How Do I Choose the Best Portable Convection Oven?

Cynde Gregory

A lot of cooks are turning to away from convention and toward convection when it comes to ovens. Convection ovens seal in meaty juices, cook quickly and evenly and don’t add even more heat to an already overheated kitchen. Full-size convection ovens are expensive, though, and cooks who have built-in gas or electric ovens that are nowhere near the end of their useful lives might not be willing to pay a lot of money just yet. Also, a cook who has heard about convection ovens' many advantages but haven’t experienced them personally might do well to select a small portable convection oven that has several grills for stacking and dishwasher-safe parts to give convection cooking a try.

Combination microwave-convection ovens are usually small enough to fit on top of a counter, but large enough to cook a full size meal.
Combination microwave-convection ovens are usually small enough to fit on top of a counter, but large enough to cook a full size meal.

A portable convection oven comes in two basic styles. The first is round, and the second is rectangular. Round, or tower-style, portable ovens that use halogen might not be the best choices, because there have been numerous reports regarding fire safety. They are constructed out of materials that permit the cook to peek inside from any angle.

Cooks who want a round style for its portability or the fact that it’s easy to monitor cooking with a simple glance through the transparent walls should look for a unit that is durable, built of sturdy parts without too many unnecessary add-ons that could cause problems later. These models are heated from the top, and the hot air is forced downward with a fan to sear poultry and meat, brown baked goods and heat everything on the inside evenly. Like the rectangular version, foods can go from the freezer to the oven with no need to thaw.

The second style of choice is a rectangular model that suggests a toaster oven in appearance. This type of portable convection oven has a window through which the cook can keep an eye on what’s cooking, but the view won’t be from any angle, as with the round oven. Some nice features offered by many rectangular portable convection ovens include a revolving rotisserie, a tray that facilitates loading and unloading by sliding out and a special pizza crust-crisping pan.

A rectangular model of a portable convection oven can be purchased in a smaller size for cooks who prepare meals for just a few people or for those who will use the oven primarily as a backup for a fully occupied oven. For people who feed a lot of people regularly, larger models are also available. Of course, the larger the unit, the harder it is to move, and the greater the storage space that will be required to fit it

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Discussion Comments


@talentryto- If you need a small convection oven, I think that a rectangle model will be best for your counter top. Though the round styles look nice, they usually take up more space.

Rectangle portable convection ovens come in various sizes, and can easily fit into corners and angles where round ovens simply will not.


I'm shopping around for a small convection oven for my new house. I'm looking for some tips on which type of portable convection oven is best for a small kitchen counter top: round or rectangle. Though I like the looks of the round portable ovens, I don't know if this style will work for me with the limited space I have available.

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