A good combination microwave is the pinnacle of culinary convenience. As well as microwaving meals in the usual fashion, these appliances – also known as combi microwave ovens – offer additional cooking modes such as grilling and convection heating. The key benefit here is that instead of having both a microwave and an oven, you can have one machine that has just about everything (except a hob). This can save space and simplify a kitchen setup.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to several of the finest combination microwaves currently available in the UK. We’ve included a good mix of innovative new models and more established alternatives that have already proven a hit with buyers. We’ll also provide advice on what to look for in a combi microwave, and what to consider before you buy one. We hope that by the time you finish reading this article, you’ll feel ready to buy the ideal combi microwave for you.
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Best Combination Microwave: At a glance
How to choose the best combination microwave for you
Is capacity important?
One of the key decisions involved in choosing a combination microwave is how much capacity the appliance should have. Combination microwaves vary widely in this regard: capacities from 20 litres to 50 litres are commonplace.
As a rule, if you’re going to cook for larger groups, or cook large meals for just a few people, you’ll be best served with a relatively high-capacity combi microwave. These appliances can be quite large – perhaps larger than they appear in online images – so we suggest you check the dimensions and do some figuring out with a tape measure before making a purchase.
Lower-capacity combi microwaves tend to have the benefit of being relatively small, which makes them ideal for buyers who want to be space-efficient. The big drawback to a smaller option is that you may struggle when using it to cook large meals such as Sunday roasts.
What kind of cooking modes do I need?
Cooking modes are an important factor to consider when choosing an appliance. However, this is not necessarily the case with combination microwaves, as these machines can be quite similar to each other in terms of the modes they offer.
Most combination microwaves have a range of cooking modes that include convection heating, grill, microwave and a mode combining grill and convection heating. It’s obviously a good idea to check whether your preferred combi microwave does indeed have all of these cooking modes before you buy it, but you can be pretty sure that it will.
What about cooking power?
It’s also worth noting that most combi microwaves are also similar in terms of their power and temperature ranges. Usually, there are only slight differences between models in the microwave wattage and cooking temperature ranges available.
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Countertop vs built-in combi microwaves
Countertop combination microwaves are freestanding appliances, designed to be situated on a kitchen work surface. They can be moved around as required.
It’s generally agreed that countertop combi microwaves offer optimal ease of use and flexibility, but some buyers would prefer an appliance that blends more discreetly into a kitchen design. If this sounds like you, we suggest you consider buying a built-in combination microwave (sometimes referred to as an integrated microwave). This type of appliance is designed to be built into your kitchen units, so the front is the only part that’s on display.
This article features a mix of countertop combination microwaves and built-in combination microwaves.
The best combination microwaves to buy in 2021
1. Sharp R959SLMAA: Best all-round combi microwave
Price: £319 | Buy now from AO
This clever countertop cooking machine performs excellently across its full range of functions, including grilling, convection cooking and, of course, microwaving.
The key to this appliance’s success is that its design seems equally well suited to all of its modes. The inside is nice and spacious, ideal for cooking a variety of foods. And getting up to cooking temperature is reliably speedy, whatever the setting, up to a maximum temperature of 250°C.
The R959SLMAA does the basics brilliantly – and for users who like to explore more advanced features, it does even more. We were particularly impressed with this appliance’s automatic programmes, which can calculate the perfect cooking method based on the type and weight of the food you put in. Add some great bonus features, such as the bundled pair of baking trays, and you have a recipe for the ideal combination microwave.
Key specs – Functions: Microwave, grill, convection, combi; Max microwave power: 900W; Capacity: 40 L; Dimensions: 36.8 x 55 x 53.7cm
Buy now from AO
2. Kenwood K25CSS19: A great compact combi for under £150
Price: £129 | Buy now from Currys
With impressive specifications and an affordable price, the Kenwood K25CSS19 is surely among the most appealing combi microwaves out there. It combines microwave, grill and convection oven modes into a neat, countertop appliance with an attractive silver finish.
Crucially, though, this microwave has some really handy features to make cooking simpler. There are ten auto programmes designed to perfectly cook food groups such as red meat, poultry and potatoes; a choice of five reheat prog