Best Microwave Oven Reviews – The Top Combi, Solo and Grill Microwaves of 2016
If you’re looking for a new microwave – you’ve come to the right place! Either look around our reviews of 100s of models, or take a look at our top rated models in each category below.
If you want to buy a microwave oven, our aim is to help you make the right choice. All our reviews aim to provide an unbiased overview of a model’s features. We know everyone has different requirements, so we also try to include information about the type of kitchen each model is aimed at.
It’s important to note that the question “which is the best microwave?” is almost impossible to answer. The right model for you depends on your requirements, so the best microwave varies greatly – there is no one “best” choice. That’s why we have a top-rated model for each category, so once you know which type of microwave you need you can head straight to the corresponding section to see which we recommend.
There are three main categories – solo, grill and combi. Solo microwaves are the standard models that most people regularly use. Grill models have all the features of a solo, but include a grill for crisping and browning. Combi models typically add a conventional oven to a grill microwave. This allows for baking and roasting.
For a list of all microwaves we’ve reviewed, including sortable columns of power, capacity, colour and brand, please visit this page.
Which Microwave Is Right For You?
If you need more functionality, or if you’d like a model to replace a conventional oven, you’ll need to look at the combi section instead.
Grill microwaves are often more expensive, but come with a grill for browning and crisping. They can be used for all the same tasks as a regular model, but are more versatile. Grill appliances are also usually more expensive.
While grill models excel at cooking crispier foods, they can’t bake or roast like a combi microwave.
Combi microwaves combine a regular microwave, grill and conventional oven into one handy package. They are the ultimate kitchen appliance, although the price often reflects this. Unlike grill and solo models, combination models can roast and bake food.
If you only plan on using your microwave for reheating, grilling, basic cooking or defrosting, then a combi probably isn’t required.
What To Look For In A Microwave Oven
Buying a microwave can be a daunting process. There are literally hundreds of models on the market, each with its own specifications, appearance and user reviews. How do you select the one that’s right for you? Which are the top microwaves and which are a waste of money? There are four basic features you need to consider – capacity, power, type and appearance. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you can then look at the extras such as child locks, flatbed or turntable, auto cook programs and other features and settings.
As a general rule, the more people in your household the greater capacity you’ll need. Capacity is measured in litres, and ranges from tiny 14L microwaves right up to 40L models. Large microwaves usually have a bigger capacity, although some models use space saving designs so this isn’t always the case. 20L microwaves are probably the standard for solo models, but for families or serious cooking you’ll probably want to look at larger models.
The power of a microwave is measured in Watts, and determines how quickly and effectively food is cooked. 800W microwaves are the standard, although modern appliances range between 600-1000W. 800W is enough power for most people, but anything less than this is likely to cook noticeably slower. Be aware that grill and combi models often have different power levels for the grill and oven components.
The appearance of an appliance probably isn’t as important as the capacity, power or type, but is still something to consider. Microwaves are usually a central appliance in a kitchen, so you want your model to match the rest of your kitchen’s décor. Models are available in a range of colours, from stainless steel to luminous green, so there is something for everyone.
The three types of microwave are solo, grill and combi. We explained the differences in the section above, but the right microwave cooker depends on your requirements. Do you need a fully-fledged oven replacement? Get a combi. Just want to reheat last night’s food? A solo model will probably suffice. It’s also worth mentioning that if you want a built-in model, we have a list of the best built-in microwave ovens here.
It’s also important to consider the manufacturer. There is no such thing as the best microwave brand, but popular options include Panasonic, Russell Hobbs, Samsung and Daewoo. While there are smaller brands available, some of which manufacture excellent appliances, the bigger brands with a stronger reputation are usually safer buys.
Price is another vital consideration. The best value microwaves may not be the cheapest. Instead, look for models that provide the greatest value in comparison to their closest competitors. It’s also worth looking out for deals. The best price microwave ovens vary throughout the year depending on offers and discounts provided by retailers.
How we Review Models
There are literally hundreds of models on the market at any time, and it’s not always easy to separate the best microwave ovens from the weaker appliances. As we are a small site with a limited budget, we simply can’t buy each model and review it – and we don’t think this is the best way to get a sense for a model’s performance. Instead, we look at buyer reviews – often hundreds of people who have bought and used the model on a daily basis – to judge performance, reliability and value for money.
Once we have researched a model, we write a review based on its features and feedback from buyers. To make it as easy as possible for you to find the right model, we then categorise each model depending on its features. Examples include mini microwaves and combination models. Most of these section either list the top 3 models in the relevant category or our top recommendation. We rarely make lists such as the “top 10 microwaves,” as we don’t think this is very helpful when it comes to narrowing down your options! Instead, we try to pick the best option from each category – or you can view the top of this page for our recommended microwaves in the main categories.
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