Combination microwaves

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leela
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Combination microwaves

Post by leela » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:32 pm

I need a new microwave oven. I've been researching, but the simple microwaves that are around at the moment, all seem a bit rubbish compared to the one I have (but which can't be economically repaired)
The best reviews are for the combination ones, with grills and convection ovens. Yes, they're more expensive, but maybe now I'm on my own, would one be useful?

I've never cooked anything in a convection microwave oven, but it does seem wasteful to be putting my big fan oven on for one small item these days.

Anyone here use one regularly?
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GLimpet
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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by GLimpet » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:41 pm

No.
I don't know anyone who had one when they first came out who actually used its convention features more than once.

We recently got a "flatbed" one, no turntable so much more available space.

Technology on these has improved enough that you don't need turntable.

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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by GLimpet » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:47 pm

Top scoring recently-reviewed (July 2018) combi from Which:
(£185 which doesn't seem that bad )

Brilliant all round
The Panasonic NN-CT56JBBPQ combi microwave doesn't come cheap but it's packed with features and has a wealth of auto programs to cook a wide range of foodstuffs. Panasonic says its inverter technology delivers supremely even and gentle heating, to cut down on hot spots and cold patches. We've fully tested this microwave, so read our review to find out whether it delivers on these promises.

Quick, cooks very evenly, excellent defrosting, good for steam cooking, brilliant at baking, great for grilling, very easy to use, easy to clean, spacious, packed with features

No major flaws
As combi microwaves go, this Panasonic is hard to beat. Not only does it cook quickly and evenly when used as a microwave, but it's also brilliant at baking in convection mode, and has an excellent grill. It's just as impressive at defrosting and, despite all its features, it's very easy to use. Hardly surprising then that it's right up there among our top-scoring Best Buys.

What is it?
This roomy combi microwave has a usable capacity of 9.4 litres, and a large door that means you can fit a 35cm plate inside without tipping it.
As it's a combi, you can use it for grilling and convection cooking as well as the usual microwave cooking - and you can use these functions in combination to get the best of both worlds. So, if you want to roast a chicken, you can use a mixture of convection and microwave to cook it quickly, while still achieving that appetising golden skin that microwaving alone can't do.

There are heaps of auto programs to help you cook a wide range of dishes, so whether you want roast beef (well done, medium or rare), a quick bowl of porridge, or to warm up some baby food, you'll find all these and more among the 25 on the menu.

Needless to say, it can be used for multi-step cooking, and there's a delayed start that allows you to set the oven in advance and fit your meals around a busy schedule.

There's also a handy metric-to-imperial converter that could help when inputting weights.

What's it great at?
It's hard to know where to start with this outstanding combi, as it handled all of our tasks very well in the test lab. It's quick, so food doesn't have time to dry out, and it cooks extremely evenly, so you won't have to keep opening the door to stir your soup to make sure it's piping hot all the way through.

Defrosting is another task that many of us use our microwaves for, and yet again, it's a breeze for this Panasonic. The 'chaos defrost' program defrosted our frozen mince gently and evenly, to leave it perfectly thawed without those tell-tale cooked lumps in the hot spots. You can also defrost by setting the power and time manually, with equally impressive results.

You won't notice any drop in power, even after the oven's been in use for some time, so it's great for heating several meals in succession.

We also achieved good results using a microwave steamer to cook salmon, potato and broccoli.

More-adventurous cooks will enjoy using the convection oven and grill, as both are outstanding. So, whether you're baking fairy cakes or grilling a gratin, everything comes out cooked perfectly and looking delicious.

If you're worried about having to clean up when you're finished - don't be - it's easy to clean, inside and out.

Is there anything I should watch out for?
It's hard to find anything to complain about with this one, but if we're being picky it's quite noisy when used in convection mode. But on the other hand, it's much quieter than most when used for microwaving.

Is there anything else I should know?
Despite having so many features and functions, this oven is really easy to use, thanks to the informative digital display that gives you plenty of feedback and guidance when you're setting the programs.

Should I buy it?
Absolutely. This is a very good combi that cooks brilliantly and is packed with useful features.

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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by GLimpet » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:49 pm

Let us know if you want to see any other reviews.

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leela
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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by leela » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:53 pm

I looked at that one and the other top scoring Panasonic from Which? in John Lewis this morning.

If the stew tells me that combination microwaves are worth having, I'll go for the white one.
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rider5
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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by rider5 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:58 pm

What do you use a microwave for?

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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by desertstorm » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:01 pm

Yes, I destroy the environment by heating the plates with my convection oven sometimes. I want hot plates when I have my dinner.

Also there is something called a combin microwave, and something else called a combi oven. Both have microwave and oven function, but if you want to use yours as a fully functioning oven and a fully functioning microwave, you need to get a combi oven. A combi microwave has minimum oven function but it is not a full functioning oven.
Last edited by desertstorm on Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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leela
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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by leela » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:04 pm

rider5 wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:58 pm
What do you use a microwave for?
Reheating meals (I tend to make things in quantities for two meals)
Jacket potatoes (which I then brown under the grill/broiler of my cooker/stove)
Porridge every morning for six months of the year at least
Heating up drinks/milk for hot chocolate.
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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by rider5 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:06 pm

In that case I'd probably try out the fancier oven.

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leela
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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by leela » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:07 pm

desertstorm wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:01 pm
Yes, I destroy the environment by heating the plates with my convection oven sometimes. I want hot plates when I have my dinner.

Also there is something called a combin microwave, and something else called a combi oven. Both have microwave and oven function, but if you want to use yours as a fully functioning oven and a fully functioning microwave, you need to get a combi oven. A combi microwave has minimum oven function but it is not a full functioning oven.
Not in the UK. There's no such thing as a combi oven here. Combination microwaves can be microwave/grill combo, or microwave/grill/oven combo. They're called the same thing though, and the oven in the latter is fine for baking and roasting etc.
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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by desertstorm » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:25 pm

oven with microwave function?

The same brand (siemens/bosch/whatever) often offers different models for both combi microwave and 'oven with a microwave function'. Also the oven with microwave function is often bigger because it is a full functioning oven.

What I want to say is that a combin microwave may have an convection oven function + grill that you can grill or bake some simple things like a croissant or two or reheat a pizza, but don't expect to use it to bake a cake/chicken with good result, which is fine if you have an oven next to it or if you don't intend to bake very oven, I mean often.

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NorthAmerican
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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by NorthAmerican » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:07 pm

Judging from what you list as things you use your microwave for, I'd say you might be happy with one that had fewer functions but still fulfilled most of your needs. I just bought a 1200 watt Panasonice microwave to replace a similar Panasonic purchased some years ago that, like yours, was too expensive to repair:

Panasonic 1200 watt microwave oven with inverter technology
Model number NN-SN686S

I originally posted a link, but then noticed that my name and e-mail address appeared at the bottom of the page that came up. You might want to look up the microwave yourself to see if it would suit you.
I enjoy reading NorthAmerican's posts. So well-written and interesting except for the dull parts.--Nines

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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by Bastet » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:56 am

Following.

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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by DianaHaddad » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:39 pm

We had a combination one in a rental vacation house one year. I didn't use all of its features, but I remember that something got baked on in the oven by person A. Ok, it was me. And it was fish. I didn't clean it because I didn't realize. And then the next morning, someone was microwaving their coffee and there was a full blast of last night's fish that got infused into the coffee.

I think it sounds like a pretty cool and practical appliance, but be aware that you may have to do a full oven cleaning if something happens, before you're able to use the microwave.
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Ledbetter
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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by Ledbetter » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:58 pm

I lived without a microwave for six years without ever missing one around. I finally caved and bought a Daytron against friend's advice. I bought it to make popcorn. My friend claims that ACT II sabor Queso Cheddar popcorn makes the house smell like three day old unwashed butt.

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leela
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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by leela » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:07 pm

Ha! Fortunately I don't make popcorn.
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leela
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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by leela » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:09 pm

NorthAmerican wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:07 pm
Judging from what you list as things you use your microwave for, I'd say you might be happy with one that had fewer functions but still fulfilled most of your needs. I just bought a 1200 watt Panasonice microwave to replace a similar Panasonic purchased some years ago that, like yours, was too expensive to repair:

Panasonic 1200 watt microwave oven with inverter technology
Model number NN-SN686S

I originally posted a link, but then noticed that my name and e-mail address appeared at the bottom of the page that came up. You might want to look up the microwave yourself to see if it would suit you.
Can you see inside while things are cooking, NA? Would I be able to watch to make sure my porridge doesn't boil over?
Pass the wine...

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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by NorthAmerican » Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:29 pm

leela wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:09 pm
NorthAmerican wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:07 pm
Judging from what you list as things you use your microwave for, I'd say you might be happy with one that had fewer functions but still fulfilled most of your needs. I just bought a 1200 watt Panasonice microwave to replace a similar Panasonic purchased some years ago that, like yours, was too expensive to repair:

Panasonic 1200 watt microwave oven with inverter technology
Model number NN-SN686S
Can you see inside while things are cooking, NA? Would I be able to watch to make sure my porridge doesn't boil over?
Yes, but it's difficult because looking through the glass in the door is sort of like looking through hundreds of peep holes in a black wall. I actually cooked in it for the first time yesterday, when I baked four small potatoes. One of them started rocking a little; it may be that when I pierced the skin with a fork I didn't distribute the piercings evenly.

Normally, though, I'm watching when I heat water for tea or milk for cocoa, so I watch for shimmering or other movement on the surface of the liquid.
I enjoy reading NorthAmerican's posts. So well-written and interesting except for the dull parts.--Nines

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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by Kikilamour » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:20 pm

can you put metal in combi microwaves? heh . stupid question. i doubt it.

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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by Chi_Rup » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:03 am

I left my microwave behind in my last flat and bought a wine rack instead.

Hope that helps.

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leela
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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by leela » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:17 am

I've already got a wine rack. So it doesn't really help.

I'm dithering over this decision to a ridiculous level so it's a pity a wine rack won't solve the problem.
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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by Andrea1 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:46 pm

I don't have one at present and am managing but am also dithering about getting one. Please let us know what you end up getting, I would prefer for you to get a cheap combo, not that expensive one Glimpet recommended, use it, a lot, check out all its functions and report back. Ta!

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leela
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Re: Combination microwaves

Post by leela » Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:34 pm

I've just got John Lewis to price match this one, which is in the Curry's sale at £169. Picking it up tomorrow.

https://www.johnlewis.com/panasonic-nn- ... e/p3519273

I don't think you'll get a full combi one for much less. Microwaves with grills come a lot cheaper, but I decided to go for this one based on the excellent Which? review, and the fact that I won't need to use my main oven unless I have guests/family over. This seems to perform just as well for baking and roasting stuff, as my fan oven.

I'll report back.
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