In any kitchen appliances’ top list, you’ll never miss a microwave oven. It’s an essential kitchen tool that many can’t do without, as it comes in handy on most occasions.
Think of those busy moms that have to prepare breakfast for their family and then rush to work. They need an appliance that will help them prepare breakfast snacks and any other accompaniment fast – a microwave.
If searching for a new microwave oven, you might have come across the terms inverter and convection microwaves. And we know that they can be pretty confusing, especially if you’re shopping for a microwave for the first time.
We are here to help you unravel the mystery.
So, what’s the difference between an inverter and a convection microwave oven? Are they similar in any way? How do they work?
Stick around and find the answers to these questions in a few.
What’s an Inverter Microwave Oven?
An inverter microwave is a microwave that supplies power via an inverter circuit and not a transformer like in regular microwave ovens.
Panasonic actually invented inverter technology, and most inverter microwaves come from them.
This technology delivers a steady stream of power to give smoother and more consistent heating and reheating of food. This results in evenly cooked food.
How Does an Inverter Microwave Oven Work?
An inverter microwave oven works by reheating, heating and defrosting food at a constant power level throughout the cooking process.
The inverter technology provides controlled and efficient power at the same level to prevent loss of flavor, overheating and destroying the structure of your food.
For instance, if you set an inverter microwave to deliver 50% power, it will deliver 50% power during the entire cooking process. That’s how effective it is.
Inverter microwave ovens work differently from regular microwaves that power on and off. Take the same case scenario; if you set a conventional microwave to deliver 50% power, it’ll deliver 100% power, followed by zero power to achieve the 50%.
And when this happens, the chances of getting unevenly cooked food are very high.
What is a Convection Microwave Oven?
A convection microwave is a microwave that comes with a built-in convection fan. The fan helps to evenly distribute the hot air inside your oven’s cavity for even cooking results.
How Does a Convection Microwave Oven Work?
A convection microwave has 2 heating modes. The first mode (microwave mode) heats food just like any regular microwave oven.
In this mode, you can heat, reheat and defrost foods.
The second mode (convection mode) transforms the microwave into a convection oven. It uses a heating element and a fan to blow air evenly throughout the appliance.
This mode enables you to bake, roast and broil a wide variety of foods.
Convection microwaves allow you to alternate the 2 modes for faster cooking results.
A comparison Table for Inverter and Convection Microwave Ovens
|Inverter Microwave Oven
|Convection Microwave Oven
|Delivery of heat
|Delivers heat constantly and consistently
|Heat is delivered evenly
via a built-in fan
|General outcome of the food
|Cooks just like any regular microwave but with a
consistent power supply
|Cooks faster and more evenly
but requires close supervision to prevent overcooking/burning.
|A consistent stream of
power is delivered via a circuit
|Uses a transformer
to control power
|Cooks faster than a regular microwave
|Faster cooking time
|Versatility in cooking
Comparing an Inverter and Convection Microwave Oven
- Delivery of Heat
An inverter microwave delivers heat just like any other regular microwave. The only difference is that it produces a constant stream of power during the entire cooking process enabling you to cook fast and get more even results.
When it comes to convection, microwave ovens heat delivery is more advanced. It burns faster and hotter than regular microwaves and, with the help of the fan, more evenly.
These microwaves boast radiation and convection heating methods, a feature that makes them more effective than regular microwaves.
- Uniformity in Cooking
Inverter and convection microwaves cook food evenly but via different processes. While an inverter microwave promotes even cooking through regulating a constant power delivery, the former uses a built-in fan to transfer heat to the entire food.
- General Food Outcome
An inverter microwave is just like any other regular microwave, only that it’s more consistent in heating. However, with a convection microwave, it’s a bit different.
When using a convection microwave oven, you need to be extra careful. This is because, without supervision, your food can even get burnt.
The fall and rise of power supply in convection microwaves can also affect the flavor of your food.
The major selling point of convection microwave ovens is that with these units, you can bake, grill, toast and also use it like any other regular microwave oven.
Inverter microwave ovens are highly energy-efficient. The models control the cooking power enabling you to prepare tasty meals quickly.
Convection microwaves are also energy efficient, in fact, more energy-efficient than regular microwave ovens. They cook meals faster now that the fan distributes heat quickly and evenly in the oven’s cavity.
They are, however, not as energy efficient as an inverter microwave oven.
- Power Control
In inverter microwaves, power is delivered through the inverter circuit. The circuit provides a consistent stream of power during the entire cooking process as required.
A constant supply of power in inverter microwaves results in consistent heat distribution and better efficiency.
Convection microwaves, on the other hand, supply power just like a regular microwave oven. It uses the transformer to deliver power and steps it up/down to a higher voltage depending on the current.
Both models come in varying sizes to suit your needs. Whether you want a compact model for your tiny kitchen space or a large model to suit your large family, you can get one with ease.
Both models come with a high price tag, but inverter microwave ovens are more expensive. Be ready to part with a handsome amount if eyeing any of the models.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Does an inverter microwave use more electricity?
No, inverter microwaves actually use less electricity when compared to conventional and convection microwave ovens.
They cook at the same time as conventional microwaves but with 30% less wattage usage.
Q. What’s the benefit of an inverter microwave?
With an inverter microwave, you’ll enjoy delicious and healthy meals prepared in controlled heat to prevent loss of flavor.
It also allows you to poach, braise and steam all delicate foods.
Q. Is an inverter microwave worth it?
An inverter microwave oven is worth spending your money on. It defrosts and heats food faster and more evenly, and it also offers faster cooking times.
Q. Is an inverter microwave better?
An inverter microwave is better than a regular microwave as it helps cook food faster and more evenly. Although a little expensive upfront, it’s more energy-efficient, easy to use and most come with more smart features.
It is also better than a convection microwave now that it maintains a constant cooking temperature. A convection microwave can’t do so.
Q. Is a convection microwave the best for cakes?
Yes, a convection microwave is the best for baking purposes. It helps bake bread, pizzas, cupcakes, muffins, cakes, among others.
Q. Is a microwave oven the same as a microwave?
Yes, both terms mean the same thing. Microwave is simply the short form of Microwave oven.
Q. Is a convection microwave better than a regular microwave?
Yes, a convection microwave is much better. You need to note that a convection microwave works both as a microwave and as a convection oven.
This means that it can carry out all the tasks of a microwave oven. It can also bake, toast, broil and grill, something that a regular microwave can’t.
Q. Can I cook rice in an inverter microwave oven?
Yes, you can cook rice, pasta, noodles, vegetables, boil milk and any other food that you can make in a regular microwave oven.
So, what Is the Difference Between a Convection and Inverter Microwave?
Both inverter and convection microwave ovens give excellent results hence worth investing in. However, the choice to go for narrows down to personal preferences and needs.
If you do a lot of defrosting or care much about the consistency of heating in your meals, get an inverter microwave oven.
Go for a convection microwave if you don’t have an oven but like baking or preparing crispy meals from time to time.
One thing to note is that whether it’s an inverter or convection microwave oven, you’re surely getting a superior microwave, one that you can’t compare to a regular microwave oven.