When choosing between a toaster oven and a toaster, it’s important to consider the space you have on a counter, the functions you need, and your budget.
Let’s take a look at how these characteristics, and some others, compare between a toaster oven and a regular toaster.
A regular toaster can range from (length x width x height) 9.25×6.5×5.5 inches to 14.6×6.6×7.7 inches. These go from compact toaster to toasters designed with longer slots.
On the other hand, toaster oven sizes can range from 15.5 inches in length, 16 inches width and 14 inches height to 20.87x17x11.4. But even the more compact model takes up more space than a regular toaster.
If counter space in the kitchen is an issue for you, a regular toaster is the better choice. Furthermore, you can keep your toaster in a drawer or a cupboard and have it on a counter only when using it.
The most popular and easiest meal that you can make with a toaster or a toaster oven is a sandwich. So let’s look at them independently:
A regular toaster will allow you to toast only the slices of bread and nothing else. There are some that have additional accessories that might allow you to make a sandwich. However, these come as an extra in the majority of cases.
With the toaster oven, you could probably add some delicious ingredients. That melted cheese sandwich we love is possible thanks to the toaster oven. For instance, a good example of an exceptional and conveniently sized model is the Panasonic Toaster Oven FlashXpress. Its compact size is perfect for making things like sandwiches, small personal pizzas, and baked potatoes. Although it doesn’t have the same ample size as your regular oven, you get additional features, such as simply reheating your meal. Check out our list of the best toaster ovens for toast.
If making sandwiches is a big factor for you, you should probably go for the toaster ovens. It will give you a bigger room to diversify your sandwich options. Especially because if you get only a regular toaster, you would get a sandwich maker to have the same functionality as a toaster oven.
As you probably already know, a toaster is pretty basic in its use; making toasts and maybe things like bagels or waffles. Realistically, nothing much more than that.
A toaster oven will offer a huge variety of cooking options. You can prepare your lunches and dinners too, by using the different functions on it, including broil, bake, and roast. Some of the newer models even come with an air-frying function and combine air fryer and toaster oven into one device..
The most modern versions of toaster ovens even let you reheat, defrost, and keep your meals warm. The most costly ones in the marketplace include all the functions you may need to prepare a wide array of recipes. However, the possibilities with a toaster oven don’t end there.
From creating salmon melts to expanding your culinary skills with casseroles and roasts, toaster ovens are fantastic for individuals who want a multi-use appliance, and who have the counter space to have it.
Since the toaster oven outnumbers the regular toaster in terms of the number of tasks that it can execute, it is, therefore, the more versatile option of the two to have in the kitchen.
Furthermore, even the most inexpensive models of toaster ovens will enable you to prepare meals like pies and pizzas, thus making your life easier if you are a busy person. We have often used toaster ovens to bake cakes and cookies as well! This works when they’re at least medium-sized.
There are so many options and such different prices for all of them that budget becomes of paramount importance in this decision. There are modern, high-end, toasters out there that will cost you just as much as good quality toaster ovens. Let’s compare them:
For example, if you’re not planning on making anything other than toast with your appliance, getting a regular toaster is probably the way to go. While looking for toasters you may come across really inexpensive ones, with prices as low as 15 dollars.
Now, getting a toaster oven might be more expensive. One option that might bring quality and be within the affordable range of prices is the Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Toaster Oven, which can be found listed at 55 dollars online. The 6-slice toast space and three settings for the cooking model will allow you to enjoy everything from crispy toast to broiled fish and mouthwatering roasted vegetables.
So, without a doubt, a regular toaster will be the best option should you be on a tight budget. However, if you’re leaning more towards the toaster oven, you’ll have to stack up a bit more cash to make the purchase.
Ease of use
Generally, a regular toaster is an easier option to use. Since its only purpose is to toast slices of bread, there are models that don’t have any buttons to adjust or knobs to turn. All you need to do is set the toast shade properly and you’re good to go; put the bread slices into the slots and push down the lever.
For toaster ovens, it’s a different story. Setting them for the perfect heat when you’re making toast might get tricky. Furthermore, if you’re making something else then you’ll need to make sure all the adjustments are working perfectly. Numerous users have reported that they need to check up on their toast more often when using toaster ovens as the results tend to be less consistent.
As a consequence, if you’re looking to make your cooking process less complicated, the right choice for you would be the regular toaster.
Which One Takes the Prize?
When everything is taken into account and it comes to a point where you have to make a decision, it all will largely depend on your personal preferences, your purpose and particular situation.
But, based on our criteria, you should get a regular toaster if you: are the type of person who requires a simple breakfast, need an easy to use appliance that will get the job done in a heartbeat, are looking for a budget option and do not have much countertop space to spare in your kitchen.
However, one thing to consider before making a decision are 2-in-1 units. They normally come with an oven at the bottom and a toaster on top, which could easily help reduce the appliance’s footprint and will give you the best of both worlds.