Top 5 Best Microwaves

When you’re in a hurry and want to zap a cup of coffee or a plate of pasta, you expect a microwave to work quickly and heat your food thoroughly. Our tests have found that not all microwaves can achieve that feat, but the best do it handily.

1. Whirlpool WMH53521HZ

CR’s take: A top performer from Whirlpool, the WMH53521HZ earns an Excellent rating in our heating evenness test, meaning a dish of cold mashed potatoes has few or no cold spots after microwaving. It has a cooking sensor that helps estimate how much time and power you’ll need for each dish, and it fits a 9x15-inch dish, so you can cook a casserole. This microwave is very easy to use, and our testers say it has no discernible flaws. Whirlpool OTRs earn predicted reliability ratings of Very Good in our member surveys and Good owner satisfaction scores.

2. LG LMH2235ST

CR’s take: The LG LMH2235ST is a good choice if you often find yourself having to defrost something straight out of the freezer because it earns an Excellent rating in our defrost test. It’s impressive at heating foods quickly and evenly, too. Plus, this microwave is one of the quietest over-the-range models in our tests. But like most OTRs, its venting is only so-so. It has a sensor to prevent you from overheating your food and a rack in case you want to cook more than one dish at the same time.

3. LG LMV2031ST

CR’s take: If you use your microwave to cook and not just for reheating and defrosting, give the affordably priced LG LMV2031ST a close look. This CR Best Buy fits a 9x15-inch baking dish and has a wire rack, allowing you to cook two dishes at once. It’s equipped with a sensor that turns the microwave off to keep you from overheating your food. This model earns Very Good ratings for speed of heating and heating evenness, and it vents well, although—like most OTRs—not as well as a dedicated range hood.

4. KitchenAid KMHS120ESS

CR’s take: If you tend to take something out of the freezer to make dinner when you get home from work, the KitchenAid KMHS120ESS is a solid bet. It earns an Excellent rating on our defrosting test, in which we defrost a pound of ground chuck. It also aces the heating evenness test and is very quiet. It has a cooking sensor and comes with a rack in case you want to cook two dishes at once. KitchenAid OTRs received a Very Good score for predicted reliability from our members and a middling Good score for owner satisfaction.

5. GE Profile PVM9005SJSS

CR’s take: The GE PVM9005SJSS is a good choice for a busy household. It earns an Excellent rating in our heating evenness test, in which we reheat a dish of cold mashed potatoes. Its speed of heating is also top-notch, and it operates quietly. Our testers found the machine is easy to program, and it vents well, something not all OTRs can accomplish. Our members gave GE’s over-the-range microwaves a Very Good score for predicted reliability and an average score for owner satisfaction.
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