We had never really thought about the difference between a toaster and toaster oven until we moved away to college. We grew up only using one of them and didn't realize until later in life that it's not about which one is better, it's all about preference.
Our mother never had a toaster in the house &mdash ever. She always used the toaster oven, for almost everything. She would toast her bagel and toast in the toaster oven, and even bake dinner (she owns a rather large toaster oven). It seems as though she only uses her conventional oven for roasting turkeys or making cheesecake.
It wasn't until we moved away to college that we realized a toaster was such a great appliance to have. It's quick and effective, not to mention small and compact. It's not back breaking to take the toaster out of the cabinet and replace when finished. The downside, you can only toast items that are shaped similarly to bread.
Growing up in such a warm climate in Florida, we are now understanding why our mother was so close with her toaster oven. The heat that her conventional oven produced warmed up the whole house &mdash not very conducive to running the AC on a 95 degree day. Now that we're living on our own in Philadelphia, we don't mind cranking the oven. Heck, on super cold days we purposely bake something at a high temperature to add a little extra heat.
It's all about preference. We own both a toaster and toaster oven, but rarely use the toaster oven.
Toaster or Toaster Oven: Which Do You Prefer?