Convection Microwave Vs. Microwave: Which To Choose?

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Are you planning to upgrade to a convection microwave? Or are you still in the process of deciding which of these two types of microwaves you should get for your kitchen? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you're on the right page! We've done the research for you so you can make the right choice based on your own needs and circumstances.

Both convection microwaves and the traditional microwave are useful in the kitchen. A convection microwave is more expensive but comes with dual functions of an oven and a microwave.

Meanwhile, the traditional microwave is more affordable, but its functions are limited to heating and thawing food. You should choose based on your particular cooking needs, preference, and budget.

Keep on reading to know more about the pros and cons of traditional microwave and convection microwave ovens as we help you come up with an informed choice. Let's get started!

Comparison between convection microwave and microwave, Convection Microwave Vs. Microwave: Which To Choose?

Which is better: convection combo or microwave?

Food preparation and cooking are part of our daily lives. And we're thankful for the kitchen appliances and innovations that make these tasks easier. One such appliance is the microwave. It is an ingenious invention that helps us in preparing different dishes that we can serve at our family's dining table.

The best part is that these microwaves are available in different types to suit your particular cooking needs. In this article, we'll be discussing two types of microwaves: the traditional microwave and the convection microwave oven. Let's see how these two kitchen appliances compare with each other so that you can make an informed decision on which one to purchase between the two.

Convection Microwave

Woman putting bowl with vegetables in microwave oven

A convection microwave oven is actually a hybrid appliance. It is a combination of two kitchen appliances - a convection oven and a microwave rolled into one.

Like an oven, a convection microwave works by having heating elements inside the oven's cavity. Aside from these, it also has a fan to help distribute the heat more evenly throughout the oven.

Like all microwaves, it can also heat, thaw, or cook food through electromagnetic radiation. This energy is directed towards the food, causing the water content to vibrate. Vibrations cause friction which leads to heat generation until the food is warmed up.

Here are the advantages of a convection microwave oven:

Variety of cooking methods

Essentially, you have two appliances in one unit, which gives you more variation when it comes to cooking.

It is such a versatile kitchen appliance that allows you to cook food in various ways - from baking, broiling to roasting. This means you can serve different dishes for your family to feast on. It also retains the original function of microwaves which is to heat or thaw food in a short period of time.

Fully-cooked Dishes

With the help of the fan and heating elements, the food is fully cooked from all sides at a faster rate. This reduces the risk of food poisoning, and you can be sure that the food that you're serving is safe to eat.

Convenience

Since there are racks in the microwave oven, you can also heat or thaw multiple dishes at once. You're able to accomplish more things in the kitchen in a short amount of time.

You can alternate between its microwave and convection oven functions with just a touch of a button. We all know how convenient this is, as there are times when you only need to reheat your frozen beef lasagna for dinner, but there are also instances when you need to bake cookies and other goodies for your little ones when this comes in handy.

Space-saver

It is also a space-saving solution for those with small kitchens. You don't have to make space for both an oven and a microwave with this hybrid appliance.

And here are the disadvantages of using this type of microwave oven:

Are Microwave Convection Ovens Expensive?

The main downside here is that this microwave convection combination is a bit more expensive than the traditional one. You will have to spend about $100 more when you choose this over the conventional microwave oven.

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Small size

These appliances are usually small in size. This means that you'll also be limited with the number and size of the dishes that you can cook inside it. Watch out because it might not be able to accommodate your extra-large turkey for Thanksgiving! So, this is really recommended for small families or those who already have a separate oven in their kitchen.

Learning curve

There's a learning curve to this. You might start with some trial and error even if you follow the recipe book or guide regarding its use. So, be prepared for a few fails before you get it right.

Microwave Oven

Woman's hands closing the microwave oven door and preparing food in microwave

The traditional microwave is a simpler appliance since it just performs the function of a microwave. It uses electromagnetic radiation to heat food. There's a magnetron inside this kitchen appliance that produces microwaves that are responsible for the electromagnetic radiation.

This radiation is reflected by the heating element, being the metal interior of the appliance. The heat is passed on to the material that holds the food until the heat is absorbed by the food itself. Foods contain water and the molecules in the dish would begin to vibrate and cause friction which produces heat. That is how the food inside the microwave is cooked.

Here are the benefits of using the traditional microwave:

Faster Cooking Time

This is the wonder of electromagnetic radiation. It is able to make the water molecules vibrate at a speed of one million times per second. It cuts the time it takes to heat or cook food.

You can have your meal ready in just a few minutes. This is a big help for those who are so busy with their daily schedules and don't have time to spare for meticulous cooking.

You can also thaw your frozen food using the microwave and have it ready for cooking or eating (if pre-cooked) in a short time.

More affordable

Compared to convection microwave ovens, traditional microwave ovens are more affordable. This is good news for those who are on a budget and who aren't looking for something fancy in their kitchen.

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Retains Nutrition

When you cook food in the microwave, no nutrients are lost in the process. You can still enjoy the same flavor, and the food won't be burnt because it is programmable and the cooking time is short.

Is A Microwave Easy to Clean?

Housewife's hand in rubber gloves cleans the microwave using a sponge

The appliance itself is easy to clean with its smooth and polished surface. You can just wipe it with a damp cloth to remove dirt and food residue.

You'll have no hassles getting rid of food residue on the cookware and utensils since it won't stick to them. They also don't get too hot for you to handle, so the risk of burns is smaller.

Energy efficiency

You can choose the time and settings for your microwave cooking. This kitchen appliance will shut off automatically once it is done according to the programmed settings.

Aside from conserving the appliance's use of energy, you also conserve your own energy by not having to hover over the stove to check if it's done. You can do other things while you're waiting for the food to be heated or cooked.

No smoke

When you use the microwave for cooking, there's no smoke in the kitchen. It also doesn't give off additional heat that'll make your house warmer.

Below are the drawbacks of using a traditional microwave oven:

Are Microwave Ovens Safe?

In general, microwave ovens are safe. Before buying, you should also look for the safety seal as mandated by the government from the manufacturers.

However, there are cases of microwave radiation leakage that can cause severe burns and eye irritation. These happen when the unit is damaged. In extreme cases or with continuous exposure to microwave radiation, it can lead to reduced immunity, heart problems, and even cancer.

Do Microwave Ovens Heat Unevenly?

The electromagnetic radiation cannot penetrate more than 1.5 inches into the food. This results in hot spots in the exterior and cold spots at its depth. Users are advised to be mindful of the size and shape of the food that goes into the microwave to avoid uneven cooking, which could also lead to food poisoning.

Do Microwave Ovens Dry Out Food?

Woman putting container with fried potatoes, chicken meat and sausages into microwave oven in kitchen

Since the microwave oven heats or cooks food through the movement of water molecules, some of the water content is lost. This makes the food dry. You can add more water to your dish if you know that you'll be using the microwave to cook it.

No cooking diversity

With a microwave oven, you're pretty much stuck with heating or thawing your food. You cannot make crunchy food crispy again when you heat it through the microwave. There are no other cooking methods that you can do to diversify your dishes.

Final Thoughts

The convection microwave oven provides you with versatility that you will find useful in different aspects of food preparation. But it is not necessarily better. The traditional microwave oven is a practical choice, especially if you're the type of person who's always on the go and you don't have time to prepare food for other members of the family. It's really up to your cooking needs and budget, of course.

If you want to read more about microwaves, feel free to visit the following links:

Can You Replace Your Microwave With An Air Fryer?

Microwave Runs But Not Heating Up – What To Do?

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