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Why just heat things up in a microwave when you can also bake and even grill in a convection microwave? Also known as combination/combi microwaves, these cooking appliances come with handy pre-programmed settings, may let you choose a sequence of cooking modes and times, and combine cooking modes to produce awesome jacket potatoes.
This review looks at the pros, cons and features of five different convection microwave models and gives a recommendation for each one. The Buyer’s Guide answers the question, “But what can a convection microwave do for me?”
Runner-up – Has Everything (Almost)
Best Convection Microwaves Reviews
1. Toshiba 950W 25 Litre Microwave Oven MW2-AC25TF
The Toshiba 950 W 25 Litre Microwave Oven is a three-in-one microwave with the usual combination of microwave, convection oven and grill. Convection ovens heat food from the inside, and this retains all the juices and moisture.
This Toshiba unit is a turntable combi microwave, and this turntable has a memory. That is after the cooking process has ended, it returns it its original position. So if you place your cup with the handle forward or a cooking dish with the handles towards the sides, they are in that position when everything ends. You don’t have to worry about jiggling the cup or dish around to easily pick it up when it’s hot – but remember your oven mitts.
You have five levels of microwave power and 10 preset programmes to choose from. The programmes are for soup, potato, meat, chicken, fish, vegetable, pasta, pizza, cake, and instant start. The push control panel (with LCD display) only contains a few buttons and a dial; all of these do double duty so you have to press each multiple times to access the feature or option you want.
You have a wide but not overwhelming choice of cooking modes with the Toshiba 950W. There’s the original three – microwave, oven and grill – and then the dual combinations of microwave and oven, and microwave and grill. But you can also set up a sequence of cooking modes from these in two stages. For example, you can roast your potatoes and then grill them for extra crispiness by setting the entire process up at the start.
The interior space of this unit is ceramic. This is a hygienic surface – it’s anti-bacterial – and is smooth, scratch resistant and easy to clean.
One thing to be aware of is that quite a few online reviewers have complained about the difficulty of understanding the instruction book. You may need to do some research of your own on the internet to fully use all the features of this convection microwave.
- Black three-in-one combi microwave that microwaves, bakes and grills.
- Control panel with push buttons and dial and display screen on the right side of the front.
- Has dual-combination cooking modes.
- Has multi-stage cooking feature for two stages.
- Power is 950W for the microwave, 1150W for the grill and 2250W for the convection oven.
- Turntable is 31.3cm in diameter and has a memory.
- Capacity is 25L.
- Five levels of power.
- Interior compartment is ceramic.
- Choose from 10 preset programmes.
- Safety feature of a child lock.
- Warranty is one year.
- Dimensions: interior: 32.8cm (width); 34.6cm (depth) and 22.6cm (height).
- Large unit.
- Instruction book difficult to understand.
The Toshiba 950 W 25 Litre Microwave Oven has all the features individuals or families need. Use the microwave, oven and grill separately, use the microwave plus one other mode, or set up a mini-programme of your own in two stages. The 10 auto programmes bypass all these decisions and make your life even easier.
The Toshiba 950 W 25 Litre Microwave Oven is our choice for Best Pick in this review.
2. Sharp R959SLMAA 40 Litre Combination Microwave Oven
Runner-up – Has Everything (Almost)
The Sharp R959SLMAA Combination Microwave Oven, 40 Litre capacity, is a solid-looking unit with a microwave, convection oven and grill. The somewhat crowded touch control panel is down the front on the right hand side along with a three line LCD display. Most of the touch buttons are labelled in text rather than icons.
This model has a turntable and comes with two grill shelves. This lets you cook on various layers/levels, individually or at the same time. You could have your meat roasting on the lower level and your potatoes at the top level.
Your choice of cooking modes is a little complex but covers everything. You can microwave, grill or use the oven individually. Then you can use the combi function of the unit – microwave plus oven, or microwave plus grill. And then you can choose to program any of these cooking modes in a sequence of up to four steps in multi-stage cooking. The Express cook and express defrost functions give you other, quick, options for meats.
Added in to this are 14 programmes that automatically set the time and power for you based on the weight of the food, plus a pre-heat function and an energy saving mode. The Sensor Cook feature measures the amount of steam produced by the food (humidity in the space) and adjusts the cooking time so that the food remains juicy.
This may seem like a lot at first but the Sharp R959SLMAA Combination Microwave Oven, 40 Litre, has been well reviewed in online review sites and print women’s magazines. And remember that you don’t have to use it all.
- Silver and black microwave, grill and convection oven.
- Touch controls and display screen are on the front right hand side.
- Capacity is 40L.
- Power is 900W for the microwave, 1300W for the grill and 1450W for the convection oven.
- Express cook and defrost modes.
- Double layer cooking on grill shelves (included).
- Oven temperature range is 40°C to 250°C.
- 14 auto cook programmes.
- Four stage cooking process is available.
- Auto minute start.
- Energy saving mode and pre-heat function.
- Includes low rack, high rack, two square trays, turntable.
- Sensor cook to adjust cooking time.
- Dimensions: interior: 37.5cm (width); 39.5cm (depth) and 27.2cm (height).
- No clock.
The Sharp R959SLMAA Combination Microwave Oven, 40 Litre, almost has it all. Individual cooking modes, dual combination modes and a feature that lets you string together four cooking modes of your own choice in sequence. Beyond this, there are 14 auto programmes for you to select from and a pre-heat function. But it does seem to lack a clock.
The Sharp R959SLMAA Combination Microwave Oven, 40 Litre, is our choice for Best Pick – Has Everything (Almost) in this review.
3. Panasonic NN-CT57JMBPQ Slimline Combination Microwave Oven
The Panasonic NN-CT57JMBPQ Slimline Combination Microwave Oven is a turntable model that combines a microwave, a convection oven and a grill. It has more interior space than most other turntable combi microwaves as the grill element is now in the top of the oven and not at the back. There’s more room for large baking trays and dishes.
This convection microwave is the only one in the review to specify that it uses inverter technology. [The others may but it’s not mentioned on either their sales page or the manufacturers’ websites.] Inverter technology ensures that the temperature in the unit stays smoothly consistent, unlike in regular microwaves in which the temperature fluctuates. This allows for more even and efficient cooking.
Your choice of cooking modes is to use the microwave, oven and grill individually. No buttons on the control panel correspond to a dual-combination of the microwave and oven or grill, but the specs say that combi settings are available.
This combi microwave has an awesome selection of 29 programmes. I couldn’t find a list of what these include and there are no touch buttons on the control pad except for the Junior menu. This is a menu of pre-programmed choices for babies and young kids that includes vegetable purees, fruit purees, and oatmeal dishes.
And speaking of children, the child lock is handy to keep them out of the combi microwave.
- Silver coloured convection/grill/microwave that uses inverter technology.
- Touch control panel is down the right hand side of the front.
- Power is 1000W for microwave and 1300W for grill.
- Oven range is 100°C to 220°C.
- Capacity is 27L.
- Fan is at the top of the oven, not at the back.
- Turntable is 34cm in diameter.
- Pre-programmed Junior menu selections for kids.
- Six microwave levels and three grill power levels.
- Selection of 29 pre-programmed choices.
- Quick 30-second programme.
- Child lock as a safety feature.
- Dimensions: interior: 36cm (width); 35.2cm (depth) and 21.7cm (height).
- Lightweight build quality.
- Difficult to read text and icons on touch buttons.
- No multi-stage cooking process.
The Panasonic NN-CT57JMBPQ Slimline Combination Microwave Oven offers a microwave, bake and roast, and grill cooking modes. You can (maybe) combine the microwave with the oven or the grill for combination cooking. The turntable is larger than most as the grill element has moved to the roof of the oven from the back.
The Panasonic NN-CT57JMBPQ Slimline Combination Microwave Oven is a good choice if you have children and cook especially for them.
4. SHARP YC-GC52FU-B 25L Electronic Control Flatbed Microwave
The SHARP YC-GC52FU-B Electronic Control Flatbed Microwave (25L capacity) is a sleek black three-in-one unit with a microwave, convection oven and grill. The “Flatbed” in its name means that it doesn’t come with a turntable function. This frees up some interior space so you can put larger dishes and plates inside. However, it does mean that your food won’t rotate as it microwaves.
The touch panel buttons are quite minimal and you find them on the right side of the front panel of the unit. Each of the individual cooking methods has its own button and there’s one for each of the dual combinations – microwave and oven, and microwave and grill. Defrost also has its own touch button. You just need to decide what cooking method is best for your food.
All of the 14 programmed choices are found under the auto menu option, though the favourite button is where you store your most used programmes. This combi microwave has a clock and timer option if you want to set things manually. The dial at the bottom is for changing any of the pre-set options once they’re displayed. This gives you the convenience of pre-set programmes along with final control over what the power and the time will be.
Some online reviews complain that the buttons are small and that the icons are difficult to read. Just be aware that you may need to be wearing your glasses when using this appliance.
The ECO button is for when you would like to save energy in your cooking process. And the child lock is a welcome addition to this and any other kitchen appliance.
- Sleek black microwave convection oven that also grills.
- Touch control panel, display and knob on the right hand side of the front.
- Touch buttons for individual cooking methods plus for microwave and grill, and microwave and convection oven.
- Power is 900W for the microwave, 1200W for the grill and 2050W for the convection oven.
- Flatbed design (i.e. no turntable).
- Capacity is 25L.
- Child lock as a safety feature.
- 11 power levels.
- 14 pre-set programmes, including defrost according to time and weight.
- Adjustable timer can override pre-set times.
- Comes with grill rack and baking tray.
- Dimensions: interior: 33.1cm (width); 33.5cm (depth); and 22.0cm (height).
- Buttons are small.
- Icons difficult to read.
- No multi-step cooking.
The SHARP YC-GC52FU-B 25L Electronic Control Flatbed Microwave has a roomy interior for large dishes and plates. This is because it doesn’t have a turntable, hence it’s called a flatbed. Although you can’t sequence cooking steps with this model, you do have full dual-combination functionality, pairing the microwave with either the oven or the grill. Or use each cooking mode on its own.
5. Samsung MC28H5013AS 28 Litre Combination Microwave
The Samsung MC28H5013AS Combination Microwave, 28 Litre, looks like any of the other convection microwaves but one look at its touch control panel shows you some unique programs. Most of the buttons (except for increase and decrease arrows) have both text and icon labels.
This model has a ceramic enamel interior which is exceptionally easy to clean and is anti-bacterial for hygiene. It’s also dust and scratch resistant so can withstand frequent use. There’s also a child lock as a welcome safety measure.
This Samsung microwave is sold as a turntable model but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Users have the option of turning off the turntable function and removing the round plate, thus freeing up quite a bit of space to put in larger plates and dishes. This feature gives you the best of both worlds – rotating food when microwaving and then more space when you’re using the oven.
And, about the oven. Just note that the oven temperature goes up only to 200°C, which is at least 20°C cooler than the other models in this review. Your cooking mode choices are the three individual ones (microwave, oven, grill) plus dual combinations involving the microwave. But these are enough choices to cook a wide variety of meals.
As for the unique programmes, in addition to the 10 cook/reheat programmes, you have 15 Healthy Cooking ones which are mainly for proteins and vegetables. Along with this, there are five programmes to do with fermenting. Use these for proofing your bread dough or for keeping your milk/milk alternative product at the right temperature while it develops into yoghurt.
You have a clock with this Samsung unit as well as a pre-heat function, and a deodorising feature that removes strong smells from inside the oven when you’re cooking, perhaps something with onions or garlic.
- Silver and black microwave convection oven with a grill.
- Touch control pad and LCD display screen on the front right side.
- Capacity is 28L.
- Power is 900W for the microwave, 1500W for the grill and 2100W for the convection oven.
- Maximum oven temperature is 200°C and starts at 40°C.
- Ceramic enamel interior.
- Eco-friendly mode and power defrost to save energy and time.
- Fermentation function for proofing dough and making yogurt.
- Healthy Cooking set of pre-set programmes.
- Dual cooking with microwave and grill or microwave and convection oven.
- Deodorisation feature.
- Child lock for safety.
- Option to turn the turntable feature off.
- Auto heat function as well as preheat option.
- Controls fiddly to use.
- Interior bulb reported to blow out quickly.
- No multi-step function.
The Samsung MC28H5013AS Combination Microwave, 28 Litre, has a few unusual programmes that, if they work for you, make it an attractive purchase. You can use the three cooking modes individually or paired up with the microwave – there’s no multi-step cooking facility. This microwave encourages you to eat in a healthy way, to make bread and your own pizza dough and to produce your own yoghurt.
The Samsung MC28H5013AS Combination Microwave is a good choice if you’re into home cooking and make many of your own healthy foods.
Buyer’s Guide for convection microwaves
Why choose a convection microwave?
A regular microwave is great at heating up food and cooking basic items, but it can’t give you that brown topping or crispy finish that tastes so good. A convection microwave combines the cooking method of the microwave with that of a convection oven, and you can use these singly or together. Microwaving and baking your food at the same time speeds up the cooking process and produces great jacket potatoes.
Most convection microwaves nowadays also come with a grilling function and are also known as combination microwaves. The grill feature gives you the browned food that makes cheese on toast so great.
In addition, these combination microwaves usually have a whole set of pre-programmed settings, so you just press one or two buttons to cook your joint of lamb or bake your cake.
Plus they’re only just a bit bigger than a regular microwave, so are suitable for those with limited cooking space in their home or accommodation.
What can you do in a convection microwave?
As we’ve said, you can microwave and do anything you can in a regular convection oven. In addition, in most models, you can also grill. Using the auto-programmed settings (e.g the baked potato one or the meat one), you generally enter the weight and type of food, and the microwave works out the power setting and the time for you. Just press Start and everything goes along nicely.
But there’s more than this to these ovens.
Most types of microwaves have dual combination functions. And many have a single button to push for the dual selection you want. Your choice is to use the microwave and the combination oven together or the microwave alongside the grill. You specify the time or there may be pre-set programmes for these dual-cook choices. Combining two cooking methods at once brings a different texture and flavour to your food.
But wait, you can do yet more!
Some models of convection/combination microwaves have a multi-stage cooking option. This lets you set the steps of the cooking process using a different method of cooking in each step for a different length of time. You can usually have from two to four steps and the best models you choose is from any of the modes of cooking the microwave can do – microwave, grill, oven or any of the dual-combination ones.
For example, you can defrost a lasagna, then microwave it to cook it, then grill it to brown the top.
And there are the specialty programs
The Samsung MC28H5013AS Combination Microwave in this review has a selection of fermentation pre-set programs. This lets you proof your bread or pizza dough in the oven as well as provide a warm place to ferment yoghurt.
Some other models have the Junior Menu button that has presets to produce food, especially for babies and young children. Think purees and gooey oatmeal dishes. You just have to press/touch a couple of buttons to let the microwave know what food you’re preparing and it figures out the time and temperature and cooking mode to use
The convenience of a convection microwave is that you can microwave and bake all in one appliance that’s only a bit bigger than a regular microwave. All the models in our review also have a grill function to brown and crisp up your food. Today’s models of this type of small-space cooking appliance let you combine different cooking modes and also program them sequentially to make your cooking experience as easy as possible.
Our Best Pick is the Toshiba 950 W 25 Litre Microwave Oven. This model has a choice of individual dual-combination and multi-stage cooking modes along with 10 pre-set programmes.
The Samsung MC28H5013The Sharp R959SLMAA Combination Microwave Oven, 40 Litre, is our Best PIck – Has Everything (Almost). Lacking only a clock, this model lets you set up your own program of four sequential yet individual cooking steps.
Lately, we’ve been reviewing non-traditional cooking appliances outside of the usual oven-with-a-hob. If such a traditional oven doesn’t work for you in terms of the kitchen space you have or the amount of times you use it, you will be interested in our other reviews (along with this one).
Check out 5 Best Mini Ovens with Hob – Small Space Cooking, 6 Best Slow Cookers – Quick preparation, Easy cooking, 5 Best Soup Makers – Soups and Smoothies Quickly and Easily, and 6 Best Halogen Oven Reviews – Some Have Air Fryers Too!
Last update on 2023-11-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API