If you follow this site, then you already know we have written about toaster ovens and regular ovens a lot in different occasions. This is basically because having the best oven is the foundation of any effective kitchen.
It is also one of the most important kitchen appliances we rely on. It is unfortunate I had to learn this the hard way when my old one stopped working.
You see, raising two children and a loving husband usually implies very busy mornings for me. This, in turn, implies that if I do not prepare breakfast on time, then my three boys will either leave my house hungry or be late from work and school.
Needless to say, I can’t let either of both things happen. And under no circumstances will I give them cereals every day they leave the house.
This means that when my older oven stopped working, I had to head out to the marketplace and find a replacement. And the first hurdle I came across was picking between the best toaster oven and the best regular oven.
I couldn’t understand the difference and wasn’t willing to spend my hard earned cash on one product, only to find out picking the other product, I disregarded would be a better choice. So I set out on a different quest and scoured the internet to learn all I could regarding baking in toaster oven vs regular oven.
After extensive research, here are the differences between the two.
The first factor we will look at is installation, and the toaster oven takes the lead on this one. Toaster ovens do not need any installation. All you need to do is unpack them, place them on your kitchen counter, plug them in, and they are ready to use.
You can also feel free to move them from one room to another or from one corner of your kitchen counter to the other when you want to clear the clutter.
Full sized, regular ovens, on the other hand, need professional installation, especially if they use propane or gas as a fuel or if you will be installing a wall oven. In addition, electric ovens, particularly those you will need to set between cabinets will usually need professional installation in order to ensure they are level, vented if necessary, and plugged in correctly.
If you acquire a regular wall oven, then it will need a specially built cabinet to hold it, and this may need modification on site so the technician can get the best fit for the oven. The ranges are stress-free to install and most often slide effortlessly into place.
The toaster oven also takes the lead on this one thanks to its temperature accuracy. On average, toaster ovens usually consume about $0.03 an hour whereas an electric oven and gas oven consumes $0.16 and $0.07 respectively. If saving energy is your prime factor to consider, then the toaster oven would be an ideal choice.
One of the main advantages of a regular oven over a toaster oven is shelf placements. You can lower and raise racks to distinct positions when using a regular oven, which alters the flow of hot air in order to favor the top or bottom of the meal you are baking.
Most toaster ovens I have come across usually only have a single or two rack positions, which offers less flexibility. This can also be a serious disadvantage when you are baking in a toaster oven, since the heating element is quite too close to the top of your baked meals.
At times, you will need to shield the upper side of your pan using a piece of foil to prevent burning.
Toaster ovens retail at a wide range of prices, with the cheapest beginning at $30 for the most basic models. If you intend to replace a full sized oven with a toaster oven that can execute most, if not all the tests, you can get the most high-end models that will cost between $80 and $100.
Full sized, regular ovens on the other hand usually cost from $1,000 to $3,000 for both range and wall mounted oven models. The difference in price depends on the number of features as well as the fuel source.
In addition to that, installation of a regular oven usually runs at around $162 for replacements of existing regular ovens but can go as high as $300 for double wall ovens. This can usually result in a total price of $3,300 for high-end toaster ovens.
Regular ovens can easily handle pans of almost all sizes, but only a few over-sized models can easily accommodate a full commercial sheet pan. That is not the case when it comes to toaster ovens, mainly due to their low profile and relatively compact footprint.
Most modern toaster ovens I came across, while researching for this post, are created to take up to a 12-inch pizza. This size also implies the appliances won’t have a problem handling a round cake and each one retails with a sheet pan you can use to bake cookies.
That said, when you need to fit rectangular cake pans or muffin pans, it can be a bit problematic and you may have to adapt your recipe in order to fit the smaller pans.
Regular ovens are disadvantageous during hot weather because they tend to overheat the kitchen. Toaster ovens, on the other hand, tend to produce less heat because they are smaller in size, and this makes them a more sensible choice if your area experiences a lot of hot months during the year.
All toaster ovens I have come across are only powered by electricity, whereas regular ovens have an option that permits you to use propane, gas, or electricity. In the event there is a blackout and you own a regular oven, you can use the gas stove to continue operating, allowing you to go on with your cooking process as you want for the power to come back.
This is not possible if you have a toaster oven.
Scaling your recipes
Lots of specialized pans are currently available for toaster ovens, however, most recipes are only designed for regular ovens.
Honestly, this was a tie between both products. Leftovers are a common occurrence after you have prepared a big meal and most of us do not like to throw away food, so we tend to save it up for later.
AS regular ovens and toaster ovens are great at reheating, I highly advise them rather than using a microwave. A microwave reheats by causing the water molecules in your meal to vibrate, which, in turn, makes your food soggy and wet.
As you can see after this in-depth review of baking in toaster oven vs regular oven, you can use a toaster oven instead of a regular oven in most cases and vice versa.
Furthermore, the one you decide to pick will depend on your needs and personal preference. And if you already know which one you already prefer, then I urge you to check out the following posts on the best toaster ovens and the best regular ovens.
If you can afford it, feel free to acquire both. They can come in handy.