If you don’t have a microwave in your kitchen, you’re really missing out. Whether you use it to reheat last night’s dinner or use it for more complicated cooking purposes, you can’t deny they have become a staple appliance in the kitchen. Finding the best microwave can be a daunting task however reading some microwave reviews will certainly help make your decision.
There are three main types of microwaves, so it’s important for you to consider which would be the best microwave for you and your needs. Before you buy any microwave, you need to consider your needs and the budget, and if you’re not sure where to start, read some microwave reviews! The technology involved in microwaves has developed considerably within the past few years. Some of the best microwaves on the market have features such as crisper plates, and some even have built-in recipes and menus, so if you’re ever stuck for a meal idea, your microwave may have the answer!! The price you pay for a microwave will depend on your budget. Some of the best microwaves can cost very little money; however they may not have all the features you need. Ultimately, the more features it has, the more you’ll pay, but there are other factors involved too.
The 5 Best Microwaves as chosen by Identifyr
The NN-SN686S is guaranteed to bring power to your kitchen, with 1200 wattage, it’ll cook your food in no time. Using Panasonic’s impressive inverter technology to cook the food thoroughly and quickly, this is one of the best microwaves on the market. Lightweight yet sturdy, the NN-SN686S works like a dream. If you’re looking for a quiet and durable appliance, this may be the one for you.
If you’re searching for a quiet microwave, the Toshiba EM925A5A-SS may be the one for you. This microwave allows users the option to turn off the beeping sound, so it’s perfect if you don’t want to wake people up in the morning! It’s a small microwave designed for small plates however it still has a lot of power, which means your food will get heated quickly. If you want to put the microwave on top of the counter, this won’t be an issue since it’s such a sleek looking microwave that deserves to be shown off in any kitchen.
Since this microwave is from Amazon, it has the Alexa technology built in, making it so simple and easy to use. If you own an Amazon Echo Dot, you’ll be able to use voice commands such as ‘cook for 3 minutes’, however if you don’t, this feature won’t be available to you. The Amazon Basics microwave is great if you enjoy using technology, especially if you own an Amazon Echo! Although it’s not one of the most attractive microwaves, for a mere $50-70, you can’t grumble!!
This lightweight yet spacious microwave is an essential to any kitchen. It comes with some fantastic cooking features such as turbo defrost and 14 cooking options dedicated to certain foods like pizza and soup. You can get the NN-SN936B in white or black and 1.6 Cu FT or 2.2, so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Its not the sleekest microwave on the market but the performance of this microwave truly speaks for itself, and proves why it’s one of the best microwaves at the minute.
Although this microwave only has 800 watts of power, it’s still an impressive appliance. The GE PEM31SFSS is ideal if you have a kitchen which is pressed for space because it can fit in small areas easily. It’s not the biggest microwave on the market but if you only need to fit a small plate in, it will be perfect for you. It comes in multiple different colours such as tan, black and white, so you’ll be able to find a color to fit your kitchens color scheme.
Thinking of buying a microwave? Here's what you need to know...
Microwave only (Solo Microwave) - These microwaves are perfect if you just want to reheat and defrost food. They’re the most simple microwave on the market and generally tend to be cheapest too. Solo microwaves are perfect for heating up food or defrosting a frozen ready meal, so if that’s all you’re looking for in a microwave, then they might be your best option. Solo microwaves are best for heating and simple cooking. Solo microwaves are cheap, readily available and useful for simple cooking tasks such as defrosting. That said, they are limited in terms of cooking features.
Grill microwave- Grill microwaves are a step up from a normal solo microwave. They have the functions of a solo but they also allow the user to grill/brown food. Its important to remember that the grill is much less powerful than a conventional oven grill, so if time is an issue, the microwave grill probably isn’t the best option. Each grill microwave should come with a metal rack to allow the food to be nearer to the grill. Grill microwaves are best for heating and grilling, they usually come with a metal rack to use when grilling too. However, they tend to be more expensive than a normal microwave and don’t allow the user the option of convectional heating.
Combination microwave – Perhaps the top dog of all microwaves, the combination microwave uses convection heating to heat up food. Of course, you also get the option to grill food as well as the solo function of heating/defrosting too. Combination microwaves combine the positives of the other 2 types, however that’s not to say they don’t have negatives too. Combination microwaves are best for heating, grilling and baking, they’re pretty complex and normally come with multiple extra features. That said, due to all extras, they can be expensive which is annoying, especially if you’re not using any of the features.
What to look for in a microwave –
First and foremost, you need to consider where the microwave will go in your kitchen. If you’re tight for space, this is something you really need to think about, and if you’re ever unsure of the microwave's size, contact the manufacturer or read some microwave reviews. If you have a large family (and a large kitchen!), you might decide to buy a big microwave which means you’ll be able to fit bigger plates in and therefore, more food! Pressed for space? Some manufacturers have created microwaves which only take up .5 cubic feet, so if you need an appliance to heat up your cold tea, a microwave is still an option for you.
When buying a microwave, some consumers often worry that microwaves aren’t very energy efficient. However, they’re much more efficient than an oven, since they only have to use energy to directly heat the food, compared to an oven which has to heat up the entire space. When you’re buying a microwave, you’ll be told the energy efficiency rating, and if you’re unsure, check out some microwave reviews. The energy efficiency rating microwaves are awarded is graded from A-G, with A being the best microwave, in terms of energy efficiency. If you think by paying more for a microwave, you’ll get a higher rating, that’s not necessarily true, so beware!!
Depending where you want to put the microwave, you might choose to look for a countertop, or over the range microwave. A countertop microwave allows you to put it on any flat surface so they’re great if you need to move it at any point. Over the range microwaves look a little more tidy however they do have some disadvantages too. Over the range microwaves fit above the range or cooker meaning they eliminate smoke from the stove but then can be quite tricky to install.
Even the best microwaves come with some safety hazards, so it's important you know about them.
- Always use oven gloves when bringing hot food and plates out on the microwave, this will prevent you from burning your hands.
- Don't leave the microwave unattended, especially with young children round.
- If you hear any unusual noises coming from the microwave, such as sparking, stop the microwave and take the food out.
- Don't put foil or any sort of metal in the microwave, this is one of the most important safety tips to remember!!
How often should I replace my microwave?
On average, microwaves last around 9 years, which is a little disappointing. Microwaves can be pretty dangerous if they have any faults so if you do notice anything, contact the manufacturer. As a general rule, your microwave should be replaced every 10 years, however, if after that amount of time it’s still working perfectly you can still use it.
How much microwave wattage power do I need?
The levels of wattage that you need depends on your own personal needs! If you want a microwave that cooks your food quickly and efficiently, you’re probably best getting one with a higher wattage. Wattage for microwaves range from 700-1000W, so if you buy a 700 watt microwave, you may find it takes a while to heat your food up, and it might not be cooked evenly. If you’re someone who needs food cooking quickly and evenly, buy a higher wattage.
How should I clean my microwave?
If you own, or have ever owned a microwave before, you’ll know they can sometimes be a pain to clean. Don’t spray any cleaning chemicals directly into the microwave as this can cause internal damage and lead to deterioration of your microwave. Instead, spray the chemicals onto a wet cloth and then carefully wipe the interior. The turn-table can be easily removed and then washed separately, either by hand or dishwasher. Keeping your microwave's interior clean is absolutely essential so if you ever see any food or liquid has been spilt, clean it.
How big should my microwave be?
Again, this depends on what you’ll be using the microwave for. Some of the best microwaves are small and compact however bigger sizes also have some great benefits too. If you want to fit large plates and dishes in your microwave, you’ll be best getting a 50 litre + size. A regular sized microwave can fit a 27cm plate in it, however if you’re willing to fork out a bit more, you can find some which fit 47cm, so it’s well worth paying more.
Do I need to buy a microwave with lots of special functions?
If you want to buy the best microwave on the market, you’ll essentially be spending a little more. That said, you’ll get more for your money, with features such as a pizza cooking function, or even a cake baking function.
What’s the difference between a turntable and a flatbed tray?
Turntable are the most common type of tray for microwaves, this is because the constant movement helps to cook the food throughout. Flatbed trays have only been introduced recently due to significant advancements in technology. They work just as effectively by allowing for a more even spread of waves through your food. They’re easier to clean and they also allow for larger plates to be used, due to their flat nature.
Will I get a warranty with my microwave?
Most reputable manufacturers will provide a 12 month warranty, but if you’re unsure, check out some microwave reviews. If you ever come across a fault with your microwave, contact the manufacturer immediately and see what options they can offer you.