Microwave convection ovens pair the features offered by a microwave oven with those provided by a convection oven. Like a standard microwave oven, these kitchen appliances allow users to reheat foods, defrost frozen items, and boil liquids, but they also provide additional features, such as the ability to roast, bake, and crisp items.
A microwave convection oven may completely replace a traditional oven in smaller spaces, such as apartments or RVs. In standard kitchens, microwave convection ovens offer the flexibility of having two ovens when needed, without the cost or space required to install a double oven.
While searching for the best microwave convection oven for your kitchen, use this guide as a resource. It will help you identify the most important features to consider when shopping for one of these versatile appliances and review some of the top microwave convection ovens on the market for a variety of cooking needs.
- BEST OVERALL: KitchenAid 1.5 cu. ft. Stainless Steel Microwave
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Toshiba EC042A5C-SS Countertop Microwave Oven
- BEST SMALL: Cuisinart Convection Microwave Oven and Grill
- BEST LARGE: GE Profile 1.7 cu. ft. Over the Range Microwave
- BEST SMART: Whirlpool 1.9 cu. ft. Smart Over the Range Microwave
- BEST STYLISH: Panasonic NN-GN68K Countertop Oven Microwave
- BEST OVER-THE-RANGE: KitchenAid 1.9 cu. ft. Over the Range Microwave
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Microwave Convection Ovens
The best microwave convection ovens are available in various sizes and capacities, offer different levels of power, and may feature settings, smart technology, and other options that will determine if they suit your specific needs. Keep the following important factors in mind as you shop.
Size and Capacity
Choosing a microwave convection oven that is the right size to meet your needs is essential. First, consider the microwave’s exterior dimensions. For a countertop microwave, simply measure the available counter space, and look for models that fall within those dimensions.
Similarly, when shopping for an over-the-range microwave, it’s best to measure the available space above your oven, remembering that this type of microwave should be at least 30 inches above the surface of the cooktop.
Capacity is related to the overall interior dimensions of a microwave but may vary slightly even among models with nearly identical exterior dimensions. The interior dimensions equate to the available interior cooking space and are measured in cubic feet. Most microwaves have a capacity between 0.7 cubic feet and 2 cubic feet, though some may fall just outside this range.
A microwave’s capacity is especially important when looking for a model that doubles as a convection oven, as it’s more likely you’ll want to insert larger casserole dishes or cookie sheets than would be possible with a standard microwave.
A microwave convection oven’s power is measured in watts. Most microwaves have between 600 and 1,200 watts. A microwave with a higher wattage will heat up foods more evenly and quickly than a microwave with a lower wattage.
Typically, larger and more expensive microwaves boast a higher wattage, while smaller and less expensive microwaves often have a lower wattage. If you are replacing a lower wattage microwave with a higher wattage model, consider hiring an electrician to assess your home’s wiring and circuitry to ensure they can handle the additional power.
Depending on the model, a microwave convection oven can include a number of interior features:
- A nonstick interior coating makes it easier to clean the microwave.
- A stainless steel interior doesn’t absorb odors and is also easy to clean.
- A turntable is the rotating glass plate found in many microwaves. Turntables help ensure foods heat evenly and prevent users from needing to manually turn plates and bowls as they heat up.
- Trays and removable racks make it possible to use the microwave as an oven and offer a level surface for cooking foods. Racks may even allow users to cook two different dishes at the same time.
- Automatic sensors measure the amount of interior steam to determine when food has finished cooking. A microwave convection oven with this feature will automatically stop cooking once it detects the right amount of steam; users don’t need to set a timer.
- An interlock safety feature, found on all microwaves, prevents the unit from operating if the door is open. The majority of microwave convection ovens have at least two interlocks.
Controls and Settings
A wide variety of controls and settings for cooking different foods is essential for a microwave convection oven. In addition to being able to adjust the temperature, as you would any standard oven, look for preset options for roasting, grilling, and browning.
Next, weigh the available options to reheat foods, including shortcut keys to automatically adjust the cooking time and power level of popcorn, baked potatoes, or pizza, for example. Also notice defrost, power reduction, and quick start/add-a-minute buttons.
Many microwave convection ovens offer a speed-cook setting as well. This setting integrates some of the best aspects of convection cooking with the speed of microwaving to deliver evenly heated foods in a short period of time.
The aesthetic of a microwave convection oven will impact how it looks in a kitchen or other space. Like other appliances, microwave convection ovens are available in a wide range of finish options, including stainless steel, black stainless, black, and white.
In addition to the finish, consider the overall design of the model. Examine the layout of the buttons, the position and integration of the handle, and whether the style of the microwave will make it a good fit for your space.
As with choosing any appliance, you’ll want to think about the energy efficiency of a microwave convection oven. Energy-efficient microwaves can offer a variety of benefits, such as lowering your electric bills and your environmental footprint.
While many kitchen appliances boast ENERGY STAR certifications, there are currently no ENERGY STAR-certified microwave convection ovens. However, you can still find models that will reduce the total amount of energy they consume. Energy-conscious individuals should choose a microwave that offers variable power settings, as it will prevent the use of more power than is required for each task.
Finally, determine if smart technology capabilities are important to you in a microwave convection oven. Smart microwave convection ovens are WiFi-enabled and allow users to control them using an app or voice commands. Many smart microwaves or apps even offer the option to scan a barcode on a prepackaged item and will then automatically adjust the time and power settings to cook that food item.
Another benefit of some smart microwave convection ovens is the ability to monitor the progress of your food from another room. The app paired with many models provides an option to check in on food to know if it is ready to serve. This smart technology also allows users to place food in the microwave and use a smart home assistant or the app to start the cooking process minutes or even hours later.
Our Top Picks
The features outlined above were instrumental in selecting the products for the top picks. Included in this list is a mix of countertop and over-the-range microwave options to meet a wide range of individual needs. Keep reading to find some of the best microwave convection ovens on the market in a variety of categories.
KitchenAid’s countertop microwave convection oven offers a 1.5-cubic-foot capacity. This model features two separate heating elements: a 1,000-watt element for quick and even heating with the microwave functions and a 1,400-watt convection element to circulate heat for baking or roasting at temperatures up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
The convection oven includes a grill setting for searing meats and a roast setting to deliver even heat distribution for perfectly cooked foods. This model provides an LED display with electronic controls for ease of use.
Choose from six quick-touch cycles for heating common foods. Five of these cycles are sensor-based, meaning the microwave will adjust the cooking time automatically based on the type of food.
A large 13.5-inch recessed turntable ensures even heating when microwaving food. If desired, a 27- or 30-inch trim kit is available for separate purchase to enable installation of this microwave into an existing cutout for a built-in look. The KitchenAid microwave is available in a stainless steel finish or black stainless with PrintShield to limit fingerprints.
The Toshiba microwave convection oven offers a 1.5-cubic foot capacity. This countertop microwave features a sleek stainless steel finish to complement a variety of kitchen spaces. It offers 1,000 watts of power and 10 power levels, allowing users to find the optimal setting for a wide variety of foods.
Choose from among 13 auto menus aligned with the sensor function to heat popular foods like vegetables, pizza, and more; the built-in sensor tracks a food’s humidity level to adjust the temperature and cook time. In addition to the standard microwave settings, this economically priced model also offers convection functions.
There are four auto-bake menus (frozen pizza, muffins, frozen french fries, and biscuits/breadsticks/dinner rolls) and four auto-roast menus (beef, whole chicken, turkey breasts, and pork). The interior of the microwave convection oven is stainless steel, which resists scratches and rust and is easy to clean.
This model also offers a child safety lock, a warm-hold function, and an energy-saving mode that uses 50 percent less standby power.
The Cuisinart microwave convection oven is an optimal choice for those looking for a smaller countertop microwave. This model provides a 1.2-cubic-foot capacity and is just 21.2 inches wide. Despite its smaller size, this microwave convection oven still offers many features found in larger models, including a 12-inch turntable and multistage cooking to automatically adjust cooking functions for optimal results.
The microwave offers 1,000 watts of power for quick and even results. It also offers convection cooking settings for baking or roasting foods. The sleek stainless steel finish will complement a variety of spaces and coordinate with other stainless steel appliances.
With a spacious 1.7-cubic-foot capacity, the GE Profile over-the-range microwave convection oven is an optimal choice for individuals looking for a large model. It allows for versatility to meet nearly any cooking need—choose from microwave, convection, speed-cook, and broiling settings.
With the Speedcook technology, foods cook between two and eight times faster than they do in a convection oven, without sacrificing taste. Additionally, 175 preprogrammed meal settings provide even heating and delicious results. Individuals can even use the recipe saver to store custom instructions for up to 30 different meals.
This microwave convection oven offers 975 watts of power and 10 cooking levels suitable for boiling, reheating, and defrosting. It also boasts three fan-speed settings and cooktop lighting with two brightness settings. The interior features a nonstick finish for easy cleaning, while the exterior provides an attractive stainless steel finish with an LCD display and backlit controls.
Individuals looking for a smart convection oven microwave with all the bells and whistles should consider this 1.9-cubic foot, over-the-range model from Whirlpool. The 1,100-watt microwave is WiFi-enabled, allowing individuals to control it using the mobile app or even voice commands. For example, you can place food in the microwave and then heat it up later via the app.
This model also features Scan-to-Cook technology that uses sensors to adjust the time and temperature for items being cooked in the microwave. The True Convection Cooking setting allows users to transform the unit from a standard microwave into a convection oven to bake or roast foods. This model offers a sleek appearance with backlit tap-touch controls.
The interior features a CleanRelease nonstick finish for easy cleanup. Choose from four exterior finishes: fingerprint-resistant stainless steel, fingerprint-resistant black stainless, black, and white.
The Panasonic countertop microwave oven boasts a stylish and modern stainless steel finish that can complement a variety of kitchen spaces. This model can be used as a microwave and as a broiler with the included specially designed broiling rack. The microwave offers 1,000 watts of power, while the broiler provides 1,100 watts of power.
The built-in sensor on this model is paired with 18 preset menu items to cook a variety of foods, ranging from pizza and pasta to soup and oatmeal. This microwave oven features a 1.1-cubic- foot capacity, a 13.4-inch turntable, a delay start feature, and a child safety lock.
KitchenAid’s over-the-range microwave offers a 1.9-cubic-foot capacity and is available in three finishes: stainless steel, black stainless with PrintShield, and white. This model features a 1,500-watt convection element that ensures proper circulation of heat around the interior for baking up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
The microwave provides 1,000 watts of power to ensure foods heat up quickly and evenly. Choose one of the sensor-monitored cooking cycles to steam or simmer foods to the ideal level of doneness. There is also a special sound-based popcorn function that stops cooking at the optimal time, based on the sound of popping kernels.
This model boasts a 14-inch turntable, an easy-to-read digital display, and electronic touch controls. The interior features a stainless steel finish for simple cleaning, and a steam cleaning function ensures even easier cleanup for baked-on spills or stains.
FAQs About Microwave Convection Ovens
These frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers share more useful information about selecting and using the best microwave convection ovens.
Q. What is a convection microwave oven used for?
In addition to the standard settings offered by a traditional microwave oven, a convection microwave oven can roast, bake, and cook foods.
Q. Can you put metal in a convection microwave oven?
With the convection oven settings, it’s safe to use metal in the oven. Remember not to use metal with the standard microwave features.
Q. How do I maintain my microwave convection oven?
To maintain a microwave convection oven, keep the interior clean and remove any spills or stuck-on foods. Avoid using commercial cleaners on the interior, however. When possible, wipe up spills right away, but if food has hardened or cooked onto the surface, you can soften the leftover food by filling a bowl with water and placing it inside the microwave.
Set the microwave to cook the water for 3 minutes, and then keep the door closed for an additional 5 minutes after the time is up. The hot steam should loosen the stuck-on food and allow you to wipe it up more easily with a soapy cloth and warm water. After cleaning the interior, wipe it with a wet towel and then thoroughly dry.
Q. How long will a microwave convection oven last?
A number of factors can impact the lifespan of a microwave convection oven, including how often it is used and how well it is cared for by the user. In general, most microwave convection ovens last between 7 and 10 years.