What Is a Convection Microwave, and Is It Worth It?

Microwaves were first introduced for household use in 1965, although they didn't become affordable until well into the 1970s. Since that time, the microwave oven has become a staple in most homes across the continent, and we rely on these appliances to efficiently reheat leftovers, make popcorn, or defrost frozen goods. Those who have limited space in their kitchens, or who are looking for a more versatile alternative to assist with meal preparation may want to consider a convection mode—but are convection microwaves worth it? The appliance repair experts at Mr. Appliance® have some great information, advice, and tips to help you decide if this unique device is right for you, and they are ready to assist with all your kitchen appliance repair needs!

A person taking a pie out of a convection microwave

What is a Convection Microwave?

A convection microwave is a hybrid appliance, that cooks and reheats your food using microwaves, but also has the capability to bake, brown, roast, or crisp your meals using the built-in fan and heating coil. A convection model is about the same size as a traditional microwave which can help to conserve space in the kitchen, although some may find the compact size too limiting in comparison to a standard oven.

How Does a Convection Microwave Work?

Microwave technology has revolutionized both the appliance and food industries and can be found today in over 90 percent of homes. Convection microwaves have several modes and can function as a standalone microwave or as a traditional oven, with the option to alternate between modes to shorten the cooking time of your favorite dishes.

In microwave mode, the magnetron converts energy into microwaves, which are directed toward the food and cause the water molecules located within to vibrate. This vibration and the resulting friction create heat, which in turn cooks or warms the food. With all these microwaves bouncing around inside the unit they often end up canceling each other out, which explains why the interior portion of your meal is often cooler than the outer edge, and why most units have a turntable to ensure more even heating.

In convection mode, your microwave is converted into a convection oven which uses a heating element to create the heat, and a fan to circulate it throughout the interior to cook food evenly from the inside out. Many convection microwaves have preset programs that take the guesswork out of cooking and automatically alternate between microwave and convection modes for homecooked results in less time.

Pros and Cons of a Convection Microwave

Is a convection microwave right for you? Here are some pros and cons of these mysterious, yet talented appliances to help you decide!


  • Two appliances in one that can be used as a microwave, convection oven, or a combination of the two.
  • Preheats quickly.
  • Uses less energy than a traditional convection oven.
  • Suitable for small spaces including vacation homes or tiny homes.
  • Great for roasting, browning, reheating, baking, and more!


  • Needs to be cleaned after each use.
  • Interior space is limited.
  • Can only cook one dish at a time.
  • With no bottom element, may not be as effective for foods that need base cooking such as a pizza or pie.

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