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HomeBusiness StrategiesSmall BusinessCommercial Microwaves vs Convection Ovens - Efficiency & Performance

Commercial Microwaves vs Convection Ovens – Efficiency & Performance

Commercial Microwaves vs Convection Ovens - Efficiency & Performance
Photo by Rohan G on Unsplash

Commercial Microwaves vs Convection Ovens

They say, ‘if you can’t stand the heat, buy a commercial microwave!’ Ok, our version is nothing like the well-known saying but expresses how essential microwaves are in a professional kitchen.

While microwave ovens might not be the right cooking tool for everything, when it comes to speed and convenience, nothing beats a microwave in a commercial environment – or does it?

Let’s look at the facts:

A commercial microwave is perfect for rapidly heating wet foods such as curries, soups and stews. It’s also great for defrosting food quickly and safely. However, microwaves have limitations and don’t consistently achieve the same results as seen with a convection oven.

This article will look at commercial microwaves and convection ovens – two pieces of equipment often used in professional kitchens. We’ll compare their efficiency and discuss the pros and cons of each and offer some helpful solutions.

Commercial Microwaves – Efficiency and Performance

Microwaves are very efficient at heating food quickly due to the high power output, much higher than seen with domestic models, thanks to the electromagnetic waves that generate heat inside the food. The waves cause the food’s water molecules to vibrate, producing heat.

Microwaves are very efficient and economical for quick tasks and when preparing smaller quantities of food. As a commercial microwave delivers bursts of power with no need for preheating as you would with a typical oven, energy is saved. By not preheating a lot of time and energy can be saved in a busy commercial kitchen.

However, microwaves have some limitations. They don’t work well with large quantities of food as the heat doesn’t continuously or evenly circulate, resulting in uneven cooking and even burnt patches on the food.

Another issue with microwaves is that they can’t achieve the same results or perform the same functions as a convection oven. Because standard commercial microwaves don’t generate the same heat level and cooking conditions, they are better suited to simple defrosting or reheating functions. If you’re looking to roast or bake, microwaves will often dry out foods making a convection oven a better option to retain moisture.

Commercial Convection Ovens – Efficiency and Performance

Convection ovens sometimes referred to as commercial fan-assisted ovens, work by circulating hot air around the food. This air circulation creates consistent temperatures to help cook food evenly.

Convection ovens are very efficient at cooking large quantities of food, with hot air circulating evenly throughout the oven cavity ensuring food is cooked consistently whether placed in the centre, sides, top or bottom of the oven. Convection ovens can also reach higher temperatures than microwaves, so they’re perfect for roasting meat and baking bread.

However, convection ovens have some drawbacks. While energy efficient, they’re not as energy efficient as microwaves, requiring preheating and longer cooking times. Another issue with convection ovens is that they can dry out food if the desired outcome is a moist exterior.

The Verdict – Which is More Efficient?

So, which is more efficient – commercial microwaves or convection ovens? The answer depends on what you’re looking for and the technology your business requires. A commercial convection oven is the better option if you need to cook large quantities of food quickly and evenly. However, a microwave is a way to go if you want convenience and speed.

Another option that could solve the microwave vs convection oven problem is introducing the combi microwave oven.

Combi Microwave Ovens – The Best of Both Worlds?

A combination microwave oven such as those from Merrychef might be the perfect solution if you want the best of both worlds. A full range of models is available at and the team is always on hand to talk you through your options.

Combi microwave ovens use both microwave heating technology and convection or impingement technology. Combining the technology can achieve the same results as a convection oven without preheating. You can enjoy results fifteen to twenty times faster than with a conventional convection oven.

Combi microwave ovens are versatile, making light work of everyday cooking tasks. They’re perfect for busy commercial kitchens that need to cook large quantities of food quickly and evenly.

Here are some quick points about the combination microwave to summarise the facts:

  • The combi microwave is ideal for canteens, larger restaurants, pubs and catering businesses.
  • The combi microwave oven delivers a medium output and multi-level cooking for better results.
  • It is super energy efficient.
  • The advanced technology offers more cooking flexibility.
  • The combination microwave oven cooks food faster than a traditional fan-assisted oven.
  • The commercial combi microwave saves space in a smaller kitchen carrying out the work of two machines.
  • It is time-saving and therefore saves you money.

So, there you have it – the pros and cons of commercial microwaves and commercial convection ovens. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but the combi microwave oven, a hybrid of the two, is arguably the best solution for busy commercial kitchens. It’s fast, efficient and versatile, making it the perfect choice for catering businesses that always want excellent results.

If you’re looking for an efficient piece of catering equipment, then a commercial combi microwave oven is a great option.

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