Difference Between a Combination Microwave and a Microwave with Grill?

Shopping for a new microwave? If so, you might have noticed that there are different types. For example, there are those with grills, combination microwaves and regular microwaves.

In this post, we will dive deeper into combination and grill microwaves. A grill microwave, just as the name suggests, is a microwave with a grill. A combination microwave boasts 2 methods of cooking.

So, how do the 2 models differ? Is one better than the other? You will find that soon enough.

What is a Combination Microwave?

A combination microwave is, in simple terms, a combination of an oven and microwave. It is essentially a cross between a convection oven that you use for baking and a standard microwave oven.

Like the standard microwave, a combination oven emits microwaves that heat your food evenly. However, they also produce heated air that not only heats food more quickly but also allows for added functions such as roasting and baking. This is convection cooking.

These microwaves tend to be larger and boast more functions and settings. Using pre-set buttons, you get a chance to select the right setting for what you need.

These microwave ovens are easy to use thanks to auto functions and pre-set buttons and cook food fast and more evenly.

What is a Grill Microwave?

A grill microwave is a microwave that can grill and perform the functions of a regular microwave. It is a perfect kitchen tool for you if looking for a microwave that reheats food or grill meat and veggies. However, it can’t bake or roast food.

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Although a little more advanced than regular microwaves, they are less so than the combination ones. However, they boast additional features like a rack or metal grill that help raise your food near the top of the microwave where the heating element is located.

So, why can’t a grill microwave bake food?

Grill microwaves can’t bake food since they don’t have a fan to distribute the heat evenly.

So, What Distinguishes a Combination Microwave from a Grill Microwave?

Discussed below are a few tips that will help you differentiate between the 2 models:

1. Features

A grill microwave boasts features like a power grill, solo grill, combo grill, turntable on/off, among others. Combo grill allows you to grill with both the microwave and grill functions. As a result, food cooks fast. You can, however, not use metal dishes with this mode.

On the other hand, the power grill allows you only to use the grill features; hence, food cooks slower. With this feature, you can use metal dishes. It is this mode that gives you the beautiful grill lines you see on grilled meat.

This microwave also features an eco-mode, an energy-efficient feature that helps you reduce your electricity bill.

On the other hand, a combination microwave has all the features of a grill microwave and regular microwaves. And yes, you can bake and roast using a combination microwave.

Most combination microwaves feature a tempered glass door. The door is usually heat-resistant and doesn’t break because of intense heat. This is very important, especially when you are baking.

2. Uses

You can use a grill microwave oven for simple cooking like brewing coffee, cooking rice or pasta and making popcorn for your family. You can also use them for defrosting and reheating food and drinks.

A grill microwave can also grill chicken, steak, fish and kebabs just like an outdoor BBQ.

With a combination microwave, you can grill, roast and bake. Here, you can prepare all the meals you would put in a regular microwave and grill microwave oven.

3. Capacity

Most microwave grill ovens can accommodate a capacity of 26 liters to 32 liters of food. They might be smaller than regular microwaves, but one will work for you if you have a small family.

Combination microwaves are a little bigger than grill ones.  However, most can accommodate a food capacity of up to 38 liters. So it gives you enough room to prepare tasty meals for your family from time to time.

One thing you need to note is the figures aren’t set in stone. Therefore capacity may vary according to make, model and manufacturer.

4. Placement

Both models can be placed on a kitchen countertop, over a stove range or mounted inside your cabinetry units.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Combination Microwave and a Grill Microwave

Advantages of a Combination Microwave


  • More expensive than regular ovens.
  • Walls get dirty more frequently and might be a little challenging to clean.

Advantages of a Grill Microwave

  • Can grill food like an outdoor BBQ.
  • Cooks a broader variety of meals than a regular microwave oven.
  • Easy to use without the microwave function.
  • Easier to clean than an outdoor BBQ grill.
  • Cooks faster than an outdoor BBQ grill.

Limitations of a Grill Microwave

  • Can only defrost, reheat and grill.
  • Extra features like a metal grill consume space in the oven.
  • Has components that require regular cleaning
  • Requires close monitoring when cooking to avoid burning or undercooking your food.

Which One is Better? A Combination Microwave or a Grill Microwave?

There is not one type of microwave, which is better than the other is. Each model has its benefits and drawbacks. In addition, each is ideal for different uses.

Therefore, when comparing and shopping around for the 2 models, consider your needs. Which one suits you best?

If interested in a microwave that will help you bake, roast, brown food, cook and even grill, a combination microwave is the best choice. However, if all you need is a microwave to help you grill steak and veggies fast and with ease, go for the grill model.

When looking for any microwave oven, don’t focus so much on the price, although it’s important as well. Instead, focus on quality and how best the microwave in question will nurse your needs. If your situation calls for either a combination/grill microwave, go for it.

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