The convection microwave is a magical combo that lets you do regular microwave tasks like make popcorn, but you can also turn on the convection setting to roast a chicken with— gasp—crispy, golden skin. (We cooked a 5-pound bird in each of our picks in under an hour. Like convection ovens, they cook quickly!) Magic like this does come at a price: $450 and up. But for cooks with limited kitchen space who appreciate double-duty appliances, the investment is worth it. Here are some perks to look for when you shop.
Whirlpool’s Over the Range 1.9 cu. ft. Capacity Microwave Oven is Wi-fi enabled and features voice control through Google Home and Amazon Alexa. It also has scan-to-cook technology: swipe a frozen food barcode (say, on an Eatingwell frozen meal) with your smartphone to send cooking instructions right to your microwave. ($639, whirlpool.com)
Samsung’s Countertop Convection Microwave with Power Convection & Powergrill Duo has a special “grilling” element that sets it apart from the rest. It won’t give you the same smoky flavor as a grill, but a whole snapper came out perfectly flaky with crisp skin in our test. The setting works similar to a built-in broiler. ($473, samsung.com)
A 90-minute keep-warm setting that turns your convection microwave into a warming drawer? An intelligent mode that automatically adjusts cooking time based on moisture and humidity levels? It’s all in Wolf’s MC24 Convection Microwave. Plus, it delivered the crispiest chicken of them all. ($1,025, subzero-wolf.com)