Countertop microwave ovens bring a huge amount of convenience to any kitchen, home or office. The great thing is these days a microwave for the home is not just for reheating leftovers or for heating up a cup of milk. Countertop microwave ovens can perform a very impressive and wide range of tasks including cooking vegetables, defrosting meats, and melting ice cream. The larger models allow you to cook large casseroles and pizzas, and you can even put in a plate and a bowl at the same time. The best thing though, in my opinion, is the quality of foods prepared. With even cooking, food is not overdone, juices are kept, and the food comes out delicious.
The Best Countertop Microwave Ovens:
We’ve chosen what we think are the top picks available in countertop microwaves today. Click on the units below to find in-depth reviews of these great value microwaves.
The Panasonic Genius Sensor Countertop Microwave Oven with Inverter Technology
|This unit has pretty much anything you could want in a countertop microwave and it comes at a very affordable price for a full sized unit. It is a good all-round full sized countertop microwave.
Stand out features include one touch cooking and reheating, turbo defrost, keep warm, delay start, and a push button control panel. It has a spacious interior with a 15 inch turntable which allows you to cook larger items and multiple things at once. And the one touch sensor cooking also has 19 categories of foods available including frozen pizza, baked potatoes and omelettes.
One major compliment of this unit is its fast cooking times and the beautiful quality of foods prepared. Food is cooked and heated evenly. Defrosting is thorough but not overdone.
This unit is noted as being one of the best value microwaves in the market due to its high power, many features, large size and low cost. Read our detailed review of the Panasonic Genius Sensor Microwave Oven here.
The Panasonic Countertop Inverter Microwave Oven
|Features of this mid-sized countertop microwave include inverter technology for evenly cooked meals (great for keeping the taste and juices in foods!), one-touch genius sensor cook and reheat for automatic cooking, turbo defrosting, keep warm, delay start, quick minute and an easy to use keypad.
This unit is great option for those looking for a mid-sized countertop microwave oven that still has many of the features found in full-sized ovens. Its smaller footprint gives you more space on a kitchen counter and it looks very stylish to boot! It is also very affordable. Read our in-depth review of the Panasonic Inverter Microwave here.
The Panasonic NN-SD681S Countertop or Built-in Microwave with Inverter Technology
|This mid sized unit is quite the powerhouse for its size and has many of the features found in a full sized microwave oven. Stand out features include one-touch sensor cooking and reheating, turbo defrosting, keep warm, delay start, and inverter melt and soften for melting chocolate or ice cream. It has a generous 13 1.2 inch turntable and a dial for quick and easy programming.
It is a great option for those looking for a powerful countertop mid-sized microwave with many features and beautiful cooking results. Read our full review of the Panasonic NN-SD681S here.
The Panasonic Genius Prestige Countertop or Built-in Sensor Microwave Oven
|This very powerful, large family sized oven offers some very nice features including one-touch sensor cooking and reheating, a keep warm menu, turbo defrost, and delay start. It also has a huge interior which is wider and deeper that most microwave ovens, even those of the same exterior size. You can fit large casseroles, 12 inch pizzas and multiple dishes at once into this unit.
Its powerful cooking capabilities, impressive size, sleek look, as well as its push down buttons and the use of a dial instead of a keypad, make this unit a bestseller. Although it is a countertop microwave it also comes with a built-in kit. Read our detailed review of the Panasonic Genius Prestige here.
The Benefits of Countertop Microwave Ovens:
If you are in the market for a new countertop microwave oven you know how convenient a microwave in the kitchen can be. Save time by defrosting frozen veggies or meats in the microwave, cook up some popcorn or a frozen dinner in mere minutes. Cook on your stove whilst using your microwave at the same time for defrosting or for cooking side dishes, and gravies. You can even cook full main meals in your countertop microwave including casseroles and pizza.
The benefit of choosing a countertop microwave over an over-the-range unit is that you can move the countertop unit should you need to. It comes with little legs and is designed to be placed on a counter which is not the case with over-the-range models which have a range light underneath.
Another benefit of countertop microwave ovens is they can be used not only in the kitchen, but also come in handy in offices and dorms.
|Looking for Small Countertop Microwave Ovens? Click Here
If you are after a smaller countertop microwave, one that will fit in a small space, check out our favorite compact units. These are around 0.5 – 0.9 cubic feet in capacity, and are perfect for those with small kitchen counters.
What to Look for in a Countertop Microwave:
- Footprint – A very important point in the shopping process is to make sure the countertop microwave you are looking at will actually fit on your counter. Check the unit’s exterior dimensions to be sure.
- Interior capacity – How large you want the interior capacity of the oven to be will depend on what you want to cook in it. Smaller units have usually have enough room for a standard sized dinner plate, whereas some of the larger units are so spacious you are able to cook large pizzas, casseroles and multiple items at once.
- Features – Countertop microwave ovens can either be quite simple especially when it comes to compact units or have many features giving you a whole range of cooking options. Those who want a countertop microwave to perform many cooking tasks should look out for some of these useful features to make cooking in your microwave easier as well as save you time in the kitchen. Keep an eye out for inverter technology which provides even cooking so as to capture the flavor of meals. One-Touch Sensor Cooking and Reheating provides you with automatic cooking which is extremely handy. Let the microwave choose the power level and timer settings for you, as you await a delicious meal. Keep warm mode is nice to have as it keeps your food or beverage warm for you until it is ready to be served. Delay Start option can be useful as it allows you to prepare food earlier whilst letting the microwave start the cycle for you at the set time. Quick buttons such as a quick minute and a popcorn key also add extra convenience.
- Quality of Foods Prepared – Have a read of our microwave reviews as well as any customer reviews from the place of purchase to find out the quality of foods prepared. You don’t just want meals to be quick and easy to make, you want them to taste delicious too. Make sure the unit you choose has a turntable which spins, as opposed to a interior glass tray which doesn’t. This will help to ensure even cooking. Those opting for a mid or full sized countertop microwave should look out for inverter technology, as explained above this technology brings out the flavor of meals. Foods are not overdone or overly dry, juices are captured, and the quality of meals prepared is a lot higher than found in non inverter models.
- Power – The higher the wattage is, generally, the fasting your cooking times will be.
- Interface – The user interface on countertop microwave ovens can vary. You can find many units which have an electric keypad and/or control panel. Some of these have a nice soft touch keys. Another very popular type of interface is the use of a programming dial. You can easily turn the dial to set the time instead of using a keypad. Consumers have also noted that it is nice to find a microwave with real push down buttons, which not only look nice, but are very easy to use. Consider the user interface when choosing the best countertop oven for you.
- Display – Try to find a countertop unit which has a relatively large, clear and easy to read display. Nothing worse than being unable to read the display. A display which can be read from above and from an angle is a huge plus.
- Reliability – Of extreme importance. It is preferable to find a countertop microwave which has a high build quality that will last for years to come. It is also nice to have trust in your microwave that each meal will turn out beautifully cooked and to perfection. Look out for ovens with a good performance track record.
- Value – Is the unit you are purchasing of good value? How long will it last? Are you getting a lot of features for the cost? Is it good value for money? Ask yourself these questions to make a wise purchasing decision. Then you can be confident you are choosing the best countertop microwave for you, and be very satisfied with your purchase.