Best microwaves of 2020: GE, Panasonic, LG and more models we love

While working on magnetron production for the military during World War II, physicist and Raytheon employee Percy Spencer found that a candy bar melted in his pocket. Spencer quickly filed a patent for an invention based on a strange accident, and the microwave oven was born.

Today, microwaves come with a lot of size, power, color and function options. you also have Smart choice like GE Smart Countertop Microwave And this AmazonBasics Microwave That work with Alexa voice commands. We put nine popular models to test to find the best microwave for sale today.

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Molly Price / Tips Clear

Molly Price / Tips Clear

In all our tests, this 1.6-cubic-foot, 1,100-watt Farberware model was the best microwave in terms of performance. I was able to boil the water within three minutes and Popcorn Mode left an average of just 26 kernels of popcorn, it handled our tests with ease.

At 1.6 cubic feet, it is big enough for anything you want to microwave and powerful enough. This includes sensor cook technology, so when it is done, it will not microwave every dish in a flat amount, instead of becoming conscious.

Special functions include Popcorn, Censored Reheat, Frozen Pizza, Meat, Fish, Frozen Vegetable, Fresh Vegetable, Frozen Entry and Weight Defrost. It is well cooked frozen dinner and individual pizzas in each of our trials. Potatoes as 11.76 ounces are fully cooked, too. The only downside to this model is the lack of a dedicated drinking function for coffee or hot water for tea.

At $ 148, this is definitely not the cheapest microwave on our list (see below for our budget pick), but this Farberware model is probably the best microwave when you are looking for something that is in good shape, powerful. And is smart.

Molly Price / Tips Clear

If you’re looking for a budget pick with lots of space and power, this is the best microwave to buy 2.0-cubic-foot Oster model. At $ 90, you don’t have to break the bank to get a good microwave.

With 1,000 watts of power, it can handle large entrees and coarse potatoes equally. This Oster model performed exceptionally well in popcorn mode, leaving only 11 kernels on average. Of all the models we tested, this is the best.

It also includes a beaver function that heats water to toast 200 ° F. A simple, flat-front design and stainless border means that this microwave is not an eye.

Molly Price / Tips Clear

It’s true, this Panasonic model isn’t winning any beauty contests, but the lack of it makes for a powerful 1,250-watt, 2.2-cubic-foot design.

The largest and most powerful model in our lineup, this model cooked heavy potatoes and frozen dinners well. Popcorn lovers beware, as this model gave us the highest count of burnt kernels per batch. This is likely due to the extra power, but even the 3.0-ounce setting (smaller than our 3.2-ounce popcorn bags) still resulted in burnt pieces.

Boiling water, cooking lasagna and cooking potatoes were a century in this microwave. If you plan to rely heavily on your microwave for cooking, then Panasonic’s powerful model is task dependent. It is also one of the best microwaves when you are searching for lots of places.

Molly Price / Tips Clear

Not everyone needs a huge microwave. A lot of people just don’t have the space. At a small, but practical 1.1 cubic feet, this 1,000 watt model is capable of handling most tasks.

Measuring 20.3 by 12.6 inches, it will not take a ton of counter space. You’ll find plenty of presets, including dinner plates, frozen vegetables, beverages, popcorn, baked potato, pizza, time defrost, and weight defrost.

It performed satisfactorily in all our tests, passing the thresholds for temperature and donation in most scenarios. It sounds a bit like a jack of all trades, no one owns a microwave. Fully capable, yet unexpected in design or results. However, if space is an issue, Magic Chef’s microwaves will get the job done with minimal footprint.

Other Models We Tested

The top four microwaves performed at the top of the class, but we tested a total of nine machines to find the best microwaves. Here are other models that do not make the cut.

  • Breville quick touch: This upscale $ 249 model looks and feels great, but we found its performance to be less than impressive. Breville is also sunsetting this model in favor of its new model Wave model.
  • GE JES2051SNSS: This model is a strong contender, but when it comes to popcorn, it falls short, and we were left with a few less potatoes. It was good to reheat beverages, boil water and cook frozen food. It is also the most expensive model we tested at $ 280.
  • LG LMC0975ST: This $ 171 model has a small internal capacity of only 0.9 cubic feet. This is the only microwave we tested that interfered with our Wi-Fi signal. Twinkly looks and beautiful designs were not enough to tempt us.
  • Hamilton Beach EM031M2ZC-X3: $ 75 Hamilton Beach Microwave gets 1.1 cubic feet and 1,000 watts of power, but poor cooking results, especially when it came to baking potatoes entirely.
  • Toshiba EM131A5C-BS: Toshiba’s $ 120 microwave produced mediocre results. It was easy to clean internally and a lot of special tasks, but did no good when it came to heating leftover pizza or baking small frozen trees.

How do we test

Finding the best microwave is more than just the 30-second express button we use to heat lunch. Microwaves have dozens of special functions and levels of adjustment that can turn them into truly accessories in the kitchen.

special work

For each of our microwaves we tested Potato, Frozen Entry, Frozen Pizza, Beverages, Popcorn and Reheat when those options were present. Testing a potato preset requires three rounds of baking baking potatoes in each microwave using that function. Then, we take the temperature and record the doneness of the potato.

potatotemp

hot potato!

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For popcorn, we popped three bags of 3.2-ounce popcorn into each microwave, which records the number of uncooked and burnt kernels. Frozen items follow, with similar temperature recordings and notes about donation. For beverages, we also record the temperature of 1 cup of water after heating with the beverage option.

We use frozen individual pizzas and frozen lasagna entrees to test the ability of each microwave to cook evenly and accurately. If you’re like me, I use my microwave when I’m heating the leftovers, so we round each set of tests with a slice of leftover delivery pizza.

We recorded the time and temperature for each test, so we could see which microwaves do their thing most efficiently.

popcornkernelcount

This microwave had mediocre popcorn results.

Molly Price / Tips Clear

At the end of collecting all that data, we have a good picture of both the power and effectiveness of the particular functions of each microwave. And we have popcorn. Lots of popcorn. Of course there is more to consider than just special presets.

What else to consider

In this round of microwave testing, we focused on microwaves with 1,000 watts of power or higher. These models are ideal for those who often use microwaves for cooking or to heat large meals. Chances are, you will start your microwave hunt wondering which size is right for you. A 2.2-cubic-foot, 1,250-watt microwave is not necessarily the best option for everyone.

If you are in a tight spot or have a wattage restriction (my college dorm shut us down to 900 watts), you would do best to look for compact models under 1,000 watts. Once you have taken shape, consider which tasks mean the most to you. If you never eat popcorn, but eat a lot of leftover pizza, make sure the model you choose is a single-slice option.

Limit it to the correct size, power level, and function set, and all that’s left is to choose a color. Each model we tested comes in several finishes, so if your microwave will become part of your kitchen landscape, you should be able to find the right color.

One final tip: do not toss the manual as soon as you open the box! Your microwave owner’s manual is a great Resources for using each cooking method. Every manufacturer seems to do things a little differently, and every manual we encountered during testing had time guides and helpful explanations.

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