One of the newer tools that a home cook can have in their arsenal is the convection microwave. This appliance is a combination of a toaster oven and a microwave, as it has both an electric oven-like heating element and a microwave heating element as well as a fan. There are a number of things to consider when trying to choose the best microwave toaster oven combimnation.
Number of Functions
Different convection microwaves will have different preprogrammed settings to use. The more of these settings there are, the more versatile the appliance may be. Some of these appliances have a grill function and can be set for multi-stage cooking, which can be particularly useful. For example, you can put frozen meat in the convection microwave and have it first use low power to defrost the meat, then heat the meat to cook it on high power and finally brown the meat to improve the appearance and flavor of the finished dish. It’s useful to be able to choose a temperature and time yourself as well, giving you the option to enter the food, amount and type of cooking and use a preset or to determine for yourself just how long and at what temperature something cooks at.
Ease of Use
The controls should be easy to use and understand. Having a lot of presets is useless if you can’t figure out how to properly make use of them. It’s also a good idea to choose a convection microwave that is easy to clean, as it’s pretty likely that some dish will splatter inside at some time or another and if it isn’t cleaned it will get baked on or burned, which isn’t something anyone would want to happen. It can be convenient if the device also has sensors to be able to tell if something is done, as this will help limit overcooking and undercooking of food.
Size and Power
These microwaves typically need special heat ventilation, and they aren’t usually supposed to be located near the regular oven in the kitchen because of this. This means that you can’t place the microwave just anywhere it will fit in the kitchen. When it comes to power, you’ll probably want to opt for a convection microwave with at least 1,000 watts, although some people can manage with 700 watts.