3. Cuisinart Convection Microwave Oven with Grill [CMW-200] – Best Microwave Toaster Oven
Dimensions (in): W-20.5 x D-19 x H-12.5 | Turntable Diameter (in): 12.4 | Volume: 1.2 cu. ft. | Number of Presets: 9 | Power: 1000W | Features: Microwave + Convection + Grill, Automatic Multi Stage Cooking, Stainless Steel Interior, Interior Oven Light, LCD Display + Touchpad
An aesthetically pleasing design
It is hard to argue against the observation that, on average, microwaves have better designs than toaster ovens. The Cuisinart CMW-200 is one of, if not, the best-designed toaster oven on this list.
And that’s because it adheres firmly to the popular microwave design philosophy with its brushed stainless steel build, symmetric boxy design, and sleek accents.
Its attractive design extends to the interior with a 12.4” rotating glass turntable sitting at the bottom of an elegant space with complete stainless steel coating. The stainless steel coating choice isn’t all about appearance though, as it is has the desirable benefits of not absorbing odors and being easy to clean.
The best of both worlds
The Cuisinart CMW-200 is technically a convection microwave [oven]. It microwaves like any regular microwave oven. In addition, it has a heating element and a fan to function as a regular convection oven.
The best part is that both functions are independent of each other. You could use either singly (microwave popcorn or bake a cake using convection), use them together, or use them in quick succession (taking advantage of the multi stage feature).
The benefits are immense. You get the speed of a microwave for tasks like defrosting, while you get crispy, non-soggy cooking of a convection oven for tasks like roasting; without having to own two appliances.
And for a dual-purpose (actually tri-purpose, since it has a grill feature) portable oven, the cooking outcomes across the board are pleasantly surprising.
Fully spec’d out
The Cuisinart CMW-200 microwave toaster oven combo is chock-full of necessary functionalities to take advantage of its multi-purpose build.
- It has a power rating of 1000 watts (it may not be the highest on our list, but it gets the jobs done).
- It has NINE (9) presets for common cooking tasks—popcorn, potato, beverage, reheat, fresh vegetable, frozen vegetable, roast chicken, cake, and pizza (the last three presets use the convection function).
- Complementing these presets are EIGHT (8) functions that offer more control—microwave, convection, convection roast, convection fast bake, grill/combo, keep warm, defrost, and memory.
- The presets and functions offer precision in addition to control and ease of use: For example, you can press on the “popcorn” preset multiple times to indicate the appropriate weight or the “potato” preset multiple times to indicate the number of potatoes you’d place inside the oven compartment. You may also defrost by weight or by time or keep food warm at 100 °F or 150 °F.
- Get the best baking, roasting, and grilling results with the use of the reversible grill rack. The grill rack offers dual-level cooking—low or high position depending on how close you want your food to be to the heating element—simply by flipping it on its short or long legs.
- Combine any of the eight functions in a 2-3 steps procedure using the multi-stage cooking For example, you can defrost a casserole, heat it up with the microwave function, and grill it to brown the top, without having to wait to enter the functions singly. The oven beeps once to notify you when a stage is complete.
- Better still, if you use a procedure often, you can save it for quick selection later, using the memory function. You can add up to 3 procedures to the oven’s memory.Follow manufacturer’s recommendations of compatible cookware for microwave + convection combination cooking procedures.
- It has an extensive temperature range, from 100 to 425 degrees (in Fahrenheit); and allows you to increase cooking time in 30-second intervals.
- Cuisinart offers the best warranty coverage in the toaster oven industry. The CMW-200 has a THREE (3) year warranty.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
No, it’s not a typo.
The Cuisinart CMW-200 can microwave, can roast, can grill, can even microwave and grill at the same time; but it wouldn’t give you same amazing toast as you’d get with the Breville Smart Oven Pro or the Panasonic Flash Xpress.
It has only one grilling element at the top (the Smart Oven Pro has 5). Combined with the convection fan, it is sufficient for grilling, roasting, baking, and other convection cooking tasks.
However, for toast, it’d at best make the bread warm and dry its surface substantially. But the result wouldn’t measure up to that of a full-fledged premium toaster oven or toaster.
If a microwave toaster oven is a must-have for you and you still desire to make perfect toasts regularly, then I advise you also purchase a quality affordable toaster.
Exact temperature selections is not possible
This is a flaw shared with the Flash Xpress. Thankfully, as with the Flash Xpress, it doesn’t negatively affect performance.
This is a highly subjective drawback. Still, it is worth noting that the CMW-200 isn’t the quietest kitchen appliance.
And while the sound it emits doesn’t seem to bother most users, it can be nerve-racking for some.
The 1000W power rating of the Cuisinart CMW-200 may appear modest. Considering that the power rating of the Smart Oven Pro is an imposing 1800W and that of the Flash Xpress is 1300W; while both have a smaller capacity than the CMW-200.
Even so, the CMW-200 holds its own in terms of performance. Certainly, it wouldn’t have hurt to add more power, but much of the complaints about the power are often directed at the convection feature. Which is fairly misguided, because convection and toaster ovens take a while to heat up in general, unlike their infrared and microwave cousins.
A powerhouse with a fitting price tag
Combo appliances have the unique ability to sound good on paper and sell prospective users on lofty propositions: Only to fall short of expectations during real-world usage.
The Cuisinart CMW-200 Convection Microwave with Grill drops this cloak by offering practical usage experience that lives up to its promise of offering a microwave and a convection toaster oven in the same package.
It looks as good as it performs; it is easy, intuitive, and pleasurable to use; it boasts a hefty load of functionalities; and its performance is satisfactory. And at a price that is considerably cheaper than our top pick—the Breville Smart Oven Pro—the CMW-200 offers exceptional value.
The CMW-200 is one of the lowest priced microwave toaster oven available that is worth its salt. Given that the Sharp R930CS, once the gold standard of convection microwaves is now discontinued and its replacement doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, despite being at least twice as expensive as the CMW-200.
It may not toast that well, but the Flash Xpress can’t broil or roast. It is larger than both higher-ranked toaster ovens and trumps them in the warranty segment with its industry-leading THREE (3) years warranty.
It is a perfect fit for those living in tight quarters or who need its versatility for remote usage; such as in small apartments, RVs, and boats (note the clearance requirements though—3 inches at the sides and back, and 12 inches of vertical headspace).
Other Compelling Options
Samsung Power Convection Microwave Oven [MC11K7035CG] – Best Premium Microwave Toaster Oven
Samsung is a brand that needs no introduction, and the MC11K7035CG (I never really get why their naming scheme has to be so perpetually weird) is a recent refresh that aims to bring the best and latest in microwave toaster oven combo technology.
As expected, it has a premium design with a ceramic enamel interior for easy cleaning. In the functionality department, it equals and even supersedes the offering of the Cuisinart CMW-200 with its microwave, convection, grill, and slim fry combination.
It also offers Sensor Cook, Combination Cook, and Eco Mode (to reduce power when on standby).
Samsung MC11K7035CG versus Cuisinart CMW-200: It’s All About Your Budget
In a direct contest based on similar functionalities, the Samsung Power Convection Microwave Oven offers better performance. Power Convection and PowerGrill may sound like regular buzzwords meant to make you reach deeper into your wallet without offering anything tangible over the competition, but both are a step-up from the convection and grill features on the Cuisinart Convection Microwave Oven with Grill.
The Power Convection has a whooping 1790W power rating (comparable to the 1800W of the Breville Smart Oven Series), while that of the PowerGrill is 1300W. Cuisinart does not share comparable output power ratings for its convection and grill, but its input ratings (which is always higher than output ratings) of 1500W for convection and 1100W for grill are considerably lower.
The performance of the CMW-200 may be pleasantly surprising, but that of the MC11K7035CG is as close to perfection as you’d get on a microwave toaster oven combo.
Oh, and it toasts much better than the CMW-200.
Slim fry, sensor cook, and eco mode are exclusives that you wouldn’t find on the CMW-200. The Samsung Power Convection Oven offers much more though.
Its touchpad may not be as crowded as that of the CMW-200, but that’s more of a drive at improved simplicity than the lack of functionalities. For instance, while the Cuisinart Convection Microwave Oven has 9 presets, the MC11K7035CG has over two dozen presets. The Power Convection function alone has 14 different presets, with several presets offering improved precision like on the CMW-200—where you can adjust a preset by number of servings (weight) or volume.
It also offers custom single and combined use of functions.
Making a choice
The MC11K7035CG does not exactly surpass the CMW-200 in all aspects. The CMW-200 is negligibly larger (1.2 cu. ft. versus 1.1 cu. ft.), has a 3-year warranty (versus 1-year warranty), and is considerably cheaper.
Still, paying extra for the Samsung MC11K7035CG Power Convection Microwave is a deal you do not want to pass up if the price tag is not prohibitive to you.
However, if you don’t see yourself paying that much for a countertop toaster oven, then the Cuisinart CMW-200 is a safe choice.
- Note manufacturer’s clearance requirements—4 inches (10 centimeters) at the sides and back, and 8 inches (20 centimeters) of vertical headspace.
- Follow manufacturer’s recommendations of compatible cookware for microwave + convection combination cooking procedures.
Samsung Grill Microwave Oven [MG14H3020CM] – Best Affordable Microwave Toaster Oven
The Samsung Grill Microwave Oven is gorgeous, prolly gorgeous to a fault—its mirrored finish reduces visibility of food inside of the oven.
That doesn’t take away from its premium design, sturdy build, and decent performance. Its sleek, stylish black stainless steel build fitted with a front-facing mirror design is a head-turner. Having the LCD display mesh seamlessly with the mirror finish and complementing it with a neatly arranged touch pad certainly shows that the design team went to town on the MG14H3020CM.
The Samsung Grill Microwave Oven isn’t meant to compete with the big boys. It is simply a full-fledged microwave with a grill and ceramic plate to make food crispy—great for pizza, sandwiches, fish, and bacon. It doesn’t have convection, and that’s the major reason for its affordability.
Read Comprehensive Individual Reviews And Comparisons Here
In a nutshell, a comparison between the Samsung MG14H3020CM Grill Microwave and the Samsung MC11K7035CG Power Convection Microwave boils down to needs and budget.
The MG14H3020CM doesn’t have convection, slim fry, or sensor cooking found in the Power Convection Microwave.
But it does have same:
- quality stainless steel build,
- ceramic enamel interior for easy cleaning,
- PowerGrill—grill + grill rack + ceramic plate,
- auto-cook presets,
- ten (10) power levels, and
- eco mode
Its 950W microwave power rating is comparable to the 1000W microwave rating of the MC11K7035CG, the grill offers a decent performance equivalent to that of the CMW-200, and it is larger than both higher-rated models with a 1.4 cu. ft. volume.
If you pretty much have your eyes set on a microwave—not willing to forego its phenomenal speed and ability to make popcorn for movie nights—but want food that your palates would prefer, and can’t be bothered about convection, then the Samsung MG14H3020CM Grill Microwave Oven is your best bet.
If its 22” x 18.1” x 12.3” (WDH) dimensions (excluding clearance requirements) is over the top for you and/or you suspect that the mirrored finish would seriously hamper visibility even with the interior oven light on; then you should get the Samsung MG11H2020CT Grill Microwave Oven with a 1.1 cu. ft. volume.
It is identical to the MG14H3020CM in everything but size, lack of front mirror finish, and slightly higher power rating of 1000W. It is also a couple of dollars cheaper.