PROS / It packs a healthy 900 watts of power, which makes cooking a speedy process.
CONS / You do not get sensor cooking with this microwave oven to prevent overcooking.
VERDICT / This countertop microwave oven looks good and works quickly, with only a few omissions holding it back.
The Kenmore 73093 is a 900-watt compact microwave that cooks quickly thanks to its level of electrical power. Its black and stainless steel exterior also makes it an attractive countertop microwave oven.
You can easily thaw frozen foods with this Kenmore microwave's dual defrost options. You can simply enter the food's weight for the machine to decide how much time and power it needs, or set the defrost time yourself. This microwave also features a kitchen timer, which you can use without the heat turning on, and a handy 30-second key that lets you add time without stopping the heating process. You get six preset cooking options: popcorn, potato, pizza slice, beverage, dinner plate and frozen vegetable. These buttons take the guesswork out of how long to heat different foods.
You can also program this countertop microwave oven so that it saves the customized cooking power levels and times for certain foods. With its multistage cooking ability, you can set it to cook at a higher heat first and then automatically reduce to a simmer. This is a great time-saver, as you do not have to stop whatever else you are doing to adjust the microwave partway through the process to get the cooking results you want.
The Kenmore's child lock is a welcome safety feature. This prevents the microwave being turned on when it's not supposed to be. A helpful feature this compact microwave oven does not include, however, is a sensor that determines when food is done by the temperature and humidity and then shuts the oven off automatically. This would let you simply set the microwave and not worry about overcooking your meal.
Our cooking tests, in general, turned out well with the Kenmore. Cooked foods should reach 165 F internally to be safe, and we used a digital thermometer with a probe to check our food's temperatures. A frozen macaroni and cheese meal that we cooked according to the package instructions reached 172 F; the potato button cooked a regular potato for six minutes to 205 F; a slice of pizza from the refrigerator, cooked on the microwave's 4-ounce pizza setting, reached 182 F. You can trust this microwave to fully cook most foods in their recommended times.
The popcorn button offers three choices: 1.75, 3 or 3.5 ounces. We chose 3 ounces, which cooked the popcorn for 1:50 minutes and produced excellent results, with only four unpopped kernels.
A frozen kids' meal of small corn dogs, fries and corn was more problematic. We cooked it according to the package instructions, and two corn dogs came out safely at 184 and 177 F. The others were only 147 and 160 F. When we added 30 seconds of cooking time, the cooler corn dogs got to 184 and 176 F. Most microwaves in our tests had some trouble with this meal, but this is still a pain.
The Kenmore 73093 is a powerful compact microwave that looks good and offers helpful preset buttons that generally bring their respective foods to proper temperatures. It offers other useful features, but it lacks certain other extras, such as the time-saving sensor cooking, that would bring it up to the level of the best small microwaves.