Choosing Between a Toaster and a Toaster Oven

With so many toasters on the market, you'll need some guidelines to follow when buying one.

Posted by Cris Carl | Jun 08, 2011
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thesaint/stock.xchngBuying a new toaster is deceptively simple -- it seems like a non-issue, right?  Who needs to read an entire article about how to buy a toaster?  We don't take you to be simpletoms.  It happens that the variety of functions and range of prices of toasters and toaster ovens is overhwelming, making buying this workshorse little kitchen appliance a bigger job than it used to be.  And while you might not use your vacuum cleaner or stand mixer every day, the toaster is an appliance that can make or break your morning routine. Also, it's flammable, so choose carefully. Here are a few things to consider:


Toasters will usually be less expensive than toaster ovens. Toasters can run from $10 to around $200. The higher-end models simply add a few more bells and whistles, such as sandwich cages or defrost settings.

Toaster ovens, some of which cook by convection (meaning there is a small fan in the back of the oven that allows food to be cooked more quickly and evenly) can cost from $20 to over $11,000. The higher-end models often run on gas, usually have a rotisserie, and should be also be able to tuck you into bed at night.


A toaster takes up less space and can be more decorative. Toasters come in a wide variety of styles and colors, as well as chrome and stainless steel. Plus, if you have some type of theme in your kitchen, you can find or easily make a matching cover for the toaster.

You will need to consider how much space you have for the placement of the toaster or toaster oven. One advantage to a toaster oven is that it can be mounted underneath a cabinet, freeing up counter space. If you choose a mounted toaster oven, please be sure it was constructed for that type of use.


The toaster oven obviously has far more capabilities than a toaster. Some toaster ovens, particularly the convection toaster ovens, compete more accurately with conventional ovens. If you live in a small space, it might make more sense to have an appliance that will toast your bread, as well as cook your chicken and heat up your frozen pizza. Toaster ovens, if used as your primary appliance for baking, will save you a considerable amount over time in energy and energy expense.


If you plan on buying a toaster oven, avoid the cheapest models. While technology and manufacturing standards have grown over the years, I don’t know a single person (myself included) who has not had a cheap toaster oven catch on fire.  You can get a very good product for under $100. Keep in mind both toasters and toaster ovens have high temperature heating elements. If you have young children in the house, keep the toaster or toaster oven unplugged when not in use.  Most toaster ovens come with a timer, but don’t necessarily turn themselves off. Look for models that have a self-eject baking rack or automatic shut-off.

Cris Carl is a Hometalk - - writer.  Read more articles like this one - - or get help with your home projects on


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