A microwave/toaster oven combo allows you to bake without firing up a traditional oven which can save time, money and prevent your kitchen turning in to a hot box.
What is the best convection microwave?
Our top pick is the Cuisinart CMW-200.
In this guide we will compare microwave models in our table and convection microwave reviews to help you find the best microwave toaster oven combo for you and your kitchen.
Top 5: Best Microwave Convection Ovens
Brand & Model
20.4" x 12.8" x 17.5"
1.2 Cu. ft.
19.9" x 20.6" X 12.2"
1.1 Cu. ft.
24.6" x 19.1" x 14.9"
1.5 Cu. ft.
19.31" x 14.81" x 23.88"
1.5 Cu. ft.
24.7" x 22.3" x 14.7"
1.5 Cu. ft.
Convection Microwave Reviews
Cuisinart CMW-200 Convection Microwave
The coolest thing about this unit is that it can be programmed for multi-stage cooking. You can set it to defrost on low power, heat on high power, then brown using the oven with a single sequence of button presses. This feature alone sets this unit above the rest.
Its grill feature seems to be a clever renaming of the microwave and oven mode combo, but the functionality is the same as other convection units.
The oven has a variety of special modes, including Convection Roast and Fast Bake that automatically modulate the temperature of the oven to make your cooking experience easier.
Cuisinart recommends 3 inches of free space at the sides and back of this unit and 12 inches of vertical headspace so you’ll have to keep this in mind when measuring your counter space.
If you're looking for a microwave with toaster that has convenient, programmable cooking modes, the Cuisinart CMW-200 convection microwave is definitely worth considering.
The grill plate is especially handy as it reflects heat from the broiler back at your food, giving this unit a much closer simulation of an actual grill than its competitors.
Simple dial-a-temperature, preheat notification, and timed shutoff help make the oven easy to use.
After some calculations behind the scenes the Samsung MC11H6033CT comes up with a cooking time and power level. This is great except that you don't know how long your microwave will want to cook things for.
For example, the slim-fry mode tends to take several minutes to preheat and then 20-40 minutes to actually cook your food. While the end result is crisp and tasty, the time this takes can be quite a shock if you're not expecting it.
There is a multi-stage programming option, but there will be three timers that go off and you'll have to fiddle with the microwave again at each step. Not the biggest deal, but certainly not as nice as the CMW-200.
If you're looking for a convection microwave with a grill and oil-less fryer mode, the Samsung Countertop model might be one to consider.
Sharp R-930AK Convection Microwave
The Sharp R-930AK is a roomy unit that offers sensor cooking and a variety of convection modes.
- 900 Watt Convection Microwave
- Sensor controlled programmable cooking
- 15" turntable with two removable interior racks
- Broil, roast and bake settings with both sensor and manual temperature control
Sensor cooking allows you to put food in the microwave, press a button or two, and then wait patiently as the microwave adjusts the cooking time and temperature to match the food that you put in.
The manual temperature control is intuitive and easy and multiple programmable cooking modes are a welcome departure from the stiff presets of some competitors.
Because this unit is only 900 watts, it makes cooking times a bit longer than a 1000 watt unit. Realistically, this will only affect you by increasing the time it takes to boil water by thirty seconds or so.
Another issue to consider is that the turntable has a rather under powered motor and is supported by plastic gears. If you're cooking heavy food, try to use the racks instead to prevent strain on the turntable and gears.
The Sharp R-930AK is a simple convection microwave with innovative roast settings and another unit worth consideration.
Panasonic NN-CD989S Genius "Prestige"
Panasonic's unique microwave technology offers you precise control with the Panasonic NN-CD989S Genius "Prestige" Convection Microwave.
- 1100 Watt Convection Microwave
- Inverter Technology for even microwave cooking
- Microwave, broil, bake and combination modes
- Sensor cooking with two dials for easy programming
Panasonic offers a mounting kit for your cupboard, similar to an over the range microwave. If you elect not to use this option, be sure to leave adequate space around your oven to safely dissipate heat.
While other microwaves only have two modes of microwave cooking ("on" and "off"), Panasonic's Inverter technology allows this microwave to actually cook at 30% or 50% power.
Normally, when you adjust the power level on your microwave, it simply pulses between on and off every several seconds to heat food more slowly. Panasonic claims that by heating on a lower power level the entire time, their microwaves can cook food more evenly.
While this feature is very nice in a traditional microwave, it's somewhat less novel in a convection model. In a convection microwave you can simply turn on the fan and put the oven on low to assure even distribution of low heat.
There's no need to memorize numbers or codes, you just press a few buttons and follow the instructions on the display.
While the inverter means this microwave toaster oven has some pretty unique functionality, it's also more difficult to repair in the event that it breaks. Be sure to investigate warranty options because the one year default may not be enough.
If you're looking for a convection microwave that allows precision temperature control for both the oven and microwave components, check out the Panasonic NN-CD989S microwave oven combo.
LG LCSP1110ST Counter Top Combo
The oven unit was a small "pizza drawer" that slid out from below the microwave. While it was small vertically, it was more than large enough for a 12" frozen pizza, a cookie sheet, or a couple of sandwiches.
Because the oven is was small, you didn’t need to worry about preheating. It heated up very quickly and evenly. This also meant that you were free to use the microwave while you bake.
For example, you could warm up extra sauce while a pizza baked or boil water for tea while you made cookies.
One of the major draws to this convection microwave was the ability to use both cooking modes in tandem.
We loved the two units combined and hope that another manufacturer will bring back a similar unit.
Features & Specifications Guide
Not all convection microwaves are created equal. Here are a few things to consider while shopping around.
A convection microwave is more like a toaster oven than a microwave when it comes to being placed in your kitchen. Because they produce heat like an oven in convection mode, they require additional heat ventilation.
You will want to make sure that wherever you place them, there's an appropriate path to ventilate that heat.
Many manufacturers suggest that you shouldn't put your convection microwave within two feet of your oven or range.
Pay extra attention to this when considering where to place your microwave and measuring potential spots. Just because a convection microwave is small enough to fit where your traditional microwave did doesn't mean that it's the right fit for your kitchen.
Make sure that the space you measured has adequate heat ventilation and the appropriate hookups.
Controls and Programming
Generally, modern models have most of the amenities you need when it comes to controlling and programming your oven, but it pays to do your research.
Features like delayed start, multi-stage programming, sensor controlled cooking and one-touch quick starts are all very convenient for cooking.
Try to make sure that the model you're considering has the features that are important to you AND that they're easy and accessible to use.
If the instructions are poorly written and you can't figure out how to use a feature, it might as well not be present at all.
Power & Wattage
Convection microwaves have two separate wattage ratings: one for the microwave and one for the oven.
While wattage is very important for the microwave element (higher wattage means more cooking power and more even cooking), it's not a direct measure of how efficient the oven element is.
Instead, it's a measure of the efficiency. Lower wattage could mean a more efficient heating element that puts out just as much power or it could mean a less powerful heating element.
When it comes to the microwave, you should consider 700 watts an absolute minimum, with 1000 watts providing rather quick and even cooking.
If you use the oven mode on your convection microwave, any bits of microwave splatter will get cooked on. This makes cleaning the interior especially important since many convection microwaves come with all sorts of additional doohickeys on the inside.
If you have the chance, check out the inside of any model you're considering and see how hard it is to clean around any heating elements, vents and other details built into the unit.
SEE ALSO: How To Clean A Microwave
Convection Microwave vs Microwave
A convection microwave offers a number of subtle advantages through its combination of features.
Microwaves work by bouncing around a relatively sparse amount of radiation that excites polar molecules in your food. The polarity of the stuff inside your food affects how hot a microwave makes it.
Water, fats and sugars all are fairly polar and get reasonably hot, but at different rates. This means that microwaves tend to cook food unevenly by default and this behavior is exacerbated by the uneven distribution of the waves themselves.
On the other hand, very polar molecules (like water) get hot VERY quickly, without any need to preheat or prepare your oven.
Convection Microwave Ovens
A convection microwave oven is more-or-less the opposite. It works by indirect heat. A heating element gets really hot and radiates heat over the whole oven, while a fan stirs things up and makes sure that things heat up evenly.
This process can take a while to get up to the temperature you want. A small convection microwave oven with a large heating element may take a few minutes to preheat.
Convection microwaves come with all of the electronic control amenities you would expect in a modern microwave.
The biggest draw comes from combined cooking.
You can use the microwave to quickly heat up your food as the oven preheats, then take advantage of the fan to circulate air while it sits in an oven, browning the outside.
Finding the best convection microwave for your kitchen is a matter of determining what you need and seeking options available.
Did you enjoy this guide? Let us know in the comments with your favorite microwave toaster oven combo and cooking experiences.