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17 Best Rated Countertop Microwaves – In-Depth Reviews

W hile back in the day people only relied on gas or fire whenever they had to cook their food, nowadays, the alternatives include the multi-purpose countertop microwave oven that has innovated and simplified cooking. The latest models come with useful features designed to simply defrosting, cooking, or reheating and their increasing popularity is a sign that the kitchen appliances field really needed these small yet amazing units.

Given the popularity of these kitchen tools, no wonder the market abounds with models of various sizes and designs, enough to meet the needs and tastes of every customer. Since it’s so important to do some research and to compare various products, we thought we would give you a hand in finding the finest countertop models.

You can also see our selection of built-in microwaves to make an informed purchase.


Top 17 Countertop Microwaves Compared

Photo
Product
Capacity
Power Levels
Wattage
Preset Cooking Modes
Turntable Size
Price

Best Overall
1.2 cu. ft.
10
1,650
10
15”

Best with Inverter Technology
1.2 cu. ft.
10
1,480
12
13.4”
1.1 cu. ft.
10
800
6
10.6”

Editor’s Choice
1.5 cu. ft.
10
1,200
7
14.2”
0.9 cu. ft.
10
900
6
11.22”
1.4 cu. ft.
10
1,100
8
12.4”
1.0 cu. ft.
10
1,000
8
12”

Best for the Money
1.2 cu. ft.
10
1,100
8
12.4”

Best with Sensor Cooking
1.2 cu. ft.
10
1,100
9
12.5”
1.1 cu. ft.
10
1,000
6
12.4”
1.3 cu. ft.
10
1,050
11
12”

Best for Small Spaces
0.5 cu. ft.
10
750
3
11”
1.1 cu. ft.
10
1,000
6
12”

Best Budget Pick
0.7 cu. ft.
10
700
2
10”
0.7 cu. ft.
5
700
5
10”
0.7 cu. ft.
6
700
7
9.6”
0.7 cu. ft.
10
700
6
9.96”

For flawless omelets, pancakes, and grilled food, make sure to check out the best electric griddles of the moment. Packing strong heating elements that will get the heat high in minutes, our picks can turn meal preparation into a pleasant time and allow you to try new dishes every day.



1. Samsung MC12J8035CT

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 1,650 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 10
  • Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 10
  • Turntable diameter: 15”
  • Door style: Drop-down with handle
  • Interior material: Ceramic enamel
  • Dimensions: 18.5” x 20.8” x 15.9”
  • Weight: 62.8 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year full, 10 years for the magnetron


For the pickiest of you who want a cutting-edge unit that will complement the design of their kitchen, we suggest the Samsung MC12J8035CT because it’s a true work of art. At first glance, you will discover a shiny item with a glass drop-down door, a touch control panel, and a large handle that breaks the lines. You can either place it on the counter or purchase the built-in kit and mount it inside the kitchen cabinets.

Inside, the voluminous 1.2 cu. ft. oven can hold various sizes of pans and plates enough to feed an entire family. The enamel-coated interior is scratch-resistant and so easy to clean that you can simply wipe it with a cloth. It has one of the largest turntables we have encountered, a 15” one that can accommodate even very large trays and pans.

Is it possible to cook French fries without an ounce of oil? It is with a top-rated air fryer. The superior technology these appliances use ensures the food is evenly exposed to heat by circulating the hot air inside. Some users like to add a spoon of oil to enhance the taste, but you can totally leave it out for healthier results.

Cooking skills

Due to the outstanding 1,600 watts power, the oven can reach 10 stages of intensity, and the food will be uniformly cooked regardless of the time chosen. Although it doesn’t use sensor cooking, it is fitted with auto cook pre-set programs and a grill function that allows you to enhance your cooking skills. It’s a powerful convection oven that redirects the heat from above to ensure the entire dish will be surrounded and penetrated. This results in a faster and more even cooking method than old-style microwaves.

For those who prefer frying rather than broiling, it uses Slim Fry technology that delivers delicious foods without the need for added oil. It offers no less than 10 cooking modes, including a Power Convection and a regular Convection, Slim Fry, Auto Cook, Grill, or Combi. This way, you will get full control over the cooking and take out the guessing from tasks like making popcorn.

Increased convenience

Handiness features like a timer, a quick defrost, or Keep Warm complete the utility of this product. In case you need some extra cooking time, you can add 30 seconds, and you can also choose to block the turntable so it won’t rotate. To keep children safe, the glossy panel can be locked by pressing the “padlock” icon for 3 seconds. As it concerns possible malfunctions, know that the manufacturer warrants the product for 1 year on parts and labor and offers a generous 10-year period for the magnetron, which is an essential element of the oven, and the most expensive, as well.

Pros

  • Durable material that is hard to scratch
  • One-touch button operations
  • Grill function
  • Can cook meals without excess oil
  • Keep warm setting
  • Child Lock
  • Sleek enamel interior

Cons

  • A cumbersome interface that seems hard to use
  • The handle is not stainless steel, it’s plastic with a chrome finish


Verdict

For starters, this microwave looks expensive and high-class. The glass exterior in black and the touchpad panel give it a sophisticated feel. Next, it’s equipped with some of the latest cooking technologies like Slim Fry and convection that ensure exceptional cooking results. It is generous in size and works as a countertop and a built-in unit, with the kit purchased separately.


Cook delicious meals for the entire family with a top-quality electric roaster. Our top includes powerful models that will allow you to roast whole turkeys, make stews, or even bake delicious cakes.



2. Panasonic NN-SN651BAZ

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 1,480 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 10
  • Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 12
  • Turntable diameter: 13.4”
  • Door style: Side open, push-button
  • Interior material: Ceramic enamel
  • Dimensions: 20.7” x 15.8” x 12.25”
  • Weight: 23.4 pounds
  • Warranty: 2 years


Another model that doesn’t settle with regular cooking is this one from Panasonic that brings to your attention the Inverter Technology that cooks food evenly without drying it of its juices. This warrants proper cooking for a diversity of dishes, starting with meat, frozen vegetables, pizza, and more. It’s generous in capacity, with a 1.2 cu. ft. interior and a 13.5” turntable, a result of the improved proportions. Hence, this oven capitalizes internal space and limits the exterior dimensions so you can enjoy a bigger cooking area while taking less counter space. The black finish with LED and touch buttons is sure to complement any kitchen design.

The unit comes with separate buttons for making popcorn, defrosting at a turbo speed, or adding more time, or increasing the power to a maximum of 10 levels or 1,480 watts.

There is also a handy Keep Warm button that maintains the inside temperature until you open the door and take out the food, so you won’t have to reheat it twice. It offers 12 preset menus and has incorporated sensors that routinely alter the cooking parameters so you will delight in perfectly cooked foods. You can also toggle with the cooking time, set it to start at a further time, and lock the interface to keep kids at distance.

In case anything goes wrong with the functioning, your purchase is covered by a warranty that lasts for 1 year for labor on all the small components while the magnetron is covered for 1 year for labor and 5 years for a replacement.

Pros

  • One-touch button operations
  • Turbo Defrost feature
  • Cooks food through sensors
  • 2-year warranty
  • Powerful cooking settings

Cons

  • The push-button door is less durable than the one with a handle
  • It does not send reminder notices by making sounds


Verdict

The reason why this product is popular is that it also uses sensor cooking to analyze the moisture of the food so that the heat and time will be adjusted to precision. It packs a set of useful features and looks very nice, which is something many clients appreciate.



3. GE PEM31SFSS

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 800 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 10
  • Capacity: 1.1 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 6
  • Turntable diameter: 10.6”
  • Door style: Side open push-button
  • Interior material: SPCC with epoxy polyester coating
  • Dimensions: 24” x 12-7/8” x 12-1/8”
  • Weight: 29 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year


Although it is intended for placement on the counter, its profile even makes it possible to integrate it with your kitchen cabinets to clear up space, or separately buy a hanging kit to keep it out of the way. It delivers 800 watts of power to heat meals quickly, and the 1.1 cubic feet volume ensures you can prepare food for the whole family with it. There are an impressive 10 intensity levels that you can pick between to suit the task at hand. It features electronic controls that ease your work considerably as you use it.

However, what is spectacular with it is the fact that it comes with sensors that enable a more thorough control over the cooking procedure, routinely altering time and power so that your meals are perfect every time. There is even a special defrost option where you enter the weight, and it automatically sets the optimal time for the defrosting process. It offers a convenient “add 30 seconds” button that you can quickly use when you need a little extra time for the meal to heat up.

There are 6 preset buttons that include cooking time and heat for potatoes, popcorn, vegetables, and drinks. Also, you can choose to deactivate the rotation of the turntable and use it as a normal oven, and you can block the controls for added safety around kids. The warranty on such an expensive item is important, and we are afraid that GE doesn’t offer a very good one. All the components, including the important magnetron, are covered for 1 year.

Pros

  • Large capacity oven
  • You can lock the controls
  • Offers sensor cooking controls
  • A convenient button that adds 30 seconds to the preparation time
  • Multiple installation choices

Cons

  • Expensive acquisition
  • The warranty is very short


Verdict

Feature-rich and straightforward, it is a must-have in any modern kitchen as it provides a handy and intuitive manner to heat up, defrost, and even prepare foods. It might not be the lowest priced entry you will stumble upon, but it is one worth giving a thought.



4. LG NeoChef

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 1,200 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 10
  • Capacity: 1.5 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 7
  • Turntable diameter: 14.2”
  • Door style: Side open, push-button
  • Interior material: EasyClean enamel
  • Dimensions: 21.41” x 12.13” x 17”
  • Weight: 26 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year full, 10 years for the magnetron


This microwave was developed using inverter technology to provide efficiency and power, especially because it has a capacity of 1.5 cu. ft. so you can prepare large portions. It has an efficiency of 1200-watts and 10 power stages, so you can extend your array of recipes. The 7 sensor cooking options include foods likes potato, frozen vegetables, rice, and bacon.

To increase its performance, the 5 sensor-based heat options range between beverage, casserole, pizza, dinner-plate, and pie. Similar to the other models, this product has been engineered with defrost by weight for meat, fish, poultry, and bread. What stands out is the hexagonal-shaped stabilizer with 6 wheels for the turntable, rather than 3. This will allow you to place heavy or tall items on it without fearing that it will tip over.

The bright LED interior light will allow you to check on the food while it is cooking. Hence, it removes second-guessing. The innovative SmoothTouch glass makes this microwave sleek yet practical, as it only requires a gentle tap.

The ceramic interior is a great addition because it cleans with no effort. By using a damp towel, you can remove grease stains. In fact, it has an anti-bacterial coating that will resist build-up. Thus, you won’t see cleaning as a chore. To continue the list of impressive features, we mention the keypad lock, the time adding and removing function, the completion beeper, and the screen with a clock. The product enjoys the standard LG warranty that only lasts for 1 year.

Pros

  • Keypad lock
  • It has a pleasant melody sound when the timer has run out
  • The interior material is anti-bacterial
  • It permits variable power cooking energy
  • Cooks and defrost using sensors
  • Large interior and turntable

Cons

  • It cannot be mounted as built-in
  • The timer doesn’t have 5-second increments


Verdict

Without a doubt, this is another model that we recommend because it provides versatility. You can make a variety of meals and meats without wasting too much time. Also, the “child lock” will prevent children from playing around with the settings.



5. Kenmore Black 70919

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 900 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 10
  • Capacity: 0.9 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 6
  • Turntable diameter: 11.22″
  • Door style: Side open, push-button
  • Interior material: Ceramic enamel
  • Dimensions: 18.3” x 11.02” x 14.49”
  • Weight: 25.8 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year


The compact Kenmore 70919 is perfect for a studio kitchen or a shared living space as it measures a mere 18.3” in width by 11.02” in height by 14.49” in depth, thus occupying little space on the counter. Despite the small size, it boasts a 0.9 cubic feet capacity that makes it quite spacious, permitting you to place a variety of foods inside. It is a 900-watt power model that can be set at 10 different power levels to suit the food preparation process you want it to undergo.

One of the main advantages of microwaving is that you can set a timer to handle the task and tend to other chores in the meanwhile. Seeing how the timer of the Kenmore 70919 can be set for up to 99 minutes, you can select the precise time needed to defrost, prepare, or heat the food as there are no limitations. Speaking of defrosting, the automatic defrost can be set by weight or time so that the results are perfect. Moreover, the oven beeps when needed to remind you to turn the food for it to unfreeze properly. There are a total of 6 automatic cook functions that you can use to conveniently prepare a variety of dishes, including popcorn and pizza.

Seeing how the interior features a diamond cavity that helps concentrate the heat on the food, uniform cooking is guaranteed. Furthermore, for added safety, so that it keeps others from tampering with the food while it is heating, it features the child lock that prevents accidental opening. The oven is protected by a 1-year warranty, meaning it will be either replaced or repaired during this time.

Pros

  • Automatic defrost by weight or time
  • 6 auto cook modes to easily prepare a variety of dishes
  • 0.9 cubic feet volume
  • Recessed turntable tray for easy maneuvering
  • Child protection lock prevents accidental opening

Cons

  • Gets noisy during use
  • Interior light only works when it’s running


Verdict

Cooking goes down faster than ever with this 900-watt appliance that you can set at 10 different power levels. It is smaller than most competitors and it has a modern finish, ensuring it will suit any kitchen décor. However, the price is a little higher than expected.



6. Sharp SMC1452CH Carousel

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 1,100 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 10
  • Capacity: 1.4 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options:8
  • Turntable diameter: 12.4″
  • Door style: Side open with handle
  • Interior material: Grey ceramic enamel
  • Dimensions: 19.5” x 23” x 14.5”
  • Weight: 35 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year


Sporting an elegant exterior made from stainless steel and covered in a wear-resistant protective black finish, this large-capacity 1.4 cu. ft. model is a welcomed addition to any modern kitchen. The door opens smoothly to the left with the help of a hard-wearing handle and locks tightly during the operation to keep the radiation inside. In what concerns the interior, it is provided with a grey enamel coating, which makes it simpler to clean, and integrates an energy-effective white LED light that offers excellent visibility. Furthermore, the 12.4” glass turntable is quite generous and will hold large plates without a problem.

The touch control panel encourages easy selections through a series of preset functions, which allow you to bake potatoes or flawlessly cook frozen pizza without having to select time or temperature. It does a great job with frozen veggies as well, and it integrates the Sensor Reheat/Cooking function, which is most desirable in these appliances. This option consists of a series of sensors that measure the temperature and moisture level in the food, calculating the moment when the food is cooked to completion.

The Auto Defrost function can help you quickly thaw meat or other food items, and you can rest assured that this oven will always get it right, delivering the food in a perfect state for cooking. As it offers multi-stage cooking (2 stages maximum), you can input the defrosting as a first stage and select a cooking method as the second stage. Thus, you will have a perfectly cooked meal with the least effort.

In case you decide to try a special recipe that requires a specific cooking time or temperature, you can pick one of the 10 heat levels available and use the timer function to set the duration. If upon inspection, you discover that the food needs a bit more time just to be perfect, you can use the +30 sec function. Your selections will be displayed on the premium LED display in a beautiful blue color.

Pros

  • The sleek black finish is both resistant to scratches and easy to clean
  • Generous capacity with a large turntable
  • Multi-stage cooking allows following 2 steps in the process
  • Eight preset functions offer precision cooking with no stress at all
  • 1,100W cooking power

Cons

  • Short warranty extend over only 1 year
  • While the inside LED isn’t covered under warranty, if it breaks, it needs to be replaced at a service, otherwise, the whole warranty is canceled


Verdict

An elegant option that works well for large families due to the generous turntable and cavity, the Sharp Carousel is worth all the money. It is built of dependable materials and packs the latest technology in the field, which makes it a lot more expedient than other models. Moreover, it allows multi-stage cooking, so you will be able to get a full meal cooked without stress.



7. Cuisinart CMW-100

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 1,000 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 10
  • Capacity: 1.0 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 8
  • Turntable diameter: 12”
  • Door style: Side open with handle
  • Interior material: Stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 20.5” x 17.5” x 12.8”
  • Weight: 33.5 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years


The most modern features are integrated into the Cuisinart CMW-100, an appliance you won’t see your life without after you use it for the first time. We start with what is likely its greatest highlight, the 2-stage cooking operation. What the feature implies is that you can set it to unfreeze for a certain time for the first stage, after which it moves on to cooking for a set amount of time during the second stage. Thus, you don’t have to perform the two operations separately anymore and tend to other chores while it defrosts and cooks your food.

It is a 1,000-watt model that boasts a neat dark tinted glass window through which you can view the food inside. The stainless interior ensures food odors won’t be absorbed and that you will have an easy time cleaning and sanitizing it when needed. The exterior is also smudge-resistant, thanks to the brushed finish.

The 12” rotating glass tray can fit a large-size plate so you can heat, defrost, or cook plenty of food simultaneously. For stress-free use, it features touchpad controls with LCD. Moreover, you are provided with the possibility to unfreeze food either based on time or weight, which makes it versatile in terms of operational customization. Speaking of which, the oven will memorize your favorite settings and use them next time you prepare the same dish.

It provides 8 preset options that each have serving-size variants, adding to a total of 25 presets to pick between. The 8 preset options it includes are popcorn, bacon, fresh vegetables, frozen vegetables, rice, beverage, baked potatoes, and reheat. Furthermore, the great news is that Cuisinart backs it with a 3-year warranty against defects.

Pros

  • Boasts a1.0 cu. ft. volume
  • 8 preset options with serving-size variants for each
  • Special 2-stage operation
  • 1,000-watt model
  • Backed by a 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Some users complain that it doesn’t heat food as quickly as they expected
  • The door needs to be handled with care when opening and closing


Verdict

Convenience is key with the Cuisinart CMW-100, a model that provides an impressive 25 pre-programmed settings to pick between so that you conveniently prepare a wide range of foods. Remember that it’s quite large so it might need some extra counter space.



8. Toshiba EM131A5C-SS

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 1,100 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 10
  • Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 8
  • Turntable diameter: 12.4”
  • Door style: Side open with handle
  • Interior material: SPCC with epoxy polyester coating
  • Dimensions: 20.5” x 17.1” x 12.8”
  • Weight: 34.6 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year


The 1,100W power rating indicates that this appliance doesn’t joke around, providing enough power to heat up and even help prepare certain meals. It boasts a generous 1.2 cubic feet volume, and the turntable measures 12.4 inches in diameter. Speaking of sizes, the appliance itself measures 20.5 x 17.1 x 12.8 inches, with the internal dimension 13.07 x 15 x 9.5 inches, meaning it won’t take up too much space on your counter. The brushed steel finish makes it highly resistant to scratches, and it’s also smudge-proof, so cleaning will be a breeze.

There are a total of 10 power settings you can pick between. However, what truly makes it shine is the fact that it features 6 pre-programmed functions that you can select from, which include Popcorn, Pizza, Potato, Rice, and Veggie. It offers a Custom Defrost setting and a 1-lb. defrost, a button for adding 30 seconds, and a Melt setting for mild heat levels.If you want to save on utility costs, you can use the power saving mode it features. The Eco mode will reduce the consumption by half while the oven is on standby.

In case you are heating a meal in the middle of the night, you can turn off the sound it produces at the end of the program to not wake up everyone in the house. This can be done by pressing the “8” digit for 5 seconds. There’s a child safety lock in place which ensures the children won’t be able to tamper with it. Furthermore, it has a digital control panel with a clock and timer so you won’t face any difficulties with its operation.

Pros

  • Provides 10 power settings
  • Child protection lock prevents the small ones from using it
  • Digital control panel enhances ease of use
  • Boasts a generous 1.2 cu. ft. volume
  • Puts 6 pre-programmed functions at your disposal

Cons

  • Turntable is unstable
  • Some users report that the defrost function is not up to par


Verdict

With a spacious interior of up to 1.2 cu. ft. volume and unparalleled ease of use granted by the digital control panel and numerous pre-programmed functions it comes with, this Toshiba entry is a must-have in any modern kitchen. Not to mention how great it looks.



9. Farberware FMO12AHTBSG

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 1,100 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 10
  • Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 9
  • Turntable diameter: 12.5”
  • Door style: Side open with handle
  • Interior material: Ceramic enamel
  • Dimensions: 17.3” x 12.8” x 20.5”
  • Weight: 39.2 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year


Simplistic in use yet powerful and quite modern when it comes to the features department, this Farberware entry is a delight to work with. It is an 1100-watt model that boasts a 1.2 cubic feet capacity and a 12.4” rotating turntable so that plenty of food fits inside it, which recommend it for large-size families. There are 10 power control levels you can select between, depending on the food preparation process you intend to take up. One of its most convenient features is the 30-second control button that you can use to quickly heat food for 30 seconds or add 30 seconds to the setting you have already selected.

You can opt to defrost by weight or time to maximize the efficiency of the defrosting process. It allows multi-stage cooking and the useful grill function, which enhances its versatility in use and lets you prepare more foods than you would with most models put at your disposal. There are 6 preset cooking options available, from which we mention popcorn, pizza, meat, and beverage. You can either grill it or cook it at the desired heat intensity. To eliminate the guessing part, the sensor technology was involved to make it simpler for the oven to set the ideal cooking parameters based on the moisture and texture of the food.

The child protection functionality prevents others from tampering with or accidentally changing the cooking settings you have selected. The interior LED light comes in handy as it allows you to view inside the oven and check the cooking status. There are a total of 9 one-touch cooking programs put at your disposal to pick between and quickly prepare meals. Moreover, it is backed by a 1-year warranty against defects.

Pros

  • An 1,100-watt model with 10 heat levels
  • 1.2 cubic feet cooking capacity
  • Interior LED light lets you peek inside
  • Dual cooking function
  • 12.4” rotating turntable to accommodate large plates

Cons

  • One of the noisiest models
  • Some users reported that the keypad isn’t that qualitative


Verdict

Modern from all points of view, the Farberware oven puts at your disposal endless cooking possibilities as it boasts a dual function, being usable for grilling, as well as microwaving. It’s large enough to meet the cooking needs of a medium-sized family and it comes with multiple cooking settings.



10. Farberware Classic FMO11AHTBKD

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 1,000 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 10
  • Capacity: 0.7 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 6
  • Turntable diameter: 12.4”
  • Door style: Side open with handle
  • Interior material: Ceramic enamel
  • Dimensions: 20.2” x 16.9” x 12”
  • Weight: 35 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year


The Farberware Classic FMO11AHTBKD makes for a smart addition to the kitchen as it boasts a 1,000-watt power to ensure it can handle any cooking task thrown its way. Furthermore, you can adjust the power level in 10% increments ranging from 10% to 100% to ensure you won’t undercook or overcook any food placed inside. It measures 20.2” in depth by 16.54” in width by 12” in height, so it takes up a reasonable amount of space on the counter. The turntable measures 12.4 inches in diameter to cater to large-sized plates with ease, while the 1.1 cubic feet volume ensures you can even place the Thanksgiving turkey inside as it will surely fit.

There are 6 programs that you can pick between at the touch of a button to spare time you would otherwise lose to choose the appropriate settings yourself, more precisely popcorn, potato, beverage, dinner plate, pizza, and frozen vegetables. Another convenient feature stands in the 1-6 minute quick start that rapidly heats the food so that it’s good to serve. You can add 30 seconds to the cooking time for more convenient use. One of the most interesting functions of the Farberware is that it can defrost foods based on weight or time. Both options are available in the control panel. It also brings to you a useful Memory Function that enables it to store your cooking preferences and instantly pick them next time you use it.

It includes a child lock that doesn’t let the children tamper with the appliance. Of course, we cannot overlook its most convenient design element, the LED display with timer and clock that grants ease of use. Last but not least, we mention the 1-year warranty it is accompanied by.

Pros

  • Adjustable power levels
  • Hefty 1.1 cu. ft. volume
  • The useful memory function stores your cooking settings
  • Lets you defrost foods by weight or time
  • Backed by a 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Tends to get very noisy when it runs
  • Turntable gets off track at times


Verdict

Intuitive to use as it offers a range of auto settings to get certain meals done in a cinch instead of searching for the appropriate power and time settings for them, and quite modern as it comes with all the features you could hope for, the Farberware Classic is a must-have in any modern kitchen.



11. hOmeLabs EM134AJ3

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 1,050 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 10
  • Capacity: 1.3 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 8
  • Turntable diameter: 12″
  • Door style: Side open with handle
  • Interior material: Ceramic enamel
  • Dimensions: 20.44” x 16.78” x 12.4”
  • Weight: 40 pounds
  • Warranty: 2 years


Boasting a 1.3 cubic feet interior, it is your go-to choice if you want to enjoy a quality appliance that can help you make food for the entire family. It measures 20.44” by 16.78” by 12.4”, so it won’t occupy too much space on the counter, which is ideal for those who have crowded kitchens. The interface is a touchpad model that looks very modern, along with the black matte finish and the large glass door with a steel handlebar.

It has a 1,050-watt rating and puts 10 power stages at your disposal to choose between so that you may properly prepare any meal. Furthermore, there are 8 pre-programmed settings and 11 cooking functions to select from, so it is basically limitless in terms of cooking choices.

The convenient memory function makes it easier for you to utilize it as your preferred settings are stored, thus saving time when preparing meals. It uses sensors to heat the food according to its texture, thus preventing overcooking and drying of the nutritious juices. The defrosting can be done either by time or by weight, so it will take place smoothly, according to each type of frozen food.

For the sake of safety, it has a lock function that prevents children from using it. Furthermore, hOmeLabs offers a lengthy 2-year warranty on this countertop oven, so any defects will be handled free of charge.

Pros

  • Memory function preserves your preferred settings
  • Glossy finish with electronic touchpad
  • Protection lock stops the kids from using it
  • 11 cooking functions and 7 pre-programmed modes
  • Offers a spacious 1.3 cubic feet interior
  • Covered by a 2-year warranty

Cons

  • The turntable is not very stable on the three-feet stabilizer
  • Some users complained that it is louder than they expected


Verdict

One of the most affordable yet most qualitative countertop overs you will find, this hOmeLabs entry really won us over with its performance. It delivers an abundance of modes to select between, ensuring that you can prepare with it any food you like, and the 6-quart capacity makes it possible to heat even larger meals.



12. Whirlpool WMC20005YW

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 750 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 10
  • Capacity: 0.5 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 3
  • Turntable diameter: 11”
  • Door style: Side open, push-button
  • Interior material: Ceramic enamel
  • Dimensions: 15.4” x 13.75” x 14.1”
  • Weight: 30.1 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year


The Whirlpool WMC20005YW sets itself apart from competitors not only through the high performance it shows but through the neat design. Compact and stylish, it’s the right alternative for a small kitchen, especially because it features a unique rounded back that makes it fit in corners. Even though it is small, don’t fret as it boasts a 0.5 cubic feet volume, so you can confidently fit an 11” dinner plate inside it. It is a 750-watt model that provides 10 power stages to pick between so that it suits the specific food preparation task you have in mind.

With it, you can warm food or unfreeze it, so it fulfills the basic operations we have all come to expect from microwaves. When initiated, the control lock feature disables the control panel so that no one can tamper with the setting you have opted for.

One of its neatest qualities is the button that you can press to rapidly cook for 30 or 60 seconds at 100% power or add up to 1 minute to a setting that is in progress. When it comes to backing, the renowned manufacturer Whirlpool covers it against defects for 1 year after you make the acquisition.

Pros

  • 10 cooking levels to pick between
  • Control lock deactivates the control panel to prevent tampering
  • Can fit a full 11” dinner plate
  • The rounded back makes it fit perfectly in corners
  • Specialty button that adds 30 seconds

Cons

  • Capacity isn’t suitable for hefty cooking
  • Limited pre-set cooking options


Verdict

Although it’s pricier than more advanced competitors, this oven gives you a handful of reasons to pick it. It heats food that you neatly place on a dinner plate without taking up considerable counter space, making for the supreme addition to a small, crowded kitchen. The functioning is very simple, and you will rapidly get the hang of it.



13. Danby Designer

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 1,000 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 10
  • Capacity: 1.1 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 6
  • Turntable diameter: 12″
  • Door style: Side open, push-button
  • Interior material: Stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 15.9” x 21.2” x 11.8”
  • Weight: 36.6 pounds
  • Warranty: 18 months


This model might not be among the most sought after, but it will surely please you with its extended range of functions. The cooking technology is based on the regular microwaves that penetrate food inside out to ensure a quicker and more even cooking than in a gas oven. Although the design doesn’t make it pop out, Danby will manage to fit on any kitchen counter thanks to the compact shape that matches the 1.1 cu. ft. cavity. The interface is very user-friendly, with 6 buttons with pictograms. All the buttons require a simple touch to activate, and you will also enjoy the expediency of a clock on the display.

There are 10 stages of power to select from, a timer and a “Cook by Weight” button that makes it stress-free to decide on the cooking parameters according to the food’s weight. In case you are in a hurry and you want to thaw a dish or the ingredients, you have the “Speed Defrost” option that accelerates the process. Otherwise, you can pick the “Defrost by Weight” and it will set the correct time and heat based on how much the dish weighs. Whenever a program is over, the oven will announce you through a short beep.

The warranty can be seen as a good one, given that the plastic components, which are the most prone to breaking, are warranted for 30 days, and all the other parts, including the magnetron, will be repaired or replaced for 18 months from the moment of your purchase.

Pros

  • Beep reminder
  • You can warm up liquids
  • It maintains the food warm until serving
  • De-ice and cook by weight

Cons

  • It looks cheap and basic
  • It does not include a Child Lock setting


Verdict

The reason why we have decided to pick this model is that it’s extremely unpretentious to use. This makes it one of the most appropriate items to buy for the elderly. Particularly because the one-button function is big enough to be seen even by those who experience vision loss.



14. AmazonBasics 700W

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 700 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 10
  • Capacity: 0.7 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 2
  • Turntable diameter: 10”
  • Door style: Side open with handle
  • Interior material: N/A
  • Dimensions: 10.1” x 17.3” x 14.1”
  • Weight: 21.9 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year


Feature-rich and more intelligent than other entries in the niche, the AmazonBasics gives you a run for your money, this countertop appliance allowing you to prepare popcorn, various meals, and defrost frozen food items in no time. It measures 10.1 inches in height by 17.3 inches in width by 14.1 inches in depth, its compact design ensuring it won’t take up a lot of counter space.

If you have the Alexa device, there’s a special button on this appliance that allows voice control through Alexa. Thus, you can tell Alexa to keep the oven going for another 30 seconds without actually having to go and pick this specific setting yourself. It accepts popcorn bags up to 3 ounces in size, and there’s a special button that you can press to quickly prepare the scrumptious snack.

It has a limited 0.7 cubic feet volume and, as the name implies, maximum power of 700 watts. There are 10 different heat levels to pick between to suit the specific food you are trying to heat, defrost, or prepare with it. If you need to de-ice something, you can set the time yourself or insert the weight, and it will automatically adjust the necessary time.

Another great addition is the Child Lock that guarantees the small ones won’t be able to tackle it when you are not around and put themselves in any danger. When it comes to backing, the manufacturing company has it covered on parts and labor for 1 year.

Pros

  • 10 intensity levels to suit each type of food
  • Child Lock prevents the small ones from using it when you aren’t paying attention
  • Compact design helps save worktop space
  • Option to de-ice by weight or time

Cons

  • Some purchasers complained that it heats the food disproportionately
  • You need to acquire the Alexa device to enjoy voice control
  • Low capacity and wattage


Verdict

A cheap and reliable appliance with which you can not only make popcorn but prepare other foods or defrost frozen food items, this AmazonBasics entry is one worth every cent.



15. Daewoo KOR-7LREM Retro

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 700 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 5
  • Capacity: 0.7 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 5
  • Turntable diameter: 10”
  • Door style: Side open with handle
  • Interior material: N/A
  • Dimensions: 17.6” x 10.6” x 12.7”
  • Weight: 21.2 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year


This clever retro microwave will provide the look of the olden days with an efficient operation. This highly reputable brand is loved by millions all over the world due to its customer service and efficiency. The Retro oven has been engineered with 700-watts, which means that it will cook and reheat food within minutes, although it will not rise to the standards of more powerful models. Moreover, it will cook the food from the inside first so you don’t have to worry about eating uncooked food.

It has only 5 power control levels, half of what all the other selected models had to offer. Moreover, the 4 auto cook levels will ensure that you don’t feel limited to a certain type of meal. Thus, you can use this model for numerous foods like popcorn, pizza, and ready-made meals. The auto defrost will thaw the food without cooking it first. Whenever a program ends, a short beep will let you know. While on standby, the oven will not consume energy thanks to the Eco mode.

The child safety lock means that you can have it around children without worrying about their safety as it will be impossible for them to play with it, and they won’t be able to open the door. As long as you use it accordingly, the manufacturer takes care of any repairs that might come into question during the first 12 months.

Pros

  • Safety lock prevents the kids from using it
  • Power-saving function
  • Retro style in a pleasant mint shade
  • Beep alert at the end of a program

Cons

  • Fewer cooking options
  • Limited cooking capacity


Verdict

The reason why we recommend this model is because it’s very safe to use around children. In addition to this, it’s very powerful while having an energy-efficient operation. Thus, this is an investment rather than a meaningless purchase.



16. Galanz GLCMKA07

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 700 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 6
  • Capacity: 0.7 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 7
  • Turntable diameter: 9.6″
  • Door style: Side open with handle
  • Interior material: Painted steel
  • Dimensions: 17.81” x 13.75” x 10.31”
  • Weight: 25.3 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year


This is a budget option, presenting both a lower capacity of only 0.7 cu. ft. and a smaller turntable with a diameter of 9.6”, so it works better for reheating or cooking small portions. Power is adjusted to its size, packing only 700W, which is enough to provide quick heating in this case. Moreover, this unit integrates some of the most appreciated features like child control lock and bright interior light.

We loved the vintage look with an exterior that comes either in retro red, bebop blue, surf green, or the elegant vinyl black. The predominant material in its construction is steel, which is a great guarantee of its durability, although we did notice that the interior isn’t enameled but only painted, which makes it more prone to scratches and may make the cleaning more difficult.

The control panel is divided into three areas, the first consisting of a LED display, conceived to show the selected timer option. In the middle of the panel, you will find the main functions, which include defrosting, timer, and heat level selection. Here, you can choose if you want it to de-ice your food by time or weight. Moreover, the center button allows you to rapidly pause or cancel the operation, in case you need to check on the food or you’ve forgotten to add an ingredient. The last section is represented by a knob, which allows you to quickly select the time for the dish you are cooking.

It indicates when the operation has come to an end through three clear beeps, so you will not need to keep an eye on it. It also presents a series of automatic menus that will help you cook the most prevalent dishes like baked potatoes or popcorn with just a press of a button.

Pros

  • Beautiful retro design
  • Child protection locks the keyboard to prevent accidental starting of the oven
  • Multiple preset functions
  • Steel construction extends its lifespan
  • Great quality-price report

Cons

  • Some customers found it to be rather slow
  • Adequate only for small cooking jobs


Verdict

If you are on the hunt for a more inexpensive model that can help you heat water for your tea in the morning or reheat some leftovers from yesterday’s dinner, this unit is ideal. It integrates many of the high-end functions like preset selections and child lock and is pretty basic to operate. Nonetheless, note that it is not the best choice for cooking, as this can take a lot of time.



17. Kenmore 70719

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Specifications:

  • Power rating: 700 watts
  • Cooking power levels: 10
  • Capacity: 0.7 cubic feet
  • Pre-set cooking options: 6
  • Turntable diameter: 9.96″
  • Door style: Side open, push-button
  • Interior material: Ceramic enamel
  • Dimensions: 17.7” x 10.2” x 12.5”
  • Weight: 21.9 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year


The 700W power of the Kenmore 70719 is not the most offering out there, so it’s not considered a heavy-duty option. There is a total of 10 power settings it puts at your disposal, so you can pick the power at which it blasts the food placed inside. The interior turntable is also small, a mere 10” one, so it might not be your greatest asset in preparing complete meals. It boasts a 0.7 cubic feet capacity that makes it fit for smaller foods and meals. It measures 17.7” in width by 10.2” in height by 12.5” in depth, so it doesn’t take up much space.

To grant intuitive use, it features 6 auto cook settings that you can pick between to more easily prepare a diversity of dishes, more precisely frozen and fresh vegetables, pizza/bread, soup, popcorn, and potatoes.

One of its biggest highlights stands in the fact that it uses the concave reflex system, which focuses the heat on the food to ensure even cooking each time you use it. It integrates a digital clock, and a 1-hour timer lets you select for exactly how long it should blast the food placed inside so that it mechanically turns off at the right moment without requiring you to come and turn it off yourself. Due to this feature, you can monitor how much time you have left until the meal is done, as well. The child lock enhances safety as it keeps the small ones from tampering with the appliance when you’re not around by preventing accidental opening.

Overall, it comes with all the qualities an up-to-date model should come with and boasts a simplistic design that makes it straightforward, so there’s no denying it is a clever option to consider. Furthermore, it is backed by a 1-year pledge against defects in materials and workmanship, so you are covered financially in case it needs repairs.

Pros

  • Child safety lock averts accidental opening
  • 6 auto cook functions to pick between
  • Features a 1-hour timer that turns it off automatically
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Turntable tends to skip off the track
  • Rated at only 700 watts
  • Small cooking capacity


Verdict

Modern and easy to use, the Kenmore 70719 makes for a neat addition to your kitchen. The 700W power suffices to use it on a wide range of food products, and you can even pick between 10 power settings to customize it according to the meal you want to prepare.



Is Microwaving Dangerous?


A serious concern of many people is related to how healthy these ovens are because the thought that they are based on a type of radiation makes people have second thoughts before using them. However, many studies have been performed and tests have been run to determine whether or not these ovens are a health hazard, and the majority of the results have pointed that there are no major risks in using this appliance. Here are some arguments that will convince you to never be afraid to use the oven.

  • The waves used inside such an oven are of a frequency that doesn’t actually radiate your body and can’t possibly cause any malformations. An oven that operates properly releases a certain amount of waves that don’t get into contact with your body as they can’t get past the door. However, you should make sure that your unit’s door closes well so there aren’t any emissions that could affect you.
  • The cooking time is shorter than the regular time spent in a regular oven that operates on gas or electricity. Therefore, the food is exposed to less heat while still resulting evenly cooked due to the waves that surround and penetrate food entirely. Less time in the oven means less heat processing, thus more nutrients are kept inside the food.
  • The waves don’t alter the molecular structure of the food, so there are no risks of mutations that could cause health problems. The heat penetrates the food and given the short time and carefully adjusted intensity, the food is not exposed to any chemical reactions related to its safety and conformity.
  • The latest ovens designed nowadays combine a series of groundbreaking technologies and features that guarantee maximum performance without posing any risk to your health. The convection or inverter technologies provide the perfect cooking environment for any type of food and guarantee the best results worthy of a chef.

Rating Our Picks


When we picked the most popular and qualitative models, we had some aspects in mind, which we believed to be of utmost importance in determining a great purchase.

  • Volume

    The volume of an oven doesn’t necessarily have to do with its performance but more with its convenience and should be a choice made based on your needs. If you need to cook large meals for a big family, you should get a larger model, but if you need a smaller one, a 1.1 cu. ft. model like the Danby Designed will suit you just fine.

  • Power

    The cooking power means how much it can heat at the highest temperature level so that the food will be evenly cooked even if it’s frozen. As you can imagine, the power is very important in determining the performance of your oven because if it can’t reach high temperatures, chances are it will not deliver perfect steaks or cakes. Our top choice oven has a 1,600 watts power that allows it to reach 10 power levels and make cooking anything a breeze.

  • Cooking technology

    Although most models are based on the same cooking technology, the field advancements have brought some unique methods that involve either convection, steam, or hot air. A unit that boasts innovative cooking technology is more likely to deliver healthy foods that are tasty and evenly cooked. The first three ovens in our top are designed using new technologies that change the way you used to cook in your microwave oven.

  • Helpful features

    When we rated the ovens, we also checked the features they came with because they are linked to how well the appliances worked. Convenience options like interior lights, LED displays, beep reminders, or keep warm functions helped us determine which machine was better than the other.

  • User-friendly design

    We considered that a good oven should be easy to use and take away the guessing of preparing a meal. Therefore, we only picked units with intuitive controls that are user-friendly and can make anyone feel like a real chef. Each one of our ovens has auto cook presets and allows you to add or remove cooking time to achieve the perfect meal.

  • Warranty

    It’s important to know that your purchase will be protected for many years to come and that you can rest assured knowing that you won’t have to pay for expensive repairs. This is why we recommend buying from reputable manufacturers that stand behind their products for as long as possible. Our favorite choice is covered for 1 year for parts and labor and 10 years for the main component, the magnetron.


Frequently Asked Questions



Is microwaving dangerous to my health?
Many studies over the past few years have concluded that exposing food to microwaves is not dangerous for the health. The frequency of the radiation is too low to manage to affect the human body or to alter the chemical structure of the food.

Will microwaving fry food?
Some models have an innovative feature that will fry your food without the need of adding extra oil. All you have to do is pick the settings correctly.

Can it cook different types of dishes?
Yes, the majority of the models that we have mentioned are so versatile that they cook whatever type of food you put inside them.

What’s the dissimilarity between a regular microwave and convection?
The convection cooking allows for better heat distribution, so the food will be cooked or heated evenly. Convection microwaves, like the Samsung MC12J8035CT, combine the old-style convection with hot air that is distributed from the top; hence the cooking process will be faster and more uniform.

I broke the turntable on my LG oven. Will any other model be compatible?
You must check the manufacturer’s description of that. Usually, several models from the same brand share compatible components, and you might be lucky enough to find out that another turntable from an LG microwave will fit yours.

Can I cook an entire turkey in a microwave?
The first thing you need to check is whether the turkey will fit inside the oven. Not only will it have to fit, but the turntable must have enough room to spin. Check the interior dimensions and the capacity beforehand. If it fits, you can opt for the Grill or Meat cooking setting, and your turkey will turn out crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. We recommend an inverter technology-based oven for the job, like the Panasonic NN-SN651BAZ.

What’s best: a ceramic interior or a stainless steel one?
The ceramic inside is easier to clean and more appealing. Stainless steel might get scratched with intense cleaning, as it also happens with the exterior. Both are good, and they don’t affect the performance of the oven, they only influence the aesthetics.

Can I heat in metallic dishware?
No, under no circumstance you must not put metal inside the microwave. The best dishware is ceramic or glass, followed by plastic which should be your last option.

The interior of my Panasonic oven has a strong, bad smell. How can I rid of it?
You can wash it with strongly-scented cleaning products or use the old-school trick: place a bowl with water and some lemon juice inside the oven, set the highest heat level, and let it heat for about 5 minutes. Afterward, wipe with a soft fabric, and the scent should be removed.

I can’t seem to manage to turn off the annoying beep on the Toshiba EM131A5C-SS. What am I missing?
If you refer to the beeper that announces you the program has ended, you can deactivate it with a 5-second long push of the digit “8” key. After a long beep, the buzzer will be turned off.



Conclusion

Microwaves are ever-present in modern kitchens as these appliances serve an important purpose – heating food quickly, models with more advanced features even offering you the possibility to cook meals conveniently. As for countertop models, as you can see, the market has quite a lot to offer. Though, there are specs and features which make some models of better quality than others.

Best Countertop Microwave for Sale: Samsung MC12J8035CT

Samsung is a brand that needs no introduction by this point, the fact that it rules the market for electronics and appliances coming as no surprise. This 1.2 cubic feet volume oven manufactured by the renowned brand stands above all other entries for counter microwaves because it brings to the table the latest of features and utilities, and provides more than enough interior space.
It is a 1,600-watt appliance that you can count on for heavy-duty cooking tasks. Moreover, as it uses convection technology which implies the use of hot air that circulates inside the oven continuously, it penetrates the food properly to cook it fast and evenly. A real bargain considering its performance and features, it’s easy to see why Samsung reigns supreme.

Editor’s Choice: LG NeoChef

This model from LG was our favorite choice for many reasons, starting with a generous volume. The interior offers 1.5 cu. ft. so you can prepare large portions and complete meals. The turntable is generous in size so it will fit round, square and rectangular trays and pots without getting stuck. Plus, it uses innovative sensor technology that takes out the guessing in setting the right time and power stage for each type of food. You can pick from 7 preset cooking options based on the same smart sensor and you have plenty of freedom in making your preferred selections. Overall, it was an impressive model crowded with numerous priceless features.

Best Countertop Microwave with Inverter Technology Panasonic NN-SN651BAZ

The inverter technology is one of the most forward-thinking in the industry, one that revolutionizes food-making. The microwave designed by Panasonic uses it to offer exceptional results in cooking and defrosting in perfect conditions a multitude of ingredients and foods. The Turbo Defrost setting limits the time necessary for defrosting, thus reducing the overall energy usage. For cooking, it spreads the heat evenly inside the oven, to avoid food getting burned on the exterior and unevenly cooked on the interior. The seamless stream of power is distributed uniformly so that the results will be tasty food that also looks great.

Best Countertop Microwave for the Money: Toshiba EM131A5C-SS

Enjoying quality from an appliance doesn’t always imply that you have to spend big bucks on it. When it comes to price-to-quality, this Toshiba selection is what you must look into as it provides a budget solution to heat up and even prepare meals. It offers 10 selectable power settings and isn’t an option to neglect at all when referring to spaciousness as it has a 1.2 cubic feet volume. Furthermore, it features 6 pre-set cooking options that you can pick between with a simple touch to make it as easy and intuitive as possible. You can say that you will get more than you expected with this acquisition.

Best Countertop Microwave with Sensor Cooking: Farberware FMO12AHTBSG

Each use of the microwave requires the time and power intensity to be inserted manually, and chances are you will not get them right, thus resulting in unevenly cooked or overcooked meals. This will be history thanks to the smart Sensor Cooking in the Faberware oven that is fitted with an intelligent sensor setting. During the cooking cycle, it will automatically regulate the cooking conditions, so the result will be perfect.

Best Countertop Microwave for Small Spaces: Whirlpool WMC20005YW

Small apartments, studios, or offices might not have enough space to welcome a hefty microwave with a generous capacity. In case you need to find a very space-saving model that will not sacrifice performance, you should have a look at this Whirlpool oven. It’s one of the smallest offered, with a limited 0.5 cu. ft. interior and the overall dimensions of 13.75 x 15.38 x 14.13 inches. It’s very narrow and has a rounded back so you can place it in a corner and it will not need the extra space left in the back. The interior turntable, however, remains generous, measuring 11”.

Best Budget Pick Countertop Microwave: AmazonBasics 700W

High-tech appliances don’t have to involve financial efforts. You can stay within your limited budget and still enjoy the most advanced features with this Amazon microwave powered by Alexa. It has a basic control panel with buttons where you can select the temperature and mode, but if it seems too mainstream for you, you can connect it to the internet and let Alexa make the settings for you. The “Ask Alexa” button permits you to make vocal selections and give instructions without touching the keys.