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Buying Guide: The Best Microwaves For Your Kitchen

Disclosure: We receive compensation from the companies whose products we review. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

Remember the days when we considered the oven our best kitchen friend? Those were the years before the introduction of the microwave oven into our homes in the mid-1970s. Since then, this must-have kitchen appliance has reinvented itself many times over.

With so many options on the market, how does one chose the right microwaves for their home and family?

The Best Microwaves You Need for Your Home

Bestseller No. 1
Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven with Sound On/Off ECO Mode and LED...
  • Stylish black stainless steel with timeless design; Rated Voltage: 120V~ 60Hz; Rated Input Power (Microwave): 1350W;...
  • Pre-programmed menu for 6 popular foods like popcorn, pizza, potato and more
  • One touch start - quick access to start the microwave from 1 to 6 minutes cooking at full power
Bestseller No. 2
BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 Digital Microwave Oven with Turntable...
  • Pre-programmed buttons for popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, beverage and dinner plate
  • 700 Watts with 10 power settings, clock and kitchen timer, 30 Seconds Express Cooking
  • Large LED digital display, easy-to-read control panel, child safety lock, interior light, removable 10” glass...
Bestseller No. 3
Amazon Basics Microwave, Small, 0.7 Cu. Ft, 700W, Works with Alexa
  • Now it’s easier to defrost vegetables, make popcorn, cook potatoes, and reheat rice. With an Echo device (not...
  • Automatically reorder popcorn when you run low and save 10% on popcorn orders—enabled by Amazon Dash Replenishment...
  • Compact size saves counter space, plus 10 power levels, a kitchen timer, a child lock, and a turntable.
Bestseller No. 4
Toshiba EM131A5C-SS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor, Easy Clean...
  • Stylish Stainless Steel with easy-to-clean interior, with external dimension(wdh): 20.5 x 17.1 x 12.8 inches, with...
  • Pre-programmed sensor menu for optimum heating of popular foods like pizza, potato, vegetables and more
  • One touch popcorn button and two defrost settings – custom defrost and 1 pounds auto defrost
SaleBestseller No. 5
Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN686S Stainless Steel Countertop/Built-In...
  • Panasonic Microwave: This 1200 Watt high power, 1.2 cubic foot capacity stainless steel countertop/built in microwave...
  • Inverter Technology with Turbo Defrost: Patented Inverter Technology generates a seamless stream of power and delivers...
  • Compact Design: This countertop microwave with 13.4 inch turntable is thinner, lighter and more efficient, allowing you...

Why You Need a Microwave

Experts state that as many as 90 percent of American homes own a microwave. There are many reasons why most homes consider a microwave a necessity.

Microwaves cut down cooking time, providing for quicker meals and on the go nutritious food.  Why spend precious time cooking when time can be spent on hobbies or with family and friends?

Vast array of microwavable food.  Simply walk through the frozen food department and the microwave selections astound. In addition, many other food items can be micro waved or now come with directions for the microwave.

More energy efficient than a traditional stove. Although the overall saving doesn’t amount to much in the long run, every  cut back in electricity adds up.

Produces less heat, creating a cooler home and possible saving on cooling costs.

Reduces carbon footprint. Using only electricity, rather than other energy forms used by traditional ovens, microwaves eliminate pollution used in traditional cooking methods.

Types of Microwaves

  • Over-the-range. These models are generally installed over the stove where others are built into the cabinetry or wall.
  • Other build in microwave types. Although less common, some are placed under the countertop in microwave drawers.
  • Countertop models. These generally come in three sizes – compact, mid-size or full-size. Compact microwaves are great for small spaces with a .9 or less cubic feet capacity. Mid-size units range from 1.0 to 1.4 cubic feet.  Full-size models  have a capacity of 1.5 cubit feet and up. These are best for large families or those who cook a lot.
  • Conventional versus Convection microwaves. Decide if you want a standard microwave that cooks by microwaves alone or one that uses microwave technology with radiant heat and circulating hot air. The later are often better at cooking meats and browning foods.

Common Features 

Basic programs or multiple pre-programmed menu cooking list:  Some units come with basic time cooking features while others have multiple pre set cooking options.

Turntables: Almost all microwaves come with turntables to ensure food cooks more evenly. Decide if yours should have a removable one, which most do or if it should slide in and out, as with the more expensive models.

Variable Power Controls:  This options allows a user to change the setting power and level. Food can be programmed to simmer at slower rates or defrost for a longer period of time. Some foods cook better with longer cooking times.

Automatic Sensors: This feature often costs more. With automatic sensors, it is not necessary to set a time. The microwave senses when food is fully cooked by measuring the amount of steam in the oven. More units are being built with this feature.

What to Consider Before Buying

  • How large a unit is needed? Is the microwave for a dorm room or a large family? Also consider the space the microwave takes up.
  • Consider wattage, which typically runs from 600 to 1200 watts. The more wattage, the faster and more evenly food cooks. However, most smaller units are only sold in smaller wattage sizes.
  • Best model for your family or home. This entails looking at many of the above mentioned features and options. Do you cook often for a big family? A larger model with greater wattage may be needed. Is easy access important for busy mornings? A counter top model may be best.

With these buying tips, the next trip for a microwave  should be a breeze. Print a copy of this handy buying guide to take with you when shopping to make your purchase that much easier.

image: Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Last update on 2021-01-16 at 17:30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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