From warming up a cold cuppa to reheating leftovers for dinner, microwaves offer the ultimate in cooking convenience, and are a great energy-saving kitchen appliance compared with heating up your main oven. We’ve reviewed six freestanding models, all of which also have a handy grill function, to see which performed best on test.

Advertisement

Check out our round-up of energy-efficient air fryers and the best eco kettles

Although in general, the higher wattage a microwave has, the faster it will cook, don’t base your decision on this criteria alone. Depending on your lifestyle, other factors such as capacity, external size and range of features are likely to prove much more important.

Tried and tested: best microwaves with grill at a glance

Runners up


How we tested microwaves

We put our six microwaves through their paces by defrosting four slices of bread, heating up a serving of soup and grilling a slice of cheese on toast. We awarded each model up to 22 points for the following criteria: 

  • Ease of use, including whether dials and buttons were simple or fiddly, clarity of the display, internal capacity, ease of cleaning and instructions (5 points)
  • Features, points awarded for number of power levels, turntable, automatic settings, accessories, wattage, view through door, and child safety lock (7 points)
  • Cooking results, including defrosting, reheating and grilling (6 points)
  • Value for money, does it offer plenty of features, and does it come with a warranty? (2 points)
  • Good looks, is the microwave stylish and does it come in any different finishes? (2 points)

Six of the best microwaves with grill

1. Toshiba MW2-AG23PF(BK) microwave oven with grill

Best eco microwave with grill

  • Score: 21/22
  • Buy now from Amazon (around £94.99)
Toshiba MW2-AG23PF(BK) microwave oven with grill

Features

  • Eco mode
  • 900W microwave power
  • 1050W grill power
  • 5 microwave power levels
  • 8 preset cooking functions
  • Defrost by weight and time function
  • Combination cooking

Is the Toshiba MW2-AG23PF(BK) microwave oven easy to use?

With two large dials and stop/start buttons, the control panel is super simple. It also means there are few fiddly nooks and crannies for dirt and grime to get stuck in. The display is very clear. Considering its larger 23-litre capacity, the external dimensions are reasonably compact, measuring H29.6cm x W48.5cm x D40.30cm. The inside measures H22.1cm x W31.4cm x D34.7cm, with a 27cmDia turntable, which does need to be washed by hand. The instruction manual is very detailed.

How good are the Toshiba MW2-AG23PF(BK) microwave oven’s cooking results?

This performed really well on our three cooking tests, with the grill function especially speedy. Auto-defrost worked well to thaw our sliced bread, while soup was piping hot in next to no time.

Toshiba MW2-AG23PF(BK) microwave oven with grill

Is the Toshiba MW2-AG23PF(BK) microwave oven good value for money?

Not many models offer a high wattage and good selection of features and programmes for this price, so yes, this is a great buy. There’s also a year’s warranty included.

How does the Toshiba MW2-AG23PF(BK) microwave oven look?

We liked the simple styling of the control panel, although we would have liked the option of a finish other than black.

Should you buy it?

We were really impressed with the features offered for the price point, and the eco mode was a really useful addition.


2. Russell Hobbs 20 litre stainless steel digital microwave with grill

Best stylish microwave with grill

Russell Hobbs 20 litre stainless steel digital microwave with grill review

Features

  • 800W microwave power
  • 1000W grill power
  • 5 microwave power levels
  • 1 grill setting
  • Plenty of pre-programmed settings based on type of food and weight
  • 2 combination cooking modes which use both microwave and grill
  • Turntable
  • Grill rack

Is the Russell Hobbs 20-litre stainless steel digital microwave easy to use?

The large dial and buttons are simple to operate, and it has a very clear display. The glass turntable can be popped in the dishwasher to save time when cleaning. It has a 20-litre capacity, an external size of H26.2cm x W45.2cm x D39.5cm, and internal dimensions of H18cm x W29cm x D29cm. The instruction manual explains the features and functions well.

How good are the Russell Hobbs 20-litre stainless steel digital microwave’s cooking results?

Our four slices of bread defrosted quickly using the auto defrost setting, and the 800W power did a great job of heating a bowl of soup. Although the grill only has one setting, cheese on toast was a breeze.

More like this
Russell Hobbs 20 litre stainless steel digital microwave with grill review

Is the Russell Hobbs 20-litre stainless steel digital microwave good value for money?

With full marks for features, we believe this option is worth the price, plus it comes with a one-year warranty for peace of mind.

How does the Russell Hobbs 20-litre stainless steel digital microwave with grill look?

The smart stainless steel finish gives it a premium feel, which would look great on any worktop.

Should you buy it?

With a good range of features and a smart exterior, this is a great buy for just over £100.


3. George Home Black digital microwave with grill

Best microwave with grill under £100

George Home Black digital microwave with grill review

Features

  • 800W microwave power
  • 1000W grill power
  • 5 power levels
  • Defrost by weight and time function
  • 8 pre-set cooking menus
  • Turntable
  • View through door
  • Child lock

Is the George Home black digital microwave with grill easy to use?

A digital display, large dial and range of buttons make this an easy model to operate, and we liked that the door opened with a handle rather than a button. The glass turntable does need to be washed by hand. It measures H30cm x W49cm x D40cm, so it is a little on the large side considering the 20-litre capacity and the internal dimensions of H18cm x W30cm x W30cm. It comes with an easy-to-understand instruction booklet.

George Home Black digital microwave with grill review

How good are the black digital microwave with grill’s cooking results?

The 800W of microwave power made light work of our heating and defrosting challenges, and although the grill only has one setting, it had cheese on toast bubbling in under two minutes.

Is the black digital microwave with grill good value for money?

As one of the most affordable appliances we tested, we were impressed with the range of features on offer. It also comes with a two-year warranty.

George Home Black digital microwave with grill review

How does the black digital microwave with grill look?

The simple yet stylish look of this model mean that it will look good on display in your kitchen, although the only colour choice is black.

Should you buy it?

A bargain at under £80, this is a great value microwave with a good selection of features and functions, alongside smart good looks. It also has the Quiet Mark award, so it’s not too noisy in an open-plan kitchen/diner.

4. Panasonic NN-K18JMMBPQ 20 litre microwave with grill

Best overall microwave with grill

  • Score: 21/22
  • Buy now from AO (£129)
Panasonic NN-K18JMMBPQ review

Features

  • 800W of microwave power, with five levels
  • 3 grill settings and a range of auto programmes including combination cooking and auto defrost
  • The 1000W grill has three different settings
  • Turntable
  • Child lock
  • Clear view through the door

Is the Panasonic NN-K18JMMBPQ 20 microwave easy to use?

With a smart touch control panel, this model is super simple to use, and the display is clear to read. It has a 20-litre capacity, an external size of H25.8cm x W44.3cm x D 33cm and internal dimensions of H21.5cm x W30.6cm x D30.5cm, making it a good choice for smaller households. The 25cm turntable is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning, and the design of the control panel can be wiped clean in a flash. It also comes with a detailed instruction manual complete with cooking guide.

How good are the Panasonic NN-K18JMMBPQ 20 microwave’s cooking results?

We used the auto setting to defrost bread, which worked quickly and efficiently, and heating a bowl of soup was a breeze too. The grill function had our cheese on toast bubbling in under two minutes.

Panasonic NN-K18JMMBPQ review

Is the Panasonic NN-K18JMMBPQ 20 microwave good value for money?

Although one of the more pricey models we tested, we feel that the range of features justifies the cost. It also comes with a one-year warranty.

How does the Panasonic NN-K18JMMBPQ 20 microwave with grill look?

We were impressed with this microwave's sleek silver finish, which has rather a retro, nostalgic look about it. The only drawback is it’s not available in any other colour options.

Should you buy it?

If you’re looking for an efficient, compact microwave then you can’t go far wrong with this one. The range of features and settings make it a worthwhile purchase, and the three different grill levels are really handy.


5. EGL 20-litre digital microwave with grill

  • Score: 18/22
  • Buy now from Studio (£85)
EGL 20-litre digital microwave with grill review

Features

  • 800W microwave and grill power
  • 6 microwave power levels
  • 1 grill setting
  • Auto-defrost, for weights from 100g to 1800g
  • 9 auto-cook menus
  • Clear view through door
  • Child lock

Is the EGL 20-litre digital microwave with grill easy to use?

The interior measures H18cm x W29cm x D25cm, with a 25cm turntable, so it’s not ideal for larger plates or dishes, but it doesn’t take up much worktop space at just H26.2cm x W45.2cm x D35.8cm. The display is not as clear as some others, but the dial and buttons are easy to work. The instruction manual is basic but covers all the key features.

EGL 20-litre digital microwave with grill review

How good are the EGL 20-litre digital microwave with grill’s cooking results?

Grilling took longer than the other models we tested, but it achieved good results. The auto-defrost worked well for bread, and the microwave power was efficient at heating soup.

Is the EGL 20-litre digital microwave with grill good value for money?

Yes – considering the features on offer, and the year’s warranty that’s included, this is an affordable buy for smaller households.

EGL 20-litre digital microwave with grill review

How does the EGL 20-litre digital microwave with grill look?

The black finish features an aluminium alloy handle, a chrome plated dial and buttons, and a nicely-designed control panel.

Should you buy it?

This microwave scored quite highly on points, especially given its affordable price, so we think it’s a good buy and is plenty good enough for day-to-day microwaving and grilling.


6. Sharp YC-GG02U-B microwave with grill

  • Score: 15/22
  • Buy now from Amazon (£70.18) or OnBuy (£89.99)
Sharp YC-GG02U-B microwave with grill review

Features

  • 700W microwave power
  • 1000W grill power
  • 2 combination cooking settings
  • Turntable
  • Grill rack

Is the Sharp YC-GG02U-B microwave with grill easy to use?

This model doesn’t have a display, and the large dial which operates the time does mean that you can’t set it in very small increments after the first minute. The instruction manual is a little basic. Its 20-litre capacity makes it suitable for small to medium households. The external dimensions are H26.2cm x W45.2cm x D34.5cm, and the inside measures H19.8cm x W31.5cm x D29.7cm.

Sharp YC-GG02U-B microwave with grill

How good are the Sharp YC-GG02U-B microwave with grill’s cooking results?

We awarded this model five out of six points for cooking results. It did pass our three tests, but defrosting and heating through both took a little longer, due to its slightly lower wattage.

Is the Sharp YC-GG02U-B microwave with grill good value for money?

Although it doesn’t have quite as many features as some of the other models tested, we feel that this was a reasonable buy nonetheless as it did all the basics required of a microwave, and was one of the lower-priced models on our list. It does come with a one-year warranty.

Sharp YC-GG02U-B microwave with grill review

How does the Sharp YC-GG02U-B microwave with grill look?

The chic black finish of this microwave would match well with other black kitchen appliances, but we did feel that the design of the control panel was a little basic, so it lost a point here.

Should you buy it?

If you’re not fussed about too many special features, or stunning good looks, then this could be the model for you, as it heats, defrosts and grills efficiently, and is priced at under £90. The controls are a little tricky to get used to, but we liked the addition of the handy defrosting guide that’s printed on the front.


What is the best microwave with grill?

Following our testing (and the all-important job of eating many slices of cheese on toast!) we came to the conclusion that the Panasonic NN-K18JMMBPQ 20 microwave is worth splashing out a little more on. Its extensive range of features, combined with stylish design and simple, easy-to-clean touch controls, made it our winner.


FAQs

What is the difference between a convection microwave and grill microwave?

A convection microwave combines two forms of heat power; microwaving and convection oven heating, meaning you can bake and roast food as well as heat it up. A grill microwave meanwhile, uses standard microwave heating power along with a grilling function. It comes with heated coils to grill, roast and toast your food, as well as heat it up.

... and what is a combination microwave?!

A combination microwave, or a combi microwave as they're also called, uses microwave power with the additional benefit of fanned hot air, meaning your meals cook faster and more evenly, as they would in a traditional oven.

Are microwaves more energy efficient than ovens?

“Since its invention in 1945, the microwave has become a kitchen necessity for families up and down the nation, and due to the recent cost-of-living crises, they’ve been soaring in popularity. Currys has seen a 47% increase in sales of microwaves in the last month, with on-site searches for the product increasing by a third compared to last year. A microwave typically uses 1,500 watts of electricity, making it far more energy efficient than any electric oven. A microwave can also reach temperatures virtually instantaneously, taking far less time to prepare meals than an oven or hob, which makes it an incredibly convenient way to cook food for Brits on the go or with big families. In fact, you can save up to £286.52 per year on cooking costs if you use a microwave over an electric oven, and with consumers looking at ways to cut costs on their energy bills it’s no wonder this household staple is once again growing in popularity.”

- Paul Murphy, Head of SDA, Currys

Advertisement

Check out our round-up of energy-efficient air fryers and the best eco kettles too

Authors

Lisa Hibberd is an experience freelance journalist specialising in interiors

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement