Microwaves are a staple in any kitchen, but they don’t come in a one-size-fits-all solution. These appliances differ in size, features, power levels, and prices. Then, you must also decide on a brand. One of the leading manufacturers in Sharp, the company makes countertops, built-in and over-the-range microwaves. The question is: how to choose the best Sharp microwave oven for you?
To make things easy, we’ve done the hard part. We’ve scoured the market and found the most promising Sharp microwaves. I then spent hours researching and testing each model, narrowing down our list to the models below. So, let us give you a hand with your shopping process, and read on.
Sharp Microwave: History Overview, Reliability, and Product Line
Sharp Corporation is a Japanese multinational specializing in the manufacture of electronics and household appliances. The brand is known for the quality of its products – all Sharp microwaves are long-lasting, easy to use, and easy to maintain.
Sharp’s product line comprises a range of countertops, built-in, and over-the-range microwaves. Aside from the new technologies the brand uses, all microwaves from Sharp are also appreciated for their user-friendly design.
The control panels are incredibly intuitive and easy to use. They are also placed in such a way to ensure easy access to all buttons. The over-the-range microwaves, for instance, have the control panel at the bottom rather than on the side for easier viewing and usage.
Capacities also vary from about 0.7 cubic feet to 2 cubic feet or more. The smaller units are perfect for those looking for a portable microwave, whereas the big ones suit large families or households.
Some Sharp’s microwaves also incorporate inverter technology that improves microwave cooking results by adjusting the power level to the setting.
Why do I recommend Sharp Microwaves?
I recommend Sharp microwaves for their reliability and ease of use. The company addresses all consumers – you can find affordable units for under one hundred bucks and top-of-the-range microwaves costing over a grand. But no matter which product you pick, you can rest assured it will last for a long time.
I also like the design. All Sharp microwaves have intuitive and perfectly-positioned control panels. The drawer microwave units are ADA-compliant and easy to use by people with disabilities.
The over-the-range units also have exquisite designs, with the control panel strategically positioned at the bottom. Overall, these units are worth the money regardless of the type of microwave unit you want.
What to know before you buy a Sharp Microwave?
Buying a microwave can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for. Here are a few essential things to consider before shopping.
A microwave’s power is undeniably the first thing to consider before buying. Generally, the more power the unit has, the higher the cooking efficiency. However, high power isn’t necessarily better.
When trying to assess the power, consider your needs. What do you need the microwave for? If it’s mostly heating and defrosting, a 700-watt microwave can do the job while saving you some cash. If you mostly want to cook, go for a microwave that can output at least 1,000 watts.
Power is particularly important if you want a combination microwave oven that can bake and roast. Otherwise, the unit might not reach the cooking temperature required by the recipe.
Design-wise, you can pick from countertops, built-in, and over-the-range microwaves.
Countertop microwaves are an excellent addition to all kitchens. They don’t require any cabinet alterations, and you can simply store the unit in a cabinet or cupboard when not in use. However, a countertop microwave may not fit into your kitchen if you have little counter space.
Built-in units are excellent space-savers. However, you might have to buy new cabinets or make alterations if your original cabinetry doesn’t have a microwave slot.
These microwaves generally come with trim kits and installation hardware. The result is a streamlined appearance.
Microwave drawers are a perfect choice if you don’t have any vertical spaces you can use. These microwaves fit in a floor kitchen unit, replacing a drawer. Not only can they help you save space, but they are also a better option for the disabled or people with various ailments that find it easier to place a heavy tray in a drawer rather than raise it above the counter level.
Over-the-range microwaves are an alternative to all built-in ones. They save counter and cabinet space alike by replacing the range hood. Most models from Sharp have carbon filters that remove odors and some cooking grease.
However, if you need a powerful range hood vented outdoors, these models might not deliver.
Another thing to consider before buying a microwave oven is the capacity. Again, think about your lifestyle and needs.
Do you need a microwave for your home? How big is your household? Do you need a portable unit for a dorm or RV?
Sharp microwave capacities vary from 0.7 to over 2 cubic feet. The former is ideal for occasional use, recreational vehicles, tiny homes, and dorms or small apartment kitchens. The latter is more suitable for families of four or more and people cooking frequently.
The control panel of the unit is as important as its overall functionality. You want a microwave that’s easy to operate. In this way, you won’t have to wrap your head around an instruction booklet during those middle-of-the-night trips to the kitchen.
Also, consider the control panel design and its placement. Most countertop units have the control panel on the right side – this makes it very easy to use, but only if you’re right-handed. Left-handed individuals may benefit more from a drawer microwave (with the control panel on top) or an over-the-range microwave oven with bottom control panel.
All microwaves come with pre-programmed cooking settings designed to make your life easier. The more features your microwave has, the easier it is to set the perfect cooking time and power level.
Some microwaves from Sharp feature sensor cooking technology. Basically, the sensor detects the amount of vapor from your food and adjusts the time and power accordingly.
Regarding the presets, their number can vary from one unit to another. As a rule of thumb, you should get an oven with at least a few basic options for fresh and frozen veggies, meat, potatoes, pizza, and popcorn.
Safety features are as important as the rest of the things in your microwave. A child lock is an essential feature that prevents young fingers from operating the unit.
Overheat sensors and circuit breakers are also important, reducing fire hazards. With this in mind, let’s see which is the best Sharp microwave for you.
Best Sharp Microwave
1. Sharp R-1214 Over-the-Counter Microwave
If you have little counter space but don’t really like the built-in microwave ovens, the R-1214 is perhaps the best Sharp microwave you can get.
The unit features a large interior – 1.5 cubic feet of space – and reaches up to 1,100 watts of power. Twenty-four cooking programs and ten power levels make it a perfect choice for all your cooking needs. The unit has an access control panel at the bottom and accent lights that can create a focal point in your kitchen. Only keep in mind that the unit should go over the counter, not over the range.
Why I love it
This microwave boasts numerous pre-programmed options for cooking, reheating, and defrosting alike. The 24 settings make cooking a cinch.
The control panel placed at the bottom of the unit is very easy to operate. Sure, the digit contrast isn’t the best, but it’s still better than a side control panel on an over-the-counter oven.
Keep warm option
Don’t want to eat right after cooking? The Keep Warm option enables you to keep the food at serving temperature for up to 30 minutes – and you can always reset and start again if you want to wait for more than that.
While this is an over-the-counter microwave, its dimensions are not standard. You may have to alter the cabinets to fit it – and this also means that you can only replace it with an identical model.
Like most microwaves, this unit has a double glass panel on the door. The problem is that condensation often builds up between the glass panels. You can’t wipe it dry and in time, it could leave a permanent residue on the glass.
2. Sharp ZSMC1442CS Carousel Countertop Microwave Oven
Countertop microwave ovens are always a great option if you don’t have the space for a built-in appliance. One countertop microwave I like is the Sharp Carousel ZSMC1442CS.
This microwave impresses at first glance with its stainless steel finish and retro vibes. The intuitive control panel makes it easy to use, while the capacity is big enough for a whole family. The unit has a 12.8-inch turntable and a 1.4 cubic feet interior. Another highlight is the patented popcorn function.
Why I love it
Ten power levels and up to 1,000 watts of cooking power output make this microwave oven perfect for all kitchens.
In addition to pre-programmed cooking settings, this oven boasts one-touch buttons for express cooking. The first four digits start 30-second programs for melting or softening butter, chocolate, ice cream, and cheese.
Do you have to defrost meat or veggies? Leave the guesswork out of the game. The auto-defrost option sets the time and power automatically based on weight.
The oven comes wrapped in a thin plastic film that protects the finish. However, this film is a challenge to peel off prior to the first use.
This unit’s control panel is only partially backlit, and the digits are difficult to see in low light.
3. Sharp KB-6524PS Microwave Drawer Oven
Microwave drawer ovens are an excellent choice for people with small kitchens or those looking for an ADA-approved unit.
The Sharp KB-6524PS has a width of 24 inches and fits narrower bottom units. Alternatively, you can opt for a 30-inch microwave drawer from the same brand. Size aside, I like the functionality this unit brings. The only thing we’d improve is the power, which only gets up to 950 watts.
Why I love it
This microwave drawer is incredibly easy to use. A button enables you to open and close it even when your hands are occupied. Moreover, the control panel is tilted up for easier viewing and operation.
This isn’t the biggest microwave drawer out there, but the 1.2 cubic feet unit is more spacious than other microwaves with a similar capacity. The oven is large enough to accommodate a 20-oz cup.
If pre-programmed settings are not enough, the sensor cooking takes cooking efficiency to the next level. This oven detects the steam coming from your food and adjusts the cooking time and power accordingly.
This is one of the most expensive microwave ovens from the brand. Thus, I feel it could have had a higher power output. It still cooks well, but it’s slower than expected.
The microwave drawer offers easy access to people with disabilities, but this means that kids can also access it easily. Unfortunately, the drawer has no latch to prevent the young ones from opening it.
4. Sharp ZSMC0710BW Carousel Countertop Microwave Oven
If all you need is a compact, portable microwave, check out the Sharp ZSMC0710BW. This no-frills model comes with everything you’d expect from a 0.7 cubic feet unit. It is small, lightweight, and easy to use. I particularly like the large control panel. With 700 watts of power, it is also a perfect choice for defrosting meals or reheating food.
Why I love it
This compact microwave is small but boasts a modern design that fits well in most kitchens. The white finish gives it a touch of style.
Easy to clean
The glossy finish is easy to wipe clean. The interior is coated with white ceramic enamel that is equally easy to clean.
This microwave has 11 power levels, enabling you to have more control over the temperature.
Ease of use
The control panel seems intuitive at first glance, but the oven is more complicated to use than it looks. The instructions are also useless.
This microwave is rather loud, and the turntable also makes a sound when turning.
Sharp Microwave Comparison Table
|Sharp R-1214||Sharp ZSMC1442CS||Sharp KB-6524PS||Sharp ZSMC0710BW|
|Capacity||1.5 cu. Ft.||1.4 cu. Ft.||1.2 cu. Ft.||0.7 cu. Ft.|
|Max power||1,100 watts||1,000 watts||950 watts||700 watts|
Sharp Microwaves Related Questions
How to install a Sharp over-the-range microwave?
Sharp over-the-range or over-the-counter microwaves come with all the necessary hardware and instructions for easy installation.
Mount the holding frame first, then attach the microwave to it, following the steps in the user manual.
How long do Sharp microwaves last?
Sharp microwaves are known for their reliability and have lasted for years. You should replace your microwave after about 7-10 years of use, though.
What’s the difference between Sharp 24 vs. Sharp 30?
The main difference is the width. Sharp 24-inch microwaves are a better choice for smaller kitchens with narrower cabinets. The 30-inch variant could be more suitable if you want the microwave to match the width of your main oven.
What is sensor cooking, and do all Sharp microwaves have this feature?
Sensor cooking refers to the microwave’s ability to “sense” the amount of steam coming from your food. Based on the humidity levels, the unit can adjust the cooking power and time to prevent overcooking.
Not all Sharp microwaves have this feature, but most of them do. All Sharp microwaves on our list feature sensor cooking.
Sharp is one of the best appliance brands. The microwaves from the company are long-lasting and reliable.
You can choose from a variety of options, styles, and capacities. Moreover, the units are generally easy to use and clean. Whether you want a mini microwave or one big enough for a large family, I hope this guide can help you find the best Sharp microwave for you.