What is the Difference Between a Convection and a Grill Microwave Oven?

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Updated August 19, 2022

If you’ve ever asked, “What is the difference between a convection and a grill microwave oven?” then this article is for you. In this age of technology, there are multiple appliances to choose from. There are conventional ovens, microwaves with a convection mode, and more. With all the options available, picking the best microwaves can be difficult. Luckily, this article will run down the differences between two of the hottest products on the market today.


  • Like a regular convection oven, the microwave version offers a variety of settings for faster cooking times at an optimum cooking level.
  • Microwaves that offer a grill function use a radiant heating element to rapidly heat the outer layer of food, mimicking the effects of an actual grill.
  • Both of these models have a better cook time, with each offering benefits according to the actual technology of the appliance.

Difference Between Grill and Convection Microwaves

When choosing between a convection and grill microwave, you’ll need to figure out if you need a full-service, powerful microwave, like a speed oven. The direct heat provided by the radiant heating element in a grill microwave does wonder for creating crisp foods, performing combo grilling tasks, and more. You may want to check out a convection steam oven vs a microwave, and compare a microwave vs a Halogen oven, in terms of cooking variability.

Insider Tip

A convection oven can bake a wide variety of cakes for dessert, including family favorites like angel food cake.

However, it doesn’t do nearly as much as the convection option. It’s natural to feel skeptical about choosing even a conventional microwave oven over a regular oven. Comparing microwave vs oven health benefits will assuage those worries. That said, if you’re ready to take the plunge and find a great microwave, then check out our comparison article of Samsung MC28M6036CB vs MC28N6036CC.

Heating Element Used

Convection ovens use convection heat to provide uniform reheating with the movement of air, while a grill microwave does as the name suggests. You’ll be able to grill food, as well as perform simple reheating tasks. Unlike convection microwave ovens, the microwave grill uses direct heat with a power grill feature. Like most microwaves, it works by interacting with the water molecules in food items. This is how hot spots happen throughout your food while cooking.

The clear winner of this category is convection ovens since you’ll never struggle with uneven cooking. Even these appliances have their limits, however. Slow cooking is unfortunately off-limits. We have a great article breaking down the difference between a microwave vs a crockpot, as well.

Overall Cooking Time

Where both time and heating processes are concerned, the convection setting takes the cake. The convection microwave setting can provide a streamlined cooking process for multiple types of food. The advantages of grill models stop short after you go over the combo grilling capabilities. You’re far more limited in what you can do.

It isn’t that convection models are necessarily quicker. They just speed up the process of making dinner because they act as an all-in-one appliance.

Additional Features of Microwave Oven

Last but not least, we’ll look at the special features that come with either option. Sometimes your grill model might come with additional grilling accessories, which provides bang for the buck. However, the benefits of grill microwave ovens don’t go far beyond this. Convection models may also come with extra features in the form of a microwave function or two beyond the standard set.

If you’re attached to the grill function but still need more options, a convection microwave grill combo might be the best option for you.


Take extreme caution when removing food from a grill microwave when using the radiant heating element since intense heat causes severe burns.


What are the pros of convection microwave ovens?

The biggest pro of these models is that they combine two kitchen appliances into one unit. This means that you can maintain a smaller appliance footprint in your kitchen. The heating process is varied. This means you’ll brown pizza as quickly as you heat up your rice in a microwave-safe plastic container.

What are the cons of convection microwave ovens?

These types of microwave ovens are smaller than an oven cavity. This means that they cannot hold the same number of dishes that a traditional oven can. That means having to make the green bean casserole for dinner first, and then juggling baking a cake for dessert while you’re trying to eat.

Is heating food in a microwave oven healthy?

Heating food in microwaves is safe and can be the healthiest option due to the heating method. Whether you need to reheat or defrost food, conventional microwaves are a great choice. A convection microwave oven will offer a huge variety of options compared to a regular microwave.

What type of microwave oven is best for non-commercial kitchens?

That depends on whether you’re the type of person who does multi-stage cooking or simple cooking. For multi-stage cooking, convection ovens are the best bet. For simple cooking, traditional microwaves are best. A convection microwave oven is a great middle point between them.

STAT: Conventional ovens circulate hot air using natural convection, and fan-assisted ovens circulate hot air using forced convection. (source)

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