Usage Tips \ Microwaves \ What is a Convection Microwave?

What is a Convection Microwave?

The microwave is a favourite kitchen appliance for many people. A microwave oven does not only make it easy to prepare popcorn for movie night, but it can also save time, energy, and mess when cooking or reheating leftovers.
For some households, the microwave might be on the way to replacing the conventional oven. Have you heard of convection microwaves?
Have a look at why they’re considered a level up over regular microwaves, what you can do with them, and how to determine if they’re the right choice for your kitchen.

How Convection Microwave Cooking Works

So, what is a convection microwave oven and how is it different from a regular microwave?
In addition to a microwave generator, convection microwaves are also equipped with heating elements (like an oven) as well as a fan that circulates the hot air around the oven. This means that you can set it to work as a microwave or similar to a convection oven.

You can use a convection microwave for plenty of things, such as:

  • Bake a cake
  • Roast a chicken
  • Cook a beef roast
  • Bake cookies
  • Prepare a frozen casserole
  • Crisp a pizza

What Are the Benefits of a Convection Microwave?

The 2-in-1 function makes convection microwaves more suitable for small apartments where residents don’t have enough space for a conventional oven.
Some convection microwave models have an auto mode that can adjust the settings to fit the preparation of common foods. For example, Whirlpool convection microwaves’ Auto Convect mode automatically sets the right temperature, power, and cooking time for most favourite meals.
One of the great benefits of the convection microwave is that it can help cook your meals faster. Your food will be warm and ready for serving.
Some models come with a rack that separates the inside of the microwave in two. You might be able to prepare two dishes at once.

Conventional vs. Convection Microwaves

You can use a convection microwave oven to do everything that a conventional microwave does. That includes boiling, reheating, and defrosting. More advanced conventional microwaves also have sensors that can automatically adjust the cooking time according to the moisture level in the food. As you may know, microwaves work by heating water molecules in food.
Convection microwaves can do the same and they also work like an oven. Some models may come with features like the ability to control them using your phone. Additional features may add to the cost of the microwave. Thanks to the additional heating elements and fan, you can use them for crisping, pre-heating, baking, and roasting.

What Else to Know Before You Buy a Convection Microwave

Generally speaking, a convection microwave is not going to be anywhere as big as a full-sized conventional oven. So, if you’re planning on making oversized dishes that can feed a dozen, you won’t be able to replace a regular oven with a convection microwave.

The Pros and Cons of a Convection Microwave

Convection microwaves come with their pros and cons. The following may help you make the final purchase decision.

Pros

  • More cooking options
  • Results can be just as good as a small oven
  • Saves time and space
  • Pre-heating mode for multi-stage cooking
  • Some models can be controlled via a smartphone

Cons

  • Limited capacity

Who Should Consider a Convection Microwave?

If you have a small kitchen and you prefer space-saving appliances, this type of microwave may be ideal for you. Those who don’t like to spend too much time in the kitchen may also appreciate the high-speed cooking. It may be the right choice if you don’t intend to prepare complicated meals that require a conventional oven.

Versatility in Your Kitchen

Whether you live on reheated leftovers or you have kids who ask for cookies and pies all the time, a convection microwave can be a convenient appliance worth the investment.
If you’re not sure about which microwave model to get, check out our blog post, How to Choose a Microwave, for more tips.
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