Convection vs Conventional Microwaves

Whether you're a college student, living on your own for the first time or a practiced homeowner, you love the ease and speed of microwave ovens. With a microwave oven, you can quickly heat up food and enjoy leftovers from last night, a microwavable dinner, and popcorn or warm your favorite drinks. However, not all microwaves are built the same; some combine the speed of convection cooking in a standard conventional microwave. 

What is a convection microwave?

A convection microwave combines the size and speed of standard microwave ovens with the thoroughness of convection ovens. Convection microwaves combine convection style of cooking to circulate heated air throughout the oven, so your food bakes and browns evenly as though it is in a full-size convection oven. Convection microwave combinations only use fan-only convection heating; meaning it single fan circulates air throughout the microwave. Just because it's a convection microwave oven, though, doesn't mean it uses the convection feature all the time. Convection microwave combination models can be used as convection, standard microwave or a combination of both.  If you're worried about how the controls look, have no fear. The controls on convection microwaves are similar to standard ovens but still offer the same functions as conventional microwaves. With a convectional microwave, you'll be able to reheat something without having to set your oven.

Unlike standard conventional microwaves, convection microwaves can be preheated. If you're going to bake a cake or a small batch of cookies, the preheat feature on a convection microwave will come in handy, especially if your oven is already in use. Like a conventional oven, the microwave preheats to the temperature set; you can then open it to set in your cake pan or cookie tray to bake evenly when the interior temperature is ready. Convection microwaves are designed to actually cook and bake food unlike conventional microwaves that only reheat prepared foods.

There are three different types of microwaves: countertop, over-the-range and drawer microwaves. Countertop microwaves are exactly as they seem; these microwaves are placed on your countertops and come in various sizes. Determine how much countertop space you can spare for this type of microwave, as they will take up a considerable amount of space, no matter how big or small. Over-the-range microwaves are built-in above your stove range area. Having your microwave over your range consolidates your cooking to one area of the kitchen. Drawer microwaves are less common than countertop or over-the-range microwaves; however, they are just as useful as either. These built-in microwaves can be installed under your countertops or in your kitchen island. Microwave drawers pull out so you can set your dishes and plates literally down inside. All three types of microwaves?whether they're countertop, over-the-range or drawer?can come with a convection feature, depending on their brand and model.

Whether you get a convection or conventional microwave for your home, you'll be able to warm your favorite foods. However, if you're looking to do more actually cooking rather than heating, getting a convection microwave may be your best option. Convection microwave ovens tend to be slightly more expensive than conventional microwaves because of the additional heating element and fan components.

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