Cooking is one of the essential things to sustain a life… and becomes adventurous too if you don’t know the exact process or the choice of technology.
A microwave convection oven is a device that is a combination of a convection oven and a microwave, providing you the features of both, which include cooking, baking, roasting, etc. Along with that, you will get features like preheating, reheating, boiling, defrosting, etc.
Most of you might not understand what “Microwave convection oven” is and would confuse it with a normal oven. Let’s start with the difference between the two technologies and then will dig more about microwave convection oven.
Microwave Convection Oven
A microwave convection oven has an additional heating element along with a fan, which transfers or circulates the hot air across the food, evenly retaining its taste and adding a nice texture too.
Like if you keep the things to roast, it would cook too quickly in a microwave oven and not even have a crispy brown texture over it… and if you cook it in a convection oven, you would be waiting for so much time to bake or roast. But, with a microwave convection oven, you get quick and even cooking with a brown or crispy texture.
Types of Microwave Convection oven
Microwave ovens combined with convection technology can be of below two types:
- Autonomous – These microwave convection ovens are usually mounted on the kitchen table. They are quite bulky and heavy… and you need extra space on your countertop for these types of ovens.
- Built-In – Another type of microwave convection oven model are built-in models. These ovens are built in a complete kitchen and are great for a modular kitchen. They don’t take up much space in your kitchen or extra space on your countertop.
Difference between Conventional and Convectional technology
Microwave technology uses a conventional technology that uses electromagnetic waves to vibrate the water molecules in your food that generates the heat. Microwave ovens are quite fast and are great for commercial kitchens where the kitchen is always busy, and you need quick heating.
Convection oven technology uses heating elements with powerful fans that circulate the heated air throughout the appliance and ensures even cooking for your food. These ovens are helpful in slow cooking as you get high precision while adjusting the temperatures.
There are basically below differences between microwave and convection oven:
- The microwave oven offers quick heating while convection oven allows low-temperature cooking.
- Microwave ovens usually help in reheating, boiling, defrosting while convection oven offers preheating, roasting, baking, and crisping also.
- The convection oven works either on electricity or gas, but the microwave oven works on electricity.
- The microwave uses electromagnetic radiations while convection ovens circulate hot air around the food.
- The cooking capacity is usually smaller in a microwave oven than convection ovens.
Advantages of Microwave Convection Oven
There are many advantages of using a microwave convection oven rather than other ovens. Some of them are as below:
1. Versatility – Convection oven with microwave allows you to prepare a huge range of dishes that you cannot prepare with a regular microwave. You can prepare fish, meat, bake cakes, cookies, pizza, meringue, and many more dishes.
2. Texture – As you cook with the microwave radiations, the food would just heat the inside, but the hot air convection technology also browns and cooks the outside of your food…resulting in a better and crispy texture. So, the crust of your pizza or other foods becomes golden and crispy, and pastries get even crust color and baked texture.
3. Faster Cooking – As you choose other options like broiling, roasting, or baking in the convection microwave oven, your preparation time is reduced to half as it would be with convection ovens. As the microwave technology allows quick interior cooking and convection technology offers outside cooking.
Related: Our Best Oven Thermometers
4. Preheat – You do not get preheat function in microwave ovens. Still, with microwave convection oven, you get the ability to preheat your oven before you cook, which reduces your energy bills as the food takes less time to cook. It is very helpful before starting baking muffins, bread, cookies, or roasting fish, poultry, or meat, etc.
5. Enhanced Flavor – The microwave convection oven uses radio-frequency and hot air circulation at the same time, which cooks the food evenly and quickly and also retains the moisture inside your food items, which results in enhancing the flavor of your dishes.
6. Sensor cooking – Most of the microwave convection ovens feature auto chef cooking or sensor cooking that would adjust the cooking time depending on the food items you are cooking. It helps you get delicious and juicy meals most of the time.
Disadvantages of Microwave Convection Oven
Every coin has two sides… where are so many pros of a microwave convection oven, there are few disadvantages too which are as below:
- You can’t cook multiple dishes in a microwave convection oven, which you could otherwise do in convection.
- Due to missing base heating elements, some baked foods, especially those that require base cooking, will not be as good as in a large convection oven.
- You need to clean your microwave convection oven regularly.
- As the food cooks really fast, the outer texture may burn if you overheat it, so you need to set the temperature and timings carefully.
- The convection microwave oven has a limited size and could not fit a large size of food portions such as big turkeys.
Kind of Pans for Microwave Convection Oven
The first clear understanding is you cannot use metal pans or any flimsy containers in a microwave oven or a microwave convection oven. Microwave ovens need the cookware that is less likely to get hot and won’t repel radiations.
For microwave ovens, you can use the containers labeled as “microwave safe” as it won’t heat the pans while absorbing the radiations and would not melt in contact with hot food. They also don’t have any chemicals or toxins that would come in your hot food.
For convection ovens, the hot air is blown around the food to give it a nice crispy texture… so the pans you use should have low slides to allow a nice airflow. As the convection oven doesn’t use any radiations while cooking, you can use metal pans only for the convection feature cooking.
But, when you are using a microwave convection oven, it is not a good option to buy the cookware separately. So, the best option to choose is glass or ceramic cookware. Ensure that the cookware is maintained according to the special properties.
There are a few things that you need to take care of while using glass and ceramic pans. You should warm the refrigerated ceramic or glass pans to room temperature before using it in the oven. Don’t make your hot glass or ceramic cookware rest on a wet countertop. Reduce cooking temperature as this cookware retains heat.
When should you buy a microwave convection oven?
Microwave convection ovens are better at browning and crisping food and result in quick cooking. So, if you wish to get a microwave oven for pies, cookies, meats, etc. with a crispy skin but retaining the moisture and flavor… better go for a microwave convection oven.
Another reason when you should buy a microwave convection oven is if you have space constraints and your kitchen size doesn’t allow you to have a traditional microwave oven or you want to replace your old microwave with a modern appliance with additional features.
Are microwave convection ovens worth it?
In the modern era, technology has given us vast opportunities…one if which is the 2 in one device that helps you save your power consumption, space, and use devices with nonstick materials… but it all depends on your usage and your needs.
This question you need to ask to yourself… Is a microwave oven sufficient for my needs? The answer would be yes if you don’t like much crispy and brown textured food, and you are not fond of baking. The simple task for which you want an oven is to heat and cook food; then, a microwave convection oven is not a worthy appliance for you.
But, if you love baking or you want the appearance and taste both to be great, then it is totally worthy. You get auto programmed functions, convection rack for baking, multi-stage cooking, steam cleaning, preheat, roast, and lot many features with a microwave convection oven. So, for baking, browning, crisping, grilling, and roasting, you can give a thought of buying a microwave convection oven for sure.
Choosing a microwave convection oven is better than choosing a microwave or a convection oven separately.
Since it not only increases the choices of dishes and options but also is a great value addition to provide a nice texture and crispy crust with enhanced flavors for the items you cook. For a firm and even cooking, it is always a great option to choose a microwave convection oven.