Thanks to the grill feature, the oven can deliver you that crispy crust (a grill rack included). The combi cooking mode allows you to combine the standard microwave mode and grill mode.
The touchpad isn't very sensitive.
The Sharp YC-MG81U-S is a multipurpose model that boasts an impressive 28-litre capacity and large 31.5 cm turntable, allowing you to cook delicious dinner for the whole family or plenty of snacks for a large company.
Electronic control panel
Grill: 1100 Watts
Ceramic enamel interior
8 Auto cook programs
Child lock feature, Eco mode, Timer and clock
The Samsung MS23F301TAS is made with a smooth ceramic interior that is anti-bacterial and scratch-resistant. It's easy to clean and won't scratch or discolour over time.
The window is so tinted that you hardly see the food inside.
This prime-quality Samsung microwave boasts the unique Triple Distribution system that quickly and evenly heats or cooks your food. 20 Also, it offers 20 auto-cook programs including 6 intended for the preparation of healthy meals.
Electronic control panel with dial
Ceramic enamel interior
20 Auto cook programs
Triple distribution system, Eco mode, Deodorizer feature, Child lock feature
2 years (registration required)
The turntable is made of durable tempered glass, which is not afraid of temperature drops and is able to withstand high loads. Also, it can safely go into a dishwasher.
It offers 5 power levels only.
Russell Hobbs offers a budget-friendly model that can be the best option for people who need a microwave oven mainly for heating and defrosting foods. It's also a good fit for small families and confined kitchens.
Electronic control panel with dial
8 Auto cook programs
Child lock feature
The touch control panel paired with an LCD display will help you choose the necessary program and set an optimal power in mere seconds. The text in mild green is easily visible, yet it won't annoy you under poor light conditions.
Some users say that it works a bit too loudly.
The Panasonic NN-E28JMMBPQ is a good entry-level model that can become indispensable for people who don't have much experience in cooking. With its help, you'll be able to cook a great variety of dishes with a minimal amount of time and effort.
Electronic control panel
9 Auto cook programs
Child lock feature
The multi-stage cooking programme allows you to combine 2 different cooking stages in one cycle. This way, you'll be able to simulate the heating effect of a gas burner.
The white body may get dirty easily.
Designed with 5-piece fan blades, this microwave emits maximum 50dB, which makes it a perfect choice for families with small kids. Furthermore, owing to the white casing, it matches all-white kitchens amazingly well.
Electronic control panel
Enameled (grey painted)
8 Auto cook programs
Child lock feature, Memory function
If you’re in the market for a large microwave oven that can hold a bit more than average models, you may like the Sharp YC-MG81U-S. With a 28-litre capacity, it can easily accommodate large bowls and plates inside. Even better, owing to the extra-large 31.5-cm glass turntable, it fits a standard pizza or 2-kg chicken with no problem. So, with the ability to cook a hearty dinner for a company of up to 4 people, this microwave is great for family use or frequent gatherings.
Yet, the trade-off for that extra capacity is a bit bulky size. At 51.2 x 30 x 39.6 cm, it takes reasonable space on a countertop. Also, it’s quite hefty with almost 16 kg of weight, though it’s quite stable and doesn't seem to run away with the open door as it may happen to smaller models.
A Microwave with Grill Cooking
What completely sells the Sharp YC-MG81U-S is its ability to grill food as well. The grill is situated at the top of the oven cavity and has one power setting only, yet it always ensures decent results with a juicy texture and a crispy finish. That’s largely achieved owing to the fact that the grill is accompanied by the rotatable turntable that ensures even browning.
If you’re going to grill small stuff like bacon, you can use the rack that is thoughtfully provided by the manufacturer. Food can be placed directly onto the said rack or onto any flat heat-resistant plate put atop. If you wish, you can also set the oven to operate in the Mix Grill mode that combines microwave power with the grill function. This combo will reduce the cooking time and provide a crispier finish. There are two basic choices - 55% microwave power/45% grill cooking and 36% microwave power/64% grill cooking, depending on the food you’re going to prepare.
One more nice feature is the sequence cooking. This feature allows you to use two different microwave stages. For instance, you can combine the defrost setting with the needed power level, and the oven will automatically move onto the next stage.
|Last updated price||£99.99|
Samsung microwaves need no presentation. The company produces top-shelf kitchen appliances and puts lots of attention to detail. And the Samsung MS23F301TAS solo microwave is great proof. It's a very stylish, feature-rich, and luxurious model which looks much more presentable than many other microwave ovens out there.
The unit is fairly small for a 23L size, which may benefit you if you're going to keep the microwave out on the worktop. Yet, it's big enough to accommodate the largest dinner plates allowing you to make a variety of delicious dishes for yourself, your family, or your guests.
What really sets this premium-quality microwave apart from others is its proprietary Triple Distribution System which ensures even heat distribution inside the oven resulting in the food being well cooked inside and crispy from the outside. Also, the microwave offers a unique Healthy cooking function that provides as many as 10 modes for cooking vegetables and 6 modes for cooking fish. What is also worth mentioning is that there's a handy guide on the inside to help you figure out which setting to use, letting both young and senior customers quickly get the hang of it.
Besides the Healthy function, the oven features pre-programmed settings for chilled-ready meals, chilled-veggie meals, and power defrost for meat, poultry, and fish. On top of that, there's a Memory Function included - it will let you save the settings that you use most often thus saving you from the hassle of having to adjust them every time you use the device.
What sold us straight away is a deodorization function and ceramic interior. The hard-wearing scratch-resistant ceramic interior looks sleek and ensures antibacterial protection. It won't scratch or discolour over time like it often happens to cheaper models. Besides, it doesn't attract stains that much so it will be enough to wipe it with a wet sponge now and them to keep it clean.
|Last updated price||£84.99|
Russell Hobbs RHM1714B
For Small Families
The folks behind Russel Hobbs do their best to create products that will be able to make home life easier and more enjoyable, and this microwave is among them. It's a relatively small kitchen appliance that is built to be practical, easy to use, and affordable.
Drawing 700 Watts and offering 17-litre capacity, the microwave is great for small families. Despite the fact that some people may think that the power output may be insufficient for cooking large meals, this 700W model meets the needs of almost any average household. It delivers pretty much the same cooking results as more powerful ovens, with the only difference being that it can take just a bit longer to heat/prepare food.
Do note that a 17-litre interior makes this microwave unsuitable for particularly big plates. However, due to the 24.5-cm turntable, it handles a normal dinner plate quite comfortably. What is notable, the turntable is made of ultra-durable tempered glass that easily withstands temperature drops and high loads, and can even safely go into a dishwasher, making its maintenance a hassle-free task.
Despite being a budget-friendly model, the Russel Hobbs microwave does offer a good range of useful features. These include eight auto-cooking presets and five power levels to choose from. Also, the oven has the Auto-defrost function that automatically adjusts the optimal cooking time and re-heats the meal to the optimal temperature - you simply need to input the approximate weight of the food you're loading inside.
As for Auto cook settings, the presets include "pizza", "spaghetti", "potato" and more. The oven really cooks delicious jacket potatoes with a fluffy, moist interior.
Speaking about controls, the oven has a dial and button system that is quite straightforward to operate. The control panel also includes a handy digital timer and digital clock, enabling you to keep track of the cooking status.
Just like the casing, the dial and buttons are made of black plastic, so they don't ruin the overall look of the microwave, while an attractive mirror door finish makes the whole thing even more stylish and high-tech. The door itself features a child safety lock that prevents kids from opening the unit.
Being safe, stylish, and compact, the Russell Hobbs 700W Solo microwave is a perfect offering for small households. It’s also a good investment if you're limited in space but don’t want to be restricted by a compact 14-litre microwave. Despite a relatively low price tag, it's packed with a good selection of features and will handle most any everyday kitchen tasks with ease.
|Last updated price||£59.00|
Focused on Basic Kitchen Needs
In our everyday life, most often, we cook pretty simple and humble dishes to cut down the time we spend in the kitchen and cut corners with complex recipes. In a related move, we use a microwave predominantly for heating and defrosting or accomplishing some very basic tasks like melting chocolate, popping up popcorn kernels, whipping up mug cakes, or tossing a quick homemade pizza for a family movie night. If it sounds like you, the Panasonic NN-E28JMMBPQ microwave will definitely catch your fancy.
This model was designed with basic kitchen needs in mind and is not overloaded with many bells and whistles. On the other hand, it still has everything you expect from a quality microwave and you can’t help but like the fairly affordable unit price that will fit even a stringent budget. Featuring 800 watts of power, it is not the most powerful model out there. However, this power is more than enough for simple cooking tasks. Besides, the appliance will consume less energy and, as a result, won’t impact your electricity bills too much. Meanwhile, 5 variable power settings allow adjusting the optimal power level for different tasks.
A Real Find for Smaller Kitchens
When it comes to the appliance design, this model will fit literally any contemporary kitchen style, be it moderate and streamlined high-tech or more exquisite and chic modern classics. Silver colour exterior with minimalistic touch controls and a mirrored glass door looks very sleek and elegant. Besides, featuring a push door opener and no extruding control dials, this microwave is both suitable for countertop use and can be built into a kitchen cabinet flush with overall kitchen facades.
What’s more, the Panasonic NN-E28JMMBPQ has much more compact dimensions and smaller footprint than other models in the range that makes it a perfect fit for space-limited kitchens, cramped countertops, studios, offices, and even dorm rooms. With that said, it has a decent capacity of 20 L and accommodates a 25.5 cm flat table matching for bulk cooking.
|Last updated price||£79.99|
It’s quite a daunting task to find a well-balanced microwave that would deftly combine compact size, good capacity, appealing design and brilliant performance. However, Toshiba has succeeded in creating such a model, presenting its MM-EM20P(WH) 20L Digital oven, which looks sleek, offers multiple settings and costs even less than its retail price.
To begin with, this digital microwave is surprisingly easy to use. It's fitted with a 2"x 4" control panel that holds 24 rectangular touch-sensitive switches. As a nice touch, the same model is also available with 2 manual dials for the elderly and those with motor problems or failing eyesight. The said control panel has one-touch pre-set menu options to let you prepare and enjoy your favourite foods quicker. These include auto cycles for popcorn, pizza, potatoes, frozen vegetables, beverages and a dinner plate (the maximum size of a dinner plate you can place inside it is 26cm). Also, you'll get a full range of powers with 11 different levels from 100% down to 0%.
Yet, one of the most prominent features of this model is surely its multi-stage cooking programme that will allow you to combine 2 different cooking stages in one cycle. For instance, you'll be able to start at 80% power for a couple of minutes and then finish your meal on 60% power for 10 minutes. The key idea is to mimic the heating effect of a gas burner.
Once the cooking cycle is completed, the oven pings around 3 times. Besides that, this microwave emits virtually no noise. What makes it so quiet is that it's featured with a 5-piece fan blades design, which ensures that it emits maximum 50dB of noise. Thanks to this, you can rest assured knowing that the sound of the oven will not disturb your little one's sleep no matter whether you decide to make a sandwich early in the morning or have some secret late-night snack before going to bed.
Lastly, we would like to point out that the Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) is also very attractive. The white casing along with the contrasting black panel and window gives it an edgy feel and makes it suit most interiors. So, if you own a classy all-white kitchen, this one will match it perfectly. In case you worry that the white unit may be hard to clean, keep calm, as the oven is easy to wipe down with a damp cloth and the turntable can be simply washed in soapy water.
All in all, the Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) microwave is an excellent value. It's highly customisable, operates silently, and perfectly mixes with white decors.
|Last updated price||£69.99|
What Is a Microwave Oven?
A microwave oven is a popular kitchen appliance which is used not only at home but also in pubs, cafes, canteens, and restaurants. Today it is difficult to imagine a household that has no microwave oven. This appliance helps cook or reheat food quickly - all you need is to select the right setting or cooking program. Along with reheating meals, this oven is used for defrosting food, making it possible to significantly cut the time you'd need to wait for the food to defrost naturally. Unlike a conventional oven, the microwave oven heats the food up from the inside, the main difference between the two, and cooks food very quickly, requiring a minimum of effort. In this article, you will find the selection of the five most popular microwave ovens among which you should be able to pick the one that will be right for you.
If you're a fan of fried toasts or bakery food, we recommend you also consider our reviews of the best toasters. While if you can't imagine your breakfast without a hot cup of coffee, then you should certainly go find out what espresso and coffee machines are most popular with users this year.
What Features to Compare
There are many microwave oven reviews online but still the choice of this appliance is difficult. Many customers get confused over the technical specification of every microwave and that is why we have made our comparison as simple yet informative as possible. We have picked 5 best microwave ovens and analysed them according to the most important features without going too deep into a tech stuff.
Capacity and Power
First of all, you need to choose what capacity and power you need. The Capacity is the inner volume of the microwave oven which means the cooking camera you put food in. It is important since the choice depends on how much food you are going to cook. If, for example, you need a microwave to heat up a couple of burgers, a plate of soup, or a cup of milk - then you can choose a smaller appliance with the capacity of 18-20 liters. However, if you have many family members to cook for, you should choose a microwave oven with large capacity - over 23 liters. Also, if you need a microwave for your cafe, look for a high-capacity model. If you have such an appliance you can cook meat, vegetables, make soups, bake cakes and so on. And here is where we come to another important feature which is Power. The power heavily depends on the capacity of a microwave oven - the larger a cooking chamber is, the more power an oven must have. No need to say, the more powerful an appliance is, the faster you will be able to heat up and cook the food. Any modern microwave oven allows you to choose a power level. As usual, most home microwaves have the power between 800 and 1000 Watts which is optimal in terms of price to performance ratio.
Auto Cook Options
For the best cooking experience, every microwave oven has a number of special pre-programmed auto cook options (which can also be called Settings and so on) that help you cook certain dishes without any problems. Auto cook options already follow a pre-programmed configuration (power, time, etc.) so you just need to choose an appropriate one and press START. As usual, there are from 4 to 8 cooking settings but some models have even more of them. Of course, you can still configure the cooking options by yourself. Also, pay attention to a number of power levels every microwave oven has.
Finally, it is important to know what kind of inner surface every microwave oven has. Most often the microwaves with grills and convection have an interior covered with enamel which is heat-resistant and easy-to-clean. Enamelled ovens are very popular today. Also, a ceramic coating can be used - it is scratch-resistant, smooth, withstands high temperatures. However, ceramics requires care and can be damaged. There is another widespread material - stainless steel. Stainless steel interior microwave ovens are the most reliable, as their interior is heat-resistant yet it is more difficult to clean. You need to keep in mind that the cheapest models have just an enamel-like paint but it is not a problem - this simple coating is durable enough and can withstand really high temperatures. As usual, microwave ovens without a grill and convection have it.
Did you know?
Safe or Not?
If you google “Are microwave ovens dangerous?", you'll probably get tons of comments from overly concerned people who believe that this kitchen appliance might have a dangerous side. In reality, the majority of scientists and health experts consider that microwave ovens are overwhelmingly safe if used correctly.
Microwave electromagnetic radiation can't break up atoms or molecules, meaning they can’t damage DNA of living things as X and gamma rays can. Microwave ovens might only cause heating effects and harm at very high energies. However, all mass-market microwave ovens operate below strict limits set by the government.
The microwaves are extremely popular in America - at least 90% of families there own a microwave. The recent survey showed that American people consider a microwave oven the number one invention that can make life easier. The huge popularity hasn’t passed Europe as well. There are about 23 million microwaves ovens in homes across the UK alone.
The First Microwave Oven
The roots of the invention of microwave ovens go back to 1920 and the exploitation of high-frequency radio waves for heating purposes. Yet the first patent for a microwave oven was registered in 1937 by Bell Laboratories states. The first commercial microwave, "Radarange", was built in 1947. It was 1.8 meters in height and weighed around 340 kilograms. Of course, it used much more power compared to today's microwave ovens. It was utilized primarily by restaurants. It could quickly re-heat food upon ordering, which helped to keep people coming in and out faster. Only, in the 1970s, compact microwaves for residential use were created.
Don’t Play with Liquids
Did you know that boiling a cup of water in a microwave oven might cause it to explode? It’s not a myth, it’s a fact. The thing is that if homogeneous liquids are heated in a clean ceramic or glass cup for too long, they can superheat and explode. The bubbles that normally cool down the water don’t form, and as a result, the water passes its boiling point. So, in order to avoid explosion, heat liquids for the minimum amount of time and place a wooden stick or a spoon in a cup.
Another interesting fact is that oils don’t heat well in microwave ovens since their molecules lack the polarity found in water. The same goes for frozen butter.
What Delicacies Can Microwave Make?
There are many delicious things you can make in your microwave. You can use a microwave not just for re-heating foods but also for making brownies, cooking potato chips, and even baking a lasagna. Have we made your mouth water? Discover these recipes and treat your family to delicious meals you didn't know you could make in your micro!
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8. Kristin Apperbrink 21 Essential Recipes to Make in Your Microwave, Kitchn. March 7, 2016.
9. Healthy Recipes for Your Microwave, EatingWell.