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What is a Combination Microwave?

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If you are shopping for a new kitchen appliance, you may wonder what is a combination microwave. The best microwaves, after all, tend to include multiple functionalities that go above and beyond conventional microwaving. Keep reading to find all about multi-function microwaves as opposed to a standard microwave.


  • Combination microwaves wrap up the features of two or more kitchen appliances into one hybrid unit.
  • Convection microwaves, for instance, can microwave food or use hot air as a heating element to convection cook ingredients.
  • Other types of combination microwaves include steamer microwaves, oven and grill microwaves, and more.

Combination Microwaves

Combination microwaves, otherwise known as combi microwaves, are hybrid models that combine the functionalities of several kitchen appliances into one. Some may be built-in and others might be countertop microwaves. If you are wondering how to cook in a microwave, a combo appliance will significantly increase the number of dishes you can prepare, all while conserving space in your kitchen.

Types of Combination Microwaves

There are many types of combi microwaves, including microwaves with a metal rack, though they all typically include a, well, microwave functionality. Here are some of the different kinds of combination microwaves you’ll find on the market.

Convection Microwave Ovens

A convection microwave combines the functionality of a traditional microwave with a convection oven. In other words, you’ll be able to use the microwave feature to quickly heat up microwave meals and the like and the convection feature to roast chicken, bake cakes, and perform other cooking tasks. To the uninitiated, convection cooking involves circulated heated air in a manner similar to what is now known as an air fryer. These hybrid units allow for the use of many accessories if you are wondering about the functionality of a waveguide cover, for instance.

Steamer Microwaves

In order to steam food with a regular microwave, you will have to purchase and use a steamer attachment, which is essentially a plastic bowl with a cover. Some combination microwave ovens, however, include a dedicated steaming feature. These models feature an integrated boiler that sends steam directly into the microwave cavity, so you can steam veggies, fish, and chicken the old-fashioned way.

Grill and Oven Microwaves

Some combination microwaves also include the functionality of a conventional oven. This means you can use the microwave for quick cooking and the oven feature for grilling, roasting, toasting, broiling, and more. The primary advantage of this type of combi microwave is that it can save some serious space in your kitchen, as it includes the features of multiple appliances at the same time.

Insider Tip

Combination microwaves can be used to roast whole chickens, such as in the case of a convection microwave.


What to look for in combination microwaves?

There are many types of microwaves. If you are shopping for a combination model, such as a microwave convection oven, just look at the specs and purchase accordingly.

Can you put metal in a combination microwave?

You can put metal in a combination microwave, such as a built-in microwave with a convection feature, so long as you are using any cooking method other than microwaving. Microwave energy will heat up water molecules and cause the metal to catch on fire.

What can you cook in a combination microwave?

You can cook a wide range of recipes, depending on the type of combo unit you purchase and the range of features. Combination microwaves allow for supreme cooking flexibility.

STAT: Over 90 percent of US residents own a microwave and over 93 percent of UK residents own a microwave. (source)


If you are buying a built-in microwave, make sure you have the appropriate space for it to fit inside.

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