Microwaves are great for cooking a wide variety of foods, but a couple of areas in which they perform poorly is browning and baking foods. Enter the convection microwave. Think of a convection microwave as several appliances in one, providing the ability to broil, bake, microwave, steam, defrost, and roast foods all within one device.
This guide will introduce you to some of the features and other factors that you will need to consider before choosing a convection microwave. Whether you are searching for a compact model or something larger like our top choice, the Toshiba Microwave Oven with Convection Function, read on for tips and other information on selecting one of these unique appliances.
Considerations when choosing convection microwaves
The size of your convection microwave will determine how much food it can hold. These microwaves largely run between 1.0 and 1.6 cubic feet of capacity; the larger the number, the more food you can cook at once. Unless you plan on purchasing new cookware too, be sure that your existing cookware will fit inside the microwave. And because these heat up like a traditional oven, you will also need to be sure that you place it in such a way that there is space between it and any walls or cabinets because it will become quite hot.
Ease of cleaning
A convection microwave that is made up of smooth surfaces with limited crevices and holes will be easier to clean. Features such as a flush keyboard clean up quickly, while raised buttons or knobs tend to collect food. Some convection microwaves also incorporate special easy cleaning/steaming functions.
To clean, let the convection microwave cool completely before washing it with a cloth and warm, soapy water. Never use a scouring pad on your convection microwave.
Convection microwaves have a number of built-in modes that allow you to cook in a variety of ways. Some popular modes include microwave, convection roast, convection fast bake, grill, warm, defrost, and memory. Less standard is a healthier air-fry mode.
Like traditional microwaves, the majority of convection microwaves have presets that you can use to easily start frequently cooked foods such as pizza, popcorn, and potatoes. The more presets you have, the easier your convection microwave will be to use.
Racks can both help with cooking/grilling and allow you to cook more food at once. Included racks should be durable, easy to clean, and removable.
Child safety locks
The ability to either lock the microwave or deactivate it so that children can't access it is pretty standard. If you have children, be sure this safety feature is present in your convection microwave.
Pricing on the majority of convection microwaves ranges from around $100 to $200. At the upper range, you will find microwaves with more capacity and more advanced features that include a number of presets and cooking modes.
Q. What is sensor cooking?
A. Sensor cooking is a feature available in some convection microwaves that allows the microwave to adjust the cooking time depending on the food that is being cooked. This can result in food that is better cooked and meals that are better tasting.
Q. What are some of the negatives involved with using a convection microwave?
A. There are a variety of benefits to using a convection microwave, but its unique cooking style may not work for everyone. Convection microwaves can cook faster than traditional ovens, so you'll need to keep a closer eye on your food. This is particularly true for baked items. Foods such as bread may not rise as much as in a traditional oven. You should also take care not to overload a convection microwave, as this can affect the circulation of air through the microwave.
Convection microwaves we recommend
Best of the best: Toshiba Microwave Oven with Convection Function
Our take: A larger-sized convection microwave that is easy to use and clean.
What we like: 1.5 cubic feet capacity. Six presets to easily cook foods like pizza and vegetables. Ships with a grill rack. Features include sensor cooking and more/less buttons.
What we dislike: Cook time can be longer than a conventional oven.
Best bang for your buck: Daewoo Convection Microwave Oven
Our take: Inexpensive and compact, this model has a variety of special options, including an Easy Clean function.
What we like: Has five presets and 10 power levels in all. 1.0 cubic feet capacity. Features a child safety lock and a special steam-cleaning function. Affordable.
What we dislike: Some buyers say that the temperature while in convection mode is not accurate.
Our take: This convection microwave offers up a healthier option with its air-fryer mode and nine Healthy Air Fry cooking menus.
What we like: Modes include microwave, grill, convection, and a special air-fry setting. Capacity of 1.1 cubic feet. Ships with a Teflon pan for use with some modes. Has a child lock function. Ten power levels.
What we dislike: Some report that the air frying mode isn't as effective as a standalone air fryer.
Rich Gray is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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