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microwave / convection oven question

 
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minkey



Joined: 30 Oct 2005
Posts: 80
Location: Tempe, Arizona; US

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:40 pm    Post subject: microwave / convection oven question Reply with quote

My husband has decided to replace our microwave oven today! So, I have very limited time to request features, brands etc. Suggestions?

My biggest question is how valuable it will be to get one of the microwave/convection combos. I am honestly quite ignorant about convection ovens Embarassed What are they best for cooking? They are supposed to be very time saving? Will I fall in love with one if I have it?

Thanks in advance for any tips![/i]
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Minkey,

When we bought our first microwave, I did all the research and nixed the micro/convection oven based on consumer reports. Then we sold that house and moved into one with a convection/microwave built in. I had left behind a convection oven, so I was happy to have one - in any form.

I like mine because it is only ONE appliance - thus I consider it space saving, but if given a choice, I would prefer NO microwave and just a double oven with one convection oven and one regular oven. The microwave feature works fine, and the convection feature is very helpful - heats up more quickly than my big oven. But it doesn't retain the temperature at all. Perhaps because it's about 15 years old.

I can't recommend based on my old thing, but if they are more effective at retaining heat now, I'd go for the convection/micro combo.
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msue



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My original microwave, an Amana, was a combo microwave/convection oven. My comments relate only to that specific oven. Keep in mind that this was in the early 1980's, so I would suspect that substantial advances have been made in the last 25 years (goodness...have I been cooking that long?). Although we used the convection feature over the years, it never really got hot enough or did an adequate job for the kinds of things I tried to make. We did did a combination of microwave at a low power simultaneously with convecting...quick cooking things like nachos, etc. Eventually I found that we used the microwave only to nuke occasionally and I turned to my gas oven whenever I wanted regular baking.

About a year or two ago, my microwave (that same original long-wearing Amana) gave up the ghost. Since I currently have a woefully inadequate kitchen, I was glad to see it go. I rarely used it as a microwave, never as a convection oven, and I was happy to have more counter space.

Based on my experience, I can't really recommend a combo microwave/convection. Like Donna, I would opt for a real convection and no microwave. However, if you really want the microwave, I'd probably make the decision about the combo based on counterspace and cost. The function of the convection may or may not be worthwhile if those two factors aren't acceptable to you.

Good luck, let us know what you decide and how it works out!
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minkey



Joined: 30 Oct 2005
Posts: 80
Location: Tempe, Arizona; US

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Msue and Donna, thanks for the feedback! I had never really contemplated a convection oven, because I didn't see a major kitchen purchase in my future, and, as Ms. O'Conner once said, "I do not want what I haven't got"!

Your experiences set me at ease -- Mr. Wonderful would have bought a convection combo version if I was dying for it, but I wasn't sure about a couple hundred extra for something I didn't know for sure I'd use.

From what little research I was able to do today while (ahem) "at work" it sounds like there are at least 2 versions of convection oven: to really work well, I read, the air that will be circulated needs to be pre-heated to the appropriate temp. I guess some pump air in, that still needs heating, and so the oven will have hot and cold spots.

So I wonder if "true convection" maybe doesn't work well in a microwave/combo?

I don't know. I think we picked a micro that alleges it can grill, steam and bake. We shall see.

And I will probably have a new obsession to learn about convection ovens and why we need one! Wink
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