What Is A Speed Oven? – Pros, Cons & Expert Advice
Are you looking to upgrade your kitchen appliances and curious about a speed oven?
What exactly is it, what can it do and is it worth getting one?
In this post, I’ll explain what a speed oven is, as well as some of the pros and cons of using one in your home.
Let’s get into it!
In a hurry? Here’s the key takeaway:
⚡︎A speed oven is a versatile kitchen appliance that marries the quick convenience of a microwave with the even cooking of a convection oven. Perfect for speedy meals without compromising on quality.
Faster cooking and energy efficiency meet higher costs and a learning curve.
Read on to learn more…
what is a speed oven?
A speed oven is a kitchen appliance that combines the functions of a microwave oven and a traditional convection oven.
It is designed to cook food quickly and efficiently. Using both microwave technology and a heating element to heat and cook food.
It’s also known (at least here in the UK) as a combi-oven, combination microwave oven or a built-in microwave oven.
One of the main benefits is that it can cook food faster than a traditional oven, as it uses microwave energy to penetrate the food and heat it from the inside out. This means that it can cook food more evenly and with less risk of drying out.
In addition, they’ll often have convection technology, which circulates hot air around the food to help it cook more evenly.
Some speed ovens also have additional features, such as a grill function, which allows you to brown and crisp food, or a steam function, which helps to keep food moist and tender.
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How Does It Work?
A speed oven combines convection heating and microwave energy to cook food. Convection heating blows hot air over the food, and microwave energy heats the food quickly from the inside.
This gives you the ability to choose between these cooking methods or mix them together to benefit from the quick cooking of a microwave with the even baking of a convection oven.
Ultimately, you get more choice over the way to cook, depending on what you’re making or the result you want.
Advantages of A Speed Oven
- Speed: One of the main benefits is that it can cook food much faster than a conventional oven. This is because it uses microwave energy to heat the food from the inside out. Which helps to reduce cooking time.
- Efficiency: They can be more energy efficient than traditional ovens, as they use less energy to cook food. This can be beneficial if you are looking to reduce your energy usage and save money on your energy bills.
- Versatility: Most have a range of cooking functions and modes. Such as a grill, convection cooking, and steaming, which allows you to cook a wide variety of foods in different ways.
- Compact size: (Good and bad). Speed ovens are often smaller and more compact than traditional ovens. Making them a good choice for smaller kitchens.
Disadvantages of A Speed Oven
- Price: They can be more expensive than traditional ovens or microwaves. This could be a disadvantage for those on a tight budget.
- Learning curve: Speed ovens can have a bit of a learning curve, as they have more features and cooking functions than a traditional oven or microwave. It may take some time to get used to using the appliance and figuring out which settings work best for different types of foods.
- Limited capacity: They are generally smaller than traditional ovens. They may not be suitable for cooking larger items or multiple dishes at once. So that Christmas turkey and all the trimmings might not fit!
- Noise: Some speed ovens can be a bit noisy, especially when using the microwave function or the fan.
- Limited durability: Some people may find that speed ovens are not as durable as traditional ovens, and may not last as long over time. The more electronics and parts that could go wrong often do go wrong.
What is the difference between a speed oven and a regular oven?
There are several key differences between a speed oven and a regular oven:
|Feature||Speed Oven||Regular Oven|
|Cooking Method||Combines microwave energy and hot air||Uses heat from a heating element|
|Speed||Cooks food faster, microwave energy cooks from the inside out||Generally slower, cooks from the outside in|
|Size||Smaller and more compact||Usually larger|
|Energy Efficiency||More energy efficient, uses less energy to cook||Less energy efficient|
|Cost||Typically more expensive due to advanced features||Generally less expensive|
|Versatility||Can perform the functions of a microwave as well||Limited to conventional cooking|
|Food Texture & Quality||Can maintain moisture in food, less drying out||Can result in drier food|
While there are some similarities between a speed oven and a regular oven, they are designed to work in different ways and may be better suited to different types of cooking.
It’s very popular, in most of my kitchen designs, that we include both a standard wall oven and a speed oven (combi oven). This gives greater flexibility for a variety of cooking needs.
What Are The Dimensions Of A Speed Oven?
The dimensions of a speed oven can vary depending on the brand and model. In North America, they are typically approx 24, 27 or 30 inches wide, 19-21 inches high and 20-23 inches deep.
These are the exterior measurements. The interior dimensions and size of the oven’s cavity will be smaller.
In the UK (and other countries that use cm) they are approx, 60cm wide, 45cm high and 50-55cm deep. The widths tend not to vary.
They are designed to fit alongside other built-in wall ovens and accessories.
Is A Speed Oven A Microwave?
Yes and no. A speed oven is a type of appliance that combines the functions of a microwave oven and a traditional convection oven. While it uses microwave technology to cook food, it is not just a microwave.
They are typically a little larger than a microwave and are used for a wider range of cooking tasks. I may also have additional features, such as a grill or steam function, which allow you to cook food in different ways.
Is a speed oven the same as an air fryer?
No, a speed oven and an air fryer are two different types of appliances.
An air fryer is a small appliance that uses a heating element and a fan to circulate hot air around the food, creating a crispy, fried texture without using oil.
A speed oven, on the other hand, is a larger appliance that combines the functions of a microwave oven and a traditional convection oven.
While both appliances can be used to cook food quickly and efficiently, they are designed to work in different ways and are suitable for different types of cooking.
Can you reheat food in a speed oven?
Yes, you can reheat food in a speed oven.
In fact, one of the main advantages is that it can quickly and efficiently reheat food.
Most have a dedicated microwave function that can be used to reheat food in a matter of minutes. Additionally, some may have a convection or grill function that can be used to reheat food and give it a crispy texture. 😋
Is A Speed Oven Worth It?
Personally, I’d say Yes!
As I mentioned, almost all my kitchen design projects these days include a speed oven (combi-oven) alongside a regular oven. It seems to be the winning combo for most households and my clients love them.
It gives you your regular-sized oven for bigger Sunday lunch cooking while having an additional cooking space/appliance that offers up more cooking functions in a compact size.
A speed oven adds an additional oven and grill for those moments when you need more cooking space and doubles as a microwave for those quick, everyday tasks.
As well as this, it frees up your countertop by eliminating the need for a separate microwave, reclaiming that precious space for preparation and contributing to a tidier, more streamlined kitchen environment.
If your budget permits and your kitchen has the space, I’d highly recommend a speed oven. 👍
There you have it! What is a speed oven – explained!
A versatile and convenient appliance that offers a range of cooking functions, making it a valuable addition to any kitchen.
Whether you’re looking to cook meals quickly, save energy, or simply have more cooking options available, a speed oven could be the perfect solution.
By understanding the features and benefits, you can make an informed decision about whether it is the right appliance for your home.
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.