Toaster Oven vs Microwave


You want to buy a new cooking appliance that is handy for preparing breakfasts, and you are now wondering whether a toaster oven or microwave is better. Some people prefer toaster ovens, and some others prefer microwaves. So, which is the one that you better choose? Continue reading below to see the detailed comparisons between toaster oven vs microwave!

In this article, you can find out more about:
– How toaster ovens and microwaves work,
– The capabilities and uses of toaster ovens and microwaves,
– The advantages and disadvantages of a toaster oven vs microwave,
– And which cooking appliance that is generally more recommended.

How They Cook

A toaster oven usually has heating elements to increase the temperature inside the oven. The heating elements may range from just a few to five or six. When turned on, the heating elements will emit heat which is transferred to the food; so a toaster oven cooks the food from the outside to the inside. Because of this, toaster ovens take much longer to cook than microwaves. See also: Toaster vs Toaster Oven.

On the other hand, a microwave cooks by using microwave electromagnetic radiation. The electromagnetic radiation is absorbed by the food. This causes the food’s molecules to heat up almost instantaneously. Since a microwave does not need to spend time to transfer heat, it can cook much more quickly than toaster ovens. You can read the detailed explanation of the cooking principles on Wikipedia.

Toasting and Crisping

Because of their different working mechanisms, toaster ovens and microwaves actually have different capabilities. They are suitable for preparing different meals. Toaster ovens are suitable for meals that really require cooking from the outside. Toaster ovens are much better for browning, toasting, crisping, and baking.

A toaster oven usually has a broiler function which is pretty much similar to that of a full-scale oven. By using the broiler function, you can brown and toast the food, making it look and taste better. A toaster oven is also great for making a crispy texture on the outside of the food. Finally, you can use a toaster oven for heating breads.

On the other hand, most microwaves are not suitable for browning, toasting, crisping, and baking. Only the high-end models that come with additional functions can do such tasks. A microwave heats the moisture from the inside, so the food tends to be soggy and rubbery. Heating breads in a microwave may make them so tough and hard to eat.

Warming and Cooking Frozen Meals

Toaster ovens are able to keep the food warm continuously. Simply put the food inside and set the temperature to a suitable degree for warming. The temperature will be maintained indefinitely. Toaster ovens can also cook frozen meals, although the time needed is quite longer. On the good side, toaster ovens tend to give better flavor and texture.

Again, not all microwaves have a warming feature. The most basic models can’t keep your food warm. It stops heating once the timer is over; longer heating will only make the food burnt. However, microwaves are able to defrost and cook frozen meals much quicker. This is why microwaves are loved for breakfasts. You can have your breakfast ready within just a few minutes.

Toaster Oven vs Microwave

Toaster OvenMicrowave
- Cooks from the outside to the inside- Cooks from the inside of the food
- Generally better flavor and texture- Flavor is usually bland, texture tends to be soggy or rubbery
- Suitable for browning, toasting, crisping, and baking- Unable to brown, toast, crisp, or bake
- Can keep the food warm at a set temperature- Only some models have the warming function
- Slower to cook frozen meals- Much faster to cook frozen meals


In general, a toaster oven makes a better value for the money. It is more versatile. There are many meals and cooking tasks that can be handled by a toaster oven but not by a microwave. In addition, toaster ovens tend to give better flavor and texture. On the other hand, microwaves are only good for cooking meals quickly, but there are certain meals that can’t be cooked by a microwave.

Add comment