The best microwaves you can buy in 2020

Whereas engaged on magnetron manufacturing for the navy throughout World Conflict II, physicist and Raytheon worker Percy Spencer found {that a} sweet bar in his pocket melted. Spencer shortly filed a patent for an invention primarily based on this unusual accident, and the microwave oven was born.

In the present day, the microwave market comes with loads of measurement, energy, colour and performance choices. You even have smart options just like the GE Smart Countertop Microwave and the AmazonBasics Microwave that work with Alexa for voice instructions. We put 9 fashions to the check to search out the most effective microwave on sale immediately, and we’ll replace this record as we check new merchandise. 

Molly Value/CNET

Molly Value/CNET

In all our testing, this 1.6-cubic-foot, 1,100-watt Farberware mannequin was the most effective microwave by way of efficiency. I used to be capable of boil water in underneath three minutes and Popcorn mode left a median of simply 26 kernels of popcorn unpopped, it dealt with our checks with ease.  

At 1.6 cubic ft it is sufficiently big for many something you’d need to microwave and highly effective sufficient, too. It consists of sensor cook dinner know-how, so it will not microwave each dish for a flat period of time, as an alternative sensing when one thing is completed.

Particular features additionally embrace popcorn, sensor reheat, frozen pizza, meat, fish, frozen vegetable, recent vegetable, frozen entree and weight defrost. It cooked frozen dinners and private pizzas effectively in every of our checks. Potatoes as giant as 11.76 ounces got here out totally cooked, too. The one draw back to this mannequin is the shortage of a devoted Beverage perform for reheating espresso or warming water for tea. 

At $148, it definitely is not essentially the most reasonably priced microwave on our record (see under for our price range decide), however this Farberware mannequin might be the most effective microwave once you’re in search of one thing that is good-sized, highly effective and good. 

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In the event you’re in search of a price range decide with loads of area and energy, this 2.0-cubic-foot Oster mannequin is the most effective microwave to purchase. At $90, you will not have to interrupt the financial institution to get a very good microwave. 

With 1,000 watts of energy, it might probably deal with giant entrees and thick potatoes alike. This Oster mannequin carried out exceptionally effectively in Popcorn mode, leaving simply a median of 11 kernels unpopped. That is the most effective of all of the fashions we examined. 

It additionally features a Beverage perform that heated water to a toasty 200°F. A easy, flat-front design and stainless border means this microwave is not an eyesore. 

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It is true, this Panasonic mannequin is not successful any magnificence contests, however what it lacks in seems it makes up for in a strong 1,250-watt, 2.2-cubic-foot design. 

The most important and strongest mannequin in our lineup, this mannequin cooked heavy potatoes and frozen dinners effectively. Popcorn lovers beware, as this mannequin gave us the very best depend of burnt kernels per batch. That is probably because of the further energy, however even the three.0-ounce setting (smaller than our 3.2-ounce popcorn baggage) nonetheless resulted in burnt items. 

Boiling water, cooking lasagna and baking potatoes had been a cinch on this microwave. In the event you plan to rely closely in your microwave for cooking, Panasonic’s highly effective mannequin is as much as the duty. It is also the most effective microwave once you’re trying for lots of area.

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Not everybody wants a large microwave. Lots of people merely haven’t got the area. At a small, however sensible 1.1 cubic ft, this 1,000-watt mannequin is greater than able to dealing with most duties. 

Measuring 20.Three by 12 by 15.6 inches, it will not take up tons of counter area. You may nonetheless get loads of presets, together with Dinner Plate, Frozen Vegetable, Beverage, Popcorn, Baked Potato, Pizza, Time Defrost and Weight Defrost. 

It carried out satisfactorily in all of our checks, passing thresholds for temperature and doneness in most situations. It feels a bit like a Jack of all trades, grasp of none microwave. Completely succesful, but unexceptional in design or outcomes. Nonetheless, if area is a matter, Magic Chef’s microwave will get the job executed with a minimal footprint. 

Different fashions we examined

The 4 microwaves above carried out on the prime of the category, however we examined a complete of 9 machines to search out the most effective microwave. Listed below are the opposite fashions that did not fairly make the lower. 

  • Breville Quick Touch: This upscale $249 mannequin seems and feels luxurious, however we discovered its efficiency to be lower than spectacular. Breville can also be sunsetting this mannequin in favor of its new line of Wave fashions.
  • GE JES2051SNSS: This mannequin is a powerful contender, however fell quick when it got here to popcorn, and we had been left with just a few undercooked potatoes. Reheating drinks, boiling water and cooking frozen meals went effectively. It is also the most costly mannequin we examined at $280. 
  • LG LMC0975ST: This $171 mannequin has a small inside capability of simply 0.9 cubic ft. It is also the one microwave we examined that interfered with our Wi-Fi sign. Twinkly sounds and fairly design weren’t sufficient to woo us. 
  • Hamilton Beach EM031M2ZC-X3: The $75 Hamilton Seashore microwave provides 1.1 cubic ft and 1,000 watts of energy, however poor cooking outcomes, particularly when it got here to completely baking potatoes. 
  • Toshiba EM131A5C-BS: Toshiba’s $120 microwave produced mediocre outcomes. It did have a straightforward to wash inside and loads of particular features, however did not do effectively when it got here to reheating leftover pizza or cooking small frozen entrees.

How we check

Discovering the most effective microwaves is about extra than simply the 30-second categorical button we use to warmth up lunch. Microwaves include dozens of particular features and adjustment ranges that may flip them into actually useful instruments within the kitchen. 

Particular features

For every of our microwaves we examined Potato, Frozen Entree, Frozen Pizza, Beverage, Popcorn and Reheat when these choices had been current. Testing the Potato preset requires three rounds of cooking pierced baking potatoes in every microwave utilizing that perform. Then, we take the temperature and report the doneness of the potato. 


Sizzling potato! 

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For Popcorn, we popped three baggage of three.2-ounce popcorn in every microwave, recording the variety of unpopped and burnt kernels. Frozen objects comply with, with comparable temperature recording and notes about doneness. For drinks, we additionally report the temperature of 1 cup of water after being heated with the Beverage choice. 

We use frozen private pizzas and frozen lasagna entrees to check every microwave’s skill to cook dinner evenly and precisely. In the event you’re like me, I exploit my microwave most after I’m heating up leftovers, so we spherical out every set of checks with a slice of leftover supply pizza. 

We recorded the time and temperature for each check, so we may see which microwaves do their factor most effectively. 


This microwave had mediocre popcorn outcomes.

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On the finish of gathering all that knowledge, now we have a very good image of each the ability and effectiveness of every microwave’s specialty features. And now we have popcorn. Plenty of popcorn. After all there’s extra to contemplate than simply the particular presets.

What else to contemplate

On this spherical of microwave testing, we targeted on microwaves with 1,000 watts of energy or larger. These fashions are perfect for individuals who use a microwave to cook dinner usually or are inclined to reheat giant meals. Chances are high, you may begin your microwave hunt by fascinated by what measurement is best for you. A 2.2-cubic-foot, 1,250-watt microwave is not essentially the most suitable choice for everybody. 

In the event you’re in a decent area or have restrictions on wattage (my school dorm capped us off at a measly 900 watts), then you definately’ll do finest to search for compact fashions underneath 1,000 watts. As soon as you’ve got settled on measurement, contemplate which features imply essentially the most to you. In the event you by no means eat popcorn however eat a number of leftover pizza, make certain the mannequin you select has the single-slice choice. 

Slim it all the way down to the precise measurement, energy degree and performance set, and all that is left is to choose a colour. Every of the fashions we examined is available in a number of finishes, so in case your microwave will develop into a part of your kitchen panorama, it’s best to be capable to discover the precise hue. 

One remaining tip: Do not toss the guide as quickly as you open the field! Your microwave’s proprietor’s guide is a nice useful resource for precisely the way to use every cooking mode. Each producer appears to do issues only a bit in another way, and there have been time guides and useful explanations in each guide we encountered throughout testing.  

Extra about microwaves

Extra important cooking suggestions

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Molly Price