Are you trying to decide between buying a toaster and a toaster oven? Not sure what you need? Here are a few key features and differences to help you sort it out. Toasters have slotted compartments designed to hold slices of bread or bagels and brown the bread. That is about all they do. So if all you want to do is make delicious toast you may just want a toaster. Toasters are generally less expense than toaster ovens but you can find some high-end toasters with computer microchips in them that cost more than a mid-range toaster oven. How much you spend on a toaster depends on how much money you have and how much you like toast. Toasters tend to have a smaller footprint and take up less counter space. The thing about toasters is that they have one job and they generally do it really well. Toasters make toast.
Toaster ovens, on the other hand, offer a wide range of functionality. You can make toast and do many other fun things with food. Toaster ovens will not make toast as quickly as a toaster, and some people say they do not really make toast as well as a toaster. It all comes down to what you want to do. What toaster ovens will do is allow you to toast, brown, bake and broil. You can make a pizza, reheat food, bake a potato and even broil a steak. The cooking options available depend on the model. Toaster ovens have a clear glass front door that allows you to monitor the toasting and browning of your goodies. Another advantage of a toaster oven is that some ovens can toast up to six slices of bread at the same time. Toasters generally have two or four slots.
If you decide a toaster over is right for you then it is time to take the next step. Do some research to figure out what features are important to you. Consider both interior and exterior size. Are the controls easy to use? Does the model have a non-stick interior that is easy to clean? Is it easy to access and clean the crumb tray? Is there an automatic shut-off after 30 or 60 minutes? The automatic shut-off is a handy safety feature. Automatic shut-off can prevent a fire starting if you get distracted and forget about the food cooking in the oven. If you plan to cook for more than 30 minutes look for the 60 minute shut off so you are not resetting your timer half way through cooking. Good luck with your search and happy toasting!