No kitchen is complete without a microwave. As far as every-day cooking goes, no kitchen appliance can be as useful and versatile. Peel a whole head of garlic in twenty seconds? No problem! Brownie-cake in a mug, finished in under a minute? Who wouldn't want that? And of course, there is reheating. Leftovers are always abundant, and nothing is more convenient than getting them ready in three minutes or less.
But with dozens of brands and more models than we can count, how are you supposed to pick the right microwave?
Fear no longer. To help you with your electro-magnetic needs, we are proud to present the best microwaves to buy in 2018.
Cuisinart is a mark of quality. It is near impossible to make a regrettable purchase with them. The CMW-100 Countertop Microwave Oven is no exception.
It boasts over eight different pre-sets, options for serving sizes, and ten customizable power levels to ensure maximum versatility. The easy-to-use interface makes browsing through all these options a breeze.
The best part of the CMW-100 is its two-stage cooking option. This function enables you to combine two different cooking options to follow each other. In practice, this means you can defrost your meal for a couple of minutes, and the oven will switch to normal heat once the time you set runs out.
The same holds true for different power levels. You can start with a higher temperature and finish on a lower one. Or vice-versa. It's all up to you, and it is all automated. And with a memory function, you save your own presets. Cooking does not get more convenient than that.
With a 3-year guarantee, this microwave stands out as one of the best general-use ovens you will find. It's not super specialized, but it will tackle whatever you throw at it.
Another general-use workhorse comes from the people of Panasonic. This microwave is built with energy-efficiency in mind and designed to be as space-saving as possible. As a result, the oven is a good fit even in smaller kitchens, while not making any cuts on how much food you can fit in it.
As for unique features, the NN-SN686S does not have to shy away from the competition. The stand-out for forgetful chefs is the "Advanced Inverter Turbo Defrost." It defrosts much faster, allowing you to stay calm in case you forgot to take out that chicken you wanted for lunch the night before.
The other stand-out borders on being a game-changer. The "Genius Sensor" button will take the guesswork out of the equation. The microwave will set power-level, cooking and defrosting time automatically. And that's not all. The sensor also measures the amount of steam coming off the meal and adjusts settings on the fly.
It has futuristic features and design, while still staying remarkably affordable. The Panasonic NN-SN686S is an excellent appliance for any modern kitchen. And to make sure it fits regardless of your home's interior design, the oven can be used on the countertop as well as built-in.
For maximum space efficiency, it is hard to ignore over-the-range microwaves. Mounted above your cooktop, they replace your ventilation system while adding another cooking appliance to your kitchen's toolkit. Regardless of the size of your home, over-the-range models are always a fantastic way to reduce the clutter of modern cooking spaces.
This model by Whirlpool is a great find for those looking for an over-the-range model. With a width of 1.7 cubic feet, it is big enough to fit most anything, while the dishwasher-safe turntable makes clean-up hassle free. With loads of pre-programmed cooking options, using the oven is as easy it should be. No guess-work required so that you can focus on other things.
As for over-the-range features, it has state of the art ventilation, and a flashlight at the bottom, allowing you to get that little bit of extra visibility on whatever you are cooking. With its minimalist design and sturdy construction, the Whirlpool WMH31017FB will be a trusty companion for years to come.
One of the bruisers in its category, the first thing you notice about the MS11K3000AS is its size. Being a bit heavier than some other ovens, it might not be a perfect fit for some kitchens. However, those among us blessed with a generous cooking space should consider the advantages this Samsung microwave brings to the table.
One of the key features is the vapor-sensing technology. The microwave automatically adjusts cooking times and power-levels based on the amount of heat your food is radiating. This way you will never have those terrible moments of high-heat food eruptions. Volcanos do not belong in the kitchen. Should you still end up with spills and stains of potentially seismic proportions, the ceramic interior makes clean-up no issue at all. Unlike some other surfaces, you can effortlessly remove grease and oil with just a cloth.
The competitive price-point and modern design make the MS11K3000AS a worthy contender on the market.
Moving on from one of the bigger microwaves to the most compact one. Maybe you are renting a small flat in a big city. Are you living in a student dorm? Maybe your kitchen is just cluttered with all kinds of appliances. There are numerous reasons why space might be an issue, and the 0.7-cubic-foot-wide WCM770SS Westinghouse microwave is the perfect fit for when not everything fits.
It does not boast a wide range of unique features, but it gets right what needs to be right. This microwave has ten power-levels, the ability to defrost based on speed or weight, and it is as solid as a rock. Functionality might not sound as cool as some of the more futuristic options out there, but none of these options matter if you do not have space. Compact size is an excellent selling-point after all. Coupled with a very low price point, it is the best microwave for sending your kid off to college.
Speaking of functional options, the Farberware Classic Microwave Oven is another contender that is more solid than sexy. Which in our books is not a bad thing. For some people, a microwave is an appliance with limited and only sporadic uses. Options that work without breaking the bank are often more ideal than expensive technology.
With 1.1 cubic feet of width and 1,000 watts of power, the Farberware Classic Microwave Oven ticks all the boxes a microwave should.
Adjustable cooking-power, multi-stage cooking options, and numerous pre-sets give the casual microwave chefs among us plenty to work with. At only 12 inches tall, it has a sleek and low design, which allows it to be fit under any counter while still allowing room for all kinds of foods. The bargain price is also nothing to scoff at.
Cuisinart's convection-microwave hybrid gives home cooks a level of freedom other microwaves can not. Whereas a microwave is limited in use, a convection model adds options for roasting, baking, and grilling. And this model does not sacrifice the convenience of microwaves to do so.
It boasts all the classic microwave features like defrosting options and cooking presets. On top of that though, it also lets you combine microwave and convection features to cook a variety of meals. For example, you can defrost frozen vegetables, before switching over to roasting them without ever having to change appliances. It does not get more versatile than this.
The oven comes with both a grill rack and a rotating tray, both of which are removable for easy clean-up. The only downside is that convection ovens tend to get very hot, so make sure you have room in your kitchen for plenty of airflow.
Say what you want about microwaves, but the one thing they are terrible at is giving food this golden-brown color that screams tasty. Knowing this, the good people at Samsung created a hybrid model that combines a microwave oven with a grill. And it is not just that the oven has these two functions, it also connects them for truly interesting cooking options.
Not a lot of appliances bring together super fast cooking times, with the ability to create delicious crispiness.
The 1.4 cubic-foot size makes for a big machine, while its elegant design stops it from being a big eyesore. The interior is ceramic, which means it is as easy to clean as it is resistant to scratches and damage. Auto-cooking options make it easy to use, despite its combined-arms approach to preparing food.
It does have a slightly lower wattage than other machines, but the additional cooking functions make this a non-issue. The higher price-point makes it a high-end microwave, albeit one that looks and plays the part perfectly.
Back in the 50s, microwaves were not as much of a kitchen staple as they are now. A shame really, considering the cool designs coming from that era. Big Chill has bridged the gap between decades. The company is known for its bold and retro appliances, and this countertop microwave is no different.
Looking like it is straight from the "good 'ol days," nine different colors are available for purchase. And it loses none of the cooking power we are accustomed to. With an above average 1,200 watts of cooking power and 1.6 cubic feet of width, it can surely cook anything you need. Plenty of options make handling easy, and its durable, stainless-steel construction ensure it will not break anytime soon. They don't make them like this anymore.
The model is a bit pricey, but its unique look makes it a stylish and funky statement for any kitchen.
Is the Big Chill microwave just what you always wanted, but it is too big for your home? Korean brand Daewoo has the product for you. Similarly to the 50s inspired oven we already talked about, Daewoo has one that looks like it is from the early 60s. The difference, besides a few years between the design inspiration, is the size.
With only 0.7 cubic-foot, the Daewoo oven is less than half the size Big Chill model. Naturally, this makes the microwave less flexible, but as we already talked about, size matters in a lot of kitchens.
With its robust list of features, it is ideal for people who use their microwaves only occasionally. Its retro design makes sure the oven is a super stylish addition for any kitchen. It adds to the decor even when you do not use it every day, but it is ready for use whenever you need it. Indeed an excellent purchase if you are not sure if you get enough value out of a bigger, more pricey machine.
But What Is The Best?
After reading through these ten models, you are probably wondering which one is the best. To be clear, none of the tested machines is terrible. They all performed exceptionally well in the tests. But if we were to pick a single winner, it would be either the Cuisinart CMW-100 Countertop Microwave Oven or the Panasonic NN-SN686S Countertop/Built-In Microwave. Both are stand-outs as far as implementing innovative technology into an already stable and reliable product. They are exceptional all-purpose microwaves.
Should all-purpose be not what you are looking for, the other machines offer more specialized options. What are your circumstances? How often will you be using your microwave? How much space does your kitchen have? To avoid buying something you will not be happy with, make sure you know your needs beforehand. The addition of different cooking methods might be perfect if you do not have a conventional oven. And if you are living alone, a small machine might just fit all your needs. The right microwave for you is out there, and none of the above is a wrong choice.