Best Microwave Ovens in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 10, 2021
Today it is impossible to imagine a modern kitchen without a microwave oven. This simple appliance makes cooking really quick. That is why we have selected these top-quality microwave ovens so that you'll be able to choose the most suitable one and spend less time in the kitchen. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2021
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
CONTROL
POWER
TURNTABLE DIAMETER
CAPACITY
INNER SURFACE
AUTO COOK OPTIONS
FEATURES
WARRANTY
 
PROS

Thanks to the grill feature, the oven can deliver you that crispy crust (a grill rack included). The combi cooking mode allows you to combine the standard microwave mode and grill mode.

CONS

The touchpad isn't very sensitive.

OUR VERDICT

The Sharp YC-MG81U-S is a multipurpose model that boasts an impressive 28-litre capacity and large 31.5 cm turntable, allowing you to cook delicious dinner for the whole family or plenty of snacks for a large company. 

detailed parameters
CONTROL

Electronic control panel

POWER

900 W

Grill: 1100 W

TURNTABLE DIAMETER

31.5 cm

CAPACITY

28 litres

INNER SURFACE

Ceramic enamelled interior

AUTO COOK OPTIONS

8 auto cook programmes

FEATURES

Child lock feature, Eco mode, Timer and clock

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

The enamelled interior simplifies the maintenance - you simply need to wipe it clean with a damp cloth after use. The interior is also resistant to the formation of unpleasant odours.

CONS

The instructions could be clearer.

OUR VERDICT

The Toshiba ML-EM23P is the best seller for many good reasons. With a 23-litre capacity, 11 different power levels, and 6 presets, it's a well-balanced model that can add modern conveniences to your busy life.

detailed parameters
CONTROL

Electronic control panel

POWER

800 W

TURNTABLE DIAMETER

27 cm

CAPACITY

23 litres

INNER SURFACE

Enamelled

AUTO COOK OPTIONS

6 auto cook programmes

FEATURES

Child lock feature, Memory function

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

The touch control panel with an LCD screen allows you to select the desired cooking programme and power mode in mere seconds. All the guides are easy to read, yet they are not too bright to become annoying. 

CONS

It has a rather “tinny” sound when opening and closing the door.

OUR VERDICT

The Panasonic NN-E28JMMBPQ is a good entry-level model that can become indispensable for people who don't have much experience in cooking. With its help, you'll be able to cook a great variety of dishes with a minimal amount of time and effort. 

detailed parameters
CONTROL

Electronic control panel

POWER

800 W

TURNTABLE DIAMETER

25.5 cm

CAPACITY

20 litres

INNER SURFACE

Enamelled

AUTO COOK OPTIONS

9 Auto cook programmes

FEATURES

Child lock feature

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

The defrost function allows you to set the time depending on the weight of the food (3 mins defrost 0.2 kg, 6 min defrosts 0.4 kg, etc). This way you'll always get flawless results.

CONS

There is no child lock. 

OUR VERDICT

The Sharp YC-MS01U-S is a budget microwave oven that has a stylish stainless steel design without a handle. Fitted with only two manual knobs, it may become an ideal choice for seniors and those who don't want to mess with extra settings. 

detailed parameters
CONTROL

Mechanical control panel with 2 dials

POWER

800 W

TURNTABLE DIAMETER

25.5 cm

CAPACITY

20 litres

INNER SURFACE

Enamelled

AUTO COOK OPTIONS

Defrost function

FEATURES

5 power levels, Up to 35 minute adjustable timer

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

The microwave operates ultimately quietly. The noise level doesn't exceed 55 dB, so it won't disturb the sound sleep of your little one or bother people around you.

CONS

A mains cord could be longer.

OUR VERDICT

If you're after a solid microwave for reheating or defrosting food mainly, you may like the Toshiba MM-MM20P. It's a simple model that does its job as intended. Plus, it's quiet enough to use in dorms, offices, and homes with small kids.

detailed parameters
CONTROL

Mechanical control panel with 2 dials

POWER

800 W

TURNTABLE DIAMETER

25.5 cm

CAPACITY

20 litres

INNER SURFACE

Enamelled

AUTO COOK OPTIONS

Defrost function

FEATURES

Child lock, 5 Power levels, Up to 35 minute adjustable timer

WARRANTY

1 year limited

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Sharp YC-MG81U-S

Extra Large

If you’re in the market for a large microwave oven that can hold a bit more than average models, you may like the Sharp YC-MG81U-S. With a 28-litre capacity, it can easily accommodate large bowls and plates inside. Even better, owing to the extra-large 31.5-cm glass turntable, it fits a standard pizza or 2-kg chicken with no problem. So, with the ability to cook a hearty dinner for a company of up to 4 people, this microwave is great for family use or frequent gatherings.

Yet, the trade-off for that extra capacity is a bit bulky size. At 51.2 x 30 x 39.6 cm, it takes reasonable space on a countertop. Also, it’s quite hefty with almost 16 kg of weight, though it’s quite stable and doesn't seem to run away with the open door as it may happen to smaller models.

Also, it shouldn't come as a surprise that such a great capacity requires a bit more power. That’s why this unit is made with a 900-watt heating element that offers 11 levels of power and 8 automatic programmes in total. All the settings are easy to adjust using the touch-sensitive panel. The blue LED digital display shows all the programs and a kitchen timer function.

Review of Sharp YC-MG81U-S Digital Touch Control Microwave with 1100W Grill

A Microwave with Grill Cooking

What completely sells the Sharp YC-MG81U-S is its ability to grill food as well. The grill is situated at the top of the oven cavity and has one power setting only, yet it always ensures decent results with a juicy texture and a crispy finish. That’s largely achieved owing to the fact that the grill is accompanied by the rotatable turntable that ensures even browning.

If you’re going to grill small stuff like bacon, you can use the rack that is thoughtfully provided by the manufacturer. Food can be placed directly onto the said rack or onto any flat heat-resistant plate put atop. If you wish, you can also set the oven to operate in the Mix Grill mode that combines microwave power with the grill function. This combo will reduce the cooking time and provide a crispier finish. There are two basic choices - 55% microwave power/45% grill cooking and 36% microwave power/64% grill cooking, depending on the food you’re going to prepare.

One more nice feature is the sequence cooking. This feature allows you to use two different microwave stages. For instance, you can combine the defrost setting with the needed power level, and the oven will automatically move onto the next stage.

As you can see, there is a lot to love about this functional oven. Being a bit larger and more versatile than many other models out there, it’s a perfect choice for big families that would like to add grilling variety into their cooking routine.

Sharp YC-MG81U-S Digital Touch Control Microwave with 1100W Grill in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £99.99
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B07HCZM3TP

 

Toshiba ML-EM23P(SS)

The Best Seller

Being the winner of a Best Buy recommendation by "Which?", the Toshiba ML-EM23P model has definitely got its customers. It's currently one of the best-selling products on Amazon with lots of satisfied users and positive reviews. So, what makes this microwave a real crowd-pleaser?

To begin with, it's a neat and relatively compact device with a 23-litre capacity, making it a happy medium between large models for family use and tiny ones for single cooking. The turntable here isn't huge with enough clearance for large dinner plates and bowls (but no more than that).

With 800 watts of power behind it, the Toshiba ML-EM23P is capable of cooking food really quickly and effectively. You can choose between 11 different power levels for a broad range of heating jobs. Actually, you can set a very low heat to soften ice cream a bit or high heat for warming up leftovers in a matter of seconds.

Besides variable power levels, the oven is packed with lots of other handy features like express cooking, defrosting, 6 presets (Popcorn, Potato, Pizza, Frozen Vegetable, Beverage, Dinner Plate), and a novel multi-stage cooking programme. The latter setting allows you to programme the oven per two cycles in one. For instance, you'll be able to boil rice at 80% power for 5 minutes and then set it to simmer at 40% for 10 minutes more. Ideal for our busy life.

Review of Toshiba ML-EM23P(SS) Microwave Oven with Digital Display

Nice Aesthetics

Despite the modest price, the Toshiba Microwave ML-EM23P comes fitted with a digital touch control panel and a fluorescent green display that adds the modern feel to the device. The control panel may seem a bit over-complicated at first but if you refer to the instructions, you'll find it very straightforward for day-to-day cooking. In fact, most users scored it highly for the ease of use and informative guidelines.

When it comes to the design, the oven looks well-finished and high-end. The front panel is a sleek brushed stainless steel, while the sides and back are painted black. The door also has a stainless steel outer edge with a contrasting black middle finish. So, the silver exterior along with the black door gives this microwave a modern and stylish look that can easily fit in any contemporary kitchen. Inside, the oven is enamelled in dark grey, thus, you'll find it easy to clean after use. Just wipe it down with a damp cloth and you're good to go.

Overall, this is a good-looking and good-performing microwave with lots of handy features to add modern conveniences to your busy life. It has pretty everything you’d expect from a simple microwave for a very tempting price. It offers a great value for money, compact footprint, excellent style, and stellar functionality.

Toshiba ML-EM23P(SS) Microwave Oven with Digital Display in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £84.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07N6KQQPF

 

Panasonic NN-E28JMMBPQ

Focused on Basic Kitchen Needs

In our everyday life, most often, we cook pretty simple and humble dishes to cut down the time we spend in the kitchen and cut corners with complex recipes. In a related move, we use a microwave predominantly for heating and defrosting or accomplishing some very basic tasks like melting chocolate, popping up popcorn kernels, whipping up mug cakes, or tossing a quick homemade pizza for a family movie night. If it sounds like you, the Panasonic NN-E28JMMBPQ microwave will definitely catch your fancy.

This model was designed with basic kitchen needs in mind and is not overloaded with bells and whistles. On the other hand, it still has everything you expect from a quality microwave and you can’t help but like the fairly affordable unit price that will fit even a stringent budget. Featuring 800 watts of power, it is not the most powerful model out there. However, this power is more than enough for simple cooking tasks. Besides, the appliance will consume less energy and, as a result, won’t impact your electricity bills too much. Meanwhile, 5 variable power settings allow adjusting the optimal power level for different tasks.

To help you out with cooking and take any guesswork out of the whole process, this model has 9 automatic programmes. The 3 auto defrosting modes include bread to make some fresh bagels and pitas for lunch, and meat items and meat joints to quickly thaw steak, minced meat, larger chops, chicken wings and legs, etc. Auto reheating programmes will be of great use for all takeaway fans. Your curry, pasta or Chinese food will be warmed up to perfection. And if you want to go for something healthier, 3 auto cook modes for jacket potatoes, fresh vegetables, and fish will help you diversify your menu with delicious and healthy meals.

Review of Panasonic NN-E28JMMBPQ Solo Microwave Oven

A Real Find for Smaller Kitchens

When it comes to the appliance design, this model will fit literally any contemporary kitchen style, be it moderate and streamlined high-tech or more exquisite and chic modern classics. The silver colour exterior with minimalistic touch controls and a mirrored glass door looks very sleek and elegant. Besides, featuring a push door opener and no extruding control dials, this microwave is both suitable for countertop use and can be built into a kitchen cabinet flush with overall kitchen facades.

What’s more, the Panasonic NN-E28JMMBPQ has much more compact dimensions and a smaller footprint than other models in the range that makes it a perfect fit for space-limited kitchens, cramped countertops, studios, offices, and even dorm rooms. With that said, it has a decent capacity of 20 L and accommodates a 25.5 cm flat table matching for bulk cooking.

All things considered, if you need a no-frills microwave with basic functionality and powerful operation that will take minimum space in your kitchen and fit common cooking needs, the NN-E28JMMBPQ is undoubtedly one of the best microwaves in Panasonic's line.

Panasonic NN-E28JMMBPQ Solo Microwave Oven in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £69.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B07H8P9JNM

 

Sharp YC-MS01U-S

Frills-free Model

Many of us would agree that it’s nice to have a microwave with a plethora of settings and different bells and whistles. But, typically, the more functions, the more malfunctions, and devices with lots of frills stop working or develop control pad/button faults after a while. Not to mention, they may be too challenging for seniors to navigate. With that in mind, the Sharp company has come up with a microwave that is cheap and simple. With just two knobs and no buttons, it's very easy to use without complications, making it a perfect choice for the elderly and those who don't want to mess with extra settings. No more dabbing through endless options.

Fitted with two dials, the Sharp YC-MS01U-S microwave is mainly manual but it still has a digital readout for timing so that you can set the cooking time precisely. The top dial lets you choose one of five power levels up to 800 watts, and whilst with digital models, you typically need to set the power level every time, here it can remain set. The bottom dial, in its turn, lets you set the cooking time up to 35 minutes or choose the Defrost mode. The Defrost scale is graduated by weight, which is pretty helpful when you are defrosting food with its weight indicated on the pack. So, even if you need a microwave mainly for reheating and defrosting, this barebones model can be everything you're looking for.
Review of Sharp YC-MS01U-S Solo Microwave Oven

Contemporary Design

Fitted with a 20-litre cavity, this powerful microwave can easily hold a standard dinner plate. The interior light will come on when the plate is rotating inside the chamber, otherwise, it is off. This is a good option because you can leave the door open afterwards to let steam and condensation disperse without burning the interior lamp pointlessly. And to make maintenance even easier, the oven is made with dishwasher safe turntable and flat contours that can be wiped clean easily after use.

As far as design goes, the Sharp YC-MS01U-S 20L Solo comes in a sleek silver finish and looks very high-tech. It can easily blend into any contemporary kitchen, and we bet no one can tell it's an affordable barebones appliance. So, if you're after a good budget microwave with a straightforward operation, we recommend you to consider this model. It looks well in the kitchen and couldn't be simpler to use. Most often it's simply one twist of the timer knob!

Sharp YC-MS01U-S Solo Microwave Oven in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £79.98
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B07H9XTN3N

 

Toshiba MM-MM20P

Great Value

The Toshiba MM-MM20P is one more basic microwave that offers excellent value for money. On purchasing it, you can get a whole lot more benefits than the retail price otherwise suggests you would. Actually, it’s hard to find a microwave with a similar price that boasts a combination of a unique white design, brilliant performance, compact size, quiet operation, as well as rave reviews.

To begin with, it’s impossible not to notice how appealing this microwave looks. Dissimilar to traditional strainless steel modes, it's made in white colour and contrasting black accents with a black cooking window, giving it a real edgy feel. It has a neat footprint (44 x 32.5cm) and can find its place just about anywhere. With that, it has ample cooking capacity and manages to accommodate a standard-sized dinner plate, bowls, and some other crockery. The overall capacity makes 20 litres and can work well for couples, single occupied homes, dorms, and small families. And what families with babies will definitely appreciate is how quiet the Toshiba microwave is. When in use, it produces just 55 dB, meaning it's ideal for new parents who don't want to disturb their tots' sleep. Another thing that makes it attractive for parents is the addition of a child lock function, a feature that we were surprised to see within its price bracket.

Review of Toshiba MM-MM20P Manual Microwave Oven

Straightforward Operation

For a microwave that looks so sleek, the Toshiba MM-MM20P is surprisingly easy to use. It comes with two manual knobs that can help you reheat or defrost your food quickly and conveniently. The defrost setting auto-calculates the time needed for defrosting based on the weight of what you load inside. A manual timer (the same knob) goes up to 35 minutes to let you cook according to your unique needs. Rated at 800 watts of maximum power, the oven cooks quickly and evenly. Plus, you get a full range of cooking powers with five different levels from 100% down to 0%.

All things considered, the Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) solo microwave does exactly what it's supposed to do. It's a solid fit for those who mainly need to reheat ready meals or to defrost food occasionally. It's small, neat, attractive and quiet enough to use in dorms, small offices, or homes with babies.

Toshiba MM-MM20P Manual Microwave Oven in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price £59.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07VWR8VJ1

 

What Is a Microwave Oven?

A microwave oven is a popular kitchen appliance which is used not only at home but also in pubs, cafes, canteens, and restaurants. Today it is difficult to imagine a household that has no microwave oven. This appliance helps cook or reheat food quickly - all you need is to select the right setting or cooking programme. Along with reheating meals, this oven is used for defrosting food, making it possible to significantly cut the time you'd need to wait for the food to defrost naturally. Unlike a conventional oven, the microwave oven heats the food up from the inside, the main difference between the two, and cooks food very quickly, requiring a minimum of effort. In this article, you will find the selection of the five most popular microwave ovens among which you should be able to pick the one that will be right for you.

If you're a fan of fried toasts or bakery food, we recommend you also consider our reviews of the best toasters. While if you can't imagine your breakfast without a hot cup of coffee, then you should certainly go find out what espresso and coffee machines are most popular with users this year.

What Features to Compare

There are many microwave oven reviews online but still, the choice of this appliance is difficult. Many customers get confused over the technical specification of every microwave and that is why we have made our comparison as simple yet informative as possible. We have picked 5 best microwave ovens and analysed them according to the most important features without going too deep into tech stuff.

Capacity and Power

First of all, you need to choose what capacity and power you need. The Capacity is the inner volume of the microwave oven which means the cooking camera you put food in. It is important since the choice depends on how much food you are going to cook. If, for example, you need a microwave to heat up a couple of burgers, a plate of soup or a cup of milk - then you can choose a smaller appliance with the capacity of 18-20 litres. However, if you have many family members to cook for, you should choose a microwave oven with large capacity - over 23 litres. Also, if you need a microwave for your cafe, look for a high-capacity model. If you have such an appliance you can cook meat, vegetables, make soups, bake cakes and so on. And here is where we come to another important feature which is Power. The power heavily depends on the capacity of a microwave oven - the larger a cooking chamber is, the more power an oven must have. No need to say, the more powerful an appliance is, the faster you will be able to heat up and cook the food. Any modern microwave oven allows you to choose a power level. As usual, most home microwaves have the power between 800 and 1000 watts which is optimal in terms of price to performance ratio.

Auto Cook Options

For the best cooking experience, every microwave oven has a number of special pre-programmed auto cook options (which can also be called Settings and so on) that help you cook certain dishes without any problems. Auto cook options already follow a pre-programmed configuration (power, time, etc.) so you just need to choose an appropriate one and press START. As usual, there are from 4 to 8 cooking settings but some models have even more of them. Of course, you can still configure the cooking options by yourself. Also, pay attention to a number of power levels every microwave oven has.

Inner Surface

Finally, it is important to know what kind of inner surface every microwave oven has. Most often the microwaves with grills and convection have an interior covered with enamel which is heat-resistant and easy-to-clean. Enamelled ovens are very popular today. Also, a ceramic coating can be used - it is scratch-resistant, smooth, withstands high temperatures. However, ceramics requires care and can be damaged. There is another widespread material - stainless steel. Stainless steel interior microwave ovens are the most reliable, as their interior is heat-resistant yet it is more difficult to clean. You need to keep in mind that the cheapest models have just an enamel-like paint but it is not a problem - this simple coating is durable enough and can withstand really high temperatures. As usual, microwave ovens without a grill and convection have it.

Did you know?

Safe or Not?

If you google “Are microwave ovens dangerous?", you'll probably get tons of comments from overly concerned people who believe that this kitchen appliance might have a dangerous side. In reality, the majority of scientists and health experts consider that microwave ovens are overwhelmingly safe if used correctly.

Microwave electromagnetic radiation can't break up atoms or molecules, meaning they can’t damage DNA of living things as X and gamma rays can. Microwave ovens might only cause heating effects and harm at very high energies. However, all mass-market microwave ovens operate below strict limits set by the government.

How Popular?

The microwaves are extremely popular in America - at least 90% of families there own a microwave. The recent survey showed that American people consider a microwave oven the number one invention that can make life easier. The huge popularity hasn’t passed Europe as well. There are about 23 million microwaves ovens in homes across the UK alone.

The First Microwave Oven

The roots of the invention of microwave ovens go back to 1920 and the exploitation of high-frequency radio waves for heating purposes. Yet the first patent for a microwave oven was registered in 1937 by Bell Laboratories states. The first commercial microwave, "Radarange", was built in 1947. It was 1.8 meters in height and weighed around 340 kilograms. Of course, it used much more power compared to today's microwave ovens. It was utilized primarily by restaurants. It could quickly re-heat food upon ordering, which helped to keep people coming in and out faster. Only, in the 1970s, compact microwaves for residential use were created.

Don’t Play With Liquids

Did you know that boiling a cup of water in a microwave oven might cause it to explode? It’s not a myth, it’s a fact. The thing is that if homogeneous liquids are heated in a clean ceramic or glass cup for too long, they can superheat and explode. The bubbles that normally cool down the water don’t form, and as a result, the water passes its boiling point. So, in order to avoid explosion, heat liquids for the minimum amount of time and place a wooden stick or a spoon in a cup.

Another interesting fact is that oils don’t heat well in microwave ovens since their molecules lack the polarity found in water. The same goes for frozen butter.

What Delicacies Can Microwave Make?

There are many delicious things you can make in your microwave. You can use a microwave not just for re-heating foods but also for making brownies, cooking potato chips, and even baking a lasagna. Have we made your mouth water? Discover these recipes and treat your family to delicious meals you didn't know you could make in your micro!

Sources:

1. How to Choose a Microwave Oven, wikiHow.

2. Microwave Oven Advantages and Disadvantages, MostInside. September 28, 2015.

3. Sarah Perry Do You Really Need a Microwave? Chowhound. February 17, 2014.

4. Kristin Apperbrink 21 Essential Recipes to Make in Your Microwave, Kitchn. March 7, 2016.

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