Difference Between Convection, Grill and Microwave Ovens

Whether you are looking to buy a new oven or thinking about cooking your favorite recipe in your oven - knowing the difference can make a whole lot of difference to how your recipes turn out to be.
| Saturday, July 20, 2013

Throughout human history, we have been cooking food in different styles and techniques to bring out the best of taste and flavor.  Humans have grilled food directly over fire, barbequed food over coal and of course cooked it over fire with the use of utensils. With advances in technology, we have begun using electricity to generate the same natural ways of cooking food. Use of electricity to prepare food has not only simplified our lives but definitely brought the best of our cooking.

Today markets are flooded with different kinds of products that allow us to cook over electricity, ovens being one of the popular ones of the lot. Ovens are like big boxes which create heat inside which allows the food to cook in a better way. Ovens help us preserve the nutrients and spark and preserve the fresh aroma. Earlier when ovens were introduced they were primarily been used in households to bake cakes and other food stuffs. With time and growing market demand electronic companies started introducing better variants of the traditional oven. Newer products introduced newer features and complex cooking and many of us don’t quite often understand which method works best. Let us try to understand different types of ovens or the difference between these amazing cooking products:

Convection Oven

Convections ovens are much like traditional ovens which generate heat inside the box. The heat is the result of hot air being created with the help of heaters. Smart sensors inside the box control the temperature and can be raised or reduced depending upon our cooking requirements. Convection ovens usually have fans to allow even distribution of hot air to allow food to cook evenly and naturally.

Ideal Cookware for Convection Ovens

Conventional cooking utensils such as ovenproof cookware, baking tins and sheets can be used. Basically assume anything that can withstand the temperatures inside the oven are okay. Other modes such as microwave do not allow this.

Foods that Can Be Cooked in Convection

Convections are ideal for a variety of food and ones that need to be baked such as biscuits, cakes, pizzas, soufflés etc.


Grilling is usually referred to as cooking food directly near the source of heat. Grilling uses dry heat to giving a ‘roasting’ effect to our food items. Modern grilling boxes come with metallic grills which are placed on turn-table. The turn-tables move the grills clock-wise or anti clock-wise and keep applying direct heat over food items which gives us the browning or roast effect.

Traditionally you may have grilled food by placing metallic grills over charcoal or fire, grilling boxes kind of imitate the same. Just like traditional grilling, we are required to turn sides of the foods to enable uniform grilling on either side.

Microwave Cooking

Microwaves have been a huge leap in our history. Microwaves not only enable faster cooking but also help preserve vital nutrients and unique flavors. Microwave boxes generate high frequency electromagnetic waves which can penetrate food items and move the molecules within fast enough to generate heat and allow for uniform cooking. Microwaves are generated by magnetron which is reflected by surrounding cavity and can only penetrate and affect penetrable substances. Certain food items may be at risk with microwave cooking such as eggs or potatoes without adequate measures since the heat generated inside the foods should have a way to escape. With potatoes for instance, to bake them, we can always make a few incisions and holes.

Ideal Cookware for Microwave Cooking

Since microwaves can be a big trouble to normal plastic or metallic cookware, it is advised to use only microwave safe containers. Microwave safe containers are not affected by the microwaves and allow for safer and even cooking. Microwave safe containers must allow microwave energy to pass through safely.

Avoid using metallic containers as microwaves are reflected and may cause sparks within the box.

Foods Suitable for Microwave Cooking

One can cook a variety of food items in microwave cooking such as preparing vegetables, pasta, rice, beans, fish, soups and even pizzas.

Choosing Between Convection, Grill and Microwave Ovens

Given the variety of products available in the market, making a buying choice sometimes can be difficult. We can see a lot of boxes with multitude of features so the choice comes with your need. So for example, if like to bake cakes – a traditional or convection oven would more than suffice to your needs. Similarly, if you like to cook foods to preserve vital nutrients and want faster cooking, microwaves are the best way to go.

Many market products offer all of the features in a single box with options to combine cooking techniques such as Microwave+Grill or Microwave+Convection modes. These combination cooking methods have really enabled us to cook faster, better and more effectively whilst maintaining the same taste and aroma that we yearn for.

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