The Best Microwave In Australia For 2020

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The humble microwave is one of the most useful and convenient appliances to have in the kitchen. They are incredibly versatile, reliable, and are a great option for small kitchen spaces. While all microwaves are able to do the basics of defrosting, reheating, and cooking foods they each vary in quality, size and additional features.

When looking for the best microwave for your home there are a lot of factors to consider. To help you find quality options we have reviewed some of the best microwaves in Australia including the best inverter, traditional and convection models. If you aren’t sure what features your microwave needs, take a look at the buyer’s guide below for more information on specifications and common features.


1. LG NeoChef MS4296OSS – Best Inverter Microwave


The LG NeoChef is a versatile microwave that combines compact minimalism with inverter technology. It looks modern and stylish so will suit all kitchens and the smaller size means it can fit into tighter spaces. It also features a child lock to prevent it from being accidentally started.

The simplified controls make using the NeoChef easy and the 12000W of power means cooking and reheating times are reduced. The turntable uses a hexagonal ring to provide more support points and prevent items from spilling or tipping over during cooking.

As this is an inverter microwave it enables more precise temperature control and avoids overcooking as well as uneven defrosting. There is also a humidity sensor that automatically adjusts cooking time and power levels during cooking. The interior of this microwave has an Anti-Bacterial EasyClean coating which eliminates harmful bacteria and can be wiped clean.


What We Like:

Sleek design
Versatile
Ease of use

What We Don’t Like:

No alternative options to the musical chiming noise made when the timer ends


2. Samsung ME6124ST – Best Traditional Microwave


This microwave from Samsung offers everything you need and more. The 34 litre capacity offers enough space to heat large and small food containers and the ten adjustable power levels (from warm to high) ensure you can cook food exactly as you’d like.

There is a selection of preset cooking times for a range of foods and the microwave has an auto sensor to prevent overheating food. You can also defrost food using the auto defrost feature which is designed to thaw food quickly and safely. The Triple Distributions System (TDS) ensures heat is distributed evenly during cooking.

The interior of this Samsung microwave is non-stick ceramic enamel which is scratch-resistant and durable. The humidity sensor allows for great results with minimum effort as the sensor adjusts the overall cooking time based on the degree of humidity within the microwave oven.


What We Like:

Automatic features
Even heat distribution
10 power levels

What We Don’t Like:

Dark door means you cannot see the food when cooking


3. Electrolux 25L Combination – Best Convection Microwave


This combination convection microwave oven from Electrolux is a versatile, user-friendly model that offers a range of cooking options so you can microwave, grill or cook food as you would in a convection oven. The dark stainless steel with black glass looks smart and stylish.

There are 10 pre-set programs for straightforward auto cooking. The auto-defrost works by weight and there is also a quick start function that offers full power in 30-second increments. You can also save your favourite program to make it easy to access.

The Electrolux 25L is a compact, convection microwave oven that is intuitive to use. The child safety lock is great for families as it makes sure this microwave oven is not accidentally operated and prevents the settings from being changed once the microwave is switched on.


What We Like:

Multifunction
Save your favourite program
Intuitive easy to use controls

What We Don’t Like:

If an error code displays the unit has to be unplugged/ the power disconnected to reset


4. Breville BMO625BSS Quick Touch Compact Microwave


The Breville Quick Touch Compact is a user-friendly microwave that is easy to set and use. There are 20 auto menus as well as smart cook, reheat, defrost, melt and soften settings that can be started with just the press of a button.

The shortcuts panel is on the inside of the microwave door and the auto buttons give you quick access to your favourite settings. You can also program your own settings to suit the food you are cooking and you can adjust the power and time throughout the cooking cycle.

You can also use the screen as an independent kitchen timer to help you keep track of other kitchen tasks. If your food needs a bit more time there is the simple “A Bit More” setting so you don’t have to start a new cycle. The A Bit More button also doubles up as the child lock for added safety in homes with kids.


What We Like:

Auto cook menus
Kitchen timer
Easy access to favourite settings

What We Don’t Like:

Quite noisy when in use


5. LG NeoChef MS2596OB 25L 1000W Inverter Microwave


The LG NeoChef MS25960B is a powerful, versatile inverter microwave that has multiple menus and options to make it as user-friendly and convenient as possible.

This microwave has 10 power levels, 22 cook menus and 4 defrost options as well as a number of auto-settings. It uses inverter technology to make sure food is evenly reheated and frozen items are defrosted thoroughly. You can also start heating straight away without needing to look at, or navigate through, the menus by using the 30 second start function. This function turns the microwave on to full power and can be increased in 30 second increments.

The interior of this LG Neochef has an anti-bacterial coating and the turntable is stable to avoid spillages. The black glass finish looks smart and will fit in well with any kitchen decor. The door is designed with a hidden handle which looks sleek and ensures the microwave will blend seamlessly.


What We Like:

Evenly defrosts and reheats dishes
Sleek design with hidden handle
Versatile

What We Don’t Like:

The black glass shows fingerprints very easily


6. Breville BMO700BSS The Quick Touch Crisp Microwave


The Breville Quick Touch Crisp is an innovative inverter microwave that includes a crisper pan so you aren’t left with soggy reheated food. This is a versatile microwave that you can use to grill, toast and heat food with ease.

This microwave has a range of auto menus to provide the right power for the results you want. The automatic options include Smart Cook & Grill, Smart Reheat, Defrost, Melt and Soften. There is also one-touch shortcuts for common tasks such as popcorn, melting chocolate, grilled cheese or baked potato. This means you can make popular dishes in the microwave simply by using the one-touch shortcuts.

There is also a custom preset option so you can customize the settings too. The “A Bit More” button works as a quick way to give your food more time and also works as a child lock.


What We Like:

Crisper pan browns and crisps food
Lots of auto functions
One-touch shortcuts

What We Don’t Like:

Not as durable as other microwaves


7. Ariston MWA25B Freestanding Microwave Oven & Grill


This 25L freestanding microwave oven and grill from Ariston is a versatile option that will fit well in any kitchen. The microwave has a side hinged door and the black glass finish is modern and stylish.

The microwave uses a dual wave emission system to ensure food doesn’t get soggy when being reheated. There are multiple modes to choose from including microwave, grill, combo, bread defrost, dynamic crisp and dynamic defrost. There is also a chef menu of 17 programmes that help you prepare a wide variety of dishes quickly and easily.

The microwave features an electronic programmer and an auto clean function to make sure the inside of the microwave can simply be wiped clean after use.


What We Like:

Dual crisp system to give crisp results
Versatile chef menu
Auto clean function

What We Don’t Like:

The menu isn’t as intuitive and easy to navigate as other options


Microwave Oven Buyer’s Guide


Microwaves are fast, reliable and are often very versatile too. Price and power are not the only factors to think about when you are choosing a new microwave for your kitchen. Modern microwaves offer so much more than simply the ability to cook ready meals.

If your kitchen space is limited, your cooking time is short or your lifestyle is busy a microwave oven is a great investment. When looking for the best microwave for your kitchen consider the factors and features discussed below.

Types of Microwaves

There are 3 main types of microwaves to choose from. The most notable differences between them are the features, power and price :

  • Microwave only – a standard microwave (also known as a solo microwave) is best for simple tasks. These models tend to be cheaper and more compact than the other microwave types. They are well suited if you only plan to defrost, cook or reheat items such as ready meals, vegetables or soup. Overall, these microwaves are simple, intuitive and convenient but offer limited functionality. This is the best microwave for basic needs and is the cheapest of the microwave types.
  • Microwave and grill – a microwave with grill combines the features of a standard microwave with a grill function. This allows you to brown and crisp food using the grill meaning you can create more complex dishes such as grilled meat or fish or pizza and crispy jacket potatoes. They don’t offer convection oven features like combination microwaves do but are a good option for grilling, defrosting and heating. This is the best microwave type if you are looking for more versatility but have a separate oven you plan to use for cooking too.
  • Combination microwave – a combination microwave is more like a micro oven as it offers multiple ways of heating food. This usually includes standard microwaving, grilling and convection heating too. Some combi microwave ovens also offer steaming which is a great feature for anyone looking to make healthy recipes. These microwave ovens are convenient and are the best option for smaller kitchens. However, combination microwaves do tend to cost more than other microwaves so it is worth keeping this in mind too.

Built-In or Freestanding

Each of the types of microwaves summarised above can be bought as a built-in or freestanding model.

A built-in model is concealed with your existing cupboards and appliances. This means they will look seamless and won’t disrupt the space in your kitchen. A built-in microwave provides a great aesthetic in any kitchen but they do tend to cost more than free standing options. It comes down to personal preference as to whether or not you think the seamless, stylish and modern look of a built-in model is worth the extra cost.

A free standing model will sit on your worktop. You can place this microwave wherever you think it looks good (as long as there is enough clearance space) and you have the freedom to move the unit around as you want to. As a result, installation of a freestanding model is quick and easy. The only downside is that it takes up your countertop space so if this is limited in your kitchen you may want to consider a built-in model instead.

Clearance Space

Whichever microwave type you choose, make sure you have enough clearance space for sufficient air ventilation. You cannot take a freestanding microwave and conceal it in a cupboard as this will be dangerous and will not provide the appropriate ventilation. Each model requires a different clearance space so be sure to check the specifications of the microwave you are considering before buying. Ventilation is important for safety so don’t skip this step.

Control Panel

Microwave ovens usually have several buttons and a dial for selecting options and adjusting timers. It is important the control panel is easy to use and understand. The controls should be clearly labelled so you have no doubt what each of the buttons do. You should be able to alter the settings of the microwave without interrupting the cooking. The best microwaves also offer a one-touch start feature where you can start the microwave immediately without needing to choose particular settings.

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Automatic & Pre-Programmed Features

Having automatic cooking and defrosting makes it quick and easy to microwave different dishes without needing to guess timings. Most microwaves offer auto weight options where you simply enter the weight and type of food you want to cook or defrost and the microwave will set the power and timer according to this. It’s as straightforward as that and preset menus include settings for the most popular foods.

Sensor Cooking

This is when the microwave oven detects the humidity of the oven and the moisture of the food. There are lots of kinds of moisture generated when microwave cooking.

When the sensor detects the levels of moisture and humidity it will then automatically adjust the power and cooking time to make sure the food won’t dry out. This eliminates the need for you to manually select the cooking time or power level during cooking and means you can leave the microwave to cook your dinner while you do other things. Sensor cooking is a great feature found on many microwaves.

Multiple Sequence Cooking

For ultimate ease of use, some microwaves offer multiple sequence cooking. This is where you can set the microwave to adjust the power levels during the cooking process. For example, you can defrost an item and then cook it in one sequence. Some microwaves also offer a delay start function allowing you to pre-set the time the cooking will begin.

Ease of Cleaning

One of the great things about microwave ovens is how easy they are to clean. The best microwave ovens have an anti-bacterial interior coating that can simply be wiped clean. Regular cleaning is essential to avoid a build-up of food residue and grime. Cleaning a microwave oven is considerably easier than cleaning a conventional oven. Some of the best microwave models come with a lining such as a pyrolytic or catalytic lining which is self cleaning.

Power

Microwave power is measured in watts, the higher the wattage the quicker the cooking will be. Microwave power tends to be between 650 – 1950W and you can usually select low, medium or high power modes to suit the cooking function being performed. High power is usually 100% of the power output so if you choose a 1000W microwave high power should be using the full 1000W.

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Capacity

The microwave capacity varies from smaller models of around 15L up to larger family-sized models of up to 32L. The larger microwaves have bigger turntables and more height to accommodate larger dishes. As a general guideline, a microwave of at least 27L is best suited to a family of 4.

When you are comparing models try to check the interior height and turntable size as sometimes capacity alone doesn’t give you the full picture. The door size may also be an important factor as larger doors make it easier to remove dishes (this may be particularly useful if someone in the home has reduced mobility or strength).

Turntable Vs Flatbed

Not all microwaves use a turntable, you may prefer a microwave without a turntable if you cook trays of food as there is generally more space. Inverter microwaves (flatbed microwaves) use a different method which means they don’t need to turn the food in order to cook it evenly. As a result, inverter microwaves tend to offer greater versatility and produce better results than turntable microwaves. You can enjoy more cooking space and great versatility with a flatbed microwave, they are also easier to clean but you can expect them to cost more than turntable microwaves.

Turntable microwaves automatically rotates the food so the food is evenly cooked or defrosted without you needing to do anything. Some microwaves allow you to turn the feature off temporarily for cooking certain dishes, this can be useful if you are cooking using larger or rectangular dishes.

Other Features

  • Chaos Defrost – This is when the microwave pulses are random to reduce defrosting times. A microwave that uses chaos defrost offers an improved auto defrost function.
  • Defrosting Rack – a defrosting rack is used to raise the food so that it is not resting on the bottom of the plate or microwave. Using a rack makes sure the food can be defrosted from all angles rather than just from above. This makes defrosting more even, effective and efficient.
  • Turbo Reheat – this gives a full power boost which is ideal for reheating soup or beans.
  • Quartz Grill – a quartz grill is an internal grill that is easy to use, quick to heat up and aids in browning foods. A quartz grill is best for pizzas, cheese on toast, sausages etc.
  • Radiant Grill – this requires preheating and is best for larger foods such as cuts of meat.
  • Child Lock – a safety lock is important if you have children around as this prevents the microwave from being switched on (or settings being adjusted) by your curious kids.
  • Drop Down Door – a traditional microwave has a side opening door but some high end microwaves now offer a drop down door which can make it easier to put items in and take items out. They also look smart and are a great option if the microwave is built-in.
  • Viewing Window – a clear viewing window and a bright internal light allows you to see inside the microwave and check on your food without opening the door and halting the cooking process. Some microwaves have dark or reflective doors which means you cannot see inside.
  • Accessories – some microwaves offer accessories such as trays, dishes, steamers. Using accessories can increase the types of dishes you can cook within the microwave.