To speed oven, or not speed oven; THAT is the question

acgummadMay 1, 2013

I'm a bit of a health nut, and try to avoid cooking too much food in microwaves because of the impact microwave cooking has on the micro-nutrient value of food.

In planing our kitchen reno, however, I have had a speed oven at the top of my appliance wishlist because of the convenience and speed such a device can offer a crazed over-worked mother and her hungry family. Trouble is, I assume the 'speed' technology of the oven involves using the microwave, which I worry negatively impacts the nutrient quality of the food I'm preparing in it.

Has anyone else had these concerns and still bought a speed oven? Is there research out there on this topic? If I have concerns with a microwave's impact on the nutrient value of food, should I be avoiding speed ovens altogether?

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I'd love to know too!!

I just discovered the Ikea microwaves have speed oven features -- as in they can bake and keep food warm without microwave. You put in a metal tray when warming and baking, so you know there is no microwave going on.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 11:32PM
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Another alternative would be a convection steam oven. It speeds up the cooking process, but using standard heating (Via electric to heat an element) and steam.

I personally have the Wolf version, but there are others out there as well and they all have their supporters, and all brands have pluses and minuses.

This will not replace a micro-wave in terms of speed, but it is faster than a standard oven in most cases.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 1:32PM
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If you would simply look up reputable research about microwave cooking, instead of believing all the junk science posted on the internet, you would have a much easier time choosing appliances.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 3:00PM
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I think you're waaaaay overthinking this.

You'll lose more nutrients and health benefits from today's mass market food supply chain than any killed by microwaves.

If you get your food anywhere but from the farmer, butcher, fishmonger, your garden, the health benefits are quickly squeezed out of the ingredient by the system.

So, prepare things your family likes and are sourced with the freshest items you can find and don't lose sleep over it.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 6:20PM
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A lot of folks were probably loosing more vitamins and minerals from keeping their fruits and veggies in the fridge too long, and this was published by the USDA.

For A while there seem to be a "contest here" on whose new fridge kept the food the longest, "My SZ keeps -----, My dual compressor Miele or Liebherr with biofresh-----keeps ta da ta da, etc etc.
Fortunately these kind of post have died out somewhat, Maybe they read the USDA report?

AT any rate, A speed oven is a real time and energy saver, baked tater in 15 mins instead of an hour. The speed ovens are multi function devices, You can use them as a regular over,(sans microwaves), or you can use a mix of convection and microwave, or full microwave, Your choice.

For our daily oven use, its size is more than adequate for what we use it for, and it preheats faster as it is smaller inside.

We've had ours 7 years now, and would always want one in our kitchen.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 7:06PM
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Love my Advantium 240.
With the speed oven, you can choose the MW intensity.
You can cook nutrients out of food or make food worse in almost any format.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 5:29AM
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Fast baking uses halogen lamps as the primary heat source, not MW. Unlike gas or electric calrod ovens, the heat from halogen lamps is nearly immediate and it's intensity is focused on the food, not wasted throughout the oven. Ovens like the Advantium can use both halogen & MW, for instance it may use halogen as the primary method of baking but also use a few seconds of MW to bring the inside up to proper temp.

We tend to be local, organic, hormone-free, health nuts. Our Advantium makes it possible since otherwise we'd often not have time to cook at home. Love that oven.

This post was edited by jsfox on Sun, May 5, 13 at 14:24

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 2:17PM
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> the impact microwave cooking has on the micro-nutrient value of food

This has been researched to death by reputable scientists, and they say that claims microwaving is damaging to food in a way that conventional heating is not is pure bunkum. If anything, microwaving is better at preserving nutritional value and less likely to create harmful compounds than conventional cooking.

Of course conspiracy nuts will simply say that all scientists have been paid off by manufacturers of microwaves...

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 8:22PM
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Sorry, I have to disagree. Just a personal conviction based on what little research exists, but I do not trust microwaved food, either. Yes, the source of the food is critical, but so is what you cook it in and what you eat it on. So even though I really wanted a speedy way to cook, I just could not see putting our locally grown, small farmed organic food in a a microwave. ( Or eating it off of leaded dishes, but that's a whole 'nother topic:) Yes, speed ovens use halogen on certain settings, but the "speed" comes from the microwaving itself.

Admittedly, I could be overly concerned, but rather be safe than sorry. Have you considered a convection toaster oven, instead? We find that it cooks quickly and makes a great second oven when needed.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:17PM
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First of all, left-over food does not taste as good after MW-ing compared to warming it up on the stove or in the oven.

IDK about nutritional value research but a friend of mine once did an experiment.

What happens if you leave a baked or boiled potato on your counter *indefinitely*? It will spoil, will it not?

He left a potato cooked in a MW on the counter. The potato did not spoil but disintegrated and he watched it to turn into small black pieces that were not rotten, just weird. Can anyone here interpret this fact? Does it mean that MW changes food structure?

Anyway, I never cook in MW and only use it for reheating and - rarely - for defrosting food. I am now curious and I am going to repeat his experiment but this time, using a regular boiled potato as a "control", i.e., I'll leave two potatoes, one boiled and one MW'd, unrefrigerated and see what happens. I just need to get some conventionally grown potatoes as I'd feel sorry to do it with my expensive organic ones, LOL.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 4:41PM
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