The microwave oven has come a long way since its initial appearance in households in the late 1940s. What began as an oversized niche appliance has transitioned into the most common household staple. Now, the latest iteration of microwave ovens has evolved further to become an integral member of your everyday cooking.
What is a Microwave Speed Oven?
The microwave speed oven combines the convenience of the traditional microwave with the versatility of an oven into a compact cooking powerhouse. Simply put, it’s faster than your average oven.
One of the main sticking points to the popularity of the microwave is its ability to cook food without the need to preheat. This benefit doesn’t come without a cost though, as any microwave aficionado will tell you that the quality never stands up to an oven. And after a long day, why should we compromise with texture-less, soggy food, or be forced to wait an hour while the oven takes its sweet time?
Thankfully, speed ovens let you cook meals with the quality of an oven with significantly little preheat needed. In fact, some of the best speed microwave ovens rarely need to preheat. Furthermore, the speed cook microwave ovens don’t require ducting or additional ventilation, making them easy to install anywhere.
Your New Hosting Sidekick
Whether it be a family dinner or game day, when you’re hosting an event, you need all your appliances working at full capacity. Unfortunately, a regular microwave is often benched during these events where quality matters. With a speed cook microwave oven, you’ll have the cooking power of an additional oven to handle extra additional dishes.
Our Pick for the Best Speed Oven
Since the technology is relatively new, many companies are trying to push a product that is generally lower quality or overpriced. Some produce over-the-range speed ovens while others are experimenting with different features. However, we’ve found some speed cook ovens such as the ZLINE 24" Built-in Convection Microwave Oven in Stainless Steel with Speed and Sensor Cooking (MWO-24) by ZLINE Kitchen and Bath to be of a significantly higher tier than the competition.
The MWO-24 provides all the best elements of a microwave and an oven, without compromising on a single one.
Fastest in its Class
ZLINE has managed to incorporate some incredibly speedy preheat technology into their 24-inch convection microwave speed ovens. The preheat function works rapidly, allowing you to begin baking or broiling nearly instantaneously with nearly no wait time at all. It provides the speed needed to make it an easy first choice when it comes to baking.
Additionally, the MWO-24 packs some other features to keep it ahead of the curve.
Sensor Cooking - Eliminate the Guesswork
Utilizing sensor technology, the MWO-24 can determine the appropriate cook time and power level needed to perfectly cook your meal. This feature eliminates the need for multiple rounds of heating, such as when that pesky lasagna is still cold to the touch.
Additionally, it has a separate sensor reheat mode that will determine the right amount of power and time needed to revive any leftovers to fresh status.
Bake, Broil, and Convection
Without the worry of preheating, there’s really no reason to skip out on baking or broiling when you have the choice. Whether it be baking, broiling, or microwaving, each option is completely viable thanks to the preheat speed of the MWO-24. You’ll find yourself cooking better meals in close to the same amount of time as other microwaves.
Speed Cook Oven vs. Microwave Drawer
So how does a speed microwave oven compare to another common reheating appliance, the microwave drawer? For ease of comparison, we’ll look at ZLINE’s MWO-24 with their own microwave drawer, the MWD-1.
Speed is an important factor when gauging the performance of any appliance. Compared to the microwave drawer, the ZLINE speed microwave oven can match the fast-cooking speed of the microwave drawer. Both provide nearly instantaneous start-to-cook speeds, with the addition that the MWO-24 can perform these feats in bake or broil modes as well.
Ease of Use
When it comes down to how easy it is to operate the convection microwave oven and the microwave drawer, there are a lot of angles to consider.
With respect to the MWD-1, it is incredibly user-friendly. The drawer features an ADA-compliant button to automatically open and close the drawer. This is especially useful when your hands are full and pulling a handle might not end well.
In regards to the MWO-24 speed oven, the usability comes down to the simplicity of the interface. You simply need to choose your cooking option and set the temperature. The added Sensor Cook and Sensor Preheat functions can make this process even simpler.
Finally, both can be easily installed into a wall or cabinet space, allowing you to place your appliance of choice in the most convenient location.
Having options are what separates the best kitchen appliances from novelty kitchen gadgets like the hotdog toaster or automatic cherry pitter. When it comes down to versatility, both of ZLINE’s microwaves provide a variety of distinct and helpful features that make everyday cooking easier.
ZLINE’s microwave speed oven gives you the choice to utilize baking, broiling, or convection heating elements during cooking. Furthermore, the wire rack insert is perfect for roasting chicken breasts or grilling steaks. Additionally, ZLINE’s speed cook microwave oven has all your microwave functions along with the added preheat and sensor cook options. And don’t worry, the popcorn button is still there too.
The MWD-1 on the other hand provides many convenient cooking functions across its interface. Among the standard microwave functions, you’ll also find modes for ‘Beverage’, ‘Soften’, and ‘Melt’. Beverage mode is perfect for heating up forgotten coffee, while Soften and Melt modes are for butter, chocolate, cream cheese, and more.
Are Microwave Speed Ovens Worth It?
The best speed oven microwaves feature a major upgrade to standard microwave ovens. With the ability to rapidly preheat anyone can achieve the baking quality of a conventional oven. Additionally, the new features found in some brands like sensor cooking and sensor preheating further simplify the cooking process. If you’re interested in bringing a new powerhouse to your kitchen then look no further than a speed oven.
Best Speed Oven Benefits
Short-to-no preheat time needed
Express cooking with custom settings
Automatic cooking programs
Combines the best cooking features of microwaves and ovens
Consistent baking power comparable to any conventional oven
Flexibility to bake, broil, grill, or roast
Sensor capabilities eliminate temperature and power level guesswork
Save precious space by installing it into a wall or cabinet