Microwaves - are they all the same? Anyone use a convection mw?

Clint

TVWBB Olympian
the 1000 watt microwave I installed in my house ~14 years ago has been making a noise like a belt is slipping for a couple months.

I wonder if it makes sense to get a convection / microwave. It'd be cool if it'd do the job of my microwave, toaster oven, & air fryer.

something like one of these or cheaper, I don't feel like spending big bucks on one right now:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Samsung...eel-with-Sensor-Cooking-MC17J8000CS/206393289

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Maytag-...Resistant-Stainless-Steel-MMV6190FZ/300526207

 

J Grotz

TVWBB Pro
We put in a Kitchen Aid double oven with a convection/microwave on top, regular oven on the bottom over 16 years ago. It is still humming along. We've only used the convection feature a handful of times. A couple of years ago we replaced an old toaster oven with a Breville. That thing rocks. It does everything including air frying. It's large enough to prepare whole meals. About the only thing the microwave gets used for now is defrosting, and the big oven rarely gets used.
 

Clint

TVWBB Olympian
I didn't realize they'd been around that long.

I stopped at Lowes yesterday to pick up a few things and I checked out some of the microwaves in person. I ordered the Kitchenaid convection/microwave oven when I got home, I hope it's not a lemon. I plan on installing a vent to the outside while I'm upgrading this time so I checked out the parts I need to make this happen. I may cancel my order since my old one's still working. Funny, I ordered it and still on the fence.


lots of videos on these:

Chicken 65: https://youtu.be/Iy5gy2TONIM

slim fry wings https://youtu.be/pPvB6jGq9pA ---not that I expect to be cooking wings in it.

One of the favorite things on my microwave is just a third backup alarm for early mornings. A smart guy would probably wait for it to break and get a reasonable nice looking unit.
 

Dan Leighton

TVWBB Super Fan
Clint:
We have a Kitchenaid rangehood convection microwave. Microwave is used almost every day, but the convention oven feature has seldom been used since you have to pre-heat the thing. One holiday, the turntable started working intermittently I guess to high use. That was about 4 years ago. I ordered a replacement motor and we still have it in the box. Of course, since we have the part in house, the original only skips a beat once in a great while. Our is vented to the outside and does a so, so job at exhausting odors/smoke. Good luck with the install.
 

Clint

TVWBB Olympian
Cool, thanks Dan. The vent install is going to be a royal PITA but it's something I've wanted to do for a few years now.

One thing that worried me was that some reviewers said it's hard to tell it it's cooking by microwave or convection, it seems to be very customizable. I just hope nobody melts plastic containers in there, or starts a bunch of sparks by using metal while thinking it's cooking by convection. Doesn't seem to be a replacement to my toaster oven (2.5-3 minutes to make toast) or air fryer.
 
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KevinInStL

New member
Speaking of air fryers...After a couple years of eyeing it, we finally bit the bullet and bought the Breville Smart Oven Air a few months ago.

Yes it’s pricey compared to standalone air fryers. But holy crap it’s been the best money we’ve spent this year by far. We make probably 99% of the food we eat ourselves and we both work from home. So we’ve been using the Breville at virtually every meal, even when I’m BBQing. It’s definitely big, but we replaced our microwave with it. It comes with 1 airfry/dehydration basket, but you can buy additional baskets. The Smart Oven Air will hold up to 4 of them at a time.

It will bake, toast, broil, roast, proof, air fry, dehydrate, reheat, and keep stuff warm, and it does it all well. Very easy to use. We’ve only turned on our regular oven once or twice in the 4 months since we got the Smart Oven Air. Previously we’d be using the oven several times a week by this time in the fall. This Breville does so much more than a regular oven though. It can cook up to a 12 inch pizza and supposedly a 14lb turkey. Honestly I'm a little skeptical about the 14lbs number, but you should probably be able to do at least a 12 without too much finagling. I love it for reheating leftovers, as it leaves stuff with a nice baked or crispy texture, as opposed to the soggy grossness of a microwave. And it doesn’t heat up the whole house like a full size oven. No, I don’t work for Breville, but I can’t recommend this thing highly enough.

Set a camelcamelcamel alert for it and get one the next time it’s on sale. Btw, when amazon puts it on sale, the others seem to follow suit. We actually got ours from Crate and Barrel since they had it for the same $320 when Amazon did, and we had a C&B gift card.

Get one!

We also considered the Cuisinart TOA-60 as a cheaper alternative. There's also now an updated toa-65. Can’t promise it’s as awesome as the Breville, but it has decent reviews. I have no regrets at all about spending the extra for the Breville though, and we’re certainly not rolling in money here.

I will say, the few drawbacks we've found so far (if you replace your microwave with the Smart Oven Air) are:
  1. it takes up a lot of counter space
  2. it doesn't do well with reheating a bowl of soup or a cup of coffee/tea
  3. If you're often in a rush, it won't heat thing up super fast like a microwave

Now if someone made an over-the-range convection microwave that was capable of air-frying, toasting, and dehydrating...I would be all over that.
 

Clint

TVWBB Olympian
I got it Friday & installed it yesterday. It's a lot heavier than my other one, had a friend help me for a few hours.

The last one I put in and the one it replaced were both recirculating fans, this one I routed through the attic & out a flap/vent at the end of the attic. The microwave hoods aren't as good as a dedicated hood, I don't think. I bet it'll only pick up ~40-50% of the smoke from the skillet but I suppose that's better than what I had; I was hoping for a vortex I'd be afraid of being sucked into. There's a very high volume of air being pushed outside, it's just weaker than expected inside.

What I've cooked in it so far:

*Popcorn - that was the appetizer after finally getting it mounted.
*Then came two half-eaten pastrami burgers and a few leftover fries that were set on convection 450F for ~8 minutes. I had some fries in the air fryer too, and towards the end, the circuit breaker tripped! There's a reef tank in the dining room that's on the same circuit that's a bit of a power hog. There's 220 vac from my old electric oven, I'll see if I can tap off that if this becomes a regular thing. The pastrami burgers are Golden Pastrami Burgers, which means they have garlic Texas toast for the buns - the reheated burger buns were as good as they were when fresh. The fries were ok, but not as good as the ones I had going at the same time in the air fryer.
*convection baked potato - last night's dinner. It was as good as the baked potatoes I do in my convection gas oven below, maybe better, but it's new. Took 1 hr 8 minutes, I temped it @ 198F, think I'd have gone to 202F but I was hungry.
*Microwave potato today - just a large russet. I had to work today, I don't work Sundays often but today I was gone from 7am - 6pm. Decided I'd try the Potato button on the front so I rinsed a large russet, lightly dried with a paper towel & then salted it. I put it on the metal rack that came with it, & within 10 seconds I was hearing light pulses. I looked & there were small sparks between the potato & the rack. I pulled out the rack & set it on the rotating plate & it was just a microwaved potato. I kicked on the convection for 8 minutes to crisp the skin & it's decent.
 

Clint

TVWBB Olympian
Speaking of air fryers...After a couple years of eyeing it, we finally bit the bullet and bought the Breville Smart Oven Air a few months ago.

Yes it’s pricey compared to standalone air fryers. But holy crap it’s been the best money we’ve spent this year by far. We make probably 99% of the food we eat ourselves and we both work from home. So we’ve been using the Breville at virtually every meal, even when I’m BBQing. It’s definitely big, but we replaced our microwave with it. It comes with 1 airfry/dehydration basket, but you can buy additional baskets. The Smart Oven Air will hold up to 4 of them at a time.
Those brevilles sure look nice.
 

Clint

TVWBB Olympian
Eazy Bake Oven

14" large papa murphy's chicken bacon artichoke, it's a tight fit. You can see the heating element on the left:




I lost a bit of cabinet space. We went out and smelled the hot air being vented to the outside. Not sure how it works but it was forcing a steady stream of hot air out through the vent....... Not that I wouldn't rather have the warm air & pizza smell in the house.




Took about 20 minutes @ 425F, probably be about ~9 in my oven @ 550





not bad for a microwave 'za






Next time I'll try 450F (this was 425, 450 is this oven's max), but I doubt this will be a regular thing.... my cousin was calling it my adult easy bake oven.

 

KE Quist

TVWBB Fan
Okay, that's not too bad. I've been considering getting a convection microwave oven too. Our current one is starting to wear out (noisy, buttons hard to push, etc.) It's 20 years old, and we have used it to death.
 

Clint

TVWBB Olympian
Okay, that's not too bad. I've been considering getting a convection microwave oven too. Our current one is starting to wear out (noisy, buttons hard to push, etc.) It's 20 years old, and we have used it to death.
I'm pretty happy with this one so far (3 days and ~8 uses :) ). The controls are fairly intuitive & straightforward (a few easy quirks).

I'll look at the power consumption etc soon. Seems to go on sale around $550 so definitely don't pay full price.
 

Clint

TVWBB Olympian
I just did some Jerk wings - pretty good!

https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?79301-Power-up-Microwave-Wings

preheated to almost to 450F, I saved the rotating plate from my old microwave, it fits in this but just a little smaller. I could barely smell them in the kitchen, walked around the house & there was the smell!

I'm sure this will be repeated, but that nice mirror finish will soon be gone if this is done regularly.

 

Russell Y

TVWBB All-Star
There are two types of microwave ovens. Inverter and regular. The difference is the electricity is converted into microwaves to heat the food - http://www.thehomemantra.com/kitche...n-inverter-microwave-and-a-regular-microwave/

On high heat both supply 100% power. At half power, the regular microwave turns on at 100% for a slice of time and then turns off for a slice of time. The inverter microwave supply's power at 50% the whole time. Panasonic makes inverter microwave ovens, most everyone else makes regular microwave ovens. I have a Panasonic and I like the gentler even heating at lower power.
 

Dan Leighton

TVWBB Super Fan
A little update on our Rangehood microwave, convection oven. The turntable motor finally died after 12 years of use. The motor I bought a few years back was easy to install. Convection oven feature sounded good, but we'd skip it when this one finally dies since it wasn't too convenient and just as time consuming as a regular oven.
 

LMichaels

TVWBB Hall of Fame
We have had 2 Panasonic units. IMO they work the best of any I have ever had or tried. Much better than the dumb pulsed type controls. However one HUGE issue for me with Panasonic is they are not well isolated for RF Interference and emit HUGE amounts of RF. Sadly it constantly knocks out WIFI, Bluetooth communications as well. Biggest PIA about Panasonic. Also they don't make an over the range type (that I know of) and that is the next type I want. Also they don't last as long as many others, but they work so well it's what I buy. I just wish they would fix the RF thing
 

Dan Leighton

TVWBB Super Fan
I miss my original microwave which was made by Amana in the late 70's. I was a heavy behemoth with plenty of chrome and a touchpad. Only thing it lacked was a turntable, but it ran forever. By the time it died, microwaves were a lot cheaper and lighter with a lot more options.
 

MikeCantell

TVWBB Super Fan
I bought a small Panasonic inverter for the kitchen, had a over the range with outside exhaust but it couldn't keep up with the 5 gas burners, I put a Broan vent hood in instead,this is a 1000w and is a refurbished unit that is mounted in the end of a base cabinet & it works well, . I will end up getting a convection unit for my camper, whats in there works ok but easier and less heat from that than the gas oven imo.
 

Clint

TVWBB Olympian
I'm really liking this - venting to the outside is also well worth it. I replaced my electric oven with a gas ~8 years ago, and I notice a change in air quality when the oven's running, so whenever I fire up the oven, I fire up the exhaust. I cooked a papa murphy pizza the other day & when I walked outside I could smell the pizza more outside than in! I had to walk to the end of my house to double-check that it was my pizza I was smelling.
 

Ray Crick

TVWBB Emerald Member
My wife and I prefer to not use the microwave and have had convection/ microwave ovens for over 30 years. Convection ovens are smaller so uses less power and energy. Would not want to give it up!
have not used microwave but once in last 8 years (Heated water for oatmeal on a rushed mornings).
 

LMichaels

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Yeah I really never cook anything in one. It's my coffee reheater. Except for one thing. The Panasonic has this sensor feature and it works especially well on potatoes. (don't know about sweet potatoes). However I like a nice crispy skin baked potato at times. (I don't like the big Idaho ones though) and prefer the Yukon Gold variety or the little bakers. No matter the size the Panasonic does them quick and perfectly. I then toss them with EVOO, slat and pepper sometimes a little herb (rosemary or thyme) and throw them on the grill to get crispy. Best baked taters ever. I have also cheated making mashed taters. Instead of boiling them. I nuke them in the Panasonic. Very nice. So for that convenience and simply warming coffee I have one.
 

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