Best Microwaves 2017: 6 of the best microwaves and combi ovens

If you’re looking for a new microwave or combination oven, we’ve got you covered. Our roundup of the best microwaves and oven-grill combi appliances is filled with brilliant options that can handle a whole host of cooking tasks.

Microwave round up

Delving into the sheer number of microwaves and feature-packed combination ovens available can be an overwhelming task. Luckily we’ve narrowed it down to just six great models that will suit the needs of everyone.

Before you buy, it’s important to decide exactly what you want to use a microwave for. Are you cooking for one person or six? How much worktop space do you have? Do you need a simple model for reheating food and cooking ready meals? Or are you after an extension of your oven and grill to handle extra capacity?

Once you have an idea of the cooking companion you need, you can start to consider the extra features that make a microwave shine.

These could be a unique flatbed design without a turntable, a pull-down door, accessories in the form of wire racks and baking trays, and a larger range of cooking options.

Some of the microwaves in this roundup will even decide a cooking time based on weight or what food setting you select, which is a brilliantly handy feature for the novice chef.

Read on for our pick of the best microwaves you can buy.

Related: Best Kitchen Gadgets

Key features:

1000W microwave1200W grillSteam combination oven347 x 512 x 400mm27-litre capacityFlatbed designReview price: £329

The Panasonic NN-DS596 is a feature-packed microwave-grill-oven combi that also handles steam cooking. It’s perfect for anyone who frequently finds themselves short of oven space, or simply wants the convenience of a microwave with some bonus foodie features.

With a large capacity of 27 litres, plenty of smart programmes for popular foods, and a rectangular, full-width tray that slides into the appliance like an oven shelf, the NN-DS596 offers more than simply a way to heat your lunch soup. You can cook or defrost by time or weight, steam-cook in combination with the microwave or quartz grill to keep food moist, and heat food from the bottom up with the bundled ribbed cooking pan – or the Pana-crunch pan, as Panasonic calls it.

It isn’t the cheapest combi option on the market, but it’s a contemporary and high-end appliance that you’ll rely on for quick and easy meals in years to come.

Buy Now at Amazon

Read the full Panasonic NN-DS596 review

Key features:

800W microwave340 x 439 x 258mm20-litre capacity255mm glass turntableReview price: £89

While the Beko MOF 20110 is a simple, small-capacity microwave with no grill or oven function, we love it purely because it covers the basics so well. It isn’t the cheapest microwave on the market, but perhaps the cheapest microwave worth buying.

Its features are straightforward: eight auto programmes for vegetables, fish, white meat, pasta, potato, pizza, soup and reheating. You pick the quantity, and the microwave picks the time. There are five power levels, and you can defrost by either weight or time. A clock, kitchen timer and safety lock complete the lineup.

The Beko MOF 20110 is probably best suited to smaller households with less space and modest microwaving needs. It isn’t big enough to reheat a dinner plate of food, for example, so it’s probably a better option for defrosting, heating ready meals and cooking single portions.

It’s finished nicely, though – with a swish fingerprint-proof black glass door and a high-end-looking brushed stainless steel control panel.

Read the full Beko MOF 20110 review

Key features:

900W microwave1000W grillFan-assisted convection oven300 x 510 x 470mm25-litre capacityFlatbed designReview price: £145

The most striking thing about the Sharp R861SLM’s design is its unusual pull-down door, which makes the appliance look far pricier than it is. Inside, the flatbed design with no turntable offers greater cooking flexibility, and a supplied wire rack and baking tray make handy vessels for a wide range of food and meals.

The standard features include buttons to select the time in 10-minute, one-minute and 10-second increments; defrost by weight or time; plus the ability to select cooking method by microwave, grill, oven or a combination of the microwave with one of the others.

There are six auto menu functions available with a button’s press: jacket potato, pizza, rice, oven chips, cake, and roast chicken. A further seven functions offer auto reheat, beverages, vegetables, soup, grilled bacon, grilled fish pieces, and roast beef/lamb.

The only fault we found with the Sharp R861SLM is its tendency to vibrate and make noise while it cooks. That can be a little annoying, but if you’re in the market for a decent-sized microwave, grill and convection oven, its features and premium looks far outweigh that negative.

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Read the full Sharp R861SLM review

Key features:

1000W microwave1000W grill306 x 513 x 443mm25-litre capacity310mm turntableReview price: £350

The Sage Quick Touch Crisp is every bit the smart, sophisticated kitchen appliance we’ve come to expect from Sage. The feature-rich microwave-grill combi comes with a slew of settings to precisely cook everything from pasta and grilled cheese to vegetables and roasted nuts. In short, it’s foodie heaven – if you’re able to fork out £349.95 for the privilege.

The Quick Touch Crisp’s main settings are for straightforward cooking: a Smart Cook/Grill, and Smart Reheat or Defrost. Selecting one these from the microwaves screen leads you to written menus to select the food type, and the possibilities are almost endless. To make life a little less complicated, there are ten hidden shortcut buttons inside the door for your favourite programmes, grilling and more.

You also get a clever 290mm Crisper Pan on legs that folds down for grilling and folds away when you want the pan down low for general microwaving tasks. Plus, there’s Sage’s popular ‘A Bit More’ button, which does exactly what you’d expect.

While this is clearly an appliance designed for the keen cook, kitchen novices shouldn’t be put off. The Quick Touch Crisp is bustling with features, but it’s simple and intuitive to use, and could well be the making of nervous and inexperienced chefs.

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Read the full Sage Quick Touch Crisp review

Key features:

1000W microwave1300W grill1300W convection oven310 x 520 x 380mm27 litre capacity340mm glass turntableReview price: £199

If you’re after a full-sized, well-featured combination microwave, oven and grill that doesn’t swamp your workspace, the Panasonic NN-CT585SBPQ will prove the perfect fit. With a brushed stainless steel finish, solid design and responsive buttons, this unusually compact microwave makes light work of the full range of cooking tasks.

Its six power levels can be controlled precisely, rather than just switched on and off, thanks to its built-in inverter – and its powerful grill does a stellar job of crisping up food. It’s so powerful, in fact, that you’ll need to turn food frequently, but we have no complaints about its efficiency. Defrosting, too, is much better than with most other microwaves at this price point.

Other notable perks include a scrolling text “operation guide” that reminds you how to use the microwave. This is useful, but once you’ve got the hang of the controls, you can turn it off. Add to that a wire rack for grilling and an enamel tray for grilling and baking, and you have one of the best packages around for £200.

Buy Now at Amazon

Read the full Panasonic NN-CT585SBPQ review

Key features:

1000W microwave1000W grillOven310 x 483 x 396mm23-litre capacityFlatbed designReview price: £234

If you’re after an attractive, well-featured, do-it-all appliance then you won’t go far wrong with the Panasonic DF386. Sure, it might not be able to steam-cook like its sibling in this roundup, the NN-DS596, but this combination microwave-grill-oven cooks food brilliantly. It’s a little slower than some microwaves, but what it lacks in speed it makes up for in precision.

The Panasonic NN-DF386 comes with the Pana-crunch pan and an enamel tray for use with the oven or grill, and has seven auto-weight programmes for popular foods: chilled quiche, frozen potato products, pastry items, chilled pizza, frozen pizza, gratin potato and gratin pasta.

You can even use the Sensor programmes without having to enter the cooking time, weight or power level before you hit start; the NN-DS596 just works it out for itself. Other great features we love include a clock, timer delay and child-safety lock.

Buy Now at Amazon

Read the full Panasonic NN-DF386 review

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