Best Budget Microwaves

Top 10 Rated Budget Microwaves 2014

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If you’re looking for a high-quality microwave on a budget, you know that you don’t want to sacrifice performance for price. Efficient microwaves heat quickly and evenly and have adequate capacity, convenient one-touch cooking options, easy-to-use controls, and reliable, durable construction. The following microwaves, both countertop and over-the-range models, have their share of great qualities, and the most expensive selection is roughly $250. See the budget microwave comparison and ratings below with a link to the full review of each.

Colors: Black and White
2.2 cu. ft. capacity
1,200 watts
16″ glass turntable
13 11/16″ x 21 3/8″ x 24″

With intuitive, easy-to-navigate controls, this Frigidaire countertop model offers various cooking options with one-touch buttons. Frozen foods defrost quickly and easily. An LED screen clearly displays…read more


Color: Black and White
1.4 cu. ft. capacity
1,100 watts
12.4″ glass turntable
12 3/8″ x 17 ¼” x 20 3/8″

A stylish design and low price, just $99.99, sets this Frigidaire counterpart microwave apart from competing models. The console is arranged in a clean, simple grid with the buttons accented. The door pops open easily…read more


Colors: Black, White, Bisque, Stainless Steel
1.7 cu. ft. capacity
1,000 watts
12 3/4″ recessed glass turntable
29 15/16″ x 16″ x 17 1/4″

Clever little illustrations on the buttons dress up this Whirlpool over-the-range microwave, offsetting its otherwise simple, clean design. The recessed turntable adds extra space to the already roomy cavity. The glass turntable…read more


Samsung SMH1622  8.5/10

Colors: Black, White, Stainless Steel
1.6 cu. ft. capacity
1,000 watts
10 power levels
16.5″ H x 29.9″ W x 15.1″ D

Defrosting frozen food can be tricky business; sometimes microwaves leave parts certain soggy and other parts frustratingly rock solid. The Samsung SMH1622 over-the-range microwave…read more


GE JVM1750DP  8.5/10

Colors: Black, White, Bisque, Stainless Steel
1.7 cu. ft. capacity
1,000 watts
11 1/2″ recessed glass turntable
29 7/8″ x 15 1/4″ x 16 1/2″

We like having options with our appliances. With this GE over-the-range model, we have the option to set our own defrosting time or let the machine calculate the best time…read more


LG LMV1680ST  8/10

Colors: Black, White, Stainless Steel
1.6 cu. ft. capacity
1,000 watts
12.7″ turntable
29 15/16″ x 15 5/8″ x 16 7/16″

Bright white lettering and colorful designs stand out starkly against the black console, making this LG over-the-range microwave a shiny, pretty model. The wide, deep cavity promises to hold large dishes easily…read more


Colors: Black, White, Stainless Steel
1.1cu. ft. capacity
1,000 watts
12″ turntable
16.1 x 29.9 x 17.2 inches

A stable, recessed and stoppable glass turntable makes this a very flexibile Whirlpool over the range budget model. The WMH31017A is a very bare bones microwave…read more



 

Budget Microwaves Buying Guide

Microwave Oven Technology: How They Work

For an invention that’s only been around in the last century, microwave ovens are incredibly efficient. For one, they heat only the food, not the oven, using considerably less energy than other cooking methods. Also, their most appreciated benefit is that they heat food in just a matter of minutes.

The machine releases microwaves, a type of radio wave, at a frequency of 2,500 megahertz. Fats, sugars, and water absorb these microwaves, a process that produces heat. The radio waves in a microwave oven cook food by entering the food and interacting with the fat and water particles. People commonly believe that microwave ovens cook food “from the inside out,” but this is not exactly the case. Food is cooked evenly throughout and instantaneously, not from the outside in as it does in regular ovens.

Of course, there are exceptions. Thick pieces of food may not cook all the way through because the microwaves cannot reach to the very center. Sometimes food gets hot or cold spots because something interferes with the radio waves.

Unlike traditional ovens, microwave ovens do not typically brown food or give it a crust because the temperature inside the microwave does not change. That’s why snacks like microwavable pastries often come in a sleeve with a foil lining. The metal reacts to the radio waves by getting hot, which gives Hot Pockets and Toaster Strudels their flaky, crusty exterior.

Microwave ovens may not have the capabilities to fully bake extravagant or gourmet meals (yet), but they’re still a modern convenience that we’ve come to love. Nothing else makes reheating last night’s leftovers or popping popcorn easier or more efficient.

Brittany Rowland Brittany Rowland researches new developments in Appliances, Kitchen and CE products features with a vigor to which few would aspire… but someone has to do it. See more about Brittany

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Comfort food is a necessity when the cold winter months hit. What kind of food is that exactly? We turn to stews, roasts, soups, and chili. Crock pots and slow cookers make preparing these types of dishes more than easy. All you’ve got to do is put the indredients… [more]

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