Which is more practical – toaster oven or microwave?
It is an accepted fact that most of us live a super-paced lifestyle. So we turn to modern conveniences like the microwave oven, to save us time. While it is great that we truly have time-saving appliances, is there an overlooked downside?
If you have ever been to a a holistic physician, you may have heard suggestions that microwaves can somehow change the nutrient composition, and leave you with much less nutrient value. Because of the lack of published information on this subject, we mention this in passing, not as a primary reason to transfer from microwave to toaster oven.
There are other issues that do not make the microwave oven as all-purpose as the toaster oven.
To name a few:
- You cannot brown in the microwave, without using accessories, and the results are never quite the same.
- Some foods, such as breads and fish turn out rubbery. So it is limited in the foods that can be cooked.
- You cannot use a variety of containers in the microwave. Number 1 no-no: metal items should never be used in a microwave. When metal is cooked in a microwave, it functions as an antenna for electrical current and can lead to fire or explosion. Items containing metal – twist ties with a metal center, metal pans, Chinese take-out containers, China plates with metallic trim or paint, and aluminum foil.
Other containers that can cause problems in the microwave include brown paper bags, cottage cheese tubs, foam insulated cups or bowls and newspaper.
- Burnout and Superheating – Common Microwave malfunction
The phenomenon known as burnout occurs when a microwave is set to cook with no food in the oven or if a dehydrated food is cooked. Burnout is when the magnetron tube of the microwave literally cooks itself and the poisonous beryllium is released after breaking.
- Superheating occurs when an object is heated above its boiling point, particularly in closed containers. When disturbed, the container may explode. This can happen with closed water containers and closed containers with eggs. When these items are disturbed after cooking, they may burst into the air and burn the user
My main reasons for using a toaster oven instead of microwave -
Cooking anything on a high setting, and particularly when placed in water, robs food of vital nutrients.
With all the discussion on harmful plastics, I just do not want to be in the position of having to do research on plastic. I simply do not use plastic in cooking.
Although research is not conclusive on whether microwaves damage our food, there is one area where research is very clear. Microwaves do not kill bacteria in food, particularly in meats.
When I am in doubt, I consult my favorite food nutrition site. If you would like a more detailed explanation, check out The World’s Healthiest Foods. George goes into detail on both plastics and bacteria issues.
A closer look at the lowly toaster oven:
- You can use regular cooking pans.
- It heats all types of foods just like an ordinary oven, without heating the whole kitchen.
- It multi-tasks – toasts, bakes, broils, and many also include convection features which cook slightly faster, and more even because of air circulation.
- Toaster ovens are energy-efficient.
- In reality, it does not take much longer to cook than the microwave oven.
- All purpose oven for singles, from college students to seniors.
- Larger 6 slice ovens are almost replacing the regular oven with many families.
Check out these tips for determining which toaster oven is best for you.