questionstoaster or toaster oven?

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Toaster oven, for sure. Even as I type this I am using mine to bake some cornbread. I rarely use my big oven unless I am cooking a ham or turkey or doing massive baking. It uses a lot more electricity and heats up the kitchen. The toaster oven handles most small baking needs with much less power and barely warms the area around it.

If you have limited counter space, do what we did. You can find toaster ovens that mount under a cabinet, leaving the space below free!

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If you mainly intend to make toast/pop tarts/etc., a regular toaster. The heating element will be closer to the food, making it more faster/more efficient.

If you intend to do more than that, including light baking, then toaster oven. I opted for one big enough to bake 12" pizzas.

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Toaster oven. I'm something of a fanatic about keeping the kitchen clean of food droppings, so toasters have always been a problem for me. Even one with a slide-out tray to catch crumbs drove me crazy, because stuff got into places almost impossible to clean. I finally tossed the toaster for a compact oven. It is so much more versatile than the toaster and actually takes up only an inch more counter space than the old toaster. It also feeds my clean fetish, because all of the trays, racks, etc. pull out and are a snap to clean.

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For versatility alone, the toaster oven wins hands down. You could warm up leftover pizza for breakfast in your toaster :-)

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Toaster oven for me as we'll. Ever tried to make a pizza in a toaster? That's a mistake you only make once...

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@okham: Wait.. you mean that's not how i'm supposed to heat up my french bread pizza..?

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I have not but this makes me wonder, has anyone every turned the toaster on it's side?

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@caffeine_dude: Never tried it. If you do, I hope you are fast and agile, and wearing potholders, otherwise when the toaster ejects your pizza slice with the toasty cheese ...

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Here's my answer, These Black and Decker Toaster Ovens that were a great deal the other day, well....Thanks to Amazon they bought a profanity load of these and put them on there at half of the lowest price that was going, they cut all there FBA Sellers heads off, only to watch them bleed run around until lifelessly dropping dead!, then they spit down their Freakin necks Thanks Again Big "A"

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@narfcake: I totally agree. For me, a toaster oven is a must for the versatility. But if the main use is going to be actual toast, then a true toaster would be what I would recommend. When I had a little more space in my kitchen, I had both easily accessible and always used the toaster for toast etc. But to pick one - has to be the toaster oven. Heating up pizza, more unusual toast-type things (larger bread, etc), basic oven cooking it is hands down the best appliance I have.

Several of our local restaurants give us left-overs in metal containers - they heat up so much better in the toaster oven than in the microwave. EDIT - meaning they taste better that way. I'm not that dumb or lazy. I put it on a plate in the mircrowave :)

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Here is what I currently own and use, careful its hot on top...

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If all you want it for is making toast or bagels a toaster probably does a better job.

However, a toaster oven lets you do so much more with it, and you can easily keep an eye on what you are toasting so it doesn't burn.

So my vote is for toaster oven.

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So far, we just use our toaster for toast and bagels. However, there seem to be more and more moments that keep coming up where I am wishing I had a toaster oven. In those moments, I usually am lazy and just pop whatever needs to be heated in the microwave, resulting in mushiness. So, all you toaster oven owners out there, what is the optimal size for a toaster oven? Keep in mind that counter space is limited.

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@darkinc: That looks nice. I can't quite tell from the pic, but Ian assuming there is a cage type thing that holds the toast in place when using the top slot...does that get in the way when using it's an oven, or is it designed differently?

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@oo7slice: Hmm. The optimal size is what fits your needs and into the space you have. There are a lot of compact ones, so you really need to measure the space.

I have a PS Compact that may hold the record for "small" at 7" X 7" X 13.5" (actual measurements - the ones in the write-up are for the box.) This will hold 2 slices of toast, a slice of pizza, or a pan full of french fries handily. I love mine, but it's probably too small for most people. It will only hold about 3 biscuits for baking, but does a good job.

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@oo7slice: It was easier to just take a few more pictures.

This is what it looks like inside, has different trays depending on what your cooking, current tray I have in is just for toast crumbs lol. The front has a switch for toaster or toaster oven, a dial for how dark you want your toast, and a dial for the toaster oven temp, ranges from 0F to 450F.

This is what the top slot looks like, just like a normal toaster, the initial cage is just around an inch high until you press the lever down.

When you use it for toast, the tray goes down further into the oven part so the toast is fully inside the oven, you can actually look into the oven part when using it for toast to see just how toasted your toast is getting (I love this because I am picky about my toast). When you switch it to oven a metal covering slides over the top opening to prevent heat from escaping.

I think I paid $30 for it or so. Works for me.

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Mostly toaster pastries and frozen waffles/pancakes here, so I vote toaster.

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@classicbiz: I gotta get some of whatever you are on, dude.

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@darkinc: Thanks..that's helpful. Yours seems like a pretty versatile model, I'll have to check into it.

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@oo7slice: No problem, it is not very big but for a single male works out pretty good imo.

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For toast, bagels and waffles a toaster is definitely better, but I wouldn't be without my toaster oven for pizzas, fries, fish, even though it takes up a lot of my limited space. I use it now almost to the exclusion of the regular oven, then my toaster oven is fairly big and can do cakes and muffins as well as 12" pizzas. (it's a Black and Decker convection model that I got for I think $20 after rebate)