Bring your leftovers to life with the best microwaves on the market

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When it comes to kitchen technology, refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers lead to the charge for essentials. Often, a trusted microwave is just as important as a large appliance for cooking space.

The best microwaves in modern kitchens are going to do a lot more than just reheat the residue. With features such as electronic signal induction and circulation cooking, voice auxiliary capabilities, and smart sensors that adjust the power and temperature based on the food you’re cooking, microwaves must go a long way and do more than ever. Whether your old unit is in the fridge or you’re buying one for a new home, apartment, dorm or office space, we’ve rounded up the best microwaves to find online and in-store right now.

Toshiba EC042A5C-BS.


Toshiba EC042A5C-BS

Best overall

Professional

Why would you buy it? You want a microwave that does everything from basic cooking to more advanced convection-style cooking.

Who is it for: Homeowners and apartment dwellers are looking for a powerful unit that can do double-duty as a convection oven.

Why we chose Toshiba EC042A5C-BS:

Toshiba EC042A5C-BS is our best choice for multiple reasons. Capable of 1,000 watts of cooking capacity and 1.5 cubic feet of indoor sports, the EC042A5C-BS is large enough to heat everything from a quick residual plate to a whole casserole dish.

In terms of cooking technology, smart sensors do all the work here, with 13 cooking presets designed to automatically adjust power and temperature settings depending on which food you’re heating. There is even an echo mode that reduces the standby power of the microwave when it is not in use.

The big win is the convection feature of the EC042A5C-BS. More than a traditional microwave, the EC042A5C-BS doubles as a convection oven and has eight unique presets for baking and roasting your favorite food.

A stainless steel finish is also a breeze to clean. While the Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility would be a welcome bonus, the web connection is the only thing missing from this Titan of a countertop appliance.

Panasonic SN67KS on a counter.


Panasonic NN-S67KS

Runner up

Why would you buy it? You want a great, compact microwave with an assortment of cooking options and an attractive design.

Who is it for: Those looking to save valuable kitchen counter real estate.

Why we chose Panasonic NN-SN67K:

When it comes to proper microwave, the 1,200-watt Panasonic NN-SN67K surpasses the rest, thanks to features like inverter heating, intuitive presets and a sleek design blended into most kitchen countertop settings.

Traditionally, microwaves have used cycling power flows to cook food, which can often result in unevenly heated items. But with Panasonic’s inverter technology, the NN-S67K provides consistent heating in all temperature settings, allowing your food to receive the right amount of heat throughout the entire cooking cycle.

The 1.2 cubic feet interior is large enough for most residential kitchens from home to apartment. It has 15 cooking presets and 10 power settings (including an automatic sensor reheat) so you can heat everything from fresh vegetables in the garden to popcorn and oatmeal.

Although some reviewers have pointed out the problems due to Wi-Fi interference with the microwave and the indoor lighting is getting a bit dim, the Panasonic NNS67K is still a tough bet. After all, who couldn’t say a dedicated popcorn button with three unique butter and kernel settings?

Black + Decker EM925AB9 on a counter.


Black + Decker EM925AB9

The best budget microwave

Why would you buy it? You want a solid microwave with a handful of features that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Who is it for: College students and the Scream-and-Save family.

Why we chose Black + Decker EM925AB9:

Black + Decker has a long and well-known track record of reliable kitchen-counter tools, from blenders to toasters and everything in between. The EM925AB9 microwave is another subtle addition to the brand’s lineup, and we’re here to explain why.

For starters, if you shop on a budget, the price point may not be a rock-bottom digit, but it is a bargain when you consider the essential cooking features it offers. The unit has everything from intuitive presets for heating foods like popcorn, pizza and vegetables to 10 microwave power settings, including a powerful defrosting mode for melting meat and other frozen items.

At 0.9 cubic feet and 900 watts, it may not be the largest or most powerful microwave on our list, but as many reviewers have noted, it is the perfect “get the job done” tool for most kitchens.

GE JVM3160RFSS is mounted on top of an oven.


GE JVM3160RFSS

The best OTR microwave

Why would you buy it? Your kitchen is set up for an over-the-range (OTR) microwave and you want to make sure you buy a great one that you don’t have to unmount for a while.

Who is it for: Homeowners with the space and power needed to mount an OTR microwave.

Why we chose GE JVM3160RFSS:

Over-the-range microwaves are a great way to free up valuable counter space in a kitchen. In terms of performance and reliability, GE JVM3160RFSS distributes in multiple ways.

For starters, the 1.6 cubic feet interior provides plenty of space for all your cooking needs, whether you’re just reheating the leftovers or melting a cut of meat for dinner. We also like the ability to turn the turntable on and off depending on what you eat.

Capable of 1,000 watts of power, and featuring a variety of cooking presets and an automatic exhaust fan, the JVM3160RFSS may not have a full range of add-ons, but it does have powerful brand names, attractive designs and cooking capabilities.

GE JES1097SMSS at a counter.


GE JES1097SMSS

The best smart microwave

Why would you buy it? You want to be able to use Alexa and Google Assistant to cook your favorite microwaveable food.

Who is it for: Web-connected smart home that can use a little automation in the kitchen.

Why we chose GE JES1097SMSS:

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a microwave that could cook your food without you even touching the keypad? Guess what? Here! Enter GE JES1097SMSS, a state-of-the-art smart microwave packed with some pretty cool web-connected technology (requires a Wi-Fi connection).

Using GE’s scan-to-cook feature, scanning barcodes across a wide assortment of food will automatically input standard cooking settings into the microwave. No worries about energy and time, all you have to do is stick to the food and do the rest by JES1097SMSS. The Alexa and Google Assistant families will also love the ability to fire JES1097SMSS using voice commands with a compatible smart speaker or display.

At 0.9 cubic feet and 900 watts of power, the GE JES1097SMSS may not feature the most internal or powerful performance, but if it’s the smart tech you’re after, it’s one of the best options you can find.

Editors’ recommendations






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