Convection Microwave vs Standard Microwave

Coby McKinley Profile image

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Updated August 19, 2022

If you’re shopping for the best microwave oven, you may wonder how convection ovens and traditional microwaves stack up. Convection microwave cooking heats the water molecules in your food. At the same time, built-in fans circulate hot air around your food items. In addition, with the convection feature, your cooking chamber can prepare a variety of foods like green bean casserole and frozen pizza. That said, are convection microwaves better? Read on to see if a convection microwave vs. a standard microwave oven is best for you.


  • Microwaves cook food by exciting the water molecules in your food with an electromagnetic field called microwave radiation.
  • Convection microwaves still use electromagnetic radiation to heat your food. Still, they also use an extra heating element and convection airflow.
  • If you want a device similar to a small conventional oven with microwave capabilities, go with a convection microwave.

Comparing Convection Microwave Ovens and Traditional Microwave Ovens

Whether you’re making your favorite dishes or common foods, you want the best home-cooked results possible. This means deciding over other appliances like a pressure cooker vs a microwave, and roasting or baking in a microwave convection oven. It depends on your preferences. So, in a contest between microwave convection and regular microwave functions, which should you choose?

Insider Tip

For a crisp outer layer on your food, use the convection setting on your microwave for the last stage of preparing your meal.

Either choice will cook frozen food or heat a baked potato while offering a shorter cooking time than regular ovens. You should understand the critical differences between these types of microwaves. For more comparison articles, check out how to compare a microwave oven to a Halogen oven, and old vs new microwave pros and cons.

Consider reading our guide to convection steam ovens vs microwave heating if you want an alternate kitchen appliance.

Cooking Speed

Much like comparing commercial microwaves and regular microwaves, one appliance has faster cooking times than the other. Convection microwave ovens still use microwave technology, but they offer cooking techniques similar to a standard range. While either microwave type will heat your food, the added convection and heating element make the process faster.

Power Levels

Modern microwave ovens offer additional features compared to older ones. Still, they lose out to convection models when you compare power levels. While a conventional microwave will offer automatic defrost and other settings, a convection model provides a higher heat capacity.


Contrary to popular belief, microwave cooking is not an unhealthy cooking appliance. While they have trouble making your food crisp, conventional microwaves keep some nutrients in food better than a standard oven.


Be careful when you remove your food from your convection microwave. The extra heating element catches some new users by surprise, and they burn their hands.


What are standard microwave sizes?

Manufacturers list microwave sizes by exterior dimensions and their internal capacity in cubic feet. For example, most countertop microwave ovens have an internal capacity of 1.5-2.2 cubic feet and a width of 21-24 inches.

What pans can I use in a convection microwave?

You can use aluminum, glass, or ceramic pans in a convection microwave. That said, check the bottom of the container to check for a microwave-safe symbol. In addition, make sure you properly adjust your convection settings to avoid uneven heating.

How To Install A Built-In Microwave

Most built-in microwaves require professional installation to make your model flush with your cabinets. In addition, you’ll want to ensure your trim kit matches the aesthetic of your kitchen. If you do the installation yourself, ensure professional help with the electrical work and lift the microwave into place.

STAT: According to the Journal of Clean Production, the consumer price of a microwave oven fell over 95% from 1960 to 2010. (source)

Coby McKinley Profile image