Battle of the Toasters – Which Kind Do You Use?!

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on March 10, 2011

So when I was in Nashville a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go shopping with Cameron and then go back to her house to whip up a meal from our shopping trip.  When we got to her house, I saw this.

A toaster next to a toaster oven.  It struck me as odd, so I asked.

Well, I grew up in the north with a toaster…and my husband grew up in the south with a toaster oven.  It’s just what we grew up with.  And neither of us will try the other…So there they sit, happily side by side.

I had never heard such a thing.  Maybe I am just out of the toaster/oven loop, but I didn’t know that certain parts of the country used certain toaster ovens!

So what about you…Toaster Oven or Toaster?!  And am I the only one who has been living under a toaster rock?!

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Robyn March 10, 2011 at 11:50 am

I grew up with a toaster – parents from the great north and out west. But Mt husband grew up with a toaster oven – born/raised in the south. We started out with a 2-slice toaster but upgraded to a toaster oven after it started burning the toast. I LOVE my toaster oven! I use it to bake and broil meals when I don’t want to heat up the entire house. Oh, and it makes great toast, too!

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Kris March 10, 2011 at 11:50 am

My husband (raised by his grandmother who is from “the country” outside Annapolis) uses a toaster oven and I use a toaster. Part of his reasoning is that it doesn’t heat up the house as much as the oven during the summer with no a/c. Since it toasts he doesn’t see the need for a toaster.

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Katy March 10, 2011 at 11:54 am

Maybe it has something to do with the heat in the south. If you have a toaster oven you can use it without having to turn on your real oven to bake chicken, pizza, etc. We love our Toaster Oven because it is great for making 2 person meals. Since we are currently a family of two it works well for us.

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FishMama March 10, 2011 at 11:55 am

My parents are MN born and bred. And we had a toaster oven when I was growing up. We’ve tried — and thrown away — tons of toasters since I’ve been married. Now, we’re on our second toaster oven and would never go back to a toaster.

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alyssa March 10, 2011 at 11:56 am

We use both! I use the toaster oven for cheese or cinnamon sugar toasts and toaster for “kid friendly” pastries and english muffins.

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Cortney March 10, 2011 at 11:56 am

Both my husband and I grew up with toasters but use a toaster oven in our home. When we got married we were given both but as time went on and we started our frequent military moves I ditched the toaster because it didn’t perform double duty. No sense in carrying around both! I’m not sure I can do with a regular toaster anymore, so my boys (who won’t grow up in the south) may prefer the toaster oven :)

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Karen Han March 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I had both, but I do like the option of the toaster oven. :)

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Lori March 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Hubby & I both grew up in the Midwest and we also have the toaster sitting next to the toaster oven. I’m not sure why…maybe just the super ease of having the toaster to make toast. We use the toaster oven strictly as an oven instead of heating up the big ovens. BTW, I LOVE the convection setting on the toaster oven! We’re also a family of two now.

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Kim Norton March 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I am a toaster person! Growing up in Oregon we had both but I never used the toaster oven, so I just have a toaster now. At my current job in Texas there’s just a toaster oven in the kitchen, I see lots of people use, but I’ve never had to toast or bake anything yet.

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joy March 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I grew up using a toaster and toaster oven come to think of it. This was in Hawaii. Not sure why we had both. But I prefer having a toaster oven as opposed to just a toaster. It’s much more versatile especially when you have thicker items to toast such as bagels and English muffin. You can also warm up items without putting on the bigger oven. I just find that a toaster oven is worth the money!

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Dee March 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I grew up in the south, but I am like your friend — my family has ALWAYS had both!

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Valarie March 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I grew up with each at different points in my life. When we had little counter space, it was the toaster, when there was more room, we had a toaster oven and the toaster sat in a cabinet collecting dust. I’m all about multipurpose so we have a toaster oven now. Toast is toast if you ask me.

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Kimberly March 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm

We have both as well. I prefer the way a toaster makes toast, but I use the toaster oven as a mini oven. I have made pizzas, cookies, cakes and casseroles in my toaster oven. If I can fit it in the toaster oven, I use that instead of the big oven.

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Lynn March 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm

I am not sure if it is the part of the country you are from or just what you were raised with. I have owned both and like both. For toast I think a toaster works best, but a toaster oven can be used for so much more than just toast. So, I can see why owning both would be nice. I don’t have room for both in my kitchen, and toasters do not take up as much room, so we currently have only a toaster.

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Charlene March 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I have only a toaster oven, which is actually one of the largest available because I occasionally use it to bake small items. Since it is much more versatile than a toaster, and I have limited counter space, toaster oven is what I have. I grew up with a toaster.

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teresa g. March 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I grew up in California with both my parents and my grandparents having toaster ovens in their houses. Over the years, I have tried toasters but they just don’t make sense to me. They can only be used for one thing – toast (or poptarts). A toaster oven is so much more versatile. Rather than turning the oven on to make a personal sized item for dinner, we can use the toaster oven. When I make earrings, I can use the toaster oven.

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Jennifer March 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Wow, do I feel dumb. I never really thought you could make toast in a toaster oven! I always grew up with a toaster and that is what I have but I like the idea of a toaster oven doing double duty. Maybe I should get one. How much more difficult is it to use a toaster oven to make toast? Does the toast come out any different??

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LaToya March 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I’m in the south and use my toaster. I don’t know how to use a toaster oven. I was given one as a gift and ended up re-gifting it because I just couldn’t figure it out! My parents (mom from FL dad from TX) always used a toaster.

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T March 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm

So funny — we have both in our kitchen as well! I grew up with a toaster oven, and as others have said find it to be so much more versatile. So I prefer it to a toaster in terms of usefulness. But my stubborn hubby prefers a toaster for his daily bagel so we have both. And I admit the toaster gets used every day while the toaster oven gets used maybe 3x a month.

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Julie March 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Both my husband and I grew up with toasters in Southern California. We are about to get a very nice toaster oven hand me down, though, and I am looking forward to using it instead of the oven in the summer. I will tuck the toaster in the garage until we’ve decided that the toaster oven works for us.

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Elisabeth March 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm

That’s too funny! I thought I was the only one with that problem…my husband refuses to use the toaster oven. He says his toast doesn’t toast right in it. So he has a toaster that he brings out when he wants toast and I happily use my toaster oven…for toast, brownies, casseroles, etc. (There’s only 3 of us and the toaster oven is the perfect option for cooking small batches of stuff esp. in Florida in the summer!)

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Jennifer March 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I grew up in Texas with only a toaster, but I think most of my older relatives, all of whom lived in the Deep South, had toaster ovens.

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Brenda March 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I grew up in the SW and my parents were from Ohio, we never had a toaster oven growing up. Toast is made in the toaster. I now live in the south and own both but I’d never use the toaster oven to make toast – it takes too long and burns toast too easily. I use my toaster oven more as a mini oven – to cook/re-heat small items with out heating up the big oven.

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Erica March 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh and we always had a toaster oven. To be honest, I have no idea what my husband grew up with, but I know us getting a toaster oven never seemed to be a question, so I’d guess he grew up with the same. He is from the eastern part of Ohio, near Wheeling, WV. It just makes more sense to me than a toaster.

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Catherine March 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I will say I grew up in PA with parents from NJ and we ALWAYS had both. I now have both in my kitchen, but could probably get by with just the toaster oven. You can do so many things in the toaster oven that you can’t do in the toaster – mini pizzas, heat up leftovers, bake just a few cookies from frozen dough in the freezer (I often make just 6 cookies for dessert), the possibilities are endless. I do prefer using the toaster for toast, pop-tarts, toaster strudel and the like.

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Laura March 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm

We have a Toaststation in our family. It is a toaster and a toaster oven in one. I LOVE it!!! It has a slot in top for 2 slices of toast and also a door on the side to bake other small meals. We use it almost daily. Wouldn’t trade it for anything!!

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Sarah March 10, 2011 at 8:59 pm

We have a Toaststation too! However, I originally bought the “2” slice version and when I opened the box I saw the pamphlet for the “4” slice version. I immediately took the smaller one back. Love it! But growing up in Oklahoma, we always had just a toaster.

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shelly March 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm

It’s funny b/c I have both almost side by side, and never thought it was odd. The toaster oven was a gift. But since we are a family of 7, it comes in handy to toast 4 items at once. We also use our toaster oven for reheating pizza slices, chicken nuggets, etc. But after reading some of the other comments, I see that I could really find more uses for it, instead of firing up the big oven, so thanks!

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Kara March 10, 2011 at 7:55 pm

My husband and I both grew up in Arkansas and he had a toaster oven and we had a toaster. Having a toaster oven was one of the few things he insisted on when we were registering for wedding gifts. I can easily say after 14 years of marriage and on our 3rd toaster oven, that I would NEVER go back to a regular toaster. You can do SO much more with a toaster oven.

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JW March 10, 2011 at 8:14 pm

I have both and it never struck me as odd. People I know have either a toaster or both, never just a toaster oven. And count me in the group that says toast isn’t the same in a toaster oven as it is in a toaster. I do love the oven for small batch cooking, though!!

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Cari C. March 10, 2011 at 8:25 pm

I was raised in Connecticut by parents who were both raised in New England and we always had a toaster oven – never a toaster. Interestingly though we only made toast or english muffins in it, not real meals! My mother always used the range to cook for our family of 5.

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Alison March 10, 2011 at 9:26 pm

This one made me laugh. We have a toaster oven and I LOVE it. I make toast and lots of other things but I use it to reheat almost all food. I hate microwave reheat for pizza so I always use the toaster oven. We make chicken nuggets and other small things so that we don’t have to use the “real” oven. I lived out of the toaster oven in college, making muffins and other meals right out of the toaster oven hidden in my dorm room. It takes care of so much more than a boring toaster :)

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laurie March 10, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I use a 1950’s sunbeam toaster, it still toasts great. It has made in the United States of America stamped on the bottom of it. I can’t tell you how many cheap made in china junk toasters I went through before I got this one at a garage sale. I love it!

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Betsy March 10, 2011 at 9:51 pm

My husband and I both grew up in the deep south, both with toaster ovens. I love mine. I use it almost every day, especially in the hot months of April to October. It keeps the house so much cooler than the regular oven, but you still get that good baked texture.

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Mary E.S. March 11, 2011 at 12:11 am

I have both. We grew up with a toaster but I use the toaster oven for grilled sandwiches and mini pizzas. It’s just easier than heating the oven and during summer,the whole kitchen.

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Heather March 11, 2011 at 12:31 am

My kitchen looks the same – both toaster and toaster oven – and I never considered that it had to do with the fact that we live in Houston, TX. I grew up with both and love having both. I use the toaster to toast things like bread, pop tarts and frozen waffles. The toaster oven is for heating up small portions of food…things I might cook in my oven, but I don’t want to heat up my whole kitchen. I frequently cook french fries, chicken tenders, and always restaurant leftovers. :)

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Kristen March 11, 2011 at 8:28 am

I love having a toaster oven and haven’t owned a toaster in decades. It’s so much more versatile in the kitchen especially if you have limited space :)

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LeShelle March 11, 2011 at 12:46 pm

We use both. Toaster for toast, waffles and bagels and oven for everything else.

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Laura March 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm

How funny. My husband and I are both from Oklahoma, but I’m a toaster user and he’s a toaster oven user. His toaster oven died shortly before we moved in together and I talked him into just taking a spare toaster I had. I told him that he really only used it for toast, so why not?

NOW, though, I frequently think, “Man, I don’t want to heat up the whole oven just to reheat this pizza” or “We could make _____ in the toaster oven and not heat up the whole house!” … And I have yet to hear the end of it. Maybe I should just buy a new toaster oven and we could have both. (But where would we put it??)

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Bridget March 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm

i’m a toaster over fan and my husband likes the traditional toaster. To solve this dilemma we got one that can be converted either way. it works great and doesn’t take up so much room!

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Kristi Temple March 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I grew up in NYC and we always had a toaster oven. That’s all I have ever owned.

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Luci December 28, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I was raised in Florida, and I agree we had the toaster oven for the purpose of making other meals with out using the oven, its hot and humid enough with out an oven on. But, I like the toaster oven because I can butter my toast and bagels before I put them in, I think they taste much better with the butter baked in.

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