Best Countertop Microwave Ovens in 2020

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Microwave ovens are one of today’s most essential kitchen appliances thanks to their versatility and convenience. Modern models are designed to do more than just warming leftovers or defrosting frozen food items. You can now use a microwave to steam vegetables, grill, or even cook poached eggs quickly than with a conventional oven or stovetop.

Countertops models, unlike over-the-range (OTR) or in-built microwaves, are highly portable, and they do not require complex installation. They come in different forms and sizes, so even if you have limited kitchen space, there is are many options, both large and compact, to choose from. They are also less expensive than their ORT counterparts, but the prices vary depending on features and the size you want.

Key considerations when choosing a microwave oven

  • Cooking capacity – this is the interior cavity of the appliance, and it is denoted by cubic feet (Cu. Ft.) If you need to prepare large meals, you’ll need one with a spacious cavity. The capacity ranges from 0.5 cubic feet to 2 cubic feet for larger cookware. Outer dimensions are also important, especially if you are looking to replace your old microwave. You won’t be sure that your new unit will fit where the older one was.
  • Cooking options – the number of cooking options varies from model to another, depending on how you intend to use the appliance. For instance, some models have pre-programmed options that allow you to cook food items such as potatoes, popcorn, frozen meals, and more. Other models have features for grilling, steaming, among other conventional features. Consider the features you plan to use remember that the features come at a price, and there is no need to pay for something you don’t need.
  • Turntable – essentially, all microwaves have a turntable with the exception of drawer-type models. The turntable is the part that rotates to ensure that your food reheats or cooks evenly. Most models come with removable turntables to make cleaning easy. Others may have a rectangular one that moves side to side to make cooking easy. Ensure to choose a design that is going to fit your favorite microwaveable dishes.
  • Wattage – the amount of watts is going to determine how powerful the microwave is. The higher the wattage, the more powerful the appliance. This will also determine how quickly the microwave is going to cook or reheat your food. Generally, the best microwaves are rated between 700 and 1000 watts of power. If you intend to use the appliance for reheating purposes only, a 700-watt microwave will serve you well. On the other hand, defrosting large quantities may take longer to heat with such appliances, so you may want to choose one rated 1000 watts and above.

Now see below some attractive countertop microwave ovens available on the market.

Last update on 2020-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Toshiba EM131A5C-SS Microwave Oven

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The Toshiba EM131A5C-SS comes in a stylish design, and it allows you to prepare and cook most microwaveable food items with a touch of a button. It is compact, and it is a perfect fit for most kitchen and office break rooms. The glass turntable measures 12.1 inches, which is more than sufficient for such a reasonably priced appliance.

Key highlights

  • Easy to clean stainless steel interior
  • Up to 10 power settings including a clock and a kitchen time
  • It is equipped with a pre-programmed sensor menu for warming common foods such as vegetables, potatoes, and more.
  • Bright digital display and easy-to-read controls
  • Eco/power-saving mode

Reasons to buy

If you are looking for something powerful and easy to use and clean, this Toshiba is your go-to microwave oven. The door handle is large, and it provides a comfortable grip allowing you to open and close easily. Also, the black finish on the exterior looks great in any kitchen. Overall, it is a simple microwave, but it gets the job done.

2. Farberware 1.1 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave Oven

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This Farberware classic microwave is designed to offer you power and convenience in its modern, sleek design that looks amazing in any kitchen. The 12.5-inch glass turntable is solid and allows your food to cook evenly. Besides, the turntable is removable for hassle-less clean up. For the frozen foods, you can either choose to defrost by time or by weight while maintaining their natural flavors.

Top features

    • Cooking capacity -1.1-Cu. Ft.
    • It offers 6 auto cooking programs i.e., pizza, popcorn, potato, frozen vegetable, and dinner plate.
    • Digital clock keeps track of each cooking setting and helps you avoid guesswork
  • Equipped with a child lock to  prevent access by children

Why buy this countertop microwave oven

This is a high-power microwave oven that allows for express reheating or cooking of your leftovers by easily touching the number pad. It offers 1000 watts of power, so you can easily warm a full plate of dinner or bake your potatoes in just a couple of minutes. Settings are straightforward, and its compact size makes it ideal for individuals with limited kitchen or office space.

3. Panasonic Countertop/Built-In Microwave Oven

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Panasonic provides you with everything you need for quick meals in this 1250W microwave oven. This amount of power allows you to prepare in a whisker flavorful and healthy meals for your family and guests. The cyclonic technology also enables you to cook delicate foods like vegetables without overcooking. Your foods retain more color, texture, and all of the important nutrients.

Other features

  • Small countertop footprint; comes in a compact design and is also lighter than conventional microwave ovens
  • This appliance features a superior sensor  inverter that allows you to thaw foods quickly and evenly
  • Automatic keep warm feature
  • Cook menu items – comes with 20 auto cook options

Reasons to buy this Panasonic appliance

This microwave oven offers an array of advanced features – from the automatic sensors that adjust the cooking time automatically to defrosting settings that makes defrosting fast.  The design is well thought of seeing that it can rest on any surface in the kitchen and be moved easily. Besides, the control panel is well laid out.

4. Toshiba EM131A5C-BS

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This is the second Toshiba microwave we are reviewing, meaning that this brand is a best seller. This model is brilliant. Imagine you can mute all sounds to enjoy a whisper-quiet cooking experience. That’s not all. The inbuilt sensor helps detect cooking conditions such as humidity levels and then adjust temperature and time for the best results. We also loved the door handle that allows you to open the door effortlessly, unlike other models that require that you press a button.

Key elements of Toshiba EM131A5C-BS

  • Family-sized;  1.2 cubic feet cooking capacity
  • High power (1100 watts) equals less cooking time
  • Convenient soft/melt menu
  • Two defrost settings- you can choose between custom defrost function or 1 lb. auto defrost function
  • The interior cavity is easy to clean

Why buy Toshiba EM131A5C-BS

Toshiba EM131A5C-BS is very easy to use, and it comes with convenient control features. It is reasonably fast and spacious inside, yet space-saving on the outside. Notably, the Eco mode saves energy and operational costs by 50%, so it is good for our planet.

5. AmazonBasics  Microwave

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The AmazonBasics microwave is a surprisingly affordable appliance that is designed to connect with other devices such as Echo, so you can use your voice to control the microwave functions. The device also includes a turntable and a set of standard buttons for manual control. They include, time and weight defrost buttons, start/stop button, pause button, and a dedicated popcorn button.

Unique features

  • It is a compact space-saving appliance with over 10 power levels
  • This microwave is voice-controlled; just use your voice or press the ask button and state your cooking requirements
  • Quick cook presets help to eliminate guesswork
  • Auto popcorn refill
  • Simple to configure and use

Why buy AmazonBasics  

The ability to use your voice to control microwave is fun and sometimes convenient, and Amazon’s competitive pricing makes this Alexa-powered unit a huge steal. Even if you don’t want to use voice commands, you can still use it as a regular microwave. However, the voice command is a breeze to use than using buttons.

6. BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7

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The BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 is a professional-styled microwave that boasts of compact construction to help save space in your kitchen. You can choose 10 power levels up to 700 watts for optimum heating of different menu items.  Ideally, you can cook or reheat popular foods with a touch of a button while the countdown timer lets you know the cooking time remaining.

Key highlights

  • Open easily with a push of a button
  • The appliance comes with a  removable 10-inch  glass turntable
  • Spacious interior –  cooks or reheats most popular menu items
  • 10 power settings to choose from
  • Digital LED display has a clock function and a kitchen timer to let you know the cooking time remaining.

Why buy?

The BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 is specially designed to enhance your cooking experience, and it is a true value for money. The unit is quiet for a microwave this size, but it has all the features you want in a family-sized unit. Besides, there is no door handle to worry about as it easily starts with a push button.

7. Nostalgia RMO4AQ

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From the beautiful retro design to its intuitive features, this microwave is a sure winner. It will definitely stand out in your kitchen. It cooks or reheats evenly, and it can handle anything from cooking casseroles to reheating leftover pizza. You’ll especially like the program dial and push start. The countertop microwave oven is a perfect choice for a home kitchen, break rooms, dorms, and more.

Features and Benefits of the RMO4AQ

  • The controls are easy to interpret – LED lights monitor each cooking setting
  • Unique retro-styled microwave oven
  • Small in size but big in features
  • It offers 12 pre-programmed settings for cooking or reheating various food items
  • It is equipped with a simple program dial for ease of use

Reasons to buy 

Nostalgia RMO4AQ is an eye-catcher. It is small and compact but it has all the features you need to get your food ready. This is the best kind for those who live in squeezed spaces. Interestingly, it has a spacious cavity that can fit a standard dinner plate. In addition, it offers 5 power levels up to 800 watts, which is sufficient for cooking or reheating leftovers.

8. Samsung MG14H3020CM

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Samsung MG14H3020CM is a combination of a traditional microwave with grilling capability, so you can make your crispy food with ease. The grill rack is placed on the turntable, and it can be used in both microwave mode and grilling mode to prepare bacon, sandwiches, and other foods that require a crispy finish.

Core features

  • A grilling feature is included
  • Ceramic enamel interior and black shiny mirror exterior
  • The material is scratch-free and easy to clean
  • Auto-cook function cooks or heats food precisely

Why buy Samsung MG14H3020CM

The Samsung MG14H3020CM gives your kitchen a modern look, but most importantly, it offers intuitive features such as the grill button, ceramic plate, and rack. Also, you get several pre-programmed options, including settings for fresh vegetables, frozen foods, dinner plate, and beverages. The ceramic coated interior is easy to clean, and it is both stain- and scratch-resistant.

9. Magic Chef Cu. Ft Countertop Oven

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Featuring a 1.1 Cu. Ft. internal capacity, this Magic Chef countertop microwave oven prepares a variety of dishes quickly and easily. For your frozen food items, you can defrost using the time function or weight function to cut any doubts. It functions perfectly, and its slimline design makes it a perfect choice where space is a concern. However, many users noted that the microwave could be a little quieter.

Top highlights

  • 1000 watts of power – prepares various food items quickly and easily
  • Express cooking function will help save some cooking time
  • 10 power levels offer cooking flexibility – from warming food to boiling liquids
  • All-white front and cabinet

Reasons to buy

If you have very small counter space in your kitchen, you’ll be delighted how this microwave fits into its designated area. The unit is rated 1000 watts, so it is much faster at heating. Also, it has more power settings (1-10) than most competing models. It works right out of the box, with the buttons being super easy to see. Evidently, Magic Chef designed it with unparalleled ease of use in mind.

10. COMFEE’ Retro Countertop Microwave Oven

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COMFEE’ Retro reminds us of the good old days in its retro design that is easy to incorporate into any kind of kitchen. It is equipped with plenty of practical functions including, 9 auto menus, express cooking button, and 10 power levels. It also has an easy-to-read panel and a mute button for a much quieter operation.

Important features

  • Vibrant color and retro design to fit in any kitchen style
  • Bright LED display helps to enhance the user experience
  • Interior capacity of 0.7 Cu. ft.
  • The position memory turntable ensures that you don’t get burned accidentally when taking your mug or bowl out.
  • Convenient defrost function – You can either choose to defrost weight or by time

Why buy this countertop microwave

This unit is ideal for any apartment kitchen, whether modern or vintage. It is not only aesthetically appealing but also surprisingly fast in cooking and heating food. Moreover, it offers a couple of preset menus; all you need to do is to press the start button, and you are ready to go. It is easy to clean, and it also has a child lock to prevent unauthorized access by children.

The bottom line

We can all agree that microwave ovens are one of the must-have kitchen appliances in modern times. The convenience that comes with this great appliance is unrivaled; you only need a few minutes to defrost and have your meals ready. It all begins with getting a quality appliance that fits your needs and budget.

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