Microwave vs Toaster Oven: The Better Option?

Microwave vs Toaster Oven: The Better Option?

Whether you find yourself debating between a toaster oven’s versatility and convenience of a microwave or you are seeking a buying guide that offers you the differences between “Microwave vs Toaster Oven”,  we have got you all covered!

Microwave vs Toaster Oven

Undoubtedly, it’s a tough choice that could affect how you cook and how your meals turn out. Therefore, it’s understandable why you need to do thorough research before choosing the better option.

So, in this blog, we will take you through the key differences between the two appliances. Also, stick to the end if you’re wondering; Can toaster oven replace microwave? Or Toaster oven better than microwave? We have got it all covered in this culinary maze!

The Basics of Microwave and Toaster Oven – How do they Work?

Standard microwave oven and toaster oven use different cooking methods and heat-producing techniques.

By rapidly vibrating the water molecules in food, microwaves use electromagnetic waves to quickly and evenly heat food. They are therefore ideal for defrosting, reheating, and quick cooking. Meanwhile, Toaster ovens work by using electric power to generate infrared radiation from coils located inside the oven. The heat produced by these coils permeates the interior and ensures that food is cooked uniformly from all sides, which results in evenly toasted dishes.

Given that they apply direct heat to your meals, toaster ovens are undoubtedly capable of creating a caramelized or crunchy texture in addition to simply making toast.

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Microwave vs Toaster Oven: Unveiling the Key Differences

When it comes to kitchenware, toaster ovens, and compact countertop microwave oven frequently engage in long-standing opponents.

Though the main difference between both is how they cook, many other factors differentiate them apart. Have a look!



A standard microwave oven is the fastest when it comes to cooking. These strong appliances are made specifically to heat meals via electromagnetic radiation efficiently.

When opposed to ovens, microwaves can dramatically shorten cooking times because they generate heat inside the meal. Microwaves provide unmatched convenience, especially when you’re short on time, whether it’s for warming leftovers or defrosting frozen ingredients.

On the other hand, toaster ovens usually take longer because they use convection or radiant heat. However, this heating method provides more thorough and even cooking compared to microwaves which can sometimes result in uneven heating.



Microwaves are clearly more efficient than ovens. They are very energy-efficient because they heat food directly, reducing waste and maximizing efficiency. Food when heated in a microwave can be heated uses less energy (700-1,300 watts) and has less environmental impact.

Toaster ovens, on the contrary, as said earlier require convection heat, they typically consume more energy i.e. 1200 to 1800 watts almost.

Moreover, if you’re hesitant to buy a smart microwave oven due to high energy consumption then let me tell you it’s a myth! Smart microwave oven don’t use up extra electricity than regular ones. Power usage depends on wattage rather than the type. They both have comparable wattage and being energy-efficient depends on cooking time and power level configurations.

Cooking Capacity


So basically, when it comes to toaster ovens, their size is measured based on the number of slices oven can toast.

The smaller ones usually do four or six slices, and they’re around 16 inches by 8 inches in size. But if you are willing to go big with a larger model that does more than six pieces at once, be ready to free up some extra counter space as those can get as large as 20 inches by 10 inches!

However, about microwaves, one has to consider their watts and how much space it would occupy. Most of them fall between 700-1,200 watts with room for about 1.4-2 cubic feet worth of food inside. They’re pretty big machines too – usually around the size of a large pizza box.

So, this is where a toaster oven better than microwave!

Food Quality and Taste

Toaster ovens are winners over standard microwaves when it comes about the quality and flavor of food. Basically, the radiant or convection heat does an amazing job of making sure that your meal is cooked evenly – crispy with some caramelized textures.

Microwaves though sometimes end up heating a portion of the food more which makes them less crispy without any browning at all. So if you’re cooking bread, pastries, or pizza then the toaster oven should be your go-to device as its direct heat applicator makes everything cook perfectly resulting in great-tasting dishes.

On the contrary for reheating and defrosting, the microwave works best because there’s not much altering required on the dish’s texture or flavor-wise.



Toaster oven and compact countertop microwave oven are mostly created for use on a kitchen counter, though some models can be set up inside cabinets.

Putting a toaster oven within a cabinet requires expert help since specific equipment is necessary to keep the cupboards from getting too hot. It might prove more difficult to install microwaves within cabinetry; however, if ample room and appropriate clearance are present above the stovetop, mounting them becomes feasible.

Seeking guidance from an expert is highly advised to discover which installation approach works best considering your appliance options and overall cooking area design.

Cost Effectiveness

Cost Effectiveness

Considering the cost for both appliances, the ‘toaster oven better than microwave’- is a lie!

Microwaves stand out as a cost-effective choice when taking that into account. They often cost less upfront than ovens, which can be expensive purchases. Moreover, because they use less gas or electricity when operating, their energy-efficient design results in long-term savings.

Toaster, on the other hand, despite having a larger initial cost, may require more upkeep and use more energy, hence raising your overall costs over time.

Health and Safety Considerations

Discussing the health and safety consideration, microwaves are definitely the better option because of their high speed; it keeps the food’s nutrient intact. Although microwave does not provide you enough specific texture that you may require.

Meanwhile, toaster ovens are pretty cool since they can give you that crispy, smooth texture to your food but there are chances that some nutrients might get lost during process due to high temperature! This happens with regular ovens as well because excessive heat can break down important vitamins and minerals.

Wrap Up

As each kitchenware has its pros and cons, similarly, in this rivalry of Microwave vs Toaster Oven, there is no clear winner!

Microwaves are certainly the best option due to their excellent speed and efficiency, for people who are short on time or need to heat and cook food quickly. Nevertheless, if you need an appliance for a larger variety of cooking methods and produce better outcomes, toaster ovens are the way to go, for sure.

Therefore, the decision between a compact microwave oven and a toaster oven ultimately comes down to your personal culinary preferences, requirements, and priorities. Think about things like cooking methods, space availability, and cost-effectiveness. Such factors can help you come down to a conclusion faster and better.

Regardless of what you choose, a standard oven for its variety or a microwave for its speed, both appliances are all set to add value to your kitchen.



Q1. Can toaster oven replace microwave?

Answer: You can use a toaster oven instead of a microwave for some small tasks, but they won’t do everything the same manner like a microwave does. Toaster ovens are pretty flexible and you can bake, reheat or toast with them. But if you want to heat last night’s dinner in a hurry or thaw out something from the freezer quickly as possible, then nothing beats zapping it in the microwave. So, whether a toaster oven replace microwave or not, is all up to you, depending on your preference.

Q2. Can we bake in a compact countertop microwave oven?

Answer: Of course, we can bake in a microwave! Brownies and cakes are usually made in microwaves, specifically in a standard microwave. However, bear in mind to use a dish that is safe to use in the microwave. Meanwhile, the oven is not suitable for baking goods with complicated recipes.

Q3. Can we use a standard microwave oven daily?

Answer: Research has suggested that microwave ovens should not be used daily and it’s better to use them occasionally due to their hazardous health effects.

Q4. What is the difference between a standard microwave oven and a smart microwave oven?

Answer: When comparing a regular microwave oven and a smart microwave oven, the clearest difference lies in the extra technology added to the latter. Unlike standard microwave oven, smart ones can hook up to Wi-Fi and be managed from your phone or by talking to virtual assistants.

Moreover, with their superior features like pre-set cooking modes, expert recipe tips, plus compatibility with other clever home gadgets- Smart microwave oven simply offer more! Standard models may still warm up food properly but they don’t connect digitally or have upgraded abilities as much as smarts do.


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