Convection microwave ovens are pretty handy appliances. They give you the quick-cooking options of a microwave, with the browning and crisping ability of a traditional oven. However, having both of these technologies in one compact package is what home cooks really love. If you have limited space and would love a convection oven, but also couldn't live without your microwave, or if you have a conventional oven and wish you had a convection option for some dishes, one of these convection microwaves could be a perfect fit.
Although convection microwave ovens have come down in price in recent years, they are more expensive than a conventional microwave so, if you don't need, want, or can't afford the convection feature, see our discussion of countertop microwaves elsewhere in this report. If you need an over-the-range microwave or are looking for a microwave for a custom installation, you'll want to check out what we have to say about built-in microwaves. And keep in mind that both countertop and built-in convection microwaves are available.
Tops in this category is the Samsung MC11H6033CT Countertop Convection Microwave (Est. $300). Rated at 1,000 watts, this 1.1 cubic foot oven is a good size for all but the largest families, with enough capacity to cook a large dinner plate or accommodate a small roast or chicken. Users say it performs very well as either a microwave or a convection oven, although they do say that the convection feature takes longer to warm up and cook, and we saw issues with the convection part of the oven failing sooner than the other components. The Samsung MC11H6033CT has a good selection of microwave presets, including popcorn, slim fry (which is like an oil-less fryer technology), reheat and defrost, as well as convection-oven presets for grilling, roasting and baking. In one professional test the MC11H6033CT earns scores of Very Good for even heating and defrosting
Many cooks say they don't use the convection feature on the Samsung MC11H6033CT very often, but that it's great to have around as an alternate cooking appliance for holidays and parties. However, many say this oven has a fairly steep learning curve, something that's somewhat common with convection/microwave combos -- certainly more so than with standard microwaves. But most add that once you get used to programming the Samsung MC11H6033CT it gets much easier.
The Cuisinart CMW-200 Convection Microwave Oven (Est. $225) is a bit larger at 1.2 cubic feet, but is also rated at 1,000 watts and it gets good reviews for both its microwave and its convection performance. Some say that it browns so well they prefer it over their regular oven and use it more often. It's very popular with those who are pressed for space and need dual-duty appliances. It again features a good range of microwave and convection presets. Among the latter, we saw some good comments regarding the grill function, with reviewers saying that the ability to prepare items that traditionally would be cooked on an outdoor grill is a nice option for inclement weather. This microwave gets some of the best reviews we've seen for its attractive appearance; it comes in brushed stainless steel.
If you'd like something bigger with a convection feature, look no further than our Best Reviewed Over-the-Range Microwave, the 1.7 cubic foot GE Profile PVM9179SFSS (Est. $600). This microwave earns top honors in two categories in one professional test -- as an over-the-range microwave and as a convection microwave. For a fuller discussion of this mid-sized convection microwave, see our roundup of built-in microwaves elsewhere in this report.
Combination microwave/convection ovens do not come any larger than 1.7 cubic feet. If you need something larger, a wall oven or range with convection features would be your best bet -- see our reports on wall ovens and ranges to learn more. If you want a small convection oven without microwave features, those are covered in our report on toaster ovens.