The Best Microwave with Crisp Function: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you dreaming of foods with tasty crispy crusts but don’t really want to deep-fry them? You might be able to make food healthy, crispy, and delicious with your microwave oven – as long as you have a microwave with a crisp function.

This function in microwaves allows you to use both the grill and microwave cooking power. The result is similar to that obtained in an air fryer, which means crispy and healthy food cooked with little to no oil.

Perhaps the only problem is that these microwaves are not exactly easy to come by. After all, they’re not regular microwave grills. To make things easy for you, we spent hours researching and testing appliances to find the best microwave crisper for you. Check our selection below.

What is a microwave with crisp functionality?

A microwave with a crisp function is generally a combi microwave that allows you to use both grill and microwave technologies at the same time. By doing so, you can mimic the functionality of an air fryer, cooking crispy foods that seem deep-fried.

Some microwave ovens may not have combi functionality, but they could feature an air fryer function. These appliances allow you to achieve the same result.

Then, there are dual crisp microwaves that allow you to use the crisper and the microwave power combined to crisp foods from frozen. This feature makes microwave ovens with dual crisp functions a better choice than a standalone air fryer or crisper.

How does a microwave with a crisp function work?

Microwaves with a crisp function work in the same way combi microwaves do: these appliances use a combination of radiant heat and microwave power to cook your foods. Whether the appliance uses only microwaves, only radiant heat or both depends on the cooking function selected.

For instance, the oven uses microwaves alone to defrost meals, make popcorn, cook potatoes, or make pizza.

When you decide that it needs some extra power for a crisp result, you can select a program that uses combi power.

For dishes that require a longer cooking time, you can use radiant heat alone. In this instance, the microwaves are turned off, and you will generally be able to use metal cookware in your convection microwave oven – which we all know it’s a no-no in most microwaves.

Does it really work?

Yes, microwaves with crisper really work, but you must understand their limitations. These ovens don’t generally use convection, so they won’t produce the same results as a regular oven. They aren’t fryers either, so you can’t expect exactly a deep-fried result.

In a way, these ovens work in a similar fashion to air fryers. However, you must remember that air fryers, too, use convection heat, so the food cooked in such an appliance will still be different from what you cook in a microwave with crisper function.

How to choose a microwave with crisp function?

Choosing a microwave is rarely as easy as walking into a shop and buying an appliance. You must consider your needs, family size, cooking functions, and more.

Power

Microwave ovens can output power between 600 and 1,500 watts. However, a low-power microwave won’t produce crispier results, even if it’s combi or if it has a crisp function.

The reason is simple: the more powerful the appliance, the faster and better it will cook. Getting a crispy crust generally requires high heat, which is near impossible to achieve with a low-power oven.

For this reason, you should look for an oven that outputs at least 900 watts of power, preferably more.

Capacity

Another thing to consider is the capacity. Generally, a microwave oven’s capacity can vary from 0.6 to 2.2 cubic feet. However, regarding microwaves with crisp function, you should go for a capacity of at least 1.2 cubic feet.

This size makes it perfect for larger families or groups of friends, but it also increases the oven’s performance when cooking smaller batches.

Crisp Function

The crisp function in a microwave is different from the grill and is only present in some microwave ovens.

When using it, the appliance uses both microwave and grill power, giving your food a crispy crust faster than a traditional oven. This makes the microwave oven perfect for cooking pizza, chicken, delicious oven dishes, and even lasagna.

If you want to make sure your oven has a crisp function, look at the control panel or read the user manual of your combination microwave.

Dual Crisp

A dual crisp function is very similar to crisp, but it allows you to cook foods from frozen. This could make a huge difference when you’re in a hurry and want a quick meal.

How to operate

Different microwave ovens operate in different ways; no matter how you work, make sure it’s intuitive and easy to switch between functions.

Some of the most popular buttons include a quick 30-second start, mute or sound off button, quick-select buttons for common functions, such as popcorn or pizza, and a kitchen timer feature for when the microwave is not in use.

Auto Cook

Most microwave ovens also have pre-programmed cooking options. The number of programs varies from about six to 20 or more, including foods you can cook from chilled or frozen ingredients.

The best thing about pre-programmed cooking functions is that you can leave the guesswork out of the game. Some models even have smart sensors that can detect the amount of moisture in the food.

These units regulate the temperature and adjust the cooking time mid-cycle based on the amount of vapor coming from your food, ensuring that your meals are always cooked to perfection.

Cleaning Features

There are two things to consider regarding cleaning: the cleaning ease and an automatic cleaning function.

Almost all microwaves are easy to clean, but those with a ceramic interior are generally easier to wipe. These ovens have a non-stick interior similar to the surface of non-stick pans. Grease and grime are easy to wipe off, but the surface is rather easy to damage.

Enameled stainless steel interiors need a bit more elbow grease to clean, but

Control Panel

Another thing to check is the appliance’s control panel. This panel should be intuitive and have clearly labeled buttons. If you don’t like digital controls, look for a model with analog or analog-like dials and knobs.

Make sure the text is large enough and easy to read. Ideally, the control panel should be backlit for easier operation.

Also, consider additional functions you might want in a microwave oven. Common options include a clock and kitchen timer.

What are the Best Microwaves with Crisp Functions?

1. Panasonic NN-CD87KS HomeChef 4-in-1 Microwave with Crisp Function

The best countertop microwave with crisp function for most people, the HomeChef is part of the Panasonic NN series of high-end microwaves.

Panasonic-NN-CD87KS

Like most microwave ovens from the brand, this one includes the newest technologies, including an inverter and sensor cooking. Cooking foods to perfection is a cinch, but that’s not the best thing about this unit.

 Crisp Function

The greatest highlight is the four-in-one design that allows you to use it for microwave cooking, baking, or air frying.

What I love about it

My favorite feature about this microwave oven is the combination of microwave and convection cooking. You can choose from microwaves alone, convection, or a combination of both for excellent results over and over again.

Panasonic-NN-CD87KS-microwave-interior

As far as the crisp function goes, you can achieve a crispy crust in various ways: the broil function, the air fry, or combi.

With 1,000 watts, ten power levels, and a capacity of 1.2 cubic feet, this countertop oven is the best choice for most families.

What could be better

One of the few things I’d change about this unit is the control panel. While it is pretty intuitive, the buttons are small and difficult to press – especially when you’re in a hurry.

The interior light also could have been brighter. That said, the microwave oven works incredibly well for crisping, and I can only recommend it.


2. Cuisinart CMW-200 1.2-Cubic-Foot Convection Microwave

Like Panasonic, Cuisinart is a heavyweight name in the appliance world. One of the microwave ovens that deserve your attention if you’re looking for a microwave with a crisp function is the CMW-200.

Cuisinart-CMW-200

While this is not a dual crisp microwave, you can use it to cook foods from raw or frozen. You can even achieve a crispy crust when cooked from frozen, so it’s safe to say you won’t be disappointed.

Cuisinart-microwave-space

Crisp function aside, you can choose from the multiple cooking modes for roasting and baking too. Like Panasonic, this microwave can replace the standard convection oven.

What I love about it

This microwave oven has a capacity of 1.2 cubic feet, which is more than enough for a family of four. Maximum power of 1,000 watts and ten power levels make it perfect for all kinds of foods.

Cuisinart-CMW-200-button

A crispy crust is sometimes difficult to achieve when cooking in a microwave oven; nevertheless, the combi and grill function allow you to air fry foods in an instant. You can also use this oven to bake or roast chicken, defrost foods, or keep stuff warm until it’s time for dinner.

In total, the microwave features eight cooking functions and nine preset options that can bring versatility to your home.

What could be better

Similar to the Panasonic, this microwave oven could have a more intuitive control panel. I’d have also loved a brighter interior and plastic feet that don’t glide on smooth surfaces.


3. Maytag Microwaves MMV4207JZ 1.9 Cubic Foot Over The Range Microwave

More than a dual crisp microwave, this microwave oven from Maytag is an over-the-range microwave with a crisper.

Maytag-Microwaves

Big enough for a large family, it takes no counter space and has a potent range hood. The control panel isn’t backlit but intuitive; moreover, maintaining the oven is easy thanks to the smudge-free brushed stainless steel exterior.

What I love about it

It goes without saying – the best thing about this microwave oven is the dual crisp function. You can press the quick button to start the unit based on weight or select the timer crisp cooking if you want to insert a specific time.

Maytag-Microwaves-interior

If crispy is not enough, you’ll love to know that this oven also has a browning function. Use it to make the crust even crispier or to turn roast chicken and turkey into perfectly cooked meals.

Capacity-wise, the unit has 1.9 cubic feet, and it reaches a power of 950 watts. Like all over-the-range units, it comes with dual power vents.

What could be better

The only thing I’d change is the power. This microwave oven is powerful, but more power would have meant faster and better cooking results. That said, it could be a good option for a condo, especially if condo rules limit the total appliance power you can have in your home.

Microwave with crisp function comparison table

 Panasonic NN-CD87KSCuisinart CMW-200Maytag MMV4207JZ
Capacity1.2 cu. ft.1.2 cu. ft.1.9 cu. ft.
Max power1,000 watts1,000 watts950 watts
Power levels101010
Cooking modes482
Turntable size14.2 inches12 inches12 inches
Dimensions (W x D x H)15.36 x 14.97 x 9 inches19 x 12.2 x 21.2 inches18.5 x 30 x 15.6 inches
Price$$$$$$

Microwave with crisp function FAQs

How to crisp food in the microwave?

Crisping food in a microwave is easy:

  • Select the grill, combi, or air fry function
  • Use the included rack, crisping tray, crisp plate or accessory to place the dish under the heating element
  • Insert the cooking power or time or let the oven regulate the power if it has a sensor

What is the crisp setting on the microwave for?

The crisp setting allows you to give your foods a crispy crust. This function is especially useful if you have cooked the food already and only want to make it more palatable.

How to operate a microwave with a crisp function?

Operating a microwave with a crisp function isn’t at all different from using a standard microwave oven. Input the cooking program and time or power and press the start button.

What is a dual crisp feature in a microwave?

The dual crisp function uses both microwave and convection power so that it can crisp foods that are cooked from frozen. The standard crisp function is more effective on foods that are already cooked but need a final touch.

Conclusion

A microwave with a crisp function is an excellent choice if you like your foods just a tad crunchy. There are numerous options to choose from, and we hope this guide can help you find the perfect microwave oven for you.

About Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz is an experienced editor and food blogger based in New York. He focuses on healthy eating and living. When he’s not acquiring and publishing cookbooks, you can find Justin sampling food in New York’s restaurants or trying new recipes in his kitchen.

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