Life Style

Difference Between Microwave and Oven


Primary Difference

Cooking food is one thing but when people cannot eat food on time and then require to make it warm again to eat there are always different ways of doing it. Some people do it by heating things again on the stove, but modern techniques have taken over. Two devices which are used for this and multiple other purposes are microwave and oven. People often confuse them because of their shapes, but there are vast differences between them. Some of these will be introduced in the following paragraphs. Their working principles are the main difference, a microwave works by heating water in the system and the molecules which are present in the food are heated with the help of microwave radiation. Oven works. Differently, it warms the overall body and then flows that heat in one direction to do the desired job. A microwave usually has one surface where all the functions are performed, while, on the other hand, the oven has different surfaces which perform various tasks. The bottom surface is used for baking and roasting while the top surface is for heating and broiling. There are varying levels of temperature in an oven due to the surfaces, but there is uniform temperature throughout the microwave. Another difference is that a microwave heats the food quicker while an oven takes more time to cook food. On the flipside, microwave cannot cook or bake food while it is the primary functions of an oven which not only heats but a variety of dishes can be prepared in it. Some other differences and brief explanations of both these devices are given in the next paragraphs.

Comparison Chart

MechanismA microwave heats with the help of microwavesAn oven heats with the aid of making the body warm with the assistance of electricity
CookingNo new food can be cooked in a microwaveNew food can be cooked in an oven
SurfaceThere is just one surfaceThere are different surfaces in an oven
Working PrincipleA microwave works on the principle of vibrationOven operates on the principle of kinetic conduction.

Definition of Oven

It works on the principle of kinetic conduction, in this system, the molecules in the air are provided heat to increase their temperature and because of that, they travel to the food which is placed in the oven and heats it. This takes greater time and usually most simple items take up to 20 minutes to frequently heat up but on the other side, new food items can be made, and baking products are possible. Most famous dishes such as fish and pizza are made in the oven. The reason for slow heating in the oven is that food only has water molecules which evaporate at more than their boiling point which has to be kept lower for food to get warm. Kinetic energy from the food molecules is transferred here and there resulting in making the food.


Definition of Microwave

It works on the principle of vibration friction which is caused by electromagnetic waves. Since water is present in food items and electromagnetic waves are already heated up, food which is placed in a microwave is heated up quickly. That said, there is no possibility of making food in a microwave it just cooks the food and mostly these items become softer rather than crispier. There are a few dishes which can be done, but they are not the standard ones. There is also just one surface in a microwave on which equal amount of temperature falls. They are more prone to hazards because they usually work with the help of electricity and have high voltages required. There are new devices, such as microwave oven being introduced which perform both the tasks.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. A microwave heats with the help of microwaves while an oven heats with the aid of making the body warm with the assistance of electricity.
  2. No new food can be cooked in a microwave while various new items can be performed in an oven.
  3. There are different surfaces in an oven while there is just one surface in a microwave.
  4. Temperature level varies in an oven while there is the uniform temperature in a microwave.
  5. The microwave heats the food relatively quicker while an oven takes a lot of time to cook food in comparison to a microwave.
  6. Microwave leaves the food softer while an oven makes the food crispier.
  7. In technical terms, a microwave works on the principle of vibration while oven operates on the principle of kinetic conduction.

Comparison Video

YouTube video


We all like to use food that has been cooked before, how we warm is for the next time or how we cook food in the machine totally depends on us, this article therefore has taken a look at the two most common types of machines, microwave and oven, which are used together in the same way even though they are very different from each other.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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