We have all heard about microwave ovens, toaster ovens, convection ovens, and microwave toasters, but have you ever heard of air fryer microwaves? Don’t worry, because these appliances are quite new to the market!
But, are they worth the hype? Is this just another marketing ploy to get us to buy more, or do these actually add value to your kitchen?
Air fryer microwaves, in our opinion, are definitely worth it if you buy the right model!
They offer the best of both worlds by being able to quickly heat food using the microwave setting but also being able to brown and crisp up dishes with the air fryer setting.
So, what are the best air fryer microwave combos? The best models are those that allow you to make the correct amount of food you need, offer you a ton of convenience with pre-set functions or adjustable power settings, and those that actually function as well as their stand-alone counterparts.
Today, we will be looking at exactly what air fryer microwaves are, how they work, their pros and cons, and also offer some fantastic tips when it comes to choosing a great model.
Then, we will show you some of our favorite air fryer microwaves online and discuss exactly why they stand out above others!
Air Fryers Vs Microwaves – What’s The Difference?
Okay, so bear with us, because it is important to understand exactly what the differences are between an air fryer and a microwave for many reasons. First, it will help you determine whether it is worth buying a combo-appliance.
Next, understanding the features will help you know what to look out for when buying an air fryer microwave.
And lastly, it will also help you understand how your air fryer microwave works and when to use which feature. So, let’s get right to it!
While you have definitely heard of air fryers and microwaves before, very few people actually understand the differences. The biggest difference is the way they produce heat.
How They Work
Air fryers work with a coiled heating element. Electric currents help heat the coiled element and a built-in fan helps distribute the heat evenly throughout the cooking chamber.
It works similarly to convection ovens and is actually a type of convection cooking, only on a much smaller scale.
Air fryers can produce extremely high temperatures very quickly (much quicker compared to regular ovens) and because of the evenly distributed heat, cook food very evenly.
It is also an excellent way to brown food or caramelize it without overcooking it.
Air fryer helps dehydrate food which is why it creates such a crispy texture similar to the deep-frying method.
Microwaves on the other hand work with electromagnetic radiation—fancy!
But the way that actually works is that the appliance produces tiny waves (microwaves) that make the water molecules inside the food vibrate. These vibrations create heat and essentially heat your food.
Microwaves work extremely quickly (arguably the quickest heating appliance available), but unfortunately, they don’t make your food crispy or even brown.
This is because they use moisture to help heat the food and don’t aid in evaporation (drying).
The design of each of these appliances also differs considerably! Both are available in different sizes, but microwaves tend to be more space-efficient (despite being bigger) compared to an air fryer.
This is a controversial statement, but allow us to explain!
Because microwaves have a box design, many kitchens have specific shelves for them, saving you some counter space. You can also buy a stackable shelf for the counter so that you can place items above the microwave.
Air fryers on the other hand are very bulky for the amount of food they can actually cook. You cannot stack anything above them and no kitchen is designed with an air fryer shelf.
Another noteworthy difference is their functions. Microwaves are made to reheat, not necessarily cook. Air fryers on the other hand are made to cook, not necessarily reheat.
In general, what the one appliance lacks the other makes up for, which is exactly why an air fryer microwave combo was inevitable!
Microwaves cannot crisp up food, but air fryers can. Air fryers cannot thaw food nicely, but microwaves can—see what we’re getting at?
What Are Air Fryer Microwaves?
If a microwave and an air fryer had a baby, think of it as a dream come true! This is a kitchen appliance that offers you the features of a microwave and an air fryer.
As we have briefly mentioned before, what the one appliance lacks, the other makes up for!
So, if you need to reheat your food, use the microwave setting, and if you then want to give it a bit of color, you can simply switch it over to the air fryer setting.
But, these appliances are far more impressive than that! They also regularly come with pre-set functions.
What this basically means is that you can set a function to defrost for 10 minutes on the microwave setting, then switch over to an air frying setting for 7 minutes to help cook and brown the food.
The appliances also often have sensor technology that can determine the exact time your microwave or air fryer needs to cook and at what power setting. This is measured according to the weight of the item.
Another great feature that these appliances often have is a built-in convection oven.
What we will say about this though is that convection cooking and air frying are almost exactly the same and usually only differ in the amount of food they can cook.
What the convection setting does allow you to do (that the air fryer doesn’t) is set it to convection baking or convection roasting. You sometimes can even set it to broiling.
Convection baking roasting uses only the baking heating element to heat the air, which is then circulated using the fan.
Convection roasting (very much like air frying) uses both the baking and broiling heating element (sometimes even a third element at the back of the oven) to produce extremely high circulated heat and crisp food from the top.
Benefits of Air Fryer Microwaves
- One of the biggest benefits of having an air fryer microwave is that it saves a ton of space! You essentially have two (sometimes three or four) appliances all packed into a single design. They also come in countertop form or can be built into a cupboard.
- These appliances also offer much healthier food thanks to the air circulating technology, especially when using combination cooking.
- They come in a ton of sizes, from 0.6 cubic feet all the way to 2 cubic feet! This makes it a versatile appliance and allows you to air fry more food than most stand-alone air fryers.
Downfalls of Air Fryer Microwaves
- The biggest downside to these appliances is the price, especially considering most households probably already have at least one of the two. These are quite pricey, but in our opinion, worth it.
- Another downside to the air fryer microwaves is that sometimes (not always though!) one of the two doesn’t function as well. This is usually the air fryer and if you buy a model that cannot crisp food nicely, what’s the point of even having these?
Guide To Buying Microwave Air Fryer Combos
When looking at a good-quality microwave air fryer combo, there are a couple of things to take into consideration. It all basically comes down to what you want it to do – its technological features if you will.
Okay, so obviously this is the most important feature of the appliance. If the microwave part doesn’t work well, then the entire appliance is worthless—the same goes for the air fryer or convection oven part.
Make sure that the appliance has the correct heating elements and read as many reviews as you possibly can. This is the best way to determine how well they work without having to buy a specific model first.
Power Settings And Usage
In general, when choosing any type of appliance, most people look at how much power it uses. Most microwave air fryer combos use about 120 watts, however, some models do potentially use more.
You can however find some that come with an eco-setting that will save you power when the appliance is on stand-by.
The other power-related choice you have to make is how high or low you can set it to.
Most come with 10 adjustable power settings that allow you to essentially adjust the intensity of heat used. For defrosting, you will naturally use a lower intensity.
We highly recommend choosing an appliance that offers this adjustable feature, or at the very least, has a ton of pre-set features that vary in power intensity.
This is especially important because air fryer microwaves do come in quite a lot of sizes. Make sure to choose one that will fit your needs.
For single or double portions, you can use a 0.6 cubic feet model. However, the larger your family is (or the more food you need to prepare), the larger appliance you should choose. The biggest we have seen is a 2 cubic feet model.
When it comes to design, the most important thing to look at is durability. Most air fryer microwaves are made from stainless steel.
Then, you can look at the glass. We prefer scratch-resistant glass that is see-through. A bonus is an internal LED light so you can monitor your food.
Other than that, you can look at different colors, different styles, and countertop or built-in models available.
The 9 Best Air Fryer Microwave Combos
Below we have compiled a list of our favorite microwave air fryer combos that can all be conveniently found online. These vary in size, functionality, and affordability, guaranteeing that you will find a model you love!
|1.||Panasonic HomeChef 4-in-1 Microwave Oven with Air Fryer||Can function as a microwave, an air fryer, a convection oven, and a broiler|
|2.||Cuisineart 3-in-1 Air Fryer Microwave Oven||Comes with pre-set heating options|
|3.||Galanz 3-in-1 Speedwave||Built-in humidity sensor|
|4.||RCA Air Fryer Microwave||Simple design and function|
|5.||Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1||Power Smoothing Inverter|
|6.||Amazon Smart Oven||Comes with 30 built-in voice recognition pre-sets|
|7.||Samsung Countertop Convection Microwave||8 automatic convection oven settings|
|8.||Galanz 4-in-1 Toastwave||Comes with toaster oven setting.|
|9.||Toshiba Multifunction Microwave Oven With Air Fryer||Best overall air fryer microwave combo|
1. Panasonic HomeChef 4-in-1 Microwave Oven with Air Fryer
This model is basically 4 appliances in one! It can function as a microwave, an air fryer, a convection oven, and a broiler!
And, what makes this appliance even better is that you can use each of these functions alone, or in combination with each other!
You can make deliciously crisp and juicy food with the air fryer mode and even set the exact temperature and time you need. And, like regular air fryers, you don’t have to use any oil with the food, making it a very healthy cooking method.
The convection oven has two settings including baking and roasting.
Convection baking is great for recipes that need a ton of rise, whereas the roasting convection setting will create beautifully browned or caramelized dishes.
And finally, the microwave function can reheat, defrost, cook, and warm food in minutes and comes with some pre-set functions.
Although the Panasonic HomeChef is a bit more expensive than some of the other options on this list, it really is the best in class right now.
The air fryer function on this device is second to none and it also has a broiler! This thing really can do everything.
On top of all that, it also has a feature that Panasonic calls there “genius sensor” which allows for things like smart reheat, smart cook, smart defrost, etc.
2. Cuisineart 3-in-1 Air Fryer Microwave Oven
This 3-in-1 microwave oven is the perfect compact option that won’t take up your whole kitchen.
You can use it as an air fryer, a convection oven for larger pieces of food, and a microwave for quick heating!
The microwave already has pre-set heating options, comes with 11 different power levels, has an auto-cook feature, and has a defrost setting that calculates the defrosting time according to the weight of the item.
The one downside we have with this specific product is its size, although, that’s just us. It only has a 0.6 cubic feet capacity and works perfectly for someone that lives alone or even a couple.
3. Galanz 3-in-1 Speedwave
This is the perfect air fryer microwave for families!
It has a 1.2 cubic feet capacity and of course, can function as an air fryer, a microwave, and also, a convection oven.
It also has combi-speed cooking which uses a combination of microwaves’ intense heat and speed, and a convection oven’s air circulation for even cooking and browning.
This combi-speed setting truly gives you a great idea of what an air fryer microwave should do!
Another fantastic feature this appliance has is its 360 spinning plate that works while it is set to the convection setting. It also comes with a baking and broiling oven setting.
And finally, it has a built-in humidity sensor that will ensure your food is never over or undercooked.
4. RCA Air Fryer Microwave
This is another fantastic family-friendly appliance.
It can easily reheat frozen foods, air-fry some delicious chicken, and bakes and roasts using the convection oven setting!
What we love about this product is its simplicity both in design and function. The overall look will make you think it is simply a big microwave.
It has a very sleek design with touch screen features, and a built-in light to monitor the progress of your food.
It has 5 built-in one-touch cooking options to make your life all the more convenient. And you can also adjust the power level according to your needs.
5. Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1 Microwave, Air Fryer, and Toaster Oven
The Breville Combi Wave is another fairly expensive, but really popular option, and is certainly one of the highest-quality microwave/air fryer combo devices on the market.
I personally love the beautiful and unique stainless steel design, but there is a lot going on under the hood of this beautiful machine.
One of the best features of the Breville Combi wave is its “precision cooking technology” that helps the device to cook your food more evenly and can even cook it right to a desired temperature.
The Combi Wave is also a large-capacity microwave so you can cook quite a bit of food at once, which if you’re like me and have a few kids, you will also appreciate. I also really love that this device has a simple and effective child lock built right in.
Finally, the Breville Combi wave also has power smoothing inverter technology that does away with the old “On/Off” options for your microwave and instead can smoothly and precisely adjust it’s power throughout the reheating so you get hot fresh food that isn’t dried our or overcooked.
This is absolutely one of the best air fryer microwave combos on the market in 2023.
6. Amazon Smart Oven
Okay, so if you are very into technologically advanced appliances, then this one from Amazon is for you!
What makes it most impressive is that it has more than 30 built-in voice recognition pre-sets that can be used to control your air fryer microwave from a distance!
This oven can function as an air fryer, a microwave, a food warmer, and of course, a convection oven—what more would you need?
One negative aspect of this appliance though is that its air fryer feature does take considerably longer compared to stand-alone air fryers. Other than that, it is still a very impressive appliance.
7. Samsung Countertop Convection Microwave
Is there anything Samsung can’t perfect?
If you thought convection cooking is already quick, then your mind will be blown with this appliances’ Power Convection Technology.
It cooks food at a much quicker pace and more evenly than you could have ever dreamt of!
This air fryer microwave also has a duo power grill setting which allows you to also brown and crisp up your food as it cooks evenly.
It has 9 pre-set cooking modes for the microwave setting and 8 automatic convection oven settings that will perfectly cook your food!
And as with most other models, it has 10 adjustable power settings so you can easily control the temperature.
8. Galanz 4-in-1 Toastwave
Last, we have another air fryer microwave from Galanz, but this model has an added feature: a toaster oven!
Like the 3-in-1 model, it also works using the rotating plate to ensure the food cooks and browns evenly.
This model, thanks to the toast oven setting, has additional cooking options as you guessed it, toasting. But this feature also allows you to lightly toast seeds and nuts, crisp up ingredients, and even make crispy pizza on a pizza stone.
And, it also has impressive technological features such as sensor cooking and sensor reheating.
9. Toshiba Multifunction Microwave Oven With Air Fryer
This air fryer microwave from Toshiba can truly do everything!
It has 25 pre-set menus. This includes 10 air fryer settings that will produce crispy and evenly cooked dishes.
They also include a broiling setting (which will create extra crispy and even charred products) and a baking setting (which will aid with even rising of baked goods like cakes).
It also has 4 low-temperature settings for dehydrating fruits and vegetables, helping ferment ingredients like yogurt, and even aiding dough in rising. Then, naturally, it has up to 11 microwave settings including defrosting pre-sets.
This is a 1000-watt microwave, however, because of the many functions, there are about 10 different power settings you can use. It even has an eco-setting that will help you save energy when the appliance isn’t being used.
This large capacity air fryer microwave can roast whole chickens and even 12-inch pizzas! It has a beautifully sleek and stylish design and will fit into any kitchen seamlessly!
Now that we’ve thoroughly covered what the best microwave air fryer combos are, let’s cover some important related questions.
Is It Worth Buying A Combination Microwave?
The answer to this question is going to depend on a few things, including your cooking habits and regular needs. If you regularly bake or roast your food and really want that crispness to your food, then a combination might be a great option.
An air fryer microwave combo will likely save you both time and counter space compared to having many separate appliances.
The primary reason that it might not be worth buying a combination microwave (sometimes called a convection microwave oven) would be that it is often the case that dedicated appliances, like a microwave or air fryer, might be better at these individual tasks, and might also offer additional functionality that you would not find on a combination microwave.
So, if you’re looking for the absolute best air fryer or the absolute best microwave, you probably won’t fund them bundled in a combination device, however, that doesn’t mean that an air fryer microwave combo might not be a great fit for you and your family.
What Can You Cook In An Air Fryer Microwave?
There are so many things that you can cook in an air fryer microwave combo. Everything from chicken wings and roasted vegetables to popcorn or bacon or salmon or literally just about anything.
These devices can work as fast as a microwave but offer the heating and crisping capabilities of an air fryer or convection oven, some even have broilers!
So, as far as “what you can heat in an air fryer microwave combo,” the answer really is just about anything.
I made the following chart to just give you a few examples of things that you can reheat.
|French fries||Air Fryer|
|Chicken wings||Air Fryer|
|Roasted vegetables||Air Fryer|
|Grilled cheese sandwich||Air Fryer|
|Roasted chicken||Air Fryer|
|Grilled salmon||Air Fryer|
|Crispy bacon||Air Fryer|
Can You Put Metal In An Air Fryer Microwave Combo?
The answer to this question is mostly a yes, let me explain.
Although some microwave combo devices with air fryer functions can handle metal, others cannot.
Some devices also might only be able to handle certain types of metal, or they might only be able to handle metal if it’s on a certain setting.
So, the first thing you need to do is check the instructions that came with your device, or contact the manufacturer, in order to find this out.
If you do end up using metal in a combi microwave that is not intended to handle metal, you could easily damage your device or even start a fire.
It’s common to use things like baking sheets or wire racks or even aluminum foil in your combination microwave, however again, you need to check the instructions or manufacturer guidelines in order to know if this is safe.