Welcome back to Air Fryer Bro, a virtual huddle of people that want to find out more about air fryers and the healthier fried food they bring! Today, we are picking out our top air fryer microwave combo for 2022. I already did an article comparing the differences between air fryers and microwaves, but this one is on a whole new level. Did you even know they have worked out how to combine an air fryer with a microwave?? Well, they have! And that’s what we are going to delve deep into today 🙂
Just to warn you that the first part of the article will be very information heavy, to help you understand what an Air Fryer Microwave combination really is. You can use the table of contents above to jump straight to the reviews if you would prefer 🙂
What is an Air Fryer Microwave Combo?
An air fryer microwave combo appliance is able to bring the best of both worlds (in terms of features) from two of the most popular kitchen appliances, the microwave and the air fryer! When we talk about the future of the smart oven, this is definitely one of the options…
What’s the Difference Between an Air Fryer and a Microwave.
A microwave cooks with…err…microwaves. These microwaves heat up the water in the food you are trying to cook by making the molecules in this water shake or vibrate (maybe there is a technical term!!). This is the main process that occurs as that food is absorbing the microwaves.
This style of cooking is super fast, but it doesn’t brown the food. Pale food is not always the most appetizing, so most people end up using microwaves just to heat food or cook food that doesn’t require browning. Some people even semi-cook some food in the microwave and finish off in a regular oven. Microwaved food can also be dry if you are not careful. I know in my own experience with microwaves; I found dried out food a problem at times.
So, to sum up, the microwave’s quick cook times have made it mostly a kitchen appliance of convenience, to heat or reheat items quickly and without browning!
An air fryer is on a totally different end of the cooking scale, so to speak. It uses incredibly hot air to circulate around the food and therefore cook it. A powerful fan is used to facilitate this air circulation. Air fryers were originally conceived to replace deep fat fryers, so browning and crisping food is one of the main features it has. At first we had bucket style air fryers that mimicked the deep fat fryers they were replacing, but we now have oven style air fryers too.
The microwave and the air fryer are both very useful kitchen appliances in their own right, but when you are able to combine the two, some kind of ‘magic’ starts to happen 🙂 A hybrid countertop microwave oven is born 🙂
Why Would Someone Need an Air Fryer Microwave?
As stated above, microwaves and air fryers offer a totally different style of cooking. By having a kitchen device that can fulfill both functions, you have something doubly useful.
The level of convenience here is immense. First of all, you are replacing two kitchen appliances with one compact unit, saving space on your kitchen countertop (great for anyone with a smaller kitchen). Secondly, you are offering two types of cooking in one. Above I said that some people like to half cook some food in their microwave and then finish it off in a regular oven. With a microwave air fryer, there would be no need for this all together!
And it doesn’t just stop at replacing the microwave and air fryer. These smart microwave ovens could potentially replace your regular oven or toaster oven as well. The versatility is insane! And they do this whilst using much less power. Most of the air fryer microwaves listed below come in at only 1000 watts, something that is tough to achieve from a similar sized air fryer (which would be more like 1500 watts).
If the features of both the microwave and air fryer are needed regularly in your kitchen, the microwave air fryer could be the perfect oven combo for you.
Are There any Downsides to an Air Fryer Microwave Combo?
True Air Fryer?
Personally, I feel like some microwave manufacturers just wanted to get the word ‘air fryer’ on their unit in the hope of selling more! I say this because some models have an air fryer function that doesn’t seem fully fleshed out, often giving much slower cook times than a regular air fryer. Also, be aware that these combo units won’t come with the usual air fryer basket from a typical air fryer, which may limit what you can air fry.
Actually, some of the models below aren’t labelled with an air fryer function at all, but a ‘convection oven’, ‘invertor microwave’ or ‘convection microwave oven’ feature instead, and convection or invertor based cooking is somewhat different from air frying. I think some of them realised it was hard to get the full intense air frying mode in their microwaves. With the convection microwave oven, you can achieve an ‘air fry’ effect by elevating the food in the unit to allow air to move all around it. It just won’t be quite as intense as you would get in a regular air fryer. If you are tight on space and really want both a microwave and an air fryer, this could be a good option all the same!
The main point is just to read the product description carefully and be aware of what you are buying 🙂 Read the reviews and make sure that the unit has good air frying performance and is not a half ass invertor microwave 🙂
Confusing to Use?
With these air fryer microwave combination cookers often having so many cooking modes, it can get confusing to operate for some. For example, different accessories are often needed for specific cooking modes. One model has a metal rack for air frying that obviously can’t be used when microwaving. Some people may feel overwhelmed by all this swapping!
Usually people don’t read the manuals of their microwaves. However, if you want an air fryer microwave, you have to be prepared to do this and learn all the functions. I see many negative reviews where people simply don’t know how to use their new appliance!
When you use the more compact microwave form factor, you are left with a smaller cooking capacity when compared to some of the other options on the market (especially air fryer ovens). It’s much harder to have multiple racks and a crumb tray, for example. I’ll give you one typical use case to start; many people want to cook french fries with their air fryer. You will struggle to cook a decent amount of french fries in an air fryer microwave combo. It’s a similar story if you attempted baking in one of these air fryer microwave cooking appliances. You would have to resort to batch cooking.
Finally, air fryer microwaves can get quite pricey, much more so than even the most expensive air fryer ovens on the market.
Air fryers are already very new in terms of kitchen appliances, but at least they are becoming more popular. I am sure if you asked your neighbors about them these days, at least a few would know what you are talking about or even own one! You can’t expect the same for the air fryer microwave oven combo! These are so new that you are likely to get puzzled looks if you ask anyone for advice about them. So you will have to solve problems on your lonesome or contact the manufacturers’ support 🙂
7 Best Air Fryer Microwave Combo Units [According to AirFryerBro!]
To find the best air fryer microwave combo units at the time of writing, please read on 🙂 They are in no particular order as you need to decide for yourself which factors are more important for your needs.
FYI: The models I recommend below can be viewed on Amazon simply by clicking on the product image. This will be the best way to see the current situation (i.e. pricing and availability) for yourself 🙂
This unit is the new kid on the block and is turning out to be one of the best microwave air fryer combo options when it comes to price to performance, being one of the cheaper units on this list. With its design and 1.0 cubit feet cooking area, it’s also one of the most compact on this list. Although this GE microwave air fryer combo unit does come with a wattage of 1050, the most in this list by a small margin.
Couple with this the fact that you are buying from a massive and very well known company in General Electric, and this appliance is looking like one of the more attractive, as long as you are OK with the 1.0 cubit foot of space for cooking.
And it’s not only me that likes it. This microwave is being reviewed very well by customers over at Amazon too!
This Galanz model embodies exactly what an air fryer microwave combination should be about! They have an intelligent smart oven mode that combines both cooking modes to give the perfect balance of browning and speed. This Galanz model is also very stylish looking to boot and would fit into most people’s kitchens with ease.
This Galanz Air Fryer Microwave is also one of the most reasonably priced, meaning you won’t have to break the bank to try out its cooking function. It’s also great to see that three different accessories are provided for the different cooking styles, including a rather nice elevated air frying tray.
In addition, this model has a neat humidity sensor that helps prevent you from overcooking and drying out food, something that is always helpful when microwaves are involved. Don’t you just love sensor cooking 🙂
The main downside is that it is quite a bit bigger than your average microwave, but I suppose this is a result of adding the air fry function. The upside is it has 1.6 cubic feet of space to cook with 🙂
With other manufacturers seemingly dropping out of the air fryer microwave game, the Galanz is our current top and undisputed choice. It’s great to see them not giving up on this fledgling technology and pushing through.
If this microwave is out of stock at the time of writing, you might want to try their other air fryer combo model, which is a little more pricey but does with additional features you might like.
Next up, we have this awesome appliance from Toshiba. Right out of the gate, it looks fresh with its brushed metal features, almost like something space age to adorn your countertop!
It has all the features you would expect from an air fryer microwave combo, as well as some nice surprises (such as the odor removal program and the energy saving eco mode).
The only slight downside is that, at 1 cubic feet, it is one of the smaller microwaves here, so you will be more limited for air frying space!
This is a solid recommendation for anyone wanting an air fryer microwave combination, and the best part is the price is very competitive at the time of writing. And for a sector that seems to have stock issues at the best of times, this appliance seems to be more often in stock than some!
Sharp has been in the microwave game longer than I care to remember, my family even had one when I was a child! So if anyone should know about microwave technology it should be Sharp 🙂
Although this microwave combo unit is one of the more expensive here, it is also one of the best built and longest lasting. I hear many stories of people owning these things for decades! Just don’t expect it to win any design awards.
The other slight downside is that this is more of an air fryer lite (otherwise known as a convection function), so don’t expect the full crisping power of a regular air fryer.
Other than that, you have yourself a solid entry into the microwave combo arena! It’s also one of the bigger units on this list, if size is what you are after!
This Panasonic combi microwave is great, if a little pricey, option. Although some may find comfort in buying from a well-known brand such as Panasonic. It definitely lives up to its price when it comes to looks and design though, being fit to live in even the classiest kitchens 🙂 The top-notch build quality helps here too!
Another plus point is the super simple control panel, so you don’t have to feel like a NASA astronaut to operate it! If it wasn’t so expensive, this Panasonic unit would be my top pick. The ultimate in space saving and flexible kitchen appliances.
Our next Breville recommendation is along similar lines as the last. It is very attractively designed and executed, being about as flashy looking as a microwave can look in a kitchen! Yes, it is a little pricey, but this one is slightly bigger than the Panasonic model mentioned above. You are also backed by a household name brand that should give consumers more confidence when buying. All in all, this is a very good package!
Our final air fryer microwave recommendation is a bit of an ugly duckling, if I am honest. But if you can get past the low level design, you might actually like the price and the features it offers.
It is a little smaller than the other appliances recommended here, but it is also the cheapest at the time of writing. The most important thing is the cooking performance, and this is an area that this Farberware microwave knocks out of the park. If you learn its functions well, you can get excellent results and take up much less counter real estate whilst doing it.
There you have it. Hopefully now you are fully clued up on these new air fryer microwaves and can find the best microwave air fryer combo model for your needs (we all need that extra cooking option, right?). You will be able to air fry, roast, and bake in no time 🙂 It really is so easy to make all kinds of delicious dishes with these smart ovens!
I would finish by saying that only buy one of these if you really need a microwave (as well as an air fryer), but don’t have enough space to have separate units. Of course, a standalone air fryer or air fryer oven would be the better option if you are able to go that route.
My final parting shot (this really is the last one!!) would be that Ninja Foodi is a brand that is known for innovation in the air fryer space, so I am itching for them to throw their hat in the ring and bring out their interpretation of an air fryer microwave combo!! Come on Ninja, you know you want to!! In my experience of buying microwave air fryer appliances, Ninja would likely bring something epic to the table 🙂