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The 4 Best Countertop Microwave Ovens (2021)

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Many of us cannot even think of living without a microwave oven. Even though a microwave is by no means a necessary kitchen appliance, but it makes your life a lot easier – am I right? That is why almost all Americans have a microwave in their homes, and for good reasons.

A study conducted by Harvard Medical School stated that “cooking times are much shorter when cooking with a microwave and the unit efficiently preserves vitamin C and other healthy nutrients that break down when heated in the microwave.”

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For most folks, microwave ovens are ‘go-to’ for heating up food leftovers. However, if you are only using it for heating purposes, then you are missing benefits and not using it to its max potential.

This article looks at the best microwave ovens and their key features to ensure that you can make a well-informed purchase.


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The GE JES1097SMSS microwave oven makes cooking easy and a joy. Featuring pre-programmed settings, the unit allows you to effortlessly prepare up to 0.9 cubic feet of meats or vegetables.

Key Features:

Compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa:

Equipped with Alexa and Google Assistant, you can use your voice to use this GE microwave. You will love its “speak” function much more than any other feature. It keeps your grubby food paws off the clean face and allows you to cook and move at the same time. Just download the app and sync it and let it handle the rest. The microwave is also ideal for visually impaired people.

Sleek Profile

This GE Appliance microwave comes in a variety of color options and eliminates the need to change or adjust your kitchen’s current design and look. Just ensure that you have sufficient space on your countertop and an outlet.

Scan to Cook

Apart from the Alexa integration, this smart microwave by GE also includes “scan to cook.” The feature works well for a variety of stuff from Kraft, Amy’s Kitchen, Campbell’s, and other popular brands. When you have this unit, just scan an item’s barcode, and it will send the cooking instructions to the oven.

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Enough Power Levels

The GE microwave comes with ten power levels, an express cooking function, and seven different presets for the dinner plate, beverage, pizza, reheat, potato, popcorn, and vegetables.

Additional Features

Some of its other handy features are the ‘add 30-second button’, a Defrost option, a power level button, a timer function, and a Wi-Fi connectivity option.

Things to consider: 

Setup is not time-consuming, but it is confusing. Furthermore, Alexa is too much picky about how you phrase or pronounce your words and phrases.

Toshiba EM131A5C-SS

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Most users do not need a fancy microwave with all the bells and whistles. Instead, they need a cute and compact unit that quickly reheats food leftovers. If you are among those, this Toshiba microwave deserves your attention.

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Key Features:

Plenty of Power

The unit operates at 1,100 watts and features a ten power level to cook food evenly and quickly. The built-in cooking sensor and two defrost settings work well and make things more manageable.

Simple to use

This Toshiba microwave is easy to use and includes simple control features. Most of the time, you can quickly operate it just with a push of a button. The pre-programmed sensor gives optimum heating of various food items such as pizza, potato, vegetables, and more. The sensor function eliminates all the guesswork out and constantly detects the heating levels of the food during cooking. It also adjusts time and temperature automatically for good results.

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Sturdy Construction

Another that we appreciate about the microwave is that the finishing does not show fingerprints like many others. The microwave is powerful enough and reasonably fast. The space-saving design and tall enough inside is perfect for almost all items.

Ease of Cleaning

One of the upsides to this microwave is the ease of cleaning. The stainless steel eschews oil and grime and prevents it from unwanted stains. Food splatters are unavoidable, but its slick surface allows your sponge to glide seamlessly, and in no time, you will not see any spots. Plus, you can also remove the glass turntable either by hand or in the dishwasher.

Things to consider: 

The only negative that we noticed is that defrost cycles are overly aggressive and start cooking about halfway through the set time.

Farberware Classic FMO11AHTBKN

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Key Features

The Farberware microwave brings power, elegance, and convenience in a contemporary red design to complement your kitchen decor. The modern-sleek exterior looks flawless in almost all kitchens. Furthermore, the unit is not bulky yet offers plenty of room inside to place large dinner plates.

Quick and Powerful

The microwave’s heat settings are accurate, and it is quick. This stylish microwave has decent power behind it. Throw a pizza pop in the unit, and you will see it bubbling in less than a minute. Just be careful when heating the food and keep monitoring it.

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Simple controls

The unit features simple-to-use controls. Its memory function stores your preferred cooking levels, and that is timesaving. The unit features six auto cooking programs for various items. Plus, you can cook and heat various foodstuffs with one convenient button. Besides, it also has a keypad lock that prevents accidental operation.

Sturdy handle and door

The oven’s door opens by pulling the handle without searching the “open” button that is difficult to detect in most units.  

Multi-Stage cooking

It allows you to set the power levels as per the cooking cycle for the desired results.

Roomy interior

The oven is spacious and features a 12.4-inch rotating turntable. Thus, you can place large plates or small platter inside it. There is plenty of space for the splatter-guard cover as well.

Things to consider

Its inner is too dark and looks awesome, but sometimes it becomes difficult to see what is happening inside the oven. This is irritating when you are preparing something that can overspill. Hence precaution should be made before cooking.

Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN766S

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This Panasonic microwave’s smart and space-saving design acquires less space on your countertop but offers more interior capacity. This smaller and energy-efficient unit weighs only eight pounds; hence it is much lighter than other microwaves.

Key Features:

Spacious inner

The unit provides more inner space while acquiring less space on your kitchen counter. The oven’s interior is spacious, and its capacity is almost twice as much as other microwaves. You can comfortably place a 16-inch casserole inside it.

Patented Inverter Technology

The prominent feature of this Panasonic NN-SN966S is the patented inverter technology that offers various exclusive cooking benefits.

  • Cooks or defrost food items evenly without burned edges.
  • The heat distribution is gentle and evenly melts butter to give a smooth finish.
  • Cooking time is less in this Panasonic microwave due to inverter technology. As per makers, the cooking time will be 40% shorter in this unit.

Turbo Defrost and Keep Warm feature

This unique feature speeds up the defrosting process, while its ‘Keep Warm’ function is ideal for keeping vegetables, soups, and sauces warm until they are ready to serve.

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Smart Sensor

The Genius Sensor turns it off when the oven reaches the optimal temperature. This eliminates the guesswork out and gives perfectly cooked food without over or undercooking.

Incredible Power

The unit is incredibly powerful and operates on 1,250. To be precise, it is 25% more powerful than others. This high power offers cooking versatility and reduces cooking time. If you or your family enjoys thoroughly heated meals, hot breakfasts, and fast snacks, this unit has the right power.

Things to consider

The controls and buttons are somewhat confusing. For example, if you want to cook or heat at 20% power, you will have to press the power button up to nine times. And this is clunky, and the buttons can get faulty with the usage.


A microwave oven is a highly versatile appliance that you can use for various purposes. Whether you want to cook, reheat, or make, microwave ovens can serve all these purposes.

As for our verdict, Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN766S is perfect for professional home cooks. The compact unit fits and works seamlessly on all countertops. And you cannot question is performance; the 1200-watts and various preset features make things easier for you.

However, if your usage is limited, we recommend Toshiba EM131A5C-SS or GE JES1097SMSS, as both are pretty much affordable and include all the features you will need for everyday uses. Lastly, if your main concern is look and style, you cannot get better than the Farberware Classic FMO11AHTBKN microwave.

You will find many more options during the process, but these are some of the best microwaves; hence, you can rest assured that you will get a quality product.

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