A home chef would not settle for a simple microwave oven. A home chef needs an appliance that would complement their culinary prowess.
On top of that, a home based microwave should be large enough and powerful enough to cater to medium to large sized family.
Fortunately, microwave for home use do not have to expensive. While sure, you can choose to go for premium models, their are cheaper options available that can prove to be excellent for an average sized family.
In this article, we will review the best microwaves for home use from both budget as well as premium budget range.
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What is a Suitable Microwave Oven for Home Use?
A microwave oven for home use naturally meets different requirements as compared to a microwave for office or home use.
Let us review these briefly here.
For starters, a home-based microwave oven is expected to meet large needs of quite a few family members. It is needed for reheating, breakfast, lunch, dinner you name it.
A microwave oven for home use is thus an essential appliance.
Unlike offices and dorm rooms, microwave ovens at home are needed for cooking complex meals and recipes. They need to accommodate large food as well as large dinner plates.
Hence, it only makes sense to go for larger variants.
The size of a microwave oven can be divided as so:
- Small – 0.7 CU FT – 0.9 CU FT
- Medium – 1.0 CU FT – 1.5 C U FT
- Large – 1.6 CU FT to 2.0 CU FT
- Extra Large – above 2.0 CU FT
For home use, we recommend that you ditch the small size and stick to at least the medium size category.
In fact, a medium sized microwave oven is quite decent for serving the needs of a small family.
Of course, the larger you go, the more convenient your cooking or reheating tasks would be.
The next essential aspect is the output power of the microwave oven.
The output power is directly related to how quickly and how evenly the microwave oven heats up the food. Weaker microwaves with lower power rating take much longer to reheat as compared to high powered ones.
The output power rating of a microwave can be summarized as below:
- Low – 700 – 900 Watts
- Medium – 1000 – 1100 Watts
- High – 1200 – 1250 Watts
For purposes of home, we would recommend that you choose to go with medium or high powered microwave ovens.
This will save you from the frustration of waiting for a long time to wait for the food to heat up and also from the frustration of finding out that your food isn’t heated consistently.
List of Best Microwaves for Home Use in 2020
The following microwave ovens are excellent for home use in our opinion and meet the criteria we set out earlier.
- Toshiba EM131A5C – 1.2 CU FT – Recommended Microwave for Home Use
- Farberware FMO11AHTBKN – 1.1 CU FT – Affordable Option
- Toshiba ML-EM45P – 1.6 Cu FT – Large Microwave Oven for Home Use
- Panasonic NN-SD945S – 2.2 CU FT – Extra Large with Inverter
- Panasonic NN-SN97JS – 2.2 CU FT – Extra Large with Cyclonic Inverter
If the aforementioned microwaves are too large or expensive for you, you can look into the following categories:
1. Toshiba EM131A5C – 1.2 CU FT – Recommended Microwave for Home Use
One of the most popular and highly recommended midsize and mid-range countertop microwave oven for home use.
First up, we have the most recommended option for home use. Why? because it checks almost all the boxes for us.
It has a 1.2 CU FT capacity, a medium-high power rating of 1100 Watts, a fairly reasonable price tag, as well as very favorable reviews for a large customer base.
Recall from earlier that the higher the power rating, the quicker and more consistently the microwave would heat. Well, this microwave lies toward the high powered spectrum.
While this is not the largest option in this list, it is quite reasonable for an average family.
The microwave oven has a turntable diameter of about 12.4″ inches. This is about the size of a medium pizza. An average dinner plate also has a size of about 11″ – 12″.
Therefore, in our opinion, this is perfect fit. Physically, this is excellent for a kitchen with an average counter space. Therefore, if you are mindful about minimizing the use of counterspace, then this can serve you well.
Besides that, this also has few very useful features. Firstly, it offers the rare Smart Sensors. These allow the microwave to sensor cook. Meaning, depending upon the preset you choose, the oven can sense and cook the food to the perfection.
You can choose among 6 different popular food presets including pizza, potatoes, veggies etc.
Furthermore, it features easy cleaning thanks to the stainless interior and exterior, and it also features the MUTE option to mute the beeping sounds. While not essential, the mute option can be convenient for some.
All in all, if you are looking for a staple option, then this is certainly the best microwave for home use.
2. Farberware FMO11AHTBKN – 1.1 CU FT – Affordable Option
An affordable midsize microwave oven for those looking for minimal features.
If you came here looking for the most affordable model, then this is certainly the best microwave for home use.
While this is slightly less powerful and smaller in capacity as compared to the Toshiba EM131A5C above, it features a value unlike any other.
It features a 1000 Watt power rating and an interior capacity of 1.1 CU FT with a turntable diameter of about 12 inches. Hence, it does meet our requirements for home use as we talked about earlier in the article.
It should be noted, however, that this is a bear minimum microwave oven. While it does feature digital controls, cooking presets and power level selection like all microwaves, it does not feature sensor or sensor cooking.
Therefore, if you are look for simple and an adequately large and powerful microwave oven for home, then you can certainly look into this.
As far as the reviews are concerned, the oven certainly has won favorable reviews. It is worth noting here that this is a midsize and a midpowered microwave that is is cheaper than even some of the much weaker and smaller 700 Watt 0.7 CU FT microwave ovens.
That just goes to show the value this model offers.
3. Toshiba ML-EM45P – 1.6 Cu FT – Large Microwave Oven for Home Use
Next up we have another microwave oven from Toshiba. However, this one is in a completely different class.
Unlike the Toshiba EM131A5C above, this is a large-size microwave with an interior capacity of 1.6 CU FT and a turntable diameter of 14 inches. Hence, it can fit a standard large size pizza.
There is no dinner plate that this microwave cannot handle. In fact, this microwave is suitable for more than just handling average sized dinners plates.
Besides the larger size, this oven also is high powered with a 1200 watt power rating. This is among the highest for the microwave ovens.
A 700 Watt microwave oven boils a cup of water in 2 minutes, the same cup in a 1200 watt microwave would be boiled in about 45 seconds.
Hence, as far as speed and consistency of heat across the food is concerned, you are covered with this oven.
Besides that, like its smaller variant above, this too offers sensor cooking and reheating for defrosting as well as for common food items like pizza, potato, rice and vegetables.
A high powered microwave oven is essential for home-chefs since it allows you to experiment with different power levels for different food items.
Therefore, if you are looking for a large and a fairly powerful model, then this is the best microwave for home use.
4. Panasonic NN-SD945S – 2.2 CU FT – Extra Large with Inverter
An extra large microwave oven with inverter technology and among the highest power rating for home use.
If you thought that Toshiba ML-EM45P above was large and powerful, then let us unveil this for you.
While this is slightly more expensive, it belongs to an entirely different category. This is an extra large microwave oven that has an interior capacity of 2.2 CU FT and a turntable diameter of about 16 inches – large enough to accommodate an extra-large pizza.
On top of that, this is one of few rare microwave ovens that features a whopping 1250 Watts of output power.
This is, thus, among the most powerful and the largest microwave ovens for home use. Any larger than this and you are looking into commercial appliance.
Of course, you will need to reserve quite a lot of counterspace for settling this microwave, but the experience will be well worth it.
It must be mentioned here that unlike the rest of the microwave ovens above, this features an inverter technology.
Basically, it ditches the old transformer for an inverter circuit. This enables the microwave to be supplied with constant and consistent power. This in turn ensure that your food is cooked evenly.
There is a whole list of reasons why the inverter circuit is beneficial and you can read about that here.
Another very important feature to note here is that while this oven does have sensor cooking, it offers a whopping 19 cooking presets for all sorts of foods including omelette, rice, quinoa etc. Hence, this is literally a multicooker.
If you are sold by the idea of having an extra large model in your kitchen then this is best microwave for home use.
5. Panasonic NN-SN97JS – 2.2 CU FT – Extra Large with Cyclonic Inverter
A premium microwave oven that features the rare Cyclonic Inverter technology, high power rating, and a large set of auto-cooking presets.
Finally, we have the most expensive and premium microwave oven in this list.
While this too has 2.2 CU FT capacity and 1250 Watt power rating as the Panasonic NN-SD945S above, what separates this is its intrinsic technology.
You may have heard of the fact that inverter microwaves are advanced as Tompared to normal ovens. this, however takes that the inverter technology a step further.
Basically, what separates this microwave oven from the rest is that it features a Cyclonic Wave inverter.
This is a new and a rather peculiar, and even a revolutionizing, technology for microwave ovens.
You see, in normal microwaves ovens, the microwave radiation travels linearly. In others words, it travels in a single direction instead of around the entire cooking chamber.
That is reason why we have the turntable which rotates the food so that different parts of it get exposed to the microwave radiation.
A Cyclonic Wave inverter solves that issue by generating microwave radiation that travels in a spiral motion. In doing so, it sends radiation across the entire cooking chamber. Hence. all of the food is exposed evenly to the heat.
What you get in return is a food that is heated with excellent results all the time.
If that technology sounds exciting to you, then this is certainly the best microwave for home use for you.
Furthermore, like all advanced ovens of this caliber, this too offers sensor cooking with presets for 20 or so common foods.
However, this isn’t a cheap model. All those advanced features, large size and power, contribute to its hefty price tag.
In this article we reviewed some of the best microwaves for home use. Basically, we talked about microwave ovens that had an interior capacity of larger than 1.0 CU FT, turntable diameter large enough to handle a medium sized pizza and a power rating of 1000 Watts or higher.
Of course, the choice of premium features like sensors, inverter etc is your personal choice. The more features you choose to have, the more expensive the microwave oven would be.
The good news is that you can choose to keep things very economical by simply going for a microwave oven with minimal features that meets the size and power requirements as stated earlier.