Toaster oven vs microwave | which is the best to choose?

toaster oven vs microwave

In my culinary setup, I used both of the equipment for various tasks. It is comparatively hard to pick one, but I’ll give you some tips based on my experience to help you decide between a Toaster oven vs microwave.

Let’s quickly compare their features.

Table of contents

  • What is a toaster oven?
  • What is a microwave?
  • Toaster oven vs microwave, comparing different aspects.
  • Should I get a microwave or a toaster oven?
  • Get a microwave if
  • Get a toaster oven if
  • Conclusion
  • FAQS

What is a toaster oven?

Toaster oven is a kitchen appliance that mixes the functions of a conventional toaster and an oven. It can toast, bake, broil, and occasionally even carry out other cooking tasks. A toaster oven offers a wider variety of cooking options than a traditional toaster, which is mostly used for toasting bread and bagels.

What is a microwave?

Microwave ovens are helpful kitchen appliances that smoothly heats and cook food using microwave radiation. The device generates electromagnetic waves that make the water molecules in food vibrate hence heating them. This technology enables rapid reheating, defrosting, and preparation of a wide range of dishes, making it a valuable and efficient household device.

Toaster oven vs microwave, comparing different aspects.

AspectToaster OvenMicrowave
Cooking TimeBecause of conventional heat distribution, cooking times are typically longer. Roasting, broiling, baking, and toasting are all suitable methods.Microwave radiation speeds up cooking. Perfect for defrosting, warming, and making quick foods.
VersatilityMay cook a variety of foods by baking, toasting, roasting, and broiling.Generally limited to reheating, defrosting, and making straightforward meals.
Cooking QualityGives baked dishes and roasted foods an even browning and crisping.It might not produce as much browning and texture as a toaster oven.
TextureGreater consistency in reheated items’ textures, such as pizza or pastries.Greater size requires more counter space. The major difference between toaster oven vs microwave
Size and SpaceWorks nicely with many kinds of cookware that are oven-safe.  The space-saving, appropriate for smaller kitchens, compact design saves on space.    
Energy ConsumptionTypically uses more energy because cooking takes longer.  Uses less energy to complete cooking operations more quickly.    
Cookware CompatibilityWorks nicely with many kinds of cookware that is oven-safe.  To avoid damage and potential health risks, containers must be microwave-safe.    
PreheatingPreheating is frequently necessary, which extends the cooking time.    Food can be heated practically immediately; preheating is not necessary.    
Cooking TechniquesAble to provide results that resemble those of an oven.  Limited ability to provide crispy textures and browning.    
Food TypesAllows for a greater variety of recipes and cooking methods.Best for fast-cooking frozen meals, reheating beverages, and leftovers
Price RangeDue to the additional features and capabilities, prices are typically higher.It is a cost-effective choice because it is typically cheaper.

Should I get a microwave or toaster oven?

Your culinary preferences, needs, and habits will determine whether to choose between Toaster oven vs microwave. Here are some things to think about to guide your decision-making:

Get a microwave if:

Quick Cooking and Reheating:

If you want a quick and simple way of warming up the previous meal in seconds, defrosting and cooking easy meals, then go for a microwave.  

Limited Cooking Space:

Microwaves are small and ideal for locations with limited counter space or smaller kitchens.


Microwaves are a budget-friendly appliance as they are often more reasonable than toaster ovens.

Busy Lifestyle:

The quickness of a microwave might be a big benefit if you have a busy schedule and need to quickly reheat meals.

Simple Meals:

If the majority of your cooking consists of defrosting, reheating, and simple cooking duties, a microwave may be able to meet your needs. For this reason, you can choose microwave among toaster oven vs microwave.

Versatility in the Kitchen:

Toaster ovens provide extra cooking alternatives. They are adaptable to a range of recipes because they can bake, roast, broil, and toast.

Texture and quality:

Toaster ovens outperform microwaves in terms of producing crispy textures and uniform browning.

Small Baking Needs:

A toaster oven gives you more control over the cooking process if you like to bake single-serving meals, muffins, or cookies in small batches.

Limited Oven Access:

A toaster oven can be a good substitute if your primary oven is frequently used or if you wish to conserve energy by avoiding complete oven use.

Cooking Control:

Toaster ovens provide you with more control over the results by allowing you to watch the cooking process and change the settings.

Expanded Meal Variety:

A toaster oven’s capabilities can expand your culinary range if you’re interested in experimenting with recipes that call for roasting, toasting, or baking.


In the end, your choice between Toaster oven vs microwave should be in line with your priorities and needs for cooking. A microwave might be a better option if convenience and quickness are priorities. A toaster oven can be a better option if you want more cooking options and better cooking quality. If you’re wondering about roaster oven check our guide on best roaster oven.

You need to make a decision based on your cooking pattern, the space available for the appliance, and the outcome you are interested in.


Toaster oven vs microwave, which is better?

Your top cooking priorities will determine whether a toaster oven or microwave is superior. A microwave is the best appliance for busy schedules because it is fast at both reheating and defrosting. A toaster oven, on the other hand, provides adaptability, a superior texture, and browning. The features of a toaster oven may suit you better if you place a premium on cooking quality and have room for both, as opposed to a microwave, which is designed for convenience. Some people also questions about countertop convection oven.

Can a toaster oven be replaced by microwave?

People often wonder can a toaster oven replace a microwave. Although a toaster oven can perform many of the same functions as a microwave, it might not entirely replace it. Toaster ovens are the best for roasting, toasting, and baking, while microwaves are quicker for reheating and defrosting. Toaster ovens can be used in place of microwaves if speed is more important than quality.

What are the disadvantages of using a toaster oven vs a microwave?

Toaster ovens have certain shortcomings. They often use more energy and are slower than microwaves. Cooking time is extended by the frequent need for preheating. Their greater dimensions require more counter space. They may not attain the high temperatures of traditional ovens despite being multifunctional. The decision depends on your priorities and cooking preferences because they can be more expensive than microwaves.

Can you heat up leftovers in a toaster oven?

Toaster ovens are effective at reheating leftovers, so yes, you can do that. Even dishes like pizza or fried foods, which benefit from having crispy textures, are preferred. However its essential to know how to clean a toaster oven to keep it in top condition for better performance. In contrast to microwaves, which could cause sogginess, a toaster oven lets you keep the dish’s original texture and flavor.

shahzoon naz

shahzoon naz

Shahzoon Naz is a freelance Content Writer. He spends most of his time in the kitchen, you will see him in the kitchen and every time cooking something new and tasty.

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