A convection microwave combines the convenience and efficiency of a microwave oven with the versatility of convection baking, roasting and air frying.
Convection and microwave cooking operate according to different principles, and to overcome this, these machines need to bring together completely disparate technologies.
As a result, the price of the best convection microwaves tend to be significantly higher than normal microwave ovens.
But don’t be alarmed, these appliances are absolutely worth it. Here are the five, absolute best convection microwaves on the market.
The Toshiba Countertop Microwave Oven with Convection is an excellent choice that combines the efficiency of microwave cooking with the sophistication of convection.
This Toshiba is a combination countertop microwave and convection oven that is loaded with functionality. It’s large and in charge, coming in at 1.5 cubic feet of space inside, yet sleek, with streamlined edges, brushed stainless steel, and an easy to read digital control panel.
The panel is preprogrammed with settings for popular foods like popcorn, as well as warming and defrost functions. But best of all, the Toshiba also offers a sensor cook function that essentially takes the guesswork out of microwave and convection cooking.
Turning to the convection side of things, there are eight separate settings for both roasting and baking, backed by 1000 watts of power. That said, if you are hesitant to use pre-programmed features, there are also 10 easy to use power settings, and a digital clock with a timer.
In truth, I really like how unassuming this thing looks. And if you aren’t into brushed stainless steel, that’s fine, as this model comes in a black tinted stainless steel as well. Speaking of options, and if you aren’t sold on this particular model, Toshiba sells pretty cool combination microwaves that double as air fryers too, found here.
In truth, the major difference between Toshiba’s convection and air fryer models comes down to how hot the convection actually gets (convection ovens generally get much hotter than air fryers). But essentially, air fryers and convection ovens work according to the same principle, which is via the circulation of hot air.
So what am I trying to say with this rather long explanation? If you have a convection oven, you should be able to turn down the temperature enough such that it air fries. But this won’t necessarily work the other way around – get it?
That’s the other reason why the convection models are more expensive than air fryer models, since they pack a much greater punch when it comes to heating and circulating the air inside. This Toshiba countertop microwave oven with convection is a beast, and more than worth the extra cost.
Galanz is a company that’s been popping up on my radar for the last couple of years, and getting a lot of recognition for quality, aesthetics and affordability. It truly is an awesome company, and the number one reason why this 3-in-1 microwave, air fryer and convection oven is worth a closer look.
The Galanz is a three in one appliance, combining a microwave with a convection oven with an air fryer. All three functions operate on 1000 watts of power, which can be adjusted to 11 variable power levels.
This machine uses a dial, rather than separate number buttons, which can take some getting used to. But once you do get used to the dial, it’s actually even quicker than buttons and feels pretty futuristic to boot. As I’ve said elsewhere, the variable power levels are nice, but you don’t actually need to employ them yourself to get the best results.
Instead, cooking in this convection microwave is made easy with the sensor cook function that automatically adjusts time and temperature for perfect food every time. In addition, there are plenty of easy to use pre-programmed settings for specific foods, so again, no need to do any guesswork with respect to timing and power level operation.
Of course, one of the biggest selling points on this machine is its price. Coming in at under $200, it is by far the most affordable combo microwave/convection oven on this list, and the highest quality appliance at this price range out there.
The Galanz may be large, and it may be a little noisy – fans need to move that hot air, after all – but it’s also stunningly beautiful, and it is without a doubt the best budget convection microwave on the market.
This Sharp R1874T Convection Microwave is the only “over-the-range” convection microwave on this list, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re in luck. “Over-the-range” means that the appliance sits underneath your cabinets, at eye level, where you might find a stove hood, rather than on the countertop.
This Sharp over-the-range model is a fantastic product, but be forewarned, it’s heavy! You’ll need an extra hand when it comes to installation.
I love the brushed stainless steel body and dark black door; aesthetically, it’s a beautiful piece of equipment. Brushed stainless steel is in my opinion the way to go on microwaves – no more flat white or black plastic. This thing fits perfectly in any modern kitchen.
The digital control panel is very easy to use, with plenty of preset programs for different food items. There are really two ways to go on programming: either manual – meaning you use the 850 watts and nine different power levels to control cooking yourself – or preset, meaning you take advantage of built in automatic features like sensor cook.
The display is also divided simply between microwave and convection functions, making operation very straight forward. This is great because in my opinion, so many machines, in an attempt to improve functionality, end up over complicating things. The Sharp doesn’t fall victim to this misstep; it is instead simple, intuitive and efficient.
There is one design feature that I don’t love, and that’s the interior light. Normally, the light inside your microwave wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but because this is an over-the-range model, visibility is important. The light on this model is located at the front of the microwave, rather than the back, leaving the back of the interior a bit dark, especially if you’re short.
But that said, if you’re selecting an over-the-range convection microwave, you’re probably aware of the ergonomics and height requirements, and have considered that with respect to your ability to use it comfortably already. Keep this one small issue in mind before purchasing, and you should be in the clear!
This General Electric Countertop Convection/Microwave is an extremely well made machine of exceptional quality. What more would you expect from GE?
This machine is sizable, coming in at 1.5 cubic feet, and comparable to many standard microwaves in terms of countertop footprint, perhaps just slightly bigger. But be forewarned, this is also a no frills, no nonsense product. It does one job – well, two jobs, microwave cook and convect – and it does them extremely well.
The sensor cooking controls are fantastic, automatically adjusting time and power for perfect results. This is a great feature of modern microwave appliances, and one that takes the guesswork out of cooking. Just perfect results, every time.
That said, if you want to take things into your own hands, there are also 10 power levels and a timer. But really, I’d recommend ceding some control – if you can bear it – to the sensor cook function, because it’s just so cool.
And in addition to sensor cooking, there are also pre-programmed settings for popular items like popcorn and drinks, as well as the standard functions that we have all come to expect from a microwave, like defrost. Operating this machine is also remarkably easy via a digital control panel that is again no frills, but also extremely intuitive.
Now moving on to the convection function, which is powered, by the way, by 1000 watts. The machine comes with two internal racks, one tall and one short, to elevate food and allow for better air circulation. I also like the fact that you can use the racks to put more food in the oven at once.
It’s important to remember that this is a countertop appliance, running on 120V, and not a stand alone oven. While the convection feature is fantastic, it is not the same as a standard oven – none of the convection ovens on this list will be – and you need to count on things taking slightly longer to get just right. Because of this, I really recommend thinking about this product as a secondary, rather than primary oven.
As an auxiliary product – one that microwaves and convection cooks perfectly – this machine is one of the finest countertop appliances currently available.
The Panasonic Home Chef 4-in-1Microwave Oven gets top grades with respect to kitchen versatility. It’s got four major features, and absolutely crushes it as a conventional microwave, a broiler, an air fryer and a convection oven, all in one.
But what is super cool about this machine is that the four functions can be used independently or in combination, through a series of pre-programmed “combo” settings. Think of it this way – you’ve got a frozen chicken pot pie, so you pop it into your Home Chef and it gently defrosts before heating throughout using the normal microwave function, and then finishes it off with the broil function, leaving your pot pie perfectly cooked, and beautifully browned and crispy on top.
The convection oven can go up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and because it’s such a small, contained space, it requires no pre-heating. That said, be forewarned that it is a rather small unit – the size of a microwave – so you won’t be able to cook Thanksgiving dinner in this thing.
The pre-programming functions really are extremely convenient, but will take some getting used to in order to perfect. Juggling four different functions is a tremendous advantage, but it also comes with its logistical challenges. Read your manual!
And while I love the aesthetics of this machine – the stainless steel and control panel minimalism is really cool – the dial (in the absence of a numbered keypad), will also take some getting used to. When it comes to microwaves, dials aren’t that intuitive, but there’s no reason why as a means of control it’s not just as good.
This product isn’t terribly cheap, but it’s also not the most expensive item on this list. I think that in terms of what you get – four different machines in one – the value really is unprecedented.