What Is a Convection Microwave: Uses and Benefits
Answering "What is a convection microwave?" is very simple. These unique appliances combine the benefits of both microwaves and ovens in one convenient package.
They’re ideal, whether you find a standalone countertop convection microwave or a range that goes over your oven.
However, microwave ovens might not be the right appliance for your household, depending on what you’re looking for.
Although they pack a powerful punch, you could better invest in a microwave and convection oven separately.
What Is a Convection Microwave Used?
One of the most significant advantages of having a convection microwave is that it can do both microwave and convection oven jobs.
Most often, families will use it the same way they would use their microwave to reheat meals quickly, but these unique appliances also have other settings you might be interested in.
Along with being able to reheat ingredients quickly, convection microwaves can thoroughly cook raw ingredients.
You’ll find they have the same browning and crisping capabilities of a traditional oven by cooking the inside and outside of food.
You can compare this process to microwaves, which heat food from the inside out.
A few of the most common ways to use a convection microwave include:
If you’re a fan of hosting family roasts, a convection microwave is bound to prove useful.
You can roast an entire slice of meat or a whole chicken, depending on the oven size.
You can also work with your favorite vegetables, braise them beautifully, or roast them alongside the meat.
For later, you can then switch from the convection setting to the microwave setting to reheat leftovers.
One of the most substantial advantages of using a convection microwave for roasting is its effect on your chunk of meat.
By perfectly cooking it from the outside in, the meat exterior will be perfectly crisp while the inside is still juicy.
Many homeowners find that these appliances are perfect for ingredients that are the most likely to dry out in a traditional oven.
2. Baking Hearty Dough
It’s not ideal to use a convection oven for delicate recipes, such as souffle, but it is great for hearty dough.
You can easily bake an assortment of bread and even cookies after you’ve finished your family roast.
Since convection ovens are compatible with metal cookware, you can bet your convection microwave will be, either.
Meaning, you can also create muffins and small cupcakes with ease.
3. Cooking Frozen Pizza
Sometimes, the best way to satiate a pizza craving is to prepare one yourself.
With frozen pizza, you can easily pop it into your convection microwave and cook the perfect texture effortlessly.
Also, it’s important to remember that these appliances work faster than a standard oven.
Even if you have ordered pizza, you can reheat it using the microwave or oven settings.
Your kids will love getting their hands on an appliance that is seemingly for their favorite after-school treats.
Convection microwaves are also just as safe as regular microwaves, making them easy for teens to use.
4. Cooking in Small Spaces
For homeowners or renters who don’t have space for a traditional oven, microwave ovens are ideal.
They can easily fit on your counter and don’t require cabinets to be cut or adjusted.
Often, you’ll find most models are equal in size or a little larger than a traditional microwave.
Many people also opt for convection microwaves in RVs, as a whole oven might not be necessary.
You’ll have the convenience of cooking several meals without having to worry about a heavy-duty appliance.
Also, since they are more compact than ovens, keeping them clean will take far less time.
Is a Convection Microwave Worth It?
A convection microwave might be worth it, depending on how often you want to use it and what you need.
Since the device offers two methods of cooking in one, they are typically less potent than a standalone convection oven.
With that said, if you already have a functioning microwave, it would be better to buy a regular convection oven.
For homes that need a microwave upgrade and a faster way to cook meals than in their regular oven, this appliance is fantastic.
It takes up far less space than two standalone appliances and will have many easy-to-use features your family will love.
Also, you can buy a convection microwave for a fraction of the cost of a standard oven.
To figure out if they are worth the investment for your family, it’s essential to consider your needs.
You’ll also want to ensure your chosen model has all of your desired features in a convection microwave.
Convection Microwave Features
Similar to any appliances, the more expensive they are, the more features they are bound to offer.
Some households might not need the latest technological advancements, while others might.
A few of the most common features of top-tier convection microwave ovens include:
1. Smartphone Compatibility
In today’s world, smart homes and connecting to appliances with your devices are quite popular.
What if you could control your convection microwave from anywhere in your home using your smartphone?
Some models allow you to adjust the cooking time, temperature, and even check on your meal while being cooked via a camera.
This feature will be invaluable if you’re someone who likes to put food into the oven while doing other tasks.
Also, you can preheat the convection microwave well in advance so that cooking is even more convenient.
2. Smart Cooking Features
More households invest in convection ovens because of how they cook food with the crispy exterior and moist interior.
With the help of smart cooking features, you can ensure your meats and vegetables are cooked even better.
Your convection oven will automatically detect the moisture within the cooking chamber and adjust the cooking time, as needed.
If you own a modern microwave, you have likely been exposed to this feature before.
For example, if you choose the “Popcorn” setting on your microwave, it uses the same method to adjust the cooking time.
3. Cooking Presets
Since convection microwaves are two appliances in one, you can guarantee there is plenty of cooking presets, which are ideal for home cooks who prefer to use pre-made temperature settings and cook times for recipes.
Instead of having to figure out whether to cook your pizza at 350 or 400 degrees, all you have to do is press the “Pizza” button.
Most convection microwaves will have upwards of eight cooking presets, ranging from defrosting to reheating leftovers.
Some even have digital menus with dozens of options, so your meals are cooked to perfection.
Why Convection Microwaves Aren’t Worth It
Not everyone will benefit from using a convection oven, especially if you don’t need one.
Many households prefer to rely on their traditional oven, as it is fully versatile, from meat to cakes.
A few of the most notable disadvantages to convection microwaves include:
1. Single-Dish Cooking
Like a microwave, most convection microwaves have a single rotating dish where you’d place your ingredients.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to add extra racks to cook multiple items simultaneously.
You would have to invest in a convection oven if you wanted to work on multiple trays of food.
This issue becomes particularly noticeable if you’re making a meal for the whole family.
Even a standard oven gives you plenty of space to cook an assortment of ingredients simultaneously.
Along with the fact that you can only cook on a single tier, the internal capacity of a convection microwave is small.
With a full-size convection oven or a traditional oven, you can fit large chunks of meat, whole chickens, and giant pizzas.
Convection microwaves might have smaller interiors to restrict what will fit inside of them.
2. Fast Cooking
You might be thinking that convection microwaves’ quick cooking is a benefit, but it can also be an issue.
If you have never used a convection oven for a specific recipe, you could overcook the ingredients.
You will likely have to monitor the cooking process to make sure you don’t over-brown or overcook your meals.
This point is especially crucial for people who want to use their convection microwave for toasting, as it might burn quickly.
In this instance, it would be better to consider investing in a separate toaster oven.
With that said, once you get the hang of it, using the convection microwave will become more straightforward.
Can You Put Metal in a Convection Microwave?
Even though the consensus is that metal shouldn’t be used in microwaves, you can use it in convection microwaves.
Since these appliances cook like convection ovens, metal and foil can be used safely compared to microwaves.
However, it is essential to read the instructions for your specific appliance to ensure it is safe.
Improperly using metal in appliances can cause arcing in the oven that produces a significant fire hazard.
Also, using metal in a regular microwave can destroy the inner components, rendering the unit useless.
Adding a Convection Microwave Oven in Your Kitchen
For homeowners asking, what is a convection microwave, it could quickly become your most-used appliance.
With the shape of a microwave and cooking style of a convection oven, it has the best features of both.
Cooking, reheating, and defrosting has never been easier and more efficient than with a convection microwave.