The best microwaves make cooking food a breeze with presets and multiple power settings. A compact model is ideal if you’re short on counter space. But just because it’s small doesn’t mean you can’t expect decent power. Don’t discount large-capacity microwaves if you have the need, and the space, for one. Here is our list of the best countertop microwaves.
Great for multiple cooking tasks
The Toshiba EM131A5C-SS microwave is one of the best models around. It offers 1100 watts and has ten different power levels, plus 1.2 cubic feet of space to cook your meals. It doesn’t have a bulky back as some models do, meaning it won’t take up too much room. The pre-programmed sensor menu means you can simply press a button, and it will automatically cook certain foods using the right settings. Another feature we like is the ‘sound off’ option that lets you silence the buzzer.
Power and decent capacity
The Farberware FMO11AHTBKB has a 1.1 cubic feet capacity, but it won’t take up too much space on your countertop. This countertop style has a pull handle rather than a push-button, and its digital display makes it easy to use. In terms of functions, you’ll get ten power levels, an Express Cook mode, and a memory function. What’s more, you can expect six preset cooking settings, including popcorn, pizza, potato, beverage, dinner plate, or frozen vegetables.
Plenty of space
This compact microwave offers 1.2 cubic feet of space and its wattage is 1200. It has 15 auto cook options, spanning everything from quinoa and oatmeal to soup, omelets, and vegetables. There are 11 power settings and a three-level popcorn button. To make everyday tasks that bit easier, the Panasonic NN-SN67KS compact microwave provides sensor cooking which automatically adjusts the power and cooking time for different foods to ensure it’s thoroughly cooked.
Child safety lock
Lightweight and compact, this Black+Decker microwave offers 0.7 cubic feet of internal space, ten power levels, an Express Cook mode, and an auto menu option. Lightweight and compact, the machine sports a digital control panel so that you can easily select which setting you need. Handy basics such as a child safety lock are also included. This microwave doesn’t take up too much space on your countertop and is a great option for carrying out simple functions.
This microwave from Frigidaire fits right above your range, so you get the convenience without sacrificing valuable counter space. It features 1.6 cubic feet of cooking space and a turntable to ensure every part of your food is evenly cooked. The digital control panel has several preset cooking controls, a quick stop, and a 30-second add function. The bottom of this microwave has a vent fan and a light to help while cooking on a stovetop below it.
Choosing a microwave that’s right for you
When choosing a microwave, capacity is an important factor to consider. The largest compact microwaves offer a capacity of around 1.2 cubic feet with some models as big as 1.6 or 1.8 cubic feet. However, if you don’t need one that big, there are some with smaller capacities.
Make sure the power and capacity offered are what you need. Most have several power levels that you can adjust depending on what you’re cooking. Those with a wattage between 600 and 1000 are the best with 1000 wattage being ideal because you can cook just about anything thoroughly and quickly. You can still cook at a lower wattage, but it may take a bit longer to cook through.
To make maintaining your compact microwave as easy as possible, opt for a model with a smooth finish that can easily be wiped clean. The turntable inside should also be easy to remove and place in the dishwasher too.
Paying more for a microwave doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better machine. For a higher price, you can hope for a sleek and stylish finish. Some microwaves are compatible with smart speakers, so you can use voice commands when you want them to switch on.
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