There are several types of microwave ovens simply based on size and mode of installation. One particular type that is probably the most common one in households is the countertop microwave. Just directly place it on your kitchen counter or any surface and connect it to a nearby electrical outlet whenever you need it. Its hassle-free installation is the main reason why it is so universally popular. In case you are looking for a new unit, we are here to give you the best countertop microwave in today’s market based on careful research and product testing.
Our Pick: Panasonic 1.2 cu. ft. Inverter Technology Countertop Microwave
Panasonic 1.2 cu. ft. Inverter Technology Countertop Microwave has tremendous power of 1,200 watts for faster cooking. Even better, its special Inverter Turbo Defrost effectively speeds up waiting time for defrosting frozen goods. Meanwhile, Inverter technology makes sure that power is nonstop and smooth during the process. This countertop microwave has a sensor that automatically adjusts cooking duration and power for various foods.
Runner Up: Westinghouse 600 Watt Counter Top Rotary Microwave Oven
Westinghouse 600 Watt Counter Top Rotary Microwave Oven has six power options for convenience namely low, defrost, medium-low, medium, medium-high, and high. It uses traditional rotary dials for control to promote simplicity and convenience for average microwave users. Its door is super-easy to open and close because of its well-designed grip along the handle. This countertop microwave is ideal for small dormitories, studios and apartments with minimal food source.
Also Great: hOmeLabs 1050 Watt 1.3 cu ft Black Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave Oven
hOmeLabs 1050 Watt 1.3 cu ft Black Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave Oven is complete with accessories to accomplish various tasks. It can serve as a pizza and popcorn maker. It works well with cooking trays and plates made of microwaveable glass.
Also Great: Farberware Classic 1.1 Cubic Foot 1000-Watt Microwave Oven
Farberware Classic 1.1 Cubic Foot 1000-Watt Microwave Oven takes it up a notch with 10 options for power, starting from 10 to 100 percent. It promotes cooking in multiple stages to achieve your particular expectations regarding the appearance and taste of various snacks and meals. It has six One-Touch controls for dinner plates, beverages, frozen vegetables, pizza, potatoes, and popcorn. For more innovative features, it has a Memory Function to store previous settings. This is ideal for daily use and repetitive meals. Lastly, this countertop microwave has a removable turntable made of glass for cleaning purposes. It even has a unique Keypad Lock to stop other people from using it.
Also Great: LG LCRT2010ST 2.0 Cu Ft Easy Clean Stainless Steel Counter Top Microwave Oven
LG LCRT2010ST 2.0 Cu Ft Easy Clean Stainless Steel Counter Top Microwave Oven has its own special technology called TrueCookPLus to handle all calculations regarding perfect cooking. Just enter the item code from the food’s label or package. Its feature called Sensor Cooking technology can adjust cooking duration and power based on the humidity level inside the oven. When it comes to cleaning convenience, this countertop microwave has EasyClean surfaces to keep you from using chemicals just for intensity. These surfaces do not have corners and holes to prevent tricky cleaning. Additionally, this product has a child lockout feature for safety purposes. Its interior is curved to accommodate a big 16-inch turntable for larger cookware.
Budget Pick: RCA Microwave Oven
RCA Microwave Oven has an electronic touchpad for effortless control. It is one innovative countertop microwave despite its very affordable price. It is practical for both home and office use.
How to Select the Best Countertop Microwave
After knowing ideal features based on top products, let’s now learn important factors to consider in choosing the best countertop microwave for your own needs and preferences:
The first thing you have to consider is obviously the countertop microwave’s size. Average dimensions include six cubic inches for small models and 18 cubic inches for the biggest ones. Compact microwaves are definitely better in saving space for your kitchen counter, but they can only cook small foods.
Aside from the structure’s size, you also need to consider the cord’s length. Make sure that the cord is long enough to reach the nearest electrical outlet from the counter. Do not use an extension cord just to be safe. Microwaves use big amounts of electricity to generate power, so ensure direct connection only.
Next, you need to evaluate the control panel if it fits your preferences. It is only normal to see a panel that has various command keys. After all, microwaves are invented to cook different kinds of food.
The usual things you see in a control panel are the start and stop buttons as well as numbers. Many products nowadays even feature special commands that use programmable adjustments. Examples are shortcut commands for cooking popcorn and pizza.
The third physical aspect you need to evaluate is the turntable inside the countertop microwave. Turntables are typically round trays made of glass, placed on the bottom inside the oven. They should always be removable for more thorough cleaning. Their main function is to slowly rotate the food during the process for even cooking. Another is to catch spills in case the food boils, overflows or sizzles.
After evaluating the tangible aspects of the countertop microwave, it is time for you to read the product label or description carefully. The first thing you need to find out is the product’s power. The weakest ones usually generate 600 watts only while the strongest can reach up to 1,200 watts. Meanwhile, 1,000 watts is the standard. Let’s cut to the chase: the stronger the power, the faster the food heats up until it is cooked.
As a reminder, make sure that if you prefer powerful microwaves, choose one that has different power levels available. You should be able to control its power to as low as 10 percent only or go all out on 100 percent when needed.
To guarantee perfect cooking of food without breaking a sweat, find out if the product has a sensor for detecting moisture and humidity. If it is included in the features, enjoy the perks of not monitoring the oven closely. The sensor allows the microwave to automatically adjust the power and duration based on the progress inside. Another type of sensor measures the content’s weight to avoid undercooked and burnt foods.
We selected Panasonic 1.2 cu. ft. Inverter Technology Countertop Microwave as the best countertop microwave for most households. It is a perfect combination of power, simplicity, and innovation. It may have several innovative features, but they do not overshadow its main purpose – efficient cooking. Meanwhile, in choosing the best countertop microwave for your own kitchen needs, consider first the product’s size, control panel, turntable, power and sensor before purchase.
For stainless steel microwaves, it is best to use the right type of cleaner for it. Check out our take on the best stainless steel cleaners! If you are looking for some microwaveable cookware, we have lists of the most ideal pie pans and mixing bowls.