Which is better? A conventional oven or a microwave? Before you can answer that question you first need to understand what the difference between the two is. As an experienced oven repair Birmingham company we can explain this for you.
You also need to look at the pros and cons for the microwave oven, in comparison to the conventional oven. Keep in mind that what is best for you and your needs, might not be the same as someone else, so you need to think about your family, your cooking needs and of course, what you can afford to spend on buying, maintaining and running your appliances.
What's the difference between a conventional oven and a microwave oven?
Conventional ovens and microwaves ovens are both cooking appliances that can be used to heat and prepare a wide range of food. The biggest difference between the two is the way in which they heat their food.
A convention oven works by heating the entire oven using metal elements, an electric current, or wood. They will have a temperature gauge allowing you to change the temperature of the oven and more modern oven use a fan to ensure that the heat is evenly distributed throughout the oven.
A microwave oven, on the other hand, heats up only the food, not the entire space inside the microwave, using electromagnetic radiation. This is created using a special component called a 'magnetron', which agitates electrons with a heated filament, generating microwaves.
Microwaves aren't just used for cooking food. They can also be used in radars, communications and in industrial tasks.
Conventional oven pros and cons
Like everything, there are pros and cons to owning a conventional oven and using this instead of a microwave oven.
- Diversity: A conventional oven can be used to cook pretty much any type of meal you like. It allows you the chance to bake, to toast, to grill, which gives you a lot more option over how your food is cooked and ultimately, makes many meals taste more delicious.
- Control: With a conventional oven you have complete control over the temperature, which means you can cook food at different speeds and at the required temperatures, which really helps when you're cooking a bigger meal, like a roast dinner. Microwave ovens, on the other hand, don't offer this much control over heat. Instead they usually have more vague pre-installed heat functions, like defrost, low, medium, high etc.
- Even distribution: Conventional ovens are now equipped with fans that help to distribute the temperature evenly around the oven. Which means food cooks just as evenly in a conventional oven now, as it does a microwave oven.
- Uneven heating: if your oven is an older model, it may not have a fan built inside to distribute the heat evenly. In this case you might find that one part of your oven heats up more than another part. the same is true for cookers that have a fan built-in which is no longer working. This will usually mean your food cooks unevenly and if you don't continually turn it throughout the cooking process, it could be burned or under-cooked, or both.
- Time: Microwave ovens take a fraction of the time to heat food than a conventional oven, which often needs a few minutes just to heat to the correct temperature.
- Price: Conventional ovens are much more expensive than microwaves, to buy and to use.
As with the conventional oven, there are pros and cons to using and owning a microwave oven instead of a conventional oven.
Microwave oven pros and cons
- Easy to use: Microwave ovens have to be one of the easiest appliances to use. You literally put your food inside, set the timer and make sure its set tot he right heat level and press go. Because they are so easy to use and make cooking so much simpler, they've become a popular way of cooking.
- Speed: A conventional oven needs to be preheated for 15 minutes before you can use, and even once its at the correct temperature, it cooks food at a slower pace. Microwave ovens, however, can cook a whole meal in a matter of minutes, even quicker than it would take just to preheat your oven. Unlike with a conventional oven, a microwave doesn't need preheating and it doesn't need to warm up, it can cook at the correct temperature, immediately. This is because the food absorbs the radiation that is being created, meaning no energy or time is wasted on heating the space around the food.
- Price: A simple price comparison will show you how much cheaper a microwave oven is to buy in comparison to a conventional one. You can buy a basic microwave oven for less than £50 now and once you've bought it, it requires no installation and you won't need to pay for delivery. You can collect it from the shop yourself, plug it in when you get home and use it straight away. Whereas conventional ovens are bigger, they may need to be delivered to your home and once they're delivered, depending on your skill set and the type of oven, you may require help installing it. This usually comes at an additional charge.
- Hygiene: Microwave ovens are considerably more hygienic than conventional ones. They are also much easier to clean, in fact many of the parts can be put into the dishwasher. Conventional ovens don't give you this luxury, they get covered in food and grease and can sometimes require hours of scrubbing.
- Space: This is an obvious one, but the microwave oven also has the advantage of taking up less space in your kitchen. This is ideal for people who have a small kitchen, especially those who don't do much cooking and/or tend to eat out.
- Can't cook thicker food: Microwaves can't cook foods that are bigger than an inch in thickness. This isn't a problem if all you're doing is reheating something, but it does mean you couldn't cook a thick piece of meat.
- Explosions: Some foods and metal aren't suitable for a microwave and could cause sparks. While other foods can be cooked in the microwave but will need to have an air hole made into the packaging, otherwise the packaging can explode open.
Advice from an oven repair Birmingham company
Oven Repairs R Us is a specialist oven and appliance repair company based in Birmingham. We are an oven repair company that not only fixes broken conventional ovens and microwave ovens, but can even offer replacements if the appliances aren't repairable. Personally, we think both appliances are fantastic and we encourage you to use both, but if we had to choose, we would have to say that the conventional oven is our personal favourite.