What is a Convection Microwave? The Ultimate Guide to This Versatile Kitchen Appliance

What is a Convection Microwave? The Ultimate Guide to This Versatile Kitchen Appliance

Have you ever wished you could bake, roast, grill and microwave all in one appliance? Enter the convection microwave – a game-changing kitchen innovation that combines the speed of a microwave with the browning and crisping capabilities of a convection oven.

As someone who loves to cook but is often short on time, discovering convection microwaves was a revelation for me. Suddenly, I could make a perfectly browned roast chicken or crispy pizza in a fraction of the usual time.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll dive into exactly what is a convection microwave, how it works, and its many benefits. Whether you’re a busy parent, an avid home cook, or just looking to upgrade your kitchen, a convection microwave may be the versatile appliance you’ve been searching for.

What is a Convection Microwave What is a Convection Microwave? The Ultimate Guide to This Versatile Kitchen Appliance

What is a Convection Microwave?

A convection microwave looks similar to a standard microwave oven but has one key difference – an additional heating element and fan. It allows it to operate in three distinct modes:

  • Microwave-only mode: Works just like a regular microwave, using electromagnetic waves to heat food quickly
  • Convection-only mode: Uses the heating element and fan to circulate hot air around the oven cavity, similar to a regular convection oven
  • Combination mode: Utilizes both microwaves and convection heat for fast cooking and browning/crisping

When you use the convection mode, hot air is blown around the food, cooking it more evenly and thoroughly than in a standard microwave. This allows you to achieve oven-quality results in less time.

In fact, convection microwaves can reduce cooking times by up to 30% compared to traditional ovens!

Benefits of Using a Convection Microwave:

Versatility and Multifunctionality

One of the biggest advantages of a convection microwave is its versatility. It combines the functions of a regular microwave, convection oven, and often a grill, allowing you to bake, roast, crisp, brown, and defrost foods all in one appliance.

You can use it to steam vegetables, bake cakes, roast meats, toast bread, grill kabobs, and so much more. It’s like having a second oven that takes up a fraction of the space.

Convection microwaves often come with pre-set menu options and auto-cooking programs that make preparing a variety of dishes quick and easy with the push of a button. They are great for making foods that require a crispy exterior or even browning, like perfectly golden pastry crusts.

Faster Cooking Speed

Convection microwaves combine the speed of a microwave with the hot air circulation of a convection oven, cooking foods significantly faster than either method alone. The circulating hot air cooks food more quickly and evenly.

Imagine roasting a whole chicken in just 30 minutes! Convection microwaves also preheat very quickly, further reducing overall cooking times.

Better Browning and Crisping

Regular microwaves often result in soggy or unevenly cooked food. A convection microwave’s convection function allows you to achieve crispier crusts, nicely browned meats, and perfectly caramelized vegetables. The hot air circulation cooks foods evenly from the inside out, resulting in better texture than a standard microwave.

Energy and Space Efficiency

Since convection microwaves can cook foods faster and don’t require preheating, they typically use less energy than a traditional oven. This energy efficiency can translate to savings on your electricity bills over time.

For those with small kitchens, a convection microwave takes up the same amount of counter space as a regular microwave while providing the functionality of a second oven. This makes it a great space-saving appliance for small homes or apartments.

Even Heating and Moisture Retention

The circulating hot air in a convection microwave leads to more even heating and cooking compared to a regular microwave. Foods tend to retain more of their natural flavours and moisture. Another benefit of the convection microwave is its ability to defrost foods while preserving freshness and nutritional value.

Convection Microwave Cooking Tips

If you’re new to a convection microwave, there may be a small learning curve as you get used to the different settings and cooking times. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your appliance:

Lower the temperature by 25°F when converting recipes from a regular oven to a convection microwave. Foods will cook faster and can burn at higher temps.

  • Use microwave-safe and oven-safe cookware like ceramic, glass, silicone, and certain plastics. Avoid using metal cookware unless the manual specifies it’s okay.
  • Flip and rotate foods halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning on all sides.
  • For baked goods, use the convection setting for browning at the end of the cooking time to avoid overbaking.
  • Refer to your model’s manual for recommended cooking times and settings for different foods.

The Bottom Line

Convection microwaves offer a unique combination of speed, versatility, and cooking performance, making them a standout appliance for any kitchen. Understanding how they work and the best ways to use them can unlock a new world of culinary possibilities.

A convection microwave may become your new favourite cooking companion, from quick weeknight dinners to impressive party snacks. As someone who relies on my convection microwave nearly every day, I can attest what a useful addition it is to any kitchen. It’s the appliance I never knew I needed but now can’t live without.

If you’re unsure whether a convection microwave is right for you, give one a try. With a little practice and experimentation, it revolutionizes the way you cook.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is a convection microwave worth the extra cost?

Convection microwaves do tend to cost more than regular microwaves. However, if you use the extra features regularly, it can be a worthwhile investment that saves you time and energy in the long run. Consider how often you cook and if the added versatility would benefit your lifestyle.

Can you use aluminium foil in a convection microwave?

It depends on the model, but many manufacturers caution against using foil since it can cause arcing and damage the oven. Always check your manual before putting any metal in a microwave, even in convection mode.

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MC Electrical & Communications
1 month ago