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We test nine convection microwave ovens in the CHOICE labs, including models from Panasonic, Samsung and Sharp.
A useful all-rounder for small homes and households, convection microwaves are also a good option for holiday homes and caravans where a full-sized oven isn't needed. We test nine models priced from $159 to $559 to help you:
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Team leader - Household
Kitchen, Laundry and cleaning, Heating, Cooling, Bedroom, Baby furniture, Children and safety, Baby transport, Energy saving, Painting, Tools, Pest control, Safety and security, Cars, Bikes, Gardening, Pools, Camping, Outdoor entertaining
The overall score is made up of cooking performance (70%) and ease of use (30%).
This refers to the brand name of the model, who the model is made by, or the brand that distributes it.
We check that controls are intuitive, easy to operate and the instructions easy to follow. We also check the effectiveness of the light and whether the viewing window is large enough and easy to see through. The interior and exterior are assessed for cleaning – do the surfaces wipe clean easily and are there small holes and seams that can accumulate dirt?
We do two tests, using minced meat and a whole chicken, because in both cases it's easy for parts of the food to start cooking if the auto-defrost time is too long, the power program is poorly designed or the oven's microwave distribution is not even.
We reheat a solid, high-fat food (quiche) to measure whether the oven heats evenly throughout and to a high enough temperature.
We bake scones to test the oven in convection mode, looking for even results and scones that are properly risen with good texture.
Higher wattage helps to cook food faster. All models use more power in convection mode, with typical convection mode output 1400-1500W. Some models use up to 2300W.
This is the manufacturer's recommended retail price. You can often get a better price by shopping around, or try using CHOICE Shopper. You tell us the brand name and model number of the product you want to buy and a price you'd like to beat, and we'll try to find it for you. You can also use the Price and Buy link in the comparison table, which will show you a range of prices online that you can use for bargaining in store or ordering online.
The particular model of the brand we've tested. Sometimes the model can be part of a series of models with quite similar specifications.
Cooking performance is made up of scores for defrosting, cooking, reheating, vegetable cooking, grilling, baking and using combination mode (convection, microwave and grill).
We cook broccoli, looking for fully but not overly cooked pieces with a good bright green colour.
We grill toast, looking for an even toasting result across the whole rack.
To test combination cooking (using convection, microwave and grill) we cook freshly made pizza.
There's a claimed country of origin somewhere on the model itself. This should be taken with a grain of salt, given it's rare that all the materials for a product came from the one country.
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We test more than 25 microwaves in the CHOICE labs, including models from LG, Sharp, Panasonic and more.
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