What Is A Speed Oven? – Everything Explained
Are you looking to upgrade your kitchen appliances and curious about what a speed oven is? Whether you’re a busy professional or simply looking for ways to streamline your cooking process, a speed oven could be the perfect addition to your kitchen.
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!
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.
A speed oven is 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, speed ovens 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 A Speed Oven Work?
A speed oven works by using microwave energy to cook food quickly and efficiently. When you turn on a speed oven, it generates microwaves, which are a type of electromagnetic radiation. These microwaves pass through the food, causing the water molecules within the food to vibrate and generate heat. This heat is then transferred to the surrounding food, cooking it from the inside out.
In addition to using microwave cooking, most speed ovens also have a heating element and a fan. These work together to circulate hot air around the food. This helps to cook the food more evenly and can also help to brown and crisp the surface of the food.
To use a speed oven, you simply place your food in the oven, set the desired cooking time and temperature, and press start. The oven will then use a combination of microwave energy and hot air to cook the food. This combination with help to reduce the amount of time it takes to cook your food.
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: Speed ovens are also 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 speed ovens have a range of cooking functions and modes. Such as a grill, convection cooking, and steam, 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: Speed ovens 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: Speed ovens 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 won’t 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 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.
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:
- Cooking method: A speed oven uses a combination of microwave energy and hot air to cook food, while a regular oven only uses heat from a heating element to cook food.
- Speed: A speed oven is generally faster at cooking food than a regular oven. It uses microwave energy to cook food from the inside out, which helps to reduce cooking time.
- Size: Speed ovens are often smaller and more compact than regular wall ovens.
- Cooking functions: Most speed ovens have a range of cooking functions. Such as a grill element, convection, and steam, which allows you to cook a wide variety of foods in different ways. Regular ovens typically only have a bake and broil (grill) function.
- Energy efficiency: Speed ovens are generally more energy efficient than regular ovens, as they use less energy to cook 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.
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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.
A microwave oven is a small appliance that uses microwaves to cook and reheat food. It is typically used for quick and convenient cooking. And is not designed for more complex or precise cooking tasks.
A speed oven, on the other hand, is typically a little larger and uses both microwave energy and a heating element and fan to cook food quickly and efficiently.
It is often used for a wider range of cooking tasks and may have additional features, such as a grill or steam function, which allow you to cook food in different ways.
What Is A Speed Oven Good For?
Speed ovens are versatile appliances that can be used for a wide range of cooking tasks. I’ve listed a few cooking methods that they can be particularly helpful for.
- Reheating food: Speed ovens can quickly and efficiently reheat food. Making them a great choice for busy weeknights when you don’t have time to cook a full meal from scratch.
- Cooking frozen foods: Speed ovens can quickly defrost and cook foods like chicken breasts, fish fillets, and vegetables in a fraction of the time it would take in a regular oven.
- Baking: Speed ovens can be used to bake a wide range of foods, including cakes, bread, and cookies, and often have a convection baking setting that helps to distribute heat evenly for more consistent results.
- Roasting: Speed ovens can be used to roast meats, poultry, and vegetables, and often have a grill function that can be used to brown the food and add a crispy texture. Not only can they get great results roasting, but they can also achieve it much faster than a regular oven.
- Cooking with steam: Some speed ovens have a steam function, which can be used to cook foods like fish, vegetables, and rice while retaining more of their nutrients and flavour.
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. Air fryers are often used to cook small, fried foods, such as chicken wings, fries, and onion rings.
A speed oven, on the other hand, is a larger appliance that combines the functions of a microwave oven and a traditional convection oven. It uses microwave energy and a heating element and a fan to cook food quickly and efficiently.
Speed ovens are often used to cook a wide range of foods, including meats, vegetables, and baked goods.
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.
Popular brands of Speed Ovens
Some popular speed oven brands include:
- GE Appliances
These brands offer a range of speed ovens in different sizes and styles, with a variety of features and cooking functions. It is worth considering the specific features and capabilities of each brand and model to find the one that best meets your needs and budget.
Can you reheat food in a speed oven?
Yes, you can reheat food in a speed oven. In fact, one of the main advantages of a speed oven is that it can quickly and efficiently reheat food.
Most speed ovens have a microwave function that can be used to reheat food in a matter of minutes. While also offering more consistent results than a traditional microwave. Additionally, some speed ovens may have a convection or grill function that can be used to reheat food and give it a crispy texture.
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 around 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.