Best Microwave Ovens – A Collection Of Microwave Oven Reviews

Microwave Oven Reviews - Top Microwaves

Best Microwave Oven ImageBest Microwave Oven NameCostVerified Purchaser Microwave Oven Reviews
Sharp Medium Duty Commercial Microwave - 1000 WattSharp Medium Duty Commercial Microwave - 1000 Watt$274.20 & FREE ShippingHere's a microwave with a dial ... no pushbuttons, no fluff.

We first tried the Panasonic NE-1022F Commercial Microwave. It's about the same size and feature set; it has a non-electric dial (spring driven?) that worked perfectly; at the end of a cycle the Panasonic rings a mechanical bell. Alas, but that one arrived dented; we returned it for the Sharp.

This Sharp microwave is a winner. Simple to use - perfect for a busy household. Turn the knob, and the numbers around the dial light up, showing the timer. Open and close with a handle. That's it - no buttons, no programming, no blinking clock, no thinking.

Powerful microwave - gets a cup of coffee hot in 2 minutes. (I measured it: 8 ounces of water in a pyrex cup - got to 205F
in 2 minutes)

Easy to clean: There's no rotating carousel, because there's an internal microwave deflector (the microwave standing wave pattern is constanly changing) So you can quickly clean the inside cavity - it's stainless steel on top, back, and sides; white plastic on bottom.

Although it spends 99 percent of its time "off", it constantly guzzles 9 watts of standby power. So if you use this oven for 15 minutes each day, half your power goes into heating your food, and half and an equal amount is wasted. This phantom power load is more than many other microwaves, and there's no need - it has no electronic display. Sharp - get your act together! (That Panasonic microwave had zero loss to phantom power)

Amazon's picture is inaccurate: there is not a digital display at the top.
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Breville BMO734XL Quick Touch Microwave OvenBreville BMO734XL Quick Touch Microwave Oven$292.97 & FREE ShippingThe level of convenience and control this model affords is unmatched by any other brand on the market today. It provides capabilities of microwave cooking not available with traditional microwave ovens.

At an MSRP of $450, it is a significant investment for the serious professional or amateur cook, but prices have been coming down. I recently purchased one from our local "Sur La Table" for $300.
It is way overpriced for just routine traditional or occasional uses (defrosting foods, reheating leftovers or boiling water etc).

As for me, no more exploding pasta sauce, reheated beans or oatmeal; or biting into leathery chicken or dried out lasagna with frozen center; or burnt tasteless melted chocolate. I have cooked a few meals in the Breville BMO734XL and made full use of its technology with great satisfaction. So far I highly recommend it.
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Panasonic NE-1022F "NSF" Approved 0.8 cuft Stainless Steel Commercial Microwave Oven, 1,000 WattsPanasonic NE-1022F "NSF" Approved 0.8 cuft Stainless Steel Commercial Microwave Oven, 1,000 Watts$228.56 & FREE ShippingI joked on Facebook that this was the perfect Microwave oven for a retired information systems professional ("someone who programs for a living") since it has only one control and only one other moving part (the door). I love it. It does everything I need, with the least possible muss and fuss. Don't be put off that there is no cute little turntable inside, because the microwave source rotates inside the oven housing, rather than rotating the target. It's like the giant Radiation treatment machines which rotate around you.

I got it to replace a larger box, but the external dimensions are not significantly smaller than my older machine, but just enough to make it fit in more convenient spaces.

Even though it's smaller, it succeeds in heating things in less time than the larger one. Overall, I could not be happier, even if it is pricy.

There is a far more fancy version of the same basic unit, with all those complicated controls. I would give some serious thought before you go for the whiz bang version. The simplicity is very refreshing... and very functional.
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RCA RMW1112-RED Red Countertop Microwave (1.1 Cu Ft, 1000 Watts)RCA RMW1112-RED Red Countertop Microwave (1.1 Cu Ft, 1000 Watts)$119.99 & FREE ShippingThis is a nice little microwave! It does exactly what it's supposed to and I've had no issues with it. The timing on some of the preset buttons (pizza and popcorn) is a little wonky, but I don't need a special button to reheat pizza. It's a good value for the price!
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Westinghouse WCM660W 600W Counter Top Microwave Oven, 0.6 Cubic Feet, WhiteWestinghouse WCM660W 600W Counter Top Microwave Oven, 0.6 Cubic Feet, White$58.94 + $19.99 shippingAfter going to numerous big-box and large discount chains, I was unable to find a microwave with knobs instead of a touch pad. I ordered this as a replacement microwave for my 91-year-old mother. It did not disappoint. This microwave is perfect for seniors like my mother who has great difficulty with the vision and dexterity that are necessary to operate a touch pad. This one is so easy to use, with one knob for power and the other knob for time. It's small enough to not take up alot of counter space, but large enough to quickly heat up a dinner plate or fairly large bowl of food. This microwave isn't built for heavy-duty or complex cooking tasks, but it's just what I wanted and my mother is very comfortable with it. Again, it's a really good microwave for small spaces and perfect for those who want to keep things simple and safe.
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Although the Microwave Oven has become a staple in the kitchen, it was not always the case. These slick kitchen appliance were, in fact, built by accident not long after the 2nd World War by Dr. Percy Spencer. Spencer, was employed at the time by Raytheon, a company which manufactured a lot the magnetron tubes that were used by the British and United States’ radar systems throughout the war.

While standing located at the front of a magnetron that was active, Dr. Spencer took note that the chocolate had started melting. Confused by this, he thought it would make a neat experiment to find out what the outcome would be if he exposed the kernels from popcorn to the tubes. What happened was astonishing. The tubes actually cooked the kernels and turned them in the delicious snack food we enjoy today. The idea for a new kitchen appliance was born.

In the early going, owning a microwave oven was not only expensive, it was unpractical. The first models of Microwaves were thousands of dollars, weight more than 700 pounds, and were more than 5 feet tall. Even though the microwave oven has evolved a great deal over the years, a debt of gratitude is owed to Dr. Spencer.

Microwaves come in a lot of different models today but they all have the same goal: warm up food or thoroughly cook food in a fast and efficient manner. Not surprisingly, the microwave oven is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets.

So, which model of Microwave Oven is perfect for you? Below you will find a few things to consider as you go on your microwave oven shopping journey.


Where Will You Place Your Microwave Oven?

This is one of the most important preliminary decisions you will make about your microwave purchase. Where you put your microwave can significantly impact its price, features, size, and ease of installation. Here are the three main options:

Countertop Microwave Ovens

Image of a counter top microwave oven

Countertop Microwave Oven

This model of microwave is the most popular. They are typically more affordable and the process to install these is much more simple. All you have to do is clear a spot off on the counter, sit it on the countertop, plug it in to the appropriate outlet, and you can begin heating up stuff right away. The counter space these babies might require is usually the biggest complaint about them. If your space is limited, you could probably get a smaller countertop microwave oven or perhaps look for another model.

Cost: $40-$700

Size: from around 10x18x14 inches for compact models to approximately 14x24x20 inches for larger models

Internal Space: less than 1 cubic foot to over 2 cubic feet

Power: usually 600-1,200 watts

The overall cost for these types of microwave ovens vary a great deal, starting from around $40 and reaching upwards of $700. So, this is a fantastic option if you are on a budget, however there’s also plenty of wiggle room if you want a counter top model but prefer something a little bigger, with more power and features.

Over-the-range Microwave Ovens

Image of an over the range microwave oven

Over The Range Microwave Oven

This is yet another microwave oven model that’s very common. This handy little appliance is a built-in variety which is made to hang above your range, saving you from having to waste counter top space. These types of Microwaves have vent systems which replace the oven hood. It’s fair to say that, in the world of microwave ovens, these little babies are definitely multitaskers.

Cost: $190-$1,300

Size: typically wider than countertop models, around 16x30x15

Internal Space: less than 1 cubic foot to over 2 cubic feet

Power: usually 600-1,200 watts

The cost to get an over-the-range microwave will range from around $190 and can go as high as $1,300. As you can tell, the price range is still pretty wide, however the starting price is much higher than the counter top model.

Built-in Microwave Ovens

Image of a built-in microwave oven

Built In Microwave Oven

These are the most expensive microwave ovens available on the market. Although over-the-range microwaves are built-ins, not all built-ins are installed over the range. This catch-all category covers any and all custom cabinets, drawers, or combo oven-and-microwave units.

Cost: $500-$5,000

Size: The sizes of this microwave vary widely, drawers usually possess more depth than countertop or over-the-range models, around 15x30x26

Internal Space: less than 1 cubic foot to over 2 cubic feet

Power: Usually 600-1,200 watts

Cost for one of these typically range from about $500 for microwaves built-in to cabinets or drawers to upwards of $5,000 for convection ovens that have built-in microwaves. Once again, the price range is big, however the begining price is higher than the standard over-the-range built-ins or the countertop models.

Taking Size Into Consideration


What is the size of your kitchen counter? Are you expecting to need to cook a lot of food in the new microwave oven? Answering these questions will assist you in selecting the proper microwave to fit your kitchen as well as your lifestyle.

Sadly, determining the size you need it isn’t quite as easy as small, medium, and large. To begin with, you need to measure the counter or wherever it is that you intend to put your microwave. Next, you will need to measure the height, width, and depth of whatever microwaves you’re considering to figure out if it is going to fit on your counter top, over your range, or in a custom spot. The external sizes can vary quite a bit, from  around 10x18x14 inches (HWD) all the way up to  the neighborhood of 14x24x20 inches on the bigger side.

Then you also need to consider the internal space, which ranges from under 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet. There isn’t a set rule as far as how internal capacity correlates to size (like one cubic foot = small, 1.5 cubic feet = medium, etc.), however I will try to break it down for you:

Compact Microwave Ovens: Less than 1 cubic foot

Midsize: One to one-and-a-half cubic feet

Full-size: 1.6-2 cubic feet

Extra-large: More than 2 cubic feet

The majority of Microwave Ovens on the market today are somewhere in the middle. However, if you remain unsure, you can always bring a dish that you plan to use in the microwave to test it out by placing it inside of the microwave, ensuring that it fits, prior to buying it.

What’s the story with wattage?
Microwave wattage is what you need to know to know how much power a microwave has. Typically, the higher the wattage, the quicker and more evenly your food is going to cook. A lot of todays microwaves hover somewhere around 600 to1,200 watts. Bigger microwaves typically have a higher wattage, so this is a price and size consideration that usually influences microwave oven performance in a major way.

Basic features
A lot of microwaves have pretty common functions. Here are a few microwave cooking essentials: cook time, defrost, power level, and timer. Each one needs your direct input, however they are typically really simple to set.

Default settings

These presets let you toss whatever your warming, push the button that has the name of whatever you put in the microwave, and your microwave will begin the cooking process automatically. It’s as simple as it can get. This can be exceptionally handy, assuming that the correct cooking time has been estimated. Some of the more common default settings are potato, pizza, popcorn, beverage, frozen dinner, as well as reheat.

Special features
Are there other things that Microwave Oven Can Do?  Oh Yeah…


Convection heating is not a normal option, with prices beginning somewhere around $120. As you most likely know, convection technology blows the heat around the food instead of heating up your food in patches. This supposedly cooks things faster and more evenly. So, a microwave that comes with convection heating may state that their capable of making better meat or baked goods.

Inverter Tech

Inverter heating is another option available on select high-end types. If you need to warm up something at a 50-percent power level, a lot of microwaves will switch between 100 percent power and 0 percent power to come in at a 50% power average. The results of this method are not great if you want to heat something on a lower heat while achieving an even result. So, a few types of microwaves now utilize inverter technology, which maintains 50% power consistently. This way, you’re able to poach salmon, cook a fluffy omelet, etc.

Other Advanced Microwave Oven Features

In addition to new heating technologies, the more costly models normally possess more presets than that of the basic potato, pizza, and popcorn standard. There are even some that use moisture sensors which can detect how done your food is. Some manufacturers are also experimenting with LED displays, in an attempt to add a little life to an appliance that some consider to be boring and dull. I apologize, microwave ovens, you are exceptionally useful, but you are boring.

Bottom Line

The technology of Microwave Ovens has absolutely come a long way, however, I am not quite ready to say they are on par with other technological advances we’ve made in society. Basically though, this cute kitchen appliance remains basic but they are improving on what they do.