Microwave convection ovens are a part of daily life for many. Over the years they have become a staple appliance found in the kitchens of most homeowners. A convection microwave oven is particularly versatile offering an expansive range of opportunities in regards to what it can be used for and what you can cook. Not only can you use this kind of appliance to heat your foods, but they can also thaw frozen foods so you don’t have to wait for a long time for this to happen naturally, you can also roast meat, fish, and other poultry and bake too. Essentially a microwave convection oven provides endless cooking opportunities in a singular appliance.
There are many models available some of which are more advanced than others. For those that are uncertain in regards to the best methods to implement when using a microwave convection oven, we have let you in on some little known tips that can help to improve your cooking experience.
Understanding your microwave convection oven
First and foremost it is important to understand your microwave convection oven and how they are used to cook different foods. A microwave convection oven doesn’t refer to a singular appliance but rather a setting that combines the features of two individual kitchen appliances; a convection oven and a microwave. As such a microwave convection oven incorporates an additional heating element that is responsible for circulating the heat inside, and as a result, you can do much more than simply heat foods; you can use your appliance for baking and roasting too. Not only does the microwave convection oven heat food at a faster rate, but it will also remove any moisture so you can enjoy foods with a crispy exterior.
It is important to ensure that you understand the specifications of your microwave convection oven so that you can use it to cook your foods properly.
There are many different microwave convection ovens available on the market with offerings from a range of well-known brands. For those that are unaware of the best options available, there are many websites available that provide guidance and reviews of the best convection microwave oven.
Heat the oven to a temperature lower than 25°F
When using a microwave convection oven you should heat it to a temperature that is 25°F lower than the temperature that is stated in the recipe. This is due to the increased heat movement which cooks the food faster, so even when the food is cooking at a lower temperature, it is going to maintain the same rate and cooking speed.
Use roasting pans that have low sides
It is recommended to use roasting pans that have low sides to get the best results from your microwave convection oven. Doing so will create tastier, crispier food thanks to the improved air circulation. As such, using pans with low sides allows the air to circulate around the food better. Unlike traditional microwaves, metal dishes can be used inside convection ovens when necessary.
Check your food regularly
A great thing about using a microwave convection oven is that it cooks food much faster. Some food items that would typically take a lot of time to cook using other standard methods are going to cook much faster inside a convection oven. Towards the end of cooking, you should check the foods inside your microwave convection oven to assess how they are coming along and as such you may then alter the remaining cooking time accordingly. If you feel as though your food is almost cooked, you may wish to deduct a couple of minutes from the total cooking time. Of course, it is important to ensure that your food is cooked thoroughly before serving. As your confidence in cooking using this appliance develops, you are likely to gain more confidence in knowing when your food is cooked, rather than depending on the use of a timer.
Use food racks
When possible you should attempt to use food racks to elevate your food during the cooking process. Similarly to the concept of using a low sided baking tray, this allows the hot air to circulate around the food more efficiently.
What foods are best cooked inside a microwave convection oven?
Many food items can be cooked inside a microwave convection oven. You may wish to use your appliance for roasting meats and vegetables, however, you may need to slightly adjust the settings of your microwave convection oven as they tend to dry out the surface of the meats by draining the moisture. To eliminate this issue, you can either lower the temperature or shorten the cooking time depending on the type of meat that you are cooking. Larger joints of meat can be cooked inside a microwave convection oven as this method of cooking creates a crispy and brown exterior while the inside of the meat remains medium-rare. Turkey and chicken, in particular, need to be cooked thoroughly and so you will need to alter the settings accordingly. Steaks can also be cooked inside a convection oven by following a few simple steps. The amount that you can cook at once is going to depend on the space that you have available. Your steak will need to be turned over during the cooking process to ensure that it is cooked evenly. Vegetables can also be super tasty when roasted inside a microwave convection oven because the heat creates a crispy exterior. Essentially, any food that you want to taste crispy can be cooked inside a microwave convection oven, but it is important to adhere to the specifications of your recipe to ensure that it states its suitability for being cooked using the convection setting.
What foods should you avoid cooking inside a microwave convection oven?
Microwave convection ovens can also be used for baking as the heat ensures that the cakes, or whatever it is that you may be baking, is cooked through thoroughly. Of course, it is important to ensure that the temperature is lower than the temperature that is stated in the recipe. While you can use this appliance to satisfy your baking needs, it is necessary to be cautious throughout the process too. As we have mentioned previously, cooking foods inside a microwave convection oven can lead to the formation of crusts, and failing to monitor your cakes as they bake may mean that they end up crispier than you would like. Ensure that your baking recipe states that your cakes or cookies can be cooked inside a microwave convection oven, otherwise using this cooking method may counteract the desired results. Also, avoid using a microwave convection oven for heating custards as the intensity of the heat can cause them to develop a crust too.
Benefits of using a microwave convection oven
There are many benefits associated with using a microwave convection oven to cater to your cooking needs. The opportunities provided to you in using such an appliance are much broader than using alternative cooking appliances. Not only does the convection setting allow you to reheat your foods but it also allows you to use your microwave convection oven for baking and roasting. Some benefits include improved cooking times even when cooking large joints of meat courtesy of the even distribution of heat that surrounds the food as it cooks. The combination of features from a microwave and an oven account for more consistent cooking, and the opportunity to cook multiple food items at once using racks.