Best Convection Microwaves

Updated November 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
30 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
190 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best convection microwave ovens

Since hitting countertops in the late 1960s, the microwave oven has become a staple of the kitchen. Its speed of cooking and ease of use is unrivaled, but it does have its limitations. The microwave can’t brown food, it’s no good for baking, and it’s tricky at best for cooking from scratch. Often, the microwave is relegated to the reheat setting.

However, convection microwave ovens give the appliance a whole new repertoire. With this additional cooking mode, you can toast, brown, roast, bake, and broil your food, making it truly multifunctional.

There are a variety of convection microwaves with a range of perks, so make sure the one you buy has the features you need.

The convection microwave uses the microwave technology to quickly heat the foot along with a hot air fan of a convection oven. This not only improves the look and flavor but also opens up a whole new world of baking, grilling and roasting options.

Key considerations

Settings

Most convection microwaves can be used as a regular microwave or as a combination microwave/convection oven. Usually, the appliance also has the option to be used as a convection oven alone, but check that this is the case, especially at lower prices.
Dimensions

Convection microwave ovens tend to be larger than conventional microwaves, so make sure the appliance fits your space — they can take up quite a bit of room on a counter. You can also get built-in models, just as with a regular microwaves. In this case, make sure the appliance is designed as such and any vents are not blocked.

Wattage

Much like conventional microwaves, wattage varies, usually from 700 watts to 1500 watts. The higher the wattage, the faster the food will cook. Expect to pay more for high-power models. It is important to note that lower wattage appliances may not cook as evenly. It’s useful to have adjustable wattage output settings for more versatile cooking.

Features

Presets

These handy buttons make cooking a no-brainer. Some appliances come with as many as 10 presets for such things as vegetables, roasts, keeping warm, browning, and reheating, as well as specialized settings for popcorn and pizza.

Grill

Ideally, the grill feature will brown and crisp food on the outside without overcooking it. This setting can often be used in combination with the microwave — no more reheating pizza and having it get soggy. Usually a grill rack is included, which is a useful feature.

Preheat

Unlike traditional microwave ovens, the convection microwave can be warmed up for baking and roasting.

Air fryer

The trendy air fryer is a healthier way to cook and crisp fries, chicken, and more — save on having one more appliance in the kitchen by looking for a model that includes this feature.

Double racks

Usually removable for cooking larger items, racks can save on time and energy by letting you cook more items at once. They also help with airflow in convection mode.

Humidity sensor

Found on higher-end models, this will automatically add or subtract cooking time so everything is cooked thoroughly without being overdone.

Convection microwave prices

Convection microwaves are more expensive than standard ones.

Expect to pay from $150 for a good basic model, and up to $250 for one with more features.

Higher-end, name brand models run about $450.

Built-in models can top $1,500, as do makes like Viking and Bosch.

Tips

  • Safety first — convection microwaves have vents that must not be blocked and they need to be grounded by using a three-prong plug.

  • Elevate foods with a rack when using the convection setting. That way the air can circulate under the pan.

  • Convection microwaves are a great choice when you want a multifunctioning appliance in a small space such as an RV or camper.

Despite the versatility of this appliance, there are some limitations where you may need to revert to a conventional oven. Quick breads and souffles, for instance, don’t do as well in a convection oven because of the movement from the fan and the wicking action of the oven.

FAQ

Q. Can I use metal pans in a convection microwave?

A. As you know, you can’t use metal or foil in a microwave, but it’s fine to use both in a convection oven when the convection microwave is on the convection only setting. You can’t use metal when the microwave or combo setting is in operation.

Q. Do I have to adapt recipes for the convection microwave?

A. You can follow the same directions, but the temperature may need to be adjusted, generally with a 25° reduction in heat. The cooking time may be quicker, too. Many appliances come with a cookbook and individualized reference guide with suggested accommodations.

Q. Can I preheat the oven?

A. Yes. Unlike with a conventional microwave, the convection part of the oven means you can warm it up to a set temperature.

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