Reheating Food: Microwave Vs Toaster Oven

November 6, 2018

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Since the creation of the microwave oven over a half century ago, the debate has raged as to what food items you should cook or reheat in the microwave compared to the more traditional oven and more convenient toaster oven. Fortunately foodies have chimed in with their recommendations based on the type of food you wish to heat. While microwaves work by agitating water, sugar, and fat molecules to warm food on a fairly quick basis, toaster ovens use electric coils that heat food from the outside in and will do it quicker than using the larger oven. That's important when you want the outcome of your speed cooking to be perfect. For instance, chicken noodle soup cooks better in a microwave.  Teh machine that heats by agitating water, sugar, and fat molecules fairs very well in the microwave.  Chicken tenders on the other hand, fair better being cooked or reheated in a toaster oven where the crunchy exterior will be preserved as the heat coils work to warm what's beneath the breading. While sticking a slice of pizza in the microwave seems efficient, it leaves it soggy and is better warmed in a toaster oven. Steaming broccoli can be achieved in a few seconds in the microwave while roasted veggies fair better in the toaster oven. Baked fish gets the crispy treatment in the toaster oven while steamed fish fairs better in the microwave.  You can see the pattern here.  For foods that a crispy crunch is desired, the toaster oven is best. For foods where steam plays a factor, the microwave is your best friend.

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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