While back in the day people only relied on gas or fire whenever they needed to cook their food, nowadays, the options include the multi-purpose microwave oven that has innovated and eased the cooking process. The latest models come with useful features designed to simply defrosting, cooking or reheating and their increasing popularity is a sign that the kitchen appliances field really needed these small yet amazing units. Given the popularity of these appliances, no wonder the market abounds with models of various sizes and designs, enough to meet the needs and tastes of every customer. Since it’s so important to do some research and to compare various products, we thought we would give you a hand in finding the best countertop microwave ovens and we selected the top 5 products we believed to be the most reliable.
|1. Samsung MC12J8035CT||2. LG LCRT2010ST||3. Panasonic NN-SN651BAZ||4. Danby Designer||5. Westinghouse WCM11100SS|
|Size (inches)||18.5 x 20.8 x 15.9||23.9 x 19.2 x 13.6||20.7 x 15.8 x 12.25||15.9 x 21.2 x 11.8||15.9 x 21.2 x 11.8|
|Color||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Black, White||Black, White, Stainless Steel||Black, White, Black w/Stainless Steel trim|
|Door Type||Drop Down, Glass w/ handle||Push-open, Glass||Push-open, Glass||Push-open, Glass||Push-open, Glass|
|Control Panel||Glass Touch Buttons||Touch buttons||Push buttons||Touch buttons||Touch buttons|
|Interior||Ceramic Enamel||Ceramic Enamel||Ceramic Enamel||Chrome/Stainless Steel||Ceramic Enamel|
|Cooking technology||Power Convection Technology||TrueCookPlus||Inverter Technology||Microwave||Microwave|
|Cooking Power Levels||10||N/A||10||10||10|
|Turntable Diameter(inches)||N/A||16||13 1/2||9 1/2||N/A|
|Auto Cook Presets|
|Defrost||Auto Defrost||Express Defrost||Turbo Defrost||Speed Defrost||Speed Defrost|
|Other Features||POWERGRILL DUO||EasyClean Interior||Quick Minute||Cook by Weight||Auto Weight|
|SLIM FRY||Add Time||Delay Start||Defrost by Weight|
|Parts and Labor Warranty||1 year, 10 years for magnetron||1 year, 10 years for magnetron||2-Year||18 months||1 year, 5 years for magnetron|
For the most demanding of you who want a cutting-edge unit that will complement the design of their kitchen, we recommend the Samsung MC12J8035CT because it’s a true work of art. At first glance, you will discover a sleek shiny item with a glass door and touch control panel and a large handle that breaks the lines. Inside, the spacious 1.2 cu.ft. oven can hold various sizes of pans and plates enough to feed an entire family. The enamel-coated interior is scratch-resistant and so easy to clean that you can simply wipe it with a cloth. Thanks to the outstanding 1600 watts power, the oven can heat to up to 10 levels and the food will be evenly cooked regardless the time chosen. The cooking innovation comes with the powerful convection technology that includes hot air that circulates inside the oven in order to penetrate the food properly.
Although the unit doesn’t feature a sensor option, it comes with auto cook pre-set programs and a grill function that allows you to extend your cooking skills. For those who prefer frying rather than broiling, the oven features a Slim Fry technology that can make delicious foods without adding oil. Convenience features like a timer, a quick defrost or Keep Warm complete the utility of this product.
To continue the list of innovative products, we have chosen the LG LCRT2010ST model that also brings a novelty in the kitchen. We are referring to the TrueCook Plus technology that takes away the guessing from cooking and helps you set the right time and temperature for each type of foods, based on a series of codes that you can find on the item’s packaging. In addition, the unit boasts a sensor cooking technology that measures the level of humidity in the food and calculates cooking time and intensity for the ultimate results. It’s a very large oven with a 2.0 cu.ft. Capacity and a 16” wide turntable that can hold large pans and pots. Thanks to the smart EasyClean interior with curved edges, removing the food residues is possible using only a damp cloth. The intuitive controls make cooking easier as you can select exactly what type of dish you want to prepare, be it fresh or frozen.
Another model that doesn’t settle with regular cooking is this one from Panasonic that brings into your attention the inverter technology that cooks food evenly without drying it of its juices and moisture. The unit comes with separate buttons for making popcorn, defrosting at a turbo speed, or adding more time or increasing the power level. There is also a handy Keep Warm button that keeps the food at the proper temperature until you open the door and take the food out so you won’t have to reheat it twice. Moreover, the oven also uses sensor cooking to analyze the moisture of the food so that the heat and time will be adjusted to perfection. At 1.2 cu. ft., it’s not the largest model but it can surely handle the needs of a medium sized family.
This model ranked in fourth but it will surely please you with its wide range of functions. The cooking technology is based on the regular microwaves that penetrate food inside out in order to ensure a faster and more even cooking than in a gas oven. Although not very attractive in design, Danby will manage to fit on any kitchen counter thanks to the compact shape that matches the 1.1 cubic foot interior. The interface is very user-friendly, with 6 buttons with pictograms for potatoes, pizza, popcorn, frozen dinner, beverage, or reheat. There are 10 levels of power to choose from, as well as a timer, a speed defrost, and a Cook by Weight button that makes it easy to select the cooking parameters according to the food’s weight. No extra features are available with this model that comes at a very reasonable price.
Last on our list, we have this Westinghouse oven designed to make you feel like a true chef in the kitchen. Just like the previous one, it has 6 separate controls for different types of foods like pizza, potatoes, or popcorn. To make things even easier, you have 10 power levels to choose from and a programmable timer to set a specific cooking time. In addition, this compact 1.1 cu. ft. oven has defrost and cook by weight functions that eliminate the vague choices of time and temperature. To prevent unwanted operating, the unit comes with a child lock safety feature.
If you choose a built-in or an over-the-range unit, you won’t be able to change its lace unless you move the entire kitchen furniture, so the design options are limited. The countertop version, on the other hand, can be placed anywhere so you can move it as many times you want. Moreover, some units come with trim kits that allow you to turn a regular countertop model into a built-in unit without any additional costs.
Having a small kitchen or limited counter space means that you won’t be able to fit all your useful appliances and you might have to give up on some of them. However, the compact design of the countertop oven allows you to keep it in your kitchen without using too much space. There are many sizes to choose from, depending on the space you have available and your cooking needs because the exterior sizes also influence the interior sizes.
It’s important to save some money when buying appliances, especially if you can get the same performance at a lower price. Countertop units come at lower prices than the other models but don’t sacrifice quality or cooking performance. You can choose from multiple features and options that enable you to cook, reheat, or defrost any type of food while also saving some money.