Which microwave is best: Hamilton Beach or GE?

Hamilton Beach and GE are both known for their extensive lines of kitchen appliances. Like most of GE’s products, its microwaves boast premium quality, above-average reliability and a number of advanced features. Hamilton Beach, on the other hand, appears to have gotten out of the microwave game some time ago, and you shouldn’t bank on finding a great deal on their older microwave releases.

If you’re looking for a premium microwave with advanced features and a high capacity, look for one from GE. If you just need something affordable that gets the job done, there are some excellent affordable alternatives to Hamilton Beach microwaves from popular manufacturers such as Farberware and Magic Chef.

Hamilton Beach microwaves

Founded over 100 years ago, Hamilton Beach makes a large number of kitchen appliances including toaster ovens, food processors, blenders and more. It has a good reputation for reliable products, but its biggest selling point is that its offerings are generally highly economical. What you won’t find from Hamilton Beach are any large appliances like full-size ranges or refrigerators. In fact, in recent years, Hamilton Beach has also stopped producing their own microwaves.

Hamilton Beach microwave pros

  • Affordability: You don’t have to spend a fortune on a functional microwave if you go with a Hamilton Beach model. They aren’t the absolute cheapest options, but they’re close, and they offer a great balance between price and performance.
  • Reliability: In their price range, Hamilton Beach microwaves are among the most dependable choices. 

Hamilton Beach microwave cons

  • No advanced features: Hamilton Beach models are about as simple as digital microwaves get. They usually have some preset functions but little else in the way of novel or highly convenient functions.
  • They’re no longer in production: As far as research shows, Hamilton Beach no longer manufactures their own microwaves. For that reason, you won’t find any brand new Hamilton Beach microwaves. There may be some models on the shelf that carry the Hamilton Beach brand name, but they’re not made by the company itself. If you do find a newly manufactured Hamilton Beach microwave, it’s made by a different company and simply rebranded. While this kind of rebranding isn’t a rare occurrence with small, budget-friendly home appliances, it’s best to stick with products that are relatively recent and clearly come from a reputable manufacturer.
  • Customer service is nonexistent: Since Hamilton Beach’s own line of microwaves is no longer current, don’t expect any help or spare parts from the company should yours break down.

What are the best alternatives to Hamilton Beach microwaves?

Since Hamilton Beach doesn’t actually make microwaves anymore, consider a budget-friendly but high-performing option from another dependable company.

Magic Chef 1.6 Cubic Foot Countertop Microwave

Magic Chef 1.6 Cubic Foot Countertop Microwave

A relatively high capacity outfitted with 1,100 watts of heating power gives this model one of the best price-to-performance ratios on the market. It sports three defrost modes, six cooking presets and a physical handle that many consumers find more convenient than a push-button release. 

Sold by Home Depot

Farberware Professional FMO12AHTBKE 1.2 Cubic Foot Microwave Oven

Farberware Professional FMO12AHTBKE 1.2 Cubic Foot Microwave Oven

While it isn’t the cheapest, this 1.2-cubic-foot model boasts a smart sensor that detects the temperature and moisture of foods inside to help determine when they’re ready — a feature usually reserved for far more costly microwaves. Plus, its stainless steel body looks great in almost any kitchen. 

Sold by Amazon

Magic Chef 0.9 Cubic Foot Countertop Microwave

Magic Chef 0.9 Cubic Foot Countertop Microwave

There’s not much to this microwave aside from a standard digital control pad and a few mildly useful presets, but the upside is that it’s also among the least expensive options and its 900-watt rating isn’t the lowest. 

Sold by Home Depot

GE microwaves

One thing you’ll notice across the board from GE is that their kitchen appliances look attractive and even somewhat futuristic. Not only do they look nice, they also perform well and boast some advanced features that fit in especially well with the brand’s iconic and acclaimed gas and electric ranges.

GE microwave pros

  • High capacity: A good number of GE microwaves have about 2 cubic feet of space inside, which lets you cook large instant meals as well as defrost sizable frozen dishes and even poultry or cuts of meat.
  • Plenty of power: Aside from its most budget-oriented options, most GE microwaves deliver 900-1,200 watts of power, which significantly cuts cooking time compared to cheaper models.
  • Consistent performance: Designed to satisfy the most demanding users, GE microwaves are known for evenly distributed heating and long lifespans.
  • Advanced features: Sensor-controlled cooking, automatic one-touch presets, dependable turntables and standalone kitchen timers are just some of the convenient functions that make it nice to own a GE microwave.
  • Over-the-range configurations: If you want to streamline your space by installing a microwave directly above your gas or electric range, GE makes quite a few models designed specifically for that.
  • Premium appearance: There aren’t many other brands that offer the same low-profile, professional look and feel.

GE microwave cons

  • Cost: The only real drawback is that in order to get your hands on these attractive and advanced microwaves, you usually have to make a relatively large investment.

What are the best GE microwaves to buy?

GE JES2051SNSS 2.0 Cubic Foot Countertop Microwave

GE JES2051SNSS 2.0 Cubic Foot Countertop Microwave

Not only does it offer 2.0 cubic feet of capacity and an impressive 1,200-watt rating, it’s also not the most expensive option, despite having nearly all the high-end features a home cook could want.

Sold by Home Depot

GE Profile PEB7227DLBB 2.2 Cubic Foot Countertop Microwave

GE Profile PEB7227DLBB 2.2 Cubic Foot Countertop Microwave

This is one of the largest, most reliable and best-looking options, due in part to its smooth black face made entirely of durable glass. 

Sold by Home Depot

GE Profile PVM9005SJSS 2.1 Cubic Foot Over-the-Range Microwave

GE Profile PVM9005SJSS 2.1 Cubic Foot Over-the-Range Microwave

This over-the-range model is one of the most advanced offerings from GE and makes the perfect companion to one of their high-end stoves, thanks to interesting features like wireless range integration. 

Sold by Home Depot

GE JVM7195SKSS 1.9 Cubic Foot Over-the-Range Microwave

GE JVM7195SKSS 1.9 Cubic Foot Over-the-Range Microwave

In addition to a clean stainless steel exterior, it’s equipped with a dependable 400 CFM fan that helps remove smoke, steam and odors from the cooking area, which is ideal since it’s meant for installation above a gas or electric range. 

Sold by Home Depot

GE Profile PVM9179SKSS 1.7 Cubic Foot Over-the-Range Convection Microwave

GE Profile PVM9179SKSS 1.7 Cubic Foot Over-the-Range Convection Microwave

More than just a microwave, a built-in convection fan and heating element delivers more traditional cooking power, along with a charcoal filter that helps keep the air in your kitchen clean. 

Sold by Home Depot

Should you get a Hamilton Beach or GE microwave?

Avoid Hamilton Beach microwaves if possible and opt for an alternative if you really want to save money. If you’re looking for a premium microwave with great performance and consistent cooking, GE makes several worth considering.

 

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Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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