Overall rating: 2 out of 5
This microwave heats food three different ways – using microwaves, convection heat (bake or roast), or a combination of both – and includes a glass turntable tray that can be used with any of the cooking methods; a raised wire rack with silicone feet to be used with convection or combination cooking; a wire shelf with sturdy plastic supports to be used with convection or combination cooking; and a metal tray that can be used with convection or combination cooking.
I bought this microwave as a way to increase my capacity for baking dishes mainly during the holidays. The convection cooking feature of this microwave, in conjunction with our convection oven, will allow us to bake several side dishes quickly and all at once for large family gatherings, while using our roaster oven for the main meat dish. I also felt that this microwave would make the average dinner healthier and more versatile. If we have a meat dish in the oven, we won’t have to rely only on the stovetop to make side dishes; instead, we can roast fresh vegetables or bake a dish of au gratin potatoes using the microwave’s convection cooking features.
Although I notice the microwave cooking feature does not heat food on the highest setting as efficiently as our previous microwave, it works well enough and most often only requires a bit more time in addition to what the directions of the item call for.
I was very excited to use the convection cooking feature for the first time and chose to bake a batch of brownies as the first dish. It was a double batch because we like our brownies thick and I wanted to see how efficiently this microwave was able to bake something that dense. To my surprise, it did a great job in less time than it normally takes a conventional oven.
However, it was while I was baking those brownies that I discovered the biggest downside to this microwave, which has to do with certain safety features that I feel should have been standard. Once I chose one of the two convection cooking options – bake or roast – and set the temperature of the oven and the cook time as with anything else, the microwave only displayed the countdown of the time. There was absolutely no indication on the display of which cooking feature I was using. I see this as problematic for several reasons, namely, if I am cooking with metal, I don’t want there to be any doubt through the entire process that I am not using the microwave feature because this can cause electrical arcing which damages the microwave and can lead to fire. Pressing the Convection Bake or Convection Roast button will call up and display the oven temperature but this requires one to know which specific convection cooking feature is in use. I feel strongly that some shorthand formation of the words “Microwave,” “Convection” or “convection bake/roast,” and “Combination Fast Cook” should be displayed as the cook time counts down.
Another safety concern I have with this microwave is that it stays dangerously hot to the touch long after the cooling feature has shut off. After the convection or combination cooking features have been used, the microwave automatically engages the ventilation cooling, which is great because not only does this actively cool the inside of the microwave but it also calls attention to the fact that the microwave interior is likely too hot to safely touch. However, this cooling ventilation is only engaged for a short time and once it shuts off, the microwave interior remains too hot to touch for upwards of 45 minutes longer with no outward indication. If one of my kids were to innocently come upon the microwave in this condition and attempt to microwave some food, they could burn themselves. This causes me to feel anxiously alert far longer after using the microwave’s convection or combination cooking features than I would have if I had just used the oven because there is no innocent situation in which my kids would open a hot oven when I was not paying attention. If the ventilation system were to remain engaged until the microwave interior reaches a safe-to-touch temperature, anyone walking by, including my kids, would know to either wait before using the microwave or to use it with extreme caution.
- Provides more baking/roasting capacity in addition to the oven
- Convection cooking works really well and is very efficient
- High setting of ‘10’ is often not powerful enough to efficiently heat food thoroughly in the time duration indicated in directions
- Does not display which cooking feature in engaged, which is a safety concern for me
- Does not engage ventilation cooling, or otherwise indicate that interior is hot, until a safe temperature is reached, which is another safety concern for me
Thanks for reading!
Remember to always make a conscientious effort.