Microwave vs. Conventional Electric Oven – Which Is Better For You?

If you only have space for one appliance in your kitchen, you should know that whatever one you choose, is efficient enough to cook your food properly. Nonetheless, as a general rule, any oven powered by electricity, whether or not it’s a microwave, is going to cook food much better than gas-powered appliances. In fact, about 12% to 14% of the energy drawn by a standard electric oven goes towards making the food. For gas appliances, that figure drops to 6%. Regardless, it has been noted that microwaves use around 60% of their energy towards cooking.

How Do Conventional Electric Ovens Work?

Such a typical oven is between 2000 to 3000 watts. However, it doesn’t consume all of it when cooking because its consumption depends on the temperature set in the thermostat. In addition to this, how much they consume also depends on the size of the oven. Inevitably, a bigger oven will consume far more than a standard-sized one. This appliance is suitable for:

  • Roasting
  • Grilling
  • Browning
  • Caramelizing
  • Crisping
  • Baking

As it uses hot and dry air, it produces lower temperatures and it distributes heat evenly. Thus, making the cooking process faster. An important aspect that you have to note about these is the fact that such an appliance will add to your energy bill as it cooks food more slowly. Even if you set the timer at a smaller period of time, it will use much more energy than a microwave.

How Do Microwaves Work?

As you may be aware, microwaves use radio-frequency energy to heat water and fats inside of the meal. The waves transmitted by the appliance cause molecules to vibrate which then, in turn, causes the temperature to rise. One of the greatest things about this is the fact that they are incredibly simple to understand and to operate. Even young teenagers will be able to know what buttons represent what. You can use this for:

  • Defrosting
  • Baking
  • Reheating foods and beverages
  • Cooking

Even though there has been a huge facade online about the dangers of microwaves, the majority of them are not scientifically proved. Therefore, you should always believe what you read about them. For example, it hasn’t been proved that microwaves will give you cancer. Thus, go ahead and reheat that pizza slice. You will be safe.


When it comes to energy consumption, we have already stated that conventional electric ovens will consume far more than a microwave. Nonetheless, according to the Department of Energy, cooking amounts for a little less than 3% of an average home’s energy use. Therefore, even though it will add to your energy bill, you won’t feel that much of a difference. Other things such as your clever lawn mower will consume far more.

Regardless, studies have shown that when cooking a single portion of french fries in an oven, took 9.5 times as much energy as it did in a microwave. In addition to this, one study concluded at the University of Bristol has shown that when cooking a chicken in a microwave, it resulted in an energy savings of 30%. Therefore, when taking into consideration the amount of energy you are willing to consume, you should think about using a microwave. However, if you are going for big meals it’s best that you avoid using microwaves because it won’t be capable of cooking everything evenly like a conventional oven. Thus, stick to conventional ovens for big meals and microwaves for small portions.


It has been stated that microwaves have a few more environmental advantages. The first being that they produce far less indoor pollution. In addition to this, some people like the fact that it doesn’t heat up the room when opening the door. As well as, when it comes to cleaning, you have to keep up with maintenance work for conventional ovens. It has no way of knowing that the dirt is a cheese splatter rather than part of your meal. Therefore, the sensors will detect it, thus it will turn up the heat.