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Microwaves are incredibly versatile kitchen appliances.
Their core purpose is warming through meals or cooking frozen food. Beyond that, whether you want to pep up a neglected coffee or get some popcorn going, the best microwave is a reliable workhorse.
As with all kitchen products, not all microwaves are created equal. Also, the sheer range of options can seem intimidating.
We’re here to help, though.
Today, we’ll look into 5 of the top microwave ovens of 2018 to make your buying decision much easier:
Samsung MS11K3000AS 1.1 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave Oven
Sharp Countertop Microwave Oven ZR651ZS
GE PEM31SFSS Profile Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave
Panasonic NN-S686S Countertop/Built-In Microwave With Inverter Technology
Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor
We’ll get straight down to business with some short, sharp and honest reviews…
First up in our best microwave oven reviews is a solid little unit from the electronics giant Samsung. Surprisingly, this microwave is available at a very reasonable price so read on to see if it would work well in your kitchen…
Inside the microwave, you’ll get a generous capacity of 1.1 cubic feet. Whether you want to whip up a large bowl of popcorn, heat a tall cup or just blaze a microwave meal, there’s ample space to do so.
While you get more than enough room inside, the Samsung occupies little space on the counter. It measures up at just 20 ½ x 17 x 11 ¾ inches so it’s ideal even if you have a smaller apartment. It’s fairly heavy at 31 pounds but that’s a non-issue since you don’t tend to move a microwave around much.
The dial controls are straightforward to use and ergonomic. You’ll get all the microwave settings. There’s a crisp blue LED display showing you the time and timings.
Food is evenly cooked throughout thanks to vapor-sensing technology and a trio of distribution points. Say goodbye to those vile cold spots in your meals that come with low-quality microwaves. Cooking time is also automatically adjusted with this intelligent oven.
For a no-nonsense and highly effective microwave, check out the Samsung today.
Sharp is another electronic giant selling top-tier appliances at eminently affordable prices. This countertop microwave is no exception.
Finished in stainless steel and with even greater capacity than the Samsung, read on to see if this is the best microwave for your needs…
Too many microwaves come in only a single colorway which is great if it happens to match your kitchen décor but not so handy otherwise. The Sharp is available in black, white or stainless steel so coordination should be a breeze.
With a static microwave, cooking results can be patchy at best. Often, food is not cooked properly throughout. The revolving carousel on the Sharp ensures that all your food gets adequate attention and will be served piping hot.
If you want to defrost, warm up a drink or rack up some popcorn, a range of quick touch buttons speed up the process. As well as the timer, you can also hit a single button for 30-second bursts of power.
Sharp’s patented Precise Cook Sensor Technology also minimizes your input and makes reheating anything you throw its way a walk in the park.
At 2.2 cubic feet, the Sharp has enough space inside to defrost a whole chicken or warm up food for the whole family.
For a cost-effective and efficient microwaving solution, think long and hard about this nifty Sharp.
We always to include a varied mix of products when we’re helping you make the right decision. Since not everyone is looking for the cheapest microwave, next up is a much more expensive model from the legendary General Electric.
If you’re committed to quality and want one of the very best microwave ovens to grace your countertop, read on…
Although this microwave is pretty wide at 24 inches, it’s also quite compact in the other directions at 12 1/8 inch by 12 7/8 inches. Depending on the layout of your kitchen surfaces, this might work extremely well as a space-saving appliance. If you want to suspend the microwave instead, there’s a hanging kit available separately at extra cost.
At 800 watts, you’ll get more than enough power for most reasonable purposes. Heating and defrosting times are pretty rapid.
You’ll get 6 preset buttons for everything from popcorn to hot drinks. Alongside the timer, there’s also a quick touch button to cook in 30 second bursts.
One thing to watch out for is that some users have reported paint peeling off the ceiling after a couple years use. Keep a close eye out for this happening but don’t let it put you off purchasing.
Most microwaves are extremely similar. What you’re getting with this GE is exceptional brand heritage married to build quality and speed of cooking. If your budget is flexible, we’d strongly recommend popping this microwave on your shortlist.
As we near the end of our microwave oven reviews, we’ve got another 1.2 cubic feet model from another electronics titan. Panasonic produces all kinds of kitchenware and other appliances with a firm focus on performance and value.
There are 2 versions to choose from, one with a dial and the other packing a touchpad. Roll with what works best for you.
Read on to see why you should consider this fine microwave…
While most microwaves are capable of even cooking at higher speeds, they often fall down when you dial things back. The inverter technology harnessed by Panasonic makes sure everything is thoroughly warmed through even at the lowest settings. On high, you’ll get an impressive 1200 watts of power which puts many pricier microwaves to shame.
The menu features 14 presets so all your main bases are covered at the press of a button. There are 10 power levels as well so whatever you pop in, you can cook it to optimum effect.
The simple door opens at the push of a button too so using this microwave is so simple the kids can do it.
Although spacious enough inside to cook for all the family, the Panasonic takes up very little space on the worktop.
If you’re looking for a technology-driven microwave that’s still extremely user-friendly, the Panasonic is a smart bet.
To wrap up our best microwave reviews, we’ll look at a nifty little model from another electronics legend, Toshiba. In all today’s reviews, we’ve brought to the fore manufacturers who excel in the art of electrical appliances and the Toshiba completes this all-star lineup.
You’re faced with a welter of options off the bat. There are 4 sizes at your disposal:
- 9 cubic feet
- 2 cubic feet
- 5 cubic feet
- 6 cubic feet
Once you’ve decided on the capacity, you can go for a compact or standard model depending on what works best in your kitchen.
You can also opt for a convection model or the range-topping Invertech.
Read on once you’ve made those decisions…
The 1100 watts of power gives you more than enough oomph for most reasonable microwave cooking needs.
Alongside 10 power settings, presets cover the usual warming, defrosting and heating gamut. The display is crisp and clear and the controls are responsive and user-friendly.
Inside, an LED light lets you keep an eye on proceedings while the turntable makes sure everything is cooked through to a turn.
If you’re looking for a rugged and dependable microwave finished in a minimalist black stainless steel, the Toshiba looks the part and delivers the goods in fine style.
A Final Word
The best microwave oven is a multi-purpose addition to any kitchen.
Many products vary quite considerably in terms of their functionality but with microwaves, that’s not the case. Think more about power and color scheme since they’ll all do the job in more or less the same fashion.
While it’s by no means necessary to spend a fortune, we would strongly advise steering clear of ultra-cheap microwaves. All the models we reviewed place a focus on quality without costing the earth. You’ll be in safe hands with any of the 5 ovens above.
Drop us a line if you’re still not decided on the best microwave oven of 2018.
Come back soon!