Microwave ovens have come a long way since their invention in the 1940s. They used to be those clunky expensive machines operating which seemed to be a hassle but not anymore. Among the many brands that manufacture these appliances, Japanese-made microwave ovens deserve some of the top spots due to the sheer quality and functionality they offer.
Check out this list of the best Japanese microwave ovens that will give you the best experience in the kitchen.
- Panasonic NN-SN65KB – Best Overall Performance
- Sharp ZSMC2242DS – Best for Family Use
- Panasonic NN-SD975S – Best Countertop and Built-in Unit
- Toshiba EM925A5A – Best for Small Space
When looking for a Japanese microwave oven, you should consider a few basics: the functions, what you will be using it for, and if the size is right for your kitchen counter or the place where you will settle it. Japanese microwaves are multifunctional, featuring various cooking options other than just heating up food. These have several options that are not available in microwave ovens made by many American and European companies.
Panasonic NN-SN65KB – Best Overall Performance
- A spacious interior
- Plenty of cooking functions
- Power adjustment settings
- Premium look and feel
- Inadequate interior lighting
If you want a microwave oven that scores points in almost every aspect, this NN-SN65KB model from Panasonic is the one. This unit seems to have it all.
A simple, full-sized, and high-powered unit that fits right into the decoration of most modern kitchens. With sleek lines and 15.8 x 20.7 x 12.2 inches of dimensions, it seems to be the perfect size for any kitchen countertops.
The microwave oven has so many functions that it won’t be surprising if you start to rely on it for all household cooking. Having 1.2 cubic feet of capacity, it can handle a meal for a family.
The microwave oven has a premium look and feel, despite not having a steep price tag. In terms of functions, it’s on par with some more expensive models. You will enjoy the quiet operation of opening and closing the door. Also, the rubber feet underneath keep the unit in place on smooth surfaces.
Thanks to the inverter technology, you can adjust the power to 11 different levels along with setting it on a particular level. Add to that 10 sensor cook settings and various automatic and manual controls, and you get a microwave oven that can handle various types of cooking. There is absolutely no need to guess anything, just select the right settings, and you are done.
Whether you want to do slow cooking, prepping meals at low heat, defrost foods, or reheat leftovers. The oven can reheat or cook food thoroughly from the middle to the edges, even if it’s frozen lasagna or a casserole dish.
The heat is redistributed nicely across all over, without leaving the middle uncooked or the edges burnt. Unlike some microwave ovens’ pulse on/off power flow technology, the inverter-based system makes sure that there are no cold spots left.
For a sumptuous snacking, there are three modes for making popcorns with 1.5, 2.7, and 3.2 ounces of bag capacities. There are also settings for turbo defrost and heating up coffee.
Even if you are a noob, the thorough instructions in the owner’s manual are there to save you. It contains everything from the correct food temperature to food arrangement, safety instructions, and more.
Sharp Electronics ZSMC2242DS – Best for Family Use
- Great for a large family
- Easy to use
- Smart cooking technology
- Express cooking option
- One-touch cooking system
- Push buttons could be tacky sometimes
- No backlight for the control panel
Sharp ZSMC2242DS is simply a beast when it comes to power and capacity. With plenty of features and smart technology, this stainless steel countertop microwave oven guarantees years of service without a glitch.
Despite being a family-sized unit, the microwave oven does not look clunky because of its streamlined structure. Its quiet operation is definitely welcoming when you need to stay in the kitchen during meal preparation.
If you want to prep meals for the whole family, Sharp ZSMC2242DS gets the job done. With 1200W of power, the microwave has room for cooking big portions with its 2.2 cu ft. of inner cavity. The large capacity is just perfect for the needs of a big family and get-togethers.
The unit has a push-button control panel without a backlight. You need to turn on a light to use it at night. Also, the push buttons stick a little, so you need to press a little harder sometimes.
This microwave oven makes cooking easy with a 16-inch glass turntable and options for setting power in 10 levels. But the smart sensor technology beats everything with its ability to adjust the cooking time. Depending on the amount and type of food, this feature kicks in automatically by sensing the food’s humidity level and adjusts the timing on that account.
Thanks to that smart technology, you can prepare and reheat common items like frozen foods, casseroles, lasagna, potatoes, and other dishes. As it can determine the precise cooking time, there will be no compromise in the flavors, color, and nutrition of the foods.
The preset one-touch cooking system is great for making popcorns, entrée items, and beverages. Several other options, such as timed-defrosting, soften, melt modes, are great for some quick actions. You can also bump up the cooking time with the express cooking setting.
Panasonic NN-SD975S – Best Countertop and Built-in Unit
- Cyclone inverter technology
- Various preset cooking options
- Stainless steel structure
- Decent price
- Inadequate interior lighting
- Unlocking the door seems a little excessive
Excellent as both a countertop and built-in unit, Panasonic NN-SD975S is a feature-packed microwave oven despite being compact enough to fit most cabinets and countertops.
If you want to use it as a built-in unit, Panasonic offers a trim kit. This fancy trim will give your built-in microwave a gorgeous, modern look.
Made of stainless steel, the unit has the durability to survive a busy kitchen environment. It has a push-button control panel on the front, which is easy to figure out, but a separate button for unlocking the door seems a bit overdoing. The LED interior light does not seem enough for monitoring the cooking through the door.
Panasonic NN-SD975S is surely a powerful microwave oven with 1250W and an inverter technology. Apart from offering all traditional microwave functions, it offers steaming, poaching, and braising functions.
With the touch of a button, you can cook various items, thanks to the 20 preset options. The cyclonic inverter makes sure of an even heat circulation, helping with preserving the texture, taste, and nutrients of the food items.
Its adequate interior space is accompanied by a 16.5-inch turntable tray for the preparation of a sumptuous meal.
Toshiba EM925A5A – Best for Small Space
- A perfect microwave for a small kitchen
- Mute function to stop the beeping
- Various power settings
- Safety lock feature
- No rubber feet underneath
- No auto-heating modes
- Restores the factory settings after power off
With the popularity of small homes and micro apartments on the rise, most modern kitchens are small. If space is at a premium in your kitchen, Toshiba EM925A5A is here to your rescue.
Having 19.2W x 15.9D x 11.5H inches of dimensions, it will easily fit into a small space. But don’t let the pint-sized microwave deceive you, for it has some great features of some larger and more expensive counterparts.
This microwave oven has a sturdy stainless steel framework. Unfortunately, the bottom side does not have rubber feet to prevent sliding on the countertop. A door handle instead of a button-style release is easier for opening and closing the door. The interior light will automatically turn on every time you open the door.
People who don’t want to wake up others in the house during midnight snacking will appreciate the mute option. Pressing this button will shut off the beeping. Also, a power-saving eco mode is exactly what you need to keep the utility bills in check.
One problem is the oven does not have any memory function. It will restore the factory settings every time you turn the power off.
For a small microwave oven with 900W of power and 0.9 cu. ft of interior space, this unit has several impressive options and heats food evenly within a short time.
It does not have a sensor for auto-heating, but there are 10 power settings along with a kitchen timer and a clock function. A quick function “one touch start” allows cooking at full power, shortening the cooking time. There is still a pre-programmed setting that you can use for preparing some popular snacks such as pizzas and popcorns.
A safety lock function is there, which could prove to be lifesaving if you have kids in the house. To activate the feature, just press the cancel/stop button for 3 seconds. It works by both locking and unlocking the door.