Think beyond making popcorn and reheating leftovers — a great microwave oven can turn out steamed veggies, baked potatoes, and crispy bacon that'll rival the cooking results you get from your range (and it'll do it two to five times faster). These top-tested models from the GolfHr Institute Kitchen Appliances Lab are worth putting to work.
This top-seller on Amazon is state of the art. It offers 10 power levels, an LCD screen, and a Sensor IQ Reheat and Cook setting that auto-adjusts to the perfect cook time. Plus, this stainless steel beauty is one of the only microwaves in our test that aced popping popcorn and comes with an easy-to-grip bar handle (versus a push-button release).
Dimensions: 18 x 20.5 x 12.5 inches
With a capacity of .9 cubic feet, this Toshiba microwave won't hog too much space on your countertop. Thanks to its intuitive controls, bold display, and six preprogrammed functions plus a one-touch Express Cook setting, this model earned top scores in our ease-of-use evaluation. Plus it comes with a special Sound Off mode, meaning you can mute beeps and alerts when heating up leftovers past midnight (we've all been there).
Dimensions: 19.2 x 15.9 x 11.5 inches
On the other hand, with a capacity of 2.2 cubic feet, the stainless steel GE Profile microwave boasts a smooth easy-to-clean control panel and a large interior, making it a great model for big families. Seriously, you can heat an entire casserole or pizza on the 16-inch turntable and still have plenty of room to spare. It cooks evenly so you won't find a cold spot in the middle of your ziti and delivers perfectly steamed veggies.
Dimensions: 20 x 24 x 14 inches
For years, there wasn't much innovation in microwave technology — that is, up until Amazon introduced its own AmazonBasics microwave that works with . Now, you can use your voice to command your appliance to heat foods and the built-in tech will know exactly how long and at what power level to use. It can also reorder popcorn automatically using Amazon Dash Replenishment. Just keep in mind you'll need your own device to perform voice commands (not included with the microwave).
Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.1 x 14.1 inches
This GE microwave oven with a 16-inch turntable proves you don't need to spend a bundle to get perfectly "baked" potatoes, steamed broccoli, or evenly heated mac 'n cheese. Thanks to a smooth control panel with lettering that contrasts well with the background, it's super easy to read the display and wipe it clean. If stainless steel isn't your style, this model also comes in black and white.
Dimensions: 23.87 x 13.625 x 19.25
Thanks to its sleek stainless steel exterior, this Panasonic microwave oven will be a beautiful addition to your countertop. And as if microwaving meals wasn't fast enough already, you'll love that this champ can take on defrosting ground meat, cooking a frozen pizza, or baking potatoes in almost no time at all.
Dimensions: 20.69 x 12.19 x 15.25 inches
We tested 10 microwaves in our Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab, checking how well they melted cheese, "baked" potatoes, reheated and defrosted, popped popcorn, and cooked vegetables. We also looked at their ease of use — controls, opening the doors, view-ability inside, cooking alerts, and cleaning. For models with convection and/or grill capabilities, we tested their ability to roast chicken, bake cake, and broil steak, then noted surface temperatures.