Microwave Oven Types: Solo vs OTG vs Convection (Buying Guide)

Microwave Oven Types: Solo vs OTG vs Convection (Buying Guide)

Solo vs OTG vs convection: which type of microwave oven is better for you? Well, each of these work differently and it depends on what type of food or cooking method you prefer. Let us find out.

Being in the kitchen can be fun for people who love cooking. I, myself being a lover of cooking, needed an oven which I can grill, air fry, or bake my favourite type of cake. But, I was always confused about one thing –

Which microwave oven type should I choose among solo, OTG, and convection?

You might be facing the same problem right now and that is why you are here. Right? As the answer can be both tricky and difficult to understand at first, in this article I want you to go through my experience of selecting the right oven.

I can assure you one thing, while you have done reading through the entire article, you will know what type of microwave oven you really need for cooking your favourite dish.

First, let me go through the basic differences between solo microwave oven, OTG, and convection oven. Here you go –

Types of microwave oven: solo vs OTG vs convection at a glance

OTGSOLOCONVECTION
Heating takes timeHeats up fasterPre-heat much faster
Consumes less electricitySOLO consumes more electricity than OTGConsumes more electricity than SOLO
Takes more time to cookLess time to cook but you can cook only certain itemsEasy and takes less time to cook with pre-set cooking options
Cheaper than solo and convection microwave ovenMuch cheaper than convectionMore expensive than both
You can bake much betterCan’t bakeYou can bake but OTG is better when it comes to baking
Auto cook option is not availableIt’s availableYes, auto cook option is available
Best for baking and grillingIdeal for reheating and cooking simple recipesBest for reheating, defrosting, baking, and cooking
Ideal for professional bakers or for those who are looking for only baking, grilling, and toastingFor someone looking for reheating and cooking basic recipes like noodles and pastasIdeal for someone looking for easy multi-purpose cooking like cooking, reheating, baking, and grilling

Microwave oven types and the food you can cook

Let us go through the types of food you can make using these ovens. It is important to note that each of the three performs the best for different and specific kinds of dishes. While I was researching them, I decided to start with understanding what all food you can cook using each of them.

Microwave oven types and the food you can cook

From the above table, you can see that the convection oven ticks all the boxes. It allows you to cook literally anything – from tandoori chicken to grilled paneer. But, an OTG works best when it comes to baking, toasting, and grilling, though it can’t reheat or de-frost. A solo oven on the other hand is mostly suitable for re-heating cooked food or defrosting.

In case you are buying one, here are our top recommended OTG, solo, and convection ovens –

Bajaj Majesty 1603 T OTGBajaj OTGCHECK PRICE
Samsung MS23F301TAK SOLOSamsung SOLO OvenCHECK PRICE
IFB 20SC2 Convection OvenIFB 20SC2 ConvectionCHECK PRICE

I hope you have clearly understood the key differences – Microwave vs OTG vs Convection Oven from the comparisons above. Now, let me explain you the heating processes and technologies behind these microwave oven types.

OTG (Oven Toaster and Griller)

OTG is covered by grill and rods that get heated when turned on. The rods are present both at the top and the bottom, thus allowing you to heat the food completely. Moreover, if the top coil is heated, you can get the grilling effect. For baking, make sure that both the coils are turned on.

If you are someone who loves cakes and are delighted to bake stuff regularly, you must have an OTG. Every weekend, you can celebrate Christmas with the easy baking of the Christmas cakes.

There is something that you must know. If you have your guests coming over in 30 minutes, you just cannot think about making the favourite chips on an OTG. It needs certain preheating and pre-cooking, which is why it is renowned for the taste of its food only.

Microwave (Solo)

Every time I researched about the microwave, I would feel so guilty for not being attentive in my Physics lectures. Here, I want to make the working of microwaves as simple to you as possible.

Microwave has the ability to be absorbed by liquids like water and fats. The reason is, since the frequency of the wave is so high, the particles of the wave strike against the food particles with higher frequency.

This makes them easy to enter into the food particles. As they enter, they get converted into motions of the atom, in the form of heat. Now, that the waves are transformed into heat, they heat the food from within.

This interesting property ensures that the food not only is cooked from outside but is also cooked from inside.

This is how the solo microwave oven functions. But, what is convection?

Read further to know, how convection is an upgraded version of microwave.

Convection

When the heat generated in a microwave is not concentrated at a single point but distributed all across the microwave, we call it convection. Just like the name says, convection induces the convection current within the microwave that enhances the cooking quality of the food.

Convection allows the entire meal to be completely cooked. Guess what, you can cook the entire meal in even lesser time.

After a lot of confusion, I finally decided to buy the convection microwave oven. In the next segment, I will share some of my experiences with the oven, which is a combination of both microwave and convection.

By now, you might have already made up your mind about which one to pick between microwave, OTG, and Convection Oven.

But before you leave, let me share you my experience or preference. This will again help you in making the right buying decision.

If you have already decided to go ahead with convection by now, do check out our review of the best convection microwave ovens in India.

Why convection microwave oven is better for me?

Before I dig deep into the reason, I must say that my house is always filled up with guests. Either from my mother’s home or my dad’s. Moreover, since I stay alone, it is important to not miss my breakfast before the office.

Keeping these things in mind, time is very essential to me. The first reason why I went for it was quick cooking time. I did not have to worry about the OTG being pre-heated. Just when I needed something, I can heat it and have the dish ready for me.

Secondly, I love cooking. Cooking is one of the most important stress busters for me. I prefer cooking a number of dishes across various cuisines and it is only possible in convection microwave oven. There is a large number of options for cooking and this is what makes me love this.

Its variety of cooking options in different modes like a boil, crisp, and roast make it the best thing to have in your kitchen.

The mechanism of cooking food on microwave is that the heat enters within the surface of the food. Not just external heating, but the heating is internalized.

This makes the food to have excellent flavours. The food with great flavours is due to the fact that the heat has been internally able to cook the dish. With an excellent dish as my dinner, I am very happy that I made the decision to buy microwave-convection over an OTG.

One more reason why I decided to go with convection microwave oven was energy efficiency. The truth is that I don’t want to burn a deep hole in my pocket, as I am burning the meatloaf in the oven. Looking for an economic solution, the energy efficiency is where it is best at.

Convection oven is definitely the winner (for me at least)

Cooking is like an art. If you are an artist, you would not want to use the paraphernalia of poor quality. If you love cooking, you must select the right instrument. Similarly, the battle between microwave, convection, and OTG can persist for a longer duration, but my call is pretty clear.

The combination of microwave and convection also helps in dealing with the cons that each of them has separately. Microwave fails to radiate the heat to the entire cooking area. On the other hand, convection has lower heating efficiency. But, with both of them combined, the fan of the convection helps to spread the heat all across.

How does this help? The 360 degrees heating of the food ensures that no part on the exterior of the food is uncooked.

Yet, after purchasing one, you need to be careful in not using it too roughly. Make sure the maintenance is done on a regular basis.

Just remember one thing, homogeneous cooking is what you are after.

Features to look our for while buying a microwave oven

Before you buy one, there are a few things that you must take note of.

  1. Size: Inner space of the oven should be large enough to accommodate that large chicken breast that you would love to tandoor.
  2. Energy rating & brand: Having energy ratings and the best brands ensure wonderful service. Don’t compromise on the brands.
  3. Auto shut-off: You cannot be near your oven always while cooking. Prefer an oven that shuts down automatically once the cooking is over.
  4. Safety lock: Make sure there is a child safety lock. This comes in very handy for those who have child at home. You don’t want to find yourself in the face of a fire burn.
  5. Visible door: Transparent door is another feature you should not miss. A clear view allows you to check on your food while cooking.
  6. Autocook menus: Autocook features with pre-set buttons will simplify your food preparation process. So, keep an eye on those.

You may like this popular model from IFB – IFB 25SC4 Microwave Oven Review

Conclusion

Searching for the best microwave should begin with understanding your requirement and the budget first. To sum up, here is the type of microwave oven you may need –

OTG – perfect for someone who wants to only bake or grill. Also, a good choice for professional bakers.

Solo – for people who are looking for only reheating the food. Perfect for office use.

Convection – little expensive than the above two but great for multipurpose use. You can bake, grill, re-heat, and cook many other food conveniently.

Happy cooking, keep baking!

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