Is broccoli better in a microwave or a toaster oven?

What's the best way to steam fresh veggies? What about reheating leftover pizza? Chicken tenders? Should you use a microwave or a toaster oven?

Glad you asked. We put together a handy interactive chart below to help you get the best results when cooking or reheating a meal. In one corner we have the microwave, which works by agitating water, sugar, and fat molecules to prepare food, and is known for its speed. It’s especially effective at heating food that has a lot of liquid in it, and it works well for steaming. 

More on Microwaves

In the opposite corner is the toaster oven. With hot coils that heat food from the outside in, it’s like a mini version of your main oven, meaning it’s good at crisping and baking. 

If you're in the market for a microwave oven, check out our microwave ratings of more than 90 countertop and 60 over-the-range models. Leaning more toward a toaster oven? We've got ratings of more than 30.

To get cooking, hover over each item under the microwave or toaster oven on the chart below to see which gives you a better result.

Better in a Microwave
Better in a Toaster Oven
Select food to see best heating method.
Soup
Baked Fish
Chicken Tenders
Pizza
Pasta
Cookies
Steamed Veggies
Baked Potato
Stews
Steamed Fish
Roasted Vegetables
Popcorn

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the December 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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