This is slightly embarrassing to admit, but I will be honest anyway. For lots of years, I didn’t think of trying out an oven with the convection feature.
At the time, I was living alone, and I was totally clueless in regard to what the convection feature could do, which in turn, implied that I was afraid trying it out would ruin every recipe I had created over the years.
But this did not mean that I would stop hearing my friends go on and on about how convection ovens were great at cooking faster and better.
So finally, I gave in at the beginning of last year, and I’ll tell you what prompted me to give the appliance a try.
I am currently raising three children and a working husband, so this usually translates to extremely busy mornings for me. This further implies that if I do not sort their breakfast on time, then my four boys will either have to leave late or go out with empty stomachs to work and school.
And as you may have guessed, that it is not something that is going to happen on my watch. And I will be damned if I feed my loved ones with cereal every single day.
You can now see that having the best toasting appliance in my kitchen is more than a lifesaver for me.
Having said that, contemplating on acquiring the best convection oven brought me to a point where I had to tackle Convection Oven vs Toaster Oven battles in order to ensure the one, I introduced to my family would best meet our breakfast needs and preferences.
And if you are scouring the internet trying to understand the difference as well, then this post has got you covered.
But, before we get to the main section of the post and look at the main differences between the two products, let me start by briefly defining them to be ensure we are both on the same page.
What is a toaster oven?
Defined simply, a toaster oven is an advanced version of the best regular toasters. It retails with additional functions such as broiling and roasting, which makes it a more viable option in the kitchen if you value versatility.
Compared to a regular toaster, a toaster oven uses high quality, fast warming heating elements that are generally placed on the bottom or topside of the appliance. These elements will warm up the surrounding air in the appliance, then the air will be used to bake, broil, or toast.
The best toaster oven is also very fast to use and practical compared to a regular toaster and allows you to prepare a wide array of meals from pizza slices and vegetables to small chicken pieces and cakes.
What is a convection oven?
In appearance, the convection oven and a toaster oven are quite similar. The only difference between the two is the fan that has been included in convection oven to change how it works. This implies that unlike a toaster oven, the best convection oven will heat the surrounding air first, then the inbuilt fan that has been included will move the hot air around the oven to evenly cook your meal.
This method of cooking is very advantageous if you hate unevenly cooked meals. And in case you prefer a meal that has been grilled, roasted, or toasted until it is crispy on the surface, then this is the appliance for you.
Now that you clearly understand the main difference between the two appliances, let us skip to the main section of the post and look at the main differences between the two.
Due to the method the two appliances employ in order to cook your meals, they both have very different energy consumption levels. A toaster oven does not include the fan that moves hot air around, so it will take a little bit more time to preheat compared to a convection oven. This further implies that a toaster oven will use considerably more power.
In addition to that, the absence of the fan also implies that you will need to prepare your meal a little bit longer in order to attain the same results you would have gotten if you were using a convection oven. Couple this with the time the toaster oven takes to warm up and you can see why your energy bill will be higher.
I have to admit the convection oven won this round.
The cooking temperature setting you use when availing the two products is also quite different.
If you were used to using the regular big ovens, then you won’t need to adjust the temperature setting when using a toaster oven essentially because the two appliances heat their meals similarly.
However, if you are switching from using a regular oven and adopting a convection oven, you ought to make some adjustments to the settings not to overcook your meals. As a general rule of thumb, always reduce the cooking time and temperature setting when you’re using a convection oven.
For instance, if you usually toast your meals using 80 degrees Fahrenheit setting on a toaster oven, then you will need to set a convection oven 15 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit lower in order to cook the meal to the same desired level. Also, always remember to make the cooking time around five minutes shorter.
Safety and maintenance
First of all, ensure that you keep both appliances out of reach of children if you have some in your house.
The exterior surface of most convection ovens and toaster ovens tends to get excessively hot during operations, meaning someone will sustain burn injuries if they come in contact with the appliance.
That said, you can still find a convection or toaster oven with a cool to the touch exterior surface, which ensures that regardless of how long you’ve been using the appliance, it’s surface won’t be hot. And when you’re done cooking your meal, let the appliance cool down, then clean it right away.
Note that most of these appliances retail with non-stick materials, so ensure you do not use harsh sponges/brushes and cleaners that can damage the coating’s surface.
And if the appliance you acquire comes with a tray, then ensure you clean it regularly as well. Doing this will ensure that the oven can maintain its durability and keep serving your family for years.
I found that the safety and maintenance guidelines of both appliances were the same.
Size and Cost
This was one of the features that I could hardly find any difference between the two products. This is because the market is currently flooding with hundreds of thousands of new convection and toaster oven models of all sizes, looks, and costs.
That implies that the size and cost of the oven you finally settle for will depend on your personal preferences, as well as the oven’s features combination.
In regard to size, ensure you acquire an oven that will perfectly fit to the space you’ve set aside on your kitchen counter. In addition to that, make sure that the one you choose is highly portable so you can freely move it around your house as you please.
In order to create this detailed comparison post, I had to acquire both products and I have been using them both for a while now. If you only want to pick one, then I highly recommend picking a convection oven.
This appliance could do everything a toaster oven could do and has an added advantage brought by the inbuilt fan. It will also save you lots of dollars in energy bills in the long run.