Convection Oven Vs Toaster Oven: Which Is Better For You?
But it doesn’t have to be complicated to decide when it comes to convection oven vs toaster oven. For a long time, I didn’t understand the difference between these two appliances. Now, I have a better idea of what to expect.
Check out my following explanation of these two ovens to know which is right for you and why!
What Is A Convection Oven?
There was a time when I didn’t know what type of oven I owned. I never knew what a convection oven was in comparison to a conventional oven, and it took a friend to help me figure it out.
A convection oven works something like this:
So, the radiant heat created by the oven itself (in the same way as a conventional oven) is circulated around the oven so that the heat is more evenly dispersed around everything in the oven.
Different convection ovens circulate the air in different ways, but this circulation is what makes a convection have its “convection” nominar. When cooking with convection, most recipes recommend you lower the temperature by 20 to 25 degrees and reduce cooking time by about 5 to 10 minutes (if cooking time was originally longer than 15 minutes).
When Should I Use A Convection Oven?
Convection ovens are best to use when you want to cut down on longer cook times or you want to make sure that everything in the oven cooks evenly.
Generally speaking, these are the types of foods I have found do best when prepared in a proper convection oven:
- Foods that need toasted or warmed but are too big for a toaster oven
- Foods that need to cook for more than an hour and you want to reduce the cooking time
- Large batches of foods that won’t be evenly cooked in a normal oven
As you can see, the main point of a convection oven is to cook things faster and more evenly, so anything that could benefit from these pros should be prepared in a convection oven rather than a toaster or conventional oven
What Is A Toaster Oven?
A toaster oven is something like a large toaster that is laid out more like an oven than a toaster. Originally, toaster ovens were intended to use for toasting foods like breads, bagels, pizzas, and more than cannot fit or be put into a traditional toaster.
The heat elements in a toaster oven are very close to the food, which gives the opportunity to make the edges of foods crispy.
Some modern toaster ovens are actually convection toaster ovens. While the heat elements are still very close to the food, there is also a fan to help circulate the heat and cook things more evenly than in traditional toaster ovens, which oven have hot spots.
It’s also worth mentioning that most toaster ovens are considered countertop appliances. Though they take up a lot of counter space, they cannot fit very large pans or foods into them, so they are better for leftovers, small batches of food, or other small preparations.
When Should I Use A Toaster Oven?
My favorite things to cook in toaster ovens are leftovers, cookies, and vegetables:
But that’s not all you can prepare in a toaster oven. There are tons of different foods that can be heated and cooked most effectively in this type of kitchen appliance, including:
- Warm some leftovers
- Heat up a pizza
- Heat up pre-made foods
- Toast bread or bagels
- Broil fish
- Bake small batch of cookies or cupcakes
When I’m trying to figure out what should go in a toaster oven, I remind myself that it is a great choice for those who prepare meals for just one person or who want to warm up pre-made or leftover food. The idea is quick warming in small batches. If that suits your needs, get this type of oven!
Choose Your Oven & Get Cooking
Do you have a better idea of what type of foods convection and toaster ovens are used for now? I hope so! I used to have the mental argument about convection oven vs toaster oven with myself when trying to buy new kitchen appliances, but I soon realized that convection ovens were a better choice for me.
What kind of oven do you prefer to use when you are cooking and baking? Do you have more than one type of oven? Let me know about this (and any questions!) in the comments below.