Light shining inside a convection microwave oven that has its door open.

Simple Guide On How To Use A Convection Microwave Oven

A convection microwave oven is a sort-of cross between a traditional oven and a microwave. Like a centaur which is a cross between a horse and a man, only a centaur is mythical and a convention microwave oven is not. I love weird comparisons or analogies and if you have read any of my previous articles you know that is the how I roll.

In this article, I will focus on how to use a convection microwave oven, specifically the hybrid design. The hybrid oven uses both radiant heat and hot air to cook food quickly and evenly, making it a versatile appliance that can be used for variety of cooking needs. It is an all-in-one essential that is literally a must-have if you have a small kitchen or a household filled with greedy little gremlins.

In summary: If you have never used one before, the idea of a convection microwave oven can be confusing. Do you use it as a microwave? Or an oven? The answer is… both! You can use your convection microwave to do anything from reheating leftovers to cooking an entire meal.

How to use a convection microwave oven

Preheat the oven before cooking

Just like with a regular oven, you need to preheat a convection microwave oven before cooking as this will aid in the food cooking more evenly.

Use smaller portions of food

When cooking with a convection microwave, it is best to use smaller portions of food because this helps the food cook evenly and prevents it from drying out [1].

Place food in the middle of the convection oven

Remember to place the food in the middle of the oven as this will ensure that the hot air circulates properly around the food.

A sealed meal in a plastic container, placed on the glass plate of a microwave oven.

Use the convection setting when possible

The convection setting on a convection microwave gets that hot air around the food propelled evenly, helping to cook foods more efficiently. Again, this will be more useful when cooking full meals, whereas the traditional microwave setting will be good for giving cold food a quick nuke!

Check food frequently

Because convection microwave ovens cook food quickly, it is important to check on the food frequently to prevent it from overcooking. Most recipes will indicate the cooking times for the different cooking methods, so this should make it easier to follow the time settings when cooking with a convection microwave.

Use an oven mitt

When removing food from a convection microwave, be sure to use an oven mitt as the door and interior of the oven will be hot.

Convection microwave oven vs. microwave oven

The convection feature in most convection microwaves is simply a powerful fan that blows hot air around the food. This differs from a regular microwave oven, which uses micro-waves to cook food from the inside out. Micro-waves are very efficient at cooking small items like popcorn or potatoes, but they can often leave larger items like casseroles or pizzas unevenly cooked. 

When it comes to energy efficiency, both convection ovens and microwave ovens have their pros and cons. Convection ovens use more energy than microwave ovens because they require preheating. However, convection ovens often cook food more quickly, so they may use less energy overall. 

Microwave ovens use less energy than convection ovens when cooking small amounts of food stuffs (all this talk of food always makes me so hungry). Read more about the pros and cons of using a microwave oven.

A man with a colorful shirt walking through a store deciding which microwave oven to purchase.

So, how does this affect the way you cook in a convection oven?

In a convection microwave oven, you can cook at lower temperatures than in a regular oven and microwave oven. This is because the hot air circulates more efficiently and evenly around the food and means that you can save time and energy when cooking.

Another key difference is that in a convection oven, the food doesn’t dry out as quickly as it does in a regular oven and microwave oven. This is because the humidity is circulated along with the hot air, which helps to retain moisture in the food.

If you are wanting to experiment with a convection microwave, try one of these recipes.

Knowing when to use a convection oven or a microwave oven

  • The amount of time available for cooking
  • The type of food being cooked
  • The end result (browned, moist etc.)

If you have never used a convection microwave oven before, the tips above will help you get started. Be sure to experiment with different settings and cooking times to find what works best for you. With a little practice, you’ll be a pro in no time!

A brand new convection microwave oven plugged into a wall socket, ready for use.

Benefits of a convection microwave oven

Quick and even cooking

Because hot air circulates around the food, it cooks evenly on all sides. This is especially handy when cooking things like roasted chicken or grilled vegetables, which can be difficult to cook evenly in a regular oven or microwave.

Versatility

A convection oven can be used for baking, roasting, grilling and even browning. So, whether you want to make a cake or cook a steak, this appliance can do it all.

Energy efficiency

Convection ovens tend to be more energy-efficient than regular ovens because they cook food faster. This means you can save money on your energy bill and help the environment at the same time.

Disadvantages of a convection microwave oven?

Can be expensive

Convection ovens tend to be more expensive than regular ovens, so you’ll need to factor this into your budget.

Require preheating

Most convection ovens require preheating before you can start cooking. Again, if you are in a hurry, then a traditional microwave will be best. Be prepared for extra cooking time if you are intending on using a convection microwave.

They can be noisy

The fans in convection ovens can be quite noisy and some people may not be okay with this. Thus, if you’re looking for a quiet appliance, this may not be the best option.

They can be difficult to clean

The fans and heating element in convection ovens can be difficult to clean and they tend to be prone to rusting, so you’ll need to put in some extra effort to keep it in tip-top shape. 

Read this article for more information on maintaining microwaves.

A microwave technician with a screwdriver working on the inside of a microwave oven.

What can you cook in a convection microwave oven?

Baked goods

Convection oven for baking cookies, cakes and breads is pleasure as the even circulation of that magic air will result in evenly cooked and browned baked goods.

Roasted meats

Roasted meats like chicken, turkey and beef is a breeze cooking in a convection oven, however, make sure to baste the meat regularly to prevent it from drying out (you don’t want your cause of death to be death by meat, all because you couldn’t generate enough saliva to swallow ha-ha).

Grilled food

Grilled food like vegetables, meats and even sandwiches can be cooked in a convection oven but remember to monitor the process.

Browned food

Brown food like potatoes, onions and garlic to perfection.

Fried food

Fried food like French fries and chicken nuggets can be cooked in a convection oven too.

A piece of fish with some sesame seeds on a plate, placed inside a microwave oven ready to be cooked.

FAQs – How to use a convection microwave oven

How do I know if my microwave is convection?

To see if your microwave is convection, look for a button that says “convection” or “conv”. If your microwave doesn’t have this button, it’s not a convection microwave.

Read this article to better understand the different types of microwave ovens.

Does a convection microwave need to be vented?

No, convection microwaves do not need to be vented. However, they will require more power than a regular microwave and may produce more heat, so it’s important to keep this in mind when using one.

Are convection ovens safe?

Yes, convection ovens are safe to use [2]. However, as with any appliance, there is always a risk of fire or electrocution. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and never leave the oven unattended while it’s in use.

Before you go…

I hope my very detailed guide was helpful in showing you how to use your hybrid machine and making the most of this multipurpose kitchen appliance. When trying to find your Zen, it is important to learn about the tools needed to achieve your goal, whatever it may be. 

In this particular instance, it was smashing the goal on how to use your convection microwave oven!  If you have any further questions or more ideas for recipes, feel free to leave a comment below.

Happy cooking!

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Charlene Gallant

Charlene is a lover of good food. She enjoys nothing more than cooking up a storm in the kitchen and sharing her favourite recipes with her readers. She also enjoys reading a good book.

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