Do Toaster Ovens Use Radiation? (And, Are They Safe?)

Toaster ovens heat food using electromagnetic radiation waves. However, unlike UV light rays, these radiations are safe and pose no health risks, making the toaster oven ideal for cooking. 

It’s always better to be safe than sorry; that’s why I prioritize safety when choosing any kitchen appliance. It’s not enough to have convenient and fancy cookware; you also want to know that it’s safe to use in your kitchen and that the food it produces is healthy.

So, before I got my toaster oven a few months ago, I read several reviews and realized one of the main worries of many consumers is the health and safety of this appliance. Everyone wants to know if the toaster coils don’t emit hazardous substances through radiation.

So, I did some further study and spoke with a few manufacturers on how the oven toaster heating system works. I found some interesting facts that every user should know, especially if you’re a first-time user. 

In this article, I’ll explain how toaster ovens can heat your food and tell you exactly what you can do to protect yourself from the dangers of radiation.

So, let’s dive in!

do toaster ovens use radiation

Do Toaster Ovens Cook Food Using Radiation?

Yes, of course! Toaster ovens, like microwaves, use electromagnetic radiation to heat and dry food to generate crispy toast on bread, sandwiches, and pizza. However, unlike microwaves that use non-ionizing radiation, toasters use infrared waves.

The infrared radiation is produced by the electric current from the wall socket, which travels through the coils of the oven toaster and causes the water in the food to vibrate and heat up. Because this radiation is in small amounts, it is not powerful enough to cause harm, making a toaster oven safe for cooking.

Is Toaster Oven Radiation Cancerous?

Users are often concerned about the radiation produced by the toaster oven and often ask whether it is cancerous. And my response is No! 

First, there have been no studies to confirm that the radiation from an oven toaster is harmful. Second, compared to UV light radiation, the infrared wave produced by the toaster is substantially smaller and incapable of inflicting any harm. As a result, the radiation from a toaster oven is not harmful to your skin and will not cause cancer

However, since radiation is only harmful if one is overexposed to it, I recommend that you take the precautions below while using your toaster oven. 

making toast in toaster oven
  • Always close the toaster oven when heating food in it. It is also safer to step back from the toaster when toasting your bread or reheating your food. 
  • Before taking out your food, turn off the toaster and microwave.
  • If you are concerned about the health consequences of your toaster oven model, you should read the user handbook and customer reviews online.

Toaster Oven VS Microwave, Which Is Healthier?

Both the microwave and toaster oven are healthy cooking appliances. And as I previously stated, the electromagnetic radiation produced by these machines is too small to cause any harm unless you are constantly exposed to it.

So, are there any differences in these appliances?

Yes! And I’ll mention a few.

Heat Source

The primary difference between the two appliances is how they create heat. The microwave uses non-ionizing radiation, whereas the toaster oven uses infrared waves. Infrared radiation heats the food directly and can provide a crispy effect. On the other hand, microwave radiation can efficiently heat food but may not make your food crispy.

Cooking Time

A microwave generates more heat and cooks food quicker than a toaster oven.

cooking time of toaster oven

Energy Consumption

A microwave requires around 750 to 1100 watts of energy, but a toaster oven uses approximately 1200 to 1700 watts. This suggests that the microwave is more energy-efficient than the toaster oven.

Price and size

A standard toaster oven, depending on size, might cost less than $100. But a microwave costs from $100 to $300, depending on its size and power. Also, microwaves are usually bigger than toaster ovens and take up more kitchen space.

expensive toaster oven next to grill

So, Which Of The Appliances Should You Have In Your Kitchen?

Your decision should mainly be influenced by what you intend to prepare and the number of users. For example, a microwave is preferable for a big household since it can hold more food at once.

Otherwise, If you can afford it and have enough room in your kitchen, I recommend getting both appliances. They are both FDA-approved and simplify cooking, and are easy to clean, so you’ll find them helpful in different ways.

Common Toaster Oven Hazards

Like other electrical appliances, the toaster oven requires using it with care and attention while following the manufacturer’s recommendations. So, let’s look at some of the safety concerns.

extinguishing a toaster oven

Toaster Ovens May Cause Burns To Your Hands And Meals

When in use, the toaster oven may become quite hot. Not just on the inside but also on the outside. As a result, touching it or getting too close might burn your hand or flesh. And if you leave the toaster oven on for longer than usual, it might burn your food.

Electric Shock

The toaster oven gets electric current through its metal coils. So, sticking metal objects in it and touching the appliance with a wet hand can result in electric shock. You should always turn your toaster off and unplug it from the outlet before removing your food or reaching inside to clean it.

man cleaning toaster oven

Food Leftovers Can Cause Smoke And Fires

Leaving food particles in your toaster puts it in danger of catching fire. When the toaster becomes too hot, food residue on the heating element might start smoking and catch fire.

Overheating Your Appliance Can Result In An Explosion

The use of high heat for a long time can cause a build-up of pressure, causing the oven to explode after a while. Keep an eye on your oven at all times to avoid this hazard.

Tips for Using a Toaster Oven Safely

fixing a toaster oven

The following maintenance instructions will help you decrease the possibility of a potential fire hazard on your toaster oven:

  • Clean your toaster oven regularly to prevent food crumbs from causing a fire.
  • Keep a safe distance from the oven when it is cooking your meal. 
  • Place your toaster oven only in an open, well-ventilated space, such as the kitchen countertop.
  • To avoid your circuit breaker tripping or the device exploding, don’t overload your circuit when using a toaster oven. The oven consumes enough power and may not accommodate other appliances on the same circuit.
  • Unplug your toaster oven or switch off the circuit breaker if it begins to smoke or explodes.
  • If your circuit breaker is frequently tripping, turn it off and contact an electrician immediately. 

FAQs On Do Toaster Ovens Use Radiation

What Food Can I Cook In My Toaster Oven?

You can prepare almost any food in your toaster oven. It’s an advanced version of the conventional toaster meant for cooking bread; you can bake, broil, and toast in the oven. 

What Can Cause My Toaster Oven To Stop Heating?

If your oven toaster is no longer heating, it is most likely because the heating elements are damaged. However, the thermostat can also be the source of the problem. So, it’s important to call an electrician to inspect your appliance.

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