Baking Oven vs Microwave Oven (Differences)

The oven uses different technologies to produce heat and cook the food. You can easily get confused between the different oven types and you must know about them to choose the right one for you.

The most commonly used ovens are microwave ovens and baking ovens (also known as conventional ovens). Both have unique working principles and serve different purposes.

In this article, we shall understand the differences between both baking ovens and microwave ovens so that you can choose the right one for you.

Difference between Baking Oven and Microwave Oven

Baking Oven vs Microwave Oven

The primary difference between a baking oven and a microwave is that the baking oven uses electric heating coils to bake the food while the microwave oven uses microwave radiation to heat or cook the food. A normal microwave oven cannot bake or preheat while a baking oven cannot instantly cook or heat food like a microwave oven.

Let us now find out the differences between baking oven and microwave oven.

Baking OvenMicrowave Oven
Heat SourceElectric Heating CoilsMagnetron produces Microwaves
Settings availableTemperature setting – You can input a particular temperatureTime setting – You can input a particular timing
Cooking timeUsually takes long time and have to keep the food for at least a few minutesFaster cooking time and you can heat the food within seconds
Types of cooking possible· Baking
· Grilling
· Toasting
· Reheating
· Defrosting
· Instant Cooking
Power ConsumptionLowHigh
Heat DistributionHeat spreads from outside to inside and it is not equal.Heat spreads from inside to outside and it is equally distributed.
Suitable ContainersGlass, Ceramic, metal,No metals should be used. Glass and ceramic are safe.

Let us now understand the working of both these ovens so that their differences will be easy to comprehend. 

What is a Baking Oven?

Baking ovens are also known as conventional ovens. These ovens were built using bricks and chimneys in the early days while the modern version uses heating coils powered by electricity. 

The working principle of this oven is very simple. The ovens have heating coils which get red hot when power is supplied to them. This heat is radiated to the air in the oven’s chamber where the food is kept for baking.

This hot air cooks the food from the outside and gradually cooks the inside. That is why you can get a crispy, brownish outer layer and a soft, fluffy inside of your baked food. 

Since baking is a slow process, this type of gradual heating is suitable for the baking process. You can also preheat a baking oven to a particular temperature before placing your food for baking. 

A baking oven has temperature settings that will enable you to preheat and bake your food at a particular heat.

What is a Microwave Oven?

Microwave ovens use microwave radiation produced by magnetrons placed inside the appliance. These microwaves can excite the water molecules present in the food and heat it.

Microwave ovens cook the food from inside to the outside. So, you can get an even heat distribution and heat or cook the food effectively.

Since this type of oven deals with microwave radiation, it can instantly heat the food and it can also cook the food quickly. Due to this instant heating, you cannot bake using a microwave oven.

If you look at the settings of a microwave oven, you will only have timings. No temperature measure will be mentioned in the microwave. You have to select seconds and minutes to cook or heat the food in it.

Therefore, according to your cooking requirements, you may need both a baking oven and a microwave oven in your home. With a baking oven, you can grill, bake, and toast while a microwave can help you to reheat, defrost, and do some instant cooking. 

Is it Possible to Bake in a Microwave?

A microwave is not suitable for baking unless you meet one of the following requirements:

  • Using a convection microwave
  • Using a convection mode in your microwave
  • Using proper microwave timing for baking

Convection Microwave

Is it Possible to Bake in a Microwave

Unlike a normal microwave oven, a convection microwave has a set of electric heating coils and a fan to circulate the hot air. 

This microwave can be used for both baking and microwaving your food. You also get a set of grills and pans for toasting, grilling, and baking. 

This microwave can be quite expensive but serves you with dual purpose which makes it an effective appliance in your kitchen.

Convection Mode in Microwave

There are some microwave models which has a separate mode called convection mode. You have to choose this mode and enable it for baking.

If you check out the control panel in your microwave, you can find an option called Conv which denotes the convection mode. Also, you will be provided with a set of grills out of the box which indicates that your microwave supports baking and grilling. 

You also have to follow the instructions provided with your microwave manual so that you can use the mode properly. 

Proper Choice of Timing for Baking

If you don’t have a convection setting or a special convection microwave, you can use the proper method and timing to bake with your normal microwave

This involves putting all the ingredients in a pan that is suitable for microwaving and setting a suitable time to get the best results. 

Although you will not get the crispy brown outer layer like a baking oven, you can get completely cooked food at a much faster time. 

Also, you cannot bake all kinds of foods with this method and this is a major limitation with normal microwaves. 

Therefore, if you bake a lot, you will need a convection-type microwave or a separate baking oven to get the best baked food. 


Understanding the differences between baking ovens and microwave ovens will help you choose the right type of appliance for your kitchen. Each has a specific mode of operation and their usage differs. Therefore, get a baking oven if you frequently grill, toast, and bake while you can get a normal microwave oven if you just want to heat things. 

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