The microwave often gets a bad rap. But professional chefs use them for plenty of kitchen tasks, and they are frequently the most efficient and quickest way to cook certain types of food. What else are you going to use for quick defrosting?
When picking a microwave you need to think about the capacity you’ll need, whether you want more advanced modes like grilling and programs for specific types of food. You have a choice of internal finishes too. Enamel is the standard for lower-cost microwaves, but a stainless steel interior avoids rust caused following damage a top-most enamel paint layer. Here are some suggestions from our round-up of the best microwaves.
Best overall: Panasonic NN-DF386BBPQ
Best stainless steel: Bosch HMT75G451B Serie 4
Most advanced: Sage BMO700BSS
Best for steam cooking: Panasonic NN-DS596BBPQ
Best value: Amazon Basics Digital Countertop microwave
Buy now: Panasonic NN-DF386BBPQ
Panasonic has long since been a mainstay in the world of microwaves, and the NN-DF386 shows exactly why the company is at the top of its game. While it is a bit on the pricey side, its three-in-one function as a microwave, oven and grill allow it to excel in delivering delicious food every time.
Triple threat as a microwave, oven and grill
Plenty of programs
A little on the pricey side
Bosch HMT75G451B Serie 4
Best stainless steel
Buy now: Bosch HMT75G451B Serie 4
The Bosch HMT75G451B avoids internal enamel paint wear, because there isn’t any, which results in a rust — one of the common ways to a microwave to end its useful life. Other than that, this Bosch model is a pretty standard affair. It provides 800W maximum power, fairly easy to understand controls and a simple LCD display.
Has a stainless steel interior
Has a grill function
Its 17L capacity may be a bit low for some
Buy now: Sage BMO700BSS
The Sage BMO700BSS has a very large display and buttons by the door seal to use its many program modes. You also get a crisper fan to avoid the soggy effect that can happen so often when using a microwave.
Large display makes its advanced modes easier to use
A large array of programmes
Attractive design, typical of Sage kitchen gadgets
Some may find its feature list overkill
Best for steam cooking
Buy now: Panasonic NN-DS596BBPQ
If you have a limted amount of space in your kitchen then chances are that you’d prefer it if your appliances could perform as many tasks as possible. With that in mind, the Panasonic NN-DS596 does exactly that by throwing in a steam cooking feature into the mix, alongside its capabilities as a microwave, grill and oven.
Steam cooking for even more recipes
Huge 27l capacity
Comes with a crisper pan
It doesn’t come cheap
Amazon Basics Digital Countertop Microwave with Grill
Buy now: Amazon Basics Digital Countertop microwave
The Amazon Basics Microwave goes above and beyond with a larger capacity than most at the same price: 25L. And its maximum power is higher than average too at 900W. Its other features are largely geared towards someone who wants a microwave for the usual jobs, but it also has a grill function.
High maximum power
Large capacity for an affordable microwave
Stainless steel chassis
Its visual design is largely pragmatic outside of the stainless steel finish
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