Microwave ovens, more commonly known as ovens, are a common household appliance all around the world. Not to be confused with conventional ovens or convection ovens, microwave ovens operate using microwaves.
A microwave oven is a versatile kitchen appliance and is a must-have for any household. Microwave ovens use electromagnetic radiation from microwaves to heat and cook food. Microwaves are shorter radio waves and longer than infrared waves, and they are also used in other things such as radars.
In this article, we will be exploring the microwave ovens available in the Malaysian market. Given that there are a variety of products available, purchasing a microwave oven could seem a bit intimidating to some.
As such, we have created this microwave oven all-in-one comprehensive guide to assist you in your quest of purchasing one. We will first be going over the pros and cons of a microwave oven and a conventional oven, followed by the types of microwave ovens, additional features to look out for, and lastly some of our top recommendations.
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Microwave Oven vs Conventional Oven
- Microwave ovens are intuitive to use as they do not have any complicated steps that are required.
- A microwave oven is much cheaper when compared to a conventional oven.
- It can cook food much faster than a conventional oven as it does not require pre-heating and will instead cook the food at full power immediately after the button is pressed.
- Energy from the microwaves is not wasted in heating the air as the food itself will absorb the microwaves.
- They are also easier to clean, maintain, and install given their small stature when compared to a conventional oven.
- Microwave ovens are unable to cook thicker foods through.
- Conventional ovens are better when it comes to versatility as they have a multitude of functions that are designed for every possible cooking scenario. A microwave can only do the bare essentials.
- Conventional ovens have many heat and temperature settings which are only vague buttons on the microwave oven typically from ‘defrost’ to ‘high’. This is great for ease of use but not so much for functionality.
- There is a possibility of safety hazards when operating the microwave oven. Some foods do require additional monitoring when in a microwave oven, as they can explode from too much heat. Additionally, metal objects should never be placed in the microwave oven when it is operational as they reflect the microwaves emitted and cause sparks.
Types of Microwave Oven in Malaysia
Conventional microwaves are ideal for anyone who wants a simple appliance to reheat, defrost, or heat their meals. They are limited to very basic functions but they execute these basic functions extremely well. Due to their lack of complexity, they are relatively easy to use. They typically do not require a complicated installation process and can just be plugged in and used.
A convection microwave oven is more versatile than a conventional microwave oven. They tend to come with a bunch of cooking functions in the same compact form as a conventional microwave oven. This would be the preferred choice for you if you have smaller kitchen space and do not wish to purchase a whole oven.
A built-in microwave oven is the most sturdy and pricey of the 3 types. They offer more cooking functions among the 3 and are perfect for those looking for a regular oven but who want the technology of a microwave oven. Being built-in does mean a bit more work when it comes to installation.
This installation process is made even more complicated by the specific ventilation requirements of a built-in microwave oven. As such, we would recommend you seek professional help when installing a built-in microwave oven. Though we might not include this specific type of microwave oven in our recommendations, we thought that it would be negligent of us to leave it out.
Additional factors to consider
Size & Capacity
When looking for the perfect microwave oven for your home, size and capacity is perhaps the most important factor to consider. You will want to choose a microwave oven that suits your needs. If you have a smaller kitchen space, a smaller microwave oven might be better for you and if you own a larger kitchen space, you would want to get a microwave oven that suits it.
This factor is made even more important if you intend on buying a built-in microwave oven. You will want to make accurate measurements whilst considering taking ventilation space into consideration to ensure the microwave oven will fit and operate effectively.
The capacity of microwaves will vary from about 17-liters to over 30-liters. This variety ensures that you will be able to find one regardless of your capacity desires. We recommend a larger capacity (about 27-liters and above) if you have a larger family.
Aside from that, we recommend you choose a microwave oven that will suit the size of your plates and containers as they will primarily be used in the microwave oven.
The power of microwave ovens is measured in watts and it indicates how fast a microwave can reheat, defrost, or warm up your food. Most microwave power ranges from 800-watts to 1300-watts with larger microwaves requiring more power and conversely smaller microwaves requiring less power.
Microwave power is also important to consider from an additional cost standpoint. With a larger more powerful microwave oven, the cost of operating it could add up to a significant sum in the long run. So if you are looking to save cost, choosing a microwave oven with lower wattage will help. But do keep in mind that a lower wattage could incur a longer cook time if the oven is large.
When it comes to cleaning, most microwave ovens do not cause much trouble. Microwave ovens are typically easy to clean with some exceptions here and there. There are additional features that can make cleaning an easier and more enjoyable experience.
Some manufacturers have designed their microwave ovens with a curved interior to reduce the amount of hard-to-clean sharp edges whilst also increasing the interior capacity of it.
Furthermore, some microwave ovens in the current market feature a removable rotating table, this isn’t a bad feature as it helps ensure an even cooking process but it can be a hassle to clean given the additional nooks and crannies it creates. It is important to clean the microwave every so often as food spills can absorb the microwaves produced and lead to a detrimental efficiency drop.
Most products in the current Malaysian market come with additional functions to suit all your wants and needs. However, it is important to remember that more functions mean a higher price tag. If you are looking for a budget option, you shouldn’t expect it to have many additional features.
Additional features such as pre-set programs take the guesswork out of microwave cooking and make the microwave easy to use. Some microwaves come with food sensors to help you achieve the best possible cooking results possible.
These sensors work by measuring the moisture content of the food and humidity inside the oven. They detect and adjust accordingly to cook the food to perfection so you can sit back and relax. You are not wrong if you are thinking that additional features are unnecessary, but that’s why they are called additional features.
Our Top Recommendations for the Best Microwave Oven in Malaysia
Now that we have gone through the pros and cons, the types, and other factors to consider when purchasing the best microwave oven for you, we can now move on to our top recommendations. This list is made from products that are widely available in popular Malaysian retail shops such as Lazada and Shoppe.
You can always refer back to this list when looking for your ideal microwave oven. Keep in mind that this list is solely based on our opinion and you are free to look for other products that are not included.
1. Toshiba Delux Series
Toshiba is a Japanese brand that has since established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the electrical home appliance industry. As such we have decided to include their microwave oven as we truly believe that it is one of the best microwave ovens in the current Malaysian market. The numbers and ratings that this product has received on Lazada and Shopee are astonishingly positive with over 1.5k units sold on Shopee and an average rating from over 900 customers of 4.9 out of 5 stars.
The exterior of it is a sleek black color and features a sturdy build. The microwave itself weighs about 12kg and has dimensions of 44 x 32 x 25.8cm (W x D x H). It has a touch control panel on the right-hand side which is also accompanied by an LED display. The microwave has power consumptions depending on the setting from 1000-watts to 1270-watts.
When you open the appliance’s door you can see that the inside cavity is coated and has a capacity of 20-liters, perfect for medium-sized families. The product also comes included with a turntable of about 25.5cm in diameter. The coating of the cavity is made with a non-stick material to ease the cleaning process.
As for additional functions, this product from Toshiba is full of them! It has 9 preset cooking functions as well as 11 power levels. This will allow you to cook a variety of items inside it. It also features a kitchen timer, multi-stage cooking functionality, a grill function, and a clock.
From our testing, we found that the coating of the cavity is not as non-stick as the manufacturer has claimed. But the spills were not hard to clean. At the time of writing, the product cost about RM265 and comes with a 1-year general warranty. The product does not require a complex installation process as it is a conventional microwave. With a reasonable price tag and a multitude of functions, we have no doubt that this product is one of the best microwave ovens that you could purchase.
2. Panasonic Inverter Grill
The second entry on this list is another strong contender for the best microwave oven in Malaysia. Coming from Panasonic, another big name in home appliances, the Panasonic Inverter Grill Microwave Oven is the next product on this list.
This kitchen appliance from Panasonic is a compact combination oven that comes in an aesthetically pleasing black exterior. The microwave features a touch control panel and a knob (we will go through why there is a knob in a bit). These controls are also accompanied by an LED display. Weighing in at 10kg with dimensions of 48.8 x 39.5 x 27.9cm (W x D x H). This product has a power output of 1000-watts
This countertop microwave from Panasonic comes with a turntable which as mentioned before might pose some hassle when it comes to cleaning but will ensure even cooking. The oven itself has a 23-liter capacity which is perfect for medium-sized families.
The features that are packed into this kitchen appliance are more than enough for any household. The number of extra features is also reflected in the price tag of RM552 at the time of writing. First, the oven comes with a number of sensors which are a cooking sensor and a reheat sensor. Sensors like these are great as you can sit back and relax as your food is being cooked/ reheated to perfection by this smart kitchen appliance.
The microwave also uses inverter technology from Panasonic. This inverter technology allows the appliance to cook foods quickly while providing browning and crispiness. Panasonic has coined the term ‘Dual Cooking’ for this inverter technology’s cooking process and we have to say that it does produce amazingly crisp foods.
Furthermore, the appliance comes with 6 preset functions which include MicroPower, auto reheat, grill, auto menu, combination, and turbo defrost. Perhaps one of the more interesting features is the time-to-weight knob that was mentioned above. This allows you to set the cooking time based on the weight of the food product.
This is the best microwave for families that do not mind the slightly higher price point. It offers a large variety of functions that make it an extremely versatile option to have in the kitchen. Worry not about the machine breaking down as you can claim the 1-year warranty included with it.
3. Electrolux Microwave Oven
The third entry on this list is this countertop kitchen appliance from Electrolux. This is one of the simpler products that we are featuring on this list. Electrolux is a company well known for its affordable electrical home appliances. This product from them serves as a benchmark for other products on this list.
Looking at its exterior build, you can see that this product is different from the other 2 before it. It does not have the fancy touch control panels or LED displays that are present on the previous entries on this list. The knob controls make this product more intuitive and hence easier to use. Having dimensions of 25.8 x 45.1 x 33.1cm (H x W x D) makes this the smallest product thus far.
When we open the door of the microwave, we can see that it features a large turntable relative to its size (27cm in diameter). Whether it’s a family-sized dish or a larger-than-life portion of fresh greens, this 27cm glass turntable will give you the flexibility to cook larger dishes than ever before.
Though it only features a cavity of 20-liters, the large turntable allows it to cook meals that would normally fit in a 23-liter oven. This makes it a perfect option for smaller to medium-sized families.
The functions of this kitchen appliance are rudimentary and are sufficient for most families. With the knob controls, you can adjust the power levels from 5 different selections and the cooking time you want.
This product from Electrolux is a perfect product for those looking for the best microwave oven without all the other bells and whistles offered by more expensive models.
4. Midea MM720CXM
The Midea MM720CXM is the fourth entry on this list. Midea is a brand that most Malaysians are familiar with. It is not uncommon to see Midea in other kitchen appliances such as range hoods, induction cooker, rice cookers, and so on. This product from them has passed our testing and we are proud to give them a chance at being the best microwave oven in Malaysia.
You can see that this product from Midea features a rather unique-looking exterior with an almost borderless glass design. This makes it one of the more aesthetically pleasing options on our list. The kitchen appliance itself weighs 10.5kg and has dimensions 32.8 x 44 x 25.8 cm (W x D x H). It has a power output of 700-watts and a power consumption of 1050-watts.
You can see that this product is similar to the entry before it. It does not have a touch control panel or an LED display but it has a knob control.
When you open the door, you’ll see the glass turntable of diameter 25.5cm that allows for an even cooking process. The interior of the tabletop kitchen appliance comes with a 20-liter capacity, making it a great option for those with smaller to medium-sized families.
This appliance is similar to the previous one and it only features the essentials. It has a knob for different heat settings (low, medium-low, medium, medium-high, high) and a knob for timing (35-minute max).
In the user manual of the product, the manufacturer has included some cooking applications for each of the heat settings as well as some troubleshooting solutions. This item as well as the previous one on this list boast similar price tags and are the best microwave oven when it comes to value for money.
5. Sharp Microwave oven
Following the more simple products on this list is this kitchen appliance from Sharp. This appliance unlike the previous 2 has a handful of incredible features that we can’t wait to dive into.
This product from Sharp features an LED display accompanied by the various touch control buttons that allow you to manipulate the heat settings as well as use the presets available. With a weight of approximately 16kg and dimensions 51.3 x 30.7 x 43cm (W x D x H), it is one of the larger ovens that we have featured on this list. It comes in a sleek black color and has a mirror glass door.
On the inside, you can see that it has the largest glass turntable on this list, measuring a diameter of 31.5cm. The reasoning for this large turntable size is in its functionality. Aside from that, this oven is able to reheat, cook, and defrost large dishes. It comes with a capacity of 25-liters and a high rack to help maximize the internal space.
Now for the best part, with a slightly higher price tag of RM388 at the time of writing, you get a number of additional functions that you can use to cook a number of different dishes. Firstly, it comes with a pizza mode which allows you to utilize the large turntable size to cook a full-size pizza!
Aside from this cooking mode, there are an additional 5 cooking modes that are guaranteed to fit all your cooking needs. Furthermore, this oven also utilizes inverted cooking to give it a combination cooking feel (providing both grilling and heating elements). Additional features also include a clock, a kitchen timer, an auto weight-based auto defrost setting, and child lock.
This product from sharp gives the rest of the ovens on this list a run for their money as being the best microwave oven in the Malaysian market.
6. Samsung Solo
As we are nearing the end of our list, we have come to this product from Samsung. We here do not feel that Samsung as a brand needs much introduction, they have been producing electrical appliances from phones to televisions. As such they have also produced microwave ovens. The microwave oven from Samsung that we have decided to include is their Solo microwave oven.
This oven has a power consumption of 1150-watts and has dimensions of 48.9 x 27.5 x 37.4cm (W x D X H). It comes with a capacity of 23-liters and features a durable ceramic inside. This ceramic interior protects the oven from scratches and stains. The manufacturer of this product has even said that it does not require scrubbing and will not discolor over time. The touch control panel on the appliance is accompanied by an LED display.
Additional features of this product include an eco mode to reduce power consumption when not in use and deodorization to keep the oven smelling fresh every time you open the door. This deodorization feature is the best microwave feature we’ve seen in most products and is the main reason we’ve included this product on our list.
7. Pensonic PMW-2004
On the other spectrum of microwave ovens, we have this device from Pensonic. This simple device is easy to use and does not have a lot of additional features. You can quite intuitively figure out how to use this appliance without needing someone to explain it to you.
It has an internal capacity of 20-liters, power consumption of 1150-watts, and a power output of 700-watts. The touch control panel may be confusing for some individuals, they do offer some benefits but you can always settle for an oven without one. On the other hand, you can see that this device uses a knob control system that comes with 6 heats settings which range from low to high power and defrost. The timer can reach up to 30 minutes and comes with an indicator to let you know when the food is done.
Though not the flashiest product on this list, it is still one of the best microwave ovens you can get on a tight budget.
8. Toshiba Microwave Oven
The final product on our list is this kitchen appliance from Toshiba. The best microwave might just be the simplest one. On the right-hand side of the appliance, you will notice that this one also uses a knob control system for heat setting adjustments and timer control.
This kitchen appliance has a power consumption of 1270-watts and features a 20-liter internal capacity. It has dimensions 30.6 x 30.4 x 20.8cm (W x D x H). This simple microwave features the basic heat controls and defrosts by weight which you can access via the knob controls.