Microwave Oven vs OTG

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Updated August 19, 2022

If you understand the differences between a microwave oven vs an OTG, your chances that you pick the right one for your kitchen increase. The best microwaves defrost, heat, and reheat food, though some offer convection and grilling as well. Similarly, an oven toaster griller (OTG) heats, toasts, and grills food, just as the name implies. As a result, the two appliances overlap slightly in usage. If you want to consider appliances that offer other functions, consider a microwave oven vs an electric oven.


  • Microwave ovens provide a quick and efficient option for meal preparation, as well as defrosting or reheating.
  • OTGs, also known as toaster ovens, offer quicker grilling and toasting than conventional ovens, especially when it comes to bread.
  • If you truly want to cover your bases in terms of cooking options, you may consider purchasing a microwave and an OTG.

Differences Between a Microwave and an OTG

Microwaves and OTGs include differences in heating method and usage, as well as cooking time. Additionally, microwaves seem more common than OTGs, also known as toaster ovens, though their popularity increases over time. Some consumers prefer having both devices in their kitchen since they cook using different methods and with different results. In particular, you may want a microwave for quickly reheating or preparing meals and a toaster oven for baking or grilling. For additional consideration, read our article on an air popper vs a microwave.

Insider Tip

For faster cooking, consider buying an option with convection included.

Variety in Cooking

Both microwaves and OTGs offer models with grilling and convection modes. Microwaves with grilling or convection must be set to the desired method before starting. In some cases, devices accomplish microwaving and grilling simultaneously, which further decreases cooking time. OTGs provide techniques for heating, grilling, and toasting without additional enhancement. However, they come in convection models as well. As with microwaves, convection mode may further decrease the meal preparation time from a traditional oven, either gas or electric. Consumers should consider which option fits their meal style better. That said, having a microwave drawer over a warming drawer may also fit other meal styles best.

Heating Methods

Electromagnetic waves with tiny wavelengths agitate the water molecules within your food in the microwave, which gives the device its name. As the meals become heated, the cooking time shortens because the appliance heats food from the inside. On the other hand, an OTG heats food from the outside through a heating device, called a heating coil, powered by electricity on the top of the miniature oven. Both kitchen appliances feature convection models that warm food more evenly when desired. After all, one of the biggest cons of microwaves remains its uneven heating, providing the perfect market for the convection microwave oven.

Faster Cooking

Professional chefs and professional bakers looking to cut their cooking time significantly consider microwaves and OTGs immensely important. A microwave can adjust the cooking time from an hour or more to a matter of minutes. As a result, these devices became popular when women began preparing dinner after work, and they also found a use for these devices with the introduction of frozen dinners. Toaster ovens reduce cooking times to ⅓ of the time a meal takes in a conventional gas or electric oven. In addition, when combining either product with convection, the cooking happens faster since the heat surrounds the food entirely.

Energy Efficiency

Microwaves and oven toaster grillers save a significant amount of energy compared to bulkier appliances. The largest part of this efficiency stems from the decreased time the device runs, allowing them to be still powerful enough to cook meals safely. However, the downside of efficient designs comes from the fact that they can only handle a certain amount of work each day. A microwave runs about 15-30 minutes before surpassing the expected usage. Microwaves and OTGs use about the same amount of energy.


Microwaves heat food unevenly, so some foods should be prepared using conventional ovens or OTGs.


Can you bake a cake and pizza in a microwave oven?

You can bake a cake or pizza in the microwave, but you should ensure that the batter or dough respectively cooks through. Microwaves provide uneven temperature heat to the food within, so the device may not penetrate to the lower levels of your food as much.

What can you do with a microwave oven?

Microwave ovens heat, reheat or defrost food, and some models offer grilling and convection options as well.

Should you buy an air fryer if you already have an oven or a microwave?

An air fryer offers the ability to cook food similarly to an oven or convection oven. As a result, microwaves and air fryers are not exclusive because microwaves provide efficiency when heating or reheating food.

STAT: Microwave ovens heat foods quickly and efficiently because excitation is fairly uniform in the outer 25–38 mm (1–1.5 inches) of a homogeneous, high water content food item. (source)

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