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Difference Between Solo and Convection Microwave Ovens

Microwave Oven In The Kitchen

One of the most common appliances in the kitchen is a microwave oven. It offers a convenient way to heat food after a long day at work.

But did you know there might be more to your microwave?

Microwaves come in various types. They have different features essential in determining the appliance’s functionality.

The two most common microwave ovens are solo microwaves and convection microwaves.

This post will look at the differences between the two and help you decide better which microwave suits you.

  • The main difference between the solo and the convection oven is their heating mechanism.
  • The solo oven uses microwaves to heat food, while the convection oven uses microwaves and hot air.
  • Convection microwaves offer more cooking options like grilling, roasting, and baking, while the solo ovens are good when defrosting, cooking, and reheating.
  • You can use microwave-safe utensils in the convection oven chamber. However, you should only use microwave-proof glass or plastic in the solo oven.
  • Because solo ovens do not have any additional cooking features, they are generally less expensive than other microwave ovens.

In addition, we will look at how to use each of the ovens and some of their advantages and disadvantages.

What Is a Solo Microwave Oven?

Woman Using A Solo Oven To Reheat Food

The solo microwave is one of the basic microwave oven types in the market.

The oven is considered to have entry-level functionality compared to other microwave categories. The appliance is designed to cook, reheat, and defrost food.

The solo oven does not have many functionalities, making it a very affordable option for anyone who needs a microwave.

How Solo Microwave Ovens Work

Woman Setting The Timer Of The Microwave Oven

The solo oven uses microwave radiation to heat food. A magnet pushes electrons within the oven, causing the waves to form.

The oven uses a metal waveguide to carry the microwaves into the cooking chamber.

The microwaves are reflected off the chamber’s walls, focusing the energy into food.

As the waves penetrate the food, they cause friction between the food’s water molecules, causing them to vibrate and heat up.

How To Use Solo Microwave Ovens

Woman Getting The Reheated Food From The Oven

Because of reduced functionality, this microwave is ideal for basic cooking like heating popcorn and defrosting sausages.

However, unlike the convection or grill oven, the solo microwave does not have special features.


When using a solo microwave, you should only use microwave-safe plastic or glass utensils when cooking.

Using metal objects in the chamber can create an electromagnetic field, causing the objects to spark or even start a fire.

Advantages of Solo Microwave Ovens

Woman Looking At The Oven At The Appliance Store

Let us look at some of the oven’s advantages:

  • Solo ovens are more affordable than other microwave appliances.
  • These ovens are ideal for people looking to perform basic tasks like cooking and reheating.
  • They are also easy to use and only require setting the time and waiting for the food to get ready.

Drawbacks of Solo Microwave Ovens

Microwave-Safe Container

Solo microwave ovens also have their disadvantages:

  • The oven is unsuitable for other cooking types like baking, grilling, or roasting.
  • It only allows microwave-safe glass and plastic utensils.

What Is a Convection Microwave Oven?

Eggs Tarts Baked Using A Convection Microwave Oven

A convection microwave is a revamped version of the solo oven. It has improved features that give it more functionality than other basic microwaves.

In addition to microwaves, the oven uses convection to heat and cook food.

How Convection Microwave Ovens Work

Woman Getting A Roasted Chicken Out Of The Convection Microwave Oven

As the name suggests, convection microwaves use convection currents for cooking. The principle behind this is that hot air is less dense and thus rises up.

On the other hand, cold air is heavier and falls into the cooking chamber.

The oven has a heating element in the chamber. When turned on, the air is heated and rises to the chamber’s upper levels.

The cold air drops to the lower parts of the chamber, where it is heated and pushed up to the upper chamber, generating hot air circulation that cooks the food.

Additionally, convection microwave ovens have fans at the back of the cooking chamber. The fan rotates to provide even hot airflow throughout the chamber.

How To Use Convection Microwave Ovens

Woman Using Convection Microwave Oven

This microwave is ideal for reheating, cooking, and defrosting like the solo oven.

However, the convection microwave gives you more cooking options like grilling, roasting, and baking.

Furthermore, when using the hot air feature on the convection microwave, you can use any microwave-friendly utensil in the cooking chamber.

Advantages of Convection Microwave Ovens

Grilled Chicken Inside The Oven And Other Food On The Table

Here are some of the advantages of using a convection microwave:

  • Apart from reheating and defrosting, you have more cooking options like grilling, baking, and roasting.
  • You can use any microwave-compatible utensils in the oven.
  • The oven uses microwaves and hot air for heating, reducing the time it takes to cook food.

A Drawback of Using Convection Microwave Ovens

Man Paying His Purchase Through Credit Card

Though this microwave sounds like an excellent addition to your kitchen appliances, it has one major drawback.

Due to the added features, the convection oven is more expensive than other standard microwaves.


The difference between the solo and the convection microwave ovens is their mechanism.

The solo oven is a basic microwave that relies on microwaves for heating.

On the other hand, the convection oven uses microwaves and hot air to heat the cooking chamber.

It is more versatile regarding cooking options like roasting, baking, and grilling. You can use microwave-safe appliances in the cooking chamber.

Regarding prices, solo ovens are less expensive and are easier to use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Type of Microwave Oven Is the Best for Home Use?

Before buying a microwave, it is important to consider what functions you want it to do.

Solo microwaves are ideal for defrosting, reheating, and cooking.

The grill microwave is a better fit for you if you want to grill or roast meat.

Lastly, the convection oven is ideal for all the above-listed cooking options and allows baking.

How Long Do Microwave Ovens Last?

The average lifespan of a microwave is about 4–7 years. However, proper maintenance can extend the oven’s longevity and improve its performance.

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