What Is The Difference Between Grill And Solo Microwave Oven?

What is the difference between grill and solo microwave ovens? If you’re looking for a new microwave but can’t decide between a solo microwave or a grill microwave you may have asked yourself the very same question. If so you’ve come to the right place.

Below we’ll take a look at the differences between grill and solo microwave ovens to help you make the choice.

We’ll run through:

  • What Is A Solo Microwave?
  • What Is A Grill Microwave?
  • What Are The Differences In Terms Of:-
    • Function
    • Availability
    • Power
    • Price
  • Best Available Solo Microwaves

What Is a Solo Micorwave?


A solo microwave is a classic microwave with one function; the actual microwave powered by a magnetron which produces the waves. This typically means it does not also have a grill or convection/inverter oven included within its features.

Solo microwaves can come in either a turntable design or as flatbeds.

What Is a Grill Microwave?

A grill microwave has the functions of a solo plus the added feature of a grill. Typically this is a quartz type heater grill which allows you to get your food brown and crispy once it has been microwaved or on its own.

You may also see these types of ovens termed as “combination” or “combination grill” microwave ovens.

What Is The Difference Between Grill And Solo Microwave Ovens?

Let’s take a look at the main differences between grill and solo microwave ovens below.


The main difference in terms of function between a solo microwave and grill microwave is the fact that grill microwaves have the additional function of being able to grill your food on top of the classic microwave feature.

This can be very useful if you like your food to come out nice and crispy. It can also mean that you end up using your main oven a lot less frequently than you otherwise would.


When it comes to availability, the main difference between grill and solo microwave ovens is that solos tend to be much more widely available than their grill counterparts.

This may simply be a reflection of their demand as most microwave users only use their microwaves for heating their food and therefore there may be less of a need for grill microwave ovens.


Typically solo microwaves will have rated power levels between 600 to 1200 watts with most that are 20Litres or more being around 800-900 watts. The grill power rating is typically different to that of the solo microwaves with several currently avaialble coming with a 1000 Watts quartz grill.

Remember to check the power rating of the grill component as this will not necessarily be the same as the solo/magetron microwave.


Though not always the case, the main difference between solo and grill microwaves in terms of the price is that grill microwaves are typically more expensive. This is especially true when you have a solo microwave that is also available as a combination solo and grill microwave.

Bear in mind that just because the grill version has a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a better performing unit.

Which Is Right For You?

Ultimately deciding on whether a solo microwave or grill microwave will depend on your circumstances and how you intend to use your new microwave.

If you mainly intend to heat up your food in your microwave rather than using it for grilling then you may be better off sticking to a solo microwave. You are more likely to find a highly rated solo microwave that gets universal praise than you are a grill microwave. So if you will only use it sparingly, then you may as well stick to the solo.

If on the other hand you believe you will make use of the grill function on the combination solo and grill microwave then that may be what you want to consider.

Just be sure to do a thorough check of the specifications and user reviews for any model you go for to check that the grill function actually does a good job of browing your food. In many instances you may find that although users have purchased grill microwaves they hardly use this actual function.

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not affect how much you pay for the product. 

Best Available Solo Microwaves

1 – Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) Microwave Oven

+ 800 Watts of cooking power– Some user reviews report moisture
+11 Power Levels
+20 Litre Capacity
+ Defrost function with time/weight setting
+ Child lock feature

The Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) Microwave Oven is one of the best selling microwaves around and the excellent user reviews demonstrate why. It offers brilliant value for money in a slick and modern design. Though there are some user reports of moisture build up, overall it is a great proposition if you need a solo microwave.

2 – Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven With Smart Sensor

+ Auto sensor menu for making your favourite dishes like pizza and potatoes– Some user reports of issues with internal light
+ 1100 watts
+ 10 power levels
+ Easy to understand user display
+ Option to mute the buzzer

The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor is a microwave that not only looks great but has the user track record to back it up. With this highly rated microwave oven, you get an auto sensor that automatically heats up your food to get the best results. There are some users who do report issues with the internal light flickering on some units. All in all however, the general consensus seems to be that the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven offers a great option if you need a high performing solo microwave.

3 – Samsung MS23F301TAK/EU Solo Microwave

+ 800 Watts of cooking power– Some users report that the interal light is not bright enough
+ 3 point heat distribution system for more evenly cooked food
+ Eco mode to reduce power consumption in standby
+ Easy to clean ceramic enamel interior

The Samsung MS23F301TAK/EU solo microwave is a highly rated microwave that provides many useful features. With a 3 point heat distribution system to help improve the way your food is cooked as well as an easy to clean ceramic enamel interior, the Samsung MS23F301TAK/EU solo microwave offers plenty of value. There are some users who do not feel the internal light is bright enough to allow them to see their food. Overall the Samsung MS23F301TAK/EU solo microwave is an excellent choice and one that has received a lot of positive coverage.

Best Available Grill Microwaves

1 – Sharp YC-MG02U-B Microwave Oven With Grill

+ 800 watts of cooking power for the microwave– Some users report issues with digital display
+ 1000 Watt grill allowing you to use it as a grill only or grill and microwave
+ 11 power levels and 8 auto programmes
+ Touch control electric panel
+ Child safety lock

The Sharp YC-MG02U-B Microwave Oven with grill is a great option if you want a microwave that gives you the flexibility to grill your food as well as heat it. It comes highly recommended based on user reviews and provides a number of excellent features. Though some users have noted issues with the digital display overall the reviews indicate a highly regarded microwave with grill.

What Is The Difference Between Grill And Solo Microwave Oven?: Tell us your thoughts.