The humble microwave oven is the most underappreciated kitchen appliance you have on your counter top. It can warm food, boil water, cook a full meal and even bake desserts in a fraction of the time it takes your stovetop or oven, yet home cooks still think of it as an amateur’s tool. My busy family of four loves our microwave and use it throughout the day more than any other kitchen appliance so when our seven year old GE microwave oven finally bit the dust we were at a loss for what to do. After a little online shopping we decided to go with the one of the top selling microwave ovens on Amazon, the Toshiba EM925ASA Microwave Solo Oven. It is an affordable and relatively frill-free unit and it was small enough to fit in the place where our GE once sat. Was it worth it?
We picked up our Toshiba microwave from Amazon for under $100, though the price does fluctuate a little bit from time to time. It only took a few days to arrive and it gets fairly decent reviews so we decided to give it a shot to see if the little microwave could hold up to our busy family.
We chose the stainless steel model to match the rest of our kitchen appliances though it also has a black steel option which looks pretty nice in the photos I’ve seen. The LED on the front of the microwave ise a rich green (no bluish tint to them) and the overall build quality of the microwave feels good. It’s heavy enough that it doesn’t slide on our counter when opening the door (which works on force alone) and closes with a satisfying thunking sound. It’s a 900 watt microwave oven with 10 different power levels and it has a relatively standard automatic turntable that is essentially a 10.6″ glass disk that spins on plastic wheels. It has the standard easy to clean plastic touchpad buttons found on most consumer level microwaves.
We’ve had it for a couple weeks now and we’ve put the microwave through its paces. It’s a darn fine little unit that cooks everything exactly as it should. We haven’t found any specifically “cold” or “hot” spots in the microwave, and since the turntable always rotates your food it’s really not something you’d have to worry about.
Toshiba EM25ASA Highlights
Mute Beeps: Most importantly, you can turn off (mute!) the high pitched beep. Really! If you have a small apartment or have a bedroom off your kitchen this is a great feature. It will allow you to cook your food without a high pitched been waking up anyone else in your home. When you turn off the beep both the cooking beep and the button beeps are muted. The beeps remain muted until you specifically turn this off. This feature is usually only found on higher- end microwave ovens.
Doesn’t Slide: It has rubber feet and is heavy enough that it rarely budges when you open the door with a yank. The door closes easily and solidly. There’s no chance of your not knowing if the door is open or closed.
Bright Light: The light is cool and bright in the microwave, allowing you to see in the microwave while it is running. The interior walls are bright white. Our preview microwave had a tiny dim light, but this is bright and useful.
Energy Saver Mode: There is an “energy saver” mode which claims to save electricity while it is cooking. The operations manual does not really explain what this does. I have not been able to find any clear explanation of what this does other than turn off the clock display. So I guess it saves energy by not showing the clock. Enjoy your annual savings of 12 cents per year.
Multiple Functions: There are all the “normal” microwave functions including ten power levels and one-button functions for popcorn, potatoes, beverages and defrosting by weight or by time. There’s even a kitchen timer functionality that you can set for non-microwave things like when you’re baking a cake and need to be reminded to check it.
Child Lock: There is a child lock function intended to keep children from being able to open the microwave.
Program Memory Function: There are three “memory” functions which allow you to program a limited set of instructions which you can then run with a quick two button command. My kids like a certain frozen breakfast sandwich that requires you to defrost for 1 minute and then cook the sandwich for another 45 seconds on high. We programmed this to one of the memory functions and now my kids just have to run Memory 1 and the microwave will take care of the rest.
One Touch Functions: There are a bunch of one-touch start options that we use regularly. Pressing the digits one through six will start the microwave on high (power level 10) for the appropriate number of minutes, and there’s a 30 second button that instantly ads 30 seconds to any cook time.
Toshiba EM25ASA drawbacks
Size: It’s not a large microwave, so you won’t be cooking a Thanksgiving turkey or feeding a baseball team with this microwave. It has .9 cubic feet of interior space which doesn’t sound like much but it’s plenty for a normal size dinner plate piled high with food and covered with a microwave splash container.
No Button Latch: The handle of the microwave oven doesn’t move, it’s just a solid piece of plastic. The door doesn’t have a specific button for releasing the door latch, so the door only opens when you yank it. It doesn’t take a lot of effort but a dedicated button is usually a nicer method than relying on yanking.
Nag Beep: There is no “nag” feature, so if you leave something in the microwave after it’s been cooked the microwave will not beep every few minutes to remind you to get it out. Depending on how you feel about this feature the lag of a nag beep could actually be a big advantage.
Short Cord: The cord is relatively short, though this is pretty standard safety features on most home appliances now.
Turntable Timing: The turntable rotates in 33 seconds, instead of the more standard 10. This means that if you put a coffee cup in the microwave for one minute and 30 seconds the handle will NOT be at the front when it’s done, but rather, pointed near the back of the microwave, forcing you to reach around in the microwave, trying to find the handle of your hot mug. This is annoying, but necessarily a deal breaker.
Simple manual: The manual is basic and doesn’t really explain some of the deeper workings of the functions.
Toshiba EM25ASA Video Review and Operation
The Toshiba EM925ASA is a great basic-level affordable microwave with a few extra features that costs under $100. So far we’ve cooked everything just as fast as we could with our older microwave and it’s noticeably easier to for us all to use.
It’s an affordable microwave ovens with a few simple convenience features. The ability to mute the beeps alone makes it a top contender for affordable microwaves in almost every category. The overall sophisticated design and good build quality looks like it’s going to be a quality appliance that will serve our family well for years.