Convection microwaves, are they worth the hype? Heck yeah! They are the heroes of small kitchens. Got a studio apartment or a recreational vehicle? Downsizing or converting to the minimalist lifestyle? Convection microwaves are your answer. And even to those who already have a conventional oven, convection microwaves serve as an incredibly useful complement to their bigger brothers—even to a professional chef like me. They make cooking a simple meal quick, easy and efficient.
Not all convection microwaves are created equal. As always, it is important to know what you’re buying and how you can choose the best product to fit your requirements. You can get a crash course on everything a convection microwave has to offer with this indispensable Buyer’s Guide.
Best Convection Microwave Oven Comparison Table
|Model||Type||Power||Volume Capacity||Exterior Dimensions||Warranty||Price|
|Countertop||1000W||1.5 cu. ft.||21.8” x 21.5” x 13”||1 Year|
|Built-in||1000W||1.2 cu.ft.||N/A||2 years|
|Sharp Carousel R-1881LSY||Over-the-Range||850W||1.1 cu.ft.||19” x 20” x 23”||1 year|
|GE Profile||Countertop||1000W||1.5 cu. ft.||20” x 21.1” x 12.1”||1 Year|
|Sharp R1874T||Over‐the‐Range||850W||1.1 cu. ft.||19” x 20” x 23”||10 Years|
|Sharp SMC1585BS||Built-in/Countertop||900W||1.5. cu.ft.||18” x 28” x 22”||1 year|
|Samsung MC12J8035CT||Built-in/Countertop||900W||1.2 cu.ft.||18.5” x 20.8” x 15.9”||1 year|
|Samsung MC11K7035CG||Countertop||900W||1.1 cu.ft.||20.5” x 19.9” x 12.1”||1 year|
|Farberware Black FMO10AHDBKC||Countertop||1000W||1.0 cu.ft.||20.5” x 20.1” x 12.8”||N/A|
|Samsung MS11K3000AS||Countertop||1000W||1.1 cu. ft.||20.4” x 16.9” x 11.7”||1 Year|
|Farberware FMO10AHSBKA||Countertop||1500W||1.0 cu. ft.||20.5” x 20.1” x 12.8”||1 Year|
An In‐depth Review of the Best Convection Microwave Ovens
The first convection microwave oven in our list is the Master Chef 5 Ovens in 1. It sounds appealing, isn’t it? The story behind this name is because this unit can microwave, bake, roast, grill, and toast dishes. Master Chef also boasts that cooking with this oven saves you half a time of your typical cooking time.
The Master Chef 5 in 1 is a built-in model measuring 20.6 inches wide. Just remember to leave an inch of space above the cabinet cut out and two and a half inches below the cut out for proper airflow.
Install it Your Way
Besides having it inside the wall cabinet, you can also install this unit under the countertop or on your kitchen island. But if you happen to place it underneath a drop-in cooktop, remember to allow 16 and a half inches of cut out height below the cooktop.
Don’t worry because Master Chef will also include a stainless steel custom built-in trim kit and a duct system upon purchase. The latter is a nice addition because it serves to keep your cabinet cool once you’ve installed the oven.
For the cooking capacity itself, you’ll get a 16 x 12 inches of porcelain-coated cooking tray. And for grilling, Master Chef will also provide 12 x 9 inches of grill rack upon purchase. Overall, this unit is pretty spacious. The fact that it has its control panel at the top while also having a drop-down style stainless steel door helped with efficient space utilization.
Two Ways to Cook
You can select the type of food and then let the model choose the best cooking time, temperature, and mode for it. And you can also manually choose these options as well, depending on your recipe. However, other than the convection and microwave options, the remaining “oven” features seem to take more time to heat up.
Unlike most microwave ovens, expect that the Master Chef 5 in 1 has no turntable. Nonetheless, the unit delivers 1000 watts of power for its microwave function suitable for cooking your food in short periods of time. You can also use the high-speed combination, which uses both the convection and microwave function for faster cooking.
Deodorization and Steam Cleaning Functions
And once you’re done cooking, the unit has a deodorization and steam cleaning function to save you time and effort. Of course, you can always be a step ahead and cover any foodstuff prone to splattering. The interior of the oven itself is easy to wipe since it’s stainless steel, but the heating element is at the top and prone to receiving splatters. Afterward, you can use the steam cleaning function for routine clean-ups.
Our next convection microwave oven is this over-the-range unit from Sharp. The Carousel R-11881LSY might be a mouthful to pronounce, but it is also packed with features and functions as plenty as its name.
Multiple Venting Options
First, with installation, the Carousel measures 29.9 inches wide and 16.3 high that opens with a left-swing door. It also utilizes a 300 CFM built-in exhaust system with a high/low ventilation fan, as well as an incandescent hood light.
And other than using the unit in your kitchen, Sharp even allows different venting options (i.e., horizontal, vertical or ductless re-circulation.) This way, you can use it in RVs or boats too.
So Many Functions But…
At a glance, the control panel at the side seems intimidating to look at. You’d get your usual keep warm, defrost, as well as autostart and minute plus key. However, the convection function of the carousel offers 10 temperature settings and options for slow cooking, baking, roasting, and broiling. The control panel also has a clock and timer that will alert you with an audible signal.
Unlike the previous model, the Carousel uses a 13-inch ceramic turntable, and you have the option to turn this feature on or off. You’ll also get 8 sensor cook settings and let the model do the cooking for you with its own time and temperature selections. And to give you an idea with the model’s power, it has an 850-watt microwave output and 1400-watt convection heater. The combination of the two is on par with our previous model in terms of quick cooking and equal heat distribution inside the oven.
However, the only potential drawback we could see with this model is that using it manually can be tricky. As we have said earlier, the control panel is overwhelming. Simply put, the Carousel is easy to use if you choose to let it do the cooking for you. And this can be a disadvantage considering some recipes call for specific temperature and time.
An Extravagant Ensemble
Just like our previous entry, GE also gives us a well‐built, high‐quality convection microwave in the GE Profile PEB9159SJSS. But unlike Sharp’s R1874T, a bit more cooking volume and a countertop type oven in this case. Both mean some sacrifice in kitchen bench space.
Easier Cooking Operation
The GE Profile has a simple design and a user‐friendly interface. It’s housed in stainless steel and provides a 1.5 cu. ft. volume capacity with a 13‐inch turntable.
No more overcooking with the microwave’s nifty features. You’ll have auto cook functions and a sensor cooking control to measure the oven’s internal humidity and adjust automatically. These make an already easy baking, browning, roasting and broiling experience, even easier.
Got the Golden Goodies
Just like all the convection microwave chosen to be on this list of the best, this unit’s performance does not disappoint. Cookies, pizza, potato, and other goodies turn out tasty, crispy and juicy.
I’d like to note that I’ve seen reviews about the convection feature malfunctioning or taking too long. Personally, I have not experienced this with my unit as the convection—and every other mode, for that matter—works as it should.
Superb microwave it is, but quiet it’s not. Don’t expect the GE Profile to be silent because it does get loud enough to be audible, although, fortunately not loud enough to be annoying.
This convection microwave is on the expensive side. GE also only provides a warranty of one year. I’ve always said that warranty periods imply how confident a company is in its product. The Sharp R1874T Microwave’s 10‐year guarantee receives the Diligent Chef’s seal of approval in this regard.
GE’s one year warranty isn’t a very good sign, although that doesn’t mean that this convection microwave isn’t going to last. I haven’t experienced malfunctions at all. And as proven time and again, an owner’s using and handling is also a big factor.
Minor Gripe Worth Mentioning
Keeping it Compact and Classy
Sharp’s R1874T is compact at just 1.1 cu. ft. This bestseller is a sleek and classy option that takes up zero counter space. No wonder why it’s a favorite among owners of RVs and smaller kitchens. And that’s not to say that only those with limited space should consider purchasing the Sharp R1874T. Many would agree that it’s an exceedingly convenient device to have in any‐sized kitchen.
This over‐the‐range convection microwave has a stainless steel body and comes with a 13‐inch turntable that’s removable for when you need the extra space. Some of the microwave’s biggest draws are the dual‐color, seven‐digit interactive display, its ‘Smart and Easy’ sensor settings, and the built‐in exhaust fan system. There’s a powerful fan, hood lights, and high and low racks. Sweetening the pot even further is a whopping 10‐year warranty on major components.
The Smart sensor set‐up allows for simple operation while providing versatile cooking options—you can bake, brown, crisp, keep warm, roast or broil to your heart’s content. It has 10 power levels and provides the option to use each function separately. You can choose to use the microwave mode or convection mode alone. It also has a custom Help Key option that will provide you with simple instructions on cooking and programming.
Sharp has long been a trusted brand of household appliances and it proves true to its reputation with the R1874T 850W — a powerful convection microwave that quickly and evenly cooks and bakes food, giving you perfectly browned and delectably juicy dishes.
Size and Power Limitations
Understandably, depending on your typical cooking volume and available space, the small capacity can become a serious limitation. That said, I didn’t have capacity problems with regularly cooking medium batches with the Sharp R1874T. Modestly‐sized, range‐top type ovens like the Sharp R1874T are lifesavers if you want to conserve space. This is why they are the best convection microwave ovens for RV owners. They are efficient, occupy zero counter space, and are compact but still roomy enough to cook for 3 or 4 people.
Another plus for RV owners but may not be for others is the Sharp R1874T’s lower power consumption. The unit is efficient. But if you find 850W a shade too underwhelming—especially for a price tag — then there are other models like the Farberware FMO10AHSBKA — for a house kitchen, not a motorhome. Farberware has less pomp but packs 1500W of power.
Besides the Carousel R-1881LSY, we also included the SMC1585BS from Sharp. To give you a better idea, this model is an upgraded version of the R930CS. If you look or had that model before, you’ll notice that the SMC1585BS has a neater-looking control panel.
Scratch-Resistant Glass Door
This unit also comes with a rotating ceramic turntable measuring 14.1 inches. And as for its exterior, we appreciate the matte black finish that gives this model a modern look. You will also be pleased to know that it uses a scratch-resistant glass door as well. But the question is, is it easy to install?
It has a slightly larger volume capacity of 1.4 cubic feet similar to the GE Profile unit earlier on. And since it measures 24.7 wide and 14.9 long, it should not protrude too much from your cabinet. However, do note that this unit works first a countertop oven so you can skip the installations.
Countertop or Built-In
Nonetheless, if you choose to do the latter, you can use the included trim kit from Sharp. With this particular model, Sharp includes the RK-94S30 30-inch trim kit. This will ensure the compatibility of the two so you’d have a neater look upon installation. At the same time, you’re confident that the ductwork provides the proper air circulation required by this oven.
Compared to the Carousel R-1881LSY earlier, we prefer the look of the control panel of this model. It looks more organized for cooking, whether you want to use the sensor or customize the settings yourself. You can choose from 10 cooking power levels provided by the 900-watt unit, or be a bit lazy and utilize the one-touch buttons on its control panel.
These include auto broil, auto roast, auto bake, reheat, and preheat. The sensor cooking also provides a feature for cooking popcorn, as well as a low and high mix similar to our models earlier. Just do take note that some manufacturers refer to “bake” as low mix and “roast” for high mix sometimes. How do these features work? Well, the low mix feature typically uses 10% of convection microwave energy, while the high mix uses 30%.
With this information in mind, you can use the SMC1585BS manually or by relying on its sensor cook. You can even take advantage of the keep warm function, +60 seconds key, and the plus and minus cooking time to cook dishes with specific time intervals.
It is also worth noting that Sharp has an auto-defrost function. And similar to how you can manually cook, you can also manually defrost by choosing settings depending on the food item’s weight and intended time.
Child Safety Lock
But on the bright side, you can quickly familiarize yourself with this model using the help menu and demonstration mode. Oh, and did we mention that it also has a child safety lock? Of course, this feature is excellent to keep curious fingers from touching the hot oven.
The next two convection microwave ovens in our review are both from Samsung. But for now, let us focus on the MC12J8035CT model. Right off the bat, we like the overall look of this convection microwave oven. The overall black finish with stainless trim and handle gives it a sleek design, perfect for any kitchen. And to get you started, you’ll also get a ceramic plate and round rack along with your oven.
Countertop or Built-In
This Samsung oven works mainly as a countertop model. However, you can also use a trim kit accessory if you prefer it built-in. Unfortunately, you would need to purchase the trim kit separately. Note that this is a must-have if you’re installing the unit in your wall or cabinet to get the suitable airflow. Otherwise, you run the risk of overheating the oven.
The interior of this unit is easy to wipe and clean thanks to its ceramic enamel finish. It’s also nice that it is scratch-resistant, so over time, your unit remains spotless. And as for the exterior, Samsung uses glass touch controls at the top complete with a blue LED display.
What is Power Convection?
As for the performance, the unit will give you 9 preset cooking options. This way, you can let the microwave oven do the cooking for you with regards to the type of ingredients you have. Now, for the convection feature itself, Samsung calls it Power Convection.
What this feature does is it uses hot air circulation from the side fan similar to traditional convection cookers. However, the model also uses the exposed air hole in the interior roof of the microwave in combination with traditional convection cooking. And this will then result in even faster cooking.
PowerGrill Duo and Slim Fry
Samsung also has a grilling function called the PowerGrill Duo. The oven uses 1,600 watts and a direct grilling element giving you perfectly cooked food without the dryness. And other than grilling, the unit is also capable of frying called Slim Fry. This is an excellent addition because you get to enjoy friend food using the 8 pre-programmed frying settings without the excess oil.
Eco Mode and Child Lock
The Samsung MC12J8035CT also has an Eco Mode feature. As you can assume, this function is for conserving energy. The Eco Mode helps you save on electricity bills by turning the LED display off when not in use. And lastly, you can also feel at ease using the hot microwave oven because it has a child lock similar to the previous unit from Sharp.
Up next is another Samsung convection microwave model that also happens to share a lot of similarities with our previous one. You will also get inclusions such as roller ring, high rack, low rack, crusty plate, and turntable as you would with the earlier MC12J8035CT model.
Now, let’s talk about the overall look of this unit. Compared to the earlier model from Samsung, this unit opts to have the control panel on the right side, although it also has an all-black finish for the exterior. We’re also pleased that the MC11K7035CG has a fingerprint-resistant surface to prevent smudges and maintain a clean look.
Inside, this model also has the same ceramic enamel surface, which happens to be scratch and stain-resistant as well. Again, this is a feature we appreciate to help with the longevity of the oven over time.
Knob Time Control
What about the controls? If you compare the two Samsung units, both lack a number pad. This model also added icons on the buttons while the previous model only has labels. However, the unit has a similar large blue LED display, although you’ll notice that it also has a knob at the bottom. We prefer this control over arrows because you can adjust the cooking time immediately without halting the model.
Grill, Fry, and Convect
You will also find similar cooking features among the two Samsung Models. In fact, this unit also has Power Convection, PowerGrill, and Slim Fry.
Like with most convection microwave ovens, you will get sensor cooking options. This is nice for people who would like their unit to the cooking for them without them guessing for temperature and time. Specifically, Samsung uses a vapor sensing technology, so you’d get the ideal conditions for your food.
However, from a user’s viewpoint, the display for the sensor can be hard to decipher. The unit shows text (e.g., 4Sr for 4 servings), which can be intimidating to novelty users. We also don’t like that the timer needs more interaction compared to other convection microwave ovens.
Eco Mode and Child Lock
Looking somewhat similar to the previous Samsung model, Farberware also has its own convection microwave oven with a sleek, modern look. However, the model opted for a stainless steel interior instead of a ceramic enamel finish. Nonetheless, it wipes easily and cleans fast against spills and splatters.
As for the controls, you’ll get a knob, LED display, and a total of 9 buttons all at the right side of the unit. However, even though the control panel doesn’t look intimidating at first glance, it can be confusing to use. You might end up revisiting the instruction manual to familiarize yourself thoroughly with the unit’s functions.
11 Auto Cook Settings
Like our previous convection microwave ovens, the Farberware FMO10AHDBKC is smart enough to do the cooking for you. It has a total of 11 auto-cooking programs with specific ingredients in mind. It can cook meat, fish, vegetables, soup, to even pasta, pizza, and popcorn. The unit also has pre-made settings for auto reheat and bake so you can eliminate the guesswork.
Air Fry or Grill
Remember the Skim Fry feature of the Samsung microwave ovens earlier? Well, Farberware is also capable of frying food items for you. As you can assume, it uses air fry technology, which means you don’t have to submerge ingredients in oil to get them crispy.
In fact, you can select from 9 fry options if you have specific recipes in mind (e.g., onion rings, French fries.) However, we find the results crispy but still somewhat lacking the similarity of those fried traditionally.
On the one hand, if you only need a slight browning with your recipes, the grill function is useful from toasting or simply heating various foodstuff. And because the unit also has convection technology, you can quickly achieve crispy foods without drying them out and waiting for too long.
5 Temperature Levels
Farberware also allows temperature control if you want a more customizable experience. You’d get 5 temperature levels, so you can choose to only quickly warm your food or slow cook them on low heat.
Comes with Teflon Pan and Grill Rack
Oven Refresh and Child Lock
Once you’re done cooking, you can vent out the internal odor of your microwave oven using its oven fan. Farberware calls this oven refresh, useful for cleaning the model. And lastly, it is also worth noting that this unit has a child lock. Even if you’ve turned your back, you don’t have to worry that little children might have access to the hot microwave oven.
The No‐Nonsense Convection Microwave
Samsung’s MS11K3000AS Countertop Microwave Oven is one of a number of Samsung convection microwaves, all pretty popular and work great. So what makes this particular model the most popular and why does it deserve to be on this list of the best convection microwave ovens?
Less is More
The Samsung MS11K3000AS is a pretty basic convection microwave and that’s exactly why it stands out:
- Minimal fancy trimmings equals an affordable price.
- What features it does have are straightforward and invaluable in making fast and easy‐breezy meal preparation and scrumptious food.
For example, its Sensor Cook feature will help you choose the best food prep setting. Cooking presets are a quick‐access to a speedy meal setup. And the Eco Mode is a convenient off button that allows you to run an efficient kitchen by conserving energy when the machine is not in use.
Lookswise, this oven has a simple black and chrome design that should blend nicely in most kitchens. As opposed to the usual stainless steel, it has a scratch resistant ceramic enamel interior, which makes it oh‐so‐easy to clean. The nostalgic turn dial control is a novelty, in that one hardly sees them in these appliances. It’s definitely a plus for me.
Topnotch Customer Service
Just like the GE Profile, Samsung’s convection microwave only comes with a one year warranty. I would say, though, that base on previous experience, Samsung has good customer service. They have been really responsive every time I’ve had a problem with an appliance. They are also great at fixing whatever’s malfunctioned. The same can be said of their phones, actually. I guess good customer service and aftersales care is one of the things that helped the company earn millions of customers’ trust and made Samsung the ubiquitous company that they are today.
A Size Issue
The microwave’s 1.1 cu. ft. volume capacity is still roomy enough to cook a whole chicken in but it can be understandably too small for some dishes. If you’re looking for bigger volume, there’s the more premium GE Profile Oven or the more pocket‐friendly Toshiba Oven, both are countertop types with 1.5 cu. ft. volume capacity.
Expensive Features at An Affordable Price
Toshiba is one of my favorite brands simply because, in my experience, it is one of the most consistent companies in producing top‐quality products that frequently raises the bar for quality and performance standards. The Toshiba EC042A5C‐BS Convection Microwave Oven has the added bonus of being extremely affordable while being at par with more expensive brands.
Toshiba’s Convection Microwave Oven is made of easy‐to‐clean stainless steel. It has a large, well‐lit, 1.5 cu. ft. interior. The turntable is made of glass and 13.6 inches in diameter. It’s non‐removable but this does not take away from the ovens spacious interior that can even fit a turkey. However, it can be a tad bulky. Operation sounds are not bothersome but still very audible.
The digital control panel is exceptionally user‐friendly and operates in just one click of the start button. Making adjustments are also a few clicks away. There are options to increase and decrease time, a smart sensor; auto‐cook functions, and a preprogrammed menu for common goodies like pizza and potatoes. You can program a few combinations of time and power settings, then engage them in just one click.
The convection microwave’s automatic function is unbelievably handy. You can auto‐bake muffins, bread, or frozen pizza, etc. You can also auto‐roast pork, chicken, beef or turkey using presets with weight adjustment settings. Moreover, the unit’s powerful microwave mode has 10 levels that can be used for reheating, thawing, cooking, etc.
The convection fan does its job well in helping distribute warm air from the top heating element. The oven cooks food fast and well, with pleasantly browned skin and beautifully cooked insides. This is an affordable model but its impressive performance is worthy of a more expensive product. Plus using all those nifty features is a breeze.
The black stainless steel housing is ultra‐modern and very appealing. But if black steel isn’t to your taste or if it simply does not jive with your kitchen theme, then you’re in luck. This convection oven is also available in simple stainless steel with the Toshiba EC042A5C‐SS Microwave Oven.
We Need More Guarantee
Trigger warning! Rant ahead.
I seem to remember my unit coming with a 3‐year warranty. But according to Amazon, the Toshiba oven only offers a 1-year warranty. It’s worrying that there seems to be a trend of manufacturers giving us just the bare minimum necessary after sales service. A one year warranty is better than none but is still next to useless. Seriously, hardly any product breaks down in less than a year. And if it does, what does that say about product quality? C’mon manufacturers.
Only Sharp seems to be doing it right with the Sharp R1874T and its 10‐year warranty.
The 4‐In‐1 Gizmo
Another inexpensive but consistent convection microwave is the Farberware FMO10AHSBKA Countertop oven. It may not have all the bells and whistles but it cooks food superbly well—a splendid choice for its price, perfect for home use.
Small but Powerful
The Farberware FMO10AHSBKA Countertop Convection Microwave will bring a handsome and smooth look to your kitchen with its black stainless steel body, black glass door, and contrasting white display. It comes with a 12‐inch turntable and a grilling and air frying Teflon pan.
Unfortunately for frequent makers of big batches, the microwave only has a 1.0 cu. ft. capacity. That said, what this mean machine lacks in volume, it more than makes up for in power. At 1500W, this Farberware convection microwave is a compact appliance that packs a potent punch. It has 10 levels of power control for easy cooking adjustment and also has 10 auto‐cook programs for quick heating.
I am a fan of the multistage cooking feature, especially on busy mornings. You can set up a series of stage by stage instructions so you don’t need to go back and click yet another function button after the beep.
Healthy Fried Chicken
The unit boasts of being a 4‐in‐1 wonder. It can do the good old cooking methods of 1) microwaving (with the usual defrosting, reheating, etc), 2) convection cooking, and 3) grilling. What separates the Farberware convection microwave from the rest on this list is its 4) air frying capability.
The question is, does Farberware’s air frying mode pass muster? For the most part, it does. My baked chicken breast and fries made through air frying always turn out adequately crispy.
I’m not going to whine some more about this convection microwave also coming with just 1-year warranty but I thought I’d let you know. Although, hey, in this price range, it’s actually forgivable.
Compact and Space‐saving…
This Farberware microwave is just right for medium-sized cooking. So if you plan to use your convection microwave for really big batches frequently, you may like the extra volume that comes with the equally pocket‐friendly Toshiba EC042A5C‐BS.
But I must say that if you regularly make average‐sized batches, and only occasionally cooking up a feast for the once in while party, then making multiple batches in the Farberware would probably be no biggie. After all, convection microwaves do cook fast.
…But Not for Motorhomes
A more premium space‐saving option is the Sharp Over‐the‐Range Microwave with its 1.1 cu. ft. capacity. But unlike the Sharp R1874T, I won’t suggest the Farberware in your RV.
Best Convection Microwave Oven Buyer’s Guide
Convection Microwaves, Say What?
They’re not just another oven with a fancy name. Find out what types are there and what’s the most suitable for your kitchen.
Microwave Vs. Convection Oven Vs. Convection Microwave
On the surface, all three seem to function the same way—food goes in cold, gets cooked, hot food comes out. The difference is in how they cook food.
Conventional Microwaves heat food by generating radio waves that excite the molecules of water present in the food, which in turn generates heat. This makes microwaves ideal for boiling, reheating, and thawing food, etc. And because heating is on a molecular level, the result is quick, even cooking all the way through.
Microwaves are fast. They’re about 25% faster than convection ovens. However, because they don’t use traditional heat, although the dishes are tasty and juicy, they are also neither be brown nor crispy.
Convection Ovens have both a heating element and a fan. The fan circulates the hot, dry air all throughout the oven. Because the convection oven cooks food using high heat, it browns and crisps food well. With that said, the primary function of the convection oven is baking.
They may not be as fast as microwaves but convection ovens are still 25% faster than good old conventional ovens.
The convection microwave is a hybrid, it combines the joys and convenience of microwave and convection cooking. This results in incredibly fast cooking times and dishes that are pleasingly brown on the outside and well‐cooked and moist on the inside.
You can use the combination function or utilize each cooking mode separately, giving you an extraordinarily versatile cooking appliance.
Also known as combination ovens, they are marvelous space‐savers. Which is why they are very popular for small kitchens and recreational vehicles.
The Three Types of Convection Microwaves
In our in‐depth review of the best convection microwave ovens, the first entry is an Over‐the‐Range style unit. They are the microwave of choice for maximum space saving. Ovens of this type replaces the range hood above a range or cooktop. They can be a bit of a pain to install and you may need the help of a professional. But the saved space is well worth it.
The classic countertop convection microwaves sit on the counter and are less space saving than above‐range models but are still right at home even in small kitchens with limited space. The biggest upside to tabletop ovens is that there is no installation needed. Just make some space for it and you’re good to cook.
These are the least common type and the granddaddy of convection microwaves. Built‐ins get really expensive—thousands of dollars expensive. They are also the most difficult to install, are large, and can be commercial‐sized. As the name suggests, built‐ins must have their very own customized dedicated nook built into your kitchen.
What Features Should a Convection Microwave Have?
Some convection microwaves are good, some are better, and some are the very best. What features should you be looking for in the best convection microwave oven for your kitchen?
Dimensions and Capacity
Whether you choose a countertop or range top oven, you’ll first need to ascertain that there’s enough kitchen space for the newest addition. Some units are bulky while some require a few inches of space from adjacent surfaces on all sides.
It’s also best to measure your baking dishes and choose a microwave that can fit them. It would be a waste to discover that you won’t be able to use your trusty baking pans and grilling trays anymore because they’re too big for the new oven.
And most importantly, determine your intended usage. When mostly cooking for a small family or group, then a modest‐sized microwave convection oven with more or less 1.0 cu. ft. cavity space should be a good size. If you have a big household, however, then a larger 1.5 cu. ft. cavity space should be a better fit.
More wattage usually means more power to cook meals faster and in larger quantities. Most ovens have a power rating at around 1000W. Usually, the bigger the microwave, the bigger it’s power capacity. But this is not always the case. Sometimes smaller ovens with more programs can also utilize more wattage.
Plenty of convection microwave ovens now have other cooking modes aside from the dual microwave and convection functions. Some have grilling, broiling, and air frying modes, among others. Often, these modes can be used as a combo or separately.
The best convection microwave oven should be easy to operate. What use are the most state‐of‐the‐art appliances if you can barely get them working, amirite? Controls that make operation breezy are a godsend. A few wonderful features that make life easier are:
- one‐click operations;
- smart kitchen timers;
- incremental temperature and time adjustment;
- auto shutoff;
- delayed start and quick start,
- and a whole lot more.
Many units even take it a step or two further with extra special fixings like autocook functions, inbuilt sensors, multistage cooking, and pre‐programming. Not every oven will have these features but they sure are handy to have.
Auto Cook Functions
In just a click, this function allows you to automatically bake, roast or broil, etc. No need to set up and make adjustments manually.
Sensor cooking works by determining an appropriate cooking time and temperature adjustment through measuring the humidity in your foodstuff. This eliminates guesswork, giving you a meal that’s cooked/reheated/thawed just right.
This is perfect for people who don’t like cooling their heels in the kitchen. With multi‐stage cooking, you can program your unit to activate one function after another. An example is thaw→bake→keep hot. This allows you to save time by simply popping your meal into a microwave, pushing a few buttons and leaving it to do its magic.
We all have favorite meals that we like to cook frequently. With a pre‐program function, you can save your preferred cooking mode with time and temperature setting. You can then quickly activate it anytime.
This is one factor that is often overlooked but is actually one of the most valuable in the long run. Cleaning your microwave every time after cooking is important, especially before using convection mode. Any unnoticed spillage and grease splatters can affect the next dish. So if it’s a chore to clean a unit, it can get old real fast.
Ideally, you should be able to wipe down the whole surface of the interior. Nooks and crannies are your enemies as they can hide dirt. It’s better to choose a unit with a smooth interior made of easily‐wipeable material.
Convection cooking means that the whole unit will get heated so this can be a vital factor when choosing placement. Some convection microwaves have their own exhaust system to manage the heat. Some don’t have vents and require some clearance.
Some models have solid doors. You won’t be able to take a quick peek at the food inside and closely monitor progress. This can be frustrating for someone who likes to keep a close eye on their cooking. If possible, you can choose a model with clear/transparent glass door and bright interior lights for a clear view.
Another overlooked factor is customer support and aftercare service. Parts break down and units stop working right. It’s reassuring to know that you’ve got somewhere to go if something goes wrong. For the same reason, warranties are a must. A model with a longish warranty period would be fantastic but lacking that, aim for at least a year and accept no less.
The Toshiba EC042A5C‐BS Convection Microwave Oven takes the cake. I was quite impressed by its user‐friendly controls and big capacity. With affordability coupled with excellent performance, this convection oven hits that sweet spot between price and quality.
The Sharp R1874T Convection Microwave lost some points in cooking power and price but there is no doubt that this convection microwave has earned its spot in the podium. It’s proven to be a premium‐quality, classy device that you won’t regret having in the kitchen.
This concludes our comprehensive look into the world of convection microwaves. Have you decided on a new kitchen addition?