Convection oven vs. toaster oven

Investing in an appliance designed to help you cook or heat up dishes empowers you to enjoy all sorts of delicious and easy meals from the comfort of your home. Convection ovens and toaster ovens are two popular options, and although they may seem similar, each of these appliances offers different capabilities.

Investing in an appliance designed to help you cook or heat up dishes empowers you to enjoy all sorts of delicious and easy meals from the comfort of your home. Convection ovens and toaster ovens are two popular options, and although they may seem similar, each of these appliances offers different capabilities.

Before you make a long-term commitment, get to know what each one can do for you. 

Read on to learn the key differences between convection ovens and toaster ovens so that you can choose the perfect appliance to be your trusty new cooking accomplice. 

What is a toaster oven?

As the name suggests, a toaster oven is a half-and-half marriage between a toaster and a  compact countertop oven. This convenient combination captures the functionality of both devices in a compact form. 

The toasting function of this tool can be used to achieve the perfect golden-brown crisp on delicious items like: 

● Bread

● Bagels 

● Pastries 

Even leftover pizza fits perfectly into a toaster oven. 

If you learn how to use a toaster oven properly, it can be an ideal option for individuals who are always on-the-go. In moments, you can pop your food in and enjoy a piping hot snack. 

A toaster oven also functions as a compact oven, often equipped with a wire tray and baking pan. This is ideal for: 

● Reheating leftovers while retaining the food’s crispiness and crunch 

● Melting butter or cheese on top of bread or sandwiches

● Warming pastries and reviving their flaky texture 

What is a convection oven?

A convection oven essentially works by blowing warm air. This method allows all the heat produced by the device to fill the oven cavity evenly. These kitchen appliances make for easy and efficient cooking or baking because they deliver a consistent temperature. 

Essentially, a special internal fan distributes the air inside the convection oven, a defining feature that allows these devices to: 

● Achieve energy efficiency 

● Cook food quickly

● Heat contents evenly 

Differences between toaster ovens and convection ovens 

Let’s take a look at five key areas where these two popular appliances differ so you can get a clear picture of how well each one could fit into your kitchen routine. 

1. Size 

Unlike toaster ovens, convection ovens are available in full-size models that resemble what most people think of when they picture a traditional oven. However, small countertop convection ovens are also available. 

Even so, toaster ovens will typically take up less space than most convection ovens. If you want to conserve counter space, a toaster oven may be the ideal choice.

2. Speed

Convection ovens have toaster ovens beat when it comes to speed. Convection technology can shorten cooking times by up to 25%, which can help you save time, and money, and stay eco-friendly.

3. Versatility 

Interestingly enough, a toaster oven can also be a convection oven. This is because some toaster ovens are crafted to include convection technology on the inside. 

So, if getting an all-in-one kitchen appliance that has a wide range of built-in features is important to you, a toaster oven with a convection fan might be the best choice. 

4. Capability 

Consider what you’ll be using your convection oven or toaster oven for. Some oven functions, like roasting, perform better with convection technology because they require even heat delivery. Other functions, like broiling, don't benefit from convection.

Because toaster ovens usually employ singular heating sources, like small coils, their heat distribution isn’t as consistent as convection ovens. So, if you’re looking for an appliance that will allow you to evenly roast potatoes or chicken, a convection oven might be the way to go. 

However, toaster ovens often work better at heating delicate foods that could be disrupted by the flowing air in a convection oven, such as custards or cupcakes. They’re also preferable for giving reheats, sandwiches, and breads a crispy, toasty char. 

5. Price

Toaster ovens are typically less expensive than convection ovens. If you’re sticking to a strict budget and simply need a tool for heating various foods, a toaster oven will serve you well. 

See related: Air Fryer vs. Toaster Oven

Who should use a toaster oven? 

If you have limited counter space and want an appliance that won’t take up too much room, a toaster oven is the perfect solution. These compact and affordable appliances are ideal for apartment living or smaller kitchens.

Toaster ovens also excel at meeting most basic culinary needs, with adequate settings for baking, broiling, and defrosting. For added versatility, today’s ovens also include air frying capabilities to create crispy and delicious air fried foods.

See related: How to Clean a Toaster Oven

Who should use a convection oven? 

For the home chef who cooks frequently and wants every dish to be perfected, a convection oven can be a smart sidekick. 

Cooking complicated dishes is easier when you have an appliance that works fast and ensures consistent heat delivery, all while staying energy efficient. Not to mention, if you frequently cook meals that require roasting or browning, or if you’re an avid baker, you may notice a difference in taste quality because of the even heat distribution of convection technology. 

Find your ideal countertop oven with Breville 

When comparing a convection oven vs. a toaster oven, there is no clear winner. Neither appliance is better than the other—they simply excel in different areas. Ultimately, the best choice for your cooking needs will depend on the size, speed, functionality, and price that’s right for you. 

Here at Breville, we pride ourselves on offering a vast array of state-of-the-art solutions for all your cooking needs. So, before you embark on your next culinary adventure, browse our selection of compact smart oven models to find your countertop companion. 



1. CNET. Appliance Science: The circulating physics of the convection oven.


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Convection oven vs. toaster oven