Convection Microwave ovens are a combination of a microwave oven with a grill element and fan so that they also work like a traditional convection oven. This makes one oven that gives the advantages both types of cooking.
Microwave ovens are electric ovens which use a magnetron to produce electromagnetic radiation in the microwave wavelength. This radiation causes molecules inside the food to vibrate and therefore produce thermal energy or heat to cook food. Microwave ovens excel at quickly and evenly heating food to either defrost, warm, cook or reheat your ingredients.
Traditional or conventional ovens use either electric elements or gas jets to heat the whole oven cavity and use this heat to cook your foods from the outside in. These ovens bake your food and develop the lovely caramelised flavours and crisp textures of baked meats, vegetables, cakes and pies.
Convection ovens are similar to conventional ovens but use fans to cause convection currents to move the heated air around the oven cavity. This circulating heated air provides better and more even heat transfer to your cooking and decreases cooking time and overall oven temperature needed.
So, a convection microwave should combine the benefits of both types of cooking, the speed and even cooking of the microwaves and the lovely browning and crisping of a convection oven.
Convection Microwave Features
- Versatility – Convection microwaves can be used as a microwave oven, as a convection oven or both methods of cooking can be combined to give the desired results in even less time
- Time Saving – You can perfectly cook your food to the desired degree of doneness and achieve the beautiful crisp brown crust to pizzas and baked goods in a faction of the time by using both microwave cooking and fan forced convection cooking
- Pre-Set Programs – Allow you to cook food in various modes and multiple stages for optimal results with one touch. Your oven can defrost, warm, cook, grill, bake or broil in stages using different methods or combinations without you having to continually check and set up the next step in the process.
- Retain Nutrients – A combination of cooking methods can ensure that food is cook perfectly all through without overcooking parts of the food or drying out sections. This will help to maintain the full nutrient value of your food.
- Defrost Cook – Your convection microwave can evenly defrost frozen food without drying out or burning and then continue to cook in your preferred method without changing pans or moving from one appliance to another.
- Preheat – These ovens preheat to the required temperature very quickly
- Reheating – Quickly reheat cold or frozen foods, such as pies, pizza or croissannts without losing the crispness
- Space Saving – If you only have room for one oven, this may be it. These ovens, although smaller than conventional ovens, give you all of the advantages of both a microwave oven and a convection oven. They are especially well suited to studio apartments, holiday lets and caravans.
- Energy – Generally, convection microwaves are cheaper to run when compared to cooking in separate microwave and convection ovens, and the initial cost is less.
What to look for when buying a Convection Microwave
Consider the type of food and size of food you would normally cook. Convection microwaves are smaller than traditional convection ovens but can still accommodate a family roast.
If you want a built in model, check the size of the opening needed and the venting requirements. Convection microwave ovens need more space and usually must be vented. They need to be installed professionally.
Freestanding convection microwaves need room for venting and cannot be placed in a cupboard.
Because of the microwave shielding, the doors of convection microwave ovens are hard to see through so check the internal lighting and visibility.
Ease of Use
Look for as easy to understand convection microwave that has touch controls.
Most convection microwave ovens have pre-set menu options so check to see if your favourite menus are included.
Sensor cooking uses the vapours emitted from the cooking food to adjust the cooking time and power level automatically.
The great advantage of convection microwaves is their ability to do multi-stage cooking, so make sure the oven you are considering provides easy to understand programs to make full advantage of these functions.
Some convection microwave oven allow you to adjust the cooking time during cooking without interrupting the program.
How easy is the internal cavity to clean? If you do a lot of baking and cooking of fatty foods you may have to clean after each cook. Also, grease and spilled food can absorb energy and reduce the efficiency of cooking.
All convection microwaves should have a child safety lock.
Where to buy Convection Microwave Ovens
Convection microwaves are just as common to buy online as standard microwaves, and most online electrical and kitchen appliance stores sell them.