Best Convection Microwaves

Updated August 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

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

32 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
458 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Why trust BestReviews?
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best convection microwave ovens

Last Updated August 2019

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.

Good-looking and easy to use

The Toshiba is a respected name brand model with a lot of sensible presets that automates the process and makes cooking a breeze. The stainless steel exterior and easy cleanup interior is a hit with purchasers. Available in a range of sizes from 0.9 to 1.6 cubic feet, and with output from 900 to 1250 watts, there’s one that’s suitable for every kitchen.

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.

EXPERT TIP

Check your food often, especially at first, while you are getting familiar with the appliance. You may find the cooking time is quicker than you are used to. For best results, invest in a good cookbook for convection microwaves.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Make sure you read all the manufacturers instructions carefully and follow directions for the programming. You need to make sure you are using the right mode to get the desired results.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Instead of having two sets of pans (avoiding metal for the microwave and plastic for convection), use glass or ceramic cookware. Don’t put a glass dish into the oven to reheat straight from the fridge, though — glassware needs to be at room temperature first, since a rapid temperature change can lead to an exploding pan.


Staff  | BestReviews

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.

A ton of features at an unbeatable price

This combination microwave, convection, grill, and air fryer has 10 cooking levels and five presets for ease of use. The included fryer bowl helps you cook healthier fried food, while the steam clean feature is a handy time saver.

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.

Other products we considered

The Panasonic NN-SD745S uses an inverter microwave technology, which offers a more even microwaving experience. A comprehensive 18 presets removes any guesswork.

The Cuisinart CMW-200 is another solid option from a good name brand with eight functions, from roasting and baking to grilling. Another bonus: it can be programmed ahead to shift functions, such as defrost to cook to keep warm.

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.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Jacob
    Jacob
    Editorial Manager
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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