Don't Look Past Microwave Oven Combos During Your Next Kitchen Reno

When you are considering ideas for your kitchen remodel, you don't want to just focus on new cabinets or a change in color scheme. This is a great time to consider upgrading some appliances or making major changes to the appliances you already have. One you may want to consider is a microwave oven combo. This appliance combines the best aspects of an oven and a microwave. It can cook like a microwave by heating food quickly, but it also can operate like an oven and brown some kinds of food.

The cost to remodel a kitchen can range from around $13,000 to $75,000, so installing this two-in-one type of appliance shouldn't add a significant amount to your overall budget. The microwave oven combo appliance typically carries a price tag of $2,000 to $4,000. Before you buy a standalone microwave, understand that basic models cost $100 to $300, but high-end features -– like larger capacity models and stainless steel designs -– can raise the price tag to around $500 or more. A standalone oven or range may cost $600 to $1,300 for a basic model, but higher-end units can cost $2,000 or more. Buying them separately would save you some money in some cases, unless you were using a standalone oven and microwave with extremely high-end features. Still, there are pros and cons to this combo.

Advantages of installing an oven microwave combo appliance

One of the biggest advantages of a microwave oven combo unit is the ability to save space. If you live in an apartment or have a small kitchen, receiving the benefits of these two appliances in one unit can preserve space for other items. A camper or recreational vehicle (RV) also can take advantage of this combo unit. If you had the microwave on the countertop in your old kitchen design, putting these two appliances together lets you free up counter space. You gain even more lower cabinet space in a tight kitchen when you remove the slide-in oven and replace it with cabinets.

If you are looking to improve the aesthetics of your remodeled kitchen, the oven microwave combo unit often provides a more stylish look than standalone units. Because the oven microwave combo appliance is built into the wall, you can place the appliance at the perfect height for convenient use. You don't have to stoop and bend over to try to pull a heavy dish out of an oven that's close to the floor. The oven microwave combo often has a greater collection of safety features than either standalone appliance, including auto shut-off to protect against overheating.

Disadvantages of a microwave oven combination unit

Beyond the potentially higher cost of the oven microwave combo, perhaps the biggest drawback to the combination appliance is that it can't quite match all the features of a standalone oven. For example, if you enjoy baking pies and biscuits, the combo appliance will struggle to achieve the same level of baking quality as a traditional unit.

Another disadvantage of the combo unit is that it doesn't quite match the full capabilities of a standalone microwave. Those who frequently microwave food may notice issues with uneven heating when using the oven microwave combination versus a high-quality standalone microwave.

If you need to cook large meals, the combo appliance is going to have a smaller size than a typical standalone oven. You may not be able to cook as much as you normally would in a traditional unit. Those who frequently bake and cook large meals may prefer the idea of a double wall oven and a separate microwave instead. A typical combo appliance may have around 1.4 cubic feet of microwave space and 5 cubic feet of oven space. A traditional standalone oven may offer as much capacity as 6.3 cubic feet, while a double unit may have as much as 7.3 cubic feet. A typical standalone microwave has up to 2.2 cubic feet of capacity.