If you're all about convenient, effective and fast cooking and you have limited space, a convection microwave could be the ideal option for your kitchen.
Combining a microwave and oven in one appliance, they're a handy option for small apartments, caravans or holiday homes, or anywhere a full-sized oven won't fit.
But whether you use it as your main cooking appliance or only occasionally in a caravan, you still want one that works, and there are a few pricey models that didn't impress in our CHOICE lab tests.
Read our guide to buying a convection microwave to see if this appliance is right for you. And here are three we suggest you avoid.
1. DeLonghi DEL4413COMBI
- Price: $1199
- CHOICE score: 63%
- Cooking performance: 70%
- Ease of use: 48%
While this model had very good results for cooking broccoli and reheating quiche, it bombed big time when it came to auto defrosting. It scored just 3% for defrosting mince on the auto settings, with our testers having to revert to manual mode to finish the job. Our testers also found it difficult to clean and gave it an average score for ease of use – not a great result when you're outlaying over $1000.
2. Panasonic NN-CD997S
- Price: $1329
- CHOICE score: 67%
- Cooking performance: 72%
- Ease of use: 54%
Why spend over $1300 when you can spend less than half the price and get a comparable model that performs better? Of the 17 convection microwaves we tested, this was the second-most expensive but came second last in our testing. Although it's great at grilling toast and got a very good result for cooking broccoli and defrosting mince, it failed to impress in our reheating test and cooking pizza.
3. Panasonic NN-CF874B
- Price: $1119
- CHOICE score: 70%
- Cooking performance: 76%
- Ease of use: 55%
Scoring an overall 70% in our tests is not a terrible result, but at more than $1000, this Panasonic model still scores worse overall than many other convection microwaves that cost much less.
A bargain budget buy?
At just $129, the Kmart Anko convection oven doesn't reach recommended status, but it outscored the models above that cost up to ten times as much (however, at 30L, it's a smaller model than the 45L and 41L models mentioned). It's the cheapest we tested though, so for the low price, you may be willing to compromise, particularly if you're taking your first steps into the world of convection microwaves.
CHOICE household expert Kim Gilmour says: "The Kmart Anko convection oven didn't score well on ease of use, it excelled at cooking broccoli and scones, and was OK for cooking pizza and grilling toast."
Our CHOICE kitchen expert, Fiona Mair, uses this clever gadget to test consistency of temperature once the quiches come out of the convection microwaves.