Ten mid-sized microwave ovens on test, priced from $179 to $299
In microwaves, sensor programs work by measuring the amount of vapour emitted during cooking to control the cooking time and power level. They should eliminate the need for guesswork – about time, weight or quantity of the food – to achieve your desired results.
Similar to auto functions, sensor microwaves have a preset list of foods the sensor program can be used with. Automatic programs are based on pre-programmed times and require you to enter the portion size and select the food type, while manual mode involves entering the power level, time and weight of the food, using the instruction manual or onscreen prompts as a guide.
Sensor programs are a good feature to have, however you may need to experiment a little and use the “time-adjust while cooking” function to get the desired result, or use the manual mode.
Please note: this information was current as of April 2009 but is still a useful guide to today's market. For a more recent report, see our Microwaves Review 2011.
To take the guesswork out of choosing a good microwave, we assess their performance by:
- Defrosting mince and whole chicken.
- Cooking broccoli and rice.
- And reheating a non-stirrable food and a typical plated meal.
- We also look at ease of use and cleaning.
Microwave brands tested
- # Panasonic Inverter NN-ST657W
- Samsung MW103H
- Sanyo Family Size EMS8597W
- Sanyo Mid Size EMS6786V
- Sharp Carousel R330JS
- # Whirlpool X2-30ES/S
- LG MS3448GRK
- # Panasonic Inverter Genius NN-ST667W
- Samsung Smart Sensor ME6124ST
- # Sharp Carousel R350LW
# Discontinued model. Availability and prices checked in September 2010.