Whether you are redoing your kitchen, buying your first appliances or moving into a new place, you will most likely be looking at all of the options available to you for the kitchen including a microwave. But, should you buy a convection microwave oven or a standard microwave?
However, it is essential to know that there are plenty of appliances that are now capable of doing multiple things and replacing traditional options including a convection microwave.
Have you considered purchasing a convection microwave? Convection microwaves are fantastic options for those that are short on space or would simply like to invest in something that will help in case our usual go-to kitchen machines break down.
But what is a convection microwave, and how is it any different from a convection oven? What’s more, what can you even cook in a convection micro that you can’t in a standard microwave and how do they differ?
Are Convection Microwaves Worth It?
Generally speaking, having a convection microwave is better than having a standard microwave oven.
Really, there is no downside to having a convection microwave compared to having a regular microwave oven! You will have exactly the same features, with the same amount of power, speed, efficiency, style, and size, while having bonus features on top of that.
While using the same amount of space as a general microwave, you can go from cooking your favourite savoury dish to heating your popcorn by using the same main parameters.
You can use your convection microwave to roast meat, bake cakes, brown your cookies, etc.
How Do You Use a Convection Microwave Oven?
Convection microwave ovens use hot air to emulate the heating functionality of a regular oven. However, convection microwaves work – as you might imagine – as standard microwaves when you just want to heat things up.
It is a microwave-shaped oven with the dual ability to work either as a convection oven or a microwave. You have the option of using either simply by pressing the microwave mode button or the convection mode button on the side.
Convection cooking, generally, allows you to cook food that you’d normally expect to pop in the oven. It’s a multi-functional cooking wonder!
It resembles a convection oven more than any other kind, as it uses a fan to circulate the heat around the main compartment, thus using the convection feature to spread the heat better.
As you can imagine, the microwave feature uses microwave radiation to cook food, just as it would in a normal microwave.
Many convection microwaves also have the ability to grill foods.
Much like a traditional oven, you can purchase a convection microwave oven with two trays inside, giving you the ability to cook multiple foods at once. Alternatively, you can simply purchase a smaller one that of the size of a general microwave to fit enough food for one.
The microwave setting will cook food at the same time as a normal microwave oven would; however, the convection setting may take you longer to cook your meal, depending on the amount of space that you have and the amount of food that you are making!
Is Having a Convection Oven Better Than Having a Regular Microwave Oven?
In some cases, having a convection microwave is better than having a conventional oven.
For example, if you are living in a small space, and do not have room for a normal-sized oven, then a convection microwave is an excellent choice for saving space while still being able to cook your favourite food. Not only will you not have to install a large oven, but you will also be able to save space by having the one appliance instead of two, as you will not need a separate microwave.
Moreover, convection microwaves are a lot cheaper to buy and run than even low-cost models of standard ovens.
You will also save a lot of money on installation! Buying a standard oven is expensive in itself, but you also have to pay for the installation. By buying a convection microwave, all you will have to do is plug it into the wall.
Convection microwaves are also very easy to clean. Even if you buy a large convection microwave, it will still be smaller than your general oven, making it easier, quicker, and cheaper to clean. In fact, you could just clean it like a microwave, putting a lemon into a bowl of water, letting it run for a few minutes on the microwave mode, then wiping it out with a clean cloth.
However, if you have the option of investing in a traditional oven and the space to put it in, then a standard oven is the better option.
You will naturally be able to cook more in it, and the heating element in it will be superior. Even though convection microwaves have multiple cooking methods, and convection cooking is proven to be an excellent way of cooking your food (as it beats the natural air movement, in which the heat simply rises, thus cooking food on the upper layer faster), a good convection microwave is still not as powerful as a general oven. Think about it – it’s only normal that something that you only have to plug into the wall is not as powerful as something that usually needs wiring directly into a home’s main power circuit.
Why could I need a convection microwave oven?
Pretty much anyone can use a convection microwave! It is a useful appliance to have if you have a small kitchen, live on your own, or are on a budget.
Actually, even if you have the budget, the place, and a lot of people sharing a kitchen with you, a convection microwave is a wise investment.
For example, should your oven run on gas, having that electric back-up will mean that you do not have to go hungry on a night where the gas runs out.
It also means that should you only need to be heating a small amount of food, even on the convection setting, you will be saving energy and, therefore, money. Since it will not take as much power to heat the smaller cavity to the desired temperature as it would in a larger oven, you will be saving time, energy and money.
Finally, having a convection microwave also means that should you ever need more room for cooking, baking, using the grill, etc. (during family gatherings, parties, etc.), you will have that extra appliance to help you make your dishes in whatever way you need.
Are There Any Foods That Can’t be Cooked in a Convection Oven?
You can pretty much cook anything in a convection microwave oven that you would in any standard oven or microwave.
The convection microwave definitely has all of the features for cooking your food in the way that you want it, such as roasting, baking, using the grill, quick-cooking, etc. Many convection microwaves also come with a separate pizza mode and a cookie mode.
That being said, the size of convection microwave that you choose will also dictate what exactly you can cook. If you get a very small convection, then chances are that it may be difficult to roast chicken without it rubbing against the oven walls.
Also – regarding the size – whether the oven is big enough to roast food or not, you will likely have to spend some time determining what you are going to cook, and in what order.
For example, even with a second rack, the chances of you being able to fit a plate of vegetables, roast potatoes, and still have enough room for the meat is unlikely. Instead, you will have to choose the order in which each separate dish goes in to be cooked, and be ready for some dishes to not be at the exact temperature that you like.
However, should the oven be large enough to fit all of your dishes in, even separately, then nothing is really stopping you from cooking the foodstuff that you want, when you want it.
Whether you are replacing your old microwave, moving somewhere new, or simply needing an extra appliance to help you in the kitchen, a convection microwave is the way to go.
Nowadays, they come in a wide range of colours, styles, sizes, and brands. They also come with various features that could be of extra service to you, including roasting, baking, grilling, and cooking modes. Why not take a look at different convection microwave oven brands and see what appeals to you?