When I bought my convection toaster oven, I didn’t really know what I was buying. It was my first toaster oven and I went on what the saleswoman was suggesting. Thankfully, it turned out that I was being recommended an excellent piece of equipment. But is a conventional toaster oven better than a convection toaster oven?
I borrowed my sister in law’s conventional toaster oven to run some experiments. I want to know if my convection oven was as good as a conventional toaster oven and how well it performs in three key areas: energy usage, cooking times, and accuracy.
I also wanted to really focus on how well these appliances function as replacements for regular ovens. Can I get rid of a regular toast? I want to be green when I cook, so does a toaster oven save electricity? Read on to find out more.
Table of contents
- What are the differences between a toaster oven and a convection toaster oven?
- Does a convection toaster oven cook faster?
- Is a convection toaster oven energy efficient?
- Is a convection toaster oven accurate?
- Can I use a toaster oven instead of a regular oven?
What are the differences between a toaster oven and a convection toaster oven?
The clue is in the name for this one. Convection toaster ovens are just toaster ovens with convection airflow technology. That may sound like something fancy, but really it just means that there is a fan on the inside to blow the heat around.
Because of the fan, convection toaster ovens work in a slightly different way. They are excellent for making sure that food is evenly cooked all the way through, for example. Whenever there is a cold spot, the fan blows the hot air so that heat is better distributed. This is great for roasting chickens or reheating food.
Normal toaster ovens use an element that heats up the cooking cavity. This can lead to cold spots. Some of them use multiple elements to stop this from being a problem. This is very similar to a regular toaster and can usually cook large dishes in no more than 10 minutes.
Does a convection toaster oven cook faster?
No, most of the time. The speed of cooking is actually slower because of the convection fans. As you spread the heat around, you don’t get such an intense roast or bake. This means that it can take a longer amount of time to get the same level of crispness or crunchiness.
Using a regular toaster oven, your food will be blasted with hot air consistently. As cool spots appear, the toaster oven will heat up the air and keep the cooking time down. This means that you get excellent cooking times with excellent quality dishes.
If you need something that cooks fast, you need to use a regular toaster oven. They heat up faster, keep the temperature high through extra energy use, and give you crisp finishes. If that’s important to you, then the toaster oven is for you.
Is a convection toaster oven energy efficient?
Maybe you’ve guessed that because toaster ovens are constantly heating up their cooking cavity, they’re not as energy efficient as some appliances. Convection toaster ovens, on the other hand, make the most of the heat that they already have.
By using a convection toaster oven, you save on energy in the long term. This is done by keeping the elements only for turning the appliance on – the fans do the rest of the work. This makes getting the best cook possible without wasting energy. Even though you only save a few cents for each cook, it means that you can save a lot over the long term.
I am a pretty green person and I like to make sure that I help out with saving the planet whenever I can. This means that this is a big plus for the toaster oven for me. I feel good knowing that my convection toaster does actually save electricity.
Is a convection toaster oven accurate?
If you want crispness, a regular toaster oven might be the one for you. But if you always want to make sure that your food is cooked all the way through or that cakes and cookies are evenly baked, you need a convection toaster oven.
You don’t need to worry about cold or hot spots in a convection toaster oven. As the fan circulates the air, you know that every inch of whatever you’re cooking will get the same treatment. When you compare this to regular ovens or regular toaster ovens, the benefits are huge.
Regular toaster ovens can give you food that is slightly cooler in places and possibly even undercooked. This means that it is not very accurate in terms of getting an entirely even cook. They are better, however, at getting chicken skin crispy or for reheating food all the way through.
Can I use a toaster oven instead of a regular oven?
You can and I do. Because of the reasons above, I’ve been using my convection toaster oven for everything recently. It is faster than a conventional oven, it’s better for the planet, and I know that my non-convection oven can’t cook chicken or beef as thoroughly as a convection toaster oven.
Because my toaster oven also has extra slots for toast, it’s also a lot easier than cooking toast in my oven. I own a regular toaster too, but the toaster oven is just so versatile that I tend to leave everything else unplugged if I can.
If you are thinking about buying a toaster oven, I would really recommend a convection toaster oven. They are fantastic for getting evenly cooked food and making the most of energy conscious, lightweight pieces of kitchenware.
As I said, I also like how versatile my toaster oven is. It means that regardless of what kind of device you own, you can get the best results and a lot of services out of it. It makes cooking anything really easy – I don’t need to have 6 appliances plugged in and waste electricity when I can simply just use my toaster oven.
If you’re on a budget and need to choose one, my recommendation is to get a convection toaster oven. You will be able to cook a variety of dishes with no problem and you won’t have to trust your senses to make sure that roast chicken is cooked all the way through. Even if you can only afford a regular toaster oven (although a lot of convection toaster ovens are very affordable), you will be able to replace at least 3 appliances in your kitchen with just one. Amazing for the space conscious homeowner.