Thanks to their ability to fill several niches simultaneously, toaster ovens feel like the ultimate rebuttal to the “single-purpose appliance” trend. A good toaster oven will allow you to broil, bake and toast quickly and with great precision – to the point that it is easy to fear if we will be paying a hefty price later.
When it comes to kitchen appliances, the most likely place where this hidden price will come about is in your next electricity bill. Heat-generating devices tend to consume a lot of electricity. The final tab will be altered by the device’s ability to insulate and cook quickly simultaneously.
So how many amps does a small toaster oven use? The answer is usually around 12 to 13 Amps of current. On average, a 15000-Watt toaster oven will use about 12.5 amps of current.
But what are 12.5 Amps? How does this stack against other home appliances – or better yet, against its direct competitors, such as microwaves?
Electricity Consumption Decoded
Before we can truly determine whether a 12.5 Amps is a lot, we need to take a closer look at the terminology behind electricity. Most of us operate electrical devices daily and are used to seeing terms like amps, volts, and watts without really understanding what they mean.
What is electricity?
Electricity is the flow of electrical energy. In many ways, electricity behaves like water: it keeps travelling from its source and always heads towards the ground in the easiest possible ways. Electrical connections and wiring installations are simply the way in which we channel electricity to ensure the flow of energy reaches where we want it to be.
If we think of electrical energy as water, it helps to think of your wiring as a hose: it will channel your water to an endpoint.
Imagine a pressure hose where water is continuously flowing. Now, choose any point in the hose, close to its mouth, and draw an imaginary line through it. The amount (or volume) of water at this point at any given time would correspond to the Amps.
When you check a device’s label, and it says it requires 10 or 20 amp, this refers to the volume of energy it needs at any given moment.
If you are picturing the same pressure hose, you will also see that the water goes through the hose at a certain speed. This speed corresponds to volts.
Volts and amps complement each other to comprise the amount of electrical energy. This is expressed as “watts”, which are basically the amperes multiplied by the volts.
When looking at whether a specific appliance is efficient or consumes a lot of electricity, you want to look at all three numbers: watts, amps, and volts. By looking for the lowest possible numbers in each category, you will save on your electricity bill in the long run.
How to Choose the Most Efficient Appliance
A toaster oven can cook food that would typically be handled by a regular oven, a convection oven, or a toaster. If you are dealing with small portions of food, you can replace any of these with a microwave oven.
As we mentioned before, the average toaster oven uses 1500 watts and 12.5 amps of current.
A regular oven usually draws between 2,000 and 4,000 watts and up to 50 amps of current. If you are using the convection fan as well, expect wattage to increase to 5,000 watts.
On the other hand, a microwave only consumes 4.5 amps and between 950 to 1000 amps.
Just be careful – this doesn’t automatically make microwaves the absolute winners. Microwave ovens are usually slower, especially for cooking large portions or thick cuts of meat. Because of this, the lower amps will not compensate for the longer cooking time: essentially, you will be leaving a smaller hose on for much longer.
Making Your Ovens More Efficient
Sometimes you just can’t use a microwave to replicate the crust or charred aromas of an oven. A toaster oven or traditional oven will yield more satisfying meals. You can still maximize their efficiency by:
- Keep your heating appliances (ovens and fryers) away from your refrigerator
- Invest in a self-cleaning oven: they have better insulation and can reach higher temperatures faster
- Avoid opening the oven’s door while cooking
- Use metal pans and baking trays instead of ceramic or glass ones
If you cook food daily, the time and electricity you employ in this task will quickly add up. Because of this, you should look at whether your kitchen appliances are energy-efficient and productive. A toaster oven may consume more amps and more electricity than a microwave, but less than a regular oven. Yet, cooking food faster will help you bring down your final bill in the long run.