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The 10 Best Microwaves - June 2017

Every week we analyse the technical specs, reviews and prices of every microwave on the market in the US to determine our top 10 list.
In total we compared over 1,180 microwaves, 4,420 reviews and 1,610 prices. Last updated 20 June 2017.

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Microwave Buying Guide

Capacity

A microwave is a necessity of any modern kitchen. It is a versatile tool that can be used for far more than just reheating leftovers - it can be used for all manner of cooking, from poaching salmon to baking potatoes.

Microwaves come in all different shores and sizes, and are primarily differentiated by their capacity. The bigger the capacity of your microwave, the larger the food you can cook in it. Some microwaves just fit single plates or bowls, while other models are large enough to fit an entire chicken or soup pot in.

Power Levels/Cooking Programs

Microwaves are all given a power level, rated in Watts. The higher the power level, the faster your food will be cooked. Most modern microwaves come with a range of power levels, allowing you great flexibility when preparing your food. They also come with specific setting for warming, reheating or defrosting food - extremely useful in speeding up cooking times, or reheating food previously cooked. Defrosting is an especially useful setting, meaning that joints of meat and frozen food can be brought up to room temperature in a matter of minutes.

Many microwaves now have a selection of automatic cooking functions as well. These allow you to input a type of food to cook (potatoes, chicken, soups, etc) and a weight, and the microwave will automatically calculate the power level and time needed to cook it perfectly. Conveniences like this can make preparing dinner hassle-free, and remove the guesswork and constant checking to see if your food is ready.

This automatic cooking function can also extend to defrosting and reheating leftovers, making the microwave an invaluable tool for easy food heating and prep. Some advanced models of microwave also offer a 'power defrost' setting, which can defrost frozen meat far quickly than usual defrost programs. However because this defrost cycle is far more powerful, care has to be given to make sure that you don't accidentally part cook the food while it's being defrosted.

Oven & Grill Functions

Some microwaves have the ability to function as ovens and grills in addition to standard microwave cooking. Microwaves that have an added grill function combine the normal microwave cooking with a heated element either on the top or the sides of the machine - this allows it to function similar to a standard grill. Microwave ovens, on the other hand, can cook and roast food exactly like a convection oven. Whichever model you pick, these types of microwaves greatly increase the types of food you can cook, and turn your microwave into the central cooking tool in your kitchen - you can roast fish and beef, roast vegetables and grill cheese toasties!

Steam Functions

More advanced models of microwave may also have a steamer function. As the name suggests, a steamer addition to the microwave uses boiling water to generate bursts of hot steam inside the microwave. This is a great method of delicately cooking vegetables so they retain the maximum amount of nutrients, and can also be used for cooking fish, dumplings, or Chinese-style pancakes for roast duck. While normally only found in the most high-level and expensive microwaves, it allows the appliance to become even more versatile as a cooking tool, and therefore may well be worth the extra expense.

Extra Features

Finally, some microwaves comes with a collection of extra features, to make cooking easier or more convenient. These can include recipe books detailing how to cook different types of food, baking trays designed to fit comfortably into the machine, or racks to allow multiple dishes to be cooked at once. Some microwave ovens even include a rotisserie spit, allowing you to cook spit-roasted chicken or pork.

Microwave Retailers, Prices and Features

Microwave Prices

Microwaves range in price from $0 to $1,599 and in total we found prices for 21 microwaves. The average price of a new microwave is $148 and the 80% of microwaves are priced between $0 and $250. The Russell Hobbs RHFM2363 is the cheapest microwave at only , and Miele M6160TC is the most expensive at $1,599.

Microwave Brands - Price Range

The %8highest average microwave price out of all brands is Miele microwaves with an average price of $400. Miele microwaves start at $1,599 and the most expensive Miele microwave costs $1,599.

Avanti microwaves range in price from $83 to $83, and the second highest average microwave price out of all brands is Avanti microwaves with an average price of $83.

The third highest average microwave price out of all brands is Haier microwaves with an average price of $61. Haier microwaves range in price from $0 to $122.

Microwave Brands - Average Ratings

We have analysed 1 expert reviews and 4,330 user reviews for microwaves and used these reviews to determine the average rating for each brand of microwave. The top three microwave brands are Belling, Samsung and LG. Belling has an average rating of 91%, Samsung has an average rating of 87% and LG has an average rating of 85%.

Biggest Microwave Retailers

The biggest microwave retailer by number of products currently for sale is eBay. We found 6 current microwave offers from eBay. The second biggest microwave retailer is Appliances Connection with 5 offers. That means eBay is slightly bigger than Appliances Connection when it comes to microwaves. Walmart is the third biggest retailer with 4 current offers.

When Are Most New Microwaves Released?

Most new microwaves tend to be released between May and July. That means that most of the latest microwave technology was released in within the last 3 months, and now is good time to buy. In May 2016 49 new microwaves were released making it the biggest month that year for new microwave releases. July was the biggest month in 2015 for new microwaves, with 129 new microwaves released that month. In 2014 most new microwaves were released in February, with 269 new microwaves released that month.

How Fast Do Microwave Prices Drop After Release?

New microwaves drop in price by an average of 1% in the first 6 months after they wer first released. That means that on a typical microwave costing $7 you could save on average $0 by waiting 6 months before buying.

Microwave Powers

The power of the microwave oven to cook food. The higher the power, the quicker the food is cooked. Commonly measured in watts (W).

Across the range of microwaves, the microwave powers range from 500W to 2,800W. The microwave powers of most microwaves range from 700W to 810W. The microwave with the biggest microwave power is the GEJES1145WTC, which is a 1,500W microwave power microwave and sells for $0.00. The GEJES1145WTC has the smallest microwave power. This microwave is a 700W microwave power microwave and currently retails for $80.00.

Biggest Microwave Retailers

The biggest microwave retailer by number of products currently for sale is eBay. We found 6 current microwave offers from eBay. The second biggest microwave retailer is Appliances Connection with 5 offers. That means eBay is slightly bigger than Appliances Connection when it comes to microwaves. Walmart is the third biggest retailer with 4 current offers.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for Microwaves?

eBay most frequently has the cheapest microwave prices (found to be cheapest for 6 microwaves).

Proportion of Microwaves for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

The cheapest retailer by number of microwave for which they offer the cheapest price is eBay with the cheapest price on 100% of its microwaves.

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