At the most basic, a microwave oven is a machine that heats whatever is placed inside it. They operate by bombarding a food item with microwaves — electromagnetic radiation somewhere between radio waves and infrared light — causing molecules to rotate, which produces extra energy in the form of heat. The first microwave ovens debuted in 1947, meaning the device is over 65 years old. For such an old technology, it has passed through many revisions into the microwaves we see in virtually every kitchen today.
If you’re interested in buying one of these devices, you’re probably interested in microwave oven reviews. You’ll want to know how powerful a microwave you should look for. Unsurprisingly, microwaves come in a wide range of prices and functionality. Some act as all-in-one machines that replace most of your kitchen appliances. Others do little more than heat food, but do that job well. In order to make an informed decision, you should learn about the various features available in microwaves. When you have a model in mind, you can read specific microwave oven reviews to learn more.
Best-Selling Microwave Ovens 2017: Microwave Oven Reviews
It can be hard to know where to look for the most reliable microwave oven in 2017, so here the top selling as well as top reviewed on the market today. Now, armed with this information, have a look at some of the best the best-selling microwave ovens in Amazon today and choose for yourself which microwave oven best suits your needs.
|Microwave Oven Model||Capacity||Ratings|
|Panasonic NN-SD975S Cyclonic Wave||2.2 Cu. Ft. ||4.2|
|Breville BMO734XL Quick Touch||1.2 Cu. Ft.||3.9|
|Cuisinart CMW-200||1.2 Cu. Ft.||3.8|
|Sharp R-21LCF||1.0 Cu. Ft.||4.6|
|LG LCRT2010ST 2.0 Cu Ft||2.0 Cu. Ft.||4.0|
|Panasonic NN-SN686S Countertop||1.2 Cu. Ft.||3.8|
|Kenmore 73093 Countertop||0.9 Cu. Ft.||4.3|
|Danby DMW7700BLDB||0.7 Cu. Ft.||3.8|
|LG LMV2031ST 2.0 Cubic||2.0 Cu. Ft.||4.0|
|GE JVM3160RFSS 30||1.6 Cu. Ft.||4.0|
Microwave Oven Reviews 2017: Types of Microwaves
Depending on the level of use you require of your microwave, you’ll want to choose a machine with the right amount of functionality. Some of these machines can do just about anything in the kitchen, but they can be quite expensive. Here are the main types of microwave, as well as their typical prices.
- Counter top: This style of microwave is seen in homes around the world. They range from the most basic $50 models to expensive and functional machines up to $450. They are generally small, sit on your counter and can’t do much besides heat food.
- Built-In: This style of microwave is mounted directly to the wall, usually under or in place of a cabinet. They range from $200 to as much as $2,000, if you’re looking for a model with advanced features. They’re great if you don’t have a lot of counter space to give up to a bulky box machine.
- Over-Range: This style of microwave is almost identical to a mounted machine, except they come with a built-in fume hood. They can be mounted directly above a stove and not suffer from the heat and fumes of cooking. The built-in fume hood helps save space in a cramped kitchen. They run a similar price range as wall-mounted microwaves.
- Convection: Convection ovens are microwaves that have an additional heating element, making them a kind of range-microwave hybrid. They serve all the same purposes as a standard oven, only on a smaller scale. They run from $250 to as much as $2,000.
- Speedcook: A speedcook microwave combines several different heating technologies to cook your meals in a flash. They are some of the most advanced technology available today, and as such are quite expensive. Expect to pay at least $1,000 for a quality speedcook machine
Basic and Advanced Features of Microwave Oven
Every microwave oven, from the most basic to the most advanced, has the same simple cooking features. They turn on, generally with at least high and low settings, and cook food. They have timers — put the food in, set the time, hit start and enjoy cooked food. It’s the extra features that make a microwave worth the investment. Here are some features to watch for.
- Automatic settings: Available in most basic models and all advanced models, you will find buttons labeled “popcorn” or “chicken.” These kinds of automatic settings allow you to skip choosing the power levels yourself.
- Child locks: Children love to play with anything they can get their hands on. While it’s unlikely that a child running a microwave will do any lasting harm, many models now come with child locks to prevent any possible problems.
- Turntables and racks: The most basic older model microwaves have a platter for food and nothing more. Most current models have a rotating glass turntable to cook food more evenly. Advanced models may have rotating racks for multiple layers of food or rotisserie equipment to cook large poultry.
- Noise reduction: The “sones” rating on a microwave is an indicator of how loud it is in operation. Most microwaves are relatively quiet, but if you want to avoid any noise altogether, look for a low rating.
- Programmed and programmable recipes: Some advanced microwaves come with recipes embedded in their systems. These are specific cooking times for foods in certain recipes — sometimes including changes in power at certain times. More advanced machines even allow you to program your own recipes.
- Advanced sensors: Some of the most up to date microwaves offer sensors that will help detect when your food is done. This helps prevent under and over cooking your food automatically
- Ease of cleaning: Most microwaves have a removable turntable, but some have other features that allow for easier cleaning.
- Energy efficiency: Microwaves use a lot of power — they are one of the most consumptive machines in the kitchen — so many models are rated for energy efficiency. They still will draw power, but they use that power more effectively.
Choosing the Best Microwave Oven for You
The most basic machines available will give you a range of microwave features. You’ll be able to cook food, heat up leftovers and thaw out frozen items quickly and easily. You’ll have power and time settings, but you’ll probably pass over recipe functionality, sophisticated sensors and convection abilities.
The most advanced microwaves available today are excellent combination machines. Discounting speed cookers for a moment, an advanced microwave might also have the features of a convection oven. With one of these machines, you will be able to heat up a slice of pizza just as easily as you cook a turkey, all in the same machine. Full all-in-one machines are designed to fit in small kitchens in small apartments. Consider them when you don’t have space for a full range, microwave and stove setup.
Before you buy, consider your usage and convenience. If you have a stove you use for most food, you don’t need more than a basic microwave. If you have a tight, cramped kitchen or very little time to cook, a speedcooker or advanced convection microwave will be best for you. Then consider where you will put your microwave. Hanging one might be more convenient, but only if you have the space. Countertop models are the cheapest, but if you don’t have counters to speak of, you don’t have a place to put them.