Are Convection Ovens Safer Than Microwave Ovens?

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Convection microwaves are similar to traditional microwaves but have a few potential safety risks. In particular, some items that are safe to use in a conventional microwave can be dangerous in a convection microwave.

Convection microwaves have two separate heating technologies. The first is the microwave-generating heating provided by standard microwaves, which provides quick heating. The second is the convection heating technology, which speeds up the heating process and gives food a baked look, texture and taste. As a result, the dangers of both microwaves and convection units are present.

Microwaves cause metals to spark and flash, potentially starting a fire and damaging the unit. As a result, users need to ensure everything placed in a convection microwave is designated as safe. Unlike microwave heating, convection heating warms up plates and plastic directly. Packaged meals designed to be used in a microwave may contain plastic and other material than can generate dangerous fumes and melt if placed in a convection unit. Plates used for cooking heat up as well, so caution is needed when removing meals.

New users of convection microwaves often overestimate how long their meals take to cook. This typically causes burned food, but burns, both from the food and from what the food was cooked on, can occur as well. After adjusting to how they work and learning what material they cannot safely warm, convection microwaves are comparable in safety to other kitchen appliances.