Convection Microwave VS Toaster Oven; Which Should You Buy?

Convection microwave and toaster oven are essential appliances in a modern kitchen, so you shouldn’t have to choose between the two. However, a toaster oven would be a better option for smaller kitchen spaces and usually costs less, but a convection microwave is more versatile and cooks faster.

Convection microwaves and oven toasters have become a staple in most kitchens. They make cooking easy and faster. And if you’re a busy person that barely has time to make fresh food, these are like life savers. You could easily heat your frozen food in an oven while you shower and prepare for work.

However, It is easy to get caught in the dilemma of whether you should buy a microwave or a toaster oven. Both appliances do similar things, but they also differ in many ways. So before we go into the comparison between the two, let’s understand what each one does.

How A Convection Microwave Works

Convection microwaves work almost the same way as regular microwave ovens. However, one major difference is that convection microwaves contain an extra heating element and a fan that circulates air over the food items placed inside it.

convection microwave on table

As a result, convection microwaves cook food more evenly and more quickly. They are particularly useful for cooking items that require a lot of moisture, such as casseroles. They are also great for reheating the food items you would typically place inside a conventional microwave.

How A Toaster Oven Works

A toaster oven is a smaller appliance with a removable rack and baking pan used to cook food. It is not only convenient but also versatile. So, it can be used to toast bread and bagels, bake and broil, heat leftovers, and warm foods. 

toaster oven on wooden table

However, It differs from a regular microwave oven because it doesn’t use microwave UV light radiation for cooking your food. Instead, a toaster oven uses infrared waves to heat your food. This means that it cooks food at a lower temperature compared to a regular microwave oven. But this also makes it perfect for reheating food. 

What Are The Differences Between A Convection Microwave And A Toaster Oven?

Below are a few distinct differences between convection ovens and toaster ovens.

Heat Source

Although both appliances use electromagnetic radiation to heat food. The convection microwave uses a non-ionizing wave, while the toaster oven gets its heat from infrared rays. Nothing to bother you here, except that the heat sources explain why the microwave cooks faster than the toaster oven. But, the toaster oven can crisp up food more than the microwave. 

Heat Distribution

The convection microwave has a fan that evenly distributes heat. While a toaster oven radiates heat from the top and bottom. Quite similar to traditional ovens.

Cooking Time 

Convection microwaves have meals ready faster than toaster ovens. Although the type of food will affect the speed. For example, large cuts of meat take longer to cook than vegetables.

image of a clock


While both appliances are great for cooking various food items, certain foods are more suited for one than the other. For example, baking small cakes, muffins, and brownies is better using a convection microwave.


A toaster oven is a more budget-friendly option than a convection microwave. You can expect to pay around $80 to $150 for a toaster oven, whereas a convection microwave may set you back as much as $300.

Why Choose a Convection Microwave?

If you’re finding it difficult to decide whether to buy a convection microwave or an alternate appliance, here are the many benefits of choosing a convection microwave.

choosing a convection microwave

Multifunctional And Versatile

A convection microwave combines the functions of a standard microwave oven and a convection oven. However, It has a fan that circulates hot air, making them more efficient than traditional ovens.

You can bake your favorite cookies, grill your meat to crunchiness, broil foods, air dry your chips easily and just heat your meals with a convection microwave. No matter how easy or complex the meal is, a convection microwave will do the job and give you the best result. 

Occupies Little Space

You might be surprised to realize how little space a convection microwave takes up, especially considering everything it can do. It’s almost like the perfect definition of small and efficient. Most convection microwaves can easily fit into your kitchen.


Cooking time for most dishes is reduced by 50% when using a convection microwave because of their multi-functionality. In addition, they allow you to cook many dishes simultaneously, making cooking a lot faster. 


The price of a Convection microwave is pretty reasonable considering its efficiency. They cost significantly less than standard ovens and consume less energy, making them attractive.

Safety Features

The auto shut-off function on the convection microwave is as safe as it gets, meaning you can cook your meals without having to be in the kitchen. This is a great feature for busy moms who have to multitask. Also, the risk of fire outbreaks is low since the appliance is automatically turned off at extremely high temperatures.

Your Meal Retains Its Flavor 

The circulating hot air in the convection microwave cooks your food evenly, so you can expect great taste and flavor in every bite.

Why Choose A Toaster Oven?

It’s easy to decide to get a convection microwave after everything that’s been said about them. But don’t forget toaster ovens also have their unique functions. They’re especially great if you’re particular about how your food is cooked.

toaster oven outside

Here are the amazing benefits of using a toaster oven:

Save Up On Space

Many sizes and designs of toaster ovens are available to fit your kitchen space. These ovens are also self-sufficient, meaning you won’t need any other appliance to compete with your oven since it can perform most of the cooking functions you’ll need.

Toaster Ovens Are Easy to Use

It’s frustrating when you have a great device that you can’t use because it’s too complex. But toaster ovens are very easy to use. The instructions for maintenance and operation are also simple and easy to understand.

Easy Maintenance

If you especially hate kitchen chores and cleaning, you will love toaster ovens. The best toaster models available in the market are easy to clean and maintain. Simply wiping them with a damp cloth can do the magic after every use. 

However, remember that regular cleaning after use makes the thorough monthly cleaning easier. You can’t permit buildup and expect a walk-in-the-park cleaning experience. 

It Prevents Kitchen Heat

Toaster ovens are an excellent choice for people looking to cut down on the amount of heat conducted in their kitchen. Regular microwave ovens can get quite hot, especially in the tropics, but toaster ovens are a much cooler option.

Heats Faster and Saves Energy

Although some users might say that the convection microwave heats food quicker and is more energy-efficient than a toaster oven, I’ve found that the toaster oven is just as fast, especially when compared to a regular microwave.

Because of its size, it circulates heat fast enough to toast bread slices and heat leftovers as quickly as possible. This also helps you save more money on energy. 

What Foods Can A Convection Microwave and A Toaster Oven Cook? 

A convection microwave is a versatile cooking appliance that can cook all kinds of food. However, it is particularly well-suited for cooking the foods below:

  • Roast full chicken.
  • Bake angel food cake and cookies for dessert.
  • Crisp and brown pizza.
  • The automatic cooking mode is perfect for cooking a beef roast.
  • Cook casseroles.
  • Granola and nuts. 
  • Bake vegetables like green peas and potatoes. 

Toaster ovens also aren’t just good for toasting bread. They can also be used for cooking a variety of meals. 

Some common toaster oven recipes include: 

  • Roast chicken breast and wings.
  • Fish fillets, Big-Batch Meatballs, and Turkey Chili.
  • Green vegetables, sausages, and peppers.
  • Cornbread and Banana bread.
  • Almond nuts.
  • Fruit crumbles.
  • Quesadillas.
  • Muffins, faux apple pie, and cookies.

Maintenance And Care Instructions

man cleaning microwave

Cleaning A Convection Microwave/Toaster oven

  • Ensure that the oven is turned off and unplugged before you start cleaning. 
  • Take out the contents of the microwave.
  • Get a bowl of warm water containing dish soap.
  • Then, immerse a clean cloth in the water for about 10 seconds. 
  • Wipe the insides of the convection microwave gently with the soaked cloth. 
  • You can use a sponge to clean up tougher stains and dry them with a paper towel.
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners. 


If the oven suddenly shuts off, it could be due to clogged air vents by grease splatters. Do the following:

  • Unplug the convection microwave from the power source. 
  • Then, use a toothpick to unclog the vents. 
  • Finally, turn on the oven and see if it works. If it doesn’t, you should contact a professional for help.

FAQs On Convection Microwave VS Toaster Oven 

What Should I Not Put In A Convection Microwave? 

Many microwaves come with user manuals and instructions so you can find out what isn’t permitted. But in general, you shouldn’t put materials such as paper, Tupperware, napkins, and glassware in your convection microwave. 

Which is Safer Between a Convection Microwave and Toaster Oven

Both convection microwaves and toaster ovens are considered safe to use, but you should be careful when operating them. You should not operate a convection microwave next to a stove and never place metals or bare hands near the heating elements of a toaster oven to avoid electric shock.

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