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When it comes to cutting-edge kitchen appliances, SPY has pretty much seen it all. We’ve reviewed a $500 gourmet coffee maker, a groundbreaking Ninja ice cream maker, countertop smart ovens, Japanese steam ovens that make microwaves obsolete… we could go on, but we won’t. Now, there’s a new surprise kitchen appliance trend that’s taken us by surprise, and it’s surprisingly simple — the microwave air fryer combo. And our minds are blown all over again.
For millions of Americans, microwaves are a kitchen necessity, and they have been for decades. They heat up everything from popcorn and mug cakes to frozen entrees and leftovers, but air fryers have only recently become a countertop staple with their ability to create crispy, crunchy delights like chicken nuggets, fries, and brussels sprouts, sans the excessive oil that comes with deep-frying. Air fryers are the best microwave alternatives we’ve tried so far, but this new innovation means that you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.
The fact that there is now a microwave-air fryer hybrid makes us downright giddy. Not only are these devices space savers, but they combine the two kitchen appliances we use most often. What a time to be alive and eat leftovers!
Since there are now dozens of options on the market, we narrowed down a list of the five best microwave air fryer combos we could find. We evaluated the top products in this category based on features, price, customer reviews, brand reputation and special features. Check out what made the cut and be sure to add one to the top of your kitchen wish list. You’ll be happy you did.
1. Panasonic HomeChef 4-in-1 Microwave Oven with Air Fryer
This is the best of the best when it comes to modern microwave technology. Not only do you get the benefits of microwaving and air frying, but this appliane is also a convection oven and broiler for easy toasting and browning. The appliance also has built-in features like sensor cooking (to detect when your food is finished) and turbo defrosting to make meal preparation an absolute breeze. Its stainless steel finish is simply an added bonus that makes it easy to clean and match your decor.
2. NuWave Bravo XL Smart Convection Air Fryer Oven
At less than $200, NuWave has introduced an affordable microwave air fryer combo that is an absolute steal. This model is extra-large, meaning you can literally cook a 10-pound chicken or 13-inch pizza. It can also get up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit for anything that requires some major heat. Please note that while this is not marketed as a microwave, it has the same capabilities of heating or reheating practically any dish, so do not be discouraged from making the investment and enjoying the perks of your two favorite appliances rolled up in one.
3. Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1
Breville is synonymous with quality, so it’s no surprise that this is one of the pricier options on our list. But is it worth it? Absolutely. One unique feature is its Power Smoothing Inverter that allows you to ditch cooking times altogether and trust the microwave to heat based on its elevated technology (it will automatically adjust its power intensity to guarantee even cooking). The device itself is also praised for being quiet and quick with futuristic sounds as you press buttons, which will matter more than you think, considering how often you’ll use it.
4. Toshiba Multifunctional Microwave Oven with Healthy Air Fry
When you think of Toshiba, you may think of high-end televisions with exceptional picture quality, but the Japanese tech brand also makes a pretty neat microwave air fryer combo that boasts some over-the-top features like low temperature cooking to ferment yogurt, dehydrate fruit, and raise dough, as well as 25 preset menus so you can quite literally set it and forget it when preparing common dishes. The appliance also has a Position Memory Turntable that resets to its original spot after every use (so that you don’t burn yourself when removing something quickly). It’s also equipped with a bright LED light so you can see your food as it cooks and an energy-saving eco-mode for those who want to lower their electricity bill.
Toshiba Multifunctional Microwave Oven with Healthy Air Fry
5. Cuisinart 3-in-1 Oven Air Fryer Microwave
Sleek and chic are just two words to describe Cuisinart’s version of the microwave air fryer. The high-gloss black with stainless steel accents are not only trendy but timeless, which means the product will last you for many years to come. This unit is also quite compact, so if you reside in an apartment or smaller home, it’s not going to overwhelm your limited counter or cabinet space. The stainless steel handle also extends its way into the appliance’s interior to make it easy to clean and prevent any lingering odors.