Microwave Oven v/s OTG : Which one to buy?
A detailed article featuring the pros and cons of both appliances based on your usage and cooking/baking habits. This post contains affiliate links.
The most important question.
Microwave Oven v/s OTG: which one to choose?
Let’s see in detail today by starting with the features.
Features of a Microwave Oven:
A Microwave Oven is great for instant cooking and reheating food. I love my microwave for this. I can reheat leftovers quickly before I decide to ditch them!
This “instant” cooking/baking tag is what the microwave oven carries with pride. Instant idlis, instant dhoklas, instant cakes, instant mug pizzas, instant mac n cheese, instant omelette and what not! Phew!
Features of an Oven Toaster Grill (OTG)
This is like the whole and sole(and soul too!) of baking. This instrument was made only for baking, toasting, broiling and grilling food. You can use the rotisserie function of the oven to make kebabs and grill food.
Moreover, it is believed that a cake bakes perfectly in an OTG. I will tell you why towards the end of the post.
You can use an OTG to make cakes, cookies, muffins, pizza, bread, sourdough, tarts, rotisserie chicken, baked fish/chicken, baked vegetables, kebabs, baked snacks like baked samosas, baked cutlets, etc.
Difference between Microwave and Convection Oven
Let’s see the differences between the two:
Microwave Oven v/s OTG: which is good for health?
Microwave Oven uses high frequency electromagnetic waves to cook food and that is the reason behind it’s power of instant cooking and reheating powers. It is said that these high frequency waves are not good for humans as they make the food radioactive in nature (giving you cancer!) and also the waves destroy the vitamins and nutrients present in food but this article says the opposite. So it is up to you to decide.
Also it takes more time/power to cook thick slices of food as the waves do not reach the insides of thick slices of food like a big chicken slice quickly, keeping it raw.
Baking and Cooking Time: Microwave Oven v/s OTG
As far as cooking is considered, a microwave oven cooks food much quicker than an OTG. Also, nowadays microwave ovens like this one have grilling and air-frying/low-oil frying option as a separate mode. Also, there are interesting auto-cook menu options in certain microwave ovens like this one which helps you to cook food with pre-set cooking time and temperature settings. This feature is not available in OTGs.
An OTG basically bakes/toasts/grills/broils food. Actual “cooking” does not happen in an OTG. So if that is something you want to consider, make a note of it.
Baking time will be the same for a recipe in both appliances. Cooking time may differ.
Busy working professional
Can you bake cakes and pizza in a Microwave Oven?
Yes you can; given one condition. Your microwave oven should have a mode that emulates the same environment as an OTG.
And that mode is the Convection mode.
This mode helps you bake cakes, cookies, pizzas, bread, etc and gives the same result as an oven if used properly. If your Microwave Oven has this mode, you can bake anything like vegetables, chicken or fish or make baked snacks like baked samosas.
If a microwave oven does not have a convection mode, that means it is a Solo Microwave Oven. You cannot bake or grill in a solo microwave oven but can make instant mug cakes, biscuit cakes, instant items mentioned in the beginning of this post that do not require the “baking” function. You can use these types of microwave ovens for reheating or cooking a limited variety of food items.
Can I use an OTG to heat up food?
Yes you can. But there is no specific mode as such for reheating. And yes, it may take some time to warm the food like 5-10 minutes depending on the temperature of food. Basically it will start cooking (again). Same with Microwave but only with very high power. And that is the concept behind mug cakes and instant biscuit cakes.
These cakes are subject to intense heat such that they start cooking with the heat and form the cake crumb. This is not possible in an Oven Toaster Grill.
Microwave Oven v/s OTG: which one is best for baking?
It is interesting to see how both work. A cake mould when placed in a microwave oven moves in a circular direction when baking whereas in an OTG, there is no movement of the apparatus.
Do you wonder why people always opt for OTG if they want to focus on baking cakes and bread at home?
If you are someone who bakes or grills frequently, an Oven Toaster Grill will definitely come in handy.
Yes you may do the same in a microwave oven using the convection mode while baking but there are few shortcomings here. Let’s assess the situation by giving each feature of the microwave oven a plus point and a minus point with respect to ease of baking.
- The limited size of the microwave cavity i.e., the space inside the microwave. You may be able to bake a 9 or maximum 10 inch cake in a pretty decent sized microwave like this. The smaller the capacity of the microwave oven, the smaller the cake tin/bread mould that fits inside. One minus point.
- Suppose you purchase a large microwave oven for fitting in large cake moulds but remember it also consumes more power. More than an Oven Toaster Grill. So your electricity bills may soar up if you constantly use the microwave. Instant reheating of food comes at a price, my friend! Generally, a microwave oven consumes more power than an OTG. So that’s a minus point.
- And as I said in point number one that there is an upper limit on the largest cake tin you can fit inside, this also means that you cannot bake two cakes or two bread loaves side by side. One minus point.
- In the beginning of the post, I had said that many people assume they can bake better in an OTG.
Why? Two reasons.
One, because it has more temperature settings than a microwave. Yes if you see an oven panel, you will see that you can set a large range of temperatures. But in a microwave oven, you only have 5-6 temperature options.
Two, because it has the option to set the heat direction using rods: You can keep the lower rod on or the upper rod on or both rods on. This majorly affects results in baking.
So? Again a minus point.
In all, a Microwave Oven got 4 minus points for baking over an OTG and now you know why everyone prefers an OTG when they want to start baking at home.
Newbie Home Baker
Microwave Oven v/s OTG: which is better?
This entirely depends on how you cook and bake in your kitchen. Let’s see few scenarios to decide whether an OTG is good for you or a Microwave Oven.
When to choose an OTG?
Now I am going to tell you the scenarios when you should not get yourself a Microwave Oven and getting an OTG would be a better option.
- You love baking at home. You enjoy baking or plan to start baking different types of cakes, cookies, pizzas and buns at home. You just cannot get enough of baking and wait for the time you will bake next.
- You plan to start your cake business in the future as a side gig/part time or even full-time.
- You rarely reheat food or are comfortable reheating food on the stovetop.
For the above scenarios, an OTG is best suited for you and you should go for a good OTG for yourself. You can read this article that will help you in choosing an Oven/OTG.
When to choose a Microwave Oven?
Now let’s see the scenarios when you should not get yourself an OTG and getting a Microwave Oven would be a smarter choice.
- You do not bake cakes/cookies frequently. It is only like 1-2 times a month or even less.
- You do not have any plan to start a cake business. You only like to bake for family that too very few times a month.
- You reheat food almost everyday.
- You like to cook food in the microwave oven sometimes or as a backup when you do not want to cook on stovetop.
- You know that the auto-cook and other advanced modes, like frying without less oil, in a microwave oven will be more useful for you in the daily run.
- You do not have stove top/LPG cylinder connection so cooking in a microwave oven will be hassle free for you until you get a connection. Cooking daily in a Microwave Oven could also shoot up your electricity bills. So, that is something you need to take into account.
If you find yourself choosing points from both sections above, then you may also decide to purchase both. That also is very helpful for both scenarios given you have enough counter space in the kitchen and the budget for both.
My top 5 Microwave Oven and OTG recommendations
I have been baking in both OTG and a Microwave Oven since many years as I use both appliances for teaching baking. Here are my top 5 recommendations for both.
This microwave has many advanced features and if you go and check the product description you will find few videos which will arouse your curiosity about using this model.
It supports baking and grilling along with many other cooking modes.
It also has the rotisserie function that is available in OTGs. If the budget suits you this microwave oven is a good option.
Second on the list is this well-equipped and interesting microwave oven. The interesting thing is that you can stop the circular rotating motion of the microwave turntable to accommodate square cake tins or glassware.
This is something new and with this it overcomes one of the shortcomings microwave ovens have of limited space. And so, it is rightly priced on the higher end of the microwave oven price range.
If you liked this one, you could check it’s other features as well. This does not have the rotisserie function like the first one. If you want a similar microwave oven but with less features and lower price, you need to check this model.
Third on the list is this easy on the pocket Microwave Oven with Convection mode which means you can bake using it. It has just the features required for this price range without compromising.
It also has the slim fry feature which emulates the air fryer.
Now the next two recommendations are of OTGs which are enough for baking at home for a small family of 3-4 people. If you need more information about choosing an OTG model that suits your needs, I have written a quick post on how to choose an oven for baking at home. You may want to read it if you are confused with OTGs.
This is THE best OTG for home bakers who are just starting to bake or learning the baking fundamentals.
I have used this OTG for 5 years before I upgraded to a larger one for suiting my baking and grilling needs. This model does not have the rotisserie function but it is an amazing oven for beginners. I always recommend this model to new bakers.
This is the upgraded version of the above OTG. It has the rotisserie modes and a larger capacity to bake multiple batches at the same time. This oven is good if you want to upgrade your smaller oven before starting a cake business.
Which one will you choose: Microwave Oven or OTG?
Both have their own good features. So it is up to you to decide which features would be of more use to you and frequently.
I want to ask you only one question to get some clarity:
Do you bake frequently? Go for an OTG.
Do you bake sometimes but reheat food frequently? Go for a Microwave Oven.
Also it is unlikely that one uses all the modes and functions available in a Microwave Oven. It could also happen that you end up using only 2-3 modes on the Microwave panel despite of cooking everyday at home. So, think about that before going ahead for expensive models.
I hope this post was helpful for you to decide which appliance suits you best. I wish you all the best in your baking journey if you are on one and that is what brought you here.
Be a brave girl/boy and ask me in comments if you have any questions or need my help in choosing a Microwave Oven or OTG.