Speed Oven vs Microwave

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Updated August 18, 2022

Comparing a speed oven vs a microwave requires breaking down a few categories. Both come highly recommended by appliance specialists, but most folks will only have the budget to purchase one. The best microwaves offer multiple cooking modes, power levels and are faster than a conventional oven. Between the two types on trial today, you’ll find all three qualities.


  • A speed convection oven uses a combination of convection heat, microwaves, and sometimes even halogen-produced heat as their method of cooking.
  • Microwave cooking uses non-ionized radiation, but this method of cooking can result in the loss of natural moisture and is limited in usage.
  • The most significant difference is in price, with speed oven brands costing far more than your standard, built-in microwave oven, so if budget is a concern and you want an appliance that takes up no countertop space, check out some of the best built-in microwaves.

Comparing Speed Ovens to Microwave Ovens

There are a few categories we can use to better understand the differences and similarities between these two methods of cooking. Most people have standard ovens, and radiant heat usually takes a long time to work. The two options we’re comparing today are far more efficient. But, if you’re interested in learning more, asking “What is the difference between a countertop and a built-in microwave?” will put you on a path to more information.

For more of our comparison content, you’ll want to check out our mashup of the convection oven vs microwave, and a grill microwave oven vs a convection microwave oven.

Insider Tip

Having a single appliance that features combination modes results in faster cooking times and a wide variety of preparation abilities.

The Cooking Process

When it comes to the method of cooking, the type of ovens we’re comparing today are highly efficient. Neither is better than the other in this category. Instead, they have individual pros and cons to weigh. A speed oven uses a combination of radiant heat and microwaves. A traditional microwave only offers non-ionizing radiation.

For health-conscious people, the results are the same. An appliance consultant could easily recommend either. If you’re wondering whether that holds for traditional ovens, our article comparing a microwave vs an oven for health will break it down.

Overall Cooking Time

A speed oven offers the benefits of microwaves as well as traditional ovens. On the other hand, microwave technology provides convenience and speed. The cooking time will always be better when microwaving foods, but that doesn’t mean that the speed oven loses this round. This category is a bit of a draw between them.

Another thing to compare is old vs new microwaves. As your microwave ages, its power will lose capability. That is why it’s a good idea to start comparison shopping with the Panasonic NN-966W vs NN-936W.

Types of Foods

There are several things to think about in this category. First, food quality matters just as much as cooking capacity. The other factor is whether the option keeps more nutrients in food. In this case, the microwave does. A normal oven will leech out far more nutrients because it takes longer for a food item to cook.

However, the speed oven comes out victorious here. A microwave oven can’t make roasted chicken, but it can make baked potatoes. A speed oven can roast a chicken and bake a perfect sweet potato.


Use caution when cooking on a heating element of any type, and always use hand protection.


What do steam ovens and speed ovens have in common?

Both of these specialty ovens have better preheat times than wall ovens. They also both work as a smaller version of a regular convection oven.

Are steam ovens better than microwaves?

In general, steam ovens are preferable. They are better for delicate foods since they inject extra moisture during the cooking process. You can use them as a standard tool for healthy food preparation.

When should I use a convection oven?

A convection oven is best for roasted chicken, vegetables, and similar dishes. Anytime that you’re roasting something, it’s best to use a convection oven. Roast chicken is incredibly delicious in them.

What can I use instead of a standard microwave?

If you need an everyday cooking device, here are some options:

  • Regular Oven
  • Toaster Oven
  • Grill Element

STAT: In 2020, over 6 million Americans ate five or more packages of Kraft microwave dinners. (source)

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