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There is no denying the fact that you need an oven in your home. I am a great testimony of that. I can’t whip up dinner or prepare for a party without using my microwave or my convection oven.
But while I am lucky to be able to afford both or that my kitchen is big enough to accommodate both appliances, not all homeowners have the same fate so they need to choose between the two. However, making the decision is not as easy as you think.
In fact, a lot of people often mistake the microwave oven for a convection oven and vice versa. But even though these appliances look the same, they have different functions and features. If you are one of those people who is still dealing with the convection oven vs. microwave debate, you may want to read this article.
What is a Microwave?
From its name, this type of oven releases radio-frequency micro-waves that heat the water molecules in the food, cooking them from the inside. Because of this, the microwave is often used in reheating canned, refrigerated or frozen food items. That is why this equipment is the best way to reheat leftovers.
At times, it can also be used to steam, bake, and cook specific types of food. It can also be used in making half-cooked meals, popping popcorn, boiling water and cooking pastas and eggs
Helps save space
With its small size, you can easily incorporate a microwave oven in your kitchen. Moreover, it is easy to install. You just have to prop it up on top of your refrigerator or over a shelf—wherever you want to place it.
Consumes less electricity
As compared to other ovens, the microwave uses the least amount of electricity. After all, it is only used for a short period of time.
The upfront cost of a microwave is also considered to be smaller. Since this equipment is designed to only reheat food items, it does not need to have the full features of an oven which makes its manufacturing process more cost effective.
Easier to operate
As mentioned, the microwave is not a full-feature oven. Because of this, it has fewer settings and controls which makes it easy to operate and use.
Hard to see the food inside it
When you place a dish inside it, there is no way for you to check the meal is already done because its glass cover is not as clear as that of the oven. Because of this, you will have to open the oven’s door from time to time.
What is a Convection Oven?
This is also called as a fan oven and turbo oven. This cooking equipment produces heat which is distributed evenly all around the food, cooking it faster as compared to most types of oven in the market. Because of this, this oven is used solely for the purpose of baking, grilling and roasting dishes. It can also be used for reheating a few food items like pizza, chicken and many others.
Promotes even cooking
Thanks to its circulating fan, the biggest benefit of this oven is it cooks food evenly. Unlike standard ovens, it will not leave your food extremely hot on one side and cold on the other.
Lesser cooking time
Even though this oven is pretty small, it cooks dishes faster than most ovens. This is because of its fan attachment that distributes the heat evenly.
Consumes lesser energy
Same with microwave, this oven uses a smaller amount of electricity as compared to standard ovens. That is because it cooks the food faster and better
Can’t be used for baking cake
The one downside of a cooking oven is it is not able to bake a cake. For some reason, the dough does not rise as it should when placed in a convection oven.
As compared to the other ovens, this one is considered to be the most expensive. This is due to its unique composition and compact size. Moreover, this oven requires regular maintenance, especially its fan.
Convection Oven Vs. Microwave: The Points of Comparison
Now that we know the pros and cons of both options, let us head to the equipment’s main points of comparison. These are as follows:
As mentioned, microwave ovens heat dishes by delivering non-ionized microwave radiation into the food, heating it from the inside out. On the other hand, convection ovens cook food by producing heat which is evenly distributed around the by its fan.
Because of this, the convection microwave has the ability to brown and crisp food. It also heats food evenly. On the other hand, the heat that the microwave produces is at room temperature, preventing it from browning and crisping food items. In a microwave oven, some spots in the food heat easier and faster so the food is not heated evenly.
The convection oven has a fan which distributes the heat that it produces evenly. As a result. There is no layer of cold air inside the oven, ensuring that the food is cooked evenly and quickly. Between the two, the convection oven cooks food faster.
A convection oven has various power sources. It can operate on gas or electricity. Meanwhile, a microwave oven can only produce microwaves if it is electrically plugged.
Final Words: Which is Better for You?
So which do you need? Have you decided between convection oven vs microwave? Contrary to popular belief, these two cooking equipment have different functions so you really do not have to choose between the two. This is most especially true if you have the budget and kitchen space to spare.
If you have a limited budget and space, you need to consider your personal preference and lifestyle.
Do you love to cook and bake? If yes, then a convection oven may be the best option for you. But if you do not cook that much and you prefer dining out and often eat leftovers or takeouts, a microwave oven may be the best investment for you.