Combination microwave ovens are a godsend for millions of kitchen fanatics. Not only can they get a variety of food cooked in double-quick time, but they are also amazingly versatile. It’s easy to think that microwaves will only be able to cook microwave food. However, this is not the case! Combination ovens can handle more than you think, from frozen food to raw meat and more besides.
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Not all microwaves on the market offer a combination service. These are ovens which can handle many different jobs, and are therefore preferred by people who want to save time and space in their kitchen. You may already be working with a combi microwave and not even know it! What’s more, if you cook a variety of food but are struggling to work with the space you’ve been given, it may be time to look for a solution that’s compact and capable in equal measure.
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Combination Microwaves: A Buyer’s Guide For 2020
In this buying guide, we’ll discuss whether or not it will be worth you considering a combination microwave, and we’ll answer a few common queries along the way. Don’t buy anything until you’ve read this in full!
Why Buy a Combination Microwave?
You may have already bought into a microwave in the past. However, there’s a difference between combination and everyday models. Combi microwaves will allow you to process and cook food in a variety of different ways. Combi ovens, like everyday microwaves, still make use of the same technology. However, these ovens mimic certain cooking types so that you can produce food that’s grilled, boiled or steamed, for example.
Combination microwaves are also seen to be cost and energy-efficient. That’s because there are so many features which are rolled into one. Many combi ovens will have convection features, which means that they can even cook a full roast for you in double-quick time. Rather than having to rely on a clunky gas oven which gobbles power, you can use a simple, energy-efficient combi to do the cooking for you.
A lot of people prefer combi ovens in this way, too, as they save space. Not everyone has a kitchen with space for a full cooker or oven hood. The right combi microwave may just do everything you need it to.
Features to Look Out For
As with everyday microwaves, combi models have a number of common features which you may want to filter in or out when shopping. Here are just a few you might want to consider before buying a model you like the look of.
The most advanced combination microwaves will have pre-set cooking modes so that you can easily set your food going at the heat and time it requires. For example, you could power your oven up to cook pizza, poultry, soup or curry – your choice. You may also want to look out for models which have plenty of timer controls so that you can fine-tune your cooking experience the way you want.
Touchpad or Dial
Even everyday microwaves can be split into touchpad or dial models. This is where you either use a series of numbered touch buttons or a twistable dial to choose the functions and set the time that you desire. Your own experiences and preferences here will, of course, vary.
Most microwaves will roll out at 800W; however, some may even get to be as powerful as 1100W. The more wattage your microwave has, the more adaptable and efficient it will be. However, more powerful units will cost you more money upfront, and may even use more electricity than basic systems. There are pros and cons to using powerhouses.
This is normally measured in litres. As most combination microwaves will expect you to cook a variety of foods with them, you’ll generally find them to be pretty spacious. However, do make sure you get a model that’s deep and wide enough to cook what you want.
If you want to cook Christmas dinner, for example, you’re going to need to look for a sizeable unit. However, do also consider the space you have in your kitchen. It might be cutting down on physical oven space, but there is still your worktop to consider.
Frequently Asked Questions
If it’s your first time buying a combination microwave, or you’re simply not sure what you should be looking for, you will likely have a few questions to ask. Here are some common queries shoppers are already asking in their droves.
How Much Should I Pay for a Combination Microwave?
As mentioned, the more you pay, the more power and functions you’ll receive. This is likely going to be a tipping point for many people. If you really want access to the best combi ovens, expect to pay around £300, if not more. However, you will still be able to find models from solid manufacturers for around £100, even less if you’re lucky.
Can Combination Microwaves Cook Everything?
That all depends on the model you want to buy. Some are more capable and versatile than others, and as mentioned, these are probably going to be at the upper end of the price scale.
However, do make sure you check the marketing for these devices, as well as any PDF manuals available online. Do always pay attention to verified reviews, too, as these will also help you to narrow down your search and to help you answer some burning questions.
Are Microwaves Safe?
Yes. Microwaves cook food just as safely, if not more so than traditional cooker and ovens. However, do be careful with what you put in your microwave. Metal, for example, can explode and cause serious harm. Always check food packaging if you’re putting plastics or cardboard in your oven, too. Generally, microwaves, particularly combi models, can handle most foodstuffs.
A good combi microwave can do a lot for kitchen efficiency, space-saving and economics. Why not make the leap to a fantastic new oven? Check out what other people are saying, and do compare between the upper and lower ends of the price scale.