If the mashed potatoes came lukewarm while everything else was steaming hot, we docked points from that microwave. We suggest choosing a unit that will cost you between $100 and $200. With so many countertop microwaves on the market, it can be hard to know which to by in general, let alone which is the best microwave for senior citizens in your life!. It also offers sensor cooking. Actually measure, rather than eyeball, your space’s dimensions to compare it to the microwave’s outer dimensions to make sure it’ll fit. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. So, we did the hard work for you and put the best mid-priced countertop microwaves to the test. Compact microwaves (between 0.5 and 0.9 cubic feet) can suit smaller kitchens, dorms, and anywhere you need to conserve counter space, but may be too small to cook or reheat all types of food. When assessing each microwave, we looked for common pain points such as non-responsive buttons, confusing or dimly-lit control panels and buttons, loud humming noises, or anything that would prevent the microwave from being easy to clean with a wet paper towel. While AmazonBasics may not be the first brand to come to mind when shopping for a new microwave, this is a solid option if you are trying to stick to a smaller budget. Our Consumer Score represents the percentage of consumers who rated the product at least 4 out of 5 stars on retail and review sites like Amazon, Walmart, and manufacturers’ websites. At 2.2 cubic feet and 1250 watts, this is also one of the bigger microwaves we've tested. Julia is the Senior Scientist at Reviewed, which means that she oversees (and continually updates) the testing of products in Reviewed's core categories such as televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, and more. Pork roast test: Reheating leftovers is another common reason to use a microwave. The Panasonic NN-SN651B Countertop Microwave is a 1200W, 1.2-cubic-foot unit with a push button and old-fashioned panel. Once the microwave stopped, we looked at the popcorn to see if either the bag or the popcorn was burnt, as well as recorded the number of unpopped kernels. | Weight: 34 lb. Looks like 1950 on the outside, but performs like 2020 on the inside. It also boasts ‘smart’ buttons, such as smart defrost, which gently defrosts to evenly heat frozen foods. To try to get a grip on how well a given microwave can actually do its job, I subjected each microwave to a battery of food tests, including: Water test: To get a sense for the raw power available in each microwave, we warmed up three cups of water for two minutes on the microwave’s maximum power setting, and then measured the temperature of the water. The Magic Chef 1.1 Cubic-Foot Countertop Microwave is our favorite affordable countertop microwave. It offers multi-stage cooking, sensor cooking, and a few presets, making it straightforward and easy to use—although the panel isn’t always easy to see in the dark. The microwave connects to Amazon Echo and lets you use quick cook voice presets. All microwaves operate on the same basic principle: A magnetron generates microwaves, which excite the water molecules in food and cause them to heat up. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Our top pick is the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven because of its substantial power, one-touch functionality, and smudge-resistant exterior. Microwave times can be a guessing game, but the Breville makes it easy. Consumer Score: 85% rated it 4 stars or higherLooks like 1950 on the outside, but performs like 2020 on the inside. Generally, the higher the wattage, the faster your microwave cooks. Best Product Reviews, According to Experts and Consumers, Reuse this Notebook by Popping It in the Microwave. After thoroughly cooking four small boneless pork loins, we cut them up into smaller slices and let them cool in the fridge overnight. But if you don’t know where to start, our recommendations are here to help. The Panasonic NN-SN65KB Compact Microwave Oven is more expensive than most units in this roundup. When you set a time, your microwave heats up your food at full power for the time you enter on the keypad. | Weight: 45 lb. On the other hand, it’s another thing that can break, and it isn’t that useful. It also seemed quieter when in use than many microwaves we tested. But it’s a stunner, and if you’re willing to shell out, it might be right for you. In a sea of average, same-looking microwaves, the Cuisinart CMW-100 stands out from the rest. One preset that we actually find rather useful is the sensor cook option. Size: 0.5 cubic feet | Wattage: 750 | Exterior: Black, silver, or white | Outer dimensions (WxDxH): 15 x 13.75 x 14 in. The Magic Chef passed all our food tests with flying colors, and it's one of the few microwaves at this low price point that also offers multi-stage cooking. If you have a large dish to reheat, the oven will almost always give you better results, anyway. “It’s a stylish retro design, very simple, easy to use, plenty powerful, and fits my rather large dinner plate.”. One of the best convection microwave ovens for countertop that we want to introduce to you comes from Panasonic. The LG … Consumer Score: 74% rated it 4 stars or higherBake, roast, or pop, this convection microwave oven can do it all. Since it is voice controlled with short simple commands, she has no problems cooking her food.” While not the most powerful microwave here, customers praised its functionality for the price. This 1000W, 1-cubic-foot unit hit almost every mark in testing and perfectly balances power, size, and features, making it the best countertop microwave for most people. Cuisinart CMW-100 1-Cubic-Foot Stainless Steel Microwave Oven. The size is large enough to cook a frozen pizza or even a small chicken. | Weight: 35 lb. Make sure that the microwave you choose fits into your kitchen and meets your needs. Today we will go through 10 different models that have been chosen for their build quality, popularity, features, and price. So if you’re only using your unit for basic tasks or don’t care about lightning speeds, don’t be afraid of lower wattages. Presets are useful, but most microwaves operate the same way. “After a month of use we love the sturdy simplicity as well as functional design features of this microwave,” wrote a reviewer. But along with higher wattage comes a steeper price. The best microwaves can pop your popcorn without burning it and leave only a few kernels unpopped. We would describe its aesthetics as functional, rather than beautiful. Customers had high praises for this micro Whirlpool microwave. Item #921820 Model #WMC50522HZWMC50522HZ With 10 power levels and a sleek stainless steel handle, ... GE Profile Countertop Microwave. It's also the best microwave when you're looking for a lot of space. This is the most common type of microwave, perfect for heating a bowl of soup, making popcorn, or testing how big a Peep can get before exploding. Even though we recommend a baseline of 900-1000 watts for mid-sized microwaves, there are compact microwaves in this roundup with just 700 watts each that heat evenly. A microwave can cost you anywhere from $20 to $2,000, which suggests an equally wide range of performance and quality. Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor, Easy Clean Interior, ECO Mode and…. Although it’s incredibly easy to use and excelled at the popcorn test, it was only adequate in the pork or frozen dinner tests. Typically, more powerful microwaves will result in hotter water temperatures. Toshiba Microwave Oven with Convection Function, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. “This microwave is perfect for her. It’s also 1200W with a 1.2-cubic-foot interior and a variety of finishes. This all stainless-steel microwave is a beauty though, and it's one of the best-looking appliances to come into the Reviewed labs. | Weight: 23 lb. With 10 power levels and essential presets, this microwave, which is available in black, white, and stainless steel finishes, has everything you need. Top 5 Best Convection Microwave Oven Reviews … Using the popcorn setting on each microwave, we popped a normal-sized bag of popcorn. Wattage is usually related but not directly proportional to size—you can expect large microwaves to also have higher wattages. Best microwaves 2020: These are the best you can buy. Popular Mechanics participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. So, pressing a button only controls the on and off interval of the magnetron. The control panel can be difficult to see in dim lighting, and the frozen dinner test left a few parts of the meal colder than we’d like after heating for the recommended time on the box. 1. While microwaves can be in countertop, over-the-range, or built-in units, we’re focusing on countertop models, which are the most popular in most homes, apartments, and dorm rooms. The top pick is from brands like Panasonic, Danby, GE microwave and Sharp, including over-the-range microwaves along with microhood microwave oven, countertop model, stainless steel microwave … When shopping for the right model, consider the size, price, and type (countertop or over-the-range), depending on your kitchen space. Although not overloaded with features, this Cuisinart has multi-stage cooking and a number of extra presets including bacon, rice, and baked potatoes. The best microwave ovens on Amazon, including compact microwaves, microwaves with smart sensor, microwaves with adjustable sound, stainless-steel microwaves, and retro microwaves from … Here are the best countertop microwaves we tested, ranked in order: Breville BMO734XL Quick Touch Intuitive Microwave. Sharp ZSMC0710BB Countertop … The convection technology allows you to cook, warm, and even roast. These microwaves may not cook quite as quickly, but there is beauty and convenience in the 30-second button. of meat. Bake, roast, or pop, this microwave can do it all. The microwave can’t brown food, it’s no good for baking, and it’s tricky at best … Best Sellers in. While it's a pretty typical microwave, with a shiny exterior and almost retro-looking control panel, it gets the job done. This popular compact microwave from AmazonBasics has one feature that sets it apart from every other one we tested—it’s a smart device designed to be used with Alexa. If your countertops are a little tight on space or you want to save some money, this slightly smaller version of our favorite Toshiba works well and has most of the same great features. In our initial research, an online reviewer wrote this mid-sized microwave from Magic Chef is “built like a tank,” and we can’t find any evidence to the contrary. Consumer Score: 93% rated it 4 stars or higher. Wattage is usually related but not directly proportional to size—you can expect large microwaves to also have higher wattages. But as it turns out, very expensive microwaves aren’t inherently better than the ones that go for around $100, because most microwaves are made by a handful of manufacturers and the core technology is all the same. Consumer Score: 90% rated it 4 stars or higherWith 10 power levels and a sleek stainless steel handle, this is the Cadillac of microwaves. The Toshiba EC042A5C-BS is our top-of-the-line best convection countertop microwave oven featuring an ultra-wide 1.5 cubic feet cooking cavity that will easily fit all your favourite cooking … CR’s take: Panasonic countertop microwaves earn an Excellent rating for owner satisfaction from our members, one of only two brands to do so, and the midsized Panasonic Genius … The Panasonic NN-SN686S Countertop Microwave seems identical, at first, to the NN-SN65KB. Size: 1.2 cubic feet | Wattage: 1100 | Exterior: black stainless steel | Outer dimensions (WxDxH): 20.5 x 17 x 13 in. Because of the high wattage, it will cook food much more quickly than a lower-watt microwave, so you may have to use shorter times than you normally would if you happen to be upgrading. But if you’re just looking for a countertop unit that will heat and defrost evenly and has some useful bonus functions, we suggest choosing a unit that will cost you between $100 and $200. While it is easy to hunt for bargains, beware of anything under 700 watts—they will be slow, spotty, and likely not worth the money saved. This is a 4 in 1 product with several functions that you will find very useful. If a simple microwave won’t cut it, this convection oven could be the answer. Neither of these Panasonic models are worth writing home about, but we think the NN-SN65KB is stronger than the NN-SN686S. If you want inverter technology, the best microwave brand to look at is either Panasonic or GE countertop microwave options, which specialize in this feature over the rest. We researched 10 expert sources such as Good Housekeeping, Consumer Reports, and The Spruce, as well as 34,000 consumer reviews to select the top 7 microwaves of the year. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. ©2020 Reviewed, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network LLC. Its speed of cooking and ease of use is unrivaled, but it does have its limitations. Aesthetic often sacrifices functionality, but with this microwave, you get the best of both worlds. If you want to take the guesswork out of microwaving something, consider a unit with a sensor cook option. Best Countertop Microwave: Whirlpool This black 750-watt Whirlpool number wins best countertop microwave in our book because it’s compact, reasonably priced, and has a unique round … They then automatically adjust the cooking time and the power levels to produce the best results. At 700 watts, it’s not quite as powerful as other options, so it may take a bit longer to warm up. Whether looking for something to sit snugly in a dorm room or big enough to reheat an entire pizza, you’ll want to be aware of the inner and outer dimensions. If you’re serious about cooking with your microwave and want to step up to a higher price range, the Breville BMO734XL Quick Touch Intuitive Microwave (available at Williams-Sonoma) is our upgrade pick. And which presets matter? While they may all look the same size online, that’s not so true once it’s arrived in your kitchen (you’d be amazed at how deep some microwaves are). Microwaves with sensor cooking technology can read the levels of humidity inside the microwave. Ultimately, this is a very standard microwave. Best Countertop Microwaves in 2020. However, our food tests didn't prove any real differences in successfully heating our food than with microwaves that rely on single inverter technology. But rather than hitting the 30-second button over and over again, you can adjust the settings to a custom time or use the ‘A Bit More’ button. The Breville BMO734XL is our best upgrade pick for countertop microwaves. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. The smaller Toshiba EM925A5A Microwave Oven performed similarly to its larger Toshiba counterparts in testing. The microwave also uses inverter technology, which works to heat consistently even on lower power settings such as “melt” and “warm.”. Convection microwaves, also known as microwave ovens, have a sort of heating element that allows food to be browned and grilled. … How we test gear. It wasn’t as good as popping popcorn without burning or leaving unpopped kernels as the Cuisinart, however. Whirlpool 2.2-cu ft 1200-Watt Countertop Microwave (Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel). Size: 1.5 cubic feet | Wattage: 1000 | Exterior: stainless steel | Outer dimensions (WxDxH): 22 x 21 x 13 in. In addition to being childproof, this GE microwave is completely family friendly with easy-to-use buttons and 1200 watts of power. Despite its low cost, it has something most microwaves do not—voice control. Once the microwave finished reheating the meat, we touched each piece of pork to determine if it was hot enough to eat. This unit is big, it’s expensive, and it’s got more bells and whistles than everyone is looking for in a countertop unit. Its meant to increase the likelihood of evenly heating, and more consistent microwaving performance while heating multiple things in quick succession, like several bags of popcorn. Consumer Score: 74% rated it 4 stars or higher. It’s the only microwave we tested that feels like it’s really built to last for years and years. The sleek design features a few simple buttons including popcorn, reheat, and defrost. We ran each microwave through five different objective tests, in addition to our subjective evaluation. This is a fine, basic microwave at a very affordable price, but it’s too small for more substantial cooking. Sure, the Alexa command aspect is a unique bonus feature that allows the microwave’s display panel to stay uncluttered, because you can select from dozens of preset options using just your voice. Breville Quick Touch Intuitive Microwave. However, there are a number of neat and useful features built in to each microwave. A microwave can be overpowered, meaning the high wattage can quickly overcook food. Countertop Microwave Ovens. As a lover of popcorn, I was definitely excited to have a guilt-free reason to pop lots of popcorn. Best Overall: Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN966S Countertop/Built-In with Inverter Technology Excellent If your microwave is in need of an update, here's our list of the best countertop microwaves. Countertop microwave ovens now feature smart technology, sensor cooking, inverter technology, convection, and lightning speeds. If you plan to rely heavily on your microwave for cooking, Panasonic's powerful model is up to the task. If you are looking for something more affordable, stick to the 700-watt range. This Breville was extremely consistent in our water and tomato sauce heating tests, and it heated a frozen meal perfectly through. These are often larger, so they can fit and fully cook a frozen pizza. Hi all, my name is Julia MacDougall, and I’m the senior scientist here at Reviewed. It’s easy to use and quieter than other units we tested. Just plug into a standard outlet and start using. Best microwave overall. When it was done cooking, we looked at each of the four dinner components (two breaded chicken patties, mashed potatoes, corn, and a brownie) to see if they were evenly and/or thoroughly cooked. However, we still think the Cuisinart is much more impressive and distinct than almost every other microwave we’ve tested—and it would make a worthy addition to your kitchen counter. Nowadays, it seems almost impossible to exist without the convenience of a microwave. But of all the microwaves we tested, this tiny little unit is the only one we vehemently do not recommend. Get smarter about what you're buying. If you’re a city dweller, a mini microwave might be a better fit for your small kitchen. With 1200W and a 1.6-cubic-foot interior, it’s by far the largest unit we tested, which keeps it from being suitable for all kitchens. Small but mighty, this microwave can fit in the tiniest of spaces. Microwave sizes generally range from 0.5 to just over 2 cubic feet. The Toshiba EM131A5C Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor was our top pick for affordable microwaves before testing based on reviews and specs—but after testing, we’ve found it to be quite average. Ultimately, this is a fine unit considering its size and price. Sign up for our newsletter to get real advice from real experts. “My mother has Macular Degeneration Disease,” wrote an Amazon reviewer. But when you press a button like Defrost, Popcorn, or Potato, most microwaves simply alternate between 0 and 100 percent power for a predetermined period of time that can vary from model to model. Size: 0.7 cubic feet | Wattage: 700 | Exterior: mint green metal and plastic | Outer dimensions (WxDxH): 17.5 x 13 x 10 in. Best Sellers in Countertop Microwave Ovens. Consumer Score: 74% rated it 4 stars or higherDirty hands? This Panasonic-patented technology means the microwave heats foods using radio waves that cover three directions—up/down, left/right, front/back—rather than radio waves that just cover two—left/right and up/down. These are some of the most appreciated countertop microwave owners on the market. A microwave oven is up for the task. Best Countertop Microwaves AmazonBasics Works with Alexa S9N29R CR’s take: Small countertop microwaves tend not to perform as well as larger models in CR’s tests because typically … People often believe that the higher the wattage, the better the microwave is, but we’ve found that isn’t always the case. The rest of your small appliance budget can be spent on a nice multi-cooker, air fryer, or fancy pizza oven. Size: 0.7 cubic feet | Wattage: 700 | Exterior: Black | Outer dimensions (WxDxH): 17 x 14 x 10 in. If the levels actually correspond to different levels of heating, then the rate of temperature change between the three stages should be distinctly different. Find a microwave that includes the presets you use most often, but don’t stress about finding one that has them all—they’re not critical. Reviews, Luckily for you, we have compiled a list of 20 of the simple and best Microwaves … If you’re serious about cooking with your microwave, or you simply must have an all-stainless look in your kitchen, the Breville BMO734XL Quick Touch Intuitive Microwave is right for you. This unit excelled in the popcorn and frozen dinner tests, although it couldn’t heat tomato sauce to a suitable temperature in the recommended time. To see how well a microwave could heat up a frozen dinner, we followed the microwave directions on the back of the Hungry-Man Boneless Fried Chicken dinner box. Voice control by Alexa has got you covered. Tomato sauce test: Most expensive microwaves, such as those that have multi-stage cooking abilities (i.e. It also has multi-stage cooking and some basic presets. Instead of a number pad, time can be increased or decreased with a plus and minus sign on either side of the time display. Size: 2.2 cubic feet | Wattage: 1200 | Exterior: stainless steel | Outer Dimensions (WxDxH): 20 x 24 x 14 in. Consumer Score: 70% rated it 4 stars or higherThis extra-large microwave with a child lock will keep your family well fed. Toshiba Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor. Size: 1.2 cubic feet | Wattage: 1100 | Exterior: stainless steel | Outer dimensions (WxDxH): 20.5 x 18 x 12.5 in. There’s a lot more to microwaves than differences in size, settings, and appearance—the most important feature being wattage. Toshiba EM45P Countertop Microwave oven … The Magic Chef MCM990ST Countertop Oven has a stainless steel front, but its looks are still on the dated side. The dial replaces the typical numeric keypad, so if you haven't used it before, it may take a moment to get used to it. The best convection-style microwaves can do all that while simultaneously demonstrating the features of a convection oven. The 1100W, 1.2-cubic-foot unit is mid-powered and aesthetically pleasing, with sensor cooking, multi-stage cooking, and a variety of presets. The Air Force Wants a Microwave Missile that Fries Electronics, The U.S. Army Wants To Microwave Drones in Midair, Measure the Speed of Light with a Bar of Chocolate, Can grill and roast using convection technology. However, it’s more old-fashioned looking, and it has fewer presets. Over-the-range microwaves … It’s a 900W, 0.9-cubic-foot unit like Toshiba EM925A5A, and it performed similarly, popping popcorn well and adequately heating frozen dinners and tomato sauce. Of course, external dimensions also matter so you know if the microwave will actually fit in your kitchen, but you’ll need to go digging for those details in the product description. Despite its tiny size, it can evenly fit a full dinner plate. 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