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What Are the Differences Between a Toaster Oven and a Countertop Convection Oven?

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Ovens have evolved over the years, and there are now many types available on the market. Two popular choices for home cooks are toaster ovens and countertop convection ovens. So, what are the differences between a toaster oven and a convection oven?

What Are the Differences Between a Toaster Oven and a Countertop Convection Oven?

The main difference between toaster ovens and convection ovens is the way they cook food. A toaster uses radiant heat, which means it heats food from the outside in. Convection ovens, on the other hand, use hot air for cooking food evenly all around.

Person using an oven toaster

Other differences include size, price, durability, temperature, versatility, energy efficiency, durability, ease of cleaning, design, and heat distribution. We look at these differences in more detail below. First, let’s define what exactly each type of oven is.

What Are Toaster Ovens?

Toaster ovens are small electric stoves that use radiant heat to cook food. They are typically less expensive than full-size ovens and use less energy. They also tend to heat up faster. Toaster ovens are available in a range of sizes, from small units that can toast a few slices of bread to large units that can accommodate a whole chicken.

What Are Convection Ovens?

These are electric ovens that use hot air to cook food. These types of ovens have a fan that circulates the hot air, which cooks food more evenly than a traditional oven. They can also be used to cook multiple items at once because the hot air circulates around the food, cooking it evenly on all sides.

Differences Between a Toaster Oven and a Convection Oven

Now, let’s take a closer look at the key differences between these two types of ovens. The two mostly differ in terms of: 

  • Size
  • Price
  • Heat distribution 
  • Temperature 
  • Versatility 
  • Energy efficiency 

Size

One of the most obvious differences between a toaster oven and a convection type is size. Toaster ovens are much smaller than convection ones. This makes them easier to store on the countertop or in a cabinet. 

Price

Generally, convection ovens are more expensive than toasters. This is because they have more features and can be used to cook a wider variety of dishes compared to a toaster oven.

Beef roasting on a convection oven

Heat Distribution

Toaster ovens use radiant heat to cook food, which means they heat food from the outside in. This can lead to uneven cooking, with the outside of the food being overcooked while the inside is still raw.

Convection models, on the other hand, use hot air to cook food evenly. This even heat distribution means that these ovens can be used to cook a wider variety of dishes, such as casseroles and roasted vegetables.

Temperature

Toaster ovens typically have a lower maximum temperature than convection ones. This means that they are not well suited for cooking dishes that require a high temperature, such as pizza. 

Instead, they are most used for reheating already cooked food or for cooking food that does not require a high temperature, such as toast.

Convection ovens can also reach higher temperatures than toaster ovens, making them better suited for cooking dishes like:

Versatility

Toaster ovens are less versatile than their convection counterparts because they cannot be used to cook a wide variety of dishes. For example, you cannot use them to bake a cake or roast a chicken.

Convection ovens, on the other hand, are much more versatile because they can be used to cook a wide variety of dishes. In addition to baking and roasting, they can also be used to broil, toast, and reheat food.

Woman putting ramekins in oven

Energy Efficiency

Toaster ovens are more energy-efficient than convection stoves because they use less power. Toaster ovens typically use between 500 and 1500 watts of power, while convection types use between 1800 and 2100 watts.

Related Questions

Which Is Better Between a Toaster Oven and Convection Oven?

The answer to this question depends on your needs and preferences. If you are looking for an appliance that is easy to store and use, then a toaster oven might be the better option. 

However, if you are looking for an appliance that is more versatile and can be used to cook a wider variety of dishes, then a convection oven will be a good fit for you.

What Is a Countertop Convection Oven Used For? 

A countertop convection oven is used to cook delicacies that require equal heat distribution. These include baked food like cakes, biscuits, and pastries. It is also used for roasting meat and vegetables.

Conclusion

Now that you know the key differences between a toaster oven and a convection oven, you can decide which one is right for you. Remember, you should get a convection oven if you are cooking food that need equal distribution of food. On the other hand, if you just need something to reheat already cooked food, the cheaper toaster oven will be a good fit. 

Nathaniel Lee is an avid cook, drawing on his decades of home cooking and fine dining experience. With inspirations like Alton Brown and Gordon Ramsey, Nathaniel focuses on simple processes to make amazing food.