Buyers looking to invest in kitchen appliances are often confused about whether to opt for a convection oven or toaster oven largely because of the ambiguity surrounding these two products.
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Although frequently used interchangeably by many, these two ovens offer quite different functionalities and operating mechanisms and cater to entirely different kinds of recipes. While there are toaster ovens that come with added convection capabilities, it is always better to understand what sets them apart.
If you’re one of those families who just cannot imagine starting off your day without a morning coffee and a quick slice of toast no matter how late you’re running, you probably know the benefits of a toaster oven. It is always wise to think about the appliance you might need in your kitchen in terms of the food choices you make daily.
In this review, we are going to touch upon four of the best toaster ovens available on the market.
For the uninitiated few who can’t tell the difference between the two, we will begin by highlighting the key differences between a countertop convection oven vs toaster oven.
This comparison should draw out the kind of appliance that suits your needs, and if it is a toaster oven you are in search of, reading through this article should help you pick one or the other. So without further ado, let’s get started.
What is the Difference between Toaster Oven and Convection Oven?
In various forms, ovens have come in handy for a variety of functions such as baking, toasting, grilling, and heating. However, the key to getting the best out of your oven is figuring out your key requirements and food habits to determine the type of oven you should buy. Often times, buyers will opt for a certain type of oven for its versatility or visual appeal and instead of maximizing the quality of the food it churns out.
In order to clearly tell the difference and make an informed purchase, we will begin our review with a little information about toaster ovens and convection ovens, which should draw out the key differences between the two.
Let’s visit the features and functionalities of these four amazing toaster ovens to help inch you closer to a choice.
Exploring 2 Recommendable Toaster Ovens
Toaster ovens are simpler appliances that have fast-activatable heat coils on the upper and lower inner surfaces of the oven. The food, which usually ranges from pizzas and bread to kebabs and tarts, is placed on the tray in the middle of both these surfaces.
Toaster ovens have fairly limited cooking options and do not promise even distribution of heat. However, they are perfect for the quick heating of food and work well with food variants that need moisture reduction such as roasting crispy bacon, meat and almonds.
Measuring 13 x 12 x 10.2 inches, this lightweight Panasonic toaster oven clocks in at a weight of 7.5 pounds. With an all-white body and a drop-down style door, it is certainly one of the nicer looking toaster ovens on the market and is sure to blend in perfectly with your kitchen interior.
The Double Infrared Heating technology with a 1300 watt power capacity comes with highly efficient ceramic and quartz elements that claim to get the job done 40 per cent faster than you would to make toast in a convection oven. It can rise to a temperature of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit to bake, cook and heat to perfection.
This toaster oven sports an attractive digital timer with a maximum ceiling of 25 minutes and a simple control mechanism using up/down arrow buttons. What we love is the FlashXpress Instant Heating Technology that, with just one button, eliminates preheating and goes full force for super fast heating and cooking in a matter of minutes.
Six pre-set cooking modes for foods ranging from waffles, toast and hash browns to pizza enable the user to prepare and heat food at the touch of a button. The 9-inch baking tray is spacious and roomy and complemented with non-stick interiors and a bright interior light that makes cleaning a breeze.
Here are the pros and cons of this toaster oven.
- Powerful appliance at 1300 watt power capacity
- 6 pre-set cooking modes enable one-touch cooking
- Spacious 9-inch baking tray
- Flash Xpress Instant heating technology is ideal for busy times
- Double infrared heating technology speeds up the process of evenly cooked food
- Maintenance is easy with non-stick interiors and a removable crumb tray
- Attractive and sleek design
- It is a countertop oven
- The interior light is not durable and fizzles out fast
- It poses external heat issues
Our last pick of the day is the Oster TSSTTVDGXL-SHP Digital Toaster Oven. This large toaster oven sits at 16.8 inches (H) x 21.2 inches (W) x 24.1 inches (D) and weighs a mighty 27 pounds. Compared to most toaster ovens on the market, this Oster oven is certainly large and heavy, clocking in with a capacity of 1000 cubic inches. Let’s explore its features to see whether they balance out its size.
This toaster oven uses convection technology to cook your food evenly with optimized results. The convection baking technology allows you to bake in large quantities, supported by the dual rack provision in this oven. With temperatures that go up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, this oven can brown up to 18 slices of bread in one go thanks to its multi-level cooking capabilities.
Easy digital controls enable you to punch in exact cooking specifications and timings up to a maximum of 90 minutes. This versatile stainless steel silver-colored wonder is your all-in-one appliance for toasting, defrosting, broiling, heating, baking, and cooking. Maintenance is a breeze with a removable crumb tray.
The Oster TSSTTVDGXL-SHP Digital Toaster Oven has a 1500 wattage capacity and is an ideal accompaniment for large family dinners and holiday meals.
- Turbo convection baking technology ensures faster uniformly done cooking
- Easy to clean with a removable crumb tray
- Attractive stainless steel body and aesthetic design
- Spacious toaster oven
- Multi-level cooking gets two things done at once
- 90 minutes maximum timer
- Its large size makes it a countertop oven that takes up lots of space
- It is a heavy appliance
Convection Ovens – A Review of our top 2
Convection ovens work on the principal of radiating heat uniformly across the entire dish with the help of in-built fans that supply a steady stream of heat consistently throughout the cooking process. Convection ovens can be used for roasting, baking, grilling, broiling and even toasting. Convection ovens are great for cooking foods that need an element of moisture such as pies and casseroles. Convection ovens are great for baking puffy pastries and croissants too.
They’re usually larger compared to toaster ovens and are also more capable of cooking a large variety of complex dishes as well as defrosting. The advantages of convection oven ownership ranges from having multiple autocook programs and smart sensors to energy efficiency.
First up, we have a toaster oven in beautiful black from Black + Decker. This compact lightweight toaster oven is a perfect addition to your kitchen and can blend with almost any kind of interior. With bake, broil, toast and keep warm cooking functions, this toaster oven promises to be a power-packed appliance. Made of solid stainless steel, this sturdy appliance brings to the table all the benefits of a toaster oven.
Measuring 16.4 x 11.3 x 9.4 inches and weighing just short of 7 pounds, you can slot your new toaster comfortably on any countertop without much hassle. This black beauty boasts of EvenToast Technology that uniformly toasts up to four slices of bread at a time. It can also comfortably house and heat up a 9-inch slice of pizza in a matter of seconds with a maximum temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Shade options for your bread swing into action in a matter of seconds with the help of the dial knob on this appliance. A maximum time of 30 minutes can be extended using a stay-on function for longer tasks. This toaster oven is complete with both a baking pan and a broiler pan that slide into this sleek oven perfectly well. And a removable crumb tray makes cleaning this appliance an absolute breeze.
Let’s quickly sum up the pros and cons of this basic and straightforward toaster oven.
- Compact and sleek toaster oven
- Four cooking functionalities make it a versatile toaster oven
- EvenToast technology dishes out uniform slices of toast
- Easy to use dial knob with shade options for browning your toast
- Crumb tray is removable thus making the design easy to clean
- It gets hot easily
- It is a countertop oven, cannot be wall mounted
- You cannot turn it off until the timer is done, even if the food is ready
Next, we have a sturdy toaster oven from Breville that takes simplicity of design to new heights. With simple dial controls for function, temperature and time and push-button controls for start/stop function along with a large digital display, the control panel of this toaster oven is simple and attractive. Full points for the aesthetic appeal of this toaster oven that carries the look and feel of a high-end appliance.
Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven measures 11x19x16 inches with a .8 cubic feet internal capacity making it a moderately large appliance. The drop-down door has a long and sturdy handle that gives you good control over the entire unit. With a powerful wattage of 1800 and a temperature range of 120-500, this smart toaster oven is versatile, stylish and sturdy.
The functions you can perform allow you slow cooking, roasting, reheating, boiling and baking in this toaster oven. While total cooking time reaches a maximum of two hours, with the slow cook option you can extend to a maximum of 10 hours of cooking. The infrared cooking technology is ideal to lock in the moisture of your food.
The interior of the toaster oven can comfortably house up to 6 slices for uniform browning. This Breville oven comes with a pizza pan and a broiling pan and can fit in a 13-inch pizza slice for reheating. The crumb tray can be pulled out for quick and easy cleaning.
- 10 pre-set cooking programs
- Three rack positions for broiling, toasting and slow cooking with a magnetic rack latch for toasting level
- Infrared cooking technology
- Visually appealing design
- Powerful machine standing at 1800 watt power capacity
- Easy dial knob controls with a large digital display
- The non-stick interior surface and removable crumb tray makes maintenance easy
- It heats up externally very easily
- The external finish may dull out within a years’ time
Each of the four toaster ovens above manages to hold their own as amazingly efficient appliances. However, if we were to make a choice for you, it would boil down to the features that suit your requirements better. If size is a concern in your compact kitchen, the Panasonic toaster oven would be the optimal choice. On the other hand, for those of you constantly racing against time, the multi-level cooking feature in the Oster Digital Toaster Oven should be very tempting.
For a full-blown powerful experience, the Breville Smart Oven has the highest power capacity at 1800 watts and would be our recommendation. But it’s a simple and straightforward toaster oven you’re after, the no-fuss Black + Decker 4-Slice Toaster Oven should be your choice. As for convection capabilities in your toaster oven, the Oster Digital Toaster Oven offers the best of both worlds.
The bottom line is, whether it is a toaster oven vs convection oven that you bring home, it must complement your lifestyle and food habits, as there is little benefit in investing in an appliance with features you don’t fully take advantage of.