Samsung Electronics America has introduced the first microwave oven that can also toast bread and bake food.
The breakthrough appliance combines a four-piece toaster oven, an 1800-watt grill and a microwave oven in a single 1.0 cubic foot unit. All three functions can be activated via instant touch pads on the front panel, although not simultaneously.
The unit, simply dubbed the Toast & Bake Microwave, was sneak-peeked at the recent Kitchen/Bath Industry Show (K/BIS) in Chicago and officially introduced at last month's Gourmet Show in San Francisco.
According to Kevin Procter, VP/sales and marketing for Samsung's home appliance group, the product stems from Samsung's leadership role in microwave ovens and convergence products, and saves space and time by doing the work of three cooking devices. "It allows you to prepare all your favorite meals using one kitchen appliance," he said.
As a microwave oven, the unit uses a turntable for even cooking or reheating, and features one-touch cooking pads for pizza, baked potatoes and popcorn, along with preprogrammed instructions for Kids' Meals and Snack Bar Menus brand foods like hot dogs and nachos.
Activating a toast or bake button automatically moves Samsung's multi-grill heating system into place. Up to four slices of bread can be toasted using the top browning and bottom crisping heaters and a special toast rack that's provided with the unit. For baking, the product provides three heaters and an interchangeable broil rack and baking tray. The Toast & Bake Microwave also features a ceramic enamel interior for easy cleaning, a pull-down door handle design for oven-like access and two-level rack holders for multiple tray or rack mounting.
The unit will begin hitting store shelves this August and will be available in white, black, bisque and silver finishes. Pricing has not yet been set.
Sears will introduce a similar 0.9 cubic foot unit that combines a 900-watt microwave oven with a two-slice toaster under the Kenmore brand this August for $129.99.