Can A Toaster Oven Replace A Microwave? A toaster oven and a microwave are two specialized pieces of kitchen equipment. While you can cook in one for crispy and dry food texture, the other will cook food from the inside out, locking in the moisture for succulent results. Your preference will depend on the outcome you seek. If you have limited counter space(or any other reason at all), you might find yourself wondering, “do I need a microwave if I have a toaster oven?”
Technically, your toaster oven is the miniaturized version of a standard electric oven; it can heat anything. So yes, you could replace your microwave with a toaster oven. But since both machines have different modes of heating and produce different results, there are some tasks that the toaster oven will struggle with which are best suited for the microwave.
The toaster oven excels for many applications such as making toasts, browning, and cooking frozen fries. However, you normally would not use a toaster oven to heat your coffee; a microwave is best suited as it can energize water molecules more efficiently, leading to faster heating. In essence, while you can replace your microwave with a toaster oven, there is the issue of convenience to deal with.
Replace the microwave if you must, or better still get yourself an oven-microwave combo in one piece of equipment. If that sounds exciting please read on to see our recommendations.
Are Toaster Ovens Better Than Microwaves?
Before we even begin, it will be helpful to note that the microwave and the toaster ovens have two completely different methods of heating; that’s the reason for the radically different results they produced.
The toaster oven normally utilizes electrical heating elements inside the oven that heats the air in which the food is cooked. The heating element can be at the top, bottom, or on both positions, and typically with a convection fan to distribute the heat evenly. A microwave, on the other hand, runs on an entirely different technology. By emitting high-frequency electromagnetic radiation from a device called a Megatron, the microwave oven can energize water molecules in the food, which heat up and eventually cook it.
With that in mind, let’s see how the two appliances measure up against each other:
This is perhaps the most important thing to consider when you’re trying to decide.
Because the toaster oven makes use of dry heat to cook food, it does a lot of crisping, caramelizing, and browning to the exterior of your food. The toaster oven is ideal for toasting, cooking frozen fries, and baking. It will however not do a good job of heating leftover foods from the fridge.
However, the microwave does great for heating cold leftover food, cooking baked potatoes, heating a cup of coffee, and more. But when it comes to toasting, you wouldn’t want to use a microwave because it makes the toast soggy. Browning is not something the microwave does very well(or at all) either. Frozen French fries, leftover pizza, and toast bread all become soggy in the microwave; something to do with the method of heating.
Although we’re talking about choosing an appliance here, it is still worthwhile to consider using the combined strengths of the two appliances to your advantage. To cook chicken, for example, you could use a microwave to cook it, making it tender from the inside out, then using the toaster oven you can crisp out the exterior for a perfect finish.
In terms of cooking time, the microwave is the clear winner, thanks to the method of heating. The microwave oven is faster because it can mobilize every water molecule in the food simultaneously, thereby heating the food at a faster pace.
Conversely, the toaster oven cooks slower because first, it has to bring the heating elements to the desired temperature. The air then needs to get heated enough to cook the food. Although a convection fan in the toaster oven can hasten the process, it still takes more time to cook the food compared to a microwave oven.
The only maintenance you have to do on these two appliances is cleaning. Thankfully, the microwave is easier to clean. To restore your microwave, you need only soap, water, and a sponge. Make a soap and water solution, wet the sponge, and use it to clean the interior of the microwave. Remove the glass trays and clean separately. Then finally, dry the microwave with a paper towel and replace the glass trays.
On the contrary, your toaster oven is more tricky to clean, since you have to avoid exposing the heating elements to water(you know, corrosion). And you have more parts to wash: catcher, crumb tray, wire rack, removable glass tray, etc. As such, you need to first bring out all the interior components before you start cleaning.
Can You Put Microwave Popcorn In a Toaster Oven?
Everyone loves microwave popcorn, but can you pop the corn in your toaster oven? Yes, you can. If you do not have a microwave, you can still enjoy some popcorn by follow the following steps:
- Set the toaster oven’s temperature to 450°F.
- Choose an oven-safe vessel with a lid, big enough the contain the kernels when they pop. Make sure it can fit into the toaster oven.
- Depending on the size of the container, pour a reasonable amount of kernel(in most cost ½ should do) into the vessel, cover with the lid and place it in the oven.
- Wait a few moments until you start to hear the pop sounds.
- Wait until the pop sounds subside, then turn off your oven and remove the popcorn.
- Season and enjoy your popcorn.
Is There A Combination Microwave Toaster Oven?
Yes, there’s such a thing as a microwave-toaster oven hybrid. Since space comes at a premium these days, you might have to choose between your two favorite appliances at some point.
Thankfully, you don’t have to choose. A microwave-toaster oven combo lets you have all the functionality of a microwave and a toaster oven in one piece of equipment.
Cuisinart CMW-200 1.2-Cubic-Foot Convection Microwave Oven
The Cuisinart CMW-200 is a versatile conventional microwave and a toaster oven in one. The convection microwave oven function allows you to cook or reheat food effortlessly. You can choose to defrost cold foods by time or weight, the Cuisinart CMW-200 conveniently helps you cook with hassles.
- Sleek stainless stain exterior with dark tinted glass.
- Touchpad button with LCD for toggle and control microwave and oven function.
- Cuisine art recipe book included.
- 9 preset options plus defrost by weight and time, grill, and reversible grill function.
- Controls for cooking by wattage, temperature, or time. Click here to see on Amazon
Galanz GTWHG12BKSA10 Microwave Toaster Oven Combo
The Galanz’s GTWHG12BKSA10 Combo comes with a sensor cook and a patented inverter technology that gets your food heated more evenly. It has a customizable preset function for specific foods, so you can have the perfect meal without having to always set it every time.
The Galanz’s GTWHG12BKSA10 multifunctional cooking combines a convection oven, air fryer, toaster oven, and microwave oven for a truly rounded cooking experience. It uses less oil to cook healthier food like shrimp and even chicken.
- 4-in-1: Microwave, convection oven, air fryer, and toaster oven.
- Preset function for specific foods.
- Easy to clean.
- Totally 360 air fry tech for improved heating.
- Superior convection in air fry mode.
- Sensor cooking to ensure perfectly cooked food, every time. Click here to see on Amazon
Sharp SMC1585BB Convection Microwave Oven
Sharp SMC1585BB microwaves give you a microwave and toaster oven in one appliance.It comes with sensors to make sure your food is neither undercooked nor overcooked. The sensor technology also determines the cooking temperature and cooking time for your food(in line with USDA prescription which stipulates that microwaving should not exceed 60 seconds).
The touch pad control with LED display gives you the control to program and toggle between different settings and cooking modes. With Sharp’s SMC1585BB auto defrost technology, you can dishes quickly without tedious setups.
- 900 watt convection heating with 10 power levels.
- Accurate cook sensor determines precise temperature and time of cooking.
- Touchpad control with LED display, clock timer and child lock.
- Help menu and demonstration mode for assitance.
- Stainless steel interior.
- Convection heating technology. Click here to see on Amazon
Do Toaster Ovens Use Microwaves?
Toaster ovens operate on a different principle from microwave ovens. While the regular microwave oven makes use of microwaves: high frequency electromagnetic radiation, your toaster oven makes use of infrared radiation. By electrically heating metallic elements which In turn heat the air around around the food, the toaster oven(or any oven for that matter) is able to cook food.
Depending on the wattage, the electrical coils of the toaster oven can reach as high as 450°F. As a result, keep all items deemed inflammable away from the toaster oven.
Wrapping Up on Can A Toaster Oven Replace A Microwave?
It can be argued that the two most important appliances in your culinary arsenal are the toaster oven(or conventional oven if you have one) and the microwave oven. The two appliances are built for different purposes and are excellent at them. So you do not want to be in a position to choose between the two; get a combination microwave-toaster oven instead. Hopefully, we hope you will enjoy using any of the suggested appliances on this list.