Oven vs Microwave – What’s the Difference?

The market is filled with electrical appliances for the kitchen. From cooking appliances to food processing appliances, there are loads of options available. And when it comes to cooking appliances, two of the most popular choices are the oven and the microwave. And that is where many people fall into a dilemma.

Are you finding yourself in the same predicament as most people? Want to know about the differences that lie in between them? Well, you have just stumbled upon the right source then.

In our take on the hot topic of oven vs microwave, we are going to provide you general knowledge about both of the cooking appliances. Alongside that, we are also going to state the differences that set them apart.

Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have an adequate amount of knowledge that is required to make the right decision.


Let us start things up with the appliance that has been around for a long time, which is the microwave. Yes, they have been around since the 1930s. Ever since then, the units’ basic functionality has been the same, but they have been tweaked a lot throughout the time.

By tweaking, we are generally stating the efficiency. That has seen a massive improvement over time.

The first microwave that was available for domestic use was back in the late 1960s. Unlike some of the other cooking appliances, these do not rely on any sort of heating element.

Instead, they rely on electromagnetic waves. The electromagnetic waves are released by the magnetron that is built inside them. Those waves cause the water molecules that are inside the food to vibrate. And when they do vibrate, heat is produced, which is what makes them warm.

Apart from that, as they rely on waves, which travel insanely fast, they can make the food warm relatively fast. In fact, you can get your food item warmed up in just seconds. This low requirement of time is what makes these stand out the most. You would not have to wait for minutes after minutes just to get your food hot.

Other than that, these features a compact and relatively lightweight design. You will have no trouble at all in the case of setting one of these up on your countertop.

Also, you can easily put these on top of a table too. Alongside that, these are relatively easy to clean as well. You can easily clean the insides after you are done with making your food warm in them.

However, because of being small in size, they can not hold that much amount of food. Even the largest model that is available in the market is not ideal for large food batches.

Also, the heating procedure that it implements can not offer the browning on the food’s surface. So, you will not be able to get the crispy and browny exterior on your foods by heating them inside these.

When You Should Use a Microwave

These are the situations where your best bet would be to use a microwave:

  • To make foods warm
  • For defrosting foods
  • To serve a small batch of food items



Unlike the microwaves, the ovens have not been around for that long of a time. In fact, they are one of the recent cooking appliances that have surfaced in the market. They were first seen in the year 1967, which means that they are not that old as most of us tend to assume.

However, they started to pick up domestic attention in recent years. Before that, they were only used in commercial places.

The heating process that they implement is much different from the microwaves. They do not rely on any sort of waves to make the water molecules vibrate. Instead, they have heating elements on the top and the bottom.

Those elements heat up once you have powered the device on. Also, there are fans inside that helps in the case of circulating the air throughout the insides.

Once the heat is adequately circulated in the inside, the food gets cooked. Yes, we are using the term ‘cooked’ rather than ‘warm’ here. The primary purpose of this device is to cook food.

Unlike other cooking appliances, they ensure a proper flow of heat. There would not be any uncooked surface on the food once the exterior has proper browning.

On that note, if you want your food to cook properly, you are going to have to give them some time inside these. These offer the best results when the food is cooked slowly inside them. To allow you to get that type of result, these offer you full control over the temperature. You can lower it and increase it at the time that you prefer.

However, you must factor in the flow of the fans while trying to cook something in them. If the dish you are planning to prepare is delicate in nature, the strong gust can ruin its shape.

For that reason, we highly recommend shooting for the ovens that provide you the control over the fan speed. With those, you will be able to ensure that your food retains its overall shape throughout the cooking process.

When You Should Use an Oven

These are the cooking tasks where the ovens are going to provide you the best results:

  • For baking
  • To get that browning on the surface
  • For getting a crispy layer on the exterior
  • To grill and roast meats

What Exactly Is the Difference Between Microwave and Oven

The first and most obvious difference would be the size. While microwaves are small and compact in size, the ovens are relatively large. Other than that, the microwaves are easier to clean because of the small size that they have. On the other hand, it would take quite an effort to clean the insides of an oven.

Besides those, the main difference lies in the functionality. Microwaves are basically used to quickly warm up food while the ovens are there for slow cooking dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is a microwave more efficient than an oven?

In the case of energy consumptions, microwaves are more efficient than an oven. They do not use the full-fledge heating elements as the ovens, which makes them consume about 30 to 80 percent less energy.

  1. Can microwave be used as an oven?

For baking purposes, you can use a microwave as an oven. However, the end results might not be the same as you would get from an oven.

  1. Which is better – oven or microwave?

It depends. For quickly heating up foods, microwaves are better. On the contrary, for slow cooking and baking, ovens are leaps ahead. So, being better would depend on the task that you are planning to carry out.

  1. Which oven is best for health?

The microwave oven does have some health hazards. Electromagnetic waves link to several fatal diseases such as diabetes, leukemia, and heart issues. In that sense, we would say that conventional ovens are the best for health.

  1. How do I choose a microwave oven?

While trying to choose a microwave, the size, the cooking power, and the internal capacity are what you would have to keep in mind.

  1. Why shouldn’t you use a microwave?

As we have mentioned, electromagnetic waves can promote some serious health issues. For that reason, many would suggest avoiding a microwave that does not have an adequate level of safety features.


Now that you have a sufficient amount of knowledge about the topic “oven vs microwave,” hopefully, making the right choice will not be that much of a difficult task for you. To conclude, we hope that the foods you prepare with the one you choose turn out delicious.

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