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Not just hot air: A convection microwave

LG's new DuoChef uses a combination of microwaves and convection heat to defrost and cook foods.

Loyal readers of the blog know that we're fans of the dual-purpose appliances. So when LG unveils an appliance called DuoChef, you can bet we're all over it.

Defrost your dinner and cook it up. LG

The DuoChef MC8088HLC was just announced last week at the IFA--that's the Internationale Funkausstellung in Berlin, of course, the world's largest consumer electronics trade fair (according to the Web site, anyway). And what two features does the DuoChef combine? Well, it's a combination oven and microwave--the first convection microwave oven with a double convection system, which uses two fans to improve baking and defrosting performance.

The two fans in the oven circulate the air quickly and distribute the head more evenly than any other microwave. So that brick of ground beef you forgot to defrost this morning can be made pliable in minutes, and your famous lasagna can still grace the dinner table tonight.

Inside the oven, you'll find the traditional bi-level cooking racks for batch baking and preparing multiple dishes for meals. In addition, the oven offers automatic cooking programs for many foods, including everything from baked potatoes and vegetables to rice, pasta, and even cake. And the Auto Roast menu produces perfectly cooked meat without any hassle or worry.

But it's the Even Defrost feature that LG really touts. Conventional microwave ovens defrost using microwaves alone. The DuoChef uses a combination of microwaves and convection heat to dissolve ice on the surface of the food and penetrate deep inside simultaneously. The process eliminates the hot spots and cooked areas that are all too common when defrosting foods in the microwave. It's gentle enough to defrost even delicate breads without destroying their moisture and texture.

The DuoChef comes in free-standing and built-in configurations.