Home Sweet Solutions

Quick Tip:

Periodically check for frost on your air conditioner’s evaporator coil or for blockage of the airflow; raise the temperature or remove debris to keep an air conditioner operating smoothly.

Expert Q&A

What’s the difference between a regular, convection and microwave oven?


These ovens cook food using different types of heat technology. Combo units offer versatility and the best of each type. Here's the scoop:

Conventional oven

How it works: Infrared (also called thermal) elements heat the air and the food inside the oven.

Best for: Traditional baking, roasting, broiling and reheating; warming food on one or two racks

Consider: Ovens with digital controls with programmable and preprogrammed settings and a warming drawer

Types: Wall, range and countertop

Convection oven

How it works: Infrared elements heat the oven cavity and food, while one or more fans circulate hot air within the oven and provide even distribution of heat.

Best for: Baking on multiple racks at the same time and at a lower temperature (about 25 F less) than in a conventional oven; roasting 10 to 30 percent faster (the larger the item, the more time you'll save) than at the same temperature in a conventional oven; searing, broiling and reheating

Consider: True convection ovens have a third heating element near the fan and heat food more evenly on multiple racks than cookers without this feature; easy conversion features automatically recalculate conventional cooking times and temperatures for convection cooking

Types: Wall, range and countertop

Microwave Oven                                                                                                            

How it works: Microwave electromagnetic radiation agitates water and other polarized molecules in the food. Friction between the excited molecules generates heat.

Best for: Defrosting and quick cooking and reheating, especially of non-dense foods with a high water content such as soup and vegetables

Consider: Interior size to accommodate for largest of dishes; special grilling, browning and steam features for versatility; sensor and preprogrammed controls to take the guesswork out of cooking times and power settings

Types: Wall, over-the-range, drawer and countertop

About the Expert

Lyn Cook is a senior consumer scientist, cooking systems technology at the Whirlpool Institute of Cooking Science.

Evelyn Carpenter is a microwave-cooking specialist at the Whirlpool Institute of Cooking Science.


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