Are you looking to replace your microwave oven with a new one? Am sure you would have come across things like Convection microwave and inverter microwave. If you didn’t know any better you might think that the internet is out to confuse you.
The major difference between these two microwave ovens occurs in their mechanism of power supply, system of heat delivery and distribution, energy efficiency and general outcome of food.
Don’t fret if you are confused. Convection and Inverter microwave ovens are two separate kinds of microwave oven. Although it is possible to have a microwave with both functions. So…what is the difference between convection and inverter microwave oven?
In this article, the differences between the two microwave ovens will be established to give you the necessary information you will require when choosing a new microwave oven.
What is a Convection Microwave Oven?
A convection microwave oven is a kind of microwave oven improved with in-built convection fan which helps to distribute the hot air produced by emitted microwaves.
As regards shape, size or color, convection microwave oven is indistinguishable from any regular microwave oven; the only edge being the fan system which improves heat distribution and promotes uniformity in cooking.
The most distinctive feature with convection microwave ovens is that they can grill and bake like regular ovens.
They are basically 2-in-1 devices. They can use the microwave heat to cook from inside out and use the convection heat to cook outside in.
What is an Inverter Microwave Oven?
This kind of microwave oven works by supplying power through an inverter circuit rather than a transformer as it is common in an ordinary microwave oven.
Normally, in a regular microwave oven, the work of a transformer is to step up or down –as the case may be- electricity to high voltages.
Transformers turn the magnetron assembly (the device that generates microwaves) on and off in order to maintain a certain power level.
This constantly turning on and off of magnetron assembly (in theory) distributes uneven heat to the food.
An inverter circuit, on the other, not only decreases the overall weight of the microwave oven, it provides the exact amount of voltage as needed to maintain a certain power level. In other words, it DOES NOT turn the magnetron assembly on and off.
Therefore, a portion of food cooked with an inverter circuit is more uniform as well as consistent in heat across the board.
So in short, in the absence of a transformer in an inverter microwave oven, the inverter supplies a steady amount of voltage throughout the cooking process.
Also Read: What is Microwave Oven Inverter Technology?
Difference Between Convection and Inverter Microwave Oven?
Now that we know what they are, let us now distinguish them from each other.
From power supply to heat distribution, there are several differences between convection microwave oven and inverter microwave oven.
In short, an inverter circuit relates to the system of power supply, whereas the convection feature relates to the method of cooking.
An inverter microwave oven can also be a convection microwave oven and vice versa.
To help you choose the best microwave oven for you, here are some tips:
Delivery of Heat
In convection microwave oven, heat delivery is enhanced. It burns hotter and faster. Unlike regular microwave ovens whereby the microwave reacts only with the water molecules and cooks inside out, in convection ovens the food can be cooked like a regular oven (outside in)
The convection microwave oven has both radiation as well as convection heating methods. A regular microwave only has radiation heating method.
This is as a result of the mechanism of heat transfer used in this microwave oven – the built-in fan. This fan helps to blow the hot air produced by microwave so that it is delivered throughout the cooking space of the gadget.
Inverter microwave on the other hand, has a similar mode of heat delivery as a regular microwave oven.
The only difference between the inverter and convection microwave oven as regards delivery of heat is that, the former produces equal and consistent amount of power control throughout the cooking process.
Convection microwave oven supplies power for its functioning like any regular microwave oven. The transformer supplies electricity; it also steps it up or down to a high voltage depending on the current.
In Inverter microwave oven, power is supplied through the inverter circuit. The circuit provides the same amount of power throughout the period of cooking as needed.
In both cases however, power from either the transformer or the inverter circuit is transferred to the magnetron which is responsible for producing microwaves that cooks food.
A consistent supply of power through the inverter circuit results in better efficiency as well as consistent heat distribution.
Uniformity in Cooking
The two kinds of microwave ovens cooks food evenly but through different processes.
Convection microwave oven cooks food to even perfection – unlike its regular counterpart that has numerous complains about overcooked edges or cold spots – this is thanks to the built-in fan that ensures that heat is transferred to the entire food.
In regular ovens there are times when the temperature drops and rises because of the inconsistency in power control i.e transformer. This can may result in uneven heating especially if the oven isn’t high powered.
Inverter microwave oven also cooks food very evenly although the process is a bit different. Instead of circulating hot air throughout the cooking chamber an inverter oven promotes even cooking via regulating a constant supply of power.
General Outcome of the Food
Convection microwave ovens can cook food very fast. This is why without supervision, food can come out overcooked or burnt. Also due to the rise and fall of power supply, delicate foods might lose their flavor.
Convection ovens are more suitable for baking because they practically can work like a regular oven or a toaster oven.
The benefit of Convection Microwave Ovens is that they can enable you to not only bake, but roast and grill which is otherwise not possible on a normal oven.
As for the inverter microwave oven, their general outcome or cooking method is similar to a regular oven. They are just more consistent in heating.
Convection microwave ovens are energy efficient as compared to a regular microwave oven. This is because food cooks faster in them as the heat is distributed via the fan quickly. This helps to save more power. However, they are not as energy efficient as inverter microwave ovens.
Inverter microwave ovens are highly efficient. This is because they control the power output and by this, cook faster. This helps to lower the cost of electricity bills.
Compared to most kind of microwave ovens available out there, both microwave ovens in question are quite expensive.
But generally, inverter microwave ovens are more expensive than convection microwave ovens.
Both convection microwave oven and inverter microwave ovens can be found in many sizes. However, they generally range from midsize to large. They cannot be found on smaller sizes models i.e less than 1.0 CU FT.
In this article, we discussed the topic “What is the difference between convection and inverter microwave oven” shedding light on their different properties.
In a way, the two microwave ovens are quite distinct. One pertain to the supply of power, the other oven relates to method of heating.
Nonetheless, be it convection or inverter microwave, you are clearly getting a superior kind of microwave oven when you compare it to a normal microwave oven.
So when choosing your new microwave oven, be sure to weigh these differences to get the best out of your shiny new microwave oven.