I got a combo microwave/convection/grill oven for Xmas. What/How do I cook in it?
January 5, 2011 2:24 PM   Subscribe

I got a combo microwave/convection/grill oven for Xmas. What/How do I cook in it?

I had a microwave (used for reheating leftovers and such) and a toaster oven (for baking small things and, um, making toast), but they both died this autumn. So I put those items on my wish list for Santa this Xmas.

A relative thought they'd kill two birds with one stone and gave me a very nice combination microwave/convection oven with a 'grill' feature: Sanyo EM7686V.

It's very nice, and works great as a microwave. But I have never cooked with a convection oven (I have a regular gas oven), so I don't know what do do with that part. And the manual has directions for several mixed modes of cooking, allowing you to do various combinations of microwave then convection, convection plus 'grill', etc. There's no recipe book or anything included, so I have no idea how to make use of these fancy features as far as what to cook with it. I could just keep using it as a (big) microwave and ignore the rest, but that seems a waste.

Any MeFites out there have one of these combo ovens? What do you use it for? Is there anything that they do especially well at or cook faster/better than a regular oven? Any particular dish you like to make with it because the combo cooking lets you 'set and forget'?
posted by bartleby to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
'Convection' is just another way of saying 'regular oven' (though in this case it's electric, rather than gas). So, just use the convection option to start making things made in an ordinary oven - cookies, cakes, bread etc. We also use ours for easy casseroles and curries - throw the raw ingredients in a suitable casserole, set the oven for 160oC for four hours, micrwave some rice or potatoes, dinner. With the delayed timer, you can do this in the morning then come home to a lovely hot meal with next to no washing up. It's great when we have company, because we effectively have two ovens.

Roasted joints of meat, with or without vegetables, gets the most benefit from combo cooking. There's usually a menu option to select the kind of meat (eg PORK...BONELESS...WITH VEG or BEEF...MEDIUM RARE...), then you just enter the weight and forget it. You'll hear it cycling back and forth between microwave and convection. You can easily halve the usual cooking time required. I find it makes for excellent pork crackling, too.

The grill option is great for pizza, chicken pieces, even steak or pork loin chops. You can also use it to 'finish' microwaved food that hasn't browned.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:00 PM on January 5, 2011

'Convection' is just another way of saying 'regular oven

Well, not really. All convection ovens are regular ovens but not all ovens are convection.

Convection ovens (we're talking full-size here) are normal ovens that have a fan to make air flow through the oven. This normalizes temperatures and reduces hot spots while cooking, but can also pretty dramatically reduce cooking time of some things, or so I'm told.

Semantics aside, yeah, use it like you would a normal oven.
posted by InsanePenguin at 3:33 PM on January 5, 2011

My parents had one of these, and one of the cool things is that you can throw metal in the microwave while it's in convection mode. So if you want to reheat, say, a piece of pizza that's wrapped in aluminum foil you can do it without taking it out of the wrapping.

I used to use theirs for roasting garlic - a lot easier (and presumably less energy-consumptive) than firing the range. Chop of the top 1/2" or so of a head of garlic (until you can see the inside cloves), sprinkle with salt, drizzle oil over the top, and then wrap in aluminum foil. Leave a small hole at the top for water vapor to escape. Roast at 350 F for about an hour.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:55 PM on January 5, 2011

Baked potatoes are really quick and super delicious in a combi-microwave. It cooks the potatoes quickly (as if in a microwave), but gives a lovely crispy skin (as if in a regular oven). Takes about 15 minutes for two large-ish potatoes in mine (set at power 7, oven 200C), but there's a program for it. I'm pretty sure you'll find a recipe book to suit on Amazon if you search for "Combination microwave".
posted by car01 at 3:22 AM on January 6, 2011

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