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Better-Reviews Top 10 Microwaves

This page is dedicated to our Top Ten Microwaves. They are listed in the following order:

Standard Models
Standard Models with Steamers
Standard Models with Grills
Combination Ovens

We are satisfied that as of Winter 2012, these Microwaves represent the best microwaves on sale in the UK.

Before you read the reviews, you may want to read our buyers guide which is designed to clear up some of the jargon surrounding microwaves.

The buyers guide can be found Here

 

We will Start with the Bosch 17 litre 800 watt Microwave Oven in Brushed Steel

Guide Price: £105

This microwave has an striking industrial, yet classy appearance with its brushed steel finish. It has five different power settings, including defrost. It also has a one hour timer.

At 17 litres this is one of the smaller microwaves in our recommendations. So please bear in mind that dinner plates, and whole chickens, just will not fit in this compact model. Think side plate size, and you will get the right idea.

One great feature that we loved, was the ability to store the settings that you are using to memory for easy access when next needed. This model also sports a clear LED display, three preset cooking programs and a clock.

Pros

Superb build quality and ultra compact size make for an excellent space saving solution.

Cons

Rather costly, and of course the ultra compact size means ultra compact capacity.

 

Click here to see current Bosch 17 litre Microwave Oven prices on Amazon.co.uk

 

Standard Models
Standard Models with Steamers
Standard Models with Grills
Combination Ovens

 

Next Up, We Have The Slightly Larger, And More Retro Looking Daewoo 20 litre 800 watt Touch Control Microwave Oven in Red

Guide Price: £45

There is a certain timeless attraction to this red gloss charmer. It has a reasonably sized 20 litre interior, and uses a concave reflex system to focus the microwaves, helping to ensure that food is cooked evenly.

It has user friendly buttons, which allow the selection of five power levels, that allow you to let the microwave automatically heat food based on weight or food type. There is also an automatic defrost setting, which is a handy function to those who want quick and easy cooking. For those who prefer to choose the settings themselves, there is also a timer option. Add to this a child safety lock which prevents door opening or cancelling the program, and you have a nice microwave with some pretty good options for the money.

Pros

Appealing appearance, child safety lock, easy to use, even cooking, and a compact size, yet it can still fit a dinner plate inside. Would be a good solution for a kitchen with limited space. A great value microwave.

Cons

It can feel a little flimsy and my even make a rattling sound when it is cooking.

 

 

Standard Models
Standard Models with Steamers
Standard Models with Grills
Combination Ovens

 

Next, We Have The Larger Still Daewoo 23 Litre, Touch Control 800 Watt Microwave Oven, in Black

Guide Price: £55

This microwave has a stylish black onyx style finish that succeeds well in making it look like it cost a lot more than it did.

As with the 20 litre Daewoo featured above, this model successfully uses a concave reflex system to ensures that food is cooked quickly and evenly. However, this time it uses a dual wave system with two microwave sources, this gives greater coverage.

At 23 litres, this microwave has a generous interior, so most microwave safe plates and containers will fit. Despite its size, we found that it sat nicely in our kitchen, without looking big.

A timer allows accurate time setting, and a child safe lock prevents little fingers from causing harm.

Overall, we achieved satisfying results, with a jug of thick custard warming evenly, and without cold spots.

Pros

For the looks alone this microwave is a winner. If you add that to the benefit of the child safety lock, its ease of use, and it’s even cooking capabilities. You have a generously sized, great value machine.

Cons

The microwave is a little noisy in use, but this is nothing major.

 

Standard Models
Standard Models with Steamers
Standard Models with Grills
Combination Ovens

Now For Our Only Model with a Steamer, the Whirlpool, Max 35 Solo and Steam. A 13 Litre, 750 Watt, Microwave Oven With Steamer, in Red

Guide Price: £120

The clever design of the Whirlpool Max 35 not only gives you a microwave that also steams, but by virtue of its rounded back, fits neatly into a corner, yet fits a standard 28cm plate.

It has a 13 litre capacity, which makes it the smallest microwave that we will be recommending. That said, with its red metal exterior, it does look great in the kitchen, and for those smaller tasks such as reheating smaller quantities, it is very fast.

While it does not have any automatic programs for the microwave function, it does have four auto-steam programs designed to be used with the accompanying steamer. It comes with a three piece steamer but to be honest, the auto-steam programs were not great, and either under or over cooked the vegetables and fish on test.

Manual steaming was consistently good, but it took a couple of goes to determine the best settings to use next time. There is a memory function that allows you to save settings for easy recall next time they are needed.

Pros

Excellent manual cooking performance. Great styling and build quality. Easy to clean.

Cons

Quite expensive for the size. While a dinner plate will fit, lots of microwave safe bowls and Tupperware items will not. Also, the auto-steam programs leave a lot to be desired.

 

Standard Models
Standard Models with Steamers
Standard Models with Grills
Combination Ovens

Now for the first of our Standard Models with Grills. Here is a Panasonic 23 Litre, 950 Watt Stainless Steel Compact Microwave with Grill

Guide Price: £130

This microwave with grill offers great performance, with the added options of grilling or browning your food.

With rapid heating, and very even heat distribution, this is a very efficient microwave. It also benefits from a timer controlled start option, that allows you to set the oven in advance, so that it will start cooking at a preset time, and a memory function for storing commonly used settings.

With 13 auto cook programs, you just input the weight, choose your program, and the oven will work out the rest. The results in our testing covered meat, vegetables, a custard reheat, and some defrosting. The results were consistently excellent, with bacon nicely crisped, and sausages cooked through and nicely browned in half the time of a standard grill, and the chaos defrost provided rapid success.

As an unassisted grill, it heats up almost instantly, but cooks a little unevenly. So moving the food around once or twice during cooking gives the best results.

Pros

This is an efficient, and consistent performer, with the really useful options of the delayed start and memory function

Cons

Grilling is a little uneven

 

Standard Models
Standard Models with Steamers
Standard Models with Grills
Combination Ovens

 

Next up is the Family Sized Whirlpool Jet Chef 31 Litre 1000 watt Microwave Oven with Grill and Crisp Function, in Black

Guide Price: £230

This microwave with grill is a substantial investment. You get a very large oven, with accessories such as a steamer dish, a crisping plate, and a recipe CD. The styling is pleasing, and the drop down door is an obvious bonus for a machine that is obviously aimed at cooking larger quantities.

The crisper plate is great for chips, bacon, pizza and the like. The steamer dish likewise, does an excellent job, providing consistent results.

The microwave offers rapid heating, and very even heat distribution, so once again we are looking at a very efficient microwave. It heats and cooks food very fast, which allows the food to retain more water, the result being moister and tastier food.

The grill is excellent too. Offering excellent cooking times, and perfectly browned results when used in combination with the microwave.

With 7 auto cook programs, and 5 auto defrost programs, one of the auto cook programs is called “6th Sense”. This is where sensors analyse the density, and moisture of the food, to automatically calculate the best settings and cooking time.

Auto defrost did OK, but there were still small frozen areas in the lamb joint we used.

You can clearly see your food through the door window

Pros

A very efficient, and consistent Microwave and Grill, Great accessories. Good visibility through the glass door.

Cons

Hard to clean, and the heavy turntable is tricky to refit.

 

Standard Models
Standard Models with Steamers
Standard Models with Grills
Combination Ovens

 

Next We Have the Compact 750 Watt Whirlpool Max 38 Crisp 13 litre Microwave and Grill

Guide Price: £145

At 13 litres, the Whirlpool Max 38 is the same size as its 13-litre capacity relative, the Whirlpool Max 35, also featured on this page. That said though, the cooking capabilities are miles better. Not only does the Whirlpool Max 38 have a grill, it also has a wide range of preset defrosting and cooking features.

Whirlpool’s patented 3D Microwave Distribution System mean that you get rapid defrost, and rapid, even cooking. The retro styling, with the curved rear, again allows for a larger turntable than you would ordinarily expect in a microwave of this size, taking plates up to 28cm in diameter, but not taller items such as large bowls.

We found the grill feature to be outstanding. Rapidly giving us crispy bacon, evenly cooked toast, and perfect pork chops. Defrosting was superb, and it microwaves food so rapidly that the food remains delicious and moist. There are also great added features such as a one touch crisp function, and a child proof lock.

This microwave truly excels when the grill is used in combination with the microwave oven. You can cook and brown joints of meat and chickens, or finish off any other food with a browned or crispy finish.

Pros

It microwaves food so rapidly that the food remains moist, offers a superb grill, and has a useful child proof lock.

Cons

Seriously small capacity.

Standard Models
Standard Models with Steamers
Standard Models with Grills
Combination Ovens

 

Now moving on, we have the first of our Combination Ovens, with this great Panasonic 27 Litre Slimline 1000 Watt, Microwave, Grill and Oven, in Silver

Guide Price: £200

This microwave, while very smart of appearance, with its clean lines and clear digital display, it is also very capable in the cooking department.

Food was microwaved so quickly, we were extremely impressed. But it is not just the speed of cooking, it is that all important moisture factor, and here very little moisture was lost. Resulting in evenly cooked and deliciously moist food. The best we have seen.

We were not so impressed with the grill, as it did not provide even coverage on toast, and when we cooked sausages, some were browned, and others were not. We did some tests with moving the food around a few times during cooking, and found that it was possible to get the desired results. So not a complete loss.

Combination cooking was where this microwave showed its greatest strength. With the ability to roast meat rapidly, and brown it perfectly. The results were truly outstanding.

When baking a sponge cake, the cook time was reduced, and the resultant sponge was light and delicious, and just nicely browned.

Auto defrost settings were also very good, and successfully defrosted meats and bread quickly.

This is a big microwave, and most things will fit in here.

Pros

A really fast, easy to clean microwave, with an awesome oven and superb defrosting.

Cons

Uneven grilling, and not a lot else.

 

Standard Models
Standard Models with Steamers
Standard Models with Grills
Combination Ovens

 

Next Up we have the Excellent 27 Litre Whirlpool Family Chef FT339, 900 Watt Combi Microwave Oven, in Black

Guide Price £220

Not only is this microwave is a real looker, but as tests proved, it is a great combi oven too

This combination microwave oven from Whirlpool is a pretty good all-rounder, but is let down by its inability to maintain power levels after being used for a while.

Cooking in microwave only mode was consistent, and by adding the grill function, browning could be added with ease. When using the grill, toast was evenly cooked, and bacon came out nice and crispy.

Using the combi oven, our chicken came out better than we had expected, retaining moisture and with a delicious crispy skin. Our sponge cakes came out perfectly first time, and were browned just perfectly. This microwave also has a good auto defrost.

It features an easy clean non-stick interior, and a nifty feature that lets you stop the turntable rotating, so that you can pop an oven tray in.

Whirlpool have created a very competent all rounder here, and the 27 litre capacity is generous enough for most uses.

Pros

A powerful and consistent combi microwave.

Cons

Not a lot.

 

Standard Models
Standard Models with Steamers
Standard Models with Grills
Combination Ovens

 

And Finally, The largest Combi recommendation is the Panasonic 32 Litre Deluxe Combination Microwave Oven in Stainless Steel

Guide Price: £300

This microwave is certainly a looker, and a very large one at that. It also requires a clear area to stand in, as it gets quite warm when the oven is in use, so needs the space to allow sufficient airflow.

What a marvel it is. With its super rapid microwaving, and enough features to meet most needs. It has a delayed start option, which allows you to set it up, and have a hot meal waiting for you when you get home.

This microwave has Multi-Sequence Cooking, so the food cooks on the best power level, and can even cook from frozen, by automatically changing from defrost to cook, and varying the power to suit as it goes.

It has a self clean lining, and a splash guard, which all helped well with interior maintenance, but we found the stainless outside was a bit of a chore to keep clean.

As with the other Panasonic combi we reviewed, grilling was uneven. It would seem to a trait of the current range of Panasonics. That said, it is not useless.

Cooking with the oven is excellent, and it can roast and bake with outstanding results, when used in conjunction with the microwave and grill. With our sponge cake perfectly cooked and evenly browned.

There are presets that let you select the food type, and then leave it to the microwave to work out the rest. It can also memorise your favourite settings

Pros

A really fast, easy clean combi microwave, with some great programs and the rather useful delayed start feature.

Cons

Uneven grilling, and a tricky to clean exterior.

 

Standard Models
Standard Models with Steamers
Standard Models with Grills
Combination Ovens