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11 Best Rated Built-In Microwave – In-Depth Reviews

W e are all on the run, so the microwave is no longer a novelty in our kitchens. Whether it is a simple but functional model or a full cooking machine that can grill, bake, roast, and warm up food, it is important to be dependable and hardwearing.

These were some of the chief criteria we’ve considered when picking and ranking the products in our top, along with other important standards, so you can expect to find only high-quality models. For more info, see the table below and the in-depth reviews that follow.

Complete your indoor cooking set with an electric griddle that can cover the grilling and help you serve healthier breakfasts and dinners.

Top 11 Built-In Microwave Ovens Compared

Photo
Product
Dimensions
Cavity Capacity
Cooking Power
Power Levels
Programs
Warranty
Price

Best Overall
23.9 x 23.4 x 16.3 in.
1.2 cu. ft.
950W
11
Automatic defrost, Automatic reheat, Popcorn, Keep Warm
1-year

Our Choice
23.7 x 21.3 x 17.9 in.
1.4 cu. ft.
1,000W
10
Automatic defrost, Automatic reheat, Popcorn, Keep warm, Dinner, Minute plus
1-year
23.9 x 23.4 x 16.3 in.
1.1 cu. ft.
850W
10
12 Compucook and Compudefrost convection programs, 8 sensor cooks programs, Reheat, Popcorn
1-year
14 x 23.9 x 19.4 in.
2.2 cu. ft.
1,250W
14
Automatic defrost, Automatic reheat, Popcorn, Keep warm, Sensor reheat, Sensor cook
1-year
23.9 x 23.4 x 16.3 in.
2.0 cu. ft.
1,200W
9
Automatic defrost, Automatic reheat, Popcorn, Keep warm
1-year
15.25 x 29.88 x 16.5 in.
2.0 cu. ft.
1,200W
10
Automatic defrost – 6 options, Automatic reheat, Popcorn, Keep warm, Sensor cook, Sensor reheat
1-year
23.9 x 23.4 x 16.3 in.
1.6 cu. ft.
1,000W
10
Beverage, Cook , Defrost, Popcorn, Potato, Reheat
1-year
234 x 13-3/8 x 19-1/8 in.
1.5 cu. ft.
1,100W
11
Automatic defrost, Automatic reheat, Popcorn, Keep warm, 8 instant cook action settings, Minute plus
1-year
12-1/4 x 20-11/16 x 15-13/16 in.
1.2 cu. ft.
1,200W
10
Popcorn, Keep warm, Turbo defrost, Sensor reheat, Sensor cook
1 year
12 1/4 x 20 11/16 x 16 5/16 in.
1.2 cu. ft.
1,200W
10
Popcorn, Sensor reheat, Sensor cook, Turbo defrost, Keep warm, Quick minute, More/Less
1-year
15.13 x 23.38 x 13.75 in.
0.9 cu. ft.
900W
N/A
Cook by weight, Defrost by weight, Speed defrost, Cook, Beverage, Baked potato, Popcorn, Frozen dinner, Reheat, Pizza
90 days

If you are often craving for the taste and texture of roasted chicken, it’s time to discover the electric roaster. The newest models come with great functions that guarantee an even cooking and less bother from your part.


1. Bosch HMD8451UC 800

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Specifications

  • Cavity material: Lacquered/ stainless steel
  • Capacity: 1.2 cu. ft.
  • Cooking power: 950W
  • Power levels: 11
  • Display: Glass touch controls with LCD white display
  • Main highlights: Clock/timer, Child safety lock, Automatic sensor programs
  • Cooking programs: Automatic defrost, Automatic reheat, Popcorn, Keep Warm
  • Warranty: 1 year


After a lot of research into the pros and cons of various microwaves, we concluded that the Bosch 800 is the best option at the moment. With multiple features and advanced technology, it will surprise you pleasantly by considerably easing your work in the kitchen. This is a stainless steel built-in microwave rated at 950 cooking watts that provides 10 power levels for you to pick from. It also has several automatic sensor programs and an easy-to-read LCD that make it quite convenient to use. Of all the programs it puts at your disposal, the standout options include automatic defrost, popcorn, keep warm, and automatic reheat.

It integrates a child safety lock to keep the small ones from tampering with the appliance when they’re unsupervised, as well as an automatic shut-off option that saves power in case you’re the forgetful type and don’t always turn the appliance off when you’re done using it. It measures 23.9” by 23.4” by 16.3” and has a capacity of 33.9 liters or 1.2 cubic feet, which makes it sufficiently spacious to fit a large casserole dish. We especially like the interior light that lets you monitor the cooking process without having to open the door. Furthermore, the 1-year service warranty offers peace of mind for eventual issues related to the product’s manufacturing.

PROS

  • Puts 11 power levels at your disposal to pick from depending on the cooking procedure you intend to take up
  • The 1.2 cubic feet capacity is more than sufficient to accommodate a large-size casserole dish
  • Features pre-set programs that ease your work in the kitchen, including popcorn, automatic reheat or defrost, and keep warm
  • 1-year backing against defects is provided by the manufacturing company

CONS


Verdict

Grating sufficient space for you to prepare or reheat a large-size casserole dish inside it and featuring multiple pre-set programs to make your life easier when you’re in the kitchen, this Bosch oven was a no-brainer as our top pick. Elegant, durable, and hard to surpass in terms of performance, it makes for a worthy ally in the kitchen.

Take a look at our selection of home pizza ovens and learn how you can serve up to 10 pizzas per hour without firing a large wood-fired stove. The taste stays the same.



2. KitchenAid KBMS1454BBL Architect II

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Specifications

  • Cavity material: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: 1.4 cu. ft.
  • Cooking power: 1000W
  • Power levels: 10
  • Display:
  • Main highlights: Sensor clock technology
  • Cooking programs: Automatic defrost, Automatic reheat, Popcorn, Keep warm, Dinner, Minute plus
  • Warranty: 1 year


This kitchen appliance provides 10 power sensor levels to pick from and a multitude of pre-set programs, all intended to ease your work when it comes to food preparation. Of the programs it puts at your disposal, we mention automatic defrost, popcorn, dinner, minute plus, keep warm, and automatic reheat since these are likely the option you will use the most. It features a stainless steel cavity with a 1.4 cubic feet capacity, so it’s perfect for large families. Keep in mind that it measures 23.7” by 21.3” by 17.9” since you’ll need to know its exact measurements to properly integrate it into the cabinet.

Since it is rated at 1,000 watts in terms of cooking power, it is a strong competitor for our top pick, the Bosch HMD8451UC 800, one that comes at a smaller price though. Due to the sensor clock technology it integrates, it lets you know when your dish is ready so that you won’t have to keep a constant eye on the appliance. When it comes to backing, the product is covered against defects for 1 year as of purchasing it, which is standard for this niche.

PROS

  • You can put a large casserole inside it just fine since it has a 1.4 cubic feet cavity capacity
  • Provides multiple pre-set programs to pick from, as well as 10 power levels
  • The keep warm feature will keep your food warm so that you can serve it at a later time without having to reheat it
  • The sensor clock technology lets you know when the food is done

CONS


Verdict

It is among the most popular options on the market. It is efficient and comes at a reasonable price. Even though it is not as powerful as its above competitor and it lacks certain features, it still is a good option to consider.

If you’re flexible when it comes to where you set up the appliance, we recommend that you check out the best countertop microwaves too before you decide to have a broader selection to pick from.



3. Sharp R1874T

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Specifications

  • Cavity material: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: 1.1 cu. ft.
  • Cooking power: 850W
  • Power levels: 10
  • Display: 2-color, 7-digit LCD display
  • Main highlights: +30 seconds option, Automatic start, Minute Plus key, Child safety lock
  • Cooking programs: 12 Compucook and Compudefrost convection programs, 8 sensor cooks programs, Reheat, Popcorn
  • Warranty: 1 year


This Sharp model comes with a 1.1 cubic feet cooking capacity and flaunts a nice stainless steel finish. It is rated at 850 watts cooking power and it is one of the most effective built-in microwaves available. Just like the Bosch and KitchenAid models we previously reviewed, it integrates multiple features too. Some of the highlights worth mentioning include:

  • Easy to navigate display – its 7-digital, 2-color display lets you decide how to prepare the food in an intuitive manner
  • Neat design – made with stainless steel for added durability, the cavity is fairly easy to clean, and it features an interior light that lets you monitor the food when you cook at night
  • Built-in exhaust system – the powerful fan acts against unpleasant cooking odors
  • Auto-defrost setting – quickly defrosts your food
  • +30 seconds option – instantly adds 30 seconds to the cooking program so that you won’t have to reset it at the end of the cycle

In what concerns the unit’s dimensions, it measures 29-15/16” by 16-11/32” by 15-9/32” on the exterior, while the interior measures 13-13/16” by 8-1/16” by 17-1/8”. Since it’s a one-touch operation model, you won’t have any trouble operating it even if you are a first-time owner of an appliance of the sort.

PROS

  • The 1.1 cubic feet capacity makes it suited for medium to large-size families
  • The interior is hardwearing and won’t get scratched easily
  • The grill function adds to the versatility in use of this kitchen appliance
  • There are 10 power levels put at your disposal to pick from

CONS

  • The white turntable stains easily
  • The control panel is not backlit


Verdict

While this Sharp model might not be as complex as its predecessors from our top in terms of functions and features, it makes for a veritable acquisition since it is powerful and reliable, and it’s fit for everyday use. Whether you want to roast, bake, or simply warm your food, you can count on this appliance to fulfill the task to perfection.

Want to cook in a healthier manner? Then give air fryers a go since these appliances let you prepare delicious meals without using any oil at all!



4. Panasonic NN-SN966S

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Specifications

  • Cavity material: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: 2.2 cu. ft.
  • Cooking power: 1250W
  • Power levels: 14
  • Display: LED display
  • Main highlights: Delayed start, Child lock, More/Less
  • Cooking programs: Automatic defrost, Automatic reheat, Popcorn, Keep warm, Sensor reheat, Sensor cook
  • Warranty: 1 year


When it comes to Panasonic products, innovation is the key. Since the company has developed and patented the inverter technology somewhere in the 60s, there hasn’t been a single cut of frozen meat that came burned on the exterior and ice cold on the interior. This method is used by the unit in question, and it implies an ideal heat distribution and intensity that is maintained no matter the power level selected. And you surely have options, as this unit offers up to 14 power levels to pick from. At the same time, this technology shortens the time you need to wait for your food to be warmed up or defrosted. In fact, the company has run some tests in this field and they have proven that this unit has a cooking time up to 40% shorter than similar models.

Apart from the ground-breaking engineering, it offers other impressive features (considering the price), like a popcorn setting or a “Keep Warm” function that can maintain the food to a certain temperature until you are ready to serve it. Additionally, there is a button for turbo defrost and one that allows you to select the desired power level. Moreover, the “Sensor Preheat” function will measure the temperature inside and activate when it drops to keep the food warm. It also features a timer and a quick heating function.

The 1,250W cooking power makes it performant and rapid in its operation, allowing it to warm up larger quantities of food, which will easily fit inside the generous 2.2 cubic feet capacity cavity. The turntable measures 16.5 inches in diameter and is lightweight, so it rotates without effort. Besides, the stainless steel structure guarantees that it will last through the years, and, even if it only offers a standard 1-year warranty, repairs are rarely needed because the unit is professionally built.

PROS

  • Large capacity makes it a great fit for large families
  • Smart sensor adjusts time and power according to the type of food you are preparing
  • Defrost technology reduces time and power waste
  • The LED display is easy to read

CONS

  • Rather bulky
  • The keypad can be a bit problematic to work with at times

Verdict

This product is definitely worth the price considering its durability and large capacity. There are 14 power levels provided to pick from, more than what most models offer, and it is rated at 1,250 watts, so you know from the get-go that it means serious business when it comes to preparing your meals.



5. Frigidaire FPMO209RF

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Specifications

  • Cavity material: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: 2.0 cu. ft.
  • Cooking power: 1200W
  • Power levels: 9
  • Display:
  • Main highlights: PowerSense cooking technology , Melt settings
  • Cooking programs: Automatic defrost, Automatic reheat, Popcorn, Keep warm
  • Warranty: 1 year


Integrating multiple features, settings, and cooking programs, it’s quite difficult to find a product that is better than the FPMO209RF at this price. As opposed to its more expensive competitors, you can opt to set it up as a countertop or built-in model, the added versatility in terms of installation appealing to customers. It is rated at 1200 watts to provide sufficient power for basically any cooking task you have in mind. The stainless steel finish is smudge-resistant, so it won’t be difficult to keep the appliance clean.

One of its standout features is the PowerSense cooking technology that uses advanced engineering to automatically determine the appropriate time and power levels for the cooking task at hand. It even features a melting program that comes in handy since you can melt ingredients like butter with it rapidly. Other features it comprises that come in handy include the automatic defrost and adjustable timer, and the package contains a trim kit for a flawless built-in installation. Best of all, you get all of these perks at a fairly reasonable price.

PROS

  • PowerSense cooking technology sets the right time and power level to prepare your food
  • Features the melt setting that comes in handy when you want to quickly melt various ingredients
  • Integrates automatic defrost so that you won’t have to wait for hours anymore to defreeze the foods that you want to prepare
  • The smudge-proof exterior of the appliance keeps it looking clean and neat, and it makes your job easier when it comes to upkeep too since cleaning it isn’t much of a hassle

CONS

  • When the program is finished, it alerts you via a series of beeps that don’t stop until you open the door, which can get annoying for some users
  • The display is hard to read


Verdict

Whether you are looking for a built-in or countertop model, look no further because this Frigidaire model is just what you need. Aside from the versatile setup, it flaunts other praise-worthy aspects too, including the PowerSense technology that adjusts the settings as needed to prepare your food to perfection and the melt setting that quickly melts any ingredient you place inside the microwave.



6. Frigidaire CR FGMO206NTD

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Specifications

  • Cavity material: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: 2.0 cu. ft.
  • Cooking power: 1200W
  • Power levels: 10
  • Display:
  • Main highlights: Clock, Child lock, 3-stage cooking
  • Cooking programs: Automatic defrost – 6 options, Automatic reheat, Popcorn, Keep warm, Sensor cook, Sensor reheat
  • Warranty: 1 year


This Frigidaire model is among the products we recommend the most since it boasts 1,200 watts of cooking power and has a 2 cubic feet capacity that makes it sufficiently spacious for large dishes and casseroles. It includes 3 auto cook options that include pizza, hot dogs, and beverages so that you save time on the preparation process. Other options it features that come in handy include the automatic melt or soft. Thus, when you want to melt butter quickly, for example, you just put it in the microwave and have it ready in the nick of time.

If you ever find yourself in the situation where you have to delay the dinner because there’s a chore that requires your handling, you can activate the Keep Warm function that keeps the meal perfect for serving until you’re ready to finally sit down at the table. The 6 automatic defrost options it puts at your disposal let you rapidly and conveniently defrost fish, chicken, steak, and casserole.

It features sensor cooking, which implies that it instantly adjusts the heat level and time according to the food you prepare at that moment for optimal results. The 16-inch turntable rotates to ensure the food evenly cooks from the interior towards the exterior. There are 10 power levels that you can pick from. Lastly, if you want to add 30 seconds to the cooking process without much hassle, you can just press the start button once.

PROS

  • The timer function lets you set the exact preparation time according to the operation you intend to take up with the microwave
  • The sensor cook adjusts the heat and time as needed to prepare your food to perfection each time
  • The 16-inch glass turntable is easy to clean and it accommodates large dishes and casseroles with ease
  • Automatic cook options ensure the right heat level and time is picked for the meal you prepare

CONS

  • The door gets quite noisy when you open and close it
  • When the cooking cycle is over, the unit will continue to beep until you open the door


Verdict

With one-touch options that let you prepare various foods fast and without making mistakes when it comes to the heat level that you have to pick, with this microwave you are sure to make your life in the kitchen considerably easier. Furthermore, it is accessible price-wise and it doesn’t require extensive knowledge to learn how to operate.



7. GE JVM3160RFSS

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Specifications

  • Cavity material: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: 1.6 cu. ft.
  • Cooking power: 1000W
  • Power levels: 10
  • Display:
  • Main highlights: 300 CFM exhaust fan, Lock controls
  • Cooking programs: Beverage, Cook , Defrost, Popcorn, Potato, Reheat
  • Warranty: 1 year


Whether you want to change your old oven with a better model or you want to make a thoughtful housewarming gift, this GE microwave is an option you can go with. With a 1.6 cubic feet capacity and plentiful useful features and settings, it is one of the most popular models available for sale these days.

The stainless steel finish gives it a modern look so that it matches any kitchen décor. It weighs 62 pounds, so you won’t have that much trouble maneuvering it during the installation process. When it comes to the features and highlights that stand out, these include:

  • Auto and Time Defrost – let it automatically pick the time it takes to defreeze the food or manually pick the amount of time
  • Turntable On/Off controls – energy-efficient – it helps you save a lot on energy bills
  • 300 CFM venting system – great odor removal
  • Cooktop light – the interior is illuminated, so you won’t have to turn the kitchen lights on to keep an eye on how the food preparation process goes
  • Cooking controls – equipped with many cooking programs to choose from to defreeze and reheat food

PROS

  • The 300 CFM venting system helps keep unpleasant cooking odors at bay
  • Defreeze and reheat options make it a complete kitchen appliance that comes in handy for different food preparation tasks
  • The 1.6 cubic feet capacity makes it a worthwhile acquisition for a large family
  • The lock controls option comes in handy for people with children who want to keep the small ones safe and ensure they won’t tamper with the appliance

CONS

  • At times, the fan might activate when it senses heat that comes from another source
  • The buttons are a bit difficult to read


Verdict

A large capacity model that is fitted with quite a few features and integrates a lot of useful pre-set programs to make it easier for you to prepare, reheat, or defreeze foods, this GE microwave is an option you ought to consider if you seek a built-in model that is easy to use, won’t cost you a fortune, and stands the test of time.



8. Sharp R-1210

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Specifications

  • Cavity material: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: 1.5 cu. ft.
  • Cooking power: 1100W
  • Power levels: 11
  • Display: LCD display
  • Main highlights: Carousel turntable , Moisture sensor
  • Cooking programs: Automatic defrost, Automatic reheat, Popcorn, Keep warm, 8 instant cook action settings, Minute plus
  • Warranty: 1 year


It should come as no surprise that the Sharp R-1210 is one of the most popular models at the moment considering the fair asking price and the fact that it is rated at 1,100 watts cooking power, sufficient to take up any food preparation task you have in mind. The cavity of the appliance flaunts a 1.2 cubic feet capacity, so it’s spacious enough to fit large dishes without a problem. There are 11 power levels provided to pick from depending on the heat level you need for the food you intend to prepare, defrost, or reheat.

The touch-key control panel is easy to read and navigate, making your life easy when you program the settings. It includes a multitude of programs that are accessible to you at the touch of a button, including automatic defrost, keep warm, minute plus, automatic reheat, and popcorn. One of its standout features is the moisture sensor that notifies you when moisture is detected inside the unit. The appliance measures 14-1/16” by 23-7/8” by 15-9/16” and weighs 60 pounds. We must also mention that backing against defects is provided for 1 year after you make the purchase, and that a manual is included that helps guide you in terms of proper use and maintenance.

PROS

  • The touch-key control panel makes the appliance easy to operate even for first-timers
  • Set the timer as needed according to the cooking task at hand
  • There are 11 power levels provided to pick from depending on the heat level you need for the food preparation task at hand
  • The Keep Warm program keeps your food at the right temperature for serving even if you don’t sit down to eat right away

CONS

  • If you ever need to replace it and have made a custom entry for it in the kitchen cabinet, you might have a hard time finding another model with the same width
  • With time, the door starts to have issues when you open and close it

Verdict

With 11 power levels to pick from and a multitude of pre-set cooking programs that you can call for action at the touch of a button, this Sharp microwave is among the most sought-after products in its niche. It comes at a fair price, and it includes quite a few interesting features, including a moisture sensor that detects in the cavity is humid.



9. Panasonic NN-SN686S

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Specifications

  • Cavity material: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: 1.2 cu. ft.
  • Cooking power: 1200W
  • Power levels: 10
  • Display: 4-digit display panel
  • Main highlights: More/Less control, Quick minute, Child lock, Back light, Standby energy mode
  • Cooking programs: Popcorn, Keep warm, Turbo defrost, Sensor reheat, Sensor cook
  • Warranty: 1 year


As expected since it comes from a standout manufacturer, namely Panasonic, the NN-SN686S makes for a veritable ally in the modern person’s kitchen. This 1200-watt appliance lets you pick between 10 power levels to suit its operation to the cooking task you intend to take up with it. Since the interior is quite spacious, 1.2 cubic feet to be specific, it makes for a viable option even for a large family with higher demands in terms of food preparation.

The turntable measures 13.4 inches in diameter, which is fairly large and accommodates your casseroles just fine. When it comes to the size of the appliance, an aspect of great importance since it is a built-in model and you have to make sufficient room to install it, know that it measures 20-11/16” by 15-13/16” by 12-1/4”. A design aspect that adds to convenience in use stands in the push-to-open door release that makes opening and closing the door significantly easier than it is with microwaves that feature a handle.

Turning to the features this model integrates, a standout is the inverter technology since it impedes overcooking and undercooking, guaranteeing the food is evenly made from the edges to the center by providing a seamless stream of power throughout the cooking process. We also like that it comes with the Keep warm function since it keeps your meals perfect to serve for an extra 30 minutes in case you have other chores that need your attention and can’t sit down to eat on the spot.

Likely the feature that steals the show is the cooking sensor that adjusts the time and power settings to the food you insert into the appliance. There are a total of 14 automatic cook/sensor cook menu items to pick from, which is significant for any microwave, especially one that is available at this reasonable price. The menu also includes 3 options to make popcorn, and the interesting Quick minute feature that adds 30 seconds to the preparation time if you want to adjust the cooking time quickly (you can add up to 5 minutes with this function).

There’s a delayed start option that you can program for 99 minutes and 59 seconds tops so that the appliance commences the operation you have selected at the right time, letting you program it to turn on before you come home from work to find the food warm and ready to eat, for example. It even features a useful child lock that keeps the small ones from tampering with the appliance so that they won’t get hurt. Add to all these perks the 1-year warranty against defects, and you can see why this appliance is appreciated by customers everywhere.

PROS

  • The inverter technology ensures that the food is evenly prepared from the edges to the center
  • Features 14 cooking categories that you can shuffle between and select at the touch of a button
  • The cooking sensor automatically adjusts the power and time settings according to the food you have inserted in the microwave for optimal results
  • The Keep warm feature comes in handy since it keeps the foods warm up to 30 minutes after they are prepared in case you can’t serve the meal right away but plan on doing it a bit later
  • Push-button door release is considerably more convenient as opposed to pulling on a handle like you have to with other models

CONS

  • You might have to push the button a few times for the unit to take your command
  • The noise it makes can become bothersome if you have to keep it on for a long amount of time

Verdict

Hands-down a force to be reckoned with in terms of power and offering a multitude of selections to pick from at the touch of a button, this Panasonic entry is fairly popular not only for its capabilities but for the cheap asking price that makes it a much more accessible option as opposed to other built-in microwaves.



10. Panasonic NN-SD681S

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Specifications

  • Cavity material: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: 1.2 cu. ft.
  • Cooking power: 1200W
  • Power levels: 10
  • Display: LED digital display
  • Main highlights: Timer, Clock, Stop/Reset
  • Cooking programs: Popcorn, Sensor reheat, Sensor cook, Turbo defrost, Keep warm, Quick minute, More/Less
  • Warranty: 1 year


Like all of the other products we reviewed, this model comes with multiple pre-set programs, including reheat, automatic defrost, popcorn, keep warm, and quick minute. The advanced inverter technology it uses comes in handy since it amps the appliance’s performance. For example, the inverter turbo defrost mode provides a quick and extremely efficient manner to unfreeze any food you insert in the microwave.

The appliance is rated at 1,200 watts and provides 10 power levels to pick from, so rest assured knowing that whatever food preparation task you intend to take up, the Panasonic won’t have trouble facing it. The 4-digit LED display and multiple programming buttons plus the dial make it a cinch to figure out how to operate the unit. Plus, there is a 1-year warranty provided by the company that keeps you from spending a dime on repairing the product in case manufacturing issues arise.

PROS

  • The steady stream of power granted by the Inverter technology ensures the food is always evenly cooked
  • The quick minute option conveniently adds an extra minute to the cook or reheat time
  • The one-touch sensor cook and reheat automatically sets the time and heat level as needed for optimal results in terms of food preparation
  • Quite spacious despite the minimal footprint – 1.2 cubic feet capacity

CONS

  • The turntable isn’t well fixed and needs to be repositioned often
  • The lights only work when the unit is running


Verdict

With advanced technology and an interesting design that makes it a veritable addition to a modern kitchen, this Panasonic is what any home cook needs. It even comes at a reasonable price, so you won’t make any significant financial efforts to acquire it. Moreover, the 1-year assurance provided by the company has you resting easy knowing that manufacturing issues are handled free of charge.



11. Summit OTR24

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Specifications

  • Cavity material: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: 0.9 cu. ft.
  • Cooking power: 900W
  • Power levels: N/A
  • Display: Digital display
  • Main highlights: End of cycle buzzer , Clock
  • Cooking programs: Cook by weight, Defrost by weight, Speed defrost, Cook, Beverage, Baked potato, Popcorn, Frozen dinner, Reheat, Pizza
  • Warranty: 90 days


A microwave that is specially intended for built-in installation above or below the counter, this Summit model is quite sought-after for its 900-watt power that makes it a worthy companion in the kitchen, as well as the relatively cheap asking price that makes it accessible for a wide range of customers. It measures 13.8” in height by 22” in width by 16.2” in depth.

It has 0.9 cubic feet capacity and the turntable measures 10.5” in diameter, sufficient for the cooking needs related to microwave use of regular-sized households. There are multiple options provided for the defrost program, permitting you to opt to defrost the food by weight or time, or if you’re in a hurry to choose Speed Defrost that saves a lot of cooking time. The digital controls it features grant an intuitive means to set the heat level of your choice, so even first-time owners of an appliance of the sort won’t have trouble operating it.

What makes it even more convenient is that at the end of the cooking cycle it makes a buzzing sound that announces you the food is ready. It features pre-programmed buttons for popcorn, pizza, and beverages so that you prepare these specialties with a simple touch of a button. With the package, you receive an aluminum trim kit to frame the appliance in the cabinet or counter for a flawless built-in look. Woefully, it doesn’t shine in the warranty department since it’s backed against defects for only 90 days as of making the purchase, significantly less than what other models provide.

PROS

  • The convenient cook menu includes settings for multiple foods, including pizza, popcorn, and beverages
  • At the end of the cooking cycle, it makes a buzzing sound to let you know the food is ready
  • Included aluminum trim kit frames the appliance for a flawless look when you install it in the cabinet
  • Multiple defrost options – choose to defrost by weight or time, or pick Speed Defrost if you want to decrease the cooking time as much as possible
  • Set the heat level you like with ease due to the digital controls the unit features

CONS

  • The warranty for the appliance is short as opposed to the industry standard – only 90 days
  • The turntable is poorly balanced

Verdict

Specially intended for built-in installation and including an aluminum trim kit to frame it perfectly in the cabinet or counter, you are sure to find this Summit model a trustworthy kitchen appliance since it provides 900 watts of cooking power and multiple programs to pick from.



The Most Important Factors to Consider


Since there are so many types and models of microwaves available for sale, it is understandable why finding a model that fulfills your requirements could be a difficult task. To help you decide what to choose, we want to present you with essential factors to consider before making an acquisition. Take a look at this comparison table and consider all these features when making a purchase.

Main Aspects
Details
Best Model
Auto cook
With the auto cook mode, you will be able to prepare your favorite meals without adjusting time and power levels.
All models
Display
Opt for a model with an LCD/LED display since these are easy to use. While some displays have electronic keypads that can be operated at the touch of a button, others are equipped with manual controls that can be operated with a rotary dial.
All models
Cooking power
The cooking power is the wattage rating of the microwave, and it usually ranges from 600 to 1,300 watts. Generally, the higher the wattage is, the more food preparation tasks you can take up with the appliance.
Inverter Microwave Technology
As opposed to standard models that use a transformer for the power supply, these microwaves use an inverter circuit. The difference stands in the efficiency of the cooking process since inverter models supply the same amount of voltage throughout the cooking process, without fluctuations like increases or decreases that occur with regular models. Thus, the food comes out evenly cooked, a perk that you won’t enjoy with models that rely on a transformer for the power supply.
Popcorn key
You can prepare a standard 3.5-ounce bag of popcorn at the touch of a button, without having to manually introduce the amount of time for which it should sit in the microwave.
All models
Auto reheat option
Just press the Reheat button and select the number of servings for the appliance to reheat your food and have it ready for serving.
All models
Quick Minute option
If you need to add a minute to the cooking session, just press the button and the appliance will automatically add it. This way, you won’t have to wait until the microwave finishes the current cycle to set it up again for the small time difference needed to prepare the food to perfection.
All models

Frequently Asked Questions



Is there a standard size for built-in microwaves?
Built-in models are usually designed to fit standard cabinet widths, and these standard openings are usually 24”, 27”, and 30” wide. The standard width of wall ovens coincides with these measurements generally, but you should still check the spec sheet to make sure that there are no notable differences between the product you intend to buy and the cabinet opening. When it comes to the average height, these models usually measure from 19” to 22”.

What is the difference between a built-in microwave and a countertop model?
The difference stands in the installation manner. As implied by their names, built-in microwaves install into the kitchen cabinet, whereas the countertop microwaves simply go on the counter or any other flat surface. Some models can be set up in both manners, however, like the Frigidaire FPMO209RF we reviewed in this article.

What are the signs that a microwave is going bad?
There are a few indicators that you ought to keep an eye out for because these show that the appliance has likely suffered damage or is soon going to fail, specifically:

  • When smoke smell, sparks, or a burning comes from the appliance, turn it off, unplug it, and replace it ASAP.
  • If it takes longer for the appliance to cook, reheat, or unfreeze your food than it did.
  • When the door doesn’t seal fully anymore, it’s time to repair it because the radiation emanated by the microwaving process won’t be properly contained anymore.
  • When the appliance starts to make weird noises during the food preparation process, it means that repairs are due. Check the turntable and the fan, these two parts are generally the culprits for the noises.
  • When the keypad stops responding to your commands, you should first try to clean it. If this doesn’t fix the situation, either have the appliance fixed or replace it.


How many inches of clearance should there be between the stove and the microwave?
It is recommended to keep a distance of at least 13” between the cooktop surface and the bottom of the microwave. Go as high as you can with this distance for extra safety.

How many years does a microwave last?
While the exact lifespan depends from model to model since manufacturing quality differs, in general, the average appliance of the sort lasts approximately 7 years under normal use conditions. If it’s used very often and poor maintenance practices are involved, expect the appliance to require replacement after an estimated 5 years.

Why does the interior of the microwave smell weird?
Bad smells are fairly normal with microwaves considering the wide range of foods that are cooked, reheated, and defrosted with these appliances. If you were to properly clean the unit after use, those smells wouldn’t be an issue anymore. Routine thorough cleaning with all-natural products like lemon juice, vinegar, or baking soda also helps keep the appliance smelling fresh as if you never warmed up your soup in it.

Why does the appliance get wet inside?
The cause for interior condensation with microwaves is heating foods that have high moisture content. It is a normal repercussion and it can even lead to a small puddle forming inside the appliance if you cook the food for a long period. Beware that you should let the water cool down before you wipe it with a cloth or paper towel to avoid scalding your hands.

Should the door be left open after use?
It’s not mandatory to do so, it’s more of a matter of choice. There is no danger associated with leaving the microwave door open when you’re done using it. In fact, a lot of people opt to do this when they reheat or prepare foods that have a more pungent smell, like soups, for example, since airing the appliance gets rid of the odor faster.



Conclusion

If you don’t have the counter space for a classic microwave or you simply prefer the built-in version because you find it to be more stylish for your kitchen setup, the built-in microwave is the appliance you must get your hands on. Here, we rated and reviewed the best models available, and whatever option you stick with, we are sure of the fact that you won’t have complaints regarding the quality, performance, or durability of the product. Before we end, we want to go over a few standout options once more to help you reach a decision more easily.

Best Overall: Bosch HMD8451UC 800
Durable and powerful, this 950-watt appliance provides 10 power levels to pick from so that you can take up any food preparation task you have in mind. It even features automatic sensor programs that ease your work and deliver perfect results since the time and heat levels are automatically adjusted according to the task at hand. Everything is clearly labeled to make your time using the appliance as easy as possible.

Since it flaunts a stainless steel finish, cleaning the unit won’t be much hassle. However, what makes this product stand out the most is the wide range of cooking programs it offers which include keep warm, automatic defrost, automatic reheat, and popcorn. It even features a safety lock that keeps the kids from tampering with the appliance when they’re not supervised. Overall, it’s an option you ought to consider if you have the cash for it and value performance and durability.

Editor’s Choice: KitchenAid KBMS1454BBL Architect II
With a cooking power of 1,000 watts and 10 power levels put at the user’s disposal, the KitchenAid Architect II was bound to catch our attention. The cooking capacity of the appliance is fairly large as well since it is rated at 1.4 cubic feet, sufficient for reheating or preparing large dishes or casseroles. It features the useful Keep Warm function that keeps your meal warm for later serving if something interferes and you can’t sit at the table to eat at the moment you initially planned to do it. Other mention-worthy features of the unit include the add-a-minute control that adds a minute to the cooking time so that you won’t have to wait until the cycle ends to reset it and the control lock that impedes unwanted use.

Best Built-In Microwave with Trim Kit: Frigidaire FPMO209RF
Rated at 1,200 watts, this Frigidaire model is among the most powerful entries available. The cavity capacity impresses too since it is rated at 2.0 cubic feet, more than enough for a large family with high demands in terms of food preparation. The package in which the product arrives also includes a trim kit that comes in handy for the installation process, granting that seamless look so that the unit perfectly integrates with the kitchen’s décor. We must praise the smudge-proof finish of the appliance too since it keeps the unit looking neat and clean no matter how much you use it.

Best Built-In Microwave with Convection: Sharp R1874T
What makes convection microwaves more appealing is that they don’t only warm or unfreeze foods, but these appliances can be used for cooking purposes too. This Sharp model is your go-to if you seek a built-in model with convection since it integrates this technology. It’s easy on the wallet too, another plus that makes it an appealing option for any serious cook who wants to work with the best appliances.