Two plates of food cooking inside a convection microwave

What Is a Convection Microwave?

A convection microwave combines the standard features of a conventional microwave oven with an additional convection heating element that can help roast, bake and crisp your favorite foods.

Because of this added functionality, convection microwaves are a versatile kitchen tool that can help you multitask and expand your menu. Read on below to learn more about convection microwaves and their benefits to help you decide whether it’s the right match for the way you make.

Woman cooking on a stove and selecting a cook setting on a KitchenAid® microwave Woman cooking on a stove and selecting a cook setting on a KitchenAid® microwave

What is the difference between a microwave and a convection microwave?

The main difference between conventional and convection microwaves is their heating elements. Traditional microwaves cook food using electromagnetic waves, while convection microwaves have an additional heating element and fan to circulate heat throughout the cavity.

Because of this oven-like heating element, you can use a convection microwave to bake, broil or roast smaller portions of your favorite recipes.

What is the difference between a convection oven and a convection microwave?

A convection microwave cooks food similar to a convection oven when the convection setting is activated. Convection microwaves are much smaller appliances than ovens and can be installed as a built-in, over-the-range or simply placed on your countertop.

Convection ovens are larger appliances that occupy more space in your kitchen and can cook multiple dishes and larger portions than convection microwaves.

Pie cooking in a KitchenAid® convection microwave Pie cooking in a KitchenAid® convection microwave

How do convection microwaves work?

In addition to usual microwave functions, convection microwaves work using a feature that transforms your microwave into a miniature convection oven. A heating element and fan work together to circulate heat throughout the interior of the microwave, allowing you to unlock your culinary creativity with techniques like broiling and roasting.

Benefits of convection microwaves

There are several benefits to adding a convection microwave to your kitchen. 

  • If you currently own a conventional oven, you can still create with convection heat without having to replace a large appliance.

  • You can use convection microwaves as a standard microwave or as a convection oven to broil, bake and roast.

  • Many models come equipped with multiple racks so you can cook more than one dish at a time when inspiration strikes.

When should you not use a convection oven?

Though convection heat is a great option for juicy roasts, bubbly casseroles, crisp veggies and homemade cookies, you may want to avoid using it on more delicate recipes. Cakes, custards and soufflés may rise unevenly and become a bit dry when baked using convection heat.

Nachos inside a built-in KitchenAid® convection microwave Nachos inside a built-in KitchenAid® convection microwave

Can you put metal in a convection microwave oven?

Yes, you can place metals like aluminum foil or small baking sheets in convection microwaves, but only when the appliance is in convection mode. Never use metal inside a convection microwave while it is using traditional microwave heating.

Can a convection microwave replace an oven?

A convection microwave can be a great supplement to a standard sized oven, but you may not want to replace the appliance completely. Convection microwaves are not designed to prepare large portions of food as they simply don’t have the internal capacity.

Shop KitchenAid® Convection Microwaves

You can open the door to new creative possibilities with the help of a KitchenAid® convection microwave in built-in, over-the-range and countertop options. Enjoy standard microwave features and convection heating in addition to innovative features on select models like the Sensor Steam Cycle with Steamer Container that allows precision steaming based on your selected preferences. Browse KitchenAid brand’s entire collection of convection microwaves to find the right fit for your kitchen.

Explore convection microwave & convection cooking