Best Microwave for Family of 4
Buying Guide,  What to know

What is the Best Microwave for Family of 4?

Instead of getting a solo microwave for a dorm room, RV, truck, or small apartment, most people instead avail of the best microwave for use of a family of 4 or 5 people. Learn more about them through this handy guide.

A solo microwave works best for use in mobile homes, trucks, campers, and RVs due to their limited carbon footprint and wattage. A family microwave still has lower power than a medium-duty model but can serve up to 4 people in a family.

So here’s to our quest to find the best microwave for a family of 4. Keep on reading to find out more about them.

Buying Guide for Microwaves Used for a Family of 4

A 0.8 to 1 cubic foot (23 to 28 liters) capacity microwave will typically service a family of 4. Few microwaves end up being below or above this size. People mostly reserve the 700-watt ones for RV use and the 2-kilowatt ones for restaurant use as a rule of thumb.

3 Types of Microwave by Usage

The 3 types of microwaves in terms of usage include the following.

  • Light-Duty: 1 kilowatt and below. It can go up to 1.1 kilowatts. Mostly seen in dorm rooms, small apartments, and even home use at a kilowatt of power and a cubic foot of capacity. The “weakest” of the microwave types.
  • Medium-Duty: 2-2.0 kilowatts. Mostly seen in bakeries, convenience stores, and small restaurants. Borderline commercial-grade microwaves with extra power and expensiveness to ensure faster cooking times.
  • Heavy-Duty: 1-3.0 and above. The “strongest” or most powerful and fastest cooker of the microwave types. It’s used in big restaurants, hospitals, and huge commercial establishments. It can be used more repeatedly than light-duty or medium-duty microwaves to boot.
Can you kill bacteria in water by microwaving it
Can you kill bacteria in water by microwaving it?

3 Types of Microwave by Function

The 3 types of microwave in terms of function include the following.

  • Pure or Simple Microwave: This microwave type can only do microwave heating only. It could do defrosting or simple cooking as well but it cannot toast, roast, grill, or bake anything.
  • Microwave with Convection: It has a simple microwave mode and a convection mode that uses hot convection currents (maybe even a heating element) for baking purposes.
  • Microwave with Convection and Grill: It’s the convection microwave with a grilling option. You can heat up a metal grill you can’t use during microwave mode to toast bread, grill meat, and cook kebabs.

What to Look for in a Family Microwave

Microwave ovens have nowadays become a part and parcel of every American household. With that said, here’s what you need to look for when getting a microwave for the whole family.

  • Microwave Style: The 4 styles of microwave include the over-the-range (OTR) microwave, the countertop microwave, the built-in microwave, and the drawer-style microwave. OTRs replace the hood vent over the stovetop to give you an extra microwave function.

The built-ins end up recessed inside walls or cabinets. Drawer-style microwaves ostensibly get placed into the cabinetry beneath countertops so you can draw them out like dishwasher machines. Most space-saving microwaves also have convection or grill modes for some reason.

  • Power or Wattage: You measure the power of the microwave in watts. On average, family-sized microwaves have 1 kilowatt of power (and 1 cubic foot of capacity to match). The more microwave power you have the higher the wattage.

More power also means you can cook food quicker. More microwaves today have power between 500 to 1,00 watts of power. RV ones go with 700 watts, household ones have about 1 kilowatt, and commercial ones can go from 2 kilowatts or more.

  • Capacity or Interior Size: You measure microwave capacity by cubic feet. The more cubic feet you have the bigger the microwave will be. Smaller microwaves also net lower wattages due to their size. You can get small 0.5 cubic feet microwaves.

The RV standard for small microwaves? 0.7 cubic feet. 2 cubic feet (or more) microwaves tend to be commercial models. The best capacity for a family of 4? 0.8 to 1 cubic foot.

  • Size of the Microwave: The size of the microwave ties directly to its capacity. The bigger the microwave the bigger the capacity with only a handful of exceptions. Choose the proper size for the hood vent space if you’re searching for a built-in or

Furthermore, make sure that the door has clearance to allow itself to open the drawbridge or conventional oven style. A countertop model allows you more leeway but it also takes up more space on your precious counter.

  • Sensors and Auto Shut Off: Some family of 4 microwaves come with sensors. They detect the moisture or humidity of the interior and then automatically sets the power and cooking time so that you won’t overcook or dry out the dish you’re microwaving.

The manufacturers designed these sensors to avoid uneven cooking or removing all the moisture from the food, thus turning it into a husk of its former self with a rubbery texture. Meat or dishes with cold spots require recooking on the stove, after all.

  • Ventilation Considerations: OTRs typically come with a 300 to 400 CFM (cubic feet per minute) ventilation fan to make the machine substitute the hood vent or oven hood typically placed above the gas range or stovetop.

This way, you can cook and microwave food at the same time as it vents away smoke, smells, and heat outdoors. This keeps your kitchen more hygienic, cooler, and easier to deal with in the long run while also saving space with the OTR microwave design.

  • Cooking and Extra Functions: Some microwaves include convection, steaming, and grilling functions. Others instead have buttons for cooking certain items, like frozen mixed vegetables, popcorn, and pizza reheating (not baking).

The defrost function, in particular, enables you to defrost frozen fish, pork, chicken, and beef at 10 minutes per pound on 30 to 50 percent power. Others take about a whole 20 minutes to defrost food at low power.

  • Preset Cooking Modes: Aside from preset functions for cooking items like potatoes, popcorn, and more as well as melting chocolate or butter at the touch of a button, some microwaves can save settings you’ve discovered from a microwave cookbook or recipe list.

They can save up to 20 or even 100 presets in memory. You can use it to remember the settings for cooking quiche or reheating a taco bowl from QDOBA without referring to the cookbook. They automatically select the power level and cooking time every time.

  • Defrosting without a Defrost Button: Some buttons require you to know the ballpark estimate of the weight of the food you’re thawing. Other buttons work fine with a given preset but even then you can only mostly thaw a pack of a pound of something, like chicken or beef.

The key to avoiding contamination is to not let thawed foods sit around at room temperature for too long. You need temperature control. You need to remove it from the microwave and cook immediately.

The Best 7 Microwaves for Family of 4 Usage

Here are the best family-sized microwaves we could find. They’ve been chosen not only because of their size and capacity but also their performance so that you can get the cream-of-the-crop microwaves for 4 family members.

1. A Family Microwave with Durable Stainless Steel Build, Sound Mute, and LED Lighting

The Toshiba EM925A5A-BS services a family of 4 with its 0.9 cubic feet of capacity and 900 watts (almost a kilowatt) of power or wattage. For about 100 bucks, you can get a countertop microwave with high-tech LED lighting, stainless steel build, and sound on/off.

 Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven
Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven

It also comes with a family-friendly child lock to keep your children from messing with the microwave or accidentally turning it on when nothing is inside it (which could damage it).

Features:

Power900 watts
Power Levels10
Capacity0.9 cubic feet
Size19.15 x 15.91 x 11.48 inch
Weight27.3 pounds
MaterialStainless steel (Stainless steel)
User InterfaceTouchpad (Keypad)
Type by UsageLight-Duty

2. A Second Toshiba Microwave with ECO Mode and Sleek Black Stainless Steel Build

As for the second Toshiba microwave on this list—Toshiba EM925A5A-BS—it’s hardly the black sheep of the family. It’s even Amazon’s Choice in Countertop Microwave Ovens by Toshiba.

It shares several features with the Toshiba EM925A5A-SS, such as its LED cavity light and sound on/off options. It even shares the same list price, but this one is on sale so you can get it for about 100 bucks.

Features:

Power900 watts
Power Levels10
Capacity0.9 cubic feet
Size19.2 x 16.1 x 11.5 inches
Weight27.3 lbs
MaterialStainless steel (Black)
User InterfaceTouchpad (Keypad)
Type by UsageLight-Duty

3. A Family-Sized Digital Microwave Oven with Child Safety Lock and Optimal Function

The BLACK+DECKER EM925AB9 is a little heavier yet a tiny bit more compact than the Toshiba EM925A5A-SS. Even so, this fully digital and professionally made microwave shares the same tough stainless steel construction and a touchpad keypad style.

 BLACK+DECKER Digital Microwave Oven
BLACK+DECKER Digital Microwave Oven

It also has a child safety lock to keep children from accidentally turning it on. Its LED display comes with a countdown timer and a clock function.

Features:

Power900 watts
Power Levels10
Capacity0.9 cubic feet
Size19.1 x 14.8 x 11.5 inches
Weight29.9 pounds
MaterialStainless steel (Black and stainless steel)
User InterfaceTouchpad (Keypad)
Type by UsageLight-Duty

4. White Family-Sized Microwave with Push Button Door Opener and Child Safety Lock

For around $120, you can avail of the Commercial Chef CHM990W. This white cabinet microwave doesn’t only serve a family of 4 with its 0.9 cubic feet capacity and 900 watts of power.

Commercial Chef CHM990W 900 Watt
Commercial Chef CHM990W 900 Watt

It also has the requisite family requirements of a child safety lock and push-button door opener. You can use it for snack or meal preparation, reheating leftovers, and defrosting.

Features:

Power900 watts
Power Levels10
Capacity0.9 cubic feet
Size14.7 x 19.25 x 11.2 inches
Weight29 pounds
MaterialStainless steel (White)
User InterfaceTouchpad (Keypad)
Type by UsageLight-Duty

5. A General Electric Family Microwave with Minute Timer, Oven Cooking Mode, and Defrost

In regards to the GE JES1095SMSS, it’s another 900-watt and 0.9-cubic-foot capacity family of 4 types of the microwave. It’s able to stand out from the other family microwaves on this list with its minute timer that helps keep you on track with the microwave process.

GE JES1095SMSS Microwave
GE JES1095SMSS Microwave

It’s much heavier than the other microwaves by 3-4 pounds. Most importantly, it has an oven cooking mode or convection mode to allow you to toast and bake food.

Features:

Power900 watts
Power Levels10
Capacity0.9 cubic feet
Size‎19 x 14.5 x 11.5 inches
Weight‎33.8 pounds
MaterialStainless steel (Stainless steel)
User InterfaceTouchpad (Keypad)
Type by UsageLight-Duty

6. This Lightweight Panasonic Inverter Microwave Gives You More Wattage per Cubic Foot

As for the lightest family microwave on this list, the Panasonic NN-SD372S offers more wattage per pound. It’s the most powerful microwave on this list at 950 watts but it has the smallest interior capacity at 0.8 cubic feet.

Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SD372S
Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SD372S

It still meets the standards of a family of 4 microwaves. However, the bigger capacity microwaves can fit bigger dishes or meals. You can cook slightly faster with this device too.

Features:

Power950 watts
Power Levels10
Capacity0.8 cubic feet
Size14.81 x 19.2 x 11 inches
Weight20.90 lbs
MaterialStainless steel (Silver)
User InterfaceTouchpad (Keypad)
Type by UsageLight-Duty

7. A Not-so-Well-Known Retro Brand That Packs Enough of a Punch to Play with the Big Boys

The COMFEE’ CM-M091AGN Retro Green Microwave (really, it’s more cyan or teal than anything else) has all the best family microwave features around, such as the LED digital display, ECO mode, mute function, multi-stage cooking, and 9 preset menus.

COMFEE' CM-M091AGN Retro Microwave
COMFEE’ CM-M091AGN Retro Microwave

Because it’s retro, it comes with a rounded square window, an oval display, silver buttons, and a dial to set the weight, time, or menu. However, it’s still all-digital despite looking so old school.

Features:

Power‎900 watts
Power Levels10
Capacity0.9 cubic feet
Size‎19.09 x 15.41 x 11.51 inches
Weight‎26.8 pounds
MaterialStainless steel (Green)
User InterfaceTouchpad (Keypad)
Type by UsageLight-Duty

The Final Conclusion

The best family of 4 microwave models by our estimation is Toshiba EM925A5A-SS. This is followed by COMFEE’ CM-M091AGN.

Light-duty microwaves typically cover all consumer-grade models while medium-duty to heavy-duty microwaves belong to the umbrella of commercial-grade models. However, certain subcategories populate the light-duty microwave category as well—solo microwaves and family microwaves.

References:

  1. Which microwave should one buy for a family of 4?“, Quora.com, November 6, 2020

Through the years, the microwave oven has become a standard appliance for all homes. It is safe to say that there is no home without a microwave oven. If you are looking for a microwave oven that best fits your needs, You find the right website.

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