When buying a microwave oven, not many people put much thought into its interior design. We all know metal cookware can’t go inside, so it’s not surprising to find that most models have an interior made of ceramic or other materials.
Yet, a microwave with a stainless steel interior is one of the best investments you can make. These models are more durable, easier to clean, and often healthier.
Now, are you wondering which microwaves are made of stainless steel? I have done the hard work for you. Check out the best microwaves with stainless steel interiors on the market to get the right one for you.
What is a Microwave With a Stainless Steel Interior?
A microwave with stainless steel interior is a kitchen appliance with an interior cavity made of coated stainless steel. Most models have a ceramic enamel coat on top of the metal surface.
This coat prevents microwave radiation from bouncing back and forth while the unit is in use, reducing the fire hazard.
Some brands may even have a full metal interior. In this case, though, the interior is often matte – polished metals can create arcs that could result in sparks and a fire hazard.
What are the benefits of using a microwave with a stainless steel interior?
The main benefit of a microwave with a stainless steel interior is the cleaning ease. These microwaves have very few (if any) edges and joints inside, so food can’t get lodged into nooks and crannies inside the cavity.
Cleaning these microwaves is a simple matter of wiping the cavity after use.
Stainless steel is also easy to sanitize. The metal is compatible with a variety of household cleaning products and is approved by most organizations and city councils as a safe material to use in the kitchen.
Which is better, ceramic or stainless steel microwave?
Ceramic microwaves are the most popular out there. These cavities are coated with non-stick coats similar to those in non-stick pans or trays.
Like stainless steel, they are easy to clean. However, the non-stick coat is easy to scratch and damage if you’re using abrasive cleaning products. Once damaged, the metal under the coating can leak harmful chemicals into the microwave as you’re cooking.
If the metal is exposed, it can also cause arcing. Arcing isn’t an issue in stainless steel ovens, since these ovens are designed with a metal interior to begin with.
Performance is also different.
Stainless steel heats and reflects heat evenly. These microwaves can cook food better and faster than microwaves with ceramic interiors.
Thus, it’s easy to understand why a stainless steel microwave is better than a ceramic one. The only downside is that they are often more expensive.
What kind of microwave ovens can you find with stainless steel?
There are plenty of brands that make microwave ovens with stainless steel cavities. A few options include Sharp, LG, Panasonic, Toshiba, and BLACK+DECKER.
What are some things to consider before purchasing a microwave with a stainless steel interior?
Getting your hands on a microwave with stainless steel interior isn’t hard. Finding a microwave that suits your needs can be more challenging, though. Here are a few things to consider before buying:
Microwave ovens can have capacities between 0.6 and 2.2 cubic feet. You may think a larger microwave is better, but the bigger the capacity, the larger the unit overall.
Generally, a small microwave with a capacity under 1 cubic foot is ideal for single people. These microwaves are also suitable for RVs or off-the-grid cabins.
If you have a large family, choose a model with a capacity of 1.6 cubic feet or more. Ovens with capacities between 1 and 1.6 cubic feet generally suit couples and small families.
Stainless steel microwaves are often coated with an enamel layer. Make sure this layer is tough and easy to clean.
If the interior is stainless steel, avoid using abrasive sponges or you may polish it. This creates the risk of arcing.
Interior aside, you should consider the overall build quality. Take a look at the oven and make sure it’s sturdy.
The control panel should be easy to use and intuitive. A clear film over the buttons can make cleaning easier.
Wattage generally goes hand in hand with capacity. Smaller microwaves have a lower wattage – but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Dorms and RV’s and off-the-grid cabins may not handle a microwave oven with a high wattage.
However, if you live in a regular home, the more powerful the microwave, the faster and better it will cook your food.
While we’re at it, you should also consider the technology.
Microwave ovens with inverter technology cook food better and with fewer hot spots compared to microwaves without an inverter.
Another thing to consider is the pre-programmed cooking options.
Most microwave ovens have at least six cooking options. These give you the possibility to cook foods to perfection without worrying too much about the settings.
Some even give you several options for defrosting and reheating, making your life easy.
A few of the most popular pre-programmed settings include popcorn, potatoes, meat, dinner plate, and vegetables.
As mentioned above, stainless steel is a cinch to clean. All you have to do is wipe the interior of the microwave right after cooking.
Avoid using harsh cleaners, but you can generally use all cleaners and disinfectants approved for use in kitchens.
With this in mind, let’s check out the best microwaves with stainless steel interiors on the market.
Best Stainless Steel Microwave Reviews
1. Sharp ZSMC2242DS Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave
When it comes to getting a new microwave oven, you can’t go wrong with a Sharp. This is one of the top brands in the appliance market, and even if you can expect to spend a buck, rest assured it’s all worth it.
This large microwave oven is perfect for families. It has a capacity of 2.2 cubic feet and a stainless steel interior coated in enamel. The unit is easy to clean and maintain, and undeniably easy to use.
Why I love it
This microwave oven is one of the most powerful on the market. At 1,200 watts, it can cook your foods fast and produce excellent results.
It also has ten power levels and six cooking programs, so you’ll never run out of options no matter what you’re cooking.
Like most ovens on today’s market, it features sensor cooking technology; this technology readjusts the cooking time mid-way through the cooking program, ensuring that you won’t ever get an over-or undercooked meal.
What could be better
While the interior is very easy to clean, the exterior is rather challenging. The finish is not smudge-proof, meaning that you’ll have to spend quite some time keeping this microwave oven in pristine conditions. The unit is also expensive.
2. LG LMC0975ASZ Countertop Microwave
If all you need is a small microwave oven, this 0.9 cubic feet LG could be the right one for you.
Small enough for a studio apartment or RV, it has a max power of 1,000 watts and, like the Sharp, ten power levels. The main difference is the pre-programed cooking options – despite being smaller, this oven delivers 15 cooking programs.
As you’d expect, the stainless steel interior is very easy to clean. Overall maintenance is also a cinch.
Why I love it
The most impressive thing about this oven is its sleek, streamlined design. Two control panels allow you to adjust the cooking time and power when the door is closed. The main control panel is located on the oven frame, behind the door.
Its enameled interior is very easy to clean, while the turntable features six rest points instead of three, for increased balance.
Thanks to the LG Smart Inverter technology, this oven is also better at defrosting and cooking raw foods compared to other microwave ovens.
What could be better
While this is one of the best microwave ovens you can get your hands on, we’d have preferred a larger capacity. The interior light is also pretty much useless – you’ll have to open the door to check the cooking progress.
3. Panasonic NN-SN97JS Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave Oven
The Panasonic NN line is one of the most popular lines of microwave ovens. This one has an enameled stainless steel interior and features inverter technology, like the LG above.
Intuitive and super-easy to use, this microwave oven features a capacity of 2.2 cubic feet and outputs 1,250 watts. Add ten cooking power levels and 20 cooking programs, and you’ve got one of the most versatile microwave ovens on the market.
Why I love it
This microwave is big and powerful enough to suit most cooking needs. It isn’t a convection microwave, but it can still replace your traditional kitchen appliances if you want to.
I also like the silver exterior. While stainless steel like the rest of the oven, it has a brushed finish that hides smudges and fingerprints.
Another highlight is the keep warm feature you can use to prevent cooked food from cooling down before serving.
The control panel is also intuitive and easy to use. Overall, this is one of the best microwave ovens with stainless steel interior if you don’t like the Sharp.
What could be better
The main downside is the power it uses. This microwave oven draws a lot of power and needs a dedicated circuit. Otherwise, it can make trip even a 20-amp circuit breaker. It’s definitely not a good option for an RV or off-the-grid living.
4. Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor
If the Sharp and Panasonic are too large, while the LG is too small, this Toshiba microwave oven could be just right.
It has a capacity of 1.2 cubic feet and a power of 1,000 watts. With six cooking programs and ten power levels, it can bring the versatility most kitchens need.
As you’d expect, its interior is black stainless steel, enameled for easy cleaning and to prevent arcing.
Why I love it
Designed with families in mind, this microwave oven comes with a convenient sound-off option. Simply press the digit number 8 for three seconds to enable or disable the mute mode.
It also has an ECO mode. This mode turns off electricity to the oven completely when not in use, helping you save electricity and lowering your energy bills.
The control panel is also intuitive, making the oven a cinch to use, and you’ve got a sensor cook option as well. Overall, you won’t regret buying it.
The only thing the manufacturer could improve is the handle. This plastic part is rather flimsy, and it could give you some headaches. The feet are also very smooth and can glide easily across the countertop.
5. BLACK+DECKER EM036AB14 Digital Stainless Steel Microwave
Another microwave oven that could suit your needs is this 1.4 cubic feet model from BLACK+DECKER. Like the Toshiba, it has a max power of 1,000 watts and ten power levels.
What makes the difference is the cooking programs – you’ll get ten, for more versatile cooking. The interior is easy to clean and overall, this microwave brings true value for money.
Why I love it
From the sleek design to the multiple cooking options, there are plenty of things to love about this microwave. The capacity is perfect for smaller families or groups of friends sharing an accommodation – just keep in mind that it’s too big for a dorm.
The cooking programs add versatility to the game, while the unit even comes with specific one-touch buttons for six of them.
A 30-second button enables you to start the oven with a touch, so you can skip the need for programming it beforehand. You can also use this button to add more time to the cooking program.
The oven is exceptional, but its exterior heats up a lot. Pay attention to prevent scalding, especially if there are young children in your house. The door button is also made of flimsier plastic, so pay attention when pushing it to prevent damaging the latch.
Best Stainless Steel Microwave Comparison Table
|Sharp ZSMC2242DS||LG LMC0975ASZ||Panasonic NN-SN97JS||Toshiba EM131A5C-BS||BLACK+DECKER EM036AB14|
|Capacity||2.2 cu. ft.||0.9 cu. ft.||2.2 cu. ft.||1.2 cu. ft.||1.4 cu. ft.|
|Max power||1,200 watts||1,000 watts||1,250 watts||1,000 watts||1,000 watts|
Stainless Steel Microwave Related FAQs
How to clean a microwave with a stainless steel interior?
The easiest way to clean a microwave with stainless steel interior is to:
- Fill a cup with white vinegar and place it in the oven
- Heat up for 30 seconds
- Open the microwave door and let the hot steam escape
- Wipe the interior with a cloth soaked in white vinegar
- Rinse with a damp cloth
- Buff dry with a clean cloth
If the oven is particularly stubborn, make a baking soda paste and scrub the interior (gentle motions, in a rotating pattern). You can then clean it with white vinegar, as described above.
Can microwaves with stainless steel interiors be used to heat up food?
Yes. Microwaves with stainless steel interiors have enameled cabinets and can be used like all other microwave ovens.
Can microwaves with stainless steel interiors be used to cook popcorn?
Yes. You can use your stainless steel oven to cook popcorn, potatoes, vegetables, and a variety of other dishes.
Do stainless steel microwave ovens last longer?
They are easier to maintain than ceramic microwaves since there is no non-stick coat that can wear out. However, you should still replace it after five to seven years, regardless of how well its interior is maintained.
Microwaves with stainless steel interiors come with advantages over the ceramic kind. I hope this guide can help you find the best microwave oven for you.