The microwave oven has grown to be one of the most important and practical kitchen tools used by home cooks today, whether it is used to reheat leftover food, defrost frozen food for meal preparation, or simply heat up a quick microwaveable meal.
Modern microwaves can do more than ever before thanks to settings for convection cooking, grilling, steaming, and other culinary methods. They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from little ones made to fit on a countertop to bigger ones that can be integrated into walls or cabinets, installed above the cooking range, or both.
What's in this Guide?
- Best Microwaves 2023
- Things to Know Before Buying a Microwave
- Final Words
Best Microwaves 2023
The original microwaves were almost 5 feet tall, weighed over 750 pounds, and cost thousands of dollars in the late 1940s. Thankfully, microwaves have advanced significantly since then; many households use them daily to reheat or prepare meals, and they may now fit on a tabletop.
A microwave oven is necessary for the kitchen regardless of your preferred cooking method. Preparation tasks like softening cream cheese, melting chocolate, and toasting almonds are made simpler. Additionally, when used properly, it can “bake” lasagna without drying it out and produce an apple crisp with a browned and crunchy topping. It can also cook vegetables and fish flawlessly and much more rapidly than other methods. Were we to add that it’s the quickest method to reheat a bowl of chowder or a leftover stew? In essence, these little tools can have a big impact on your cuisine. It’s a good idea to decide how you cook before you go shopping so you can pick a model that suits your requirements.
We have prepared a list of the best microwaves to buy in 2023:
Toshiba Microwave Oven
This Toshiba model may be just what you need if you’re looking for a microwave to help feed a family or fit in a starter house. This microwave, which has a 12.4-inch turntable and a gunmetal grey stainless steel exterior, is ideal for homes with large dishes, a stylish design, and child-safe features at an affordable price. With two defrost settings, a humidity sensor, a power-saving mode, and even a mute button for times you need to avoid waking up anybody in the home, this model demonstrates that all you really need are the necessities.
Due to this microwave’s dependable features and performance, our tester said they would purchase one for themselves. After testing, they stated, “It has every requirement for a microwave and features various power settings and a sensor to assist heating.” Thanks to the straightforward button features and pull-open handle, this microwave is simple to use and may be securely utilized by youngsters.
For some people, this microwave’s lack of specialized functionality or extra features like convection oven settings or air fryer settings may be a disadvantage. This model was one of the two that tied for the highest score, earning its right to be the best overall due to its usefulness and pricing, even though it may not have all the bells and whistles of a combo microwave.
SMETA Microwave Countertop Microwave
Nothing is better than solid kitchen equipment that works well and is even better when it is reasonably priced. That made this countertop microwave from Smeta a wonderful option for people who require a normal machine but don’t want to invest in one just yet. This microwave does the job while also appearing stylish thanks to pre-programmed buttons for various food varieties, power settings, the option to cook by weight, and more. Our tester liked that this model was a standard microwave size. However, it “doesn’t take up too much space on your counter and it’s big enough for casserole plates and huge meals in general.”
While there is nothing wrong with a basic microwave, some home cooks would like their model to have a few more capabilities than the Smeta can provide. Our tester said, “This microwave is suitable for a household or an office environment.” Although it is reasonably priced and has a lot of basic microwave features, an experienced cook should avoid this device. This microwave is the most economical choice to buy, whether you’re just moving in or simply prefer to make simple meals.
Panasonic Oven with Cyclonic Wave Inverter Technology
The Panasonic Microwave Oven is not simply the biggest and most powerful device on this list. This model’s heat waves are generated by “cyclonic wave inverter technology,” which moves heat waves in a circle around the food or beverage within the microwave to heat the contents from all sides. Another feature that quickly and uniformly defrosts food and prevents cold spots from forming when cutting through leftovers is the “sensor inverter turbo defrost.” This model “cooked unbelievably evenly and exceeded all previous testing done on other machines,” according to our testers, “which makes us feel the sensor does very well with frozen meals.”
You’ll need to have ample room for this enormous model because size and power go hand in hand. Our test subjects felt that this microwave was better suited for a more seasoned cook who would have a larger kitchen to place it into because of its greater size. However, as one of our testers noted, “The capacity is tremendous – you could definitely put a turkey in there if you wanted to,” this size would be ideal for larger households. Who wants leftovers from Thanksgiving?
Galanz 4-in-1 ToastWave
This microwave and air fryer combo from Galanz is the ideal device to buy if you haven’t already jumped on the air fryer bandwagon. This machine, which functions as a microwave, air fryer, convection, and toaster oven all in one, reportedly has “every feature under the sun.” According to our testers, “This is the most competitively priced model among the ones that offered numerous functions in addition to microwaving,” therefore they agree that the investment is worthwhile. This is especially helpful if you live in a tiny place, such as an apartment, as it would significantly reduce the number of appliances that clutter up your counter.
But according to the results of our tests, this multipurpose microwave is best used for reheating food or preparing frozen meals because more delicate dishes can quickly overcook in this powerful appliance. Due to the fact that “This model is best suited for an ambitious cook who is interested in a multi-function appliance,” our testers urge anyone using this microwave to operate it carefully.
Farberware Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave Oven
This model from Farberware is an excellent device for small kitchens since it makes clever use of your surfaces, which is necessary for smaller settings like college dorms or apartments. This microwave is among the smallest on our list, but it does not suggest that it lacks functionality. This microwave fits all the necessary features into a compact frame, including a child lock, numerous power settings, cooking programs, and more. It “takes up only half of the counter we tested on, [but the] inside is big enough for anything you would need,” according to our tester.
It performed well in the cooking tests and “[Proved] to be a dependable microwave that could get the job done without costing too much money,” they added, highlighting how justified the price was. The fundamental functions of a typical microwave, such as defrost settings, a 30-second control, and others, are also present in this microwave. This oven may not be for you if you’re seeking a more elaborate model with multiple uses; nevertheless, those models are usually larger, and this one is the ideal size for someone with a small kitchen.
Panasonic 1.2 Inverter Microwave
This elegant, black microwave is a great addition to your kitchen and will help you prepare better meals. The “inverter precision cook technology” found in the Panasonic 1.2 Inverter Microwave allows food to cook up to 40% more quickly than it would in a conventional microwave because it contains sensors that monitor its temperature and humidity as food cooks. Thanks to sophisticated technology, you can even reheat drinks in this model without worrying about splatters. In fact, out of all the microwaves tested, our testers were most satisfied by this one’s reheating capabilities, noting that there were “absolutely no cold areas” and everything was cooked evenly.
Despite lacking some of the more glitzy features of some of the other models, this microwave more than makes up for it with its efficacy and efficiency. If I were looking for a countertop microwave, I would buy this model, our tester said after testing. It has many features, is reasonably priced, and doesn’t take up a lot of room. This might be the microwave for anyone looking for a more sophisticated version of their standard model.
Cuisinart Convection Microwave
Our second choice, keeping with the theme of multipurpose microwaves, was this Cuisinart stainless steel convection oven combo. This type includes a grill rack in addition to the standard microwave options like defrost, cook by weight, and many cooking programs. It also has a convection baking and roasting setting. During our several tests, this model performed admirably, most notably by not scorching or popping the popcorn (with the exception of a few straggling kernels). The multiple features of this microwave thrilled our testers, who stated that “[It] is best suited for the experimental cook who desires a multi-functional gadget.”
Due to the microwave’s protruding back, it does have a little trouble fitting into tighter areas, but thanks to its compact size, it still fits well on the countertop. According to our testers, the “internal capacity is the perfect size,” enabling as many microwave meals as possible.
Magic Chef 1.1 Countertop Microwave
Despite being a fairly inexpensive alternative, this Magic Chef microwave is still a good size, has many features, and has enough power to be a reliable choice for any kitchen. It has a simple, practical design with all the functions you could ever need, including 10 power settings, one-touch controls, and presets for foods like popcorn, potatoes, beverages, and vegetables. It’s easy to maintain clean because it doesn’t easily accumulate fingerprints or smudges.
In this microwave, marshmallows cooked by our lab testers had uniform caramelization throughout. Although there were quite a few unpopped popcorn kernels when using the popcorn setting, it heated frozen items and leftovers effectively. In two minutes, it brought water at room temperature up to 210 degrees.
This model’s size was just right for our testers—it wasn’t too big or little. Although it won’t fit a 13 by 9-inch casserole dish, it won’t take up as much counter space as many of the other items on this list.
Things to Know Before Buying a Microwave
The capacity of the oven is an aspect that many people might not think about while shopping for a microwave. The average microwave has a capacity of about 1.1 cubic feet. Before adding to cart, be sure to look at the numbers and keep an eye out for the size that best suits your cooking style. A model with larger dimensions might be necessary if you frequently reheat casserole dishes or put large meals in the oven.
As we’ve seen, most microwaves provide the basic functions of defrost, reheat, and the picky popcorn option. Still, some models also include bells and whistles to serve as multifunctional appliances. Some microwaves double as air fryers, convection ovens, and even grills, allowing you to consolidate your equipment into a single item and save counter clutter.
What kind of microwave you choose will depend on your culinary skill level and the foods you frequently prepare. If you take your time and care when preparing your meals, an upscale model with more features (such as the air fryer combo) can be preferable to the ordinary microwave. However, if you have a hectic life and only require a fast microwave supper, the conventional type can be all you need (and is often easier on the wallet).
Choosing the best microwave can be difficult for a beginner or intermediate because hundreds of options are available in the market. We have compiled this list of the best microwaves to buy in 2023. We have tested and reviewed each microwave to make the buying decision easy for you. You can read the reviews to know about the best microwaves and choose the one that suits your budget and needs.
How Do You Know What Size Microwave to Buy?
To ensure the microwave will fit in the space, you must first measure it. Pay close attention to the appliance’s depth in particular. Then take into account the internal capacity, which is typically 1.1. You should size up if you anticipate frequently reheating larger portions.
What’s the Difference Between a Solo and Convection Microwave?
The method used to heat food in a convection microwave differs significantly from a solo microwave. Microwaves are used by standalone appliances to reheat, thaw, and cook food. Convection alternatives can use hot air for baking and roasting food and do the same function.
Which is Better a Convection or Grill Microwave?
If you only need a single microwave that can grill and crisp food, a grill microwave is a superior choice. However, a convection microwave has a few more uses than a grill model.