Microwave ovens cook food by generating heat inside the food through the excitation of food molecules by the use of microwave energy. Convection ovens speed cooking in a more traditional way by circulating heat around food using a fan. By combining these two technologies, a convection microwave speeds cooking dramatically while allowing the food to brown. Although convection microwaves have been popular in the limited spaces of recreational vehicles, they have been less popular in kitchens.
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Cooking Meat Using Automated Sensors
Some convection microwaves allow a probe to be inserted in the food. By telling the oven what you are cooking, cooking time is automatically adjusted to ensure that the surface of the food, such as a roast or a chicken, is browned while the internal temperature of the meat is correct.
Manual Meat Cooking Times
Cooking meat in a convection microwave is easy. A general rule of thumb for convection microwave ovens is to cook the meat 7 minutes for every pound of raw meat or poultry. Of course, this is only a general rule, with exceptions in certain cases.
Baking Breads and Cakes with a Probe
Many convection microwaves offer settings for breads, cakes and other baked goods that optimize cooking and cooking time to balance a brown exterior with a thoroughly cooked interior. For these types of ovens, cooking times may vary slightly and are automatically calculated based on the type of food and the internal temperature of the food as measured with a temperature sensor.
Baking with a Convection Microwave
Convection microwaves can also be used for baking cakes and other traditional baked goods. The exact cooking time will vary, depending on the power and type of oven you are using. A general guideline is to bake a cake about 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the cake is around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Depending on what you are cooking, times can be reduced by 25 to 50 percent versus standard oven cooking times. The speed of cooking will depend on the power of your oven and the percentage of cooking being done by the microwave component. In many cases, where recipes are meant for standard ovens, some experimentation may be required. Check the food periodically and make a note of how much time it takes to cook food to your satisfaction.