There are certain things that everybody needs. Everybody needs a refrigerator. We all need tires. And we all need a microwave. I don’t care how much free time you have, a microwave simply makes life easier. There are actually certain foods that can only be cooked in the microwave. Most microwaves last several years. You won’t have to buy them all that often. However, given this, you do want to make sure that when you do buy one, it is a quality microwave.
Years ago, you had to slow cook your food in a traditional oven. It took hours to make casseroles, pot roasts, and pretty much any meal. Then about fifty years ago, the microwave was invented. People didn’t know what to think of it. A machine that cooks food in minutes? It was like something out of a science fiction movie. Some people were afraid to use it. They assumed it shot dangerous rays into your food. (There are actually some people who still believe this.)
Over the years, microwaves go smaller. They were built to do so many amazing things. They can steam, grill, crisp, cook and heat up just about anything you can imagine. 5-star restaurants use them. Who would have thought this was the wave of the future (pun intended.)
The problem these days is that there are so many to choose from, where do you start? What is the most important? With most products on the market today, you really can’t go wrong. If the manufacturer is reliable and has been around for a while, you really can’t pick a bad microwave. However, there is still a skill in picking the right product. We take that skill and translate it here for you.
What do you need to look for in a good microwave? There are several things. Take the following into account when you are shopping for a new microwave.
What should I do before I order a new microwave?
One thing you want to consider is size. Are you cooking for yourself or an entire family? There are compact microwaves and industrial size microwaves. You should have an idea of how big you need your unit to be. You also want to know ahead of time if you want a free-standing microwave or one that is built-in. If you need a built-in microwave, you need to measure the space of the built-in. You don’t want to have your microwave delivered and then find out it doesn’t fit. It’s like a refrigerator – if it doesn’t fit, you aren’t going to make it fit. Most built-ins are a common size but double check before you go shopping.
You also need to look at the features that you want your new microwave to have. Do you want a grill and steam feature? If so, make sure you keep this in mind when you are shopping for your new appliance. Do you defrost food a lot? If so, you need to make sure you select a model with a defrost button. Many defrost setting will let you put in the type of meat and weight so that it can set the timer automatically for you.
Finally, take price into account. How much do you want to spend? A lot of people use their microwaves every day. They don’t mind spending a little extra since they’re going to get so much use out of it. But, many people look at is as a necessity and don’t want to spend any more than absolutely necessary. If this is the case, we have a budget microwave here in this review for you. Maybe you want a luxury microwave – one that comes with all the bells and whistles you can handle. We have that too!
Does it matter what wattage my new microwave has?
Almost any microwave on the market is going to have enough power and wattage to cook your food evenly. However, you may want to stick to 1,000watts or more if you can. It impacts how quickly your food cooks as well as how thoroughly. There are even some with up to 1,300 watts of power. That is more for industrial use, but maybe that is what you need? If so, we have one listed here for you as well.
Are there certain new features I need?
Some of the unique features available can make your life easier and safer. For example, if you have small children you are going to want to get a microwave with a child lock feature. You don’t want your children accidentally placing something in the microwave that can cause harm such as foil or metal. Some come with a simple lock button while others require a digital combination to unlock the unit. Some come with a grill or steamer. Others come with a rotisserie for roasting chicken, pork or a roast.
If my microwave still works, is it silly to buy a new one?
It all depends. If you want a new microwave, get a new microwave. Maybe the one you have doesn’t have all the features you want. Maybe you want a different size. If your unit is several years old, it is a good idea to consider a new microwave. Look and see what’s available. See what the prices are. You can always donate your old one to charity.
How often should I get a new microwave?
There is no one answer to this question. It really comes down to preference. If you have had a microwave for five years, chances are it is time to buy a new one. Every few years, products undergo upgrades and changes. Your microwave may be outdated. It may not suit your needs anymore. Only you can really determine when it’s time to trade your old model in for a new one.
Now that you have decided to buy a new microwave, it is time to shop. You should already have an idea of what kind of microwave you want. You may have an idea of how much you are willing to spend. This article will highlight the best microwave depending on what you’re looking for.
We will explore:
- Best microwave for grilling
- Best luxury microwave
- Microwave to suit your budget
- All-around best microwave
- Cool retro model
All of these products are available for sale on amazon.co.uk. Most come with free delivery and can be in your home within a week.
Best Microwave for Grilling – ElectrIQ 20L Built-In Digital Microwave with Grill in Stainless Steel
People love to grill. The problem is, sometimes the weather does not want to cooperate. It may be raining out or freezing cold. Maybe it’s the middle of winter and you feel like having a barbecue. This microwave is just what you need. It grills your food right in your kitchen. Sometimes you’re in the mood for hot dogs and burgers but you don’t feel like running to a fast-food joint. Or maybe you’re having friends over and you want to have an old-school barbecue. The ElectrIQ makes this possible.
But, don’t forget. Just because it’s great for grilling doesn’t mean it doesn’t do everything else a microwave is supposed to do. It has auto-defrost, steam and convection features. There is nothing that a normal microwave does that this one doesn’t handle. It comes with plenty of power at 1000 watts so you won’t be lacking in power.
If you have a normal sized kitchen, the ElectrIQ is a perfect size. It is a built-in digital microwave with 20 litres capacity. It comes with a gleaming stainless-steel exterior and a stylish, sleek look. Unlike some of the less powerful microwaves on the market, this one boasts 1000W of grilling power. Your food will cook evenly and thoroughly. You really can’t use more than 1000 watts anyway. You’re not running a gourmet restaurant. You’re cooking for your friends and family. Most microwaves only come with 800-900W so this is still a step above the rest.
Easy to Use
The ElectrIQ is easy to use. Let’s face it, the mom does most of the cooking. Now she can do most of the grilling too. With its transparent window, you can see how your good is coming along while you’re doing ten other things to prep dinner for your family. You won’t have to open and close the door halfway through cooking.
The turn dial controls and push buttons let you have complete control over your food. You control the temperature. You control the time. It comes with a 30-minute timer for perfect meal planning. Serve your family and friends perfectly grilled chicken, pork chops or steaks in your ElectrIQ 20 litre microwave.
Pricing and Protection
The ElectrIQ sells for a reasonable price. It is in the middle of the road as far as microwaves go. It is not as expensive as some of the high-end models. Yet it is not as cheap as the budget varieties. You get what you pay for here. The ability to grill perfectly in your kitchen is worth the money.
This product comes with a 2-year warranty. You can contact the manufacturer with any issues you may encounter. You can also look online at amazon.co.uk for accessories and additional information.
So, if you’re looking for a microwave that is excellent at grilling, you want to grab the ElectrIQ online. It will grill your meats perfectly – chicken, beef and pork. Plus, it will cook your foods and heat up your platters. The price is mid-range so it won’t break your wallet. It comes with an extended 2-year warranty so you know ElectrIQ backs up its product.
Best Luxury Microwave – Samsung MC32K7055CK 32L 900W Freestanding Combination Microwave Oven
Given that you are going to use it every day, you want to get a quality microwave. They don’t come much better than the Samsung MC. This microwave has every feature you can possibly ask for. It is a bit larger than most, but you’ll be happy to make room for it in your kitchen. The average microwave has an interior capacity of about 25 litres. The Samsung MC comes with 32 litres of interior capacity. This allows you to cook large quantities of food whether it’s for dinner or a dinner party. The Samsung MC is bigger than almost 90% of the other microwaves on the market today.
Keep in mind, you are paying extra for the quality here. The Samsung is top of the line in almost every category. It may feel hard to part with 400 pounds for an appliance, but if you look at what you are getting for the money, it is definitely worth it. Here is a list of just some of the features. You can visit amazon.co.uk for even more detailed information.
The luxury Samsung MC has 15 pre-set Auto Cook menus. This makes life so much easier. It has options for some of the most popular foods. It’s not like so many other microwaves that have just popcorn and potato. You can have fun with the pre-set buttons and see how many meals you can make without thinking twice.
If you are in a rush, the Discover HotBlast is an awesome feature. It flash cooks your good in no time at all. It is a time saving feature. It also makes it a lot easier to make your meals. You can take advantage of the slim fry technology which works just like the air fryers advertised on television. You can make fried chicken, fish, and potatoes without the fat and calories of fried food. Get the flavor and texture without the bad side effects.
The Samsung MC comes with six different power levels. Some microwaves have as many as 18 power levels. What are you supposed to do with all of these buttons? The Samsung comes with 900 watts of power which is average for a microwave. It comes with both a grill and convection oven features.
The Samsung grill power, however, is bigger than most microwaves. Most come with 1100 watts of grill power. This one comes with 1,500 watts. It is bigger than 90% of all other microwaves. You can grill your meats fast, evenly and thoroughly.
What Makes it Unique
Two of the features of the Samsung microwave that most microwaves do not have are the steam function and the keep-warm functions. Now you can have the luxury of a 5-star restaurant right in your home. You can steam vegetables to the perfect consistency. You can make platters of food and keep them warm until the perfect moment. You know what it’s like to have people over and you think you’ll be ready to eat at 8 but then people start talking. By the time everyone is ready to sit down to eat, it’s been over an hour. The keep-warm function is also perfect for those late nights when your spouse is running late from work and you want to keep a plate warm for him.
The Samsung does come with a digital child lock. You can prevent your kids from putting dangerous things in the microwave such as aluminium foil, forks and toys. You don’t want to have to keep an eye on the kids every second of the day. Rest assured that they can’t use this microwave when you’re not around.
This unit also comes with a max temperature cap of 200 degrees. Most are as high as 300. You don’t want to risk overcooking or burning your good. You also don’t want to have too much radiant heat in your house. The Samsung is safe for your family.
This luxury microwave comes with turntable deactivation. It is one of only a few that have this feature. It also comes with a delayed start timer. You can plan your microwave to run when you don’t have a lot going on in the kitchen. You can also set it to cook when the children aren’t nearby.
Since you have already decided that you want a high-end microwave, the price shouldn’t be your main concern. You want to look at power, features and options. This microwave has the size you need and more power than you can handle. It comes with every feature you could possibly want. It is safe for your family. It is worth the money. You won’t have to buy another microwave for at least 5 years. Why not go for quality?
All-Around Best Microwave – Russell Hobbs RHBM 2001 20L Built in Digital 800W Microwave
If what you’re looking for is a quality microwave for a fair price, the Russell Hobbs model is ideal. It retails on the lower side for a new microwave. It comes equipped with space and power designed for everyday use. It comes with all of the features of a standard microwave. It fits nicely in a normal sized kitchen. You don’t need a ton of fancy features. You want a microwave that is going to cook your food safely and have the bells and whistles that a normal family requires.
The goal of using a microwave is to speed up your cooking time. You want to pop your dish in the microwave and have it come out ready to serve. You don’t necessarily need serious power or a huge interior. The Russell Hobbs gives you everything you need from a microwave and more. It is a definite value for the money.
The Russel Hobbs comes with auto defrost settings so you can defrost your frozen chicken or roasts in no time flat. You don’t want to spend any more time in the kitchen than absolutely necessary. You want to spend your time with your family and friends enjoying the food you cooked. You don’t want to spend hours preparing a meal that you won’t be able to enjoy.
This microwave comes with tailor-made cooking times and power setting so you can custom make your meals. It doesn’t matter what you’re cooking, this microwave will cook it perfectly. You won’t have to worry about overcooking or burning your food. You won’t have food that is frozen in the middle and cooked on the outside. This model does what a microwave is supposed to do.
Space and power
We don’t all have the massive kitchens that you see on commercials. Most of us have a small or medium sized kitchen. We don’t have room for a giant-sized microwave. This microwave by Russell Hobbs comes with 17 litres of interior capacity. You really don’t need more room than this. It is almost the size of a compact microwave but it offers the features of a large microwave. The actual dimensions are 594 mm wide, 382 mm high and 361 mm deep.
You can heat up leftovers for dinner or make potato jackets for a dinner party. Make appetizers or full meals in this microwave. It won’t take up a lot of space on your counter. It comes with 700 watts of power which is enough for the pretend chef in all of us. It will handle whatever cooking jobs you have. cook beans for your full English breakfast quickly and easily, and without a bulky appliance taking up room on your kitchen counter. The 700 W of power is plenty to cover whatever you cook, reheat and defrost
The Russell Hobbs comes with both auto-defrost and auto pre-settings. You just put the information in for the good you are about to cook. Enter the weight of your frozen food and the microwave will do the hard work for you. It will set it to the ideal cooking time for whatever meal you are creating. All you need to do is input the weight of your frozen food and the microwave will do all the hard work for you.
The auto-cook menus cook your favourite food at the push of a button. Whether you’re making pizza or popcorn, potatoes or a casserole, there is an auto-cook button for you.
The five power levels let you custom tailor your cooking to your lifestyle
In looking at customer reviews, most gave the Russell Hobbs 4 or 5 stars. It is clear that they were pleased with their choice. These reviews are available on amazon.co.uk. There are many other customer reviews available for your reading pleasure. Customers have said of this model:
“Stylish quality for a low price.”
“Very pleased, great value.”
“This is one of the best-integrated microwaves we could find for the price.”
The whole point of a microwave is to make your life easier. You want to be able to cook exciting food on Friday and a family dinner on Wednesday. The Russell Hobbs lets you do just that. Take advantage of the quick cook buttons. You can take the guesswork out of your cooking. For this price, it is worth every penny. Liven up your microwave cooking with our range of microwave-safe accessories.
Best Budget Microwave – Panasonic NN-E281 Compact Microwave, 20 L
There is no reason to spend hundreds of pounds on an appliance that you don’t need. If you are looking for a budget-friendly microwave that still does everything you need it to do, you can find one. There are dozens of lower priced models on amazon.co.uk. Here is one that we think you will like. It comes with all of the features you could possibly expect from a microwave and more.
But budget does not mean cheap. There is a world of difference here. Budget just means it offers great value. Panasonic has been known for offering quality products at affordable prices for many decades. That holds true with this microwave.
The Panasonic compact microwave comes with 800 watts of power. This is average power for any sized microwave. You don’t need more than that for a normal household. It also comes with an acrylic lined interior that is easy and safe to clean. You won’t have to worry about food getting burnt or stuck on the inside of your microwave. There is nothing worse than having to scrape old food out of your microwave.
This microwave comes with a defrost function. You just push the defrost button and select how long it will take to defrost. This is great when you want to make a casserole or thaw chicken, pork or hamburger meat. It works just as quickly as any high-priced microwave.
The front door is clear so you can see the food while it’s cooking. This is important when you are trying to prepare a large meal and have your hands in five different bowls. It’s also great if you’re cooking something that could bubble over. You can hit cancel on the timer and take your dish out at the optimal time.
The most compact design makes this great for a normal sized kitchen or flat. It comes with a turn-table inside for even cooking. You can fit a dish of up to about 10 inches inside. So, it probably won’t hold an entire pizza, but what microwave can?
The exterior is a metal colour with grey accents. It is not stainless steel but for this price who cares? The interior is 30 cm wide, 35 cm deep and 20 cm high. This is a pretty standard size for a microwave.
It comes with 5 power levels but do you really need more than that? All you have to do is select the power level you need and hit start. It really isn’t that complicated. Yes, there are microwaves that have ten power levels. But I can’t imagine why you would really need that many.
This budget-friendly microwave does everything you need it to do. It offers everything the high end and expensive microwaves offer but on a smaller scale. It is ideal for your home, apartment, or dorm room. It makes a great appliance for a rental apartment. Rather than replace a damaged microwave with an expensive one, take advantage of the price of this Panasonic model. It comes with an amazingly low price and is easy to use. It comes with a 1-year Panasonic warranty. You can order it online at amazon.co.uk and it will be shipped within days. The microwave is so cheap that I cannot guarantee free delivery as I can with most products.
Retro Microwave – Swan SM 220800N Digital Combo Microwave with Convection Oven and Grill
If you are more concerned with how your microwave looks, the Swan Retro Digital Combo Microwave is perfect. It comes in several funky colours and will look awesome in your loft or city apartment. The Swan has an absolutely retro look. The funny thing about this is that there were no microwaves back in the 1050s yet here we are. This microwave will go with your retro-styled kitchen and subway tile. It would even fit in your contemporary kitchen amongst your stainless-steel appliances.
If you have your friends or family over for dinner, they are sure to notice your cool retro microwave. It will stand out amongst your other appliances. The bright colours are eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing. And, on top of that, this microwave does the job.
Design and Style
The inside is brushed stainless steel but the door has a dark glass finish. The outside doesn’t get fingerprints all over it like most microwaves do. The fun colours hide dust, dirt and marks. Plus they look good! It’s made of steel so it doesn’t have the appliance feel to it. It is easy to clean and more resistant than your typical microwave.
Enough can’t really be said for the retro style and design that the Swan offers. When is the last time you saw a pink or light blue microwave? Now you can get one in almost any colour in the Swan line. It’s like going back in time. The simple design takes you back to a time when life was simple. Even the simplistic functions and features follow its simple and outdated style. It is purposely out of style. And it is precisely this that makes it in style. This may be the microwave of the future.
The Swan features more dials than buttons which is a departure from most modern microwaves. They look like knobs which go along with the funky retro vibe. The main controls allow you to set the cooking mode. There are separate dials for the temperature, time and weight.
The only touch buttons on the microwave are for start and stop. You can cancel or pause a job midway through by pressing the cancel button. You can resume cooking by pressing the start button. You do have to get used to the buttons though. Since it is not a conventional microwave, the buttons are in unusual places. But once you’re used to it, it’s easy.
There are several cooking modes to pick from. You have an additional defrost mode to thaw your meats and casseroles. The Swan comes with all the bells and whistles of modern microwaves which is to be expected since it only looks retro. It comes with three levels of microwave power plus a fan-assisted oven. You can grill in the Swan which is perfect for hot dogs, chicken or pork chops. There is also a child safety lock so your kids can’t put anything they shouldn’t in the microwave such as tinfoil, forks, and Legos.
Cooking isn’t rocket science and it shouldn’t be. This is a fun microwave that your friends will notice. There is nothing boring about this model. The Swan Retro microwave retails for £70.20 and is available in a handful of fun colours. It currently comes in nine colours: Sky Blue, Vintage Green, Rich Red, Traditional Cream, Delicate Pink, Pebble Grey, Lime Green, Bright Orange and Contemporary Black.
I can remember years ago in movies such as “Back to the Future” we saw microwaves that could take a little pellet of food and turn it into a pizza or a chicken pot pie. I think we all thought one day we would be at the point where we could actually do that. We are not quite there yet. However, there are a ton of features today that we could only dream of twenty years ago.
We now have large microwaves and small microwaves. We have expensive ones and less expensive ones. We have machines that will steam your food for you. We have models that can air fry your chicken and make it taste as good as traditional fried chicken. In this day and age where everyone is growing more health conscious every day, things like this are important. People want to eat steamed vegetables. They want to air fry their food rather than deep fry it. People are eating out less and less. People are actually ordering ready-made healthy meals to be delivered to their homes once a week.
I don’t think we are at the point where people are ready to stop cooking. People enjoy cooking. Families like to get together and make meals from scratch. We are not at the point yet where people want total reliance on third parties for their food. They will still go to the grocery store. People will still buy frozen pizzas. That won’t change in our lifetime.
Nor are we at the point where the microwave oven is totally replacing the conventional oven. There are a ton of foods that just don’t taste the same in the microwave as they do in the oven. We may never get to the point where the oven is obsolete. Can you imagine cooking your Thanksgiving turkey in a microwave? How big could that turkey really be? How do people bake pies without an oven? They can’t.
There are also the earthy and comforting smells associated with the oven. Nothing smells better than pumpkin pie and stuffing cooking in the oven at the holidays. You can’t bake Christmas cookies in the microwave. Certain foods, at least today, cannot be cooked without a conventional oven. That is why most pre-packaged foods still come with instructions for both a microwave and a conventional oven.
With this said, the microwave has become a permanent fixture in kitchens across the world. There are certain foods that can only be cooked in the microwave. There are certain recipes that only call for microwave instructions. Microwaves have replaced the toaster oven, for the most part. You will still see a few products that give you toaster oven instructions but they are becoming few and far between.
There are plenty of microwaves to choose from. It all depends on what you are looking for. Do you want a microwave that is going to look good? Do you want a high-powered model that will cook large quantities of food? Or do you just want a microwave that heats up and cooks your food?
You probably want to consider a microwave with a grill feature. So many of them come with a grill these days that it is almost silly to turn it down. To be able to grill inside all year round is pretty amazing. You can use a small personalized size grill but that doesn’t work if you’re having a group of people over for dinner.
Power is something to keep in mind. You don’t necessarily need a supercharged microwave but you probably don’t want something with less than 800 watts either. There are compact microwaves out there for apartments and dorm rooms and they shouldn’t have more than 600-700 watts. But if you’re cooking for your family, you will need a bit more.
Hopefully, you have a better idea of what microwave is perfect for your home.