Which miniature microwaves are best?
Miniature microwaves are the perfect addition to a recreational vehicle, dormitory room, den or other small space. They’re compact enough to fit nearly anywhere but are still powerful enough to do the same things a regular microwave does. The best miniature microwaves also come with many — or all — of the same features as standard-sized ones, so you don’t have to sacrifice performance or capability for size.
Most miniature microwaves have the following dimensions:
- 10 to 12 inches high
- 15 to 18 inches wide
- 12 to 16 inches deep
Standard over-the-range microwaves, meanwhile, usually have the following dimensions:
- 17 inches high
- 30 inches wide
- 15 to 18 inches deep
Even the smallest, most compact microwaves can typically fit one standard dinner plate, bowl or mug at a time. However, these appliances can’t hold several or oversized dishes at once.
The three main types of microwaves are:
- Countertop: The most versatile option, countertop microwaves come in sizes ranging from around 15 to 30 inches in width. They can fit on the counter or even inside of a standard-sized kitchen cabinet. Most are also between 10 and 17 inches high.
- Over-the-range: Most over-the-range appliances are larger since they’re designed to match the width of the cooking range below. However, there are a few more compact or medium-sized ones.
- Built-in: Built-in microwaves are similar to over-the-range models, but they’re designed to run flush with the cabinets around them. Because of this, they don’t always fit the dimensions of a standard oven or range. Instead, they use the same dimensions as most cabinets. There are some miniature microwaves for smaller kitchens.
Color and design
Regardless of size, most of these miniature appliances are sleek and modern-looking. Many models consist of stainless steel or other types of sheet metal, giving them a metallic look. Some are made with porcelain enamel.
Popular colors include:
In terms of shape, most miniature microwaves are rectangular with a square or rectangular screen. Some have a rounder screen or edges instead, which can complement a smaller or softer space.
Similar to standard microwaves, miniature versions usually come with a turntable that rotates to ensure the food heats up evenly. A few models have small adjustable racks.
Even though it’s miniature, these appliances usually have the same functions and buttons as their standard counterparts, including:
- Preset cooking times: These buttons let you cook or heat specific dishes, such as pizza or popcorn, without having to worry about setting the precise time.
- Power controls: This lets you change the amount of power being used to cook or prepare food. For example, you can use 50% power to lightly simmer a dish, or you can set it to 100% for quick meal prep.
- Timer setting: This setting can be used to time whatever you’re preparing, whether it’s on the stove or in the oven.
- Quick cooking: These buttons require the press of a button to start cooking or heating something quickly. This is useful if the food presets don’t include a specific dish. You can also use it to add 30 to 60 seconds at a time to the current timer.
- Stage cooking: This feature lets the microwave cook specific foods at different stages. For instance, it could defrost or brown meat for a few minutes before you start cooking it on the stove or in the oven. Most microwaves come with three to five stages.
- Automatic sensor: An automatic sensor can measure the steam within the appliance to determine when it should turn off. This negates the need for a timer when heating or cooking food.
When it comes to power, microwave ovens are measured in watts. For example:
- Most standard models range from around 800 to 1,000 watts.
- Compact or miniature ones usually have between 600 and 800 watts.
- Commercial microwaves have about 1,000 watts.
- Energy-efficient microwaves range from around 700 to 1,000 watts.
The higher the wattage, the more effective the appliance can cook or heat your food. However, more power can also use more energy.
Best miniature microwaves
Commercial Chef Countertop Microwave Oven
This compact microwave fits on most countertops and is ideal for smaller spaces. It comes with push-button controls, such as a defrost and preset timer settings, or rotary controls, depending on the size. It also has an LED display. Sold by Amazon
Winia WOR07R3ZEM Retro Microwave
This colorful, retro-style microwave has 700 watts and is very compact. It has a digital readout and comes with five cooking presets with five adjustable power levels. It also has a standby mode and will turn off after a few minutes of inactivity. Sold by Amazon
Magic Chef Countertop Microwave
With 10 power levels and a 30-second express cooking button, this compact microwave easily fits on the countertop. It is just over 17 inches wide and uses 700 watts of power. The glass turntable is large enough to fit standard dinnerware and smaller dishes. Sold by Home Depot
Black and Decker EM720CB7 Digital Microwave Oven with Turntable
This miniature microwave has a full set of features, including pre-programmed buttons for frozen vegetables, drinks, potatoes, popcorn and pizza. It also has a good-sized LED display and is easy to use. It comes with a child-safety lock and a push-button latch instead of a handle. Sold by Amazon
Cuisinart Countertop Microwave
This sleek, stainless steel appliance has eight preset settings, two defrost functions and 10 power levels. It has a 12-inch glass turntable and uses 1,000 watts of power for optimal cooking and heating. Sold by Home Depot
RCA Countertop Microwave in Black
With such features as express cooking and defrost, this 700-watt miniature microwave is ideal for kitchenettes, dorm rooms and other small areas. It has a simple design that includes a digital clock and timer. It also has 10 power levels and can evenly heat food. Sold by Home Depot
Comfee Countertop Microwave Oven
This compact appliance uses 700 watts of power to effectively cook and heat food evenly. It has several convenient features, such as a child safety lock, six preset cooking times and a digital display. Sold by Amazon
Magic Chef Retro Countertop Microwave
Simple and stylish, this small microwave uses classic dial control knobs to set the timer up to 35 minutes and adjust the cooking power. It uses a pull handle and is energy-efficient. Sold by Home Depot
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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