Conventional vs Convection Oven vs Microwave Oven. Which Is Better For Your Kitchen?

By Eric Mitchell •  Updated: March 23, 2022 •  8 min read

In this article, we will touch on the differences and similarities of a convection vs conventional oven vs microwave oven. Read to learn and understand the functionalities, uses, benefits, and usability of the 3 main ovens that are widely used in modern kitchens.

The first ever version of ovens was discovered in Central Europe in the 29,000 BC. These were simple boiling and roasting pits erected inside yurts. These were replaced by the cast-iron stove in the 1700s, which were also later replaced by the coal oven in the 1900s.

The coal oven was cylindrical in shape and entirely made of heavy cast iron. Gas ovens came years later as a replacement of the coal ovens. The gas stoves were faster and more efficient than the coal ovens. They sold better and gained more popularity among most homes back then.

Unfortunately, gas ovens’ popularity was short-lived as a few years later. The electric ovens were invented followed by the microwave ovens.

The microwave ovens are up to date the most advanced and efficient means of cooking in modern homes.

Conventional vs Convection Oven vs Microwave

What Is A Convection Oven And How Does It Work?

A convection oven is a simple yet efficient fan-aided oven that aims to solve most cooking problems associated with ovens like uneven and hot spots cooking. It employs the convection mechanism to deliver faster and even cooking results. This oven has a fan inside that aids circulate the heated air steadily and evenly to the food being cooked.

Convection ovens naturally and seamlessly circulate heat by the aid of a powerful exhaust unit and a fan both of which work efficiently to optimize the cooking results. The fan works to prevent temperature irregularities and variations.

We discussed the best countertop convection ovens to buy in a previous article.

What Is A Conventional Oven And How It Works?

Conventional ovens are older versions of convection ovens. They are a bit slower and less efficient when compared to convection ovens. They work by generating radiant heat from the top or bottom chamber and spreading it over the food being cooked.

In other words, these ovens work by generating radiant heating energy and transmitting it by the aid of electromagnetic waves to heat and cook food. Due to the kind of heat waves these ovens produce, users tend to experience uneven cooking results.

What Is A Microwave Oven And How Does It Work?

A microwave is an electrically-powered oven that cooks food by introducing it to electromagnetic radiation that’s distributed within the frequency range of the microwave. The introduction of the electromagnetic radiation on the food presents polar molecules which in return rotates it to generate thermal energy through the dielectric heating method.

This powerful heating mechanism ensures food cooks faster and more efficiently. The food cooked is always uniform and homogeneous. It can be used to cook frozen foods, baking, heating refrigerated and canned foods, and steaming.

Conventional Oven vs Convection Oven vs Microwave Oven

These 3 cooking ovens function differently but serve the same role of fixing meals faster and more efficiently. They are different in design and erection but are all user-friendly and performance-oriented.

There are many other areas in which these ovens differ outlined below being the main ones.

1. Machine Configuration

We have already mentioned that none of the 3 ovens use similar operation mechanism.

While the convection oven works by evenly distributing heat by the aid of a fan to cook food, the conventional oven emits and distributes radiant heat via the aid of electromagnetic waves.

As for the microwave oven, it releases radio waves to heat and cooks food placed in ceramic or plastic containers.

2. Cooking Temperature

The standard cooking temperature in all the 3 ovens vary. Microwaves use radio waves to heat and cook food so they operate at extremely high temperatures. As for, convection ovens, they heat and cook food by evenly distributing heated air hence they operate at a bit lower temperature.

Conventional ovens just like microwaves heat food at a bit higher temperature when in comparison with convection ovens. Most recipes are designed to be cooked in conventional ovens so when cooking with a convection oven, you have to adjust the temperate to about 15 degrees lower.

3. Method Of Food Preparation

The biggest difference in these ovens is how they cook food. Convection ovens emit and circulate hot air around the food being cooked through a circulating fan whereas.

In the case of the microwave oven, radio waves or non-ionized radiation rays are passed around the food being cooked. As for conventional ovens, radiant heat energy is emitted and spread around the food via electromagnetic waves.

In convection ovens, the hot air is circulated evenly which allows for even and smooth cooking, crisping, and browning. This isn’t the case with microwave and conventional ovens as the radiant heat emitted from these units isn’t evenly distributed.

The air inside a microwave and conventional oven is usually at room temperature, which makes it almost impossible for the food being cooked to form a crust.

4. Cooking Time

Those in search of a unit that will allow them to cook faster and more efficiently should consider convection ovens. Convection units are highly recommended for household cooking as they are efficient, fast, and reliable.

Microwaves and conventional units aren’t a bad choice but cannot be relied on for fast and efficient cooking.

The Pros And Cons Of Each One

There are well-known pros and cons to each of the 3 cooking units. We are going to help you better understand how each of the ovens outlined above performs.

a) Convection Oven

Pros

Cons

b) Microwave Oven

Pros

Cons

c) Conventional Oven

Pros

Cons

Conclusion

In the article above, we have highlighted the core differences, similarities, and functionalities of the convection oven vs. conventional oven and microwave oven. Each of the units has its own benefits and disadvantages.

We recommend convection oven for those searching for the best unit that will allow them to cook faster and evenly.

A conventional oven is best suited for those who want to easily roast, cook, and grill their foods.

As for microwave oven, we recommend it to those who want a cheap, user-friendly, and easily adjustable cooking unit.

Eric Mitchell

Eric is the owner, author, content director and founder of dehydratorlab.com. He is the lead architect and the main man in matters concerning dehydrators, their accessories, guides, reviews and all the accompaniments.Whenever he is not figuring out simple solutions (hacks) involving cookery and their eventual storage, you will find him testing out the different types of dehydrators, to bring us the juicy details regarding these devices.He is a foodie enthusiast, pasionate about making jerky has a knack for healthy and tasty food and won't hesitate to share out any ideas that might be of value around this subject.

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