0

I am making a small 2 bedroom rental unit with kitchen but on tight space, and I'd like to understand, whether equipping a wall mounted Microwave Oven, instead of the usual Oven+Microwave, would properly support making all the usual household staples, such as Frozen Costco Pizzas, Lasagna, while also being able to be used as a microwave when needed.

One product I had in mind is https://www.homedepot.ca/product/frigidaire-professional-1-6-cu-ft-built-in-convection-microwave-oven-in-smudge-proof-stainless-steel-with-sensor-cook/1001772820

I am reading things about cakes, and pizzas being a problem for these, please advice as we are working on the kitchen design, and need to decide whether this item is workable, or we'll need to have separate micro.

The other problem with that unit, is internal minimum size is 16 1/2", while a Costco pizza is 18".. so just 1.5" too small.

Please advice, Thanks.

2
  • Is this for long term or short term rental. If short term (like Airbnb) I suspect the issue will be that people need to learn to use it, but they’ll probably be more likely to eat out (unless you’re in a remote area with few food options) If long term, they’ll have more time to learn it, and probably be more likely to cook for themselves (but if they’re a heavy microwave or oven user is dependent on the person.
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 16:27
  • 1
    Both, the first family is a longer term, as they are helping out with the renovation etc to make it viable. But after they move out, it may go either way, probably short term as that'll be more profitable. I read the other answers, and I think I'll avoid this one, sounds not worth the hassle! I'd rather find narrowed unit that'll just fit Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 13:53

4 Answers 4

1

I don't know that particular model, but we have had frequent questions on the site where it turned out that such combination ovens don't turn off the microwave emitter when set in "baking" mode (and that's by design, not a broken unit). If this model doesn't turn off the microwaves during baking, it's unsuitable for many household baking applications. Cakes, many pies, some cookies, etc. will be doomed to failure.

If you don't have the space for two separate units, my personal preference as a would-be renter would be to have a small oven and no microwave. These are sold under the name "toaster ovens" but unless you buy the most miniature version, they are good enough for proper baking. The one thing you have to ensure is that it has both upper and lower heating elements, and ideally it can be switched to any combination. In fact, in my previous apartment, I used to have a 15-ish inch "toaster oven" as my only oven, and that worked well even for sophisticated baking, but also for everyday stuff including frozen pizza. * But this is my preference, and of course somebody else who never bakes may prefer a microwave (combined or not) over a toaster oven.

So what I can tell you is that from a baker's perspective,

  • these combination things aren't a replacement for an oven
  • a small "toaster" oven is a good replacement for a traditional large oven
  • a toaster oven together with a stove (or at least a hotplate) can do everything a microwave can do, with basically the same level of convenience. But many people don't know this and may insist on a microwave. . The combination ovens are a good "replacement" for a microwave oven. From there, it's no longer a cooking decision, but a business decision to decide how to allocate your available kitchen space.

* TIL that frozen pizzas are so big in North America. In Europe, they are around 30 cm (12 inch) and they used to fit perfectly in my toaster oven.

3
  • the thing is: with only a toaster oven you still don't have a microwave, whereas with a combi you have both - you might not be able to bake everything you want but you can reheat food from the fridge quicker.
    – Luciano
    Commented Dec 18, 2023 at 15:02
  • 2
    @Luciano with a combi, you don't have both. You have a microwave, and something that's kinda like an oven, but frustrates you most time you want to bake. So, if the space is really so small you only get one, you have to decide what's more important to you, oven with no microwave, or microwave with almost no oven.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 8:27
  • @rumtscho, not all combi ovens are always microwave. Mine allows selecting either setting or both combined and has a 40 cm/16" rotating dish in the bottom and allows a slightly larger size on the shelves.
    – Willeke
    Commented Dec 23, 2023 at 16:13
5

I can't speak for the particular model you're asking about (I can't access the link, but that's not relevant) but I have been using one of these combi-ovens for a few years. I've done many things, from grilling whole fish to baking cakes, lasagnas and roasting vegetables without problems. Mine also includes a steam version, which I used a few times for vegetables (I'd rather just use the microwave function for that).

The main issue with these ovens is the capacity, as you noticed it won't fit large items. Another issue is because the internal volume is small they lose heat rather quickly, so you have to avoid opening the door too often while using.

If you need to bake larger foods or want professional results (for example for baking bread or roasting a large bird) I'd recommend a separate oven. But for anything you can fit in the combi they work just fine.

5

I have only owned one combination oven and will not be purchasing another.

Like many things, these ovens are a compromise. I got an "access denied" message when I tried to follow the link to the specification but this is my opinion based on the one I owned a few years back:

  1. Limited internal size
  2. The oven is designed more for combination cooking (e.g. microwaving and traditional baking simultaneously) rather than baking
  3. The heat circulation is just not as good as a traditional fan oven
  4. Complexity. There is more to go wrong and as they use non-standard parts so more difficult to fix. The controls are not as intuitive as traditional equipment
  5. Non-standard equipment. Trends change, and unless they become very popular, this particular type of device may not be available in a few years time. What will you do if you can't get it repaired or replaced later?
  6. No flexibility - you can either microwave or bake but not separate dishes at the same time (i.e. roast meat and steam vegetables simultaneously)

I don't know if you are doing this restoration for yourself or to sell on etc, but an enthusiastic home cook would generally be happier with a separate oven/microwave setup. If you use two separate appliances it also is less inconvenient if one breaks, at least you can microwave or bake etc. Maintenance would be easier too, no need to find a specialist appliance if it breaks.

1

I've been using one for 5 years and had no problems. It microwaves fine, cooks fine, and grills fine.

We've used the oven for cakes, pies, lasagnas, pasta bakes, roast potatoes, cookies and much more.

We used the microwave regularly for milk, frozen meals, spaghetti noodles.

We rarely use the grill but have done chicken legs with it.

Considering your limited space, I'm sure you're not trying to cook for 5, so the size should be fine, too (pizzas we cut in half since it fits better).

Can't access your link, but as long as you get a decent quality one with a long guarantee, should be fine.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.