Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our big retro microwave test 2021. Here we present all the retro microwaves we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best retro microwave for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a retro microwave.




Summary

  • There are many retro microwaves with different designs and functions. So you can decide for yourself which of the features is a must and which design suits you. There are also various alternatives to the retro microwave.
  • Retro microwaves make it possible to prepare food quickly and easily using various programme functions. They are not only among the cheapest kitchen appliances - microwaves save you time, electricity and money.
  • You can adapt the type of installation to your individual needs. A distinction is made between under-counter retro microwaves and free-standing retro microwaves. At the same time, these microwaves give your kitchen a beautiful look.

The Best Retro Microwave in the United Kingdom: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a retro microwave oven

Why do I need a retro microwave?

A retro microwave is one of the few kitchen appliances that covers many functions and is also affordable.

The retro microwave is not only fast and useful. The vintage microwave also adds a beautiful look to the kitchen. (Image source: unsplash.com / Le Creuset)

Nowadays, almost every household has a microwave.

Since retro microwaves are very easy to use, they are especially suitable for the people among you who are often pressed for time and rely on quick preparation.

In addition, the retro microwave is faster than an oven or a cooker - which means it saves energy and money. If you need to prepare food quickly, this appliance is ideal for you.

How much does a retro microwave cost?

There is a big price difference between the different retro microwaves. Due to the different microwave capacities and functions, the prices can vary greatly.

For retro microwaves with a capacity of up to 24.5 litres, the price range is between 60 euros and 100 euros. In addition, the purchase price of microwaves with a capacity of 25 litres or more ranges from 100 euros to around 180 euros.

Capacity Price range
up to 24.5 litres approx. 60 - 100 euros
from 25 litres approx. 100 -180 euros

Please note that the larger the volume, the heavier the appliance.

What alternatives are there to a retro microwave?

For those of you who are not satisfied with a retro microwave or who don't like the look, there are a variety of other microwaves. There are various microwaves available in different designs with different outputs.

Gastro microwaves are suitable for restaurants or large kitchens in general. They are larger, have more programmes to choose from and are therefore more resilient than household microwaves. Gastro microwaves can produce up to 1,500 watts of power.

A further distinction is the microwave with steamer. The purchase of this kitchen appliance is considerably more expensive, which is why a price comparison is recommended.

The gentle preparation preserves important nutrients and vitamins. The volume of the steamer microwave can be up to 46 litres. For people who are on the road a lot, like to camp or are possibly truck drivers, the truck microwave is ideally suited.

Although this microwave is not as powerful as conventional microwaves, they still serve their purpose. The truck microwave is particularly distinguished by the fact that it can be used both on the road and at home.

How high is the power consumption of a retro microwave?

Unlike other appliances, the retro microwave is one of the kitchen appliances that has a very low power consumption.

In addition, each retro microwave is marked with an energy efficiency class, which indicates the power consumption. This means that every buyer can pay attention to their electricity consumption.

Fast and delicious food in under 10 minutes - microwaves are ideal for quick meals. The shorter the preparation time, the less electricity consumption. (Image source: pexels.com / Lisa Fotios)

If you were to run a retro microwave with 700 watts for one hour a day, it would cost 0.15 euros. While a cooker needs 8 minutes and an oven 10 minutes to heat food, the retro microwave wins with a preparation time of only 2 minutes.

Decision: What types of retro microwaves are there and which one is right for you?

There are 2 different variations of retro microwaves that could suit you and your kitchen. You can choose between 2 types:

  • Undercounter retro microwave
  • Freestanding retro microwave

Both variants have certain requirements that your kitchen must meet. The advantages and disadvantages of the undercounter retro microwave and the freestanding retro microwave are listed below.

Based on the advantages and disadvantages, you can consider which variant might suit you and your kitchen capacity best.

What are the features of an undercounter retro microwave and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The undercounter retro microwave is permanently integrated in the kitchen unit or in a sturdy cabinet. You should pay attention to the weight of the microwave and the load-bearing capacity of the cabinet.

In addition, the installation should be well thought out, as it is no longer possible to re-position the microwave or it requires a lot of effort.

Advantages
  • Space-saving
  • Avoidance of overheating
  • Modern orientation
Disadvantages
  • No re-placement possible
  • Usually more expensive
  • Complicated installation

The way it is mounted gives the possibility of free working space, which is a bonus, especially for small kitchens. Take into account the optimal distances for ventilation!

What distinguishes a freestanding retro microwave and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Unlike undercounter retro microwaves, freestanding retro microwaves can be placed flexibly. The only requirement here is that there should be a power socket nearby, so repositioning is no problem either.

There are no additional costs for the purchase, as with the undercounter microwave.

Advantages
  • No great effort required for installation
  • can be repositioned at any time
  • only requirement is a power socket
Disadvantages
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • does not look good
  • easier for children to access

In contrast to the free-standing version, the undercounter retro microwave is more space-saving. In addition, they are more expensive to buy and therefore involve high costs.

If your budget is limited, you should focus on the freestanding retro microwave. However, make sure that you have enough space for the retro microwave and for working.

The performance and functions of the microwave are not affected by the type of installation. You can decide for yourself the performance of the retro microwave when you buy it.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate retro microwaves

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible retro microwaves.

With the help of the following criteria, you can compare the different vintage microwaves. These include:

  • Power
  • Size & capacity
  • Programmes
  • Weight

The individual criteria are described in more detail in the following paragraphs.

Power

The wattage of a retro microwave ranges from 700 watts to 1000 watts. Depending on the type of model, it is possible to regulate the wattage yourself.

The lower the wattage, the less electricity the microwave consumes. With a higher wattage, the vintage-look microwave consumes correspondingly more.

However, a wattage of between 700 watts and 800 watts is perfectly adequate.

Size & capacity

More width and more height means more usable space inside. Depending on how many people you have in the house, you can decide when buying whether you need a high-capacity vintage-look microwave or one with a lower capacity.

These can have a capacity of 13 litres, 20 litres, 25 litres, 27 litres and more. For heating and defrosting food, a capacity of 15 to 20 litres should be sufficient.

With a larger interior, the microwave will take correspondingly longer to prepare the food. When buying a retro microwave, look for a capacity that suits you to save money in the long run, because why buy a microwave with 25 litres when 20 litres are enough?

Depending on your needs, you can choose which size is best for you. If necessary, also pay attention to the dimensions of the microwave, as the size could change depending on the volume.

Programmes

Microwaves have different programmes depending on the model. These include functions such as the grill function, defrost programme and timer.

The grill function is the most frequently used function, among others. The grill functions can be used to prepare various delicious foods. According to our research, the most frequently asked question was whether it is possible to prepare a frozen pizza - the answer is yes.

It is also possible to prepare other foods such as meat, soups or baby food with the microwave. There is also a defrosting programme, which, as the name suggests, is suitable for defrosting frozen food such as vegetables.

Here you can defrost frozen food in less than 10 minutes, saving you a lot of time, as defrosting without a microwave takes considerably longer.

To avoid having to constantly keep an eye on the time, there is also a timer function. With this function, you can set the minutes and do other things at the same time.

When the preset number of minutes is reached, the retro microwave stops automatically and gives you an end signal to let you know when you can take your food out of the microwave. This function prevents the food from burning.

Weight

You should pay attention to the weight of the retro-microwave when installing it, as this plays a key role in under-counter installation. The weights can vary between 10 kg, 11 kg, 12 kg and more.

Microwaves are mounted on cabinets or shelves. These must be stable and able to bear weight. Therefore, the weight of the microwaves is important.(Image source: unsplash.com / Mike Marquez)

You should not test whether a cupboard is load-bearing or not, but you should know, because under certain circumstances this could lead to problems. Therefore, it is a good idea to be well informed about the weights of retro microwaves. This way you can avoid accidents and be on the safe side.

As already mentioned, the weights of retro-microwaves vary depending on their capacity.

Facts worth knowing about retro microwaves

What dishes can you prepare with a retro microwave?

You can prepare dishes in a matter of minutes. As already mentioned, you can prepare foods such as soups and baby food. However, there is much more, such as baked goods, fruit and vegetables.

Dishes Duration
Baked goods 5 - 10 min
Soup 3 - 4 min
Baby food 1 - 2 min
Fruit and vegetables 5 - 15 min

Even if your food is dripping frozen, you can save yourself the eternal wait in front of the microwave. With the defrost function, your food is defrosted in minutes instead of hours.

Especially when you are pressed for time, the retro microwave is an advantageous appliance.

How does a retro microwave work?

The retro microwave basically works like all conventional microwaves. The so-called magnetron creates radiation in the microwave. The water molecules are set into oscillation at the touch of a button - hence the name microwave.

When heating food, make sure you use the right dishes. Here you should avoid plates with metal rims or plastic.

The heat generated in the microwave is due to the vibrations produced. This heats up the food and preserves the vitamins.

How do I clean a retro microwave?

There are many ways to clean your retro microwave. Usually you only need a cleaning cloth - expensive cleaning agents are not a must. You can also clean it with simple household products. We have a few tips for you.

All you need is a little water and vinegar.

  1. Fill a glass halfway with water and add 3 to 4 tablespoons of vinegar.
  2. Then put the jar in the microwave and heat it for a few minutes on maximum.
  3. The steam allows you to easily wipe off grease and oil without much effort.

If you don't have vinegar on hand, you can repeat the same process with a lemon instead of vinegar. That is, fill a glass halfway with water and add the juice of half a lemon.

Picture source: flickr.com / Haley Lind

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