The microwave oven was invented during World War II when Percy Spencer, an engineer with the Raytheon company working in the production of magnetrons for the military, discovered that a candy bar in his pocket had melted. Raytheon immediately filed a patent for Spencer’s accidental invention, which within a few years became a staple for homes around the world.
Today there are microwaves of all sizes, powers, colors and functions. There are even smart ones, like himand the GE Smart Countertop Microwave that works with Alexa voice commands. We have tried some and below we tell you how they rated:
In our tests, this 1.6 cubic foot, 1,100 watt Farberware model performed best. It costs about $ 148, which doesn’t make it the most affordable on the list, but this model is best if you’re looking for a powerful, good-sized, and smart microwave.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly microwave with enough space and power, this 2 cu. Ft. Oster model is a great choice. It costs $ 90, so you won’t have to break the pig to have a good oven.
This Panasonic is not particularly attractive, but it is very powerful and large: 1,250 watts with 2.2 cubic feet.
We don’t all need a giant oven. Many people simply don’t have the space in their kitchen. This 1.1 cu. Ft. Model is small, but at 1,100 watts it is capable of performing most tasks well.
Other models we tested
The top four models performed best in each category, although we tested nine models in total. Here is what we discover from each.
- : This $ 249 premium model performed poorly. Also, Breville is about to discontinue it in favor of Wave models.
- : This model gave competition, but it did poorly in the popcorn test, and also some potatoes were not fully cooked. What it did do well was heat drinks, boil water, and cook frozen meals. And it was the most expensive model at $ 279.
- : This $ 171 model is tight on space (0.9 cubic feet). Also, it was the only oven we tested that interfered with the Wi-Fi signal. His little sounds and beautiful design did not compensate for these faults.
- : The $ 75 Hamilton Beach offers 1.1 cu. Ft. And 1,000 watts, but its results were mediocre, especially when it comes to cooking potatoes.
- : This $ 120 oven from Toshiba gave mediocre results. It is easy to clean and has many features, but it did not reheat the pizza well or cook the frozen food well.
How do we test them?
Finding the best microwave goes beyond using the 30-second express button to cook lunch. The ovens come with dozens of special functions that can make them very useful tools in the kitchen.
For each of the ovens we tested the preset functions for Potatoes, Frozen Food, Frozen Pizza, Beverage, Popcorn, and Reheated (if any). For example, to test Potato function we made three rounds in each oven, in which we took the temperature and checked how well the potato was cooked.
For the popcorn, we made three 3.2-ounce bags in each oven, and noted the uncooked, or burned, beans. With the food frozen, we took the temperature and saw how well cooked they were. For drinks, we take the temperature of a cup of water.
For food tests we use frozen lasagna and personal pizzas. We also tried a reheated pizza. In each test we take time and temperature to assess which microwave did it more efficiently.