The Magical 3-in-1 Breville Appliance I Use Every Single Day

published May 20, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Coral Lee/Kitchn

Last year, my husband and I purchased our first home, which came fully stocked with kitchen appliances. Shortly after moving in, our refrigerator broke, which involved lots of frustration, rookie attempts at fixing it ourselves, and several trips to Home Depot to decide on a new one. 

A few months later, our microwave started acting up. This time around, instead of getting ourselves worked up, I took a leap of faith with the Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1, a magical all-in-one appliance that combines the best parts of a microwave, convection oven, and air fryer. 

I had learned about it from former work colleagues, but what really sold me was this TikTok video in which recipe developer and cookbook author Kristina Cho softens a stick of butter in her Breville Combi Wave, and it comes out perfectly. This is huge, because as someone who is a prolific baker and someone who has written extensively about the best way to soften butter, I’ve experienced many butter meltdowns from using the microwave — pun intended! 

After months of testing, I can attest the Breville Combi Wave delivers on all fronts (although some slightly better than others, but I’ll get to that). Plus, it takes up much less countertop space, looks sleeker, and costs less than all those three appliances combined.


What Does the Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1 Do?

The better question here is, what can’t the Breville Combi Wave do? Because it’s a 3-in-1 appliance that combines the functionality of a microwave, convection oven, and air fryer, it’s both powerful and extremely versatile. You can use the convection oven function to bake cookies, the air fryer function to reheat leftover pizza, and the microwave function to warm up last night’s pasta — and that’s just the beginning.

Credit: Kristina Razon

It can also pop popcorn, melt chocolate, soften butter, defrost frozen food, and keep cooked food warm. And, there’s even an option to cook different types of meat straight from the freezer, a function called “From Frozen” that combines the microwave and convection oven in two alternating cooking stages.

Surprisingly, for an appliance that can perform multiple types of cooking, it’s about the size of a standard microwave and looks much more sleek, due to the brushed or black stainless steel finishes, the latter of which I have. The thoughtful buttons on the front, such as “a bit more” and “turntable off,” help save time and effort, as it makes them both easier to find and more intuitive to use. 

The Combi Wave comes with two accessories: a trivet and a Combi Crisp pan. Breville recommends that you use the Combi Crisp pan in almost all instances, except when cooking any food that requires a specific dish or pan, like a baking dish for a spinach and artichoke dip. I can speak from experience that the Combi Crisp pan does exactly what it’s supposed to do — deliver crispy food. The pan also has adjustable legs that allow you to add height to get your food closer to the heating element up top for the crispiest results. Meanwhile, the trivet is ideal for the times you’re using a specific baking dish or pan — just rest the dish on top and you’re ready to go! 

Credit: Kristina Razon

What Can You Cook in the Breville Combi Wave 3 in 1?

The sky’s the limit to what you can make and cook in this magical device. While I haven’t made every item that can possibly be cooked in the Combi Wave, such as popcorn (I’m not much of a popcorn person), rice (I solely rely on my rice cooker for that), and a whole chicken (my kids are more into chicken nuggets these days), I’m pretty sure I’ve cooked everything else, from frozen sausages (using the “From Frozen” function) to banana bread and sweet potatoes (using the convection oven) to tater tots (using the air fryer). Overall, these functions performed remarkably well, ensuring that my food was cooked through, hot, and crisp as needed. 

One area in which I did notice that the Combi Wave fell a bit short was when I used the microwave function to reheat food. Compared to a conventional, standalone microwave, it took about 30 seconds longer on average to fully warm up leftovers. What used to take me one minute to heat up, now took me closer to one minute and a half. At this point, I’m splitting hairs but with an appliance that claims to “do it all,” I expect it to deliver on all fronts. 

Credit: Kristina Razon

What’s So Great About the Breville Combi Wave 3 in 1?

The Breville Combi Wave has been a game-changer in my kitchen! I love being able to cook multiple types of food in one appliance — especially one that takes up less counter space than my old microwave. Besides its obvious sell of being a microwave, convection oven, and air fryer all in one appliance, I love the smart setup of the easy-to-use buttons: Fast Combi, From Frozen, Air Fry, Oven, Microwave, and Food Menu (which includes shortcuts for Cook, Reheat, And Defrost functions). Each one is designed to make the Combi Wave straightforward to use. What’s even better are the Start and Stop buttons that operate like adjustable dials — just spin each to increase or decrease the cooking time and select the temperature. 

What really pushes the Combi Wave over the top, though, is that the versatility means you can cook a three-course meal — from spinach and artichoke dip to a roast chicken to cookies — in the same compact appliance. Plus, you can use it to keep food warm or heat up anything that’s gone cold! 

Beyond that, the Combi Wave is also extremely easy to clean — just wipe up any spills with a damp cloth, along with mild detergent for any stuck-on food. 

Credit: Kristina Razon

Is the Breville Combi Wave 3 in 1 Worth It?

If you have the budget, the Breville Combi Wave is 100% worth it — in fact, it’s the most powerful and versatile appliance I own. It’s an investment appliance, for sure, but one that has paid for itself very quickly in my household. In all the time I’ve spent using this appliance, I’ve observed only two small downsides.

  1. A larger-than-average learning curve. When it comes to most appliances, I’ll refer to the instruction manual once when setting it up, and then toss it into a drawer, never to be seen again. But because the Combi Wave can do so many things, I’ve spent more than my fair share looking through the instruction manual. It’s hugely important for getting the most out of this powerful appliance. 
  2. You can only use one function at a time. This is probably obvious, but because it’s in a 3-in-1 appliance, you can only use one function at a time. That means if you want to reheat pizza for lunch but another family member is currently using it to bake cookies, you’ll have to wait your turn. 

If you’re looking to upgrade from your typical microwave, interested in clearing up counter space, or want an appliance that does it all — look no further. My kitchen will never be the same again. 

Buy: Breville Combi Wave 3-in-1, $399.95 (normally $499.95)