So, you need a new countertop microwave, and maybe a combination oven would be nice. You look at all the possible combinations and decide you would most like a convection microwave oven.
But which one should you choose?
We can help. We have looked at all the convection microwaves and selected the seven best countertop convection microwave ovens and created a buying guide to help you choose the right one for you.
Is a convection microwave oven worth the extra cost?
You can use microwaves to start the cooking and brown with fast convection beautifully. Long microwave cooking can brown (sort of), but if you frequently start things in the microwave and then move them to the regular oven (convection or not) to brown, you need this combination.
If you lack space and want to make your microwave space more useful you need this. The convection adds baking, broiling, and roasting to the microwave and the countertop is eye level.
Frankly, these guys do everything but boil, so it is worth the difference in price and they cost less to run than your large oven.
Prices can range from under $100 (on sale) to near $2000, so check our reviews, which are combined from many reviews we read.
What are the key differences between the microwave and the convection microwave oven?
Microwaves are radio waves at about 2,500 megahertz, and these are absorbed by water, fat and sugar, which heats them. A microwave oven can only produce a limited number of microwaves, so it can only cook so much food at a time. Radiant ovens can cook as much as fits in them.
Microwaves are faster with smaller amounts, but baking, broiling and roasting are better with a radiant oven. A convection oven uses radiant heat, but pumps it around the oven speeding even cooking and browning.
A convection microwave oven offers both. Many have multiple racks to allow you to cook more at a time, and most provide combination cooking programs to automatically switch from one to the other. You can also easily put things in or take them out early on a countertop.
Sensor cooking is a microwave function that measures water content and temperature to control doneness. There is not function for Convection at this time.
Which brands are best for convection microwave ovens?
Some of the best brands offering convection microwave ovens include the brands you already trust: KitchenAid, Toshiba, Cuisinart, GE, Whirlpool, and Panasonic. Breville and Galanz are relatively new to this market, and they also show promise.
We have only included the top 5 convection microwave ovens here, but any reliable brand could have what you want and perhaps a good price might make the difference. We have also eliminated over the range convection microwave ovens, many of them larger. All of our reviewed ovens have defrost and child-lock functions.
Most companies offer several different models, so figure out what you need first and what can fit your kitchen, and eliminate those which don’t work for you. (You don’t have to read all the reviews for each.) See our What should you look for…? below.
Our Reviews: Top 5 Best Countertop Convection Microwave Oven
1. Toshiba EC042A5C-SS Countertop Microwave: Best Choice
This 21.77 x 21.5 x 12.99 inches, internal dimension (wxdxh): 15.5 x 15.35 x 10.2 inches oven offers 1.5 Cu. Ft. of internal space and a 12 inch turntable. It has 13 preprogrammed settings including combined microwave and convection cooking (maximum two steps).
You can also create programs for cooking using microwave for speed and convection for browning flavor development and save two as presets. Smart sensors can be used to monitor and control cooking in addition to timers.
This countertop microwave offers 1000 watt microwaving and 1750 watts convection. It includes a metal rack for convection, which cannot be used for combination cooking.
You should read the excellent user manual carefully and completely, as it offers real information and important cautions and offers troubleshooting.
Product Documentation/Application Guide (French) offer many complete recipes with detailed instructions.
For price and function this one is the best option to consider when selecting the best countertop convection microwave oven.
Reviews were mostly excellent, but those who had problems were not happy with Toshiba service under the 1 year warranty. It is a large and heavy (44.8 lbs.) appliance.
2. Cuisinart CMW-200 Convection Microwave Oven with Grill
This smaller 19 x 12.2 x 21.2 inches oven offers 1.2 cu. ft. (32 L) interior space with 1000-watt microwaving and a 12 inch turntable. It has 9 presets for 8 cooking functions, and you can combine them into three programmed steps, and save three as programs.
The Cuisinart CMW-200 is more powerful and performs better than your average microwave oven. It works really well for reheating leftovers like fries or pizza. We're also impressed by its fast preheating ability (425 F in about 15 minutes).
It weighs 40.8 lbs., but there is a smaller 1 cu. ft. (28L) model that is 25.5 lbs. It comes with a cookbook that is not part of the informative manual, which would never have my name on it. It tells you what you need to know but is minimalist as manuals go.
Only 7 of the 17 pages are actual directions and the rest are warnings of different kinds. Only 60% of reviewers gave it 5 stars, while a substantial 14% gave it 1 star due to electronic and door problems and poor support for the 3-year warranty.
This is still a good option, if you like to have an elegant looking microwave with easy to use interface.
3. Panasonic NN-GN68KS Countertop Microwave Oven
This 1.1 cu. Ft. Oven offers a FlashXpress Broiler for up close broiling and Inverter Technology for Even microwave Cooking. Smart Genius Sensor controls microwaving at 1000W with a 13.4 inch turntable. They offer other than this 33.7 lb. model. It has a rising broiler rack (FrashExpress) for 1100 watt crisping, microwave technology and dual infrared heating.
Panasonic chose to offer more versatility in preset use, in exchange for one button presets. You still have presets, but you must select them. There are 7 microwave presets, and you follow a pattern to make others.
I hope the cooking app helps, because the manual probably has everything you need to learn, but it is poorly organized and confusing. It will take a lot of trial and error to make it work for you. Hope somebody makes videos. The user guide is full of recipes that help with the details.
Reviewers found this machine complicated and the buttons are too easy to turn on and hard to read. Also read complaints about its power sucking on start and blowing breakers, so if your electric system is weak you might choose another.
4. Galanz GSWWA16S1SA10 Convection Microwave Oven
Ultimate Cooking Versatility is how this 1.6 cu. ft. convection microwave air fryer is introduced. It measures 21.75 x 22.94 x 12.69 inches and includes a 12.4 inch turntable, a 12.5 inch elevated baking & roasting pan and a 10.6 inch raised air fry kit.
It also offers 11 power levels plus sensor to cook and reheat, inverter technology for even cooking (oven does not go on and off) and total fry 360 for great crisping.
They make two good models and the second has real toasting also (Galanz GTWHG12S1SA10 4-in-1 ToastWave).
The manual is very helpful organized by the type of cooking and includes some special foods. Combination cooking is described using an example. It can include three functions up to 95 minutes. The metal baking roasting pan is specially made to work in combi cooking.
People did not like the dark glass in the door obscuring vision, and many complained about the packaging. One lady set fire to her user manual stuffed between the top heating coil and the roof. It has some quirks, so talking to the very helpful support may be a good idea if something goes wrong. Several reported cracked turntables but were satisfied with the service.
This one is the most versatile and easiest to learn using the manual and support is excellent.
5. Toshiba ML-EC42P(SS) Multifunctional Microwave Oven
This one of 5 closely related models uses 1000 watts with 10 microwave power settings, external dimension (W*D*H): 21.8*21.5*13 inches, internal dimension (W*D*H): 15.5*15.35*10.2 inches, plus a 13.6’’ position memory turntable.
It has 10 power settings for microwave and 10 temperatures for convection cooking from 100°F to 425°F (37.7° C-233.3°C). The temperature variations do provide a lot of versatility, but the air fry function is confusing.
Customers say that the air fry button only turns on the convection. The "Instructions for Use" booklet includes recipes for air frying, but all use the convection function.
Did Toshiba add the air fry button to flim-flam us? Even support people do not know how to use air fry. The User Manual is well done, though the writer is definitely a second language speaker. It is organized and clearly illustrated. Toshiba is popular, so not always in stock.
What should I look for in a Microwave Convection Oven?
Make sure you check the outside dimensions so it will fit where you want to put it. Also check the required clearance. If you do not have sufficient clearance you could have a fire. There are models that fit over the stove and in the space where a drawer goes and these vent forward to avoid heat building up.
If you have cooking dishes that you want to use make sure the interior of the stove will hold them all.
Also make sure you get the functions you want. Microwave combos make perfect sense, as we may only use the microwave minutes each day and it takes a lot of space. You can get several types of combinations with a microwave: convection, grilling, steaming, baking and toasting are some.
4. Usability for YOU
Are the operating controls (dials and buttons) easy to see and use? Do you like the way the door works? Do the required procedures for each type of cooking work for you? (Check the manual.) Can you read and understand the manual and does it tell you enough? Recipes are always helpful, even though you can buy recipe books specifically written for your appliance types.
5. Easy to clean
Frankly this is not usually a problem with countertop microwave convection ovens. Wiping them out is all you need. However, to prevent splatter during a microwave cook you can put a paper towel or a special cover for this purpose over the food.
6. Temperature accuracy
It is a good idea to calibrate everything when you first get your oven. DO NOT put non microwave thermometers in your oven. A few degrees make little difference, but you can adjust for that with cooking time or use a different temperature.
7. Durability & Energy Efficiency
Most units are more efficient than our big ovens. Check reviews for any problems. Balance how long you want this machine to last against the price and search reviews for durability.
8. Warranty & Service
A lot of complaints here might need attention. Even the best brands and models can have problems. The warranty should cover all parts of your purchase for 1-3 years. Purchasing extra warranty should be carefully considered. Balance the cost of shipping (if charged) against the price you paid against the price of a new one to make your decision.
Q1: Can you put paper or metal in a convection Microwave oven?
You can put paper, plastic or cardboard in when using the microwave functions, but they will burn in the convection cycles so not then.
Q2: Can you put tinfoil in a convection microwave oven?
You can put metal or tinfoil in the convection cycle but you can only use a tiny flat piece of foil in a microwave cycle to protect some things from getting too dark in a long cycle, such as the breast point of a chicken. Twist ties could burn out your microwave, but paper covering them could catch fir in a convection cycle. So you should leave them out.
Q3: Can you bake and roast and make bread in a convection oven?
Yes, you can bake anything you can make in a regular oven, only faster using less power. You should keep an eye on it and maybe check with convection countertop cookbooks to adjust the times and temperatures for your recipe.
It takes less time and lower temperatures in a countertop oven and convection speeds cooking even more. Once you get a perfect product, note the times and temperatures with the recipe and the size of the container for future perfection.
These five best countertop convection microwave ovens have different things to offer, and they are all good. They transform that warmup oven into an entire cooking center in the same space. In some places they will replace the regular stove several months during summer, saving on air conditioning or simply making the heat tolerable with fans.
The microwave convection oven is possibly the most useful as it allows the cook to combine fast microwave cooking with the even browning of convection. Combination microwave ovens are not as numerous as other combinations as they are more difficult to design.
We would have given you more choices, but these were the best we could find. All of them have additional models you might look at if these do not work for you.