to use. Because it is a single purpose appliance, you don’t even need to adjust any knobs and buttons once you have got the toast shade setting right. You just need to put the bread into the slots and push the lever down.

For a toaster oven, it is a different matter. For those with an analog dial, it can be hard to get the setting right each time because it lacks precision. You might also need to preheat the oven or turn the bread over halfway through to get an even shade on both sides.

Toaster vs Toaster Oven : Which Is Better?

If you can afford both the cost and counter space, then buy both. A toaster oven just cannot beat a toaster in terms of ease of use and toast results when it comes to toasting bread. A toaster is fast, efficient and user-friendly while a toaster oven enables you to cook other kinds of food.

But if you can only afford one, then you will need to buy a toaster oven. This is simply because a toaster oven can function like a toaster but not the other way round. You can toast bread using a toaster oven but you cannot bake a chicken using a toaster.

Even if you don’t cook often, you can dump a frozen pizza or fries into a toaster oven. Or you can make a sandwich. These are simple food that you can have prepared with a toaster oven which you can’t do with just a toaster.

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