Can You Microwave Things that Say Oven Only? (Explained)

Nowadays, microwaves and ovens are one of the most helpful kitchen appliances. However, ovens seem to consume more time and electricity compared to microwaves.

As a result, people tend to consider replacing their ovens with a microwave to save time and money. 

Regardless, just like every other electrical gadget, it’s essential to understand how a microwave works and the foods you can make with a microwave. 

And this leads to this question; can you microwave things that say oven only?

Yes, you can microwave things that say oven only. However, you should note that microwaves cook faster than ovens. Hence, it’s essential to know the cooking time of microwaves and ovens to prevent overcooking or undercooking your foods. Thus, if you can’t be careful about the cooking time, it is best to follow the instructions on the packed food.

In this article, I will explain if it’s possible to microwave things that say “oven only.” Then, I will further explain its pros and cons.

And by the end, you will be able to discover if it’s okay or not to microwave things that say oven only.

Can You Microwave Things That Say Oven Only?

Can You Microwave Things that Say ‘Oven Only’

Generally, there’s nothing wrong with microwaving things that say oven only. 

The only problem attached to it is that the food may become soggy, or sometimes, it may even dry out, causing the food to look unappetizing.

This problem is why companies only instruct their customers to use ovens to avoid receiving customer complaints. 

Therefore, if you see an instruction on your packaged food that says oven only, it may not be because it will be harmful if you use another cooking method, such as microwave. 

However, it may be to prevent the food from becoming yucky, and of course, considering this, it’s to your advantage because you won’t like seeing your precious food go bad.

Regardless, if you use a microwave for food that says oven only, it’s essential to know the difference between ovens and microwave cooking time. 

Cooking with a microwave takes less time than cooking with an oven. Therefore, you must check the cooking time on the food’s label and convert it to the microwave’s cooking time.

Also, as fast as a microwave is, it doesn’t always cook perfectly and evenly as an oven does. So, an oven is the best choice if you want even cooked food.

In addition, cooking with a microwave requires extra attention, which means you will need to adjust the food from time to time to ensure that your food comes out in good shape. 

Hence, the microwave isn’t the best option for baking or making complex dishes. 

In addition, there are some foods you shouldn’t cook in a microwave as they may cause smoke, explode or become much. 

Such foods include eggs, processed and frozen meats, grapes, milk, etc. Microwaving isn’t just suitable for cooking some foods; perhaps, your food that says oven only is among such foods. 

If you know that you have any doubts, or you won’t be so cautious about the cooking time, it is best to heed the instructions on the food.

Check the table below to learn more about cooking with a microwave and an oven.

Cooking With MicrowaveCooking With Oven
Cooking with a microwave takes a shorter time.Cooking with an oven takes a longer time.
It changes food tastes.The oven doesn’t change food tastes.
The microwave makes some foods soggy, thereby becoming unappetizing.It doesn’t tamper with the food’s quality.
The microwave doesn’t heat or bake evenly.It heats and bakes evenly.
Microwaves are more suitable for cooking small dishes.Ovens are best suitable for cooking large dishes.
Microwaves consume more energy and money.Ovens consume less energy and money.
Heat transfer in microwaves occurs through a process called radiation.Heat transfer occurs in ovens through a process called conduction.

How Do I Convert My Microwave Time to the Oven?

If you use a microwave for cooking food that you’re supposed to use an oven for, time conversion is essential before cooking to avoid overcooking or undercooking.

Microwaves cook four times faster than an oven. In other words, microwave cooking time is one-fourth of the oven cooking time.

For instance, if it takes 20 minutes to cook a particular food in an oven, it will take 5 minutes to cook such food in a microwave.

So, converting your microwave time to oven time is straightforward; therefore, follow the instructions below:

  • Check the cooking guide for your packaged food to discover its cooking time, i.e., the oven cooking time.
  • Once you discover the oven cooking time of the packaged food, divide the cooking time by four.
  • Then, set your microwave time to the calculated time.

Meanwhile, to ensure that your food cooks well and evenly, it’s essential to pay utmost attention to the microwave, especially when the set cooking time is about to end.

Is Microwave Heat The Same as Oven?

No, microwave heat is different from oven heat. The heat is even one of the significant differences between the two. 

Microwaves use a form of heat called radiation. Radiation is the energy that comes from a source and travels through space at the speed of light.

Radiation is the emission or transmission of energy through superfast electromagnetic waves.

On the other hand, the oven uses a form of heat called conduction. The oven generates its heat directly from its heating elements.

The oven has heating coils, and the heating coils heat up once you turn on the oven and warm the oven air until it reaches whatever temperature you set it to.

Then, the heat in the air transfers to your food until it reaches the same temperature as the air. 

Check the table below to learn about the differences between radiation and conduction.

Heat transfer occurs through electromagnetic waves.Heat transfer occurs through a heated element.
Heat transfer is super fast.Heat transfer is lower compared to radiation.
Heat transfer occurs without involving any particles.Heat transfer occurs when objects get in direct contact.
Radiation can only occur in any object with a temperature greater than 0 Kelvin.Heat transfer occurs due to the temperature difference.
Heat transfer in radiation obeys the law of refraction and reflection.Heat transfer in conduction doesn’t obey the law of refraction and reflection.

How Much Faster Is a Microwave Than an Oven?

A microwave is incredibly faster than an oven. Experiments reveal that microwaves cook four times faster than an oven, meaning it takes longer to cook with a microwave than an oven.

For instance, if it takes 8 minutes to cook a particular food in an oven, it will take 2 minutes to cook it in the microwave.

The difference in their heating method is the primary thing responsible for the difference in their cooking time.

The microwave uses a heat transfer method known as radiation, which makes it faster than the oven because heat transfer occurs in microwaves via electromagnetic waves.

However, ovens use a method of heat transfer known as conduction. So, ovens generate heat from their heating coils. 

Once you turn on your oven, the heating coils start heating up until it warms the oven air. Then, the heat circulates until it reaches the food you cook. 

Thus, the heat-generating process is faster in microwaves than in ovens. In the long run, it’s okay to only microwave things that say oven.

However, ensure you set the microwave to the correct cooking time of the food because microwaves cook four times faster than ovens.  

However, if you know that you can’t be cautious of the cooking time, it’s advisable to follow the instructions in your packed food cooking guide.

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