Microwaves. They used to be these massive, clunky things you used to walk inside of. Or was that computers? Who can remember, considering that microwave technology has been more or less stagnant since they developed the rotating wheel thingy. That is, until now. The Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1 is a microwave, but it’s oh so much more.
Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1 specifications
- Dimensions: 20.4 x 20.2 x 12.4 inches
- Materials: Brushed stainless steel
- Capacity: 1.1 cubic square feet
- Cook settings: Fast Combi, From Frozen, Airfry, Oven, Microwave, Food Menu
- Features: LCD Display, 10 inch Airfryer Pan, Element IQ heating system
The 3-in-1 is an apt name, considering that this microwave does much more than heat up leftovers or popcorn. Along with microwave cooking, the appliance is also a convection oven and an airfryer. It even comes with a sleek non-stick air frying pan. More on that later.
The Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1 has three different heating styles. The Fast Combi function lets you combine the speedy heat of a microwave oven with the browning and crisping capabilities of an airfryer. When you open the oven, there’s even a heating element on the appliance’s ceiling, no doubt where this “Fast Combi” magic happens.
Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1 Review: Is it worth it?
As someone who does a lot of serious cooking, I never thought I’d have so much fun using a microwave. Sure, a microwave oven is great for steaming veggies, heating water, and melting butter and chocolate. But actual cooking? Pass. Hard pass.
Things I made in the Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1
I figured, considering this whole Combi Wave concept was totally new to me, that I would take advantage of the oven’s presets. The “Food Menu” has built-in settings for a myriad of popular foods including pizza, cookies, french fries, cake, and even fish, meat, and chicken. Spoilers: all of these presets rendered amazing results. Here are a few things I made with the Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1.
- Blueberry Coffee Cake: Baking in the summer is pretty gnarly. It heats up the house something fierce. The Breville Wave 3-in-1 does occasionally get a little warmer than your average microwave, but nowhere near as much. This cake not only browned that streusel on top, but because it essentially steamed, the cake was unfathomably moist.
- Pepperoni Pan Pizza: This one was a game changer. Pizza, golden brown pizza, in a microwave oven. The cool part here is that the Combi Wave 3-in-1 pan has legs on it, so you can serve dinner right out of it. It takes me back to the mostly defunct dine-in Pizza Huts. Add a salad and a pitcher of Cola, and you can almost hear a Ms. Pac-Man machine in the distance.
- Old Bay Fries: I cooked these fries straight from the freezer with a couple teaspoons of olive oil using the fries preset. Recipes are adjusted to the amount of fries you’re making. I made 8 ounces, which “fried” up to perfection in about 15 minutes. After finishing them off with a little Old Bay, these remained pleasantly crispy for quite some time. Not that they lasted that long, mind you.
Aside from these impressive little feats, the microwave performed a few more–what I’m going to call, “mini-miracles.” Microwave bacon and breakfast sausage that was actually browned and crispy. Diced sweet potato that got a little caramelization. It even air fried chicken wings lightly dusted in cornstarch to crispy perfection.
Other features I liked
I never thought I would use the word “fancy” in conjunction with the word “microwave.” But from the stainless steel exterior to the LCD screen, this microwave practically screams “bougie.” Using the screen was also intuitive, especially when using the food menu presets. There’s even a dedicated “just a bit more” button that adds a little cook time to your food should it need it.
The air frying pan is perhaps my favorite feature, as the appliance takes full advantage of it. Not only is it easy to use, it’s (more importantly) easy to clean. And it parks right in the microwave when it’s not in use.
I’ve been using it almost exclusively for my baking needs. During the summer, using even a countertop oven adds unwelcome heat to a kitchen. Still, I’m a “have your cake and eat it too” sort of guy. In the case of summer baking, we’re talking actual cake.
And yes, while using the airfryer or the oven functions, the microwave does heat up more than your average microwave. However, the kitchen heats up considerably less than when I use my countertop oven. Cool! (Literally).
Usually, when an appliance sells itself as being able to do more than one thing, it does. And occasionally, it does these things…poorly. I never imagined I’d be able to make pan pizza or french fries using the same appliance I use to make popcorn.
The Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1 accomplishes all three of its cooking mediums with room to spare. It’s easily one of the priciest microwave ovens on the market, but consider this. It’s a countertop oven, an air fryer, and a microwave. Let’s do a little math!
- $125: Average cost of a good microwave:
- $199: Average cost of a good countertop oven
- $130: Average cost of a good air fryer
Add these all up and you’ve got $454 between three appliances. Suddenly, the Breville Combi 3-in-1’s price tag doesn’t seem so high. If your kitchen is on the smaller side, or you just want to get rid of countertop clutter, this little appliance does triple duty, and looks great doing it.
Where does microwave innovation go from here? No, you still can’t stick a cast iron pan inside one, but you can make a batch of brownies or even roast a whole chicken. The Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1 is a modern appliance marvel, and it’s available on Amazon for $449.
More Jaime Says: “Buy It!” Reviews
- GPD Win Max portable gaming laptop
- Breville Barista Touch Espresso Maker
- Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme
- O-Cedar EasyWring Mop
- Emeril Lagasse Pasta and More
- Canon Content Creator Kit
One more thing: Microwave friendly cookware
While I adore the pan that comes with the Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1, there’s a wide world of microwave friendly cookware that you may already have in your kitchen. However, here are a couple favorites of mine that work with this microwave, but also work with, shall we say, lesser models.
- Cuisinart Microwave Popcorn Make, $12: Typical microwave popcorn that you get in bags is loaded with fat, sodium, and who knows what else. A ¼ cup of raw kernels, a little oil, and as much salt as you want makes enough for two. You can even douse it with some real butter for the movie theater experience. And while it works as a dedicated popcorn maker, it’s also a great way to steam veggies. Plus, it’s collapsible so it won’t take up any space. A true unsung hero.
- Lekue Quick microwave pasta cooker, $26: Are you still boiling your pasta? What are you, amish? Instead of turning your kitchen into a sauna with a big pot of water, use this handy tool to cook everything from rigatoni to tagliatelle. There’s even a handy serving size measuring tool. The lid even doubles as a colander. Truth be told, it works pretty well with rice as well.
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