Both convection and microwave ovens offer speedier cooking and many technological features for todays cooks. While microwaves offer the fastest cooking options, convection ovens have more features and can sometimes aid in higher-quality cooking.
Although convection ovens were not introduced commercially in the United States until 1978, they have been in use in Europe and restaurants for many years. They offer many of the same benefits as a traditional oven, though they cook food faster and at lower temperatures, making it easier to keep the juices in food so that food stays moister and retains more nutrients.
Food is also less likely to burn in a convection oven. While traditional ovens have hot spots near the heat source at the bottom of the oven and at the top of the oven where heat rises, convection ovens are uniformly heated.
How do convection ovens manage to cook food at lower temperatures in just about half the time? The secret is convection: While the air is heated inside a convection oven, a high-speed fan blows the hot air around inside the oven, speeding up the heating and cooking process. Convection creates a crusty exterior that seals in the juices of whatever food youre cooking.
The cost of a convection oven will vary based on the size of the oven, the type of model and the brand name. In general, convection ovens tend to be more expensive than traditional ovens due to their added features and superior cooking ability.
The most common types of convection ovens on the market are:
- built-in wall convection ovens
- ranges with convection ovens
- small countertop convection ovens (though larger meals cannot be cooked in these).
The type of convection oven you buy will depend on what you plan on cooking in your convection oven, your space restrictions and your budget.
While many of us have a microwave at home, fewer of us are aware of all the different types of microwaves available on the market. Some of the different types of microwave ovens include:
- countertop microwaves
- over-the-range microwaves
- small microwaves
- stainless steel microwaves.
While microwave ovens dont offer the sophisticated cooking of a convention oven, the two do share one characteristic: speedier cooking.
In most cases, microwaves can heat up food in under five minutes, though people do sometimes have to deal with the moisture being sucked out of their food to some degree.
Like convection ovens, microwaves come with a number of features that are absent from traditional ovens. Microwaves take the guesswork out of deciding how long to cook food by including preset buttons for common types of food, such as pizza, popcorn and baked potatoes.
Top Microwave Brands
While the features and prices of microwaves change constantly, certain brand names stand out above the rest when it comes to microwaves. These include:
To get a good deal on a microwave, its also worthwhile to keep your eye out for appliance sales at department stores and discount stores.
Convection Microwave Ovens
As you might guess, convection microwave ovens combine some of the features of convection ovens with some of the features of microwave ovens. Specifically, these ovens combine the browning abilities of a convection oven with the speedy cooking abilities of a microwave oven.
About (2007). Top 5 microwave ovens. Retrieved December 13, 2007, from the About.com Web site: http://busycooks.about.com/cs/microwavemagic/tp/
Keidel Supply Co. (2006). Convection ovens. Retrieved December 13, 2007, from the Keidel Supply Co. Web site: http://www.keidel.com/design/select/ovens-convection.htm.