Published On: Thu, Oct 17th, 2019

Everything You Need to Know About Convection Microwave Ovens

Combination appliances are starting to become household favorites because of the convenience they offer. They can save you kitchen space and also money because you’ll be getting two or sometimes even more products in a single device. 

If you take a look at your kitchen now, there’s a huge chance that you own both a microwave and an oven. And if you’re a fan of convection cooking, you might even have a convection microwave or a convection oven. 


But what are the odds that you own a combination of all of them? We’re talking about a convection microwave oven. And as you can see here, there are a lot of styles and designs offered in the market. 


  • What is a Convection Microwave Oven?


To help you understand it better, let us define each appliance combined to make a convection microwave oven:


  • Convection Oven


According to DiligentChef.com, convection technology is well-known for the advantage of giving you equal heat distribution for cooking. A convection oven achieves this by using strong fans to recirculate the heat inside. And not only you will get consistent internal temperatures, but you will also be able to cook food faster thanks to quick heat circulation.  


  • Microwave


A microwave, on the other hand, heats food quickly by using non-ionizing radiation. The device generates energy that will be absorbed by the food molecules, making them bounce around. And this resulting friction will then heat up the food. If you think about it, the microwave itself doesn’t generate heat, and the “food heats itself.”  


  • Convection Microwave


Compared to a traditional microwave that heats the food inside, convection microwave also cooks the outside of the food thoroughly. This means you can achieve a brown or crispy exterior that you usually get in a traditional oven. And because you’ll be able to cook things thoroughly and not just quickly, you can use a convection microwave for baking and roasting as well. 

Now that you are familiar with how each of them works, then you also have a gist of what you’ll get with a convection microwave oven. Simply put, you’ll be achieving equal heat distribution from the hot air and also the quickness of microwave technology. What this hybrid kitchen appliance promises is evenly cooked food that is served fast. 


  • How Do Convection Microwave Ovens Work?


As we have previously discussed, a convection microwave oven is a combination of three appliances. Therefore, you can choose from three cooking modes, as well. 


  • As a convection oven


The evenly distributed heat that this feature offers is useful for cooking your food thoroughly. For example, you can use the unit as a microwave to quickly heat your food. Then, select the convection feature of the device so you can brown or crisp the outside of the food. This convection oven “part” of the convection microwave oven is also what makes it possible to broil or bake with the unit. 


  • As a microwave


The microwave “part” of the hybrid appliance is what gives it the speed to deliver hot and cooked food. You can opt to use your convection microwave oven as a microwave only if all you need to do is reheat your food. This simple mode is useful enough for a majority of foodstuff, but you can also “finish” your recipe with the convection feature afterward. 


  • As a combination of the two


Convection microwave ovens also have a single mode that already combines the microwave and convection features. You don’t have to manually select microwave and convection separately. The device will already cook your food quickly and evenly inside out. 


  • How to Use a Convection Microwave Oven for Cooking


Choosing from the three modes that a convection microwave offers will depend on what you want to achieve with your recipe. For example:


  • Microwave mode


What are the things that you usually put in the microwave? These include recipes that you can do within 5 or 10 minutes. Those that you can let the unit do the cooking for you and just come back once it notifies you with the timer. 

Some units even have sensor cooks that have specific ingredients such as popcorn that you can select without the need to guess for the time interval. However, remember that you can’t use metal racks and the like, as you would with a microwave unit. 


  • Convection mode


The convection mode is excellent for recipes that call for specific temperatures. We’re talking about baked goodies or roasted meat. If you’re craving for something with a brown, crispy exterior, cook using the convection feature. Some models usually include a cooking rack as well to use with this mode. This way, the food is elevated to get the hot air to circulate underneath it giving it a crispy exterior all around. 


  • Combination mode


What is best to cook with the combination mode? Any recipes that you want to be cooked thoroughly with a beautiful finish outside! The microwave function will cook and penetrate through thicker ingredients. While the convection function, on the other hand, will give your dish a toasted or crispy finish outside. 

Do take note that sometimes, you’ll need to adjust your cooking period when using this hybrid device. This includes cutting some cooking/baking periods, so you don’t risk overcooking your food. 


  • Advantages of Convection Microwave Oven 



  • Fast and Flavorful Results


The combination of even heat distribution from convection cooking, and quick cooking from the microwave feature cuts your typical cooking time. You can also preheat the device ahead of time as you would with an oven to maximize your time. But besides quick cooking, the combination of the two features even allow your food to retain moisture. Therefore, you’ll lock in the flavors without drying your dish. 


  • Budget and Space Saving


In a way, the combination of appliances in one saves you money because of its multiple capabilities. The fast yet effective way of cooking even means that you’re saving on the electricity bills. And if you think about it, this versatility also saves you space because you’re cooking, baking, roasting, broiling, toasting, and defrosting using only one device. Not to mention, you can choose from countertop and built-in models depending on your kitchen design. 


  • Disadvantages of Convection Microwave Oven 


One downside that you can get in a convection microwave oven is that you might need to do some tweaking with the cooking time. It can mean experimenting with how long or how short should you leave the ingredients in the unit to achieve your ideal results. 

Lastly, some devices with multiple capabilities might perform underwhelmingly. For example, the onion rings you got from the air fryer feature might not beat your deep-fried ones. We get it; even if it’s unhealthy, oil frying has set the bar for certain recipes.

Author: Michael Simmons

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