A few weeks ago, I went on a holiday with my sister, leaving my boys to take care of each other. Also, I left them with tons of prepared food, but after a few days, it ran out, so they had to manage on their own.
Well, they managed something, that’s for sure because when I came back home, on a spot where my convection oven used to be, sat a brand new microwave. Did they think I wouldn’t notice?
Although it was nice of them to replace the broken appliance with a new and shiny one, they didn’t realize this one was completely different, with a different purpose.
Convection Oven vs Microwave
So, this one goes out to all of you, husbands, sons, and brothers who know nothing about convection ovens or microwaves, except that when you put raw food in, you wait a few minutes, hear a “ding,” and the delicious meal comes out; and wives, daughters, and sisters who are sure there is a difference, but are too shy to ask for an explanation.
Also, I’m happy to inform you that there is a child of these two appliances, hybrid if you like, called convection microwave, but let me get to that later…
The main characteristic of the convection oven is that it’s used mainly for baking. When you want something roasted, grilled, brown, caramelized, and crispy, this type of oven should be your first choice. It uses hot, dry air, which is circulated by built-in fans.
This way, it produces lower temperatures and distributes heat evenly, making the process of cooking faster, compared to conventional ovens. Home conventions are usually smaller than other ovens, as you can see in the picture above, therefore they take less space in your beloved kitchen.
The convection oven, as we know it today, first came in use in 1967. It was created and placed on the market by Malleable Iron Range Company. Since then it became an essential part of any modern household.
As I said, the main use of convection is baking (we use it for Tandoori chicken, grilled stuff like kebabs, brownies, cakes bread, lasagna, pizza), but it can also be used for making popcorn, pasta macaroni, heating, and boiling liquids and so on.
I’m still grieving over my broken appliance, which I had for a long time, and we did make some excellent food together. I am so saddened by this because I used it in making many of my hubby’s favorite dishes.
For example, I’ve already told you how my boys love bratwurst, a proven method to cook Italian sausage in the oven, and I’ve given you all the little secrets considering preparing it. One more secret I have to share with you is this: all this cooking can be done by using a countertop convection oven! You don’t believe me? Well, go ahead and try it on your own! 🙂
Related: Most Recommended Oven Cleaners – Reviewed
Microwave, on the other hand, uses radio-frequency energy to heat waters and fats, which cooks food from the inside. These waves are causing molecules to vibrate which then causes the temperature to rise.
The exact term for this appliance is a microwave oven, which is funny because it is not an oven at all. It is most commonly used for re-heating earlier prepared food, without having to cook it.
The good thing is, using the microwave is incredibly simple so that anyone can learn it, even children. Also, it works very fast, and it consumes less electricity than other types of ovens.
Developing microwave ovens started in the 1930s, but it became commercially available for the first time in 1947. However, housewives had to wait for another twenty years since that moment, for the first domestic microwave to be produced by The Raytheon Corporation. It occurred in 1967.
Since then, its popularity has varied over the years, but as life fastened and people had less and less time for themselves, their eating habits drastically changed, and consequently, the microwave became a very tempting option for everyday cooking.
- Fun Fact: Raytheon Company is specialized in weaponry, military electronics, and defense solutions. So, I guess you could say microwave ovens are in fact, the heavy artillery of cooking.
As I earlier mentioned, this appliance is the best for re-heating already cooked food, but it can also be good for making half-cooked meals, popcorn, pasta macaroni, cooking rice, coffee/tea, heating milk, boiling water, etc.
Personally, I’m not very keen on using the microwave. I prefer cooking on the regular stove, where I have more control over the dish I’m making.
I can regulate temperature, taste the food and add spices, water, oil, or anything that it needs to be perfect. While, if I’m using the microwave, this kind of “interfering” is not possible.
My way may be slower, but as I always say, food is love and love takes time, doesn’t it? 🙂
If you ask my sons, for example, they would say the microwave is a lifesaver. Students, people who are working a lot, basically anyone who doesn’t have much time to spend cooking, or simply don’t like to cook (which is almost unimaginable to me) really can benefit from its use.
One of the reasons I don’t particularly like using it is that this kind of food processing, degrades nutrients significantly; we need healthy nutrients and less processed food to stay healthy.
I’ve never written much about dishes you could make using the microwave, but I’ve recently discovered this humble little delicacy, called Microwave Chocolate Mug Brownie. I encourage you to go ahead and try it!
It is a perfect solution for every chocolate craving crisis when there is no actual chocolate around, and the nearest food store is too far. It is easy to make, fast, and cheap overall.
Related: Microwave Or Toaster Oven?; Microwave Toaster Oven Combo
What my boys apparently didn’t know, and therefore I assume some of you also don’t, is this: there’s an appliance called a convection microwave.
This is a beautiful child of mama microwave and papa convection oven. It’s the creation that makes it possible for you to enjoy the combined benefits of both previously mentioned ovens.
In comparison to a regular microwave, a convection microwave heats the food from the outside to higher temperatures. It offers the same cooking you are used to, but with the addition of crisping and browning effects, which you can get by turning convection mode on.
This way, you can prepare any meal you would otherwise prepare using your convection oven or microwave, and there’s no regretting not having one of these two options.
If you expected a list of pros and cons for both of these appliances, with the following instructions on which one to buy, I’m very sorry to disappoint you. These two are simply made for different purposes, which is why I wouldn’t advise you to buy one over another.
I do favor the convection oven, and I am not ashamed to admit it, not just because I like cookies more than soup, but because I prefer traditional cooking on the electric stove overusing the microwave, so I don’t see owning it as a necessity.
But, if you insist, I would tell you to go and get yourself a convection microwave. You may need to invest a slightly larger amount of money than you planned, but in return, you’ll practically get two machines for the price of one.
The best advice I can give you is this: buy and use whichever you like the most, just cook with love and enjoy the food you’ve made! 🙂
Related: List of Recommended Convection Microwave Ovens