The best microwave toaster oven combination gives you the option to cook foods that require microwaving and the ones that are best for a toaster or convection oven. While some people don’t use microwaves because of the belief that it is potentially harmful others, including myself, see it as a very important part of the kitchen. Sometimes you just don’t have time to wait for the oven to warm up to reheat your food. Other times you may need to just quickly boil some water for tea, etc. It’s an indispensable part of most kitchens.
But how do you choose the right one for your family? Well, below, we’ve done the research for you. You will find 3 of the best microwave toaster ovens that we’ve come across. But ultimately you will have to decide. As the “best” model for you, might be a terrible option for another shopper.
Cuisinart CMW-200 Convection Microwave Oven with Grill
This microwave toaster oven combo is a good option for most folks. It is affordably priced given its range of functionality.
Design, Size and Placement
The Cuisinart CMW-200 is a good looking machine. It has a stainless steel exterior and is sure to match nearly any kitchen décor as it is pretty neutral. To look at this machine, you would simply think that it is a microwave. The dark tinted glass is also a great feature that give it a sleek look.
But how big is this microwave? And will it fit on your countertop or other designated location?
If you’ve ever been to an appliance store then you know that there is a wide range of sizes for microwaves. While this machine is a decent size, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a comfy fit for it in your kitchen. It officially measures 20 x 14.5 x 12 (LxWxH) which translates to about 1.2 cubic feet of interior space.
You should also know that this machine isn’t one of those units that can be installed above the stove (our microwave is like that). This one will need to go on your countertop and it should have plenty of clearance to avoid a potential fire hazard.
Some kitchens have an open cutaway shelf or cubby hole built for the microwave. If you do have one make sure that the dimensions work for your space. For safety, you will need about 6-inches in the back for ventilation (refer to the manual).
On some microwave toaster ovens, the microwave and convection oven are separated. Like, the main housing is dedicated to the microwave while the toaster oven function gets a little slot on the bottom of the machine. This one is different, you microwave in the same place that you bake. That means that this is a fully functioning microwave and toaster oven.
In the interior, you may notice that there is a fan in the back of the unit.
One of the main complaints about this model is that the power is too low. Rated at 1000-watts for both the microwave and the convection oven, some have complained that it takes too long to heat up even a cup of water. On the other hand you have folks are just satisfied with the power of this unit, it kind of touches that Goldilocks zone.
If the power is good enough for you, then you will be happy to know that this unit has a very useful feature. Have you heard of multiple stage cooking? Maybe. But have you heard of an appliance that can do it automatically. It works like this, let’s say that you have a frozen mac and cheese. You can set it to defrost, then bake, then grill it to get a browned top to finish it (there is a top heating element).
Note: When using this functionality, you should know that you should use a non-metal cookware if switching between microwave and convection oven functions.
Defrosting in a microwave is a feature that we use whenever we’re in a pinch. This unit has two defrost modes – one by weight and the other by time.
The LCD screen and touch button control panel/interface is pretty straight forward here. I’ve come across control panels on products that were nearly impossible to use and confused me upon first use. For quick cooking, there are 9 preset cooking functions: popcorn, potato, beverage, reheat, fresh vegetables, frozen vegetables, roast chicken, cake, and pizza.
For manual control you’ve got microwave, convection, convection roast, convection fast bake, grill/combo.
This Cuisinart microwave toaster oven comes with all of the essentials that you might need to include a reversible grilling rack and a rotating 12-inch glass tray.
What do the customers think…?
Customers that are satisfied with this oven are happy with the units ease-of-use, size and versatility. It seems to be particularly favored by those living in tight quarters, i.e. small apartments/lofts. Some customers are happily surprised by the cost given the look and the functionality. I’ve come across some surprising customer photos of meals that you’d never believe came out of a toaster oven, let alone a microwave toaster oven combination.
There are some customers that have voiced their grievances, though. As I like to say, no product is without sin. In this case, the most concerning complaint is the amount of time that some customers claim that it takes for the unit to warm up – they then connect this to the power or rather the lack thereof. These customers, however, may be unfamiliar with the processes of convection ovens. I have a very good convection oven and it takes a little while for it to warm up. I simply put the food in the oven while it’s heating up and adjust the time accordingly. Some may view this as a compromise but, it works.
Another serious complaint that I’ve come across several times was the clearance requirements. Technically you need 12” of top clearance which, for most folks, means that the microwave cannot be placed underneath overhead cabinets.
The warranty is 3-years
Small compact design is perfect for those living in small places
Affordable – especially considering the features
Looks good – brushed stainless steel exterior
Lots of cooking functions
Multiple stage cooking – defrost, then bake, then grill automatically
This oven is a real all-in-one machine. It functions as a microwave, convection oven, and even a broiler. It offers a real space-saving solution and could be the perfect option for those short on space and funds. Find out if this model is the right one for you.
Design and Size
To look at this Samsung microwave, you would expect to pay more for it. It looks good in black and stainless steel. The modern look and feel of the exterior sees a long handle that spans the width of the door.
This model takes on more exterior features of an oven than you might expect. For one, the door is a drop down model. Also, this unit has a ceramic interior which is perfect for conducting heat. Another benefit is that ceramic is more scratch resistant and does not absorb odors of the food. This is important because foods will be cooking longer in this oven than they would in traditional microwave ovens (traditional ovens usually have a plastic interior).
It is sized to fit on your countertop. This is not an over-the-range model. I found very exact dimension measurements while researching this unit: 12-3/16 by 20-9/16 by 19-15/16 inches (HxWxL). The interior is a decent size, about 1.1 cubic feet. This is large enough to bake a whole chicken in it.
Control Panel and Interface
The control panel interface isn’t the most user friendly but I noticed that some customers point out that you will have to read through the manual to really figure things out.
There are buttons for the following cooking modes: “slim fry”, “popcorn”, “defrost”, “auto reheat/cook”, “convection”, “fast preheat”, “grill”, “microwave-grill”, “microwave-convection”, and “microwave”.
You use the dial to select the cooking time which is a lot easier than repeatedly pressing a button to increase or decrease the timer.
If there is any confusion, it would probably come from the “slim fry”, “microwave-grill”, and “microwave-convection” modes. These are explained in more detail below.
This model is rated at 1000 watts of power. Some customers complain that this lack of power means extended cooking times. The oven goes all the way up to 400-degrees which is good for cooking most dishes. Although there are some customers that complain that their unit overheats and then shuts down after reaching high temperatures. But, this could be due to a lack of proper clearance.
The slim fry setting is one that was new to me when researching this product. What I found was that this new function works like an air fryer. It uses a combination of microwave and convection – rapidly circulating hot air around the food. This cooks the food without additional moisture or oil. This means that you end up with food that is crunchy and crispy rather than soft and mushy – which is the texture a microwave often produces. This function is mostly for foods that you wish to cook that are frozen, i.e. pre-fried foods like fries, wings, onion rings and the like. The reviews seem to be mixed for the slim fry function. But air fryers in general can work well to reheat fried food though.
The slim fry isn’t just one setting, it’s actually 9 (not including sub-options for weight). It actually sounds kind of confusing to use. This mode is for speed, but taste may be sacrificed. I’d opt to just use the convection setting.
We don’t really use our microwave oven too much except for frozen foods that call for it or if we want to quickly heat up food and we don’t feel like waiting for the toaster oven to heat up. This unit has settings that use a combination of microwave and grilling/convection. In essence, you get the quickness of microwaving and the crispiness that convection and grilling provide you.
This unit comes with a grilling rack, a glass turntable, and a ceramic perforated crisping pan.
The warranty is 1-year
What do customers think?
Customer experiences with this machine are pretty mixed. You would be wise to read through some reviews for this microwave oven before you decide to get it (although the same applies to any product that you buy). There are many customers who are happy with their choice and most notably the microwaving function of the machine.
But there are quite a few that report less than satisfactory experiences. The most consistent complaints are issues of durability. Some customers report having the machine shut down when it overheats. Others report that they need to extend the cooking times for common dishes because of the lack of power.
Good looking microwave toaster oven
Many different functions
Slim fry improves the taste and texture of fried foods
Combination cooking modes i.e. microwave-grill and microwave-convection
Add 30-seconds feature
Dial can be used to remove 10 seconds from the cooking time
Ceramic-enamel interior is scratch and odor resistant
A lot of durability complaints
Bake function last just an hour
Pull down door does not lay flat and can be difficult to remove pans from oven
Samsung MC12J8035CT 1.2 cu. ft. Countertop Convection Microwave – Stainless Steel, Black
I like the Samsung MC12J8035CT because it is a decent quality machine, which is hard to find when dealing with microwave toaster ovens. It has a larger capacity than the others on the list with 1.2 cubic feet. Like the model above this one will also broil and grill for you too.
Design & Size
This hybrid machine is big and bulky looking on the outside. It shapes like a traditional wall oven despite the fact that it operates as both. While you’re probably used to seeing the microwave toaster ovens that oven left to right, this one opens up and down.
It’s a good looking machine probably the best looking on this page. And it definitely looks huge. But, don’t be fooled, the dimensions are only 18.5 x 20.8 x 15.9 inches. Still it is best if you measure out your space before you chose one.
The control panel looks really slick with its modern looking blue display. The glass touch screen is very responsive (you won’t have to keep hitting the button over and over) and gives this machine a touch of class.
If you have an opening in your kitchen cabinet to store it then you may want to purchase a “trim kit”. This allows you to locate your oven in a place with limited ventilation.
Silver and black colors are standard fare for these kinds of machines and this model certainly fits that mode. If you’re like us and most of your stuff is stainless steel then you may not want another monotone piece. Just something to think about.
The grill part of this machine is very powerful with a maximum of 1600 watts of power. The larger grill heating elements help to provide a faster and more even cooking. This grill heater is very large which will brown your food without completely drying it out. On the flip side, the microwave’s 950 watts isn’t particularly impressive.
In this model you can actually pseudo fry (air fry) too. The function is called Slim Fry. It works with very little oil which helps to reduce unnecessary fat from your food.
The interior has a ceramic enamel coating which is scratch resistant and very easy to clean. As long as you don’t let the food stay baked on for days on end you should be able to simply use a damp cloth to clean the interior. But not only is this surface easy to clean but ceramic prevents the color from fading. So you end up with a microwave that looks newer longer.
There are 10 power levels which gives you a lot of flexibility in your cooking. And there are also 9 cooking presets: Power Convection, Convection, Combination, Auto Power Convection, Auto Cook, Microwave, Grill, Slim Fry, Warm/Hold, and Defrost. This gives you a lot of convenience and control. You can relax and simply press a couple of buttons to get your cooking started.
A big powerful machine is going to cost you in a lot of energy consumption. Well, to counter that fact, this model comes with an eco-button. This will help you to save energy and money. When you enable this “eco” mode, the unit goes to sleep. So there won’t be any background light from the LED display or backlit buttons until you press a button.
It comes with a roller ring, turntable, ceramic plate, low rack, and high rack.
What do the customers think?
The customer reviews for this machine are pretty much mixed. They don’t scream “you have to buy this product”. While customers love the modern look of this machine. They are also impressed with the grilling function and the convection oven. At least one happy camper loved the practical pull-down door design. And customers with space limitations are happy that they can save space by having an all-in-one kind of machine.
But the microwave part of this machine is a bit anemic. Some customers just can’t get over the lack of power coming from this machine. You see, 950 watts just isn’t that much. You really need to be at around 1100-watts to have a decently powered microwave oven.
Glass on the exterior makes it look elegant
Powerful grill with 1600-watts
Lots of preset functions
Ceramic enamel interior is scratch resistant
Easy to clean
Easy to use control panel
Some folks think that the microwave function is under powered
Fingerprints may show easily on glass
Benefits of a microwave toaster oven
Saves Space – In small kitchens – like my beautiful yet space challenged kitchen – you run out of a location to put stuff very quickly. So, once you have a microwave, an electric grill, a pressure cooker, microwave, convection oven, and vacuum sealer, there just isn’t much room for anything else. A microwave toaster oven combo is a practical way to save space.
Saves Money – A decent microwave is going to set you back about $200. A decent convection oven is going to cost you around the same. Fortunately a microwave convection oven combination fits into that price range.
Combination Cooking – If you come across enough toaster ovens you are certain to find at least one with combination cooking options. This combo is usually a microwave-convection or microwave-grilling option. This allows you to, for example, quickly cook your chicken pot pie with the microwave feature then finish it with the grill. You end up with a crispy crust.
Cons of Microwave toaster oven
Many folks complain about the lack of power in these machines and it’s true for the most part. Most of the reasonably priced convection ovens that I’ve come across are about 1000-watts of power. On the other hand you can find a decent stand-alone toaster oven or microwave with much more power than that.
Frequently asked Questions
Can you use metal cookware in these kinds of machines?
For units where you use both the microwave and toaster oven in the same space. You can use metal cookware or bakeware but you can’t use metal when the microwave functions are in operation. The interior is usually ceramic or porcelain enamel.
How much clearance will I need for a microwave toaster oven?
The answer to that question really depends on the microwave itself. I’ve come across ovens where the recommended clearance was 12 inches on the top and others required 8 inches. These recommended clearances are most likely based on design and laws.
Summary & Recommendation
If I were choosing between the microwave convection ovens on this page, I’d have to go with the Cuisinart CMW-200. It has a lot of features, a lot of good customer feedback. And it is more widely available than the other two models listed on this page. Customers even think that is a good looking machine. Overall, the Cuisinart CMW-200 has a combination of price and features that make it worth taking a chance on.
On the other hand, if you have the space, then you may consider getting these appliances separately. This will probably yield you the best results – as even the best microwave toaster oven combos that I came across have mixed reviews. Check out the Breville bov845bss for a great toaster oven option.