Microwave oven has long ago become a part of our everyday life. When it comes to warming up food or making popcorn, it is second to none. But modern microwave ovens have not only grill, but also a convector. Let?s talk about what a convection in a microwave oven is and how to use it.
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What is Convection?
Convection (from Latin convectio ? wafture) is a way of heat exchange in which airflows move. Convection is based on the principle of a natural air movement, when the cold layer, getting heated, rises up, and the upper layer cools down, gets heavier and lowers down. This process is eternal.
What is a mode of forced convection in a microwave oven? For that process, a microwave oven should contain a convector (fan) and a heat element.
Heating element is responsible for warmth, and convector moves it around the device. The convector is often placed on the back wall.
As a result of air circulation, temperature in a device can reach 200 ? degrees. When reaching the required temperature, fan turns off. If the temperature inside decreases, it turns on again.
Some microwave oven models have several convectors. The manufacturers state, that such models are even more effective.
What is convection needed for? This function widens opportunities of a cook and the device itself in preparation of a range of dishes that are impossible to make with an ordinary microwave oven. This function allows to roast meat, fish and poultry, bake patty cakes, rolls, biscuits, meringue and pizza.
- The process of thawing frozen products goes more evenly
- Pastry gets even crust coloration and baked texture
- Preparation time decreases in half
- Crust becomes golden and crispy
- Uou can easily roast meat, fish and poultry in the microwave
Experienced users say soups, side dishes and pastry can be prepared in such microwave oven with a convector just as well as on an electric or gas stove.
How to Choose the Right Model of a Microwave Oven
Good and high-quality microwave oven is not a cheap thing, and convection feature makes it even more expensive. Brand models with convector cost from $200.
The sizes and weight of such devices are usually 1,5?2 times bigger than of usual microwave ovens.
Microwave ovens with a convection feature can be of two types:
- Built in.
The autonomous are usually mounted on the kitchen table. They are pretty heavy and bulky.
Built in models can be built in a complete kitchen, they don?t take space in the kitchen.
Devices with air circulation mode can be extended with such options as automatic food preparation, information storage, steamer mode, etc.
Main Parameters for Choosing Convectional UHF-Oven
According to DiligentChef, when choosing convectional microwave oven, pay attention to the following parameters:
Power. Usually, the power of a microwave mode, convection and grill are specified in these devices. Convection mode consume much more energy. If the power of a microwave mode is 1000 W, convection mode power will be no less than 2500 W. Purchasing such a powerful device, think about your electrical wire potential. Such a device can?t be plugged into triple adaptors and extension cords: it needs a separate outlet or an autonomous power source.
Inner coating of a device. When cooking, inner surface of a device can occasionally get covered with pieces of food. So there is a necessity to clean it. UHF-oven coating is made of steel, bio ceramics, acryl, has antibacterial properties, etc.
- Enamel coating ? the most popular among low-cost models. It is easy to damage and pretty hard to clean. In this case you will need special cleaning agents.
- Stainless steel coating is a bit more endurable, which makes the cooking process faster. But there are disadvantages: it soaks up the smell of a cooked dish, loses nice appearance after a few cleans and gets scratches.
- Ceramic coating looks nice and gets cleaned easily, sometimes can have antibacterial properties. Disadvantage: cooking and warming up food take more time.
- Acrylic coating can be found in low-cost models, which power doesn?t exceed 1400 W.
Ceramic coating is considered to be the best variant.
1. Self-cleaning option allows the device to remove smell from cooking the previous dish in a moment and get prepared for the next one.
2. Grill is necessary for those who loves dishes with a crispy crust.
3. Steamer mode is very popular. A rack is installed in a special water container, on which the products are put for steaming.
4. Built-in recipe book allows to choose a recipe and specify the product?s weight. The rest will be done by a device.
5. Control of a microwave oven can be of two types: mechanical, sensory and touchtone.
- Mechanical is carried out with the help of two handles. It is considered to be the most reliable, but it is less convenient to wash a device with handles.
- Sensory offers a great scope for cooking activities by the possibility of programs selection. Sensor panel is easy to take care of, but if it stopped working (this can happen), it?s easier to buy a new device.
- Push-button control is a panel with a range of buttons. As usual, such models have a few different modes.
6. Volume: ?Solo? microwave ovens that are used for warming up food are usually of 12?14 l. They don?t have grill or convection. 20?25 liters? volume is considered to be the most optimal in capacity, functionality and price. Volume of more than 30 liters allows to bake pastry or roast a large piece of meat or poultry.
Choosing an UHF oven, think about what it will be used for ? for warming up food or for a complete cooking of different dishes.
How to Use Convection Mode
Here are a few tips on how to cook with this mode.
- Use only special utensils, designed for UHF-ovens.
- Make food in such a volume so that it won?t come out raw.
- Every model should be accompanied with a special rack that allows airflows to circulate around the cooking dish.
- To get crispy crust, use convection with a grill. This will help to save not only energy, but also your time.
- Before starting baking (bread, muffins, biscuits) and roasting (fish, poultry and meat) preheat the oven for 10 minutes.
In conclusion, here are a few situations, in with convectional UHF-oven may be useful:
- If you are renting an apartment. If necessary, microwave oven can be easily transported from one house to another.
- If the kitchen sizes don?t allow to have a traditional oven.
- If your budget doesn?t allow to have a traditional oven.
- If you have a passion for crispy crusts.
- Convection oven is a good choice if you want to replace old microwave with a modern one.