A microwave oven is a popular appliance in every kitchen because it’s a convenient and fast tool you can use to defrost and reheat meals.
Most people also use a microwave oven for cooking certain meals, though most people don’t realize how versatile a microwave can be when it comes to cooking food.
When choosing the best microwave oven, you should know the difference between various kinds of microwaves.
There are about three different kinds of microwave ovens in the market. They are countertop, built-in microwaves and over the range models.
In addition, you should know the various uses of different microwaves so you can choose one that will suit your needs based on your budget while still providing you with value for money.
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Why you need to use the best microwave oven
A microwave oven has been in popular use for decades and there are convincing reasons why you should invest in one. Here are the major reasons:
- Energy-efficient – Play your part in saving the planet and make savings by using the best microwave oven to cook. These appliances do not require preheating and all the energy goes into your food. This helps make them energy efficient.
- Reduction of cooking time – If you choose to prepare a recipe from scratch, a microwave oven can do it fast compared to a standard oven. Nowadays, there are lots of microwave oven-friendly recipes on the internet.
- Convenient cooking – A microwave oven helps increase the convenience of food. It is convenient for anybody who is always busy and requires food fast. You will be able to prepare snacks like popcorn or soup in seconds.
- Preservation of nutrients – All cooking leads to some nutrients loss. Cooking with a microwave oven will destroy the least nutrients. This is partially because it utilizes little amount of water and so nutrients don’t leach out.
Let us get into a detailed review of microwaves, highlighting the best microwave ovens priced under and over $100, before doing comparison of brands and looking into aspects such as cleaning and maintenance.
Countertop Microwave Oven Priced Under $130
- AmazonBasics Microwave, Small, 0.7 Cu. Ft, 700W
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AmazonBasics Microwave is a small voice-controlled appliance. This oven not only lets you operate it hands-free, but you can also control it manually.
In addition, this small microwave oven is perfect for a small dorm room or apartment room. It comes with a 0.7 cubic feet of maximum food capacity. This is an ideal counter top microwave to go with your kitchen.
AmazonBasics Microwave needs a cooking power of 700 watts. It also has a kitchen timer, a child safety lock, 10 power settings, a turntable for uniform cooking and 24 cook settings.
This automatic microwave uses an echo device and your voice. Alexa, the virtual help, will automatically add new presets.
You do not have to worry about setting the cooking time. It also has automatic defrost and reheat choices.
- Helpful when cooking popcorn thanks to microwave popcorn
- Comes with a turntable, kitchen timer, save counter space and ten power levels
- Features Alexa button to let you activate Alexa technology for simple usage of the appliance
- Has 700 watts of power
- Easy to reheat rice, make popcorn, defrost veggies and cook potatoes
- Ten power levels
- Easy to setup
- Very inexpensive for a smart microwave
- Many automated choices are available
- Alexa control is simple to operate
- There’s no microphone
- Dash reordering is restricted to popcorn
- Size is small for a family, particularly a large family
- You require a separate Alexa smart speaker close by
- Does not consider the weight of food
- Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor
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This Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven is the perfect size for office break rooms and kitchen apartments.
It comes with sensor reheating that allows you to use the touch of a button to optimally cook 6 of the most common food items. You can select from 10 power levels up to 1100w.
The bid digital display features a clock function and will also display the cooking time remaining as well as a countdown timer.
Use the big, easy-to-grip door handle to easily close or open the microwave oven.
You can also turn the microwave on for 1 to 6 minutes at 100% power by just touching the number of minutes you want to cook.
If you require more cooking time while the appliance is in operation, simply add 30 seconds of cooking time by pressing the start button.
- Pre-programmed sensor menu to optimize the heating with accuracy
- Capacity of 1.2 cubic feet
- Additional features include two defrost settings and one-touch timer
- Comes with a sound on/off feature as well as an ECHO mode
- Seven melt and soften auto features
- 10 different power settings together with a kitchen timer
- Six cook options
- Fast heating
- A silent feature that helps mute beeping
- Bigger capacity
- Runs quietly
- Interior is easy to clean
- Defrost feature -is basic, not exceptional
- Takes longer to cook larger meals
- Farberware FMO11AHTBKB 1.1 Cu. Ft. 1000 Watts
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Farberware FMO11AHTBKB 1.1 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave Oven will certainly fit everywhere easily.
Apart from that, its powerful heat is divided into ten levels. These levels will let you set anything from 10 percent for six minutes. This will depend on what food you’re warming or cooking in it.
On its display, you’ll find six One-Touch modes for functions of cooking food where you can cook warm or bake something.
In addition, this microwave oven also has a keypad lock, which can protect children when unsupervised.
Its rotating glass is also detachable, so if it is time to clean, just remove it without the need for extra tools.
This Faberware also provides 12 months limited warranty on this product.
- The finish has a modern look that will blend into kitchen decor
- Digital and LCD controls with clock display
- Countertop design for easy access
- Comes with a 12-inch glass turntable for thorough, even heating
- Memory function lets you store your preferred settings for cooking for future meals
- Features 6 preset cooking functions for popcorn, potato, beverage, pizza and frozen vegetables.
- 10 power levels for precise cooking of any food
- Child safety control lockout
- Perfect cooking experience thanks to the 1 to 6 minutes controls
- 10 cooking settings to suit your needs
- Internal cooking space is large
- Digital control and a digital LED display
- Very loud oven
Top Rated Countertop Microwave Oven Priced Over $130
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- Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SD372S, 0.8 Cu. Ft, 950W
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This Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SD372S Stainless Steel Countertop uses invert technology to provide you with quick-cooking and scrumptious results.
The oven comes with an elegant design, making it the best fit for modern kitchens. It features a 0.8 cubic ft. capacity cooking chamber. It will be easy to prepare enough food for the entire family.
No guesswork anymore when cooking with this microwave oven. It features an automatic cooking feature that will automatically detect the cooking time. There will be no half-cooked or overcook food.
For safety, this kitchen appliance features a safety lock that will prevent accidents from happening. When it is off, the microwave features a child safety lock to reduce accidents.
Equipped with a variety of functions and features, this Panasonic microwave oven is user-friendly; it can automatically detect cooking time with the auto cook function. So, there’s no more guesswork when preparing food.
In addition, it superbly auto reheats meals whether at room temperature or refrigerated.
The control timer is simple to use with labeled buttons and timer for smooth running.
This appliance is perfect for preparing a range of foods such as veggies, meat, eggs among others.
- Stainless steel construction
- 950 watts for faster cooking
- With a touch of a button, you can auto cook and reheat
- Inverter technology
- Control timer with labeled buttons and timer
- Programmable dial
- Smooth open
- Powerful features
- Compact for limited space
- Fairly noisy
- Breville Quick Touch Intuitive Microwave – BMO734XL
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This Breville Quick Touch Intuitive Microwave with smart settings is convenient, easy and safe to use.
It’s one of the best countertop microwaves in the market. Its versatility and efficiency make it stand out from the rest.
It features a smart menu function that offers you choices which let you soften, defrost, cook, melt and grill your meals at the press of a button.
Breville Quick Touch Intuitive Microwave features menus that let you do these.
This microwave features a memory function that will store your popular and preferred chores.
For this reason, you do not have to constantly worry about making these settings every time you want to do the task.
It has a child lock button. This is a safety feature that will protect your children by helping avoid unsupervised usage of the microwave.
This microwave comes with a stylish, sleek design that’s very appealing.
- Child lock safety feature
- The memory function will help store your preferred settings
- Smart menu lets you do tasks easily
- One-touch cooking
- Good sensor performance
- Has quality and convenience
- Elegant stainless steel
- State-of-the-art controls
- Adjustable power during food preparation
- Some problems with defrosting precisely
- Might not be intuitive for every user
- Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN686S Countertop 1.2 Cu. Ft, 1200W
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This Panasonic Microwave Oven Stainless Steel Countertop oven with Built-In with Inverter Technology and Genius Sensor is a compact and good model.
It also features a sleek black door on the front. This – makes it appear modern and first-rate at the same time.
The model has a digital panel and LCD as well. It has a simple to clean interior and a rated power of 1200 watts.
It comes with inverter technology that allows for a continuous and seamless cooking process every time. The reason being, it offers a constant power flow without any needless up and down in the optimal temperature.
Meals prepared in inverter technology are always uniform from edges to the middle with regard to cooking and have a better texture too.
- Turbo defrost choice
- Child safety lock
- Sensor cook feature
- 14 auto cook choices
- Up to 1220 watts
- Quality design and construction
- Slightly loud
- Sleek surfaces, easy to scratch
- GE JNM3163DJBB Over-the-Range Microwave, 1.6
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This GE JNM3163DJBB Over-the-Range Microwave features a 1.6 cubic ft. capacity. It also has 950 watts of power. The microwave will let you steam or cook scrumptious meals fast.
It comes with lots of extra features that you’ll enjoy. There are ten power level settings you can use to get the ideal amount of power for each food you are cooking.
To offer the perfect results, the microwave has pre-programmed settings to defrost various meals.
Other control features that come with this product include turning the surface light on, setting a time, thirty seconds cooking time, and changing the power level.
There are also specific settings you can select for reheating a meal, cooking potatoes, or popcorn.
This product has a turntable that can rotate your meals as they cook. If you don’t need the turntable one for a certain food, you can turn it off.
This product comes with a venting system, which has two different speeds you can select from. This will help get rid of odors or steam when you’re cooking on the stove.
The microwave’s surface light lets you look at the cooking process.
- Control lock-out
- 2-speed, 300-cfm venting system gets rid of odors, steam, and smoke
- Turntable on/off control
- Add thirty-second feature
- Reusable metal vent filters
- Overheat sensing
- 1.6 cubic foot capacity
- Quite simple to install
- Fancy settings
- Illuminates your work space
- Easy cleaning
- No sensors
- Just one color
- Can be noisy
- Bid vents
How to Select the Best Small Microwave Oven
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Are you searching for the best small microwave? If so, you’re in the right place.
Generally, while considering setting up a microwave, what comes first to mind is getting the largest countertop microwave that uses up more power and needs bigger storage space.
With a small countertop microwave, you use up less power and save space in your kitchen, so it’s the ideal choice to suit your needs.
A small microwave such as a countertop microwave whirlpool provides the same features you can get from its bigger counterparts with the internal capacity being the only limitation.
The small countertop microwave offers you easier cooking, quicker reheating, popcorn making and more.
The oven helps cook a small amount of food, cook a cup of coffee, reheating and defrosting veggies. They use up about 700 watts to complete your needs.
The best thing about a small countertop microwave is that it is lightweight, reheats fast, and uses up less space in the kitchen countertop.
A small countertop microwave is beneficial for offices, studio houses and small rooms. Its dimensions are below 12 ½ inches and can squeeze into small apartment shelves.
A 0.7 cubic feet small microwave oven will fit in a home’s tight corners. It will also offer adequate features like 4 to 9 menu choices and ten power levels.
The appliances will fit coffee mugs and dinner plates and offer you fast heating.
A small countertop microwave will make your life easier with buttons for pizza, beverages and popcorn.
You can also consider getting the best no frills microwave if you are either on a tight budget or simply do not want to be bothered with an extremely intricate set of electronic buttons you’ll never use.
In this modern and busy age, microwave ovens are beneficial items that can cook and warm meals.
Unlike many traditional gas and electric stoves, a small microwave such as the energy-efficient Farberware microwave reviewed above also occupies little space. This is helpful for those with small kitchens.
If you’re tired of the inconvenience of having to fire up a stove whenever you’re warming food for your child or lunch, purchase a Faberware microwave now.
The microwave fits in almost every kitchen and you can use it not only for baking cookies and cakes, but also for biscuits, rolls, and more.
The versatility of the Faberware microwave can be proved by the fact they are a favorite of home chefs.
Features of a Faberware Microwave
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If you’re searching for top quality microwaves for baking or cooking, Faberware is a trusted name. Some of the features of a Faberware microwave include:
- You can use it for cooking/baking a variety of delicacies aside from cookies and cakes
- Power custom settings to make sure there’s no overcooking or burning of cakes or cookies
- Top-quality material to ensure food is perfectly cooked or baked
What makes a Farberware microwave unique?
Reasons that these microwave ovens are unique include:
They have amazing features for an exciting and enjoyable cooking experience. In addition, with is a variety of microwaves, you can customize different settings to meet your culinary needs.
- A variety of choices available
The Faberware microwave comes in an array of finishes, textures and colors to superbly go with the kitchen décor. In addition, there are lots of different combinations of sizes and styles to select from, based on your style of cooking.
These microwaves offer functionality, unique style and versatility for a matchless cooking experience.
Wondering whether this microwave is worth the purchase? Faberware models display a technology that’s continuously evolving.
With features such as inventor, air fryer, convection, and accurate sensor, a Faberware microwave is among the most popular in the market. It will help make cooking quicker and simpler.
They are an amazing option when it comes to choosing top quality microwaves, which help in daily cooking chores.
In addition, the reviewed Faberware microwave is popular for its long-life and durability and has a limited product warranty as well.
You can also consider countertop microwave ovens, which sit directly on the countertop, without requiring any installation.
What makes a Panasonic Microwave unique?
The Panasonic genius sensor microwave is aesthetically pleasing with a sleek design and stunning buttons.
It is compact enough to fit its place of storage in the kitchen without being too much of a hindrance or occupying lots of space.
There are lots of functions that make the Panasonic genius sensor microwave the best option.
It features a one-touch sensor that lets you reheat meals in a rush. Even an amateur cook can quickly make a delicious meal by simply using this feature.
Together with a one-touch sensor, other function keys include a timer, keep warm, quick minute, clock and more.
Regardless of what you’re preparing or how long you have to do so, this appliance will measure up.
The inverter technology lets you use the microwave with better control than in the past.
A conventional microwave runs on just one power level; the unit’s energy is either on/off. This power level of cooking leads to overcooked edges and cold spots.
The Panasonic inverter microwave regulates power so meals get cooked more uniformly.
This helps to preserve flavor and texture and will prevent burnt edges and spill-overs.
This microwave imitates a traditional oven’s technology leading to greater controlled cooking and more delicious meals.
Why get the GE Microwave Oven?
The GE microwave oven is the ideal purchase if you want to get a top-quality microwave oven with the best fitting in the kitchen. It is an outstanding option for today’s modern kitchens.
You’ll also find some other obvious features that make this product the best option. With this microwave oven, you can turn the turntable on or off depending on the food you’re preparing.
The power levels can either be programmed automatically or switch to the manual mode depending on your preference. The GE microwave oven has everything you need.
When it comes to convenience in your kitchen, microwave ovens are the best options. They can reheat your meals fast and cook food quickly compared to using the oven or stovetop.
There are various kinds of microwave ovens to choose from. One of the leading brands globally is Toshiba.
It’s the most popular kitchen appliance. You can go for a Toshiba microwave without thinking as it is a trusted brand.
Other considerations in selecting the best Microwave Ovens
Volume and Capacity: Selecting the best microwave oven of the right volume and capacity is important based on your cooking needs. Ideal types of microwave are available in sizes that range from a personal 1 cu.ft. to a professional 2.5 cu.ft. or more.
Power: After choosing your preferred option, the next important aspect of selecting the best buy microwave would be the power or strength it offers.
The oven’s strength is often determined by the wattage it offers.
Professional microwaves can go up to 1500 watts. Selecting the best buy microwave that offers a lot of power can often lead to overcooked food.
Talk to your local electrical supplier to establish the microwave’s right wattage to suit your needs.
Features: Another thing you should consider is what lies within the appliance.
These days, the best microwave oven comes with lots of special extras, tweaks and functions.
A well-equipped best buy microwave oven should have turntable of enough width and firm stability to make sure food is evenly cooked.
The right lighting in the microwave oven is important to offer the best viewpoint of your cooking items.
There are many other basic amenities to consider. For this reason, consulting with your local professional is important before you choose yo buy a microwave oven.
Looks: After you’ve gone through a microwave’s basic hardware, next would be the beautiful appeal of the appliance.
Extra Functions: Modern microwaves have fancy functions like self-cooking choices, automated timers, programmable menu screens and a variety of special qualities.
Such qualities complement the basic and physical hardware of the best microwave oven.
Budget: Make sure you leverage your budget based on the best choice of a microwave your money can buy.
Once you get the best microwave oven that suits your needs, then you may have just gotten yourself the best helper in your kitchen.
Size: There are various oven sizes. They are mostly classified into three sizes; small size, medium size microwaves and large size ones.
A small microwave oven is perfect for using in the house. If you want to warm a small amount of food, the small countertop microwave is a must-have.
Medium size microwaves are double the small-sized models. It’s perfect for microwave ovens, which are used in small restaurants. In addition, it costs more than the smaller model.
The larger model is perfect for processing companies and big companies. These are microwave ovens that use up a lot of energy. They also can warm a lot of food, and are costly than all other kinds.
How to clean the best microwave oven
Food can get spattered on your best buy microwave oven easily, but thankfully it’s an easy task to clean it up.
- A simple way of softening the hard food stains, which cover the inner area of the oven, is heating a cup of water for a few minutes. The steam that’s generated will help in softening the stains and make cleaning easier.
- Make sure you use a mild detergent and a soft cloth to wipe the interior of your microwave oven. Stay away from any strong detergents or abrasive scourers.
Ways of removing unpleasant odors
The best tip you can use to remove the odor, which can at times linger inside the appliance, is by using vinegar or lemon juice.
Just heat a cup of water containing a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice for a few minutes. This will help neutralize any odor thanks to the infused steam that fills your oven.
Cooking tips when using the best Microwave Oven
Here are some tips to help you get the best performance out of this appliance.
- The food’s temperature will impact the cooking time
- Chilled food heats faster than frozen ones. On the other hand, those at room temperature heat faster compared to chilled food.
- Food density and composition can hugely impact the cooking time
- Light and porous food such as cake will use less time to heat than dense food such as a potatoes.
- Foods rich in fats and sugar can reach higher temperatures than others. For example, a doughnut can become very hot in the center than the outside.
- The more food to heat, the longer it takes to cook well
- If you would like to add more time, you should do it in small, bit-by-bit increments.
- Keep your food’s shape and size even
- Remember that small pieces of food will cook faster than bigger ones. Also, evenly shaped meals will cook evenly than meals with odd shapes.
Useful Features in the Best Countertop Microwave Oven
Nowadays, the best countertop microwave oven comes with lots of appealing features that make it a must-have item.
From various designs to different sizes, microwave ovens play an important role in a kitchen’s décor. Aside from that, here are other features to help simplify your life:
Racks: The best microwave oven has a number of racks instead of a single turntable. This makes it more multi-functional and efficient while you cook.
Steam feature: Choices such as steam will allow you to cook meals such as veggies and fish very quickly. This feature will also help you keep your meals moist for a longer time without adding oils and fats to it.
Versatility: The best countertop microwave oven comes with more versatile features. Your meals will cook accurately and quicker and there’s also less chance of it burning.
Inverter Technology: Microwave ovens with inverter technology like the Panasonic inverter microwave are always the best choice than the standard traditional models.
This is because they provide a reliable amount of temperature while you cook. For this reason, it will help promote evenly cooked meals with less power usage.
Sensors: With built-in sensors, some microwave oven will assess the cooking temperature and time.
This will help them optimize the appliance accordingly, depending on the amount of steam your food emits.
Easy to clean materials: The interior of a microwave oven is created with materials such as enamel or porcelain, which make maintenance and cleanup easier.
Pre-set cooking timers: If you don’t like getting tired while cooking, then the pre-set cooking time is a savior.
This feature usually has different pre-set temperatures and cooking times for various foods such as popcorn, meat, veggies, pizza, potatoes, etc.
The feature will defrost and cook a specific food type with its needed optimal temperature.
Over the Range Microwave Ovens
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Over the range microwaves are those that you install over the stove. Unlike a countertop microwave oven, an over the range model will help free up counter space and offer some extra features as well.
For instance, an over the range microwave can come with detachable racks and a built-in exhaust fan for bi-level cooking.
The microwave’s bi-level cooking lets you use two different levels to cook twice the amount. The exhaust fans emit steam and smoke and get rid of unpleasant smells.
These microwave ovens are perfect for those who do not want to use counter space for an oven, or have small kitchens but still need to heat meals at speed.
Keep in mind that the best over the range microwave options are more costly than countertop microwave ovens.
Considerations when Selecting the Best Over the Range Microwave
There are several things you should take into consideration when determining which over the range microwave will suit your needs.
From the special features to the available settings and the size they offer, here is everything you should consider before buying one.
The main aim of ventilation is to get rid of odors, steam, and smoke from your kitchen. The best over the range microwave will provide ventilation in two distinct types.
First, it’s through a ducted vent, which carries the air from the appliance through a duct and to the outdoors.
Conversely, a recirculating vent will suck it in from the appliance, recirculate it via a filter and then back into your kitchen.
Some of these microwaves have charcoal filters, which help minimize the heat and get rid of smells.
There are lots of settings that are available in the best over the range microwaves.
For instance, some will come with a single button to pre-set programs for defrosting and reheating popular meals. Others let you enter the food’s weight you are cooking.
After that, the microwave oven will adjust the cooking time and power accordingly.
In addition, you can maintain temperature over a certain time, and the appliance will switch itself off later. Consider what settings will best suit your needs.
When it comes to size in the best over the range microwave, measurements are often in cubic feet. The standard size for this type of microwave is about 1.5 – 1.7 cu.ft. (they can reach 2 cu.ft.) The size ensures you can fit a dinner plate easily.
The height of the microwave’s interior is essential if you buy a convection model (if you wish to cook on 2 racks, for instance). A convection type will cook both the inside and outside of food.
- Special features
Special features of the best over the range microwave include choices such as convection browning, grilling, and heating.
Microwave ovens are great at heating the inside of meals but are not always good at browning it. The best convection microwave can deal with that, but will often be costly.
Other features include sensors to help you adjust a heating cycle depending on the food you need to cook, thirty-second keys for extending cooking time, and detachable racks that let you cook several meals at once.
Final Thoughts on the Best Microwave Ovens
The countertop microwave oven is a favorite cooking appliance and cleaning it is a breeze.
You don’t need any special installations to use this oven. Just place the microwave over the countertop and plug in.
The best counter microwave oven comes with smart cooking features. This will automatically adjust the level of power and cooking time based on what you’re cooking.
The multiple features of a countertop microwave oven like sensor cooking controls, touch panels, child safety lock, inverter technology, turntable, timers, etc. make it the best option for your kitchen.
The largest countertop microwave will deliver evenly cooked scrumptious food in less time.
Nowadays, a day cannot pass by without using a microwave oven. Be it preparing a fast yet fancy meal or warming the left-overs before you eat, microwave ovens play an important role in our lives.
There are lots of reasons behind getting the best microwave oven. Perhaps you require a kitchen upgrade or the old one is not working.
Regardless of what it is, review all the considerations detailed above before you buy one.
Choosing the best countertop microwave oven can be a difficult task owing to the great variety of models in the market, some appealing, unique and of different sizes and with multiple functions.
If you’re looking for microwave oven reviews, there is plenty of information available online, but which may also be hard to sieve.
This article has tried to ease that difficulty in making a choice of the best microwave ovens by highlighting the factors you should consider and reviewing some of the best microwaves in the market based on price.
Nowadays, simply because a microwave looks cool or costly does not mean it is the best.
You should know that everything is changing; hence knowing the most important features of the microwave you are about to purchase is key.
Bottomline, you need a microwave that is convenient for you and that will simplify your life.
If you don’t use your microwave often, you might not require lots of features. A standard microwave oven will best suit your needs.
However, if you plan to use or utilize the appliance regularly, perhaps daily to cook whole meals, you’ll require additional features such as one-touch cooking choices or pre-programmed menus.