How to choose best compact microwave oven? The leading microwave ovens in our review are the RCA RMW1414, the Gold Award winner; the Samsung MG14H3020, the Silver Award winner; and the GE JES1145SHSS, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a compact microwave to satisfy your requirements, together with detail on how we came to our ranking of these products.
Compact Microwave Ovens Best
Whether you’re a trainee in a dorm or you’ve downsized your home and have restricted area in your brand-new tiny house or apartment, you still require a microwave. It’s the essential device for busy people–despite your age or familial status. Best compact microwave ovens have a much smaller footprint than standard countertop microwaves, however they can pop popcorn, reheat leftovers and cook whole meals simply as well.
A microwave uses radio waves (at the same frequency as your Wi-Fi, which is why you’ll observe slower upload and download speeds when you use your microwave) that heat up the water in food through agitation– which is essentially radiation. Microwaves are more energy-efficient than large ovens since you don’t need to pre-heat anything and they work far more rapidly.
Lots of people use their microwave ovens daily, and they’re typically thought about safe devices. Nevertheless, those who prevent using them cite studies that show a release of radiation, the health risks of diacetyl (discovered in butter-flavored microwaveable popcorn) and leeching of nutrition.
Devices you might use every day produce radiation too, such as your cell phone and laptop. The amounts are small and included–aim to run your microwave with the door open and you’ll see that you can’t. If you’re concerned about your exposure, stand in another room and you’ll be much better off, although no studies have conclusively proven damaging impacts over time.
A microwave does not zap nutrients from your food; in fact, it maintains them. According to a 2010 research study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, microwaving vegetables is quicker and uses less water than other techniques, such as steaming, consequently retaining more vitamins and other good things for you.
If you’re looking for a microwave that you can install above your range, you’ll want to have a look at over-the-range microwaves, which maximize important countertop realty. A toaster oven is a terrific alternative to a microwave, and it does double task–it can bake and crisp your food too. Learn more about microwaves and get ideas on microwave safety in our short articles on compact microwaves.
Compact Microwaves: What We Tested, What We Found
The smaller sized the microwave, the lower the wattage; the lower the wattage, the slower your food is going to cook. So we took every microwave we obtained for a test spin (there are turntables!) and discovered that some microwaves, like the GE JES1145SHSS, cook faster than others that are about the same size and wattage. We also looked at the size of each oven. Manufacturers inform you the cubic feet, but how do you translate that to your tableware and blending bowls? We pushed dinner plates, tall glasses and big bowls separately into each oven to let you understand which one has the greatest real capability.
The huge selling point of microwaves is benefit, so we also took a look at the presets that numerous compact microwaves include, such as Quick Cook and 30-second keys. You can expect the best compact microwaves to have a turntable, which helps with even heating up; thaw functions, so you can gently thaw food by time or weight; and a child lock, which can avoid the unexpected microwaving of, say, a toy fire truck or doll shoe.
Functionality & Convenience
The most essential function of any microwave is how well it cooks, followed by how quickly it cooks. We fired up each microwave with popular frozen meals and followed the guidelines on the product packaging. Those that reached a safe food temperature–165 F, inning accordance with the United States Department of Agriculture–after the recommended cooking time received more credit than those that required more cooking time. We also tested a kids’ meal with mini corn dogs and took the temperature level of each dog to test how equally each microwave prepared food. Microwaves that cooked food throughout in the advised time got higher scores than those that required more time.
A number of the microwaves in our lineup are able to fit a 7.5-inch glass, a 10.5-inch supper plate and an 11.5-inch blending bowl. However, there was one that might only handle the plate–the Insignia NS-7CM6-BK.
A Quick Cook function, likewise called Express Cook, makes microwaving food even faster–you just push a button for numbers 1-6 to prepare for as many minutes. The 30-second key is also a time-saver due to the fact that you can just add 30 seconds to the cook time as your food is cooking. The majority of the microwaves in our lineup include both of these practical buttons. The Panasonic NN-SD372 has a one-minute button rather, however we still gave it equal credit to those with the 30-second key.
Sensing unit cooking is a more recent feature that’s only available on a few countertop microwaves, such as the Samsung MG14H302. With this function, you press the reheat button and sensing units determine the steam that produces from your food to determine when it’s done so that it cooks for simply the right amount of time.
We evaluated the 3 most popular food buttons–popcorn, potato and pizza. We popped more than 6,800 kernels of popcorn to identify which microwave oven was the most effective and precise with its timing. The Kenmore 73093 (Kenmore 73099–advanced model) came out on top, leaving only four unpopped kernels in the bowl.
Practically every microwave needed a minimum of six minutes to correctly bake a potato. Nevertheless, some compact microwaves can cook a potato to perfect tenderness and about 200 F in less time. For example, the Oster OGH6901 only took somewhat longer than 4 minutes.
Not every microwave has a pizza button, but those that did reheated a piece of pizza at wildly various times. The GE JES1145SHSS just took 40 seconds to reheat pizza to a safe temperature, and it received the highest rating for this test. The Panasonic NN-SD372 had a pizza button that warmed pizza for 2.5 minutes, overcooking our test pieces. The Sharp R-309YK does not have a pizza button.
Other preset buttons that microwaves sport include ones for a drink, fresh and frozen veggies, a frozen meal, soup, and bread. The Panasonic NN-SD372 has the most food presets in our lineup, including ones for oatmeal and breakfast sausage.
What Else Is Important in Choosing a Compact Microwave?
We didn’t take design features into factor to consider when we rated the best compact microwave ovens, but it’s still excellent to understand some design specifics of the microwave you wish to purchase. All the countertop microwaves in our lineup use digital pads for setting the time, power levels and other functions. They all open using a button and have digital display screens. The Kenmore 73093 also comes in three different colors: white, black and stainless steel.
Help & Support
Among the most ignored pieces of details in your user handbook is the service warranty, and some microwave producers offer a longer service warranty particularly for the magnetron. The best guarantee you can find is from Samsung. Although the parts and labor are just covered for one year, the magnetron, the tube inside your microwave oven that generates the waves, gets a full 10 years of protection from Samsung. Numerous producers give you an all-inclusive guarantee that covers all parts for the same amount of time– for instance, Kenmore offers two years of protection from flaws.
Consumer support comes requirement from every manufacturer in our lineup, so you can get help by phone, email or live chat. If you choose to find the response to your concern on your own, you can search FAQs and knowledgebases from companies like GE, RCA and Haier.
The best microwave in regards to power and size is the RCA RMW1414. It aced our cooking tests and is big enough to accommodate most standard tableware. However, it is missing both a Quick Cook function and a 30-second or one-minute button. You also only get a 1 year warranty with this microwave.
The Samsung MG14H3020CM is among the most significant mini microwaves at 1.4 cubic feet, however this permits you more area to fit your plates, glasses and bowls easily. It also cooks rapidly and more evenly than the majority of the microwave we checked. It offers a solid warranty and numerous predetermined buttons to make cooking a range of foods simpler.
The GE JES1145SHSS likewise scored high in the most important classifications of power and size, and it scored the best in reheating pizza. It includes Quick Cook functions, whereas the Samsung microwave does not. You do not get more than a 1 year service warranty, however, so you have to hope no defects show up after 366 days of ownership.
An outstanding choice for a smaller sized and more budget friendly microwave is the Oster OGH6901. It scored extremely high in our cooking tests and provides lots of practical alternatives, such as a reheat button with sensing unit cooking. You cannot find any info about this microwave on Oster’s website, but you can call client support with any concerns you have.
Another excellent microwave that’s also cheaper is the Haier HMC920BEWW. It succeeded in our tests, however it is missing a 30-second button, which is a substantial benefit.
Wattage isn’t constantly a sign of how well a microwave cooks food– at simply 900 watts, the Oster OGH6901 outshined the Sharp R-309YK, which clocks in at 1,000 watts. A number of elements go into making the best compact microwave.