Written by:
Michael

Updated
03/27/2021

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The microwave and convection oven are two of the most essential appliances in the kitchen. Unfortunately, both of them are quite cumbersome, taking up large areas of precious culinary real estate. It was only a matter of time before food engineers combined both gadgets into one clever contraption. With a microwave convection oven, you get the best of both worlds. 

Like all brilliant inventions, however, some brands are better than others, and there are still a lot of bugs that need to be worked out. While this article is an incredible start, research is an inevitable part of finding the right oven for you.

We looked at 3 variables when considering quality in a convection microwave. We looked for high cooking reviews, a fair and reasonable price, and nifty features that make everyday cooking easier.

The following summaries are based on actual reviews from verified buyers who have tried the product firsthand, so without further ado, here are the 10 best convection microwaves of 2020!

Enjoy!

Our #1 Pick

Convection microwaves were one of the first products we ever reviewed here at Robust Kitchen. Our #1 pick hasn't changed in all that time. The customer reviews speak for themselves. Toshiba made an incredible microwave

Top 3 Compared


Preview
Best Overall
Toshiba EC042A5C-BS Countertop Microwave Oven with Convection, Smart...
Budget
Emerson 1.2 CU. FT. 1100W Griller Microwave Oven with Touch Control,...
Broiler (No Convection)
Panasonic NN-GN68K Countertop Oven Microwave + Broiler Grill,...
Title
Toshiba EC042A5C-BS Countertop Microwave Oven with Convection, Smart...
Emerson 1.2 CU. FT. 1100W Griller Microwave Oven with Touch Control,...
Panasonic NN-GN68K Countertop Oven Microwave + Broiler Grill,...
Power
1000 Watts
1100 Watt
1000 Watt
Capacity
1.5 Cu Ft
1.2 cu ft
1.2 cu ft
Cook Presets
21
9
18
Sensor Cooking?
Warranty
1 Year limited
1 Year limited
1 Year limited
Price
$131.34
$141.90
$249.98
Prime
Best Overall
Preview
Toshiba EC042A5C-BS Countertop Microwave Oven with Convection, Smart...
Title
Toshiba EC042A5C-BS Countertop Microwave Oven with Convection, Smart...
Power
1000 Watts
Capacity
1.5 Cu Ft
Cook Presets
21
Sensor Cooking?
Warranty
1 Year limited
Price
$131.34
Prime
Buy it Now
Budget
Preview
Emerson 1.2 CU. FT. 1100W Griller Microwave Oven with Touch Control,...
Title
Emerson 1.2 CU. FT. 1100W Griller Microwave Oven with Touch Control,...
Power
1100 Watt
Capacity
1.2 cu ft
Cook Presets
9
Sensor Cooking?
Warranty
1 Year limited
Price
$141.90
Prime
Buy it Now
Broiler (No Convection)
Preview
Panasonic NN-GN68K Countertop Oven Microwave + Broiler Grill,...
Title
Panasonic NN-GN68K Countertop Oven Microwave + Broiler Grill,...
Power
1000 Watt
Capacity
1.2 cu ft
Cook Presets
18
Sensor Cooking?
Warranty
1 Year limited
Price
$249.98
Prime
Buy it Now

Top Rated Products

2) Emerson 1.5 Cu Ft Convection Microwave (Amazon) - Best Large 1.5 Cu Ft Convection Microwave

3) Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1 Convection Microwave (Best Buy) - Best Convection Microwave w/ Air Fry

4) Panasonic 4-in-1 Convection Microwave (Amazon) - Best Convection Microwave w/ Air Fry and Broiler Options

5) Panasonic FlashXpress Broiler Microwave (Amazon) - Best Microwave w/ Broiler Option

6) Farberware Convection Microwave (Amazon) - Best on a Budget 

7) KitchenAid Over-the-Range Convection Microwave (Home Depot) - Best Over-the-Range Convection Microwave

8) Sharp 1874-T Over-the-Range Convection Microwave (Amazon) - Easiest to Install Over-the-Range Convection Microwave

9) Whirlpool Over-the-Range Microwave (with Wifi) (Home Depot) - Best Over-the-Range Convection Microwave with Wifi

10) Samsung Pull-Down Convection Microwave (Home Depot) - Best Pull-Down Convection Microwave


1) Toshiba EC042A5C-BS Countertop Convection Microwave Oven

Toshiba just happens to make one of the highest reviewed, most reasonably priced convection microwaves available. The majority of the competing companies offer a product with similar characteristics, but at a much higher price and with worse reviews. 

One of the coolest options the Toshiba convection microwave oven offers is the combination button. The "combi" button allows you to both use convection heat and micro wave radiation at the same time. This helps cook your food quickly and evenly with the microwave, while giving the outside that nice, crisp brown layer only a convection oven can offer. 

It also has a sensor cook option which automatically cooks food to a desired moisture level. The button display is large and simple to use, which seems to be a rarity these days. With all the hype about automation, engineers have found a way to make the simplest cooking method more complicated than it needs to be. I like how Toshiba kept it simple. 

The only reason I might hold off on this convection oven is if you are limited in space. The microwave itself isn't that big (L 21.7" X W 20.1" X h 12.8"), but in order for it to function safely and effectively, there must also be a 3" clearance on the right side, a 3" clearance on the rear, and a 12" clearance on the top. To make it easier, make sure you have at least this amount space.

L 25" X W 24" X h 25"

Provided you have this area available, this convection microwave will make a convenient addition to your kitchen. 

Toshiba-EC042A5C-BS-Countertop-Convection-Microwave-Oven

Our rating:

5 / 5 Stars

Pros

  • Good Power (1000 Watts)
  • Sensor Cook
  • Stainless Steel
  • Microwave and Convection heat at the same time
  • Comes with Oven Rack
  • Microwave Options: Sensor Cook, Auto Defrost, Timed Defrost, Popcorn, Favorite, Sensor Reheat.
  • Convection Options: Auto Bake, Auto Roast
  • 1 Year Warranty

Cons

  • Pay extra for extended Warranty (approximately $20, 3-4 year options)
  • Fairly Large (takes up a good amount of space (L 21. 8 x W 21. 5)
  • Requires clearance from wall for proper usage (check measurements below)
  • Complaints about the beeping 

2) Emerson 1.5 Cu Ft Convection Microwave Oven

The Toshiba and Emerson convection microwave models are both very similar in quality. Both products:

1) Have over 200 reviews

2) Maintain somewhere close to 4 stars

3) Have similar dimensions

4) Offer the same power level (1000 Watts)

5) Sell for approximately $200  

There is only one mentionable difference between them, and it comes down to what you want your convection microwave to do for you...

Toshiba

Pros: Combi Option and sensor cook

Cons: No Grill/Broiler Option

Emerson

Pros: Grill/Broil Option

Cons: No Combi Option or sensor cook

So, what's more important to you? 

Either way, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Both of these convection microwaves have had ample time on the market and proven themselves as worthy kitchen appliances.

Emerson-1.5-CU.-FT.-1000W-Convection-Microwave-Oven

Our rating:

5 / 5 Stars

Pros

  • Good Power (1000 Watts)
  • "Grill" (broil) Cook with heating element on inside top
  • Stainless Steel and black cabinet material
  • Microwave and grill at the same time
  • Comes with oven/grill rack
  • Microwave Options: Popcorn, Potato, Beverage, Dinner Plate, Vegetables, Frozen Vegetables
  • Convection/Grill Options: Convection bake, Grill, Convection roast, Roast Chicken, Cake, Pizza

Cons

  • Pay extra for extended Warranty (approximately $20, 3-4 year options)
  • Fairly Large (Takes up a good amount of space (L 21.8 x h 13 x W 21.7 inches)
  • Requires clearance from wall for proper usage (check measurements below)
  • Some complaints of loudness while running 

3) Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1 Convection Microwave

We're continually blown away with the quality of Breville's kitchen products. Consistently earning spots on countless reviews we've created, Breville has once again created a product worth mentioning. 

Breville's 3-in-1 convection microwave addresses all the downsides we found with other microwaves. It has a relatively large capacity (1.1 cubic ft), it has an extra air fry function, and it has a combi function to allow both microwave and convection cooking. 

The price point is slightly higher than competing microwaves, but this is to be expected with Breville products. Many of the reviewers commented on how the pricer was high, but worth it

Our rating:

5 / 5 Stars

Pros

  • Comes with crisper pan and glass turntable
  • Soft close door with mutable timer
  • Can turn turntable on and off
  • Bold, stainless design
  • Fast and even cooking

Cons

  • A little complex
  • Takes up a good amount of counter space (12.4" x 20.4" x 21" Approx)
  • Air fryer not fantastic
  • High Price

4) Panasonic NN-CD87KS 4-in-1 Convection Microwave

Panasonic has made it on our list several times because they seem to have perfected the convection microwave, where most companies (even the big companies) have utterly failed. 

This Panasonic carries the functionality of a convection oven, broiler, air fryer and microwave. While quality tends to go down the tube as manufacturers put more functions on a machine, this seems to be the exception. People were overall, very happy with the versatility and functionality of this Panasonic model. 

However, it does sell for a pretty high price and there were some complaints about the oven needing its own circuit. Make sure you have the money and the right electrical environment to add this to your kitchen.

Our rating:

4.5 / 5 Stars

Pros

  • Includes microwave, broiler, convection and air fry Functions
  • Sleek Design
  • Versatile
  • Easy to Use
  • Combo mode is a plus

Cons

  • Requires its own circuit
  • Buttons difficult to see (with bad vision)
  • Not intuitive
  • High Price

5) Panasonic Countertop Microwave Oven with FlashXpress Broiler

Sometimes a full convection microwave isn't really necessary. Especially for those of us who just want that nice crisp char on the outside of our microwaved meals. Anyone who owns a convection oven can tell you a broiler gets the job done and gets the job done well.

The Panasonic FlashXpress broiler is a pretty cool concept. It's a regular microwave but with an infrared broiler at the top. It allows you to get meals to your desired consistency without any crazy investment. It also has a combination button to allow you the luxury of both microwave and broil at the same time.   

Panasonic focuses on delivering a large interior capacity without the bulky outside. This allows for ample cooking room without the sacrifice of too much counter space. The inverter radiation technology also allows for faster and more evenly cooked food, which is now a baseline for most of Panasonic's current microwave models.  

The only real complaint is the button display. Buttons can accumulate food particles over time and become jammed. As long as you clean it frequently, this shouldn't be a problem. The buttons also don't include a 0-9 keypad for easy cook time input. Instead, it offers 10 minute, 1 minute, and 10 second interval changes with 3 buttons.  

Panasonic-Countertop-Microwave-Oven-with-FlashXpress-Broiler

Our rating:

5 / 5 Stars

Pros

  • Infrared Broiler on top (FlashXpress Broiler)
  • Combination broil and Microwave button.
  • Child safety lock
  • "Genius Sensors"; cook time and power based off food type.
  • Larger inside, smaller outside design. (Outside W 15.8 x L 20.7)(Inside 13.2 cubic Inches or 1.1 Cubic ft)
  • 13.4" turntable and Separate broiling rack
  • Good power (1000 Watts)

Cons

  • Only 1.1 Cubic ft capacity
  • No numbers on keypad. Have to adjust by increments. 
  • Push buttons (hard to clean)
  • Light isn't very bright
  • Complaints "genius sensor" over or undercooking
  • Buttons difficult to see (with bad vision)
  • Not intuitive
  • High Price

6) Farberware Black Convection Microwave

Probably the cheapest convection microwave on our list, the Faberware is for those who are looking for a smaller, cheaper convection microwave for their kitchen.

Don't let the lower price and smaller interior fool you though. There were a lot of positive reviews regarding the cook options (air fry, grill, and combination functions being the most prominent) and versatility of this machine.

Keep in mind, there were A LOT of complaints about the complicated use and instructions of this unit. If you struggle with technology, I highly recommend steering clear of this model (unless you have someone to help you). 

Our rating:

4 / 5 Stars

Pros

  • Great black stainless design
  • Versatile (11 cook functions)
  • Great responses with air fry
  • Great for baking/grilling

Cons

  • Complicated (said many times)
  • Difficult instructions

7) KitchenAid Over-the-Range Convection Microwave

With over a staggeringly high number of reviews (over 2000), the KitchenAid over-the-range convection microwave has a 94% recommendation rate (as of 10/01/2020). 

To sustain such a high rating when there are so many things working against the engineers (installation, higher price, and overall expectations), this is a pretty spectacular machine. In addition to it receiving such great reviews, it also has a sensor steam/simmer option which is pretty nifty.

There were a couple of complaints about installation and the vent fan power, but overall, these complaints were pretty marginal. 

Our rating:

4.5 / 5 Stars

Pros

  • Large 1.9 Cubic ft interior
  • Sound based popcorn function 
  • Bakes up to 425°F
  • Quiet
  • "Best microwave I've ever owned."
  • Excellent exhaust fan with 6 speeds (look at cons as well)

Cons

  • Door takes some getting used to
  • Average difficulty installing
  • Vent doesn't have a lot of power
  • No lights on the buttons

8) Sharp R1874T 850W Over-the-Range Convection Microwave

Attempting to buy an over the range convection microwave can be a little daunting. Knowing that everything has to fit correctly and installation must be precise, anyone interested should be cautioned. But in the face of all these obstacles, Sharp has proven itself as an exceptional company in providing customers with a relatively easy installation

An over the range convection microwave is the ultimate space-saver. Allowing you the freedom of convection and microwave cooking without taking up counter space is a huge perk for those with bigger plans for their kitchen.   

Like most over the range microwaves, the Sharp convection microwave provides an exhaust fan (low and high speed) with a hood light to illuminate food cooked on the stove. It also has sensor cook and food presets for baking, broiling, roasting, and microwaving (presets like vegetables, chicken, pork, and even cake and brownies). 

There are a few precautions if you decide to go this route. This particular model is sold by different vendors through Amazon. Make sure they have a good rating and have a reputation for packaging properly. There have been countless complaints about improper packaging and delivering damaged microwaves.

This is a heavy (approx. 80lbs) package and should be taken care of. Get the extended warranty if you can manage it. Also, make sure the dimensions are correct. Here is an installation guide to help you see if you have the proper space. 

 Sharp-R1874T-850W-Over-the-Range-Convection-Microwave

Our rating:

4 / 5 Stars

Pros

  • Built-in exhaust system; hood light, powerful fan, low and high racks included
  • Smart and Easy Sensor Options
  • 10 Year Warranty on Major Components
  • Stainless Steel
  • Convection Options: Broil, Roast, Bake 
  • Microwave Options: Sensor Cook, Sensor Reheat, Popcorn, Defrost
  • Large, 2 Color Simple Display

Cons

  • Not a lot of Power (850 Watts)
  • Heavy (72 Lbs)
  • Installation tricky in some cases
  • Precise Measurements needed

9) Whirlpool Smart (Wifi) Over-the-Range Convection Microwave

Finally, someone brought wifi into the realm of microwaves. We're a little surprised it was Whirlpool, but they've created quite the convection microwave.

Equipped with wifi cooking and scan-to-cook options, the Whirlpool over-the-range convection microwave is the first of its kind. Unfortunately, there were a good amount of complaints about the wifi connectivity and ease of use.

Overall, a lot of positive reviews with cook functions. It seems the bugs haven't been worked out with the "smart" features. I wouldn't recommend buying this model for its wifi features, but if you're looking for a high quality, sleek looking, over-the-range convection microwave, this Whirlpool has more than proven itself. 

Our rating:

4 / 5 Stars

Pros

  • Exhaust works great
  • Very quiet
  • Child safety lock
  • Sleek design
  • Wifi and sensor cook are cool perks

Cons

  • Instructions not great
  • Smart technology not intuitive
  • Hard to connect to internet

10) Samsung PowerGrill Countertop Convection Microwave

If you're a fan of the drop-down door, this is the best convection microwave available. It has grill, slim fry, convection, microwave, and combination functions that make it a versatile cooking machine. 

It also has a convenient eco mode, auto cook and several cooking presets which all help to make life easier when your on the run.

At 1.2 Cubic ft capacity, you should have no trouble cooking smaller meals. We just wouldn't recommend this as a second oven. It's convenient for microwaving and convection cooking single person meals

If you're looking for a secondary oven, we recommend the Wolf Countertop Convection oven. Its one of the very few models that  actually stands up to the label. 

There is however, a lot of complaints regarding the ease of  use. It seems a lot of people were disappointed with the directions and the learning curve involved with the machine.  

Our rating:

4 / 5 Stars

Pros

  • Includes slim fry and grill function
  • "Both microwave and convection work great."
  • Easy clean interior
  • Saves a lot of counter space
  • "Installation is a breeze."

Cons

  • Interior is pretty small
  • Directions not helpful
  • No "finished" cooking sound
  • No kitchen timer


Perks of a Microwave/Oven Combo


Even though it might seem obvious to you, here are the advantages of buying a microwave/oven combo unit.

-Saves Time

Instead of going back and forth between two appliances, you can microwave and heat your food all in the same place, thus saving you precious trips around the kitchen.

-Saves Space

The kitchen is usually one of the most constricted places in the house due to the number of items in it. With a microwave/oven combo unit, you can save space by having one appliance instead of two, thereby allowing you to make room for something else that you may have in mind.

-Use Convection and Microwave on Same Food

The flavors of food will come out differently depending on the heating method, temperature, and cooking time (also known as the Maillard reaction). Depending on the taste that you want, there will be times when you are going to alternate between the microwave and the oven. With a combo unit, this will be a whole lot easier to achieve.

-Saves Energy

Microwave/oven units are built with the latest green technology that consumes less energy and will significantly reduce your monthly bills as a result. Most standalone ovens are gigantic and can result in a lot of excess heat going to waste. If you’re the type who bakes smaller dishes like cupcakes and cookies, then a microwave/oven appliance is the most logical choice.

What to Look For


Power Output

The power ratings in regular microwaves typically range between 600-1,200 watts. On the other hand, convection microwaves hover at around 900-1,200 watts (they tend to be higher due to their dual function). 

Power ratings are important because they tell you approximately how much energy is being used to heat your food. Generally, the higher the wattage, the faster the cooking time, but since it uses more electricity, it can also cost more. Power is spent on other functions as well such as the rotating tray and the digital display, so not all of the wattage is going into the actual cooking.

Sensor Cook

There is a new technology in microwave ovens that detects the moisture content in food. Once it reaches a certain level, the microwave oven will automatically adjust its heat, making sure that the dish isn’t overcooked even if you’re not physically present to monitor it.

This is often known as sensory or sensor cooking.

The moisture level is determined by the manufacturer, so different brands may give different times, but overall, sensory cooking is a godsend that can let you multitask in the kitchen without fear of burning your dish due to inattention. Since this is a fairly recent innovation, however, it’s best not to rely on it too much, especially when dealing with unfamiliar dishes. 

Ease of Cleaning

Cleaning the microwave is one of the least favorite jobs of the kitchen. Food particles get stuck to the wall, and with continued use, become more and more caked to inside surfaces. So when buying a microwave, there are a few things you should consider.

1) Make sure that all the interior parts can be disassembled quickly.

2) Make sure that the exterior surface is made of non-stick material.

3) Make sure the controls use a touchpad instead of buttons.

Even Heat

With a convection feature, it's imperative that heat is distributed to all angles of food evenly. There's nothing worse than biting into a cold spot.

For the convection oven, as long as the convection fan works effectively, this shouldn't be an issue. A turntable or rotating radiation emitter that allows food to cook as uniformly as possible is imperative for microwave ovens.  

Always check customer reviews to determine if the mechanics are really up to your standard.

Right Price

Make sure you’re getting what you pay for. I’ve found that many reviewers have had a terrible time going through warranty and return procedures with convection microwaves. 

There are a handful of convection microwaves that sell for under $200, have great reviews, and are absent of horror stories for the most part. Worst case scenario, your microwave doesn't work and you have to go through the return process (which is a pain no matter what).  

$200 - $800: Most of these microwaves are similar to the under $200 microwaves but offer a higher wattage and some cool new features. Here’s where I don’t like these microwaves. You are investing A LOT of money and the assumption is that because you are investing so much, you will be taken care if things go wrong. But keep in mind...

  1. Most only have a full warranty of 1 year
  2. Most have a parts warranty for 5-10 years, but the warranty doesn’t cover labor, or shipping to the laborer.

Both unfortunate realities with convection microwave. Always weigh out the consequences of having to return the item in worst case scenarios.




-Convection Microwave Manufacturers


If you want to make an educated buy, it's important to know the convection microwave manufacturers that have made a solid name for themselves. Just to clarify, these company reviews are entirely based on their ability to design quality convection microwaves that customers are happy with.

Don't let this list define a company. In fact, if we were talking about regular microwave ovens, this list would be completely different.


Toshiba 

While most kitchen appliance stores offer convection microwaves of all shapes and prices, Toshiba specializes in one type; high quality convection microwaves for under $200. If you are interested in getting a convection microwave that does its primary job perfectly, Toshiba is the way to go. But if you are looking for a bunch of bells and whistles, there are other competing companies that lead the pack.  


Emerson 

Emerson is like the modern day Radio Shack. They specialize in making random products like remote controls and house fans. But it seems like whatever they choose to make, people are happy with. Emerson is similar to Toshiba in that they offer quality microwaves for a reasonable price. Although you will likely be limited to countertop microwaves. 


Panasonic 

Panasonic has been making microwaves for a VERY long time. As far as kitchen appliances go, no one really comes close. Supplying consumers with a wide variety of products allows buyers to choose a microwave that fits their taste. But as production becomes greater, customer service has a tendency to backslide. Know that if you order a Panasonic microwave online, you roll the dice in having to deal with an often ridiculed customer service system (similar reviews with Bosch).


Master Chef

Master chef specializes in making a few quality convection microwaves. It's far easier to trust in their products and customer service team when they are devoting all of their time to a couple products. Some of their products are on the more expensive side, but you can trust in the quality you're getting. 


Sharp

Sharp has also been making microwaves for a VERY long time. I've read of their earlier microwaves lasting decades. But relying on their old reputation might backfire on you. I've read reviews of many customers buying a new Sharp with their long lasting loyalty, only to be disappointed at the new quality of some of their cheaper products. If you are going with Sharp, I suggest you go with their higher-priced options. The original Sharp manufacturing reputation is still intact with this price range.  


Farberware

From what I can tell, Farberware is trailing Emerson and Toshiba in their ability to offer quality convection microwaves for less than $200, but their reviews lag behind the two companies. If you are thinking about a Farberware microwave, make sure to do your homework on the particular model. Make sure there is an ample amount of reviews to make an educated buy.  


Kenmore

Kenmore is a very well established kitchen appliance company (amongst other types of products). If you are interested in a built-in convection microwave/convection oven combo, Kenmore is a great company. I recommend you go into the store to buy. Having to set up your order, delivery, and installation can be a lot to handle. Doing things in person is a better option (similar reviews for KitchenAid and GE).


-Concluding

Convection microwaves were a great idea. It's unfortunate the industry hasn't worked out all the bugs yet. I will keep my eyes peeled for technology improvements, but for now, this is the list. If you can manage it, invest in a separate microwave and countertop convection oven. You will have far more options and you can rest easy knowing you're getting quality. 

But if you must, the convection microwaves noted above have proven themselves as smart investments. Just make sure you're getting exactly what you need. If you have any questions, please comment below and I'll do what I can to steer you in the right direction.    

Cheers Friends,

Michael

Founder of Robust Kitchen

About the author

Michael spends his days eating, drinking and studying the fascinating world of food. He received his Bachelors Degree in Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis and spent much of his time at the school brewery. While school proved to be an invaluable experience, his true passion lies in exposing the hidden crannies of food for the cooking laymen.


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