High-tech microwaves are kitchen appliances designed to take the cooking concept to a whole new level. From incorporating new technologies to impressive functions, they are a great choice for those who need a professional microwave – either at home or in a commercial kitchen.
With dozens of models out there, though, how can you pick the best one? We spent countless hours researching the market and testing promising models. Check them out below to find the best high tech microwave you can get your hands on.
What is a high-tech microwave?
A high-tech microwave is understood as the best high-end or luxury microwave. Such a unit incorporates the best new microwave technology as well as characteristics and functionality to complete a professional kitchen.
The main difference with a conventional microwave is in the hardware. The pieces that construct these types of microwaves are of the best quality, making the product more powerful and reliable. An 800-watt microwave in this category, for instance, can cook as well – if not better than – a 1,000-watt standard microwave.
Some high-tech microwaves incorporate smart features. Others have dual-cooking capabilities, allowing you to transition from microwave alone to convection microwave cooking, and so on.
Conventional oven vs. smart microwaves
The base difference between conventional ovens and smart microwaves is the way you can use and interact with your unit.
Conventional microwaves use electromagnetic radiation to heat water molecules in your food and cook it. That’s it. You have to set each function manually, alongside the right cooking time. Failure to set the microwave properly would result in poorly cooked or overcooked food. Moreover, the unit may also create hot spots if you don’t turn or stir the food halfway through the program.
Smart microwaves incorporate technologies that allow for an automatic program setting. Sensor cooking is one of the most popular high-tech settings – this function detects the amount of water in your food and sets the cooking power and time automatically.
Some of the fanciest high-tech microwaves even adjust these parameters halfway through the program, so you’ll never have to worry about under- or overcooking again.
Aside from these functions, high-tech microwaves also have actual smart functionality. Think about voice commands, app connectivity, and the like.
What are the benefits of buying a high-tech microwave?
To an extent, standard and high-tech microwaves are alike. So, why spend more on a high-tech model? Here are a few reasons:
High-tech microwaves are more powerful and cook food faster and better than conventional microwaves.
Most high-tech microwaves have more functions compared to conventional ovens. For instance, most have a preset program for cooking, defrosting, and reheating, making cooking effortless. Some also work as a kitchen timer and clock aside from their microwave function, and so on.
Almost all high-tech microwaves are inverter microwaves designed for better heating and increased efficiency.
What to look for when Buying a High-tech Microwave?
Besides all the points made above, there are certain characteristics that define a good high-tech microwave.
There are several types of high-tech microwaves you can choose from, including, countertop, built-in, and over the range.
Countertop models are perfect for most kitchens if you don’t have cabinet space for a built-in model and don’t want to replace your range hood.
Built-in units can make your kitchen look more streamlined. They are ideal for kitchens with little counter space, but you’ll have to give up some cabinet space.
An over-the-range microwave is one of the best space-saving solutions. It replaces the range hood, though, so it might not be ideal if your kitchen has poor ventilation. Most over-the-range units use charcoal filtration.
Microwave drawers are another type of built-in microwave. Instead of taking up cabinet space, they replace a drawer in a bottom kitchen unit. These are a better choice for people with disabilities or ailments that prevent them from lifting heavy dishes above head level.
Another thing to consider is the design. Most high-tech microwaves have a sleek appearance, black glass doors, touch control panels, and bright interior light. The control panel should have a backlight for easier operation.
Most brands nowadays manufacture high-tech microwaves. Panasonic NN series, for instance, includes microwaves in this category. Among the other brands, we can mention:
Having in mind that these are smart microwaves, the display has to play the same game. Look for units with intuitive control panels, and a LED screen to follow the proper instructions and steps before executing the command.
This new microwave technology allows you to be in absolute control of the cooking programs, using the power levels to find that sweet spot where you make an excellent finished dish.
The best high-tech microwaves also incorporate voice control features. Depending on the brand, you can choose from the following (or a combination of those):
Using your own voice and an echo device, these smart microwaves can take direct orders from you, from heating a cold soup to instructing a complex defrosting with methods and timings.
There are some microwaves that work with Google connect smart and, in par with Alexa and Google Home, you can issue voice controls to the microwave to achieve any kind of work.
Same principle as Alexa and Google Home but with different software. Siri equips most Apple devices.
The cooking power refers to the wattage of the microwave. These can go from 800 watts to more than 1,500.
The ideal cooking power is between 900 and 1,200 watts, depending on the food item you’re cooking and cooking type (cook, defrost, or reheat). The middle point would be 1,100 watts, which is the most common and the one that represents the perfect balance between a mediocre result and a professional one.
A microwave with sensor cooking is a must priority. This feature provides an optimal heating cycle focusing on the cooking, reheating, or defrosting process.
The heating cycle is determined by sensing the amount of vapor released by your food. The oven adjusts the power level and timing automatically to prevent over- and undercooking.
Multi-stage cooking also relies on a sensor (and is generally found only in high-tech microwaves with sensor cooking). The main difference is that the sensor detects the amount of moisture in your food at the beginning of the cycle, and then again halfway through the cooking program.
In this way, your microwave will adjust the cooking parameters again in the middle of the cycle, adding more time or reducing the amount of time and power level. The result is even better-cooked food with a better texture and more flavor.
Pre-programmed settings allow you to take the guesswork out of the game, no matter what you want to cook.
Most high-tech microwaves have pre-programmed settings for common foods, such as vegetables, potatoes, popcorn, pizza, and various kinds of meat (generally poultry, beef, and fish). The most advanced models allow you to cook even more foods without bothering too much about the right cooking settings.
Some high-tech microwaves also combine sensor cooking with a specific pre-programmed function, helping food maintain its nutrients, flavor, and texture.
The inverter technology works very simply: it basically modulates the level of energy the microwave transmits between its circuits automatically to achieve the total balance of temperature. The result is better-cooked food and fewer hot spot issues.
The most basic safety feature is the child lock system. Basically, as its name indicates, this prevents little fingers from operating the unit when it is enabled. Other safety features include overheating switches that turn off the unit if the motor heats beyond a threshold.
With this in mind, let’s check out the best high-tech microwaves on the market.
1. Sharp KB-6524PS 24-Inch Microwave Drawer Oven
Offering plenty of cooking space, this microwave is perfect for a family kitchen in need of a stylish, streamlined design. With 950 watts of power, this microwave is an excellent option for serious home chefs or those who need a compact microwave.
It comes with a lot of different features, all excellent to incorporate into your kitchen.
With the amazing AutoTouch key, this microwave can open and shut the door automatically, making it far easier to use when you have your hands full.
With 11 programs, its sensor can make magic happen, from controlling the temperature to cooking lots of foods to perfection. With this oven, finding the perfect balance of your dish to impress friends and family is a cinch.
Overall, this microwave oven puts off an excellent performance. You can use it to cook simple and more elaborate dishes alike.
Sometimes, if not installed correctly, this microwave can start emitting a loud sound. To prevent errors, it is best to have this unit professionally installed.
This microwave oven comes with operating instructions, but the booklet is poorly written and difficult to understand. If this is your first microwave drawer and don’t know how to use it, things could quickly become frustrating.
2. Panasonic NN-CD87KS HomeChef 4-in-1 Microwave Oven
The ultimate all-in-one microwave with Genius sensor, it can do anything from grilling, broiling, frying, and more. It can save you a lot of time and space because you can get rid of your old electronics that do the same thing.
Not only can you use it as an inverter microwave, but it can be a backup for your main oven.
How many times did you want to enjoy some crispy French fries without that oily and deep-fried aftertaste? Then this microwave comes and fries the product only with hot air, ensuring deliciously good yet healthier options.
As said, this microwave can be used as a second oven if yours fails at rush hour. You can use it to bake, roast, fry, and more.
This microwave incorporates smart cooking technology in the form of an inverter and smart sensor. The result is excellent temperature control and perfectly cooked food time and time again.
If you are not careful and press the start button by accident when the microwave is empty, there is a design flaw that makes it difficult to stop and reset.
Another downside is that this Panasonic microwave has to run on a separate circuit, independent from any other appliance. Otherwise, you should make sure that no other appliance is in use on the same circuit when using the microwave oven, to prevent circuit overload.
3. GE JES1097SMSS Countertop Microwave Oven
An excellent choice if you spend a short time in the kitchen or want a small microwave oven that is easy to operate yet performing.
This GE microwave has scan-to-cook technology and Wi-Fi connectivity, making it a perfect option if you want to control it from a distance. No doubt, one of the best countertop microwaves on the market.
This smart microwave has a complex interface that helps to program different multi-cooking options. Thanks to its scan-to-cook and smart reheat technology, it is capable of executing each programmed function perfectly.
It works both with Google Assistant and Alexa at the same time, being capable of being issued with voice commands from a distance and cooking it to order.
Incorporating a smart cooking sensor, this microwave can take the basics of a conventional oven and make it faster and more intense, cutting time by half but not quality.
If true that with Android works very well, iOS has some connectivity issues that makes the microwave go offline and online randomly.
Sometimes, the unit starts beeping without reason.
4. Frigidaire UMV1422US Compact Over-the-Range Microwave
Another microwave with automatic sensor cooking or, in other words, the intelligence to take full control of the cooking process and perfect the food to that level we all desire.
It comes with a child lock security system to avoid any unnecessary scares where the smallest ones are involved.
This microwave oven boasts multiple one-touch buttons. With the simple press of a button, the microwave will do all the cooking without blinking.
A classic among smart microwaves, this one also has the ability to take full control of the temperature and power levels to deliver the food exactly how you want it.
This over-the-range microwave features LED cooktop lighting. It is an excellent replacement for a dull range hood.
With the door open, the microwave is wider than anticipated. You should measure your kitchen thoroughly, especially if you plan to place the unit on a shelf or inside a cabinet.
If we are not careful with the maintenance, the microwave’s chip can overheat to the point of expanding itself and destroying the machine as a whole.
5. Toshiba EC042A5C-SS Countertop Microwave Oven with Convection
This microwave by Toshiba comes with one of the most sought-after functions a microwave can ever have: the sound on/off option.
Thanks to its stylish stainless steel interior, the cleaning process is far easier, making it a perfect candidate to save your time while still keeping the kitchen spotless.
The sensor cooking works when programming the oven manually, but also when selecting one of the pre-programmed cooking options.
The control panel and bright display make the oven a cinch to operate. The buttons are large and intuitive.
Can cook from popcorn to fast dishes with a simple touch of a button, making lives far easier around the world.
Sometimes, the upper heating resistance will not work properly, requiring you to contact the service center and have it inspected by a technician.
While the control panel is a cinch to operate, finding the various pre-programmed options and setting the sensor cooking can be challenging.
|Sharp KB-6524PS||Panasonic NN-CD87KS||GE JES1097SMSS||Frigidaire UMV1422US||Toshiba EC042A5C-SS|
|Capacity||1.2 Cubic Feet||1.2 Cubic Feet||0.9 Cubic Feet||1.4 Cubic Feet||1.5 Cubic Feet|
|Max Power||950 Watts||1,000 Watts||900 Watts||1,000 Watts||1,000 Watts|
High-tech microwaves are an excellent choice for a luxury kitchen, but not only. Anyone can benefit from such an appliance, whether you need fast convection cooking or a more advanced microwave for quick defrosting or reheating.
We hope this guide can help you find the best microwave for you.