Do these work well, are they worth giving up interior space, are they energy efficient?
We have an OTR microwave / convection. I had never heard of them before buying this thing, and now, after only a month of using it I would never buy a regular microwave again. This is amazing, baking jalapeno poppers and back-fin crab cakes in the convection micro, in a metal pan........fast, easy yes. Efficient? I don't know. Has to be more efficient than running the regular oven, I would think.
Love it love it love it. GE Cafe model, just terrific.
I love mine too, it's like having another oven in the house and that has been so helpful. I think the GE CafÃÂ© model is beautiful too, unlike a lot of microwaves.
I have a GE Advantium oven which is a step or two above even a convection/microwave - it's a restaurant-style cooker that can cook food with "real oven" taste and crispy texture almost as fast as a microwave oven. It can also be used as a regular microwave, regular oven, warming drawer, even a big toaster. You'll need a 240 volt/30 amp circuit to run it though (there is a 120V/15A version but it's much slower and not as good, though even it is still a worthwhile alternative to a convection/microwave).
Although they make these in an over-the-cooktop model that integrates the exhaust fan (and I've used one), I opted for the wall-oven version for its extra depth for my new home. My issue with all over-the-cooktop microwave ovens is that they can't be much more than 12" deep in order to fit between wall cabinets - too shallow to fit common items like a pizza box. Built-in microwave ovens fit into 24" deep cabinets and have much more depth inside.