The interior of a Maytag convection microwave.

What is a convection microwave, and is it right for your kitchen?

Microwaves have come a long way since their debut in the 1970s. If you’re shopping for a new appliance, you may have noticed that some microwaves offer a convection option that allows you to bake, roast and more. There are several factors that set convection microwaves apart from traditional models, like cooking process, price, features and design. Use this guide to discover whether a convection microwave is right for your kitchen.

A close-up of a Maytag® convection microwave interior with a plate of pasta A close-up of a Maytag® convection microwave interior with a plate of pasta

What is a convection microwave oven?

A convection microwave combines some of the features of two kitchen appliances – a microwave and a convection oven, allowing you to bake and roast foods in addition to heating them. Thanks to their versatility and small size, convection microwaves can be a good choice for small kitchens, apartments and RVs.

The interior of a Maytag® convection microwave. The interior of a Maytag® convection microwave.

How does a convection microwave oven work?

A convection microwave has at least two modes – the first is a standard mode that uses microwaves to heat or cook food. The second is a convection mode that transforms your microwave into a convection oven, which uses a heating element and a fan to evenly distribute heat throughout the appliance. Because of this, a convection microwave lets you use cooking techniques that aren’t available with traditional microwaves – think baking, roasting, broiling and the like. Convection microwaves let you alternate between both modes to cook foods faster. Learn more about the difference between convection ovens and microwaves.

A bowl of food sits inside a Maytag® convection microwave. A bowl of food sits inside a Maytag® convection microwave.

What are the benefits of a convection microwave?

Thanks to their versatility, convection microwave ovens can bring a number of advantages to your kitchen and cooking style. This includes:

  • Faster cooking times due to a combination of convection and microwave cooking.

  • More even cooking with the convection setting.

  • Racks that allow you to microwave multiple dishes at once.

In addition to these benefits, convection microwave ovens reduce your kitchen’s appliance footprint by combining your microwave and oven into one appliance. This makes convection microwaves especially appealing if space is at a premium.

Hand on a Maytag® convection microwave. Hand on a Maytag® convection microwave.

How to use a convection microwave

Successful convection microwave cooking is contingent on the type of item you’re cooking. In general, it’s best to follow the general guidelines below. While these guidelines should work for most convection microwaves, keep in mind that every appliance is different. To achieve the best results with your convection microwave oven, refer to the product manual for additional cooking tips for your specific model.

Reheating or Cooking for Shorter Time Periods

Use the microwave setting for reheating or for short cook times. This includes leftovers, popcorn, steaming or reheating vegetables, prepackaged meals and so on.

Cooking for Longer Time Periods

Use your convection microwave setting when cooking items for a longer period of time. Examples include roasted meats and vegetables, baked goods, bacon, pizza and other items that should be browned or crisped.

Cooking Items Quickly

If your convection microwave has a combination setting, use it to cook items more quickly and achieve a crispy outer layer. Be sure to monitor your food to avoid overcooking or burning. 

Achieving Proper Air Circulation

Use your convection microwave’s round convection rack and bakeware with lower sides to allow for proper air circulation.

Safely Cooking in Metal Items

Metal items should be used with the convection setting only. Never use metal items when using the microwave or combination settings.

Can you put foil in a convection microwave?

You can put foil in a convection microwave, but only when using the convection setting. Foil should not be used on the regular or combination microwave setting as it can lead to possible damage to the appliance. 

When using foil in a convection microwave, keep it away from the walls of the oven cavity and make sure it does not block any of the air vents. As with all cooking, be sure to check in on your progress from time to time.

A close-up of the control panel of a Maytag® convection microwave. A close-up of the control panel of a Maytag® convection microwave.

Who should consider a convection microwave?

So, should you upgrade to a convection microwave oven? The answer depends on multiple factors. However, people with small kitchens may enjoy the versatility and space-saving aspects of a convection microwave. In addition, their convenience and speed are great assets if you’re frequently strapped for time.

Still not sure which microwave is right for you? Don’t worry – this microwave guide walks you through multiple options to help you find the right fit for your kitchen.

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Shop Maytag® Microwaves

With features like Dual Crisp on select Maytag® microwaves, you can enjoy quick, crispy results on your busiest days. Explore additional options like sensor cooking or timed settings on select microwaves by Maytag brand to find the appliance that's right for your kitchen. And, learn more about microwave wattages to ensure you find the perfect fit for your family.

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