Microwave Ovens Buying Guide

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While microwaves have certainly evolved since their commercial invention in 1945, some of the basic features remain. They're small, self-contained kitchen appliances that help cooks with heating, melting, thawing, and cooking foods in a short amount of time. Whether you're buying new or replacing an old one, here's a guide to choosing a new microwave oven.

Types of Microwave Ovens

Types of Microwave Ovens

Beyond the basics of heating and cooking, microwave ovens now have options such as a convection mode for even cooking and browning, and steam cooking for a healthier approach to heating. Some microwaves feature a built-in coffeemaker or toaster. Whatever your upgrade preferences, a few of the basic functions should include proper wattage, defrost mode, a large enough turntable, and easy-to-read (and clean) buttons or icons for programming.

Full Size

With an interior capacity of up to 2 cubic feet, this model's cooking power is usually 1,000 watts or more. It will take up more counter space than other models.

shop Full Size
Panasonic
$232.99

Enjoy quick and easy meal preparation with this Panasonic microwave. With a 1.2 cubic foot capacity and 1200 watts of power, you c...an create delicious culinary creations with your busy lifestyle. The turbo defrost and sensor cook features help ensure... read more

Panasonic
$179.99

With its stainless-steel door and silver wrap, this 1200-watt microwave oven by Panasonic makes a stylish and convenient addition ...to any contemporary kitchen. The 1.2-cubic-foot unit with its 13-1/2-inch turntable excellently cooks and evenly heats... read more

Panasonic
$179.99

With its stainless-steel door and silver wrap, this 1200-watt microwave oven by Panasonic makes a stylish and convenient addition ...to any contemporary kitchen. The 1.2-cubic-foot unit with its 13-1/2-inch turntable excellently cooks and evenly heats... read more

Magic
$100.49

This innovative microwave offers 8 preprogrammed cooking modes for common foods as well as an autodefrost for added convenience. A... rotating glass turntable heats food evenly. Easy-to-use electronic controls with digital display, 8 preprogrammed cooking... read more

Compact

Smaller in size and with about 700-800 watts, this less-powerful model does not cook as quickly as a full-size microwave. It also lacks some of the programmed cooking features.

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Generic
$282.68 $125.91

Cook quick meals, reheat, defrost and make hot beverages with ease when you have the Panasonic Compact Inverter Microwave.The Pana...sonic Compact Inverter Technology perfects the art of cooking with microwave ovens, delivering delicious flavor, excellent... read more

Sharp
$139.97 $99.99

The Mid-Sized Sharp 1.1 cu ft. microwave is a great choice for everyday cooking and re-heating. Its compact footprint allows it to... fit easily on a countertop without taking up too much space. The 1000 watts of power give you rapid reheating and fast... read more

Sunbeam
$62.92

compact digital microwave oven 0.7 cu. Ft. Capacity 700 watts total power 10 power levels digital display defrost by weight/time e...xpress cooking 6 pre-programmed cooking menus child safety lock read more

Bella
$59.99

Bring a touch of fun and style to your kitchen with the compact countertop microwave from Bella. This small but mighty 0.7 cu. ft.... microwave oven offers 700-Watt of power and 10 power levels for versatile food prep. The compact model features a... read more

Over the Range

Generally full size, these ovens free up counter space, as they include a vent and are designed for installation over a stove. Another advantage is the oven is positioned at eye level for easy monitoring.

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Summit
$335.00

30 Inch Over the Range Microwave with Minute PlusSized at 30 inches wide, this microwave offers a generous 1.6 cu.ft. interior cap...acity, with a removable shelf included to make the best use of space. Intuitive touch controls provide a variety of one-touch cooking options, including settings for popcorn, baked potatoes, pizza, and more. You can also select whether to rotate the glass turntable and choose from six different power levels for optimum heating. This unit is equipped with a versatile ventilation system that can be set up with a vertical duct, horizontal duct, or for recirculating operation with a charcoal filter included. The range hood includes a light for added convenience over your range or cooktop. The microwave features a stainless steel finish complete with a pro style easy-grip handle. With its professional look and advanced controls, this is a great choice for completing any kitchen space. About SummitFrom innovative design to superior construction, Summit products embody quality from the inside out. Their models can be modified to meet specific customer needs, whether that means adding brass finishes to a beer dispenser for a dramatic look or installing digital controls on laboratory coolers for user flexibility. They offer a full range in style and size that includes their unique thin-line models, designed to fit in those commonly found but hard-to-fill narrow spaces. They have one of the industry's largest collection of ADA compliant appliances and proudly manufacture a dozen models of Energy Star listed products. read more

Summit
$349.00

This 30 over-the-range microwave by Summit offers a full 16 cu ft capacity with flexible installation for vertical horizontal or r...ecirculating operation This microwave also features a removable chrome shelf 2 removable cassette filters under-cabinet ... read more

Haier
$279.00

HMV1640AH 30 Over The Range Microwavefrom Haier offers aspacious16 cu ft Capacitywith300 CFM blower This microwave includes1000 Co...oking Power 3-One Touch Cooking Featuresand 10 Power Levels read more

LG
$535.10

The LG LMVH1711ST 17 Cu Ft over-the-range convection microwave in stainless steel with Sensor Cooking and Convection technology of...fer efficient and versatile use Convection technology serves has the power to serve as your second oven so you can bake ... read more

Microwave/Convection

Two ovens in one, this model lets you cook in microwave mode, convection mode, or a combination of the two. Unlike a microwave, the convection mode helps brown and crisp foods.

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Viking
$2079.00

Combi-Steam/Convect Oven - VCSOThe Viking Combi-Steam/Convect Oven provides consumers with Versatile, Healthy and Convenient cooki...ng options like never before. When steam is added to the cooking process, fat and salt content in foods are reduced while maintaining its natural vitamins and minerals.Viking introduced professional cooking to the home when their first range shipped in 1987. Now that same exceptional performance extends into every corner of the kitchen - even the backyard. Refrigerators. Wine Cellars. Dishwashers. Grills. Cookware. Cutlery. Small appliances. It's enough to turn any cook into a chef.When people think of Viking, the bold, commercial look of the Professional Series range is the image that most likely pops into their heads. Ultra-premium features like high-performance burners, convection baking, and infrared broiling easily handle everything from crème brûlée to rack of lamb. The legendary Viking range is available in gas and electric models, as well as an array of sizes and finishes to fit any kitchen. Available at AJ Madison.And for those who want professional performance without the professional look, there is the Designer Series. Clean lines and contours meld gracefully into cabinets with style, offering a striking new look for Viking. Fully equipped with outstanding features and power, this complete line of built-in products doesn't sacrifice any of the world-renowned Viking performance for fashion's sake. Haute couture meets haute cuisine. Viking doesn't see the kitchen as a collection of products, but a complete cooking environment. Cooking isn't a chore - it's an art form. Everything must work together in form and function. Both the Professional and Designer lines deliver the ultimate in performance with a cohesive look for the kitchen. Each line offers a full range of products, so you don't have to resort to mixing and matching brands and styles. Viking offers the truly consistent ultra-premium kitchen. The complete Viking kitchen is complete perfection. read more

GE Profile
$3143.10

The GE Profile PT7800EKES 30 Electric Convection Wall Oven with Built-In Microwave features 1000 watts of cooking power to help de...liver great cooking results The 17 cu ft capacity microwave can accommodate various sizes of cookware The oven39s True E... read more

Viking
$974.00

The RVMHC330SS 30 Convection Microwave Hood Features Multiple Convection Modes Add-A-Minute and a Child Safety Lock It is recommen...ded for use with 30 wide ranges and 30 wide cooktops Eveyone would approve of this microwave with heat and brown setting... read more

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Replacing a microwave will be about as frequent as replacing an appliance; it should last roughly nine years. You'll get what you pay for in terms of basics to lots of features. So if you want a convection microwave, be prepared to spend more. If you have basic, limited use for a microwave, don't pay for all the extras you won't utilize.

Size

If you plan to cook meals and main dishes in the microwave, be sure to purchase a full-size model so there is enough space for larger dishes. If you are using a microwave for reheating foods only, then a compact model is sufficient.

Power

The higher wattage you purchase, the faster and more efficient a microwave will heat. A good baseline to start with is an oven with 1,000 watts. If you opt for a smaller microwave, 700 watts will work, but don't plan to use it for more than simple cooking, reheating, and defrosting.

Turntable

Check out the inside cavity of the microwave and the size of the rotating turntable. If you plan to cook meals in a microwave, make sure the microwave has a turntable and that it can fit your most-used baking dishes.

Convection Mode

With a convection-mode feature, a fan is built into the microwave for better heat distribution. This combination allows for browning of certain foods and crisp pizza crusts.

shop Convection Mode
Viking
$2079.00

Combi-Steam/Convect Oven - VCSOThe Viking Combi-Steam/Convect Oven provides consumers with Versatile, Healthy and Convenient cooki...ng options like never before. When steam is added to the cooking process, fat and salt content in foods are reduced while maintaining its natural vitamins and minerals.Viking introduced professional cooking to the home when their first range shipped in 1987. Now that same exceptional performance extends into every corner of the kitchen - even the backyard. Refrigerators. Wine Cellars. Dishwashers. Grills. Cookware. Cutlery. Small appliances. It's enough to turn any cook into a chef.When people think of Viking, the bold, commercial look of the Professional Series range is the image that most likely pops into their heads. Ultra-premium features like high-performance burners, convection baking, and infrared broiling easily handle everything from crème brûlée to rack of lamb. The legendary Viking range is available in gas and electric models, as well as an array of sizes and finishes to fit any kitchen. Available at AJ Madison.And for those who want professional performance without the professional look, there is the Designer Series. Clean lines and contours meld gracefully into cabinets with style, offering a striking new look for Viking. Fully equipped with outstanding features and power, this complete line of built-in products doesn't sacrifice any of the world-renowned Viking performance for fashion's sake. Haute couture meets haute cuisine. Viking doesn't see the kitchen as a collection of products, but a complete cooking environment. Cooking isn't a chore - it's an art form. Everything must work together in form and function. Both the Professional and Designer lines deliver the ultimate in performance with a cohesive look for the kitchen. Each line offers a full range of products, so you don't have to resort to mixing and matching brands and styles. Viking offers the truly consistent ultra-premium kitchen. The complete Viking kitchen is complete perfection. read more

GE Profile
$3143.10

The GE Profile PT7800EKES 30 Electric Convection Wall Oven with Built-In Microwave features 1000 watts of cooking power to help de...liver great cooking results The 17 cu ft capacity microwave can accommodate various sizes of cookware The oven39s True E... read more

Viking
$974.00

The RVMHC330SS 30 Convection Microwave Hood Features Multiple Convection Modes Add-A-Minute and a Child Safety Lock It is recommen...ded for use with 30 wide ranges and 30 wide cooktops Eveyone would approve of this microwave with heat and brown setting... read more

Sensors

A moisture-sensor cycle on many microwave ovens cooks food automatically based on the amount of steam it emits.

shop Sensors
LG
$269.00

1.8 cu. ft. Over-the-Range Microwave Oven with Sensor CookingMaking meals is easy with this over the range microwave by LG. Select... among seven sensor cooking options and two power levels for the perfect meal. Enjoy sensor cooking technology which senses humidity levels within the oven and automatically adjusts cooking time and performance to help provide optimal heating performance. Clean up is easy thanks to LG's EasyClean interior which allows for quick and high performance cleaning inside and out without using chemicals.About LGLG Electronics pursues its 21st century vision of becoming a true global digital leader who can make its customers worldwide happy through its innovative digital products and services. LG Electronics set its mid- and long-term vision anew to rank among the top 3 electronics, information, and telecommunication firms in the world by 2010. As such, they embrace the philosophy of "Great Company, Great People," whereby only great people can create a great company, and pursue two growth strategies involving "fast innovation" and "fast growth." Likewise, they seek to secure three core capabilities: product leadership, market leadership, and people-centered leadership. Available at AJ Madison. read more

LG
$269.00

1.8 cu. ft. Over-the-Range Microwave Oven with Sensor CookingMaking meals is easy with this over the range microwave by LG. Select... among seven sensor cooking options and two power levels for the perfect meal. Enjoy sensor cooking technology which senses humidity levels within the oven and automatically adjusts cooking time and performance to help provide optimal heating performance. Clean up is easy thanks to LG's EasyClean interior which allows for quick and high performance cleaning inside and out without using chemicals.About LGLG Electronics pursues its 21st century vision of becoming a true global digital leader who can make its customers worldwide happy through its innovative digital products and services. LG Electronics set its mid- and long-term vision anew to rank among the top 3 electronics, information, and telecommunication firms in the world by 2010. As such, they embrace the philosophy of "Great Company, Great People," whereby only great people can create a great company, and pursue two growth strategies involving "fast innovation" and "fast growth." Likewise, they seek to secure three core capabilities: product leadership, market leadership, and people-centered leadership. Available at AJ Madison. read more

LG
$269.00

1.8 cu. ft. Over-the-Range Microwave Oven with Sensor CookingMaking meals is easy with this over the range microwave by LG. Select... among seven sensor cooking options and two power levels for the perfect meal. Enjoy sensor cooking technology which senses humidity levels within the oven and automatically adjusts cooking time and performance to help provide optimal heating performance. Clean up is easy thanks to LG's EasyClean interior which allows for quick and high performance cleaning inside and out without using chemicals.About LGLG Electronics pursues its 21st century vision of becoming a true global digital leader who can make its customers worldwide happy through its innovative digital products and services. LG Electronics set its mid- and long-term vision anew to rank among the top 3 electronics, information, and telecommunication firms in the world by 2010. As such, they embrace the philosophy of "Great Company, Great People," whereby only great people can create a great company, and pursue two growth strategies involving "fast innovation" and "fast growth." Likewise, they seek to secure three core capabilities: product leadership, market leadership, and people-centered leadership. Available at AJ Madison. read more

Panasonic
$214.99

Prepare meals with this microwave oven that features precision cooking for any entree. The inverter technology offers steam cookin...g and preserves the flavor and texture of all your dishes. With a touch of the 'Genius Sensor' button, your microwave... read more

Programmed Options

Many ovens have preset time options for cooking or warming different types of food or for certain time increments—a time-saver for cooks rushing to get a variety of warm dishes to the table at the same time.

Trim Kits

For a custom appearance and built-in convenience, trim kits are available to fit specific microwaves. Opt for a microwave with the trim-kit option if your kitchen has a space within the cabinetry for microwave placement.

Safety Features

For households with small children, some microwave ovens incorporate a child-safety feature that prevents the oven from starting without entering the proper code.

Kitchen on sale

Danby
$119.99 $57.23

Whip up delicious meals in no time with the Danby 0.7 Cu Ft Microwave. Heat your food to the right temperature with this 700 watt ...microwave. This black microwave oven in stainless steel comes with a turntable that ensures that the microwaves are evenly... read more

Frigidaire
$281.24 $197.99

The compact and powerful Frigidaire 2.2 Cu Ft 1200W Countertop Microwave Oven offers an ideal combination of strength and convenie...nce. Instead of owning a small microwave for quick heating and a larger one for microwave cooking, now you can have both... read more

Samsung
$399.00 $293.92

Samsung 1.1 cu ft Countertop Power Convection Microwave, Black Stainless Steel: Power convection PowerGrill Ceramic enamel interio...r Slim Fry Sensor Cook Grilling plate with rack Dial Control Triple distribution system LED display Cooking presets 1.1 cu... read more

Frigidaire
$328.90 $109.99

Free Shipping on Most Items Over $50 Authorized Online Retailer - Full Warranty 5 Star Customer Service Team

Frigidaire
$220.00 $179.99

The Frigidaire 30" 900W Over-the-Range Microwave Oven features easy-to-use controls so you can cook baked potatoes, popcorn or hea...t beverages with the touch of a button. It also comes with a ductless installation option so it can be quickly mounted.... read more

Sharp
$182.49 $118.99

The Sharp R459YK 1,000W Microwave Oven makes cooking fast, easy and worry free. This roomy appliance has sensor cook options, incl...uding potato, frozen entree and frozen vegetables. In addition to automatic settings for beverages, popcorn, reheating and... read more

RCA
$132.64 $55.00

Bring style and modern convenience into your kitchen with the RCA 0.7-cu ft Microwave. It has 10 different power levels that let y...ou heat a wide range of foods to the ideal setting for proper and thorough cooking. You can defrost by weight or speed and... read more

Panasonic
$378.99 $162.94

Panasonic 1.6-cu ft Microwave Oven, White: 1.6 cu ft 1250W cooking power Easy-to-use button control Features 1-touch sensor cookin...g (14 categories) 1-touch sensor reheat Standby energy mode Inverter turbo defrost 4-digit green display with back light... read more

GE
$232.23 $113.07

Prepare delicious meals and snacks with this GE 1.1 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave Oven. It is an ideal addition to any kitchen. Thi...s model features 950 watts of power and one-touch instant-on controls. This GE microwave oven makes preparing and... read more

GE
$279.99 $219.96

Stylish and powerful, the GE Profile JES2251SJ 2.2 Cu. Ft. Countertop Microwave Oven is a great addition to your kitchen decor and... is the perfect helping hand for large meals. From quick meals for the kids to reheating leftovers, this countertop... read more

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