Best Microwaves

The Winner

russel hobbs microwave review
Russell Hobbs RHM2076B 20 Litre

Β£87.99

approx. price

What is the recommended microwave based on the comparison?

Winner

Unrivalled

russel hobbs microwave review
Russell Hobbs RHM2076B 20 Litre
Β£87.99
approx. price
2nd Place

Best Value

sharp microwave
SHARP YC-MS252AU-S 25 Litre 900W
Β£99.99
approx. price
3rd Place

5-IN-1

toshiba microwave
Toshiba Air Fry Combo 5-IN-1 26L Microwave
Β£499.14
approx. price

Table of Contents

How to choose a microwave?

It is important to know which model is suitable for you. This article serves as an easy guide to the topic, advising how to choose the right size, why power and input are important, and what features you can expect.
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Why Buy a Quality Microwave – Quality microwaves can have many advantages, such as offering multifunctional use. They also ensure quick heating and food preparation, which saves time and energy.

Disadvantages of Microwave Ovens – It is necessary to catch the right cooking time, otherwise the food overheats and you can get burnt. Also, pay attention to the materials and foods that do not belong inside.

Choosing a Microwave According to Use – Choose a microwave according to your needs. The main division of models is into monofunctional and multifunctional, but it is also necessary to choose between a freestanding or built-in variant.

Types According to Placement – We distinguish between freestanding and built-in microwave ovens. Choose according to the possibilities of your household.

Important Parameters – Choose the right size, not only according to the volume but also according to the maximum diameter of the plate. Also, monitor the power and input, the noise of the microwave, and its design so that it fits well into your kitchen unit.

Control – Focus on how the microwave oven is controlled. Classic is control using a rotary dial or in combination with digital or touch control. There are also smart microwaves controlled by voice.

Functions – Among the functions, you will find, for example, a grill, crisp, quick defrosting, and the like. Some functions can be considered a basic necessity, others expand the use of the microwave to the maximum.

Accessories – It always depends on how much you spend on the microwave. According to that, you will receive accessories in the form of dishes, a thermal probe, or other tools.

Popular Brands – When choosing, we recommend betting on popular brands, which include, for example, Bosch, Samsung, Whirlpool, Gorenje, Hotpoint, Daewoo, Sharp, Amica, Zelmer, and others.

Price – Basic models can be purchased in the price range from Β£50 to Β£180. Advanced multifunctional microwaves will cost more than Β£400.

Why Buy a Quality Microwave

Read on for reasons why it’s good to invest in a quality microwave oven.
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Quick Heating and Food Preparation – Among quality products, high power and very good efficiency of the microwave are common. This leads to quick heating of food or preparation of the dish on a selected programme. Fast preparation saves not only your time but also energy.

Preserves Nutritional Values – Cooking in a microwave destroys much fewer vitamins than in a conventional oven, as the process takes less time. Short and efficient cooking in a microwave is also more gentle than using a pressure cooker or frying.

Multifunctional Use – The microwave oven is an indispensable helper in preparing various dishes. A kitchen accessory that allows you to heat, defrost, or thermally process food in a very short time, with low energy consumption and conveniently. For these tasks, you don’t need to heat up the oven or turn on the stove.

Microwave Disadvantages

Just like most products and appliances on the market, microwave ovens have their disadvantages. You can read more about them in the bullet points below.
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Beware of Plastics – Plastic containers and wrappings do not belong in a microwave oven, as heating them can start releasing dangerous substances into the food. Therefore, only use containers that are intended for heating in a microwave. The best choice is to avoid all plastics, preferably using glass or ceramic containers instead.

Metal Items Do Not Belong in the Microwave – You should also not put metal objects, such as spoons and other utensils, or metal bowls, in the microwave. Otherwise, sparking and damage to the microwave can occur.

You Must Catch the Right Time – When heating soup or a drink in a microwave, the liquid can easily overheat, which can then lead to very unpleasant scalding. It is therefore important to be able to correctly gauge the heating time.

Choosing a Microwave According to Use

Microwave ovens can be selected based on their functional use. We distinguish here between basic and extended functions. Standardly, you can choose from three products, for which appropriately named categories have been created in the market.
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Monofunctional Microwave Ovens – Products with basic equipment, which consist of functions such as defrosting, cooking, and heating.
Bifunctional Microwave Ovens – An upgrade of monofunctional microwaves, which are equipped with a relatively popular grill.
Multifunctional Microwave Ovens – The standard product contains, in addition to the grill, also a hot air function, and in some cases even a steam cooking system.

Types of Microwaves According to Placement

Another important question when buying a microwave oven must be clear. Where will you place this product? Whether it’s a product of any size with the best design, this factor is very important. There are two possibilities for use.
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Freestanding Microwave Ovens – Belong to the more affordably priced range, which is the most widespread on the market. They can be placed on a kitchen counter, shelf, or in a cupboard.
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Built-in Microwave Ovens – If you’re aiming for higher originality and your kitchen layout allows it, then opt for built-in microwaves. They create a unified kitchen design.

Freestanding Microwave Ovens

This type of oven can really be placed anywhere. Thanks to its acceptable weight and size, there is no problem with placing it on a kitchen counter, cupboard, shelf, etc. With this product, you are able to manipulate and move it around as needed.
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However, think about the height at which you place the microwave. If it is higher than eye level, there may be a risk when handling hot food in more complex operations. It is also not recommended to put a microwave oven on the fridge, as it can decrease the efficiency of both appliances – one cools and the other heats, so they can affect each other’s function.
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The body of the microwave oven is visible, so count on higher demands for the overall appearance, not just the front part, as is the case with the built-in variant. You have a choice of sharp or rounded edges, and with some manufacturers, you can even customise the way the door opens – left, right, and folding. From a maintenance perspective, you need to take care of the oven as a whole, meaning from all sides.Β 

Built-in Microwave Ovens

Built-in microwaves, or those integrated into kitchen units, have become very popular in modern kitchens in recent years. With these, you must account for an entrance opening of corresponding dimensions. At the same time, you must not forget about adequate ventilation, considering the oven is enclosed from all sides. Usually, this is at the back of the unit.
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Built-in microwave ovens are placed at a suitable height, often in combination with baking ovens. Since only the front part of the product protrudes in this case, it’s important to pay attention to finding the right look. This look can also correspond with other appliances in the kitchen. You can be sure that these microwaves won’t be in the way on the kitchen counter or anywhere in the interior, as they are built-in.
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The most commonly used manufacturing materials are stainless steel, plastic, and glass or similar surfaces combined with black colour. In short, elegance and originality.

Important Features

In this chapter, we will focus on important parameters that you should consider when choosing a microwave.

Volume and Size of the Microwave Oven – On the market, you can choose between models that boast a volume from 14 litres to 40 litres. If you have a larger family, or if you have higher demands in this area, you can opt for a volume of up to 40 litres. If you are a non-demanding cook with occasional food preparation needs, a 14-litre volume will suffice.

Size – It is entirely understandable that as the volume increases, the overall size of the appliance also grows proportionally. Exact dimensions need to be monitored in the case of both built-in and freestanding appliances.

Diameter of the Plate – You will commonly encounter a plate diameter of 24.5 centimetres, which comfortably fits a standard kitchen plate. Larger microwave ovens then have a rotating plate with a diameter of up to 32 cm and more.

Power, Input and Energy Efficiency – Power and input are closely related, and their ratio determines efficiency. The ideal microwave should have the highest possible power and the lowest possible input.

Noise and Excessive Temperature – If you plan to use a classic microwave, which you will always use only briefly, you don’t need to consider these parameters. They are mainly important in the context of multifunctional ovens, which have more energy-intensive and longer-lasting programs.

Door Opening – Doors usually open to the left or right side, and you may also encounter flip-down opening doors. In some models, the direction of opening can be adjusted depending on where you place the microwave.

Design and Material – You can choose from both simple and clean design lines, and from products that go back decades in design or, conversely, set the most modern trends. Microwaves most often have a metal body and stainless steel interior.

Operating

Now that you largely know what microwave oven suits your everyday habits in terms of appearance, placement, and overall parameters, it’s time to move on to the actual control. This directly reflects the comfort of use.
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Classic Microwave Oven Control – Commonly, you will encounter a combination of digital control and a rotary dial. However, there are also versions with touch control available.

Smart Microwaves – There are currently very few on the market, and it is necessary to look at international e-shops. These models offer voice control, thus fully integrating into the modern smart home.

Microwave Oven Operating

The first thing you will notice in the overall design of a microwave is certainly the control. From the user’s perspective, this is a very important part. Depending on the price of the model you are purchasing, you can encounter three different types of control elements.
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Rotary Dial – The most basic is manual control, usually with the help of a rotary dial, with which you set the chosen program and its duration.
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Manual Buttons – Another very popular method of control. Buttons are often complemented by illustrated icons. Frequently combined with other types of controls.
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Digital Display – A golden mean is represented by the addition of a digital display. All selected functions and values are displayed in digital form.
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Touch Control – The most modern way of control is touch control. Minimum functional buttons, just a sufficiently large display for selecting the program and other parameters.

Features

At the beginning of the article, we mentioned the type division based on the number of functions that a given product offers. Now is the time to focus more closely on these functions and mention what multifunctional devices can boast of.
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In this subsection, we specifically introduce you to all the most commonly used features equipped in microwaves on the current market. Some of these can be considered as a basic necessity – 6th Sense, grill, and crisp, while others expand the way these kitchen appliances are used and bring a certain level of luxury.
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Grill – A full-fledged replacement for grilling in a conventional oven.

Quartz Grill – A unique feature of microwaves with a grill. In this case, the grill reaches higher temperatures, making it more efficient and quicker in preparing dishes.
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Hot Air – This function helps the microwave by circulating heated air, mixing all the aromas of the prepared dishes. It speeds up preparation.
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6th Sense – Its primary goal is to ensure the most economical use of energy, which is aided by an array of sensors for measuring temperature, humidity, and other variables.

Jet Defrost – A practical addition to ordinary defrosting. Jet Defrost can defrost inserted food much faster – up to 7 times faster.

Jet Start – A function for quicker heating of foods containing a larger amount of water.
Crisp – If you prefer prepared dishes with a crispy crust, then the Crisp function is right for you. Top and bottom baking, resulting in a perfectly crispy dish.

Steam – The steam mode is a gentle way of cooking food in water vapour, preserving all nutrients in the dish. Therefore, it is a popular preparation method for health food lovers.

Auto Reheat – A function that automatically sets the reheating of certain delicacies, such as ready-made meals or milk.

Jet Menu – A function typically designed for better and easier preparation of already frozen dishes.

Forced Air – If you need hot air for preparing dishes, Forced Air is a must, especially for pastries, poultry, and the like.

Quick Heat – With this function, you will be able to preheat the microwave in an instant.

Microwave Accessories

If you are considering purchasing a new microwave oven, you should definitely have information about accessories that can make its use easier and improve it.
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Food Cover – Prevents soiling the entire interior space with food that may splatter and bubble in the device.

Rotating Plates – Most microwaves already have a rotating plate as standard equipment, usually made of glass. In case of breakage, or if you want another one in reserve, stores offer plates separately. There are microwaves without a rotating plate, where uneven heating may occur, but on the other hand, more dishes can fit inside.

Crisp Plates and Trays – Equipment for microwaves with a crisp function, i.e., heating with β€œcrispy baking”, ensures good heat distribution also from the bottom side, usually having a Teflon surface.

Thermal Probes – For checking the proper heating of food, culinary thermal probes can be very useful. These are needles with sensors, through which you can find out the current temperature in different parts of the dish.

Cleaning Products – You will also find cleaning products specifically designed for microwaves on the market, which are gentle on the surface finish and health-safe.

Microwave Oven Cleaning

Microwave users should certainly think about keeping this appliance clean. Using a heavily soiled microwave can negatively affect its function and also its lifespan. The danger also lies in the dirt, where bacteria multiply, which then get into the food.
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Ideally, it’s good to prevent major soiling, for example by using a food cover. If it happens that you dirty the inside of the microwave a lot (spill some food), clean up the mess right away and don’t wait for it to dry and bake on during subsequent use. For cleaning microwaves, you can choose between two basic methods:
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Chemical Cleaners – It is recommended to use soft cloths or sponges that do not have a rough surface, and cleaning agents that are not aggressive. You can use detergents or other products intended for cleaning this type of appliance.

Natural Cleaning – Some people prefer not to use chemical cleaning and rather opt for common things found at home. You can clean the microwave with baking soda, vinegar, and lemon can also help. Vinegar or baking soda (mixed with water) or lemon juice can be put into a cup or bowl, placed in the microwave, and run for five minutes at full power. The vapours will loosen the dirt, and you can wipe it off with a cloth or sponge.

It is definitely not recommended to use steel wool, rough-surfaced cloths, or abrasive cleaning agents, as they could scratch the surface of the microwave. When maintaining, it’s good to work with the appliance unplugged. On the market, you will also find models with a special surface finish that makes cleaning easier.
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