It’s natural to assume that you have to sacrifice performance and features when buying one of the compact microwave ovens. For the most part it is true. Manufacturers seem to put most of their features into their larger microwave ovens while leaving compact microwave ovens as an afterthought. Part of the reason is because of the small space they have to work with. There just isn’t enough room to put all of the features of a larger microwave in compact microwaves.
Fortunately, not all compact microwave ovens are created equal. It’s actually possible to get a lot of the features you want plus outstanding performance in a small countertop microwave ovens.
What are some of the features you’re looking for?
Of course you’re looking for a compact microwave oven, but what does compact mean? For our purposes, small countertop microwaves are less than 1.0 cu. ft. Others may have different classification systems, but for our comparison, that’s what we used.
Looking for another Panasonic model? Be sure and see our posts:
- Small Microwaves: Top 5 Best Rated Compact Countertop Microwaves
- Microwave Ovens Countertop: Best Extra-Large Ovens
- Counter Top Microwaves: Buy This Best Microwave Brand!
- Stainless Steel Microwave: 3 Best Panasonic Microwave Ovens
- Panasonic Microwave: Best Full-Size Countertop Microwave Oven
Most compact microwaves come with minimal power because there isn’t enough room to put a large magnetron inside. It can be frustrating to wait a long time for your meal, when microwaves are supposed to be fast. It would be nice to get a compact microwave with about 1000 watts of power, but that’s not realistic. Most are closer to 700 or 800 watts. The closer you can get to 1000 watts, the better.
Looking for a larger microwave oven? Check out our article:
Inverter microwaves are uncommon in the compact category. An inverter adds a lot of cost and it might not make as much sense in a 0.7 cu. ft. microwave. Inverter microwaves do have bring a lot of benefits with them.
You may not be aware how a standard microwave adjusts power. It may have 10 power settings, but when the microwave is on, it is always using full power. To simulate varying power settings, it simply turns itself off and on. As you might imagine, that may be great for popcorn or other foods where you want full power, but on more delicate foods, it can really do a number on your food.
Want a convection microwave oven that bakes and microwaves? See our articles:
- Cuisinart Microwave Oven: Top Rated Convection Microwave
- Microwave Convection Oven Combo: Best Model
- Combination Microwave Oven: Best Under $300
- Convection Microwave Countertop: Best GE Microwave Oven Combo
- Convection Microwave: Top 4 Convection Microwave Ovens
Take a look at this small inverter microwave and see if it’s the best microwave oven for your needs!
Compact Microwave Ovens: Best Small Inverter Microwave Oven
If you know what an inverter microwave is, you may be surprised to know that you can find a compact model. The Panasonic NN-SD372S Stainless Steel 0.8 Cu. Ft. 950-Watt Inverter Microwave stands head and shoulders above the rest because of its cooking performance and class-leading technology. You get true variable power in this Panasonic microwave rather than a microwave that just turns off and on to simulate variable power. That makes it possible to have real success cooking more delicate foods that would not be possible in conventional microwaves. Featuring a compact inverter magnetron that cooks better and saves space, it has allowed them to put a large 11-1/4 inch glass turntable inside. This model Panasonic is no slouch on style either. It has a sleek, stainless steel exterior and may be the best looking stainless steel microwave oven. Here’s what you need to know about this Panasonic microwave oven.
- A full 0.8 cu. ft. interior space and a potent 950 watts of cooking power
- 10 levels of variable inverter microwave power allows you to cook have better success with all types of food including appetizers, entrees, breakfast, and after-school snacks
- Use its Inverter Turbo Defrost for faster defrosting without pre-cooking food
- Make your cooking easier by using its One-Touch Auto Cook buttons that automatically adjust variable power levels along with cooking times for your favorite foods including pasta, frozen entrees, potatoes, vegetables, and beverages
- Reheat multiple servings of leftovers using the Auto Reheat feature without setting power or time
- Set or add to cooking times quickly and incremental using the Quick Minute feature
- Friends or family late for a meal? Don’t sweat it. Just use the Keep Warm feature to pulse very low microwave power for up to 30 minutes to keep food at the ideal temperature without overcooking
- Leaves outdated keypads behind with its modern, easy-to-use Pop-out spin dial
- You also get additional handy features like three cooking stages, a more/less control, a popcorn button and delayed start
- The combination of a stylish stainless steel front will make this easy-to-clean countertop microwave oven a striking addition to any kitchen
- Large 11-1/4 inch glass turntable thanks to the compact magnetron
Unit measures 15-9/16L x 19-3/16W x 11H inches and weighs only 21 lbs.
- Quiet operation
- Inverter cooking is better
- Intuitive and easy to use
- Very powerful and great interior size for a compact unit
- Some number pad better than a dial
- Finish seems to attract fingerprints
- Labeling on front may be too small
- Fans that run for several seconds after cooking is done can be annoying
Panasonic NN-SD372S Overview Video
Compact Microwave Ovens Comparison Chart
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What do you think of these compact microwaves? Which small microwave oven are you planning to buy? Please take a moment to leave a comment below.
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As always, thanks for reading our MicrowaveOvenCentral.com post! We sincerely hope that it has helped you choose one of the best compact microwave ovens for your needs!