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Microwave Ovens: Countertop & Built-In

best microwave ovenConsidering a built-in microwave, perhaps sometime down the road? No need to wait: out of our six best countertop microwaves, two can easily be transformed into built ins with the help of dedicated trims. Yes, the C.I.A. first had a hand in whipping them into top shape…

While microwaving is perfect for warming up leftovers or a quick cup of coffee, let’s not forget that microwave ovens can also be used to cook grains like rice, oatmeal or quinoa, pasta, meat, fish, stews, frozen dinners, veggies whether fresh, canned or frozen – they even make popcorn!

Panasonic Inverter Microwave Oven Technology

Panasonic Genius microwavesPanasonic Inverter microwave ovens have been named the microwave-cooking method of choice by the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Panasonic actually collaborated with the Culinary Institute of America to help pioneer these microwaves.

New technology was brought into play to ensure that you can deliver 5-star master chef food products out of these amazing machines.

The patented Inverter cooking technology eliminates over-cooking on the edges and surfaces of food, like you get with a cheap microwave. Even on low settings, an always-on, constant energy flow provides a seamless stream of precise heat which guarantees even cooking throughout your food for a juicier and more tender product. While using 100% power all the time, other ovens on the other hand repeatedly turn the energy on and off while in lower settings.

Add the Turbo Defrost characteristic of the Inverter technology for much quicker defrosting than most other microwaves, even more expensive ones. This also means faster and more even thawing for unmatched preserved flavor, texture and nutrients – with no frozen centers or overcooked edges.

Incredibly, the Genius one-touch cooking / reheating sensor calculates the right cooking time automatically and at any power level based on the amount of steam produced during cooking. It basically does your homework for you and cooks for the right amount of time.

No wonder Panasonic is recognized as the best microwave brand bar none – and we’re not done yet. Need more counter space? With the appropriate Panasonic microwave trim kit, both countertop models can easily transform into built-in microwaves.

Perfectly cooked meals magically appearing on the table in no time at all. Grateful comments like “Dinner already… pure genius!”. Get used to it. A modest thank you and a discreet wink in the right direction will be much appreciated.

The next two Panasonic Genius Sensor microwaves have the following features in common: Timer, Quick 30, Delay Start, Keep Warm Button, Clock and Child Safety Lock.

Panasonic Microwave 1200W NN-SN686S

Panasonic 1.2 inverter microwaveKey Features and Specs:
* Size: 1.2 Cu. ft
* Power: 1200W
* Power Levels: 10
* Human Interface Input: Touchscreen
* Timer Buttons (up to 99min 99sec programmable time)
* Quick Touch Preset: Popcorn
* Sensor Cook (14 Levels): Oatmeal, Breakfast Sausage, Omelet, Quinoa, Soup, Frozen Entrees, Frozen Pizza, Potatoes, Fresh Vegetables, Frozen Vegetables, Rice, Frozen Dinners, Pasta, Fish Fillets
* Turntable diameter: 13.4″
* Dimensions: 20 11/16″L x 15 13/16″W x 12 1/4″H; 25.5lbs
* Oven Cavity: 14 3⁄8”L x 13 15⁄16”W x 9 15⁄16”H
Have a look at this smaller model here.

Panasonic 1250-Watt Microwave NN-SD975S

Panasonic the Genius sensor 1250wAdd Cyclonic Wave 3D waves precision to Panasonic’s Inverter technology for the fastest way to cook, reheat or defrost to perfection while maintaining more natural nutrients and flavors.

Extra cooking features add even more convenience:
* Coffee/Milk Quick Touch preset
* Sensor Cook comes with six extra levels

Last but not least, a Time/Weight and Sensor Menu dial allows you to easily control cooking time, weight and Sensor menus. Used in conjunction with the Start button, it also offers new initial non-cooking feature selections:
* LB/KG: imperial or metric weight measurements
* LANGUAGE: English, French or Spanish
* BEEP: On or Off mode

Key Features and Specs:
* Size: 2.2 Cu. ft
* Power: 1250W
* Power Levels: 10
* Human Interface Input: Buttons, Dial
* Timer Dial (up to 1hr 30min programmable time)
* Quick Touch Presets: Popcorn, Coffee/Milk
* Sensor Cook (20 Levels): Oatmeal, Breakfast Sausage, Omelet, Quinoa, Soup, Frozen Entrees, Frozen Pizza, Potatoes, Frozen Pocket Sandwich, Potatoes, Fresh Vegetables, Frozen Vegetables, Canned Vegetables, White Rice, Brown Rice, Frozen Dinners, Pasta, Stew, Ground Meat, Fish Fillets
* Turntable diameter: 16.53″
* Dimensions: 23 7/8″L x 19 15/16″W x 14″H; 36.8lbs
* Cavity Dimensions: 18 1/2″L x 18 7/16″W x 10 15/16″H
Check out this larger model here.

What Buyers Think

Owners of Panasonic Genius sensor microwaves appreciate the ease and accuracy of the simple reheat process – one of the most commonly used functions of these small ovens. They also love the real power percentages of the Panasonic Inverter technology which has given these small appliances a leg up on their competitors.

User interface is logical with finger-friendly buttons and a user-friendly dial instead of keypad, eliminating mistype nightmares.

People also love the “soft-touch” door opening, good visibility inside the unit as well as the very low noise level.

Some find the NN-SD975S 24-inch microwave built-in so much more functional than regular sized units as it is large enough to accommodate a full chicken or even a small turkey.

These powerful microwaves also cook much faster than their 1,000-watt counterparts. Better yet, they are light enough to be easily installed as built-ins with the dedicated Panasonic trims.

Toshiba EM131A5C

EM131A5CWith a slightly smaller interior, the Toshiba EM131A5C microwave oven with Smart Sensor is much appreciated for its compact size, intuitive controls and other features:
* Size: 1.2 Cu. ft
* Human Interface Input: Keypad, Buttons
* Sensor Menu: Sensor Reheat, Frozen Pizza, Frozen Entrée, Potato, Rice, Fresh/Frozen Veggie
* Auto Menu Custom (0.1-6.0 lbs), Auto (1 lb), Popcorn
* Favorite: add up to three cooking procedures
* 2 Defrost settings: Custom (0.1-6.0 lbs), Auto (1 lb)
* Add 30 Seconds
* Turntable diameter: 12.4″
* Dimensions: 20.51″L x 17.14″W x 12.83″H
* Weight: 34.6lbs

Toshiba 1100-Watt Microwave Smart Oven ML-EM34P

Toshiba ML-EM34PIf you’ve ever dreamed of having your own Sous-Chef, the EM34P is perfect for you: no need to hire, train or supervise – and no tantrums! This Alexa compatible appliance will execute your every wish and command to perfection, quietly and efficiently. Busy managing the kids or watching a captivating show? Intelligent Voice Control from any Alexa-enabled device (Echo, Echo Dot, etc.) will convey your wishes and get the microwaving started remotely – even from your cell phone!

Use the 23 preset menus in the app to:
* Microwave Popcorn, Potatoes, Bacon, Butter, Chocolate, Marshmallow;
* Defrost Fish, Meat, Chicken, Bread, Vegetable;
* Sensor Reheat Dinner Plate, Coffee, Baked Beans, Scrambled Eggs, Oatmeal, Pizza, Fish, Meat, Fresh Vegetable, Frozen Vegetable, Frozen Entree, Pasta.

Finally, its ECO Power Saving mode reduces energy consumption by 50% while protecting our planet.

Key Features and Specs:
* Size: 1.3 Cu. ft
* Human Interface Input: Buttons
* Humidity Sensor
* Sound On/Off Function
* Dimensions: 20.4″L x 16.6″W x 12.4″H; 35.05lbs

These two Toshiba microwave ovens have the following features in common:
* Power: 1100W
* Power Levels: 10
* Clock and kitchen timer
* Turntable diameter: 12.4″
* Sound On-Off option
* Mute Function
* Child Safety Lock
Both models can be found here. They have consistently maintained top ratings and retained their popularity with consumers over the years. People love how quiet these Toshiba countertop microwaves are. They also appreciate the simple interface as well as the option to turn off all beeps – what late night snacking…?

Black and Decker Microwave Series

This Black+Decker microwave oven is available in four sizes with a 700-1000-watt power range and 10”-12.4” diameter turntables:
* 700-watt Black and Decker microwave 0.7 cu.ft EM720CB7 with 10”D turntable measures 17.3″L x 13″W x 10.2″H and weighs 21.6lbs;
* 900-watt Black and Decker microwave 0.9 cu.ft EM925AB9 with 10.6”D turntable measures 19.1″L x 14.8″W x 11.5″H and weighs 27.5lbs;
* 1000-watt 1.1 cu.ft EM031MB11 with 12.4”D turntable measures 20.2″L x 16.9″W x 12.1″H and weighs 30.6lbs;
* 1000-watt 1.4 cu.ft EM036AB14 with 12.4”D turntable measures 20.4″L x 16.9″W x 12.4″H and weighs 33.3lbs.

Check out all four sizes here.

black and decker microwave 0.7Key features:
* Human Interface Input: Buttons
* Power Levels: 10
* Quick Touch Presets: Popcorn, Potato, Pizza, Frozen vegetable, Beverage, Dinner plate
* Express Cook for a quick 1- to 6-minute 100% power burst
* Time Cook, Time Defrost, Weight Defrost
* 30 Second Express Cooking
* Memory function for up to 3 cooking procedures

The Black and Decker microwaves (0.9 and 0.7 cu.ft) in particular are appreciated for their compact size and what they can accomplish without hogging a lot of space. Click here to view all four sizes.

Comfee Microwave Oven EM720CPL-PMB

Comfee compact microwave ovenMuch valued for its ability to squeeze into tight spaces as well as being ECO friendly, this small microwave oven’s compact size does not deter it from packing a number of great features:

* Size: 0.7 Cu. ft
* Power: 700W
* Power Levels: 11
* Human Interface Input: Buttons
* Quick Touch Presets: Popcorn, Potato, Pizza, Frozen vegetable, Beverage, Dinner plate
* 30 Second Express Cooking
* Time Cook, Time Defrost, Weight Defrost
* Memory function up to 3 cooking procedures
* ECO Power Saving mode reduces energy consumption by 50%
* Mute Function
* Clock and kitchen timer
* Child Safety Lock
* Turntable diameter: 10″
* Dimensions: 17.3″L x 13″W x 10.2″H; 20.2lbs

Looking for a white microwave oven? The Comfee retro microwave (EM720CPL-PM) might just fit the bill, and if white is not your thing, this mighty mini microwave oven also comes in Black (EM720CPL-PMB). Find out more about it here.

QUICK RECAP

Size (Cubic Feet)
2.2: Panasonic NN-SD975S
1.4: B+D EM036AB14
1.3: Toshiba ML-EM34P
1.2: Panasonic NN-SN686S; Toshiba EM131A5C
1.1: B+D EM031MB11
0.9: B+D EM925AB9
0.7: B+D EM720CB7; Comfee EM720CPL-PMB

Power (Watts)
1250: Panasonic NN-SD975S
1200: Panasonic NN-SN686S
1100: Toshiba EM131A5C, ML-EM34P
1000: B+D EM031MB11, EM036AB14
900: B+D EM925AB9
700: B+D EM720CB7; Comfee EM720CPL-PMB

Power Levels
10: Panasonic NN-SN686S, NN-SD975S; Toshiba EM131A5C, EM131A5C; B+D EM720CB7, EM925AB9, EM031MB11, EM036AB14; Comfee EM720CPL-PMB

Sensor Cook Levels
20: Panasonic NN-SD975S
14: Panasonic NN-SN686S

Turntable Diameter
16.53″: Panasonic NN-SD975S
13.4″: Panasonic NN-SN686S
12.4”: Toshiba EM131A5C, ML-EM34P; Black & Decker EM031MB11, EM036AB14
10.6”: B+D EM925AB9
10”: B+D EM720CB7; Comfee EM720CPL-PMB

Built-In Option
Panasonic NN-SN686S, NN-SD975S

Warranty
1 year: all

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