RV microwave convection oven

The 5 Best RV Microwave Convection Ovens To Buy in 2022

If you travel full time or on long trips at a time, being able to cook fresh meals for yourself is very important. You won’t have a lot of space in your tiny RV kitchen to bring along your full army of gadgets and appliances, so anything that serves more than one purpose would be a life saver.

As such, an RV microwave convection oven is a must have. This two-in-one microwave and oven will let you defrost, heat, cook and bake a variety of delicious meals at a push of some buttons, all without you having to keep your eye on the food at all times.

A microwave convection oven needs some getting used to and adaptations for the best cooking results, as it works slightly differently than a regular microwave and a gas oven found in the home.

But worry not, as here you will find an in-depth review and comparison of the 5 best RV convection microwave units on the market, so you can grab one and hit the road in a heartbeat.

You will also learn how they work, the different types of microwave convection ovens, buying criteria to consider, what food to make, how to adjust cooking temperature, and other useful usage tips. 

Quick Recommendations

Regular Microwave Oven vs. Microwave Convection Oven

A microwave convection oven combo for RV is a two-in-one kitchen appliance that also has wide applications in dorms, tiny apartments and small homes. It can work as a microwave or as an oven, depending on the mode you set. 

With the microwave setting, a microwave convection oven will work just like a regular microwave for defrosting and reheating food and drinks, as well as for quickly cooking some common simple dishes like popcorn. What’s special about this type of appliance is how it works differently from a regular gas oven that you have at home.

Gas ovens heat up thanks to coils located at the top and bottom of the appliance. Meanwhile, instead of merely blasting heat like a regular oven, a microwave convection oven takes that heat and circulates it with fans.

This allows for more even cooking and thus shorter cooking times than gas ovens in most cases, since heat is circulated around, under and over your food. 

If you’re skeptical, you can use an oven thermometer to check and compare. You will see that a regular oven will have hot and cold patches. This means that when you’re cooking something with a large surface area, you will likely need to rotate the tray or sheet mid-way through the cooking cycle for the food to be evenly cooked throughout.

Another way to test is to bake a few trays of cookies. You’ll see uneven browning between the lower and higher shelves, as well as between the cookies at the center and the edges of the same tray.

Meanwhile, depending on the baking temperature, in most cases, you won’t need to rotate your cookie trays with a convection oven. 

Benefits of Microwave Convection Ovens

Firstly, space and load, particularly kitchen space in an RV is always limited, so anything that serves more than one purpose would be a practical camping solution. 

Secondly, if you prefer to cook with your oven to cooking on the stove for convenience, an RV microwave convection oven will not only deliver more even doneness and browning but will also shorten cooking time.

You will be able to churn out tasty and aesthetically pleasing dishes with less preparation, so you can spend more time outdoors instead of monitoring your food. 

Compared to a regular microwave, a microwave convection oven can cut down cooking time by up to 75 percent. Meanwhile, in the oven setting, a convection oven can cut down cooking time by up to 30 percent. 

Furthermore, speaking of monitoring your food, the best RV microwave convection oven these days often packs multiple smart features that would automatically prevent undercooking as well as overcooking, all without you having to keep an eye on the food all the time.

An example of such high-tech features is sensor cooking that can detect doneness and adjust cooking time accordingly for the best results.

In addition, another major advantage of cooking with the convection setting is that it doesn’t heat up your entire RV like a regular oven or a stove. Instead, it keeps the cooking process enclosed inside its chamber. In this way, a convection oven is comparable with an air fryer. 

microwave convection oven combo for rv

Review of 5 Best RV Microwave Convection Ovens

The market for small microwave convection oven for RV is vast and diverse. You might come across expensive units with a host of high-tech convenience and safety features, which you might find a good fit with your special needs or personal preferences.

That said, the five models handpicked in this list are chosen as they are reasonably priced, fully functional, user friendly and durable units that will be suitable for most average camping requirements.

Dive right in, or first learn the basics and important criteria in the next few sections. 

1. Best Countertop Unit: TOSHIBA  EC042A5C-BS 3-in-1 Countertop 1.5 Cu. Ft. Microwave Convection Oven  

TOSHIBA 3-in-1 EC042A5C-BS Countertop Microwave Oven
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Specifications:

  • Type: countertop unit
  • Capacity: 1.5 cubic feet (42.5 liters)
  • Features: Humidity sensor for cooking and reheating, 10 power levels, 2 defrost settings, ECO mode, 2 grill racks, child safety lock
  • Energy consumption: starting wattage 1,500 watts, running wattage 1,000 watts
  • Material: stainless steel exterior and interior 
  • Weight: 44.8 pounds

Why we love it: 

The TOSHIBA EC042A5C-BS has it all: it’s affordable, durable, easy to use and clean, and can churn out great looking and tasting food and baked goods without close monitoring. This countertop microwave convection oven boasts the high-tech humidity sensor to detect doneness and accordingly adjust cooking or reheating time for optimum results. 

You can easily access the  13 pre-programmed sensor-cooking menus for popular foods like frozen pizza, vegetables and more with the “sensor cook” button. In addition, the four auto bake menus and four auto roast menus will let you make even a larger selection of simple but delicious dishes at a push of a button. 

This fully functional unit gives you ample options to customize your cooking and baking the way you like it. You can choose among 10 power levels of microwave cooking, defrost by weight or time, use the  express cook buttons to make instant dishes in 1 to 6 minutes, and use the memory function to recreate your favorites. It might take you a few trials to get to know the quirks of your TOSHIBA microwave convection oven, and from then on preparing meals would become effortless and enjoyable. 

Another handy feature made for camping is the ECO mode that would use only half of the usual power consumption, which is ideal for boondocking trips. This oven combo has a starting wattage of 1,500 watts and draws 1,000 watts to run. 

All in all, this unit is extremely easy to use and maintain, as you would expect from TOSHIBA. The user interface is straightforward and intuitive, while the all stainless steel exterior and interior are easy to clean. Plus it’s durable, so you will get a lot of good use out of it for many years to come. In most camping applications, you should get at least 7 years of service. There’s nothing I can nitpick about this well rounded product.  

2. Best Over-The-Range Unit: Sharp R1874T 850W Over-the-Range Convection Microwave 

Sharp R1874T 850W Over-the-Range Convection Microwave
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Specifications:

  • Type: over-the-range unit
  • Capacity: 1.1 cubic feet (31 liters)
  • Features: sensor cooking, 11 power levels, built-in exhaust system, hood light, 2 grill racks
  • Energy consumption: running wattage 850 watts
  • Material: stainless steel exterior and interior 
  • Weight: 72 pounds
  • 10 year warranty

Why we love it: 

With a running wattage of 850 watts, this over-the-range convection microwave is not as powerful as the above offering from TOSHIBA, but it is one of the most functional units within the over-the-range category. It also comes with sensor cooking technology and a multitude of settings for precise cooking and baking with minimal monitoring, and is super easy to clean and heavy duty. It comes with a reassuring 10 year warranty by Sharp, so you can expect a long service life. 

This convection microwave lets you brown, bake, broil, crisp, and roast a wide selection of main dishes, side dishes and desserts. In addition, it has 8 sensor cook settings, 12 pre-programmed convection settings and has 11 power levels that you can alternate. 

Right out of the box, I found its many buttons and menus not as straightforward as the above TOSHIBA model. But after reading the manual, which is very straightforward, and after a few trials, I instantly came to enjoy cooking with this handy convection microwave. Everything was always evenly cooked with mouth-watering browning on the surface. I also find that this unit delivers a better crisp and broiled texture to grilled dishes than other convection microwaves that I’ve tried. 

The built-in exhaust system and hood light are both satisfactory for most average needs. As for design and construction, the minimal stainless steel exterior and interior will look good in any RV kitchen, and are a breeze to clean. 

3. Best Value: RecPro RV Stainless-Steel Microwave 1.0 cu ft. With Trim Package EM925AQR-S

RecPro RV Stainless-Steel Microwave 1.0 cu ft.
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Specifications:

  • Capacity: 1.0 cubic feet (28.3 liters)
  • Features: 8 express cook options, express 30-second start, 2 defrost settings, 10 power levels, child lock
  • Energy consumption: 1,350 watts
  • Material: stainless steel exterior and interior 
  • Weight: 27.5 pounds

Why we love it:

If you want a simpler over-the-range microwave convection oven than the previous one from Sharp to make a smaller selection of common dishes, the RecPro EM925AQR-S 1.0 cubic feet unit would be just perfect. 

This unit does not offer sensor cooking, so you might need to check your food from time to time to avoid overcooking, especially as you’re starting to make a new dish. But once you’ve become familiar with your Recpro oven though, creating perfectly and evenly cooked meals will be very straightforward. Furthermore, you can customize to your heart’s content with the 10 power levels to get optimum doneness each time.

There are 8 express cook options for Popcorn, Potato, Pizza, Beverage, Soup, Dinner Plate, Fresh Vegetable, and Frozen Vegetable. Other features include express 30-second start, 2 defrost settings, and child safety lock. 

As for installation, a trim kit is included. It also helps that this unit is surprisingly lightweight for its solid construction, should you choose to install it yourself. At under 28 pounds, it weighs less than half the Sharp model which has similar capacity.

4. Cuisinart CMW-200 1.2-Cubic-Foot Convection Microwave Oven with Grill

Cuisinart CMW-200 1.2-Cubic-Foot Convection Microwave Oven with Grill
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Specifications:

  • Type: Countertop unit
  • Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet (34 liters)
  • Features: programmable multi-stage cooking, 9 express cook options, 11 power levels, memory function
  • Energy consumption: running wattage 900 watts
  • Material: stainless steel exterior and interior 
  • Weight: 41.3 pounds

Why we love it:

What’s really special about the CMW-200 1.2-Cubic-Foot convection microwave from Cuisinart is its programmable multi-stage cooking function. You can program this smart oven to automatically switch from one function to the next without you having to dial a new command after each stage.

For instance, it can defrost a tray of frozen chicken legs, then grill or roast as per instructed. This means you can put the ingredients in, push some buttons and go to the next room to finish your laundry. 

This smart unit also offers 9 express cook options for common dishes, 11 power levels for customized doneness, and also memory function for recreating your favorite dishes. 

5. Dometic DCMC11B.F Convection Microwave Oven

Dometic DCMC11B.F Convection Microwave Oven
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Specifications:

  • Type: over-the-range unit
  • Capacity: 1.1 cubic feet (31 liters)
  • Features: safety lock, 8 express cook options, quick start, 10 power levels
  • Energy consumption: running 1,000 watts
  • Material: stainless steel exterior and interior 
  • Weight: 35 pounds

Why we love it:

Here’s another excellent RV microwave convection oven that’s lightweight and comes ready to install with trim kit and exhaust kit included.

It is a simple and straightforward unit that might offer less customized options for the most sophisticated home cooks, but plenty for most average campers.

It has 10 power levels, a quick start button, and 6 express cook options to quickly cook pizza, popcorn, potato, chicken, cakes, and spaghetti. 

Types of Microwave Convection Oven

Countertop Ovens

Like the name suggests, this type of convection oven for RV is placed on a countertop or any other level surfaces and doesn’t require complicated installation like the other type below. You only need to make sure that they are secure and won’t slide out of position while your RV is in motion. They typically come with anti-skid rubber legs to ensure stability. 

In addition, like with regular ovens, you should place them away from any heat source. In comparison, microwave convection ovens tend to be a bit bulkier than over-the-range varieties. 

Over-The-Range Ovens

Over-the-range microwave convection ovens are specifically designed to be installed on the wall  over a stovetop in smaller kitchens. They require a special trim kit and more complicated installation. The major advantage of this type of microwave oven is that as it is mounted on the wall, it won’t take up valuable kitchen counter space, which is always limited in most RVs. 

Over-the-range microwave convection ovens typically come with a range hood to help ventilate the gas range and stove beneath them. Many RVs come with an over-the-range unit as a stock option thanks to such neat setup.

What To Look For In A Microwave Convection Oven

Microwave convection ovens for RVs can vary widely in terms of size or capacity, cooking temperatures and settings, and additional features.

You will need to consider your RV kitchen’s available space, power system and your cooking preferences to select the most functional unit at a reasonable price. 

Capacity

The bigger a model is, the more food it can cook in one go. And even if you don’t put in a big item, a bigger oven generally allows for more even cooking. The capacity of most units on the market today usually varies between 0.6 to 2.0 cubic feet or about 17 to 57 liters.

Similar to buying a fridge, in addition to the overall capacity, you should also check the size of the racks and the height of the interior when comparing similar convection ovens.

This affects what dishes you can comfortably cook with the unit, just like how the design and placement of the shelves and other storage accessories inside a fridge affect how much food and drinks you can squeeze into it.

Cooking Temperature 

The maximum temperature that your microwave convection oven can be set at will decide what dishes you can confidently make with good results. In general, a large cut of roasted or grilled meat would require higher temperatures than other dishes, usually at least 450°F. 

Convection ovens are generally hotter as well as drier than household gas ovens, with a temperature range of 300°F to 550°F. Meanwhile, the majority of home gas ovens have a range of 250°F to 450°F.

Cooking Settings

When you’re camping in the confined space of an RV, anything multipurpose would be extra valuable.

Most microwave convection ovens for camping applications offer the various cooking settings that you find with a regular microwave, except for the broil feature of a gas oven.

Some examples include defrosting, reheating and cooking common items like meat, poultry, seafood or vegetables, making popcorn, and many other common simple dishes.

These settings can allow you to produce simple yet delicious meals within minutes. 

Additional Features

Like most kitchen appliances of the modern day, a microwave oven now packs more convenience features than ever. Their purpose is to let you cook more dishes with better results without having to monitor at all times.

A super handy feature for the busy campers is an automatic cleaning function. Keeping your unit clean is important, since splashes or buildups will accumulate unpleasant odors that can ruin your freshly made meals.

Another well received feature is pre-programmed cooking menus that allow you to customize your favorite dishes at the push of some buttons. 

Many latest models even boast precise built-in humidity sensors that detect the humidity inside the microwave to know when your food is sufficiently cooked.

The unit then automatically shuts off to achieve optimal doneness without overcooking your food. This feature is practical because microwaves function by activating the water content in food, which causes it to steam as it cooks.

best rv microwave convection oven

Power Consumption

Most microwave convection ovens for RV have a power consumption of between 600 and 2,200 watts. In general, a unit with a higher wattage will heat foods more evenly and much faster.

It’s important to note that this appliance draws much more electricity upon starting up than for continuing operation. A unit that draws around 625 watts to keep running can demand as much as 2,000 watts to start.

This means that to make sure your existing power system, including any solar panels or generator that you have, is powerful enough to handle a particular RV microwave convection oven on top of other appliances, the number to keep in mind is the starting wattage, not the running wattage.

Your power system must be able to supply at least the total starting wattage of all appliances. If not, you will have to make sure to turn on only one appliance at a time and wait a while before turning on the next. 

Of course you probably won’t run everything at once, but the rule of thumb is to overestimate your total energy consumption by at least 20 percent as a safety cushion.

So if your microwave convection oven has a starting wattage of 2,000 watts, while your 12 volt fridge requires 900 watts, your vacuum cleaner 1,000 watts and your blow hair dryer 1,500 watts, you will need a generator capable of at least: (2,000 + 900 +1,000 +1,500) x 120% = 6,480 watts.

Smart Features

The most technologically advanced microwave convection ovens today might come with a number of smart features, including hand-free voice commands and WiFi-enabled app control, with the option to check in on food from another room to know if it’s ready to serve.

When paired with a smart-home assistant or the app, you might be able to program your unit to start at a predetermined time, so that you can return to your RV from an excursion to find your dinner ready and hot in the oven.

Many models even allow you to scan the barcode on a packaged food and will automatically adjust the time and power settings to best cook that item.

Trim Kit

A trim kit is really only necessary if you’re buying an over-the-range microwave convection oven. Most units of this type come with a trim kit included, but there are some that don’t, so make sure you check before buying. 

Do note that it’s always harder to get a separately sold trim kit that will perfectly match your oven. You should always try to purchase an over-the-range model that comes complete with a compatible trim kit.

In case you are buying a second hand unit and want to install it with a separate trim kit, it can be done but it’s a lot harder and messier. 

How To Use A Microwave Convection Oven

What Dishes To Make 

A microwave convection oven in the convection setting creates a drier environment than a conventional home oven. This means that you can get fantastic results with certain dishes, and the opposite is true; there are some recipes that are not meant to be made in a convection oven.   

The convection setting would yield the best results when you’re cooking or baking low-sided roasting pans or glass trays or metal cookie sheets.

Due to the working mechanism of convection ovens, cooking with large but low-sided dishes will expose the surface area of your food so that hot air can circulate all the way around the food, thus achieving fast and even cooking. 

Some dishes that will yield the best results when cooking with an RV microwave convection oven are lasagna, spaghetti, grilled meatballs, casseroles, roasted vegetables, roasted meat, roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes, cookies, granola and toasted nuts. 

In contrast, with baked goods, due to the drier baking environment, you should only use your microwave convection oven to make baked goods that require little moisture like cookies. If you like crunchy, crispy cookies, a huge perk with baking them in a convection oven is there’s no more rotating mid-way through the baking cycle to achieve even doneness and browning.

Meanwhile, delicate and moist baked goods like flans and cakes, especially sponge cake and chiffon require a lot of moisture and lower heat for the fluffy, soft texture. A hotter and drier environment accelerates crust formation in these moist baked goods, which will reduce rise and result in a dense and firm texture. 

If you insist on trying this type of recipe, the best you can do is to set a lower temperature than you normally would with a home gas oven, put your baking pan directly in a large water bath and cover the pan with foil to prevent crust formation and possible cracking on the surface. 

Use The Right Cookware

In terms of what cookware and bakeware to use, you should treat your microwave convection oven like how you would use a regular microwave and a regular gas oven. This means it’s safer to use cookware that is microwave safe and never use metal while your unit is in microwave mode.

When using the oven mode, make sure your bakeware is oven safe and can handle the temperature you subject it to. But as above, a low-sided vessel would be ideal for even cooking and baking.

Materials that you can use in both microwave and oven settings include glass dishes and trays and the newer silicone trays. Metal baking sheets and pans or oven safe frying pans also allows you to make a variety of savory and sweet recipes in the oven mode. 

Temperature Adjustments

Convection ovens are generally hotter as well as drier than household gas ovens, with a temperature range of 300°F to 550°F. Meanwhile, the majority of home gas ovens have a range of 250°F to 450°F.

Also note that an oven, that is any oven, is rarely accurate. That is an oven rarely reaches the exact temperature that it is set at.

A tip from the best cooks and bakers is that when you first switch from using your home oven to using an RV microwave convection oven, you should use an in-oven thermometer to note down the difference between the set temperature and the actual temperature for both units.

This will allow you to make temperature adjustments in order to achieve the same result consistently when making the same recipe using a convection unit. 

In most cases, a convection oven is typically 25°F to 30°F hotter than a conventional oven set to the same temperature.

This means that, for example, if you have a bake that you usually made at 400°F in your home oven, you would achieve a better result with your convection oven set a bit lower, down to 375°F or whatever suitable level based on your tests using the thermometer as above. 

Recipe Adjustments

If you are used to cooking and baking in the gas oven you have at home, using an RV microwave convection oven will require you to make a few minor adjustments when making the same dishes. This is because a convection oven delivers a drier environment, different heat distribution and faster cooking time. 

In general, you may want to reduce your cooking time. Start with a reduction of about 20 percent, or refer to your manual for the recommended cooking time for some common dishes.

That said, a microwave convection oven is still an oven, and it’s easy to make adaptations. Once you have familiarized yourself with the different settings and quirks of your unit, you will greatly enjoy the convenient cooking process as well as the results. 

The only thing lacking is that a microwave convection oven does not have a direct flame source on food like that in a gas oven.

This means that you won’t get that quick char-broil browning and crispy texture on the surface of your grilled ribs or pizza. For certain dishes, you can get some charring with the right blow torch, like the one used for creme brulee. 

Less Consistent Baking Time

Microwave convection ovens are smaller than household gas ovens, so when in oven mode, the cooking times for the same dish might not be as consistent as with a gas oven.

This means for the best results, you should monitor your food closely during the first few trials to make sure it’s fully and evenly cooked.

Try to take note of any quirks or tendencies that you notice from your unit. Over time, as you have come to understand how your microwave convection oven treats different dishes, adapting will be a breeze. 

Microwave Convection Oven FAQs

Do microwave convection ovens cook food faster?

Compared with regular home microwaves and gas ovens, the working mechanism of microwave convection ovens allows them to cut down cooking time of most dishes by anything between 25 and 75 percent.

However, due to the generally lower temperatures when in the oven mode, baking time for baked goods will be roughly the same.

How long does it take for the convection oven to heat up?

The time varies depending on your unit and what setting you use, but in most cases, it can take up to 10 minutes to fully heat up the inside of a small microwave convection oven for camping.

Can I put metal in a microwave convection oven?

You must not put metal or any other cookware that is not marked “microwave safe” in a microwave convection oven while in the microwave mode, just like with a regular microwave. When the unit is in convection mode though, you can use metal, glass and silicone cookware and bakeware, just like how you would cook and bake in a gas oven at home.

How many generator Watts will I need to run a microwave convection oven?

Most average RV microwave convection ovens on the market only need up to about 650 watts to keep running once it’s started, but draw much more power upon starting up, with a starting wattage of up to 2,200 watts. Note that this case is also true for a number of appliances that you would be using in your RV, with the most power hungry ones include a 12 volt RV fridge, a portable air conditioner and a vacuum cleaner. 

This means that your generator needs to be powerful enough to supply at least the starting wattage of your microwave convection oven, or the sum of your appliances’ starting wattages. If not, you will have to make sure to turn on only one appliance at a time and wait a while before turning on the next. 

Of course you probably won’t run everything at once, but the rule of thumb is to overestimate your total energy consumption by at least 20 percent as a safety cushion. So if your microwave convection oven has a starting wattage of 2,000 watts, and assume that this is the only thing you need to run, you will need a generator capable of at least 2,400 watts. 

Who make the best microwave convection oven for RVs?

The most prestigious brands with many tried and tested models include LG, Sharp, Toshiba, Bosch, Cuisinart, and Farberware.

How long will a microwave convection oven last? 

Most RV microwave convection ovens last between 5 and 10 years, depending on the model and maintenance. 

How much does a microwave convection oven cost? 

There are two price ranges. At $150 to $400, you will get a fully functional unit but with less additional features and cooking settings. Meanwhile, units in the $400 to $800 range offer more advanced features that let you cook a wider variety of dishes with better results while having to monitor your food less. They also tend to be more long lasting, thanks to more solid construction and heavy duty materials.

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