If you’re looking for the best microwave oven, you may wonder how it cooks compared to a conventional oven. You probably understand the difference in cooking time, but which will deliver the most appetizing taste for the widest variety of food? In addition, you should be aware of how each appliance affects the nutrients in food and which is better for bigger batches of food. In the microwave vs oven taste test, read this guide for the results.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Microwave food is quicker and retains more nutrients in some food than the oven version.
  • Oven-baked food is crisp, and you can cook raw food. In addition, you can make much larger serving sizes.
  • While ovens are best for texture and taste, you can find a convection microwave oven to get the best of both appliances.

Which Makes Food Taste Better: Microwave vs Oven

The main difference between a regular oven and microwave is that microwaved food is much faster. While speed is the main advantage of microwaving, cooking is not. The microwave is best for reheating frozen food or leftovers, as it tends to cook raw foods unevenly. A full-size oven can cook raw food and will evenly heat a meal over an extended cooking time. That said, to get the most from your leftover food, check out our guide on reheating food in a microwave vs an oven.

Insider Tip

Be sure to read the directions on a frozen pre-made meal. Some frozen meals require either a microwave or steam oven defrosting and do not contain conventional oven directions.

Texture

It’s no secret, bites from oven-baked food have a crispy texture that the microwave option won’t have. This crisping also results in the caramelization and browning of the food, which improves the flavor compared to the microwave. So depending on the type of food you want, the oven version is typically your best bet. That said, if you don’t follow conventional oven directions, your full-size oven may make your food dry.

Health Benefits

Contrary to popular belief, microwaving your meal doesn’t result in a loss of nutrients. Green vegetables from a microwave retain more nutrients than roasted vegetables from an oven. That said, you should never cook raw meat or try deep frying food in your microwave. For example, there is a high risk of food poisoning by cooking chicken breasts in a microwave. On the other hand, if you put the chicken breast recipe in your full-size oven, you’ll be just fine.

Serving Size

A full-size convection oven can serve many more people at once than a microwave, making it more efficient for family meals. In addition, overloading your microwave causes excess moisture to accumulate on your food. You’ll end up with an inch of water and wet food at the bottom of your microwave-safe dish. For large groups, the microwave option is a last resort to save a bit of time.

For more ideas on kitchen efficiency, check out our guide on drop-down vs swing-out microwave doors to see how you can maximize your cooking space.

Cooking Speed

As stated before, baking takes more time on average than a microwavable dish. However, even if the taste is worth the baking time, microwaves are the quickest option for leftover food or a quick bite.

Warning

Never cook raw meat in a microwave. It will not cook evenly, and you run the risk of foodborne illnesses.

F.A.Q.S

Is oven-baked bacon soft, chewy, or crispy?

The oven version of bacon is often not worth the effort due to inconsistent cooking. That said, with a long enough cook time, oven-baked bacon is crispy.


Is microwave bacon soft, chewy, or crispy?

Microwave bacon can be any combination of soft, chewy, or crispy. Of course, the texture depends on your cook time.


Why Does Food Tastes Bitter After Reheating?

Microwaving your food changes the chemical compounds that make it up. That chemical change can change the taste of some foods.



STAT: According to a US Department of Energy survey, 96% of respondents reported owning a microwave. (source)

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

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