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Survey: Toaster Oven or Microwave Oven? What is more important to you?

This topic has been touched upon before, but I think it deserves a deeper discussion.

Both a toaster oven and a microwave oven can be very useful.

Why is a toaster oven more useful? Well, it can create more traditional dishes and better tasting food than a microwave oven can. A microwave oven is just for food warming, not for cooking.

Why is a microwave oven more useful? A toaster oven is just a smaller version of a full size oven. Everything can be done in a toaster oven can be made better in a full size oven. A toaster oven brings nothing new. A microwave oven is unique and its functions cannot be recreated by any other appliances.

Based on your own experience, which is more valuable to your kitchen? In other words, if you are forced to lose one, which one you rather to keep? Please share your reasons.

1) Keep the Toaster Oven
2) Don't know -- they are about the same importance
3) Keep the Microwave Oven

Many thanks.

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  1. 4. Microwave oven that actually is an oven as well. My microwave can do everything my toaster oven can do plus everything a convection oven can do plus everything a microwave can do.

    2 Replies
    1. re: TeRReT

      Our choice was either a full double oven or a "speed" oven convection/microwave. Opted for the latter, this thing is great. My daughters baked Thanksgiving pies in the speed oven while the big bird was in the full size oven, they turned out just the way they would in the regular oven. There is a crisping feature if you want a crispy crust on something. This is definately the best option #4.

      1. re: TeRReT

        What make/model do you have? More importantly (to me), what are the outside dimensions?

      2. My 2¢... Never seen a need for either one and have never owned one.

        1. What about the small ovens the Costco people use in the demos?
          May be they are convection?
          They do put a nice crust on the samples!

          1. Well, it depends. At home, I would keep the toaster oven. I don't care for the way the microwave cooks certain things (and used it rarely, more in an investigative way - "hmm, I wonderi if I can nuke these peanut butter bars..."). I got rid of the microwave almost two years ago, and I don't miss it at all.
            OTOH, at work I'd keep the microwave and ditch the toaster oven. The toaster oven NEVER gets used, by me or by the boys. (My job is providing a hot meal to 27 frat brothers every night.) But I prepare a great many things in short-term advance (steamed veg., rice, etc..) and for re-heating, the microwave cannot be beat.
            It also provides thought and fodder for the young gents. I have come into work and stumbled onto them doing bio. experiments, so it's definitely not a single-purpose product.

            1. 1). Keep the Toaster Oven

              Yes, it's a small version of a regular oven, but it's very good for preparing small quantities of food, or holding a protein to rest thereby freeing your oven(s) for the next thing. I would lug one around when doing my traveling pop-up show.

              If you eat toast, it will do that for you too.

              A straight-out microwave is just that.

              Combi-ovens as suggested by TeRReT are considerably more expensive.

              1 Reply
              1. re: wattacetti

                Where I live they are pretty inexpensive and regular ovens don't exist so it is my only option. They are a pretty standard household item here :P

              2. Microwave a hundred times more useful for me. I heat lunch or dinner from the freezer or fridge several times a week. Ours is mounted above the stove and not on the counter though, if truly pressed for space I would probably not have either.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Samalicious

                  Love the wall mount. My ex-husband did that w/ virtually all his appliance, and his kitchen looks so clean and streamlined. Counter space galore, too.

                  1. re: Samalicious

                    agreed -- my MW is the hood ventilation (powerful enough to suck a small child right off the floor when on high speed!) -- vented outside! -- with excellent surface lighting.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      <powerful enough to suck a small child right off the floor when on high speed!>

                      Ha ha h aha.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        the first time I tried it, I actually stepped backward!

                        Good news is that the lower speed is plenty for most uses -- but boy, it's nice to have that high velocity when I'm, um, testing the smoke alarm.

                        (roasted lamb in a shallow pan - nothing burned, but the spatter did smoke a bit!)

                  2. We use them for entirely different purposes at our house.

                    The microwave is for heating, reheating (everything except pizza -- that's the one tiny arc where the Venn diagram circles intersect) and thawing -- NEVER cooking.

                    The toaster oven is for toast, finishing demi-cuit baguettes, the odd small baked good, and reheating pizza.

                    If I could only have one, I'd take the microwave...but I don't in any way consider one to be a substitute for the other.

                    1. I have a combi oven, I use it daily.
                      Years ago I had a true combination counter top oven, which could microwave and bake at the same time. Now that was really practical, since using the combo setting I could bake something in half the time or brown something while microwaving. It unfortunately gave out after many years and I have been looking for another one with that combo feature. So far no success.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: RUK

                        WOW!!!! You have a real honest-to-god combi-oven? One of those puppies that can do anything ANY modern cooking technique can do, from sous vide to rotisserie roasting and then some! I would LOVE to try cooking with one, but the cheapest I've seen to date is about $17,000.00!!! And here I thought I have a well equipped kitchen. Can I cook at your house????? '-)

                      2. Both are a total waste of space and time.

                        Any true cook utilizes a charcoal heated oven at a sustained temp of 800 F.

                        Not that I live in that kitchen. :).

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                          Really Indianriverfl? Are you being sarcastic or just on another realm? How many people have a charcoal heated oven in their house?

                          I think you are joking -

                          1. re: Jeanne

                            IndianRiverFL lives in a sprawling mansion overlooking the scenic Banana River.

                            His life is nothing like yours or mine.

                            :)

                          1. re: sal_acid

                            Or even in a conventional oven. I would have to hate to choose between the two, but toast would be the deal breaker if I had to pick one.

                          2. In the microwave, I:
                            - boil water quickly for tea and coffee
                            - steam vegetables quickly
                            - halfway defrost foods quickly (finish defrosting them under cold running water).
                            - melt butter or chocolate
                            - reheat sauces and soups

                            Since I already have an oven and a toaster, I don't find any need to get a toaster oven

                            Keep the microwave.

                            1. I would keep the microwave. I've never owned a toaster oven, though there is one in my office and I really like it and use it a lot. But, I've never been able to justify taking up the counter space with a toaster oven at home when I have a toaster and an oven already. I don't really like having a microwave either, but it can be convenient for heating or melting something relatively quickly. We also tend to eat a ton of leftovers, and while not ideal, the microwave is quick for heating those suckers up.

                              1. 1) It's hard to microwave toast.

                                2 Replies
                                1. i think it depends on your circumstances. i live alone in a small apartment with a cramped kitchen. it's been 10 years since i had a microwave, and i don't miss it a bit. but, i'm not sure i could live without my toaster oven. mine is big enough to hold my 8-inch cast iron skillet or a loaf pan, and toast a pound of nuts without heating up the oven.

                                  but, i don't have kids, i don't use a lot of prepared foods, and yes, every now and then, it might be handy to defrost something. but not often enough to justify the space a microwave would take up.

                                  1. Thanks. A quick update. A small lead for the toaster oven

                                    subal = Toaster Oven
                                    mamachef = Toaster Oven
                                    wattacetti = Toaster Oven
                                    sal_acid = Toaster Oven
                                    firecooked = Toaster Oven
                                    emglow101 = Toaster Oven
                                    wonderwoman = Toaster Oven
                                    Master = Equal
                                    INDIANRIVERFL = Equal
                                    Samalicious = Microwave Oven
                                    sunshine842 = Microwave Oven
                                    cowboyardee = Microwave Oven
                                    pheenmachine = Microwave Oven

                                     
                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      RUK opted for Combo/having both features in one unit

                                    2. My daughter talked me into buying a toaster oven when we were in Costco a few years ago. I was skeptical but ended up using it a ton. When she moved out last year, I gave her the toaster oven with the intent on getting a new one when I moved in a few months.

                                      Well I missed the hell out of that thing. Even though I had very high end appliances, it was so nice not to have to heat up the whole large oven for 1 baked potato.

                                      Fast forward 6 months and I am currently in temporary housing waiting for my new house to be finished. My unit has what I am generously referring to as a kitchenette (microwave, fridge, 2 burner electric stove, no oven). I am missing the toaster oven or any oven for that matter and find very little use for the microwave. If I had to choose, it would be the toaster oven every time.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: baseballfan

                                        those of us who live in warm climates use toaster ovens for small items to keep from heating up the house!

                                        1. re: baseballfan

                                          I am doing the same - staying in an efficiency - because of a plumbing break and subsequent flooding of my downstairs when I was away for 9 days.

                                          Have been thinking about purchasing a toaster oven -

                                          1. re: Jeanne

                                            Oh poor you...what a drag about your house. I hope you have more room than I do. I have no space in this room especially now that I have gone Christmas shopping! If I had more space, I would have bought one by now. My new house should be ready in 3 weeks so I am going to tough it out but the 1st thing I am going to do when I get settled is make a roast turkey and all the trimmings.

                                            1. re: baseballfan

                                              Bummer! I mean it's fantastic that the new house is almost ready to move in, but rotten rotten rotten you couldn't have moved in in time for the holidays! The bright side is that there will be no pressure adapting to your new kitchen. Slow and easy is always a good thing. Anyway, HAPPY NEW HOUSE...!!!

                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                Thank you! I am excited and the new kitchen will seem like paradise after this studio.

                                        2. I love these pie-chart polls, so I'll play.
                                          We have both.
                                          Use the toaster oven daily and the microwave ~3-5 times per week, so I suppose I'd give a slight edge to the toaster oven.

                                          If I really had to make a decision I'd probably chose #2 and just have small/simple/cheap versions of both.

                                          1. Interesting question, ChemicalK. I have a small, very old microwave (the metal tag says 1993) that I'm about to replace only because I'm redoing the kitchen. I use the microwave very little (defrosting, heating a plate of leftovers, etc.), and I know I'd get more use out of a toaster oven, but as you said, "Everything can be done in a toaster oven can be made better in a full size oven." Maybe TeRReT has the right idea.

                                            11 Replies
                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                              <I have a small, very old microwave>
                                              My first microwave was....quite old. Maybe....1985? Anyhoo, it came along with the relationship I was in at the time, and that thing was HUGE. I mean HUGE. Perhaps two feet by two feet. and deep as could be. It had ALL the bells and whistles, and a dial that you had to use before you pushed the start button, but the outstanding feature was its' incredible hugeness. Reminds me of the evolution of the cell phone - from the size of a small tool box to the teensy-weensy compact-sized ones that they have now. :)
                                              I guess between '85 and '93, they figured out that nobody needed a microwave large enough to cook a large turkey in. :)

                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                I remember reading an article some years ago (so no, I don't remember where I read it) that said that while technology led to some of the downsizing, mostly it was that they finally realized that despite all those awful cookbooks that came packed in those giant boxes that were microwaves in the 80s,

                                                Nobody really *cooks* in the microwave.

                                                They figured out that if it was big enough to hold a coffee cup, a bag of popcorn or a plate being reheated, it was probably big enough.

                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                  >>> despite all those awful cookbooks that came packed in those giant boxes that were microwaves in the 80s,

                                                  Nobody really *cooks* in the microwave.<<<

                                                  I chuckled when I read that. Sure enough, on a shelf in my basement, there sits a volume entitled "Microwave Cooking from Litton." (And I'm saving that -- WHY???)

                                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                                    Fell off my chair laughing when I read this, CindyJ. You are saving it for posterity. You are saving it for posterity. You are saving it on the discard shelf in the basement for the exact reason I have approximately 1,000 of those (Blender Cooking"..? "Learn to Cook Using Your Toaster"...? "The Fabulous Hot Pot..?") for the same reason that I do. You very well may NEED them someday.
                                                    Right?

                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                      You are very kind, Mamachef, but you give me too much credit. I think it's on that shelf because I've been too lazy to declutter down there. Parts of my basement could easily pass for a scene in "Hoarders."

                                                  2. re: mamachef

                                                    You're describing my very first microwave -- about the same vintage as yours. It took up approximately half of my kitchen counter space. Once I actually did cook a turkey in it. I think my regular oven had malfunctioned and the turkey had to be cooked. I remember basting it with some kind of Gravy Master and soy sauce concoction to give the appearance of a nicely-browned skin. I ended up giving that microwave away and reclaiming my kitchen.

                                                    My present "very old" microwave is far more compact -- maybe only 12" deep -- and sits on a shelf. I can't remember ever really cooking in it -- my loss, quite possibly.

                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                      I'm still using my late grandmother's microwave we gave her for Christmas in 1988. It's huge.

                                                      My mom is still using the microwave she bought in 1979. The lightbulb burnt out 15 years ago, so they thought it was on it's way out and bought a new one. Which has been sitting BRAND NEW in a box in their basement ever since.

                                                      They don't make things like they used to. . .

                                                  3. If I'm in the same place I am now, I'd keep the toaster oven. I use my microwave for storage (there's no good place to plug it in except with the fridge, on top of which it sits, and that doesn't work.) I'm not a big toast-eater, but I like having the option and I like not heating up the kitchen w/the regular oven. On the other hand, I fully appreciate the microwave's defrosting abilities and will happily use them at my mother's to thaw meat and butter etc.

                                                    1. #1 : Keep the Toaster Oven

                                                      I don't have a microwave oven and I don't want one.
                                                      I hate the way food tastes and the texture of food heated/cooked in a microwave. That's why I don't go to cheapo restaurants, because you can tell it was heated in a microwave.

                                                      1. Don't have a toaster oven, but have pondered getting one to have the different temped oven space. At much less than the kitchen reno we are dreaming about for 13 years from now (house paid off reward. . .) Concerns about limited space have us also considering a Big green egg for the second oven. We shall see.

                                                        I have my late grandmother's microwave which is almost 20 years old. I use it multiple times daily for quick reheats of leftovers to feed my toddler. I could do with out it, but I wouldn't want to. It's so handy for a quick warming of frozen veggies (throw frozen peas/beans in a bowl, nuke for 2-3 minutes, add a dusting of parm/seasoning, and Veggies side!) I would miss it if it went away.

                                                        1. Solid 3, Chem. Keep the nuker. It's really good for many things that take too long or are too much trouble on the stovetop or in the oven:

                                                          heating anything that comes from a can. Hello, soup.
                                                          steaming veggies
                                                          melting chocolate and butter
                                                          reheating leftovers

                                                          OTOH, my full size oven can do everything my Breville oven does, with little change in time/effort needed.

                                                          1. Thanks. A few more votes are in.

                                                            I tried my best to fit your answers into one of the three choices. If I misplaced your votes, please let me know of your preferred category: 1, 2, or 3. Many thanks.

                                                            subal = Toaster Oven
                                                            mamachef = Toaster Oven
                                                            wattacetti = Toaster Oven
                                                            sal_acid = Toaster Oven
                                                            firecooked = Toaster Oven
                                                            emglow101 = Toaster Oven
                                                            wonderwoman = Toaster Oven
                                                            baseballfan = Toaster Oven
                                                            Chocolatechipkt = Toaster Oven
                                                            laraffinee = Toaster Oven
                                                            Master = Equal
                                                            INDIANRIVERFL = Equal
                                                            padalfaster = Equal
                                                            Samalicious = Microwave Oven
                                                            sunshine842 = Microwave Oven
                                                            cowboyardee = Microwave Oven
                                                            pheenmachine = Microwave Oven
                                                            autumm = Microwave Oven
                                                            DuffyH = Microwave Oven

                                                             
                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                              Okay -- reading through the replies here I'm convinced that I should keep the microwave rather than give the space over to a toaster oven. The toaster oven is redundant, even if it is a bit more convenient than the regular oven, whereas the capabilities of the microwave are unique. If space were not an issue, I'd have both.

                                                            2. 1. I love my toaster oven! The only thing I use my microwave for is melting butter for my stovetop popped popcorn.

                                                              1. Option 2b, I suppose... to me, they're equally *un*important. having never set out to own either one.

                                                                I did live in an apartment with a built-in microwave for a couple of years, and I think I used it twice. Maybe I'd find a toaster oven more compelling? I have vaguely considered one a few times, but never seriously enough to want to sacrifice the bench space.

                                                                1. None or all of the above! I have a Samsung MW/convection oven.

                                                                  http://www.samsung.com/us/appliances/...

                                                                  It's huge and I can cook or MW almost anything in it. I rarely need a second oven but when I do I'm good to go. And I don't use it over the range (OTR) but rather on a shelving unit at the end of the kitchen. Can't recommend it highly enough.

                                                                  1. One vote for Option 2.

                                                                    I use the toaster oven almost every day for toast and melting cheese on sandwiches and tortillas, anything else that you want to be crispy.

                                                                    I use the MW frequently too for reheating more liquid/saucy type dishes. I have a specific type of MW made by Panasonic that has what they call inverter technology, which provides variable power to evenly reheat, and even defrosts things well. There is also a moisture sensor reheat feature which detects when your food is starting to steam and cuts down the power, to reheat without drying food out. Without these features, a basic MW would be a lot less useful to me.

                                                                    1. I use both all the time. My toaster oven is a Cuisinart convection oven and I use it for toast and for baking, and sometimes for reheating.

                                                                      I use my micro for softening butter, steaming veggies, reheating leftovers, soft boiled eggs, reheating or heating beverages.

                                                                      I suppose I'd let the Cuisinart go, because it is a duplicate of a sort to my large oven. But I'd have to find another way of making toast.

                                                                      31 Replies
                                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                                        This is a stupid question but I'll ask it anyway. How long does it take your toaster oven to make toast? I had a toaster oven for quite a while but actually never made toast in it if you can believe it.

                                                                        I recently moved and threw out my old toaster and gave the toaster oven to my daughter. I was planning on buying both a toaster and a toaster oven but now I wonder if I should skip the toaster. What do you think?

                                                                        1. re: baseballfan

                                                                          depends on how dark you like it, but 3-5 minutes.

                                                                          A toaster oven is nice, too, because you can do four pieces of toast at once.

                                                                          I've also been known to make side dishes (scalloped potatoes or au gratin) and small desserts (brownies and small cakes) in the toaster oven.

                                                                          I try not to own unitaskers unless that single task is a really important one.

                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                            Yeah I know what you mean. I got rid of a lot of unitaskers in this last move and I am really sick of "stuff" in general. I think I'll skip the toaster and go with the toaster oven. I used mine a lot when I had one and I think I will now since it's mostly just me and the hubby.

                                                                            1. re: baseballfan

                                                                              baseballfan,

                                                                              I use my Breville Smartoven a lot. Just tonight I used it to bake some stuffed shells, then garlic toast. Since it was 84º here today, it was nice not using the big oven.

                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                "it was 84º here today,"

                                                                                Where ARE you? 32 degrees right now in N. Cal

                                                                                I don't have a toaster oven, and don't think I've ever had one, but i am a little fed up with our toaster, so maybe I'll trade. I use the oven to broil a LOT, and would love an alternative. I was thinking of a salamander, but seriously?

                                                                                I have a nice microwave that is also a convection oven, but I also have two ovens that are also convection ovens, so it is VERY rare for me to use the microwave that way. I use the timer on the microwave several times a day, and other functions like reheating, defrosting, and melting, several times a week.

                                                                                1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                  Hi Shrinkrap,

                                                                                  I'm in Tampa, FL and feel your pain about the weather. I seriously despise cold. Ventura, CA was too cold for me. San Diego was borderline. Yes, I'm a wuss. But I'm a warm wuss.

                                                                                  I've had lust in my heart for a salamander a time or two. Perfect nachos. Twice-baked potatoes. So many hot, crispy reasons to want one. <sigh>

                                                                                  Seriously, today's toaster ovens can be leagues beyond the old ones. I've got the big Breville Smartoven and couldn't be happier with it. It's footprint is about the size of a mid-size countertop m/w, so it's not for a small apartment. But it will take a 13" round baking stone or a 13" pan. I do most of my broiling in it. It's so much faster to heat up than my big broiler.

                                                                                  1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                    East Bay area was butt-cold, too.

                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                      Yes it is. I spent 9 months in Vallejo once, and found the entire Bay area too cold.

                                                                                  2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                    84 sounds heavenly. It's 20 here in Reno. I did use mine to not heat up the kitchen when we we lived in SoCal. Do you like the Breville?

                                                                                    1. re: baseballfan

                                                                                      baseballfan,

                                                                                      I really do like my Breville. Practically speaking, the only difference between it and my full size oven is size. It will take a regular loaf pan, but only one or two. It will accommodate a ¼ sheet pan, but no larger.

                                                                                      I like to drink hot cocoa while decorating the tree, but it needs to be in the 60's or low 70's for that. ;)

                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                        Oh sure rub it in : ) I am researching for a new toaster oven. The last one was just the cheapest one they had at Costco bought on a whim. This time I can get something better and since I've decided against a toaster I want to be sure it is a good one. Thanks for the input. I put the Breville on my list.

                                                                                        1. re: baseballfan

                                                                                          baseballfan,

                                                                                          Check these recent threads on the merits of the various sizes of Breville ovens:

                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/889622

                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/915438

                                                                                          IIRC, a number of people have chimed in on some threads about their Cuisinart ovens, which are also much loved.

                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                            Cuisinart is much cheaper than Breville. I wonder if there is any real performance difference. :)

                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                              Chem,

                                                                                              Did you ever buy a toaster oven or are you using this survey to help with your decision?

                                                                                              I've never owned a Cuisinart, so can't speak about it, except to note that a lot of cooks speak highly of them. That's got to count for something.

                                                                                              FWIW, CI rated the Hamilton Beach Set and Forget a Best Buy, far less costly than the Breville or Cuisinart. CR also liked it, ranking it well above the Cuisinart. Both CI and CR liked the Breville best.

                                                                                              http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-...

                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                Duffy, I'd wondered the same re the rationale for this thread.

                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                  I have several (3-4) toaster ovens in the past, and I will get another sometime this Christmas. No, this survey will have no effect on my decision since I am never in doubt that I will get a toaster oven. This survey is similar to any other surveys I have conducted before, such as:

                                                                                                  "Pollster: Your favorite kitchen knife"

                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8097...

                                                                                                  or

                                                                                                  "Survey: Do we cook worse than the previous generations?"

                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8113...

                                                                                                  I certainly wasn't asking what kind of knife I should get or do I really cook better than the last generation? These surveys are really for the responders to express themselves, and for me to gauge what people think of themselves.

                                                                                                  If I ever in doubt of something, I always just ask, like this one:

                                                                                                  "Is a Petty Knife Uniquely Useful?"

                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/851929

                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                    Chem,

                                                                                                    I like your surveys, really I do. Honest! Nothing sinister, I was just wondering if you were mulling things over, weighing, etc... and thought that it might make an interesting topic, and perhaps help your thought processes, too. That's all. :)

                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                      I didn't think you have anything sinister at all. I know you. I think I am fairly sure that I will get a Breville oven, but I have not because I want to get it after I come back from Toronto, Canada.

                                                                                                      I think I injected myself in a conversation because I saw that baseballfan is thinking about getting a Breville toaster oven. I know I want to get a Breville, but to be honest, I could not objectively say that a Breville is much better than a Cuisinart, so I wanted to just throw that statement out there:

                                                                                                      "Cuisinart is much cheaper than Breville. I wonder if there is any real performance difference. :)"

                                                                                                      Maybe I was doing a bit of devil's advocate there.

                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                        Chem,

                                                                                                        Yeah, I took your musing about Breville v. Cuisinart at face value, just as intended. I've sometimes wondered the same thing, given the popularity of the Cuisinart. Still, I've never regretted the bucks spent on my Breville, considering all the things it does and does well. I'd buy it again tomorrow, and find myself looking for large pieces that fit it. Still need that cooling/baking rack.

                                                                                                        I looked back over the CI and CR reviews that were so down on the Cuisinart and discovered that they don't think it bakes very well. I didn't read deep, but if it's case of pale baking, that can be fixed. Uneven baking would be a different story. I think CR noted that it rocked at broiling.

                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                          < I took your musing about Breville v. Cuisinart at face value>

                                                                                                          I think that is a rather normal interpretation. I would almost certain do the same thing if I were in your shoes.

                                                                                                          The way I see it is that the Breville ovens are going to be very good. Cuisinart ovens are likely to be good, but may not be as good. This is how I feel, and I am willing to spend that money. However, I also hate to tell others to spend extra money on things which I am not sure. I suppose you can say that I am more careful with others' people money than mine. :P This is why I injected myself there seemingly out of the blue.

                                                                                                          You may have seen that when I recommend kitchen knives. I am fairly conservative in recommending high end kitchen knife to others. I almost always recommend Victorinox and Dexter Russell (~$35) first, and then maybe a Tojiro DP ($75) -- despite that I personally have been shopping at $175-300 for each of my last three knives. I just don't think everyone need a $200-300 knife.

                                                                                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                  I don't know, but my Cuisinart really has proved to be a good appliance. We chose our model over a cheaper one after examining both of them in BB& B. Both models in question were Cuisinarts.

                                                                                                  I am not sure how wonderful a countertop oven has to be, actually. But the Cuisinart is easy to clean, preheats fast, produces good baked goods, and makes good toast. The fast preheating is great for cooking in the summer.

                                                                                      2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                        >>> A toaster oven is nice, too, because you can do four pieces of toast at once. <<<

                                                                                        I have a 4-slice Proctor-Silex toaster that I got with Green Stamps (anyone remember those?) when I was married, 40+ years ago. It's been used several times a week for as long as I've had it. I keep waiting for it to break so I can replace it with one that will toast bagels. AHA!!! Maybe the choice isn't between the microwave and the toaster oven, but between the toaster and the toaster oven!

                                                                                        1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                          OMG. My Grandma Ida had that toaster!! I thought it was the greatest thing since....well, since sliced bread. :) And my darling, Grandma Mimi, has the Sunbeam model that lowers the bread by itself when you load it in. I've been looking for the same model on e-bay and at junque/antique shops and have had no success so far. Grandma is 96, and constantly asks me "what I want" (which is, for my Grandma to live forever, in good health, surrounded by her fambly) and when I told her I wanted that toaster, she thought I was joking! But I wasn't. I want that toaster to remind me of those lovely breakfast mornings we spent with her; not some expensive bracelet or ring that I'll never ever wear.

                                                                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                            CindyJ,

                                                                                            I have fond memories of stamp collecting. Living in SoCal, we had Green stamps and Blue Chip stamps. Mom collected both, until our local bowling alley started their Saturday night "Bowling for Blue Chips." That was the end of Green Stamps. Bro and I had the fun part, licking the stamps and putting them in the books.

                                                                                            And I absolutely believe that, as Loni Anderson said, "There are 2 kinds of people." Although she was talking about beach people and pool people (she's a pool person, duh), I do think it also applies to toaster people and toaster oven people. Most people are one or the other.

                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                              We had S&H Green Stamps and also Blue Stamps (don't recall which ones) and they were a BIG deal! I remember filling books for my mom, and then curling up with the stamp gift catalog when there were enough to redeem.

                                                                                        2. re: baseballfan

                                                                                          Sorry I didn't see your question till now. The answer is I've never timed it! But it seems comparable to a regular toaster, or perhaps a minute or two longer. It seems to take just about as long to do 4 slices as to do 2 slices, but you set the control to 4 slices.

                                                                                          I butter first and then toast. I prefer toast made this way to toaster toast.

                                                                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                            Good to know. I would not have thought to butter first. I make a lot of toast and it would be great to just have the one on the counter.

                                                                                        3. re: sueatmo

                                                                                          sue,

                                                                                          We used to do it under the broiler. Fast and easy, but it does need watching and there can a burning, er, learning curve. ;)

                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                            I've made cinnamon toast under various broilers. I would make four pieces now in the toaster oven, but if I wanted over four toasts, I'd use the broiler. The broiler in my former convection oven wasn't very good, but the broiler in my plain oven is fine.

                                                                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                              sue,

                                                                                              Ok, this is weird. Tonight while we were eating dinner at Casa Ramos, Dude mentioned (out of the blue and apropos of nothing I can think of) cinnamon toast.

                                                                                              I make it with vanilla sugar, as if ordinary table sugar doesn't make it yummy enough. But hey, if we can take yummy to the next level, why not? :)

                                                                                              Anyway, after that little discussion, it had to be sopapillas for dessert, oh yes.

                                                                                              You know, I would buy a braiser if it helped me make perfect Chile Colorado! I'm still on a Mexican food high. You won't tell anyone, will you?

                                                                                        4. A microwave. I don't own a toaster oven and I'm just fine with my full size oven for my baking and toasting needs.

                                                                                          39 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                            Funny, innit SaraAshley? There's a whole generation out there that's never going to know how versatile their "antique" stove actually is!! They'll use it as a planter instead, or in a performance art piece.
                                                                                            Actually it's a little sad.

                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                              Well lets hope not, lol. I never realized how many people owned and used toaster ovens until being on this forum. I grew up with a microwave, a toaster and a full size oven, and that's how it is in my house now. I do use the toaster oven at work sometimes, but that's really only because my work does not provide a full size oven (obviously).

                                                                                              1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                I laughed at the sentence, "I grew up with a ......etc., etc." WOW does that make me feel like an ancient crone. :) I grew up in a house that was beautifully equipped, right down to having two kitchens so Mom the Uncook could keep Kosher. Both kitchens were well-appointed, decorated, and modern as could be. One even had an indoor grill and vent, and I'm talking wood-burning. I only WISH I'd been more into cooking then, but it never once occurred to me to ask. But a microwave? NO WAY, Jose. No possible way. I'm sure my dad had heard of them, because he knew EVERYTHING, but I don't remember even hearing the concept or the word until I was out of college in 1980.
                                                                                                Wait, wait wait. All this memory retrieval just jogged me. I babysat, for the Okerstroms. They had great big bunches of money, and a very modern home, VERY. And that's where I saw my first microwave, and yes it was well before 1980. All I really remember was her telling me how very very modern it was, and that you could bake a potato in 5 minutes. I got hungry later in the evening and decided to bake one, so ai scrubbed it and pricked it and nuked it per directions, and this 'tater is still hard. Gave it five more; it was still hard. Five minutes later, it was rock-hard and black, and I ate something else, not microwaved.
                                                                                                :) I finally learned my way around a micro. years later; micro cooking was a short portion of one of my blocks in school. The only thing I've ever used one for (and you know I've had them in my home, from teeny to enormous) is to heat water, which I admit it does beautifully. Oh, and once I had a batch of peanut butter cookie dough, and I patted it into a 9x13 pan and nuked it, and they turned out beautifully.
                                                                                                I admit: if there's one around, I'll use it if I need to, but at home I don't, and I don't miss it.

                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                  I made something the other day that called for one tablespoon of butter. I could do that easily and in just that very small amount in the MW. Not so the cooktop. I have many, many examples like that. And I can reheat things without overcooking them.

                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                    Maybe you mean you can do it in a much shorter amount of time? I certainly wouldn't argue that. But for the actual effort put forth, it makes no difference whether I bend over to grab my butter-melting pot, or reach up to grab a glass ramekin or measuring cup. Yes, there is such a thing as a butter-melting pot: mine is made by Dru, in the mid fifties. Enamel over ironk, and one of the best things my sweet mom ever gave me, because it's convenient!
                                                                                                    Anyway, your example, a T. of butter, melts really fast whether in the micro or on the stovetop or in the toaster oven (in the appropriate container, of course..) My point is, your m/w may save you a few seconds here and there, but do you really notice them? Is it THAT much faster and more convenient? I certainly don't, especially in the morning when I'm moving slower anyway, and those few seconds don't matter because the coffee is just so damn good....
                                                                                                    ps Remember; in no way am I anti-microwave. I just said that, given the choice, I'd prefer to save my toaster oven.

                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                      I would choose the ramekin for the convenience of tossing it into my dishwasher, and the storage space it saves.

                                                                                                      But in terms of time and effort, I agree, there's no real difference.

                                                                                                  2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                    Mamachef, early microwave ovens were hardly related to today's puppies! I got my first microwave in the
                                                                                                    mid(?) 1970s. It would NOT cook carrots. I wanted to make a beef stew with carrots, potatoes, and onions in it. It was an Amana Radar Range. I don't recall whether the microwave recipes came with it or if I bought a microwave cookbook, but anyway, no matter how long I nuked the carrots, they were as hard as when I put them in. The next time I made stew, I did stove top. But I asked my "radar engineer" husband why the radar range wouldn't cook carrots. His answer, "Probably not a wide enough frequency band in the magnetron." ( a magnetron is a device that produces microwaves inside the oven that are the reason why a microwave will cook things)

                                                                                                    BINGO! Shortly after that, Raytheon (Amana's parent corporation) corrected the problem and the models newer than mine cooked carrots. Meanwhile, the damn contraptions cost about $500.00 back then, so I was stuck with mine until it broke!

                                                                                                    A housekeeper broke it. I showed her how to nuke potatoes while I went outside to grill some steaks. When I came back in the house, no potatoes cooked! Why? Because contrary to my directions, she did not believe it was possible to cook a potato that was not in a pan filled with water with a lid on, so she put the potatoes in one of my copper stock pots, put a lid on it, and had been nuking it the whole time I was outside. Well, the copper "bounced" the microwaves back into/onto the magnetron, and that burned out the magnetron, and my gorgeous all chrome microwave oven was dead, dead, dead....

                                                                                                    I suspect that's why your first effort with a baked potato didn't produce a baked potato. But maybe not... '-)

                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                      <so she put the potatoes in one of my copper stock pots, put a lid on it, and had been nuking it the whole time I was outside. Well, the copper "bounced" the microwaves back into/onto the magnetron, >

                                                                                                      Oh my god. Ha ha ha. This is so sad that it is funny.

                                                                                                      Today's microwave is also more robust too if you end up putting metal in the microwave. Still, it is not recommended.

                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                        It IS funny! And that housekeeper was funny too!

                                                                                                        My kids were late elementary school/junior high, I was working two jobs, my husband was working very loooooong hours and traveling a lot. I NEEDED someone who could take care of the house AND drive the kids to soccer practice/games and such in case I couldn't make it. It was really really really hard to find someone in El Paso, 1980, who understood the job at ANY pay level! So I listed the job with the Texas State Unemployment office. The guy I talked to advised me not to get my hopes up because they had mostly listings for professional level jobs such as engineers, accountants, and categories like that. I thanked him, and left.

                                                                                                        To my AMAZEMENT he called me the next day! I went in and interviewed her. Her name was Juliet, and she was from Iran (what kind of Iranian name is that??), and she did not have a car but she knew how to drive. So I hired her. We had a Honda Civic wagon (in those days it was about the size of a shoe box sitting on a roller skate) we kept for nannies to drive, so that was fine, she said her clothes hadn't arrived from Chicago yet, but she loooooved children, and would do a great job for me. So I hired her...

                                                                                                        She was TERRIBLE! She demanded that I buy her another car because she could not drive a stick shift. (Hold your breath, Juliet!) So it was stay-home time for the kids. Since the family loves Middle Eastern food, I asked if she cooked Iranian dishes.... Yes. With a FULLY equipped kitchen, she used my 14" "professional" cake pan to make something on the stove top and warped the hell out of the pan. But the food was good, so it wasn't all loss.

                                                                                                        And THEN she told me the reason she had "fled" to El Paso was because in Chicago, she had been living with her Chicago cop boyfriend for ten years, but for reasons not disclosed, he kicked her out, and that meant she HAD to leave town because she had over ONE HUNDRED traffic tickets on her record that no one pushed because of her relationship with her boyfriend, but in kicking her out he said she would soon be arrested and jailed because of the traffic tickets. Drive MY car? 12th of Never sounded like a good starting date to me!

                                                                                                        She lasted less than a week. The microwave oven fiasco was her last night with us. My husband said that as far as he was concerned, he would be delighted if I became a full time mom again and no more housekeeper nannies!!!

                                                                                                        So I gave her notice the next morning. She was furious and walked off the job, taking a bunch of my things, including clothes, with her. Then she called the police and tried to have me arrested for kicking her out. LOL! The police offered to make her pay for the microwave oven if I would just press charges.

                                                                                                        Have I ever mentioned I live a charmed life? But at least my daughter got four free lessons in Arabic out of it! That should be worth a microwave, right? LOL

                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                          This is bad. This can be made into a movie. It sounds so stressful to live through, but so funny to hear/watch.

                                                                                                          <And THEN she told me the reason she had "fled" to El Paso was because in Chicago, she had been living with her Chicago cop boyfriend for ten years, but for reasons not disclosed, he kicked her out, and that meant she HAD to leave town because she had over ONE HUNDRED traffic tickets on her record that no one pushed because of her relationship with her boyfriend, but in kicking her out he said she would soon be arrested and jailed because of the traffic tickets.>

                                                                                                          This part sounds particularly bad. What have you done? :) I guess at least she wasn't a serious criminal.

                                                                                                          <The police offered to make her pay for the microwave oven if I would just press charges. >

                                                                                                          I bet a microwave back then costs a lot.

                                                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                            Ooooooh Nooooooo....! I forgot to include the picture of what the RadarRange looked like! So here it is below. It weighed a ton. Well, ninety pounds anyway. I bought mine somewhere around 1973, as I recall. Maybe a year or so earlier. They ran about five hundred bucks then, so my daughter's Arabic lessons were a bit pricey!

                                                                                                            No. I didn't prosecute. And the kids who were in the AYSO soccer league are now aged 45 and 46!!!! See? It's your KIDS that make you old! I didn't prosecute because I had too much going on, BUT.... Sweet wickedness! I DID consider calling the Chicago Police to tell them where she was! But actually, when I thought about it, she was her own worst enemy and would eventually bring enough grief on herself without me pitching in.

                                                                                                            Other than not having a wide enough microwave frequency band to cook carrots, they were right handsome machines!

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                              That is one cool looking microwave. Thanks for sharing the photo.

                                                                                                        2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                          Mom had a RadarRange, bought in '71 or '72. IIRC, it was about 500 watts. Took forever to cook things. She used it to reheat coffee. Seriously, that's all she did with it. With later models she learned to do more.

                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                            of course, at 500 watts, reheating coffee was about all it *could* do....

                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                              My Radar Range (I don't really remember the year) "baked" a fairly large Russet potato in about 6 minutes, which is a tad faster than the 220v built-in Advantium Oven (microwave halogen combination) I have today.

                                                                                                      2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                        C'mon, mamachef, don't be so judge-y. Toaster ovens are practical, useful, and economical. They use less power than a full size oven and don't heat up the kitchen nearly as much. In summer, that removes some of the load on my a/c, which is no small thing here in Tampa, where summer power bills can get into the $300 range without half trying. Nothing sad about that.

                                                                                                        BTW - I turn 60 today, didn't get my first toaster oven until 1999, I'm not sure which generation you're talking about. I'm only sorry I waited so long to buy one.

                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                          Hi Duffy,
                                                                                                          Anyone here can tell you: I'm about the least judgemental person here at Chowhound.
                                                                                                          I don't believe I ever said a word about toaster ovens, because I use one at home, I use one at work, and if the convenience store near me had one, I'd use that too.
                                                                                                          My negativity was directed at microwave ovens. I thought that ws pretty clear, since no one else thought I was referring to microwaves.
                                                                                                          No biggy, but you might want to read more carefully.
                                                                                                          Happiest of Days, by the way. I hope it was wonderful, full of love, food and fambly. I am 51. My kids know from microwaves AND toaster ovens. They also know that if those things somehow broke, there's always the oven or stove. I'm talking about the kids coming up now, 4 and 5year-olds who are exposed to so much modern stuff (and the next 'generation, and the next...)and virtually none of the old standards. I have a vintage typewriter on a stand in my house, and a four-year-old that I am lucky enough to babysit saw it, and said in wonderment, "It's like your computer, only no TV!" (the monitor). I explained to him that if the power went out, I could still do my writing on the typewriter. He spent the day jabbing at the "J" key, since that's the first letter of his name. :)
                                                                                                          Anyway.

                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                            Pax, mamachef. I was responding to your earlier reply to SaraAshley. She had written about being just fine with a full size oven, not needing a toaster oven. You replied:

                                                                                                            "Funny, innit SaraAshley? There's a whole generation out there that's never going to know how versatile their "antique" stove actually is!! They'll use it as a planter instead, or in a performance art piece.
                                                                                                            Actually it's a little sad."

                                                                                                            I don't think I misunderstood, but okay. :)

                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                              Happy Birthday Duffy! I hope you're having a delicious day ;)

                                                                                                              IMHO I didn't find mamachef's remark to be judgmental. It sounded somewhat tongue-in-cheek to me and I think it was just general commentary about generational differences. But that's one of the funny things about communicating on the internet - we all interpret things differently, and we can never be sure we're reading the tone as it was intended. (For all I know I'm wrong about this one, but I know her well, and she really doesn't judge.)

                                                                                                              My $0.02 regarding the OT: I'm for the toaster oven all the way - I find it to be far more versatile and useful for my needs. These days my MW mostly just acts as a safe place to stash ripening produce where my curious kitties can't get to it!

                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                <These days my MW mostly just acts as a safe place to stash ripening produce where my curious kitties can't get to it!>

                                                                                                                Too funny! A major use of mine is storing things (cake, pie, leftover pizza, etc...) that we don't want the ants to get.

                                                                                                                Here in southern FL we've got "ghost ants" that are reeaally tiny. Seriously small. about ¼ the size of any normal ant. Anyway, they're everywhere, and impossible to get rid of. Luckily, in my kitchen they tend to show up in small pods of 2-3 at a time. We mash them dead. About the only place they haven't gotten into (yet) is the microwave. I've no idea why, as they have no difficulty coming up from below our newly installed tile, from outlets, sink drains, anywhere, in any room.

                                                                                                                Isn't it nice to find an off-label use for an item? I know a lady who stores snacks in her dishwasher. Really.

                                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                  Duffy, head out to your local hardware purveyor -- there's a sugar-based poison solution that's made just for ghost ants. It's a little-bitty bottle, just a couple of ounces, but it's all you'll need.

                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                    Thanks, sunshine! I'll pick up some today. :)

                                                                                                                  2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                    This year is the first year I remember ever seeing them, let alone knowing what they're called! Because I have such allergy issues with pesticides, when I see them I just grab my brulee torch and cook them! They burn quicker than my granite countertops or stainless steel trash can can possibly catch fire. They have a really nasty bite! When that happened I wondered if they were from an episode of "Honey. I shrunk the fire ants!"

                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                      Caroline,

                                                                                                                      We've had them in Tampa since I moved here 3 years ago, although I've never been bitten by one, not even once.

                                                                                                                      We're in far more danger of bites from little nasties outdoors, hence the giant aviary in our back yard. Even with that, some odd things get through. Our indoor cats love their outdoor playroom. Two of the four have become avid hunters. One brings back miniature frogs, the other, lizards. What a treat to find them in our house! :0

                                                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                        ghost ants don't bite -- they're a weird mottled grey-and-white, and they zip past so fast you sometimes wonder if your eyes are playing tricks on you.

                                                                                                                        It'd be all out war if I ever ended up with fire ants in the house. Them bastards are evil.

                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                          <ghost ants don't bite -- they're a weird mottled grey-and-white, and they zip past so fast you sometimes wonder if your eyes are playing tricks on you.>

                                                                                                                          That would explain why I've never been bitten.

                                                                                                                          And I agree, those little suckers can MOVE! Sometimes one will get on my laptop screen, resulting in the hilarious sight of me trying to smash the little Pacman ant as it zips about.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                            Then maybe these ARE "Honey, I shrunk the fire ants" critters? A week or so ago is the first time I've seen them, they're about a 1/32nd of an inch long, and they DO bite! Two of them "appeared" on my right forearm and before I could brush them off, I was bitten twice. The bites quickly turned into large very painful welts that I coated with Neosporin. My right hand became swollen, and that lasted a few hours. The bites settled down to a round red mark by morning that has faded gradually over the past week. The marks are almost gone now. I have no clue what kind of ants they are, but they're not welcome!

                                                                                                                            I've never had fire ants inside my house that I know of, but I have had them in my yard twice. One time they were near the front walk and a delivery guy spotted them, then asked permission to kill them. Be my guest!!! He had a large aerosol can of some sort of VERY effective spray. That was two years ago, and no return engagement!

                                                                                                                            Now, if I could just get rid of the wasps... Texas is such a fun place to live.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                              no-- ghost ants don't bite --don't know what you DO have, but if they bite, they're not ghost ants.

                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                Well, at least I do know one thing about them... They are NOT made of asbestos, and they DO succumb to a blow torch! Lucky me....?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                    Caro,

                                                                                                                                    You fired up a BLOWTORCH to kill tiny little ants? How many of them did you have, for crying out loud?

                                                                                                                                    This brings to mind the famous Sundance line - "Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?"

                                                                                                                          2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                            I learned the produce storage trick right here on Chowhound! In my last apartment it seemed like such a waste that I never used the fancy built-in KitchenAid MW, so I was happy to find a way to take advantage of the space (even if it wasn't as the manufacturer intended).

                                                                                                                            My current place came with a very old, very small countertop-style Magic Chef MW. It took me an hour to scrub down the interior which seemed to be coated with years' worth of splatters (gack). When I finally got it clean I tested it out a few times to see how well it performed, and I discovered that it's pretty useless as an appliance - limited power, precious little interior capacity, uneven heating, and a plate that won't rotate unless the plastic support bracket is in *just* the right position. So I moved it to the top of the refrigerator to free up the counter space, and like its predecessor it now serves as a storage unit for produce.

                                                                                                                            ~~~~~

                                                                                                                            I'm shuddering at the thought of your ant problem - I had a MASSIVE infestation when I lived right near the beach in San Diego. It was so bad that until the exterminators got it under control I had to sprinkle a border of Comet along the floors around the perimeter of the house to keep them from swarming in. Once they were gone, cleaning up the Comet was a separate nightmare.

                                                                                                                            ~~~~

                                                                                                                            My sister stores dishes in her dishwasher. It hasn't worked for years, so after she washes them in the sink she leaves them in the dishwasher to dry.

                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                              ghgourmet,

                                                                                                                              I love that you and your sister have found ways to repurpose unused appliances, especially since it doesn't alter them, so somewhere down the line, someone else may be able to use as intended. Everyone does well. FWIW, I long ago designated my dryer as an "Auxillary Clothing Storage Unit", which is to say, when I need something to wear, I often go get it from the dryer. ;)

                                                                                                                              Please, please, please don't feel badly about my ant problem. Ghost ants are nothing like Sandy Eggo ants. When we lived there, we'd vacuum them up by the thousands! No, these are teeny tiny little things, almost not really there at all, and I never see more than a few at a time. They will pop up anywhere, though, which means no trails to follow, no clues about where to plant killer things, just very little in the way of reliable relocation aids, by which I mean "How can I kill you if you won't show some consistency?"

                                                                                                                              We just mash them when we see them, maybe a dozen in a day. Per person.

                                                                                                                      2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                        I see kids all day long, and I always find it interesting that even the littlest ones, two and three years old, pick up my toy phone, that is the "old fashioned" kind with a cord that attaches the sort of bar bell to the square base? It is so weird that I even feel the need to describe it, because they invariably walk in, make a ringing noise, then pick it up and start talking as if it's all they know!

                                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                          Count your blessings, it's 16 here today. We look for things to bake in the large oven so we can huddle around it's warmth and watch "Smellavision." Happy Birthday!!!

                                                                                                                          1. re: Cam14

                                                                                                                            Cam14,

                                                                                                                            Thank you for your kind wishes. :)

                                                                                                                            84º again today, with dinner at my favorite Mexican place, so it was indeed a nearly perfect day.

                                                                                                                            I do feel your pain. I lived in the Great White North for 3 very cold years, not so long ago. 3 very cold, LONG years. :(

                                                                                                                    2. toaster oven is far more versatile and healthier. you can cook in several different styles with a toaster oven (anything you can do in a normal oven, size permitting) and it doesn't have the carcinogenic effects that microwaves imbue on foods. of course it isn't nearly as quick, but it can toast, roast, bake, broil, etc. as opposed to merely (albeit, quickly) turning food to hot mush with high powered radiation waves

                                                                                                                      1. Keep my microwave, but it also bakes and roasts.

                                                                                                                        Keep my wonderful 4 slice toaster that does bagels and English muffins perfectly, but it has to be at least 2 or 3 decades since I last owned an actual toaster oven. But I do have a nicely equipped kitchen. For me, toaster ovens take up a lot of real estate for something I very rarely would use.

                                                                                                                        1. I do not own or use a microwave

                                                                                                                          1. 2) Equal importance
                                                                                                                            I live alone so cook in small quantities. Both are good for different types of cooking.
                                                                                                                            Microwave: steaming vegetables & fish, melting butter and chocolate, boiling/heating small quantities of liquid, eggs, "frying" kropok & papadums
                                                                                                                            Toaster oven: baking, grilling and roasting, quick broiling

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: jadec

                                                                                                                              That's a very succinct rundown of each appliances strengths. Couldn't have said it better myself.

                                                                                                                              Hey Chem! Can I change my vote, please? Make it both. :)

                                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                Sure. I will try to remember (I am with my work computer and not home computer). If I forget, then just remind me.

                                                                                                                            2. I have both. Plus a regular toaster. If I had to give up one, it would be the toaster oven. We got it so we wouldn't have to heat up the regular oven all the time. I would hate to lose my MW for fast re-heating, melting butter, thawing stuff.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                                                                I love my Breville toaster. I use it every day. Need a microwave for the same reasons you listed. The toaster oven has been tossed out more than once but keeps showing up on the counter.

                                                                                                                              2. Another update. Although the toaster oven has a stronger following, it is not longer over 50%. In fact, the preference for a microwave oven to a toaster oven is 3:4 which is pretty close.

                                                                                                                                Please let me know if I assigned you to the wrong category. I have much fun reading these comments and tabulating a closely competing survey. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                subal = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                mamachef = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                wattacetti = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                sal_acid = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                firecooked = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                emglow101 = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                wonderwoman = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                baseballfan = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                Chocolatechipkt = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                laraffinee = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                Pwmfan = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                vonshu = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                Gastronomos = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                Master = Equal
                                                                                                                                INDIANRIVERFL = Equal
                                                                                                                                padalfaster = Equal
                                                                                                                                DuffyH = Equal
                                                                                                                                Daisy.G = Equal
                                                                                                                                pamf = Equal
                                                                                                                                jadec = Equal
                                                                                                                                Samalicious = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                sunshine842 = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                cowboyardee = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                pheenmachine = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                autumm = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                CindyJ = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                sueamto = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                SaraAshely = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                Caroline1 = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                Sooeygun = Microwave Oven

                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                1. They get equal billing at my house. One of the reasons for our toaster oven is that it uses a fraction of the power and gives off less heat than a full sized oven. So if something small needs heating like chicken strips or we want to save power we use the toaster oven for small things.

                                                                                                                                  Ours does a pretty decent job. I have baked brownies and other baked goods in ours but I bought a higher end model that had more power and features, I don't think my old toaster oven could have baked brownies.

                                                                                                                                  The microwave reheats coffee, heats up flax heating bags, cooks instant ramen and heats up leftovers or water so it gets lots of use.

                                                                                                                                  1. My concern with using a microwave has been and always will be how much damage does it do to your foods with regard to killing off any good nutrition such as protein & vitamins, because of the extremely high & fast heat.

                                                                                                                                    I have both items in my kitchen and although use both equally I do try to avoid the microwave on the healthy foods I cook up. Mainly used for reheating..........

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chefwant2B

                                                                                                                                      probably ought to do some googling -- there's been a pretty impressive body of research done on this issue.

                                                                                                                                    2. If it came down to it, I would have to choose to keep the microwave. As long as I have a regular oven, I can toss the toaster oven. There are things the microwave can do that a toaster oven cant. You cant stick a glass of water in a toaster oven and heat it up. On the other hand, you cant toast your chicken nuggets in the microwave. You can only heat them up. My vote is to keep the microwave. The toaster ovens are getting more and more complex these days too.

                                                                                                                                      http://kitchenreviewer.com/reviews/be...

                                                                                                                                      1. Wow, that's a tough one but if I only could have one it would be the microwave providing I could also have a conventional toaster. I use the microwave many times a day to heat my dog's food, reheat coffee, cook bacon, fish, bake potatoes (white and sweet), steam vegetables, corn on the cob, reheat countless cooked items. It saves so much time & limits the dirty dishes because you can heat right in the storage container. The uses are endless.

                                                                                                                                        1. I vote equal unless the pollster demands I make a choice, in which case I choose toaster oven. I don't use the microwave that much but it heats milk for my morning cafe latte. (The coffee is courtesy of one scoop of La Llave in my Bialetti if anyone cares.) The microwave is also used to freshen bread. Twenty seconds does wonders. I recently acquired a Breville toaster oven and love it. It actually bakes nicely. I am looking forward to a much cooler kitchen when summer returns to Texas. The convection feature is great, too.

                                                                                                                                          1. I would let you have both. I have a microwave (came with the house), but rarely use it. Only when I'm desperate to defrost or melt something. And I've never in my adult life had a toaster oven.

                                                                                                                                            1. I have a Breville Smart Oven, so hands down, I would choose the toaster oven over the microwave. But the few things I do use the microwave for, I'm glad I have it. I use both my microwave oven and my Breville just about every day, sometimes several times a day.

                                                                                                                                              1. Thanks everyone for participation. This is the final update.

                                                                                                                                                The votes are fairly evenly split among the three groups.

                                                                                                                                                14 people prefer the toaster ovens, 12 prefer the microwave oven, and 10 people consider them to be equally important.

                                                                                                                                                subal = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                mamachef = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                wattacetti = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                sal_acid = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                firecooked = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                emglow101 = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                wonderwoman = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                baseballfan = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                Chocolatechipkt = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                laraffinee = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                Pwmfan = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                vonshu = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                Gastronomos = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                flourgirl = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                Master = Equal
                                                                                                                                                INDIANRIVERFL = Equal
                                                                                                                                                padalfaster = Equal
                                                                                                                                                DuffyH = Equal
                                                                                                                                                Daisy.G = Equal
                                                                                                                                                pamf = Equal
                                                                                                                                                jadec = Equal
                                                                                                                                                blackpointyboots = Equal
                                                                                                                                                tim irvine = Equal
                                                                                                                                                foiegras = Equal
                                                                                                                                                Samalicious = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                sunshine842 = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                cowboyardee = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                pheenmachine = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                autumm = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                CindyJ = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                sueamto = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                SaraAshely = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                Caroline1 = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                Sooeygun = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                KitchenReviewer = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                zackly = Microwave Oven

                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                  Hey Chem, should I be offended that my vote wasn't worth counting? (I'm kidding, of course. It was sort of buried in a reply: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9269...)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                    Updated:

                                                                                                                                                    subal = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                    mamachef = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                    wattacetti = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                    sal_acid = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                    firecooked = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                    emglow101 = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                    wonderwoman = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                    baseballfan = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                    Chocolatechipkt = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                    laraffinee = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                    Pwmfan = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                    vonshu = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                    Gastronomos = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                    flourgirl = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                    goodheartgourmet = Toaster Oven
                                                                                                                                                    Master = Equal
                                                                                                                                                    INDIANRIVERFL = Equal
                                                                                                                                                    padalfaster = Equal
                                                                                                                                                    DuffyH = Equal
                                                                                                                                                    Daisy.G = Equal
                                                                                                                                                    pamf = Equal
                                                                                                                                                    jadec = Equal
                                                                                                                                                    blackpointyboots = Equal
                                                                                                                                                    tim irvine = Equal
                                                                                                                                                    foiegras = Equal
                                                                                                                                                    Samalicious = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                    sunshine842 = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                    cowboyardee = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                    pheenmachine = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                    autumm = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                    CindyJ = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                    sueamto = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                    SaraAshely = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                    Caroline1 = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                    Sooeygun = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                    KitchenReviewer = Microwave Oven
                                                                                                                                                    zackly = Microwave Oven

                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                  2. I'm new to toaster ovens, I used my first one two years ago and just bought my first one this year. I've had microwaves since I can remember.

                                                                                                                                                    But I'm loving the toaster oven and the microwave is seeing much less use now, I prefer to reheat with the toaster oven or on the range. The microwave is indispensable for when I'm in a hurry, but if I have the time, I won't use it.

                                                                                                                                                    If I was forced, and I do mean forced, to give one up, it would be the microwave. But I'd be at a loss when I only have 15 minutes to heat and eat my meal.