Convection vs. Toaster Oven: Which is Good for Baking?
Baking has to be one of the most fun, interesting and creative hobbies you can ever have! Cakes, cookies, bread, pies or savory items - there’s so many delicious recipes that you can try, and your family and friends are certainly going to love you more for it!
It doesn’t take much to start baking, but to be an expert, you’ll need determination and years and years of practice.
Of course, you’ll also need the right tools and accessories for baking to do it perfectly, which includes the right pans and molds, the right ingredients, spoons and ladles, and most importantly, the right oven. The right baking oven, a good one from a reputed brand, can make a world of difference in your baking.
The best oven for this job is certainly, a baking oven. Baking ovens are available in a variety of sizes and capacity, at different prices.
However, if you don’t have a baking oven or the budget for one, you can also use a convection oven or a toaster oven for baking. These are two different types of ovens that are relatively small and inexpensive, and can often be used instead of a baking oven.
But first, you need to know what a baking oven is.
What is a Convection Oven?
Sometimes, a regular oven comes with a convection setting, but you can also buy a separate convection oven for your baking needs. This is a special type of oven or oven setting where food is cooked faster than a regular oven, and more evenly.
A convection oven comes with an exhaust fan and a built-in venting system inside. The hot air produced inside the oven is spread around with the help of the exhaust fan, which helps the food to cook more evenly, in every side. Besides, the advanced venting system in the oven also chases the remaining hot air out the vent, which minimizes the chances of burning or over-cooking.
Convection ovens are mostly used for cooking and roasting meat and vegetables. The hot air of a convection oven creates a dry environment inside the oven, which browns meat and vegetable quickly on the outside, while the insides are still tender and moist. It doesn’t dry meat and steak the way a regular oven can, and also takes less time to do it.
What is a toaster oven?
A toaster oven, on the other hand, is a smaller version of a regular oven, but one that uses less energy and can cook anything faster. They are perfect for a small batch of cookies, a single bread, small cakes, cupcakes, muffins or personal pizzas and pies. A toaster oven can bake anything a regular oven does, but in a smaller version.
They are also great for cooking frozen food, cooking meat and vegetables, baking potatoes, reheating your leftover food and making crunchy snacks.
Toaster ovens aren’t that different from convection ovens, except that they are smaller and faster. They are also perfect if you are baking for yourself, in a small amount, or need something baked in a hurry. For larger batches and complicated recipes, you’ll need the services of a convection oven.
Convection vs. Toaster Oven: Which is Good for Baking?
You can use both convection ovens or toaster ovens for baking, but there are some subtle differences between them. Let’s go over their differences first.
A toaster oven and a convection oven costs almost the same. If there is a difference in prices between them, it is almost negligible, unless you are choosing between a reputed brand and a common model.
A specialty of toaster ovens are that they are very small, just big enough for one person. Convection ovens are slightly bigger, made for a larger batch of food. If you have a small kitchen and need something for regular use, your best option would be a toaster oven; if you have more space, a convection oven.
3. Cooking Temperature
There are significant differences between a toaster oven and a convection oven if you consider cooking temperature. A toaster oven heats faster and your food is ready in a matter of minutes because of the small space inside the oven. It uses the same temperature you would need in a larger, regular oven, but will finish cooking much, much faster.
Convection ovens, on the other hand, need the temperature to be 25-degrees less than what the recipe needs for a regular oven. This is because the same hot air will be circulating inside your convection oven cooking your food, and a higher temperature will burn your food before cooking it properly.
Besides, the time to cook your food properly would also have to be cut down by ¼ of the original time, as it will take a convection oven less time to cook.
4. Electricity Consumption
Toaster ovens take a little longer than convection ovens to cook food, but it’s not a significant difference in electricity consumption. With a convection oven, the same hot air circulates inside the machine to cook your food, which takes less electricity.
Both a toaster oven and a convection oven can be used for all your baking needs, for all kinds of food. Whether you are making cookies or cupcakes, muffins or pies, cooking meat or savory items, you can choose between a toaster oven or a convection oven for all purposes.
However, it all comes down to the types of recipes and amount of food you want to bake and cook with these ovens. Toaster ovens are small and they can be very fast in baking and cooking a small amount of food, maximum for one or two people.
They are perfect for preparing food that doesn’t take long to cook, delicate items such as pies, bread or pasta. You can cook something for yourself and another person in a matter of minutes, with very little electricity consumption. You can also use it for reheating your leftover food, or for keeping your food warm for some time after preparation.
On the other hand, if you want to cook several batches of food together or make a large birthday cake for a loved one, or run a baking business from your home, you’ll need the help of a convection oven.
These ovens are big enough to make large batches of cookies, large cakes, family-size pizzas and pies, and much more with a convection oven. You can even make enough food to fulfil a large order in a convection oven, if you are running a business.
In conclusion, both toaster ovens and convection ovens can be used for baking purposes, but they differ slightly in the other aspects, i.e. size, capacity, time and electricity consumption.
These are the factors you need to decide while choosing between a toaster oven and a convection oven, since they are the main factors of choice.