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Jan 17, 2011 12:22 PM

Recommend small microwave oven?

My microwave oven just died after about 12 years. I'm looking for a similar size (about 18 in wide) as I don't have much counter space. I would use it mostly for reheating food, melting chocolate, etc. Any recommendations for an affordable model from your experience?

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  1. 12 years! You had a good run. I found two things mattered--having a microwave large enough to fit the biggest container I would use in it--plate, bowl.......the other thing was having an easy "one minute button". Aside from that I'd just go with color and style but then I usually just end up buying what's at Costco.

    2 Replies
    1. re: escondido123

      Thanks for the reply. Costco does have the advantage of a good return policy, plus sometimes it's easier to make a decision when there are only a few options in front of you.

      There doesn't seem to be much love for microwave ovens on this site, but thought I'd throw the question out .

      1. re: plantainchips

        I think a lot of people use them and like them for certain things--maybe to call it "cooking" is going to far?

    2. If it were me and I was looking for a small countertop microwave I'd go to eithe Costco or a discount store and buy the one that has the features you like for around $50.

      1. plz consider a convection oven. multipurpose.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Chowrin

          You're right. I saw one recently that was a microwave/convection combination at a liquidator type store for $60. It would be great to use as an oven in the summer.

          1. re: Chowrin


            As it's been a while since I've had to shop for a microwave, I haven't really kept up with the technology. I had heard of convection microwave but I think those are larger than a plain old microwave (and need more cooling space around it)?

            Same space consideration with inverter technology (which I hadn't heard of and had to look up).

            Anyone have any specific models of these types which are fairly small (18-20 in, max) and not much more than around $100?

          2. Hi everyone,

            An observation...

            Consider getting one with inverter technology. That means when you use, say, 70% power, the microwaves actually "dial down" as opposed to starting and stopping. (Did that make sense???)

            Makes a big difference. The cooking process is more uniform.

            Might cost a bit more but microwaves are not a hugely expensive item.


            4 Replies
            1. re: I used to know how to cook...

              Good point. Do you have any example of these microwave ovens? (maybe post 1 or 2 links to these microwave) Thanks.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics


                Well, I don't know how to post a link but here's the page address from Panasonic. Mine is a Panasonic The Genius 1300 watt. Does a good job.


                Read the 'continuous power' link on the right.

                I looked at the Amazon link ahack posted. Not sure but it seems that microwave does have inverter technology.

                Basically it's like the oven in my old Roper gas range. The temp stays very steady because the burner adjusts up and down as opposed to turning off and on. There was (I think...) a discussion about gas ovens here a while back.


                P.S. I'll be darned. I posted a link and didn't know I did it!

                  1. re: I used to know how to cook...

                    I had one of the Panasonic MV's with the Inverter technology and it was absolutely fantastic for defrosting and re-heating. You can defrost meat with out getting that partial cooking around the edges.

                    When reheating it used a steam sensor to determine when your item was hot and then it switched to the lower power for another minute or so to ensure even re-heating. Excellent even results every time.

              2. Panasonic NN-SN667 is pretty nice in a compact footprint (20" wide).