We test standard microwaves of different sizes from brands like Panasonic, LG, Sharp and more.
Our lab test results will tell you:
Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which brands perform best and are the most efficient. Our Recommended list will help you see quickly which models come out on top.
List of brands we tested in this review.
The manufacturer's recommended retail price.
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We recommend microwave ovens that score at least 80% overall and 70% ease of use.
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Automatic functions prompt you to enter the weight and type of food for the microwave to calculate the cooking time.
Automatic functions prompt you to enter the weight and type of food for the microwave to calculate the reheating time.
We test the microwaves using the sensor program (or the auto program or manual mode for models without this feature). We defrost mince meat and chicken, cook broccoli and reheat quiche.
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We defrost mince to assess the microwave's auto-defrost ability. Parts of the food can start cooking if the auto-defrost time is too long, the power program is poorly designed or the oven's microwave distribution is not even.
We defrost chicken to assess the microwave's auto-defrost ability. Parts of the food can start cooking if the auto-defrost time is too long, the power program is poorly designed or the oven's microwave distribution is not even.
We cook broccoli to assess the microwave's ability to cook vegetables.
We check that controls are intuitive, easy to operate and the instructions easy to follow. We also check the effectiveness of the light, and whether the viewing window is large enough and easy to see through. We assess the interior and exterior of the microwave for ease of cleaning – do the surfaces wipe clean easily, and are there small holes and seams that can gather dirt?
A typical microwave's magnetron (the gizmo that creates the microwaves) at, say, 50% power will cycle between being on at full power and completely off for 50% of the cooking time. Inverter technology continuously uses 50% power for the whole cooking time – so no on/off power cycling and (at least in theory) more even heating of your food. But while inverter technology may sound impressive, in practice we've found it doesn't always guarantee top performance.
Microwaves with this feature can be programmed to perform a sequence of functions, such as defrost, cook and leave to stand.
Whether the microwave oven is a built-in type rather than freestanding.
Some microwaves have a removable turntable that rotates as food is heating, others just use a flatbed surface.
A Similar model is identical in most aspects except for a few. This means that a majority of its test results are identical so you can reasonably expect to get the same results from the model we tested, but for those aspects which aren't identical, we'll note these as "Not Tested" in the Compare tables.
A Tested model refers to a model that is still current and available in the Australian market. You should be able to order this model through your local retailer, or find it online.
These models can't be found in retailers or online or are no longer manufactured. You may still find these models on second hand websites, or in second hand dealers. Test methods may change over time, so criteria which can't be directly compared will contain an N/A.
An Identical model is exactly that. Performance characteristics will be identical and the only difference will be something trivial such as colour, which won't have an impact on performance.
These are models we haven't yet tested but that are available.