How does a convection microwave oven work?

Updated March 23, 2017

Microwave ovens are some of the most important kitchen inventions ever made. The ability to make foods and heat things much quicker has made the microwave an almost indispensable part of the kitchen. In more recent years, convection microwave ovens have been introduced. Rather than being like a regular microwave, the convection microwave is a cross between a microwave and a traditional oven. The convection microwave is used for cooking things almost like a traditional oven, but with the speed of a traditional microwave.

Parts and Pieces

All microwaves consist of several different parts. Microwaves consist of a transformer, a waveguide, a cavity magnetron, a control circuit and a cooking chamber. Convection microwaves also contain the element of a convection oven used to brown food. The cooking chamber is designed to keep the radiation and microwaves from reaching outside of the microwave. The other parts are all designed to work together to make the radiation and microwaves to cook the food.

How Microwaves Cook

Microwaves cook food by passing nonionizing radiation through the food. This is done by the water and fat and other molecules inside the foods absorbing the energy from the microwaves and causing them to bounce around rapidly. All of the friction in the food causes it to heat quickly. Microwaves actually do not heat food inside out like many people believe. The food heats so quickly that sometimes it appears that the inside cooks before the outside. However, notice how a frozen dinner is cooked. The outside edges are always more cooked than the middle. The convection part of the microwave is used for browning much like a skillet or grill oven. A convection oven is designed for cooking rather than heating foods.

Uses of Microwaves

Microwaves are used for many different tasks. Heating leftovers seems to be the greatest use for traditional microwaves. However, when a convection microwave is used, it is possible to cook things almost as if it were a real oven. This is because a convection microwave browns things just like an oven.

Microwave Variations

There have been several different kinds of microwaves. The first microwaves used a combination of radio and infrared waves to heat the food. As the years have gone on, many different variations on that theme have been made. There has been the convection microwave variation, which is designed to work like a faster traditional oven. Many newer microwaves come with quartz halogen bulbs to cook foods even faster. These lights also cause foods to brown like in traditional ovens but are not quite as expensive as a convection microwave.

Additional Pieces

Many microwaves come with additional pieces and parts to aid in the cooking process. Most microwaves come with a glass plate that is rotated by wheels to cook foods more evenly. Convection microwaves usually come with a metal rack like those in ovens so that two layers of food can be prepared at once. There are also several types of one-time-use products that can help foods cooked in the microwave come out crispy.

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