What’s the Difference Between OTG and Microwave Ovens?

While researching microwaves I realized the microwaves are a standard in every household, while oven toaster (grillers) are not. In fact, I’ve only seen three of them in my lifetime, 2 at work and one at my grandma’s house. I led me to wonder the similarities and differences between the two. 

In this post, I am going to answer the question “what’s the difference between OTG and Microwave ovens.” I will compare these two types of small appliances based on heat source, size, cost, and available features. Also, I will include examples of both OTGs and Microwave ovens.

Finally, I will end this post with a few reasons why I don’t think OTGs are as popular as microwave ovens. 

Click here to check out my recommended microwaves based on oven capacity (size).

Heat Source

This section will discuss how OTGs and Microwaves cook food to the proper temperature. In addition, this section will discuss the time it takes to cook food. Time will include both preheating and actual cooking. 


Oven-Toaster-Grillers (OTGs) are small appliances that combine the benefits of ovens and toasters. OTGs cook food by converting electricity into heat via heating coils. These coils are located at either the top or bottom of the OTG. The heat is created, via infrared radiation, when the OTG is turned on and the coils turn a shade of red.

Like ovens, OTGs take time to warm to the set temperature. Depending on the set temperature, it can take as long as 10 minutes for the OTG to warm. Also, some models have a light or button that notifies you when the OTG has reached the suggested temperature.


Microwaves also use electricity to heat food. Microwaves, however, use watts to cook food. Watts, like your light bulb, is a form of energy that flows in one direction. Your food is cooked when the heat generated by the watts come in contact with your food.

Microwaves can cook food much faster than standard ovens because there is no warm up. Unlike ovens, microwaves do not heat an area to a determined temperature, it just sends the requested watts into the microwave to cook the food. The number of watts can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the power level before beginning starting the microwave. 

Microwaves are created with a ranging number of watts. The watts can range from 550 to 1500 on domestic microwaves. Also, the higher the watts, the faster your food will cook. 

So, What’s the difference?

There are a number of differences between OTGs and microwaves. First, ovens use a coil system for the cooking process. This system heats the entire box to a preset temperature. The process to warm up an OTG can last up to 15 minutes. 

Microwaves, on the other hand, use watts to cook food. Microwaves use a Magnetron to create the watts needed to cook the food. The watts then become heat when it comes in contact with the food. Microwaves do not need any time to warm up.

Another difference between OTGs and microwaves is the way food is cooked. As I mentioned, OYGs warm up the box to a preset temperature. This temperate can range from 200 to 700 degree. The OTG is not considered ready to cook until that temperature is achieved. Once achieved, that temperature will remain consistent until the OTG is turned off.

Microwaves use watts to cook food. Microwave wattage varies based on microwave size, type, and brand. The higher the watts, the faster you will cook items. In addition, there is a correlation between the wattage and the microwave size. The higher the watts, the larger the microwave. 

What’s better, OTG or Microwave?

I think this comes down to personal preference, time, and what you are planning on cooking. Also, which one is better, depends on the type of microwave you are using. There are three types of microwaves: solo, grill, and convection. While the most common type of microwave is solo, grill and convection are available at a higher price.

Here here to read about the different types of microwave ovens


The next major difference is the size of the OTG and microwave. In this section, I will discuss in depth the differences between the two sizes, what that means for cooking and which ones better. 


OTGs are measure in size, or the number of slices and they range from less than 9 inches to over 16 inches. As in most cases the larger the size, the more food you can cook at one time. Also important with OTGs is the height. The height is important because it may provide the flexibility to have multiple rows for cooking. 

Because OTGs require fewer parts for cooking, most weight less than 20 pounds. As I’ve mentioned, OTGs only use heated coils to warn the inside.


Microwave sizes, also known as oven capacity, is the amount of food that can be cooked in the microwave at one time. Oven capacity is determined by cubic feet. Cubic feet is calculated by multiplying the length, width, and height inside of the microwave. 

There is a second and equally important measurement for microwaves. This measures the external size, or footprint, of the microwave. The footprint is important when trying to fit your microwave is limited counter space, or over a range. 

As I mentioned, usually, there is a relation between the size of the microwave and the wattage. As the number of watts increase, so does the size of the microwave. 

Microwaves are much heavier because of the parts required to cook food. Microwaves weigh at least 20 pounds due to parts like the Magnetron, the touchpad, and the control board. 

So, What’s the Difference?

The biggest difference between microwaves and OTGs is how the size is how the size is calculated. Microwaves sizes are calculated based on the cubic feet, where OTGs are based on width or number of slices of bread you can put in at one time. 

For microwaves, the oven capacity has a direct impact on both the wattage and the price of the microwave. In most cases, the larger the microwave, the higher the watts, and price. 

Another difference is weight. Microwaves can way 3 or 4 times as much as OTGs because of the additional equipment. This only becomes important if you have to carry microwaves around every day. 

What’s better, OTG or Microwave?

In most cases, larger is better. However, the size of the microwaves may not be the best way to compare these two small appliances. 


In this section I will compare the differences in cost between OTGs and microwaves. The cost of an appliance is one of the biggest determining factors when consumers purchase an appliance.


OTGs can range in price between $19.99 and over $200 for domestic toasters. The price of the OTGs depend on these factors:

  • Brand
  • Size
  • Features
  • Finish

Now, I will take a look at each of these features to see how they impact the cost. 


Brand leaders like Panasonic charge a premium for their OTGs. For example, this 2 slice microwave oven from Panasonic (NT-GT1) is almost $20 more than a similar toaster from Hamilton Beach. 


Like most things home appliances, the larger the size the more i will cost. An example of this is the brand Hamilton Beach. They have a 2 slice OTG for 40.99, and a similar 6 slice OTG for over $155. 


Features will be discussed more in-depth later in this blog post, but the more features an OTG has, the more expensive the product will cost. Features range from digital displays to auto turn off and keep warm options. 


OTG finishes, the front of the appliance, are usually finished in one of two ways. There are usually finished with plastic or stainless steel. Stainless steel can add 10% or more to the cost of an OTG. 


The price of a microwave can vary between $50 and $800 depending on a few factors. Those factors include:

  • Size
  • Wattage
  • Finish
  • Brand
  • Location
  • Features

Now, let’s take a quick look at some of these factors. 


As I’ve mentioned a few different times in this post, size as a huge impact on the price of a microwave. The larger the oven capacity, the more the microwave will cost. 


Size and wattage go hand-in-hand. As the microwave oven capacity increases, so does the wattage. The only exception to this rule is the location of the microwave. If the microwave is built in, or an over-the-range microwave, these locations will cause the cost to increase more than watts. 

One way to determine the cost of a microwave is to calculate the price per cost. This is a simple equation that helps when comparison shopping. Below is the equation.

  •   price / watt = price per watt

The closer that number it’s to $1, the more expensive the microwave is. Ideally, many microwaves hover around the $.10 mark.


Like OTGs, microwaves are primally finished one of two ways: plastic or stainless steel. Stainless steel will cost at least !0% more than plastic finished microwaves with the same watts, size, and features.


Like OTGs, brands plan an important role in the cost of a microwave. Brands like, Whirlpool, Samsung, and LG and going to cost much more than private label brands like Insignia. 


Location refers to the physical spot the microwave will spend all of its time. In general, there are three locations for microwaves: countertop, over-the-range, and built-in. Countertop microwaves are the least expensive, while built-in microwaves are the most expensive. 


Microwaves have a ton of features for you to choose from. There are 5 features that are standard on almost all microwaves, then there are premium features that can add as much as 20% to the total cost. Premium features include inverter technology, sensor cooking, a grill function. 

So, what’s the difference

Microwaves are much more expensive because of these six factors: features, location, brands, finish, wattage and size. While OTGs have some of these factors, it is limited in where it can be placed, the available features, and wattage.

What’s better, OTG or Microwave?

If you are only looking at the total cost of the two appliances, then OTGs are the better price. However, if you are considering functionality, then microwaves may be the better value. OTGs are limited in what they can do, whereas microwaves may be able to do everything an OTG can do, plus more.


In this section I will discuss the different features available for OTGs and microwaves. 


OTGs have a number of features that can have an impact on the cost of the appliance. Here is a brief list of these features:

  • Auto shut-off – turns off the OTG after a configurable amount of time. This helps to reduce the chance of OTGs catching on fire
  • Digital Display – most OTGs have dials for setting the time, and heat. A digital display is considered a premium feature
  • Convection Fan – a convection fan extends the type of food that can be cooked in the OTG. With a convection fan, you may be able to bake foods in addition to grilling them.
  • Programmable – This feature enables you to set time and temperature for foods that you cook often
  • Rotisserie – This feature allows you to rotisserie a chicken or anything else on a turnstile 
  • See-through design – watch your food cook!
  • Keep-warm setting – this feature allows you to keep your food at a certain temperature until you are ready to eat.

For the most part, you will only see these features on higher end (more expensive) OTGs.


Like OTGs, microwaves have a number of features that can have an impact on the cost of the appliance. Here is a brief list of the most used microwave features:

  • +30 seconds – adds an additional 30 seconds of cooking time 
  • Convection Cooking – Enables baking cookies, cakes, and pies in the microwave
  • Defrost – safely thaw frozen food faster than setting it in a sink full of water
  • Easy Clean – an interior that makes it easier to clean than normal microwaves.
  • Express Cooking – press a button (1-9) that corresponds with cook time. 
  • Genius Sensor – microwave cooks food based on doneness, not time. 
  • Grill Function – gives the food an OTG like finish, not a soggy finish
  • Inverter Technology – attempts to cook food more evenly by cooking at a constant power instead of switching on and off for the duration of the cooking time.

Click here for a complete list of microwave features explained.

So, what’s the difference

The difference between OTGs and microwaves is the number of features that are available. Microwaves have the ability to turn into faster OTGs, but OTGs cannot convert into microwaves. In addition, microwaves can take advantage of new home automation that OTGs have yet to discover. 

What’s better, OTG or Microwave?

Although this is just personal opinion, I believe that microwaves are better because they offer a number of features to meet your needs. Basic microwave features can take some of the hassel out of cooking. Microwaves can be used to cook a wide variety of food, whereas OTGs cannot. 


Below are a few of the different foods that you can cook in a microwave and OTG


  • Toast
  • Bagel
  • Bread
  • Reheating
  • Cakes
  • Brownies 
  • Pizza
  • Sandwiches 

An OTG is best for cooking foods that should have a crispy crust


Below are a few examples of the different foods you can cook in a microwave

  • Popcorn
  • frozen meat (defrost)
  • Beverages
  • Sandwiches
  • Reheating
  • frozen dinners
  • Cakes
  • Brownies
  • Pizza
  • Sandwiches 

So, what’s the difference

Microwaves can cook a much wider variety of foods. With additional features like the grill and convection function, microwaves can cook anything OTGs can cook, and more. One possible drawback of microwaves is that it is a jack of all trades, and master of none.  

What’s better, OTG or Microwave?

Like the other factors in this post, better depends on what you’re cooking. If you are cooking popcorn or beverages, than a microwave is much better. However, if you need to cook something that has a crust (bread) than an OTG might be the way to go.


So, what’s the difference between an OTG and a microwave? The biggest difference is how heat is created. This method then determines how fast food is cooked and what foods that can be cooked. Next, the cost is a huge difference between the two appliances.

Microwave ovens are best for cooking fast meals, whereas OTGs are basically mini-ovens that heat an area to a predetermined temperature. OTG ovens may take a little longer to cook, but may have a better end result. 

Basically, everything is different between the two appliances. 

Additional Questions

Is Oven Better than a Microwave?

It depends on what you are planning to cook, how much time you have, and the number of people you are trying to feed. If you are looking to cook something that is small, and needs to be cooked quickly, then a microwave may be your best option. However, If you are cooking for 20 people, or the food is too big to fit in a microwave, then an oven may be the best option. 

Which oven is best convection or grill?

Convection ovens are better than grill microwaves because they can cook more. Grill microwaves can cook many types of foods except cookies, cakes, and brownies. Convection microwaves can cook all of the foods grill microwaves plus cookies, cakes, and brownies. 

Can we reheat in OTG?

Yes, OTG ovens are great for reheating bread because the OTG toasts the bread. Depending on the microwave, some bread can become soggy.

Can you bake cookies in a convection microwave? 

Yes, convection microwaves can bake cookies, cakes, and pies. 

Can baking be done in a grill microwave?

No, you cannot use a grill microwave for baking. The baked goods will not be cooked through. You must use a convection oven or a regular oven for baking. 

Can you use a metal pan in a microwave convection oven?

No, metal cannot be placed in microwaves is it will cause arcing. Arcing (also known as sparks) usually occur when the microwaves come in contact the edges to the metal pan. For more information, read this post on aluminum foil in the microwave