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What’s The Best Microwavable Heating Pad? Top 10 Revealed

Herbal Heating Pad

Microwavable heating pads offer a portable, wire-free path to relief from arthritis, aching backs, injuries, and more.

The right microwavable heating pad, hot/cold pad, or aromatherapy wrap can ease you into a state of blissful relaxation and targeted pain relief.

Which microwavable heating pads make the cut in 2019?

Check out our top 10 list for the latest in:

  • Aromatherapy hot/cold wraps
  • Ergonomic neck and shoulder wraps designed by chiropractors for ultimate relief
  • Nontoxic and allergen-free heat packs
  • Multi-purpose wraps to soothe aching backs, shoulders, knees, and elbows

Read on to discover the best heat pads to incorporate into your pain management routine.

Bed Buddy Hot & Cold Body Wrap by Carex

Carex Bed Buddy Heat Pad and Cooling Neck Wrap - Microwave Heating Pad for Sore Muscles - Cold Wrap Pack for Aches and Pain
  • Contains (1) Carex Bed Buddy Heat Wrap / Cold Wrap. A microwave heating pad that provides moist heat. A flexible neck heating pad with a form-fitting design and a fabric cover. Filled with 100% organic material for neck pain & back pain relief.
  • The wrap is a heating pad for neck and shoulders as well as a cold pack for relieving aches and pains in muscles and joints. Wrap is a moist heating pad as recommended by doctors, a natural alternative or complement to OTC drugs.
  • The flexible form-fitting hot cold pack easily conforms to the shape of your body even when cold. Wrap the reusable wrap around sore joints or muscles for targeted therapeutic effect with the warming or cooling relief similar to electric heating pads.
  • Filled with 100% natural grains herbs & flowers, the hod pad / cold pad conforms to your body for targeted relief of neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, or back pain. Use the wrap for pain relief, neck warmer, or for a neck ice pack.
  • Bed Buddy, by Carex, has been a leading manufacturer of heating pads for back pain and microwavable heating pads. Trust Bed Buddy as a partner to assist you with neck pain relief or simply therapeutic relief from muscle pain.

The Bed Buddy hot/cold body wrap by Carex offers a natural alternative to over the counter and prescription pain remedies or acts as a compliment to these treatments if you would prefer to incorporate the Bed Buddy alongside your medication routine for additional relief.

Like other hot/cold pads, Bed Buddy can address a wide array of aches including back pain, neck pain, headaches, and hot flashes.

What makes the Bed Buddy unique is its form-fitting shape, and ability to retain that shape even when used a cold pad—a function often lost in hot/cold pads that aren't expertly manufactured.

The Bed Buddy utilizes moist heat for pain relief, most recommended by doctors for pain management.

To really contour the Bed Buddy by Carex to any aching part of the body, its equipped with a velcro strap.

Since the cushion design is extremely form fitting, the strap acts as an additional convenience.

In our experience, it certainly comes in handy when in need of additional support.

Microwaveable Corn Filled Hot/Cold Pack By Caylee's Creations

Microwavable Corn Filled Heating Pad and Cold Pack/Washable 100% Cotton Cover (7.5"Wx11"L, Blue Stream)
  • Specially made for Therapeutic Use - Hot or Cold! Perfect for muscle aches, cramps, headaches, arthritis, pains, sports injuries, warming up the bed covers at night, or letting the kids snuggle with one as they fall asleep!
  • THE ORIGINAL Caylee's Creations Corn Bags are handcrafted in the USA with triple-stitched seams for durability.
  • Amazing designs with removable, machine washable 100% cotton outer cover.
  • Made ONLY with cleaned whole corn grains because they hold heat longer than ANY OTHER grain we tested, and are mold and mildew resistant. No added scents.
  • Engineered with almost 3lbs of dried corn to balance maximum heat or cold with a weight comfortable enough for children. MORE corn volume provides GREATER heating and cooling times! You would have to buy two or more of some competitor's products to equal the same amount of corn volume that THE ORIGINAL Caylee's Creations corn bags provide!

Another hot/cold pack capable of relieving various forms of pain, the microwavable corn filled pack from Caylee's Creations is among the most durable hot/cold packs that we've seen.

When it comes to hot/cold packs, durability is a primary concern because many products begin to lose their effectiveness after numerous cycles of freezing, followed by placement in hot microwaves.

A hot/cold pack may lose shape, begin to wear, or develop cracks and tears in its fabric that render it unusable.

That's why the construction and filament of the right hot/cold pack must stand to freezing and warming over time, and we've found Caylee's Creations has perfected the microwavable corn filled pack to hold up to extensive use without concern for compromising the durability of the product.

In addition to holding up to wear and tear, Caylee's Creations microwavable corn kernel pack is constructed with a 100 percent cotton outer shell, making the product mold and mildew resistant.

We love the corn kernel pack from Caylee's Creations for its substantial, mid-range weight.


As the product is filled with dried kernel corn, it easily absorbs both moisture from heat and the cooling properties of ice when chilled to bring you the most effective pain relief possible.

As an additional advantage of its corn kernel filling, the product maintains optimal weight to soothe muscle tension and lay flat on aching necks, backs, and stomachs.

This hot/cold pack is also great for kids, due to its outstanding durability, as well as its weight and size.

Overall, the hot/cold kernel pack by Caylee's Creations retains both heat and icy cold temps for an impressive duration, given its mid-range weight and compact size.

My Heating Pad Multi-Purpose Lavender Wrap

My Heating Pad Microwavable Multi Purpose Wrap for Cramps Relief | Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulders | Insomnia and Headache Relief | Reusable Hot Pack for Injuries and Sore Muscles - Lavender Purple
  • Classic and Easy To Use Microwave Heating Pad for Aches and Pains, Cramps and Sore Muscles - with Lavender Aromatherapy benefits!
  • Handle on each end for Comfortable Grip while applying over Neck and Shoulders, Back, Stomach, Knees, and more... Lavender is Perfect for relief of Headaches, Migraines, Insomnia, and Relaxation
  • Works great for Hot, Herbal and Moist Heat Therapy because Rice & Flax Seed are excellent Natural ingredients for Holding Heat and Warmth - Lavender scent may be strong on initial uses 💜
  • High Quality Made in USA 🇺🇲, Has a nice WEIGHT of 2.5 pounds for gentle pressure of weighted heat therapy, DIMENSIONS: 26.5 x 4.5 x 1 inches. Soft fleece on one side, cotton on the other.
  • PERFECT GIFT 🎁 idea for Birthdays 🎉 , Holidays, Christmas, and more! SATISFACTION GUARANTEE 😀 - If you're not satisfied please reach out to us so we can make things right 👍

For those in search of pain relief in conjunction with aromatherapy, My Heating Pad lavender wrap offers the ideal balance.

Equipped with tension handles at either hand, the multi-purpose lavender wrap utilizes the power of thermotherapy (heat) to treat a range of chronic conditions and ailments including arthritis, sore muscles, and also functions as a highly effective stress reliever.

My Heating Pad lavender wrap is filled with rice and lavender flowers, for an authentic aromatherapy experience.

Its outer shell is constructed from both fleece and cotton, making it a breathable wrap that provides warmth, as well as comfort.

A further advantage of this multi-purpose lavender heat wrap is its quick heating time, typically warming in the microwave in as little as 90 seconds.

While My Heating Pad is a multi-purpose wrap that can relieve numerous aches ranging from cramps to tension headaches, we recommend it as an ideal treatment method for those struggling with insomnia along with nighttime aches and pains.

Aromatherapy, along with heat, provides a relaxing experience that may be used alone or conjunction with over the counter sleep medications for a pain-free, restorative night's sleep.

My Heating Pad Neck & Shoulder Wrap

Sale
My Heating Pad Microwavable Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulders Pain Relief | Natural and Reusable Hot Cold Pack | Heated Neck Wrap for Stress and Tension Relief Therapy | Shoulder Heating Pad (Purple)
  • Ideal Neck and Shoulder Heating Pad for Pain Relief and Comfort - Designed to Stay in Place and provide Extra Warmth and Coverage
  • Microwave Heat Therapy that is Easy to Use for soothing Cramps and Sore Muscles, or simply Cozy Up on a cold chilly night 🌙 🌨️😀 ...
  • Has a nice weight to it - approx. 3 pounds to provide gentle pressure and Weighted Heat Therapy of upper back, neck and shoulders.
  • High Quality Made in USA 🇺🇲, SPECIAL FEATURE: Super soft fleece on one side for cozy warmth, and cotton on the other for extra heat, DIMENSIONS: 19 x 12 x 1.0 inches. FILLING INGREDIENTS: Flax seed and Rice.
  • PERFECT GIFT 🎁 idea for Christmas, Holidays, Birthdays 🎉 , and more! SATISFACTION GUARANTEE 😀 - If you're not satisfied please reach out to us so we can make things right 👍

My Heating Pad makes our list once again with the ergonomically designed neck and shoulder wrap.

Much like My Heating Pad's multi-purpose lavender wrap, this heat wrap is designed with durable, moderately weighted construction to deliver pain relief to the body's most affected areas, and sustain heat to aching and sore muscles.

The neck and shoulder wrap is intended to deliver pain relief to the neck, traps, and upper back with an expertly constructed seven chamber design.

My Heating Pad is was developed by a chiropractor to relieve pain from arthritis, tendonitis, fatigued muscles, and other pain in the neck and shoulder area.

For maximum comfort, My Heating Pad's outer shell is constructed with breathable cotton on one side and fleece on the other.

Like My Heating Pad's multi-purpose lavender wrap, we recommend the neck and shoulder wrap to incorporate into your pain management bedtime routine, as its breathable and warm fabric rank it among the most comfortable options to sleep with that we've encountered.

Nature's Approach Aromatherapy Basic Herb Pack

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Nature's Approach Aromatherapy Basic Herb Pack, Angel
  • Hot/Cold Relief with Aromatherapy - Microwave or Freeze
  • Made with ALL NATURAL Organic Materials, 100% safe for People, Pets and the Environment
  • A soothing aromatic blend of nature's finest herbs for easing aches and pains
  • Prevent moisture loss of the skin, improving hydration of the skin cells
  • VERSATILE PAIN RELIEF: Comfort from muscle spasms and tension; 12" x 6"

Nature's Approach makes it onto our list at number three with the versatile hot/cold aromatherapy pack, to offer spa level aromatherapy from the comfort of your home.

We love this multi-function wrap both for its aromatherapy and hot/cold capability.

Nature's Approach spa relief pack is filled with many medicinal herbs including lavender, lemongrass, and mint.

Its medicinal herb blend invigorates, relieves tension, promotes restful sleep, and can relieve pain—depending on whether the product is used as a heating device or chilled, for cooling relief.

To use the wrap for relief from abdominal pain and aching muscles, quick heating in the microwave provides long lasting pain relief in conjunction with the aromatherapy benefits of rosemary and lavender.

To treat swelling and bruising from injuries, just freeze the wrap for cooling relief along with the benefits of Lemongrass and other refreshing herbs.

This wrap is available in a wide variety of design and color options, making it an attractive option for use at home, or as a professional spa wrap.

Overall, we find Nature's Approach aromatherapy wrap effective at relieving muscle pain, tension, and especially effective at relieving headaches.

Home Comforts Microwavable Heating Pad

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Microwaveable Heating Pad (Red)
  • Size: 9" x 8"
  • Rice Filled Microwavable Heating Pad, great for a cold night!
  • Helps with: migraine headaches, stress, menstrual pain, arthritis, traveling, muscle injuries, etc.
  • Heat in microwave, Cool in freezer, Moist heat
The Home Comforts microwavable heating pad is a durable, rice filled heat pad designed to treat pain from migraine headaches, arthritis, muscle pain, aching joints, and injuries.

Featuring a soft to the touch, flannel pillowcase-like construction, Home Comforts microwavable heating pad is an excellent product to sooth nighttime aches and pains.

It's also an ideal choice to help those with bedtime aches and pains achieve a restorative night's sleep.

The product also features a relatively compact size that's ideal for heating in the microwave and can accommodate both small and large muscles and areas of the body comfortably.

We prefer the Home Comforts pad for its impressive ability to retain heat, perfect for providing warmth throughout the night.

We recommended it as a heating pad for bedtime use, but its cozy flannel shell provides excellent pain relief at any time of day.

Thermalon Moist Heat Pad

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Thermalon Microwave Activated Moist Heat Pad for Shoulder, Abdomen, Back, Hip, 9" x 12"
  • Designed to deliver a moist heat treatment
  • Treats shoulders, lower back, and abdomen
  • Just microwave and apply
  • Non-toxic and odor free

Thermalon's moist heat pad utilizes the power of moist heat to provide relief from pains associated with arthritis, stress, sore muscles, and even cramps, while also functioning as a cold pack when chilled to reduce swelling and inflammation.

We love the quilted, durable construction of Thermalon's moist heat pad and cold pack.

Perhaps most impressively, Thermalon's hot/cold pack performs both functions with equally effective results.

The product retains moist heat to relieve aches and pains when microwaved as well as retains its cooling properties to reduce swelling and inflammation when chilled.

Thermalon's hot/cold pack is sufficiently weighted to rest comfortably on the back, abdomen, neck, or shoulders.

It won't budge or slide out of place, likely the work of its form-fitting quilted design.

Thermalon's moist heat pack is free of toxins, odors, and irritating chemicals, making this heat pad an ideal choice for those prone to allergic reactions and sensitivities.

The Thermalon moist heat pack is machine washable, an outstanding feature for a hot/cold pack.

We recommend Thermalon's hot/cold pack for daily use, as it heats quickly and can be used comfortably to relieve pain throughout the day.

Sunny Bay Lower Back and Shoulder Wrap

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Sunny Bay Lower Back and Shoulder Joint Heat Wrap with Strap, 10"x18" Heat Pad, Microwave Hot/Cold Pad, Reusable, Portable, Navy Blue
  • unbeatable Large size: The amazing, Large heating area is unmatched by any portable heating wraps. The heating area measures 18 inches wide and 10 inches tall. It provides heat therapy to the entire back for most people.
  • Must have heat therapy: if you're suffering from arthritis, knee pain, back pain, shoulder joint pain, tendonitis, neuropathy, sciatica, bursitis, fibromyalgia, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, hip pain, tennis elbow, Golf elbow, shoulder pain, shin splints, chronic pain, etc. You must try this product! The long-lasting heat works well to relieve your pain.
  • microwavable, portable, reusable & cordless: the back heating pack has extra-long straps: total 60 inches long, enough for a Large person to tie the wrap around the body. It stays on the shoulder or around your waist when you move around. It weighs only 2.5 lb. Most people will not feel the weight when doing light house work.
  • effective, easy to use & comfortable: with the tie-on straps, it is convenient to apply heat therapy to treat your strain or cramps. Use it while doing house work, sitting down watching TV or even resting in bed. For rotator cuff injury, this heat wrap can cover the shoulder as well as the chest muscles and shoulder blade. It conforms to the body shape very well.
  • sectioned chambers & long-lasting heat: the thermal heating pad is filled with all natural flax seeds. The heat can last for half an hour. Constructed with multiple chambers, and hand-filled to the perfect fullness, the filling doesn't shift to one end When standing up. It ensures the heating of all the areas around the injured tissue and increase the blood circulation.

The Sunny Bay lower back and shoulder wrap is ideal for providing evenly distributed heat to the lower back and rests comfortably around the body for maximum relief.

This wrap won't shift or lose shape, providing pain relief to the most acutely affected areas of the lower lumbar region with its flax seed filled, multi-chamber design.

In addition to lower back pain relief, the Sunny Bay wrap can be worn around the knee, waist, and shoulder.

The versatility of this product allows for relief from pains associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, and even Tennis Elbow.

This wrap features a wide surface area that can accommodate large muscles comfortable and efficiently, and is completely portable for wear in or out of the house.


When used as a cold pad, the wrap can reduce swelling from sore, aching backs, as well as reduce swelling associated with injuries.

The Sunny Bay lower back wrap retains heat for about thirty minutes, perfect for relaxing in front of the television while delivering targeted pain relief to aching lower back muscles.

Sacksy Thyme Microwavable Aromatherapy Pad

Ultra Premium All Natural Microwavable Aromatherapy Heating Cooling Pads - Flax Seed Cherry Pit Certified Organic Herbal Filler
  • Our All Natural Aromatherapy sacks combine the benefits of hot and cold therapy for areas you need it most.
  • Sacksy Thyme sacks retain heat longer than corn or rice sacks and are made with only the finest ingredients grown and manufactured here in the USA!
  • Exclusive Blend of Highest Quality Certified Organic Herbs, Flaxseed, Cherry Pits and highest quality craftsmanship.
  • The calming herbal aroma of lavender, cherry, eucalyptus, lemon verbena promotes relaxation while releasing tension and stress.
  • Available in several other colors and herbs!! Perfect for anyone who wants an all natural remedy for stiff muscles and tension.

The Sacksy Thyme microwavable aromatherapy pad comes in at number nine on our list as a certified organic, flax seed and cherry pit filled hot/cold pad with a cotton outer shell.

Due to its unique construction, this product is able to deliver longer lasting heat relief over rice and other materials.

The wrap works in conjunction with the power of aromatherapy from eucalyptus, lavender, and lemon verbena to bring you stress relief, soothe aching muscles, and even relieve headaches and fatigue.

We love the Sacksy Thyme wrap for its compact yet durable design that rests comfortably on aching necks, backs, or stomachs.

The wrap heats quickly in the microwave and provides about 2 hours of pain relief.

We recommend the Sacksy Thyme wrap for evening or bedtime pain relief, sufficient to soothe pre-bedtime aches and pains while relieving daily stressors with the power of lavender and other medicinal herbs.

Nature Creation Neck and Shoulder Aromatherapy Pad

Nature Creation Heating Pad for Neck and Shoulders | Microwave Heating pad | Natural Hot Packs for Pain Relief with Aromatherapy for Stress Relief | Upper Back Pain Relief - Blue Marble, Scented
  • JUST RIGHT, EASY TO USE RELIEF for you Neck and Shoulders because it heats quickly in the microwave, provides perfect soothing heat that holds well, and filled with calming aroma benefits from the fresh and natural herbs.
  • WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? If you suffer from frequent achy muscles and joints, tight neck, tense shoulders, chronic back pain, cramps, arthritis, recovering from a surgery/injury, headaches, have a tendency to be cold, or simply want to keep warm and relaxed - this is absolutely recommended for you!
  • SPECIAL FEATURES: A) 3 Functions: Hot & Cold Therapy, plus Aromatherapy for everyday use B) Just the right weight for deep therapy C) Flaps on sides for comfort and to keep steady on shoulders D) Channels to evenly distribute filling ingredients E) Natural - so you don't have to feel damp and oily from pain relief creams and ointments that leave a mess
  • MADE TO LAST HIGH QUALITY - Made in USA, durable, fine cotton, attention to detail, and 20 years of experience results in a shoulder wrap that is effective.
  • FABULOUS GIFT 🎁 - share as a great gift that everyone will love! - Adults, elderly, teens, and children... The whole family loves them! SATISFACTION GUARANTEED 😀 - because when our customers are happy, we are happy - so if you're not satisfied, reach out to us so we can make things right 👍

Wrapping up our top 10 list is the Nature Creation neck and shoulder aromatherapy pad.

This hot/cold, aromatherapy wrap combines the healing power of peppermint, lemongrass, and chamomile with soothing heat or cold to relax muscles and relieve inflammation.

We prefer the Nature Creation neck and shoulder wrap for the most immediate relief of neck and shoulder pain, its ergonomic design targets upper back and neck muscles with a multi-chamber configuration that delivers consistent heat and cooling relief.

The wrap also provides an excellent way to stay toasty warm on winter nights, and cool down during those hot days by the pool.

While it effectively covers a wide surface area, this product is microwaved quickly and easily.

We recommend the Nature Creation aromatherapy neck and shoulder wrap for use at any time of day, but especially as a daytime hot or cold pack for daytime relief of neck and shoulder pains.

Buyers Guide: The Ideal Microwavable Heating Pad

The right heating (or hot/cold) aromatherapy pad can provide relief from pain associated with arthritis, aching muscles, injuries, and more.

To achieve the most effective relief from your heat pad, it's important to know exactly which features to be on the lookout for during your selection process.

Now that we've covered the best microwavable heating pads available let's discuss the criteria that went into our top picks for the best hot/cold and aromatherapy pads for 2019.

Design (Filling and Construction)

Any heat pad worth purchasing must be well constructed, and ideally, feature an ergonomic design that rests effortlessly on your muscles without shifting or sliding out of place.

The best microwaveable heating pads are filled with natural materials such as rice, corn, and cherry pits.

Some of the most effective heat packs may also be filled with non-toxic alternatives to these ingredients that won't emit odors or trigger allergic reactions.

In order to retain pain relieving heat, care must be taken to use only these high-quality materials.

Just as important as the internal filament of the ideal heating pad, is its outer construction.

The most effective hot/cold pads are made from cotton, fleece, and flannel.

The outer shell of the ideal hot/cold pad should be soft to the touch and breathable.

It should also provide warmth, and be comfortable to sleep with to provide relief from bedtime aches and pains.

Aromatherapy (A Personal Preference)

Generally speaking, the organic herbs used in aromatherapy heat wraps provide significant relief for a number of ailments, to a wide range of individuals.

Aromatherapy has demonstrated effective relief from pain when used in conjunction with heat and cooling properties, stress reduction, as well as efficacy at addressing sleep disturbances and insomnia.

While aromatherapy heat pads and cold wraps may also provide relief from fatigue, headaches, and a number of common ailments, aromatherapy may not be suitable for individuals with allergies, migraine headaches, and other sensitivities.

Although less common, the medicinal herbs used in aromatherapy wraps may also trigger allergic reactions, worsening of migraine headaches, and aggravation of other sensitivities in susceptible individuals.

If you suffer from migraine headaches, allergies, or other sensitivities, you may want to avoid aromatherapy packs in favor of nontoxic and allergen-free alternatives (such as Thermalon's moist heat pack).

Speaking of Moist Heat

Heating pad devices generally utilize either moist or dry heat to deliver targeted pain relief to aching backs, necks, and sore muscles.

From various patient reports, and at the recommendation of doctors, moist heat demonstrates more effective pain relief over dry heat, especially in treating conditions like arthritis, muscle spasms, and chronic pain.

When it comes to heating pads, most microwavable wraps use the power of moist heat, while electric and infrared devices rely on dry heat to relieve sore and aching muscles.

Research suggests that moist heat improves blood circulation, delivers pain relief to muscle tissues more quickly, and elicits more response from muscle tissues when relieving pain than dry heat devices at the same temperatures.

Size and Heat Retention

Size and heat retention work together to provide targeted, long-lasting pain relief to commonly sore muscles.

Ideally, a compact heating pad that can be easily microwaved is the best option for relief of neck, back, abdominal, and shoulder pain.

A well constructed, ergonomically designed heat pad with quality filament will retain heat for up to two hours, generally enough time to dull nighttime aches or for use in front of the television to manage aching lower backs.

Look for multi-chamber heat pads that conduct heat to exactly where it needs to go, directly to your pain areas, like My Heating Pad (designed by a chiropractor).

Following these guidelines will maximize the benefits of your heating pad, and set you on your way to effective pain relief—without cords and wires.

Featured image via Amazon

Pro Tips: How To Microwave Chicken Without Drying It Out

how to microwave chicken without drying it out

For those looking to make a delicious chicken dinner without the time to roast or grill, using a microwave may be your only option.


However, anyone that has any experience with microwaves knows that while they can cook quickly, the food is typically dried out in the process. In this post, we’ll address the problem and answer how to microwave chicken without drying it out.


As we said, to make a nutritious and tasty chicken dinner in the traditional way can take a ton of time.


From all the preparation time, seasoning the chicken, to cooking it all, a baked chicken can be very labor intensive. However, what do you do if you don’t have the time to dedicate to preparing your meal?


One option you can consider is to purchase premade packaged meals from the store, but the problem with those meals is that they can vary from too much salt to not enough portion size to limited menu options.


With all that said, we recommend that you use a microwave oven for your cooking needs. The beauty of a microwaved chicken is that you can prep it, cook it, and be ready to eat in as little as 10 minutes for raw chicken, to 1 ½ minute for reheated chicken.


So how do you cook a chicken in the microwave without drying it out?

Not All Microwave Ovens Are Created Equally

person putting casserole inside oven

Image Source: unsplash

The first thing to understand is that every microwave oven cooks at different temperatures and wattages, so you’ll need to experiment a little to have a better idea of cooking time and temperature.


Also, cooking times will vary based on whether you’re preparing raw chicken or reheating a meal. To help, we’ll discuss both heating and reheating options in this post.


If you have the microwave user manual, look to see the total wattage the microwave cooks at, as this will give you a better idea of the highest temperature output.


The higher the wattage, the faster your cooking time will be and will range from 600–1200 watts.


Typically, higher wattage and faster cooking times mean that your food will be hotter and more evenly cooked, while the lower wattage will mean slower, less evenly cooked meals.


Knowing your microwave oven’s wattage will help you adjust your cooking methodology and timing.

Chicken Cooking Times

top view of whole chicken placed in between knife and fork

Image Source: Pexels

The thickness of the chicken is also something you need to consider. Thighs and legs won’t need as much time as a thick chicken breast, and we’ll offer a couple of suggestions on how to cook thicker pieces of chicken later in this post.


One last thing to take into consideration is whether the chicken is boneless or still on the bone. Having chicken on the bone will take longer to cook evenly, and more difficult.


Boneless chicken cut thinly will be the easiest, and fastest to cook, but that also means it will become dry faster.


To cook your chicken in the microwave safely, the first thing you need to do is make sure the chicken has thawed completely. One of the safest ways to thaw chicken is to place it in an airtight container and place on the shelf of a refrigerator overnight.


You want the container to be sealed so that fluids can’t spill out and contaminate other food.


Thawing chicken completely will help make sure that it will cook evenly, whether by standard or microwave methods.

  • Place chicken in a sealed container in the refrigerator or beneath cold running water
  • Keep separate from other foods
  • Clean all surfaces with an anti-bacterial cleaning agent to prevent cross–contamination after thawing
  • Thaw chicken thoroughly, cook or store in the refrigerator immediately

Finally, make sure that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 170 degrees. This temperature is above the recommended threshold of 165 degrees but will guarantee that the chicken is safe to eat.

Simple Yet Delicious Microwave Chicken Recipe

roasted chicken placed on top of tray

Image Source: unsplash

To make a delicious and fast microwave chicken meal, we have a simple, easy to follow, recipe. The key is to have enough garlic and spices to flavor the chicken, with enough chicken broth as to cover the chicken pieces and, in essence, broil it in the microwave.


The first step is to make sure all the chicken has been thawed entirely and separated from each other. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add any additional spices you may want. Place pieces into a casserole dish that has enough space between pieces of chicken that they aren’t resting on top of one another. There should only be a single layer of chicken in the dish.


Be careful that the pan is microwave safe, most dishes made of porcelain are, but to be sure, check the underside of the bowl, where typically safe microwave designations are placed.


Once the chicken is in a casserole dish, add two crushed garlic cloves and pour enough chicken stock over the chicken to cover the bottom of the pan. The liquid should cover the bottom of the pan and up to ½ the chicken. You can add more garlic, or garnish with lemon, by taste and choice.


Next, cover the casserole dish with a microwave-safe lid. The top should be secure but with one corner loose, to allow steam to escape during cooking. If the top is too snug, the steam will build up during cooking and blow the lid off the dish, possibly causing damage to the interior of your microwave oven.


Set your timer for four minutes and cook on high. After this time, remove the pan and uncover the dish. Never handle the container with your bare hands as it may heat up during cooking and become unsafe to touch and be careful to avoid the steam as you remove the top.


Using tongs or a spatula, rotate and turn the chicken over in the dish. Once rotated, recover the bowl as before and place back into the microwave. Continue to cook on high heat for 5 minutes. Once the timer finishes, remove the chicken and check that the chicken no longer has any pink in the breast and that the internal temperature should read at least 165 to 170 degrees.


Ideally, you’ll let the chicken rest. Resting means sitting aside away from heat allowing liquids to reabsorb into the meat. Additionally, by making the chicken rest before testing the temperature will be a more accurate result. If the temperature of the chicken stays stable or even increases away from direct heat will help eliminate new bacteria.


A good meat thermometer should be inserted into the thickest part of the chicken to read the temperature ideally. For bone-in chicken, check the temperature in multiple locations, from the thickest part of the meat to an area next to the bone.


Since microwaves cook at different temps and heat, if the chicken is not an ideal temperature, recover and place in the microwave to cook at 1-minute intervals until the temperature is at 170 degrees.

Lemon Parsley Chicken Breast

sliced roast chicken with lemon slices

Image Source: Pixabay

  • Make a delicious, succulent chicken dinner quickly with our Lemon Parsley Chicken Breast recipe.
  • Select thawed chicken breast
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper as desired
  • Place chicken in microwave safe pan with thickest parts toward the edge of the pan
  • Add additional seasoning and garnish such as garlic, lemon, parsley
  • Add liquid, preferably chicken broth to pot. Cover the bottom of the pan, up to ½ the chicken
  • Cover the top of the container with up to ¼ opening in the corner
  • Cook on Medium for 14 to 16 minutes, remove from microwave and rotate chicken pieces once.
  • Let sit 1 minute, check internal temperature to be at least 170 degrees
  • If not at 170 degrees, continue to cook covered chicken on 1-minute intervals until 170 degrees
  • Once done, let sit for 1 minute, slice into desired serving size and serve.

Immediately store any leftovers in an airtight container and place in a refrigerator for storage.


The key with how to microwave chicken without drying it out is that there needs to be enough surrounding liquid to keep the dish wet and it should be covered during cooking to help retain moisture.


Some steam will be released, but that is also part of the cooking process, in effect helping steam the chicken.

Quick and Easy Reheating Suggestion

To reheat chicken quickly and easily, we suggest that you use smaller pieces, placed in a safe microwave pan, covered with a moist cloth, and cooked on high for up to a minute and a half.


Keep in mind how you prepared the chicken the first time will affect how dry or moist the chicken is after reheating.

  • Cut into chicken into small pieces
  • Place onto a microwave-safe plate
  • Cover with a damp paper towel
  • Reheat on high for 1–1 ½ minutes
  • Remove lid, let sit

The best option for a nutritious meal is to make it at home, and our pro tips on how to microwave chicken without drying it out will help you create something delicious and fast.


Keep in mind that the best way to prevent any food from drying out is to simmer it over time. If that is just not an option, choosing the right casserole dish or pan for a microwave is essential.

How To Install Over The Range Microwave Without Vent

home

Learning how to install over the range microwave without vent isn’t very difficult, but it does take some preparation. Luckily, we’ve got everything you need in this article to be able to tackle this job, even if you’re a beginner when it comes to DIY home projects. 

What Do I Need Before I Begin?

Here’s what you’ll need to learn how to install over the range microwave without vent: 

  • A plug-in microwave that fits your space (make sure it’s not too big) 
  • A stepladder or stool 
  • A drill with different sized bits 
  • A pencil or marking tool 
  • A stud finder
  • A helping hand (optional) 

Steps for Installing a Microwave Over the Range

a beautiful kitchen with complete equipment

IMAGE BY:PIXABAY

1. Remove Your Old Microwave  

The first thing you’ll need to do is remove your old microwave above the range. Removing and then installing a hardwired microwave requires some fairly advanced electrician skills which keep most people from handling the installation themselves, but as long as you’re dealing with plug-in microwaves, it’s usually just a simple matter of unplugging the microwave (the plug is typically in the cabinet above the microwave) and sliding it off its brackets. 

You’ll then need to remove the existing hardware–unscrew any brackets and so forth. Unfortunately, microwaves can rarely if ever use the same brackets.  

2. Prep Your Microwave

Next, you’ll unpackage your microwave. You need to make sure you don’t throw away any part of the packaging until you’re finished with the installation since there are cardboard or paper templates that you’ll need. You will typically find two templates–one for the wall showing you where to mount the brackets, and one for the top, underneath the top cabinet, to show where to drill the hole for the plug.

3. Check Your Vent Setup

You’ll also need to identify whether or not your microwave has a vent and if so, how it vents. Does it vent to the outside through the back or the top, or does it recycle the air and vent it back inside the home? Either way, you’ll need to remove the vent cover (most often on the top of the microwave) to make sure the blower is facing the correct direction–forward for interior venting or back or up for exterior venting. Each microwave will have a different set of screws that hold the vent in place, but they’re usually easy to find and if necessary you can check your installation instructions–they’ll tell you exactly what you need to do to remove or reposition the vent. If you’re venting to the outside, you’ll need to attach the included dampener using the provided screws, but if you’re venting to the inside, you can screw the vent cover back on.

4. Prep the Wall

Next, you’ll need to prep the wall for the microwave brackets. You cannot hang the brackets on drywall. Unlike photos, which don’t need to be hung on a stud, a microwave is extremely heavy and must be tied into a stud; the framing supports that hold up your walls. Use a stud finder to find and mark the studs in the wall, and then find the center line–the exact center of the space between the cabinets where the microwave will go. Once you’ve found the studs and the centerline, you’re ready to start prepping the templates!

5. Prep the Templates

Start with the top template–the one that goes above the microwave. Use the lines and provided instructions to line it up perfectly and then use painter’s tape to tape it into position. The lines will let you know where to drill holes through the cabinet–there’s a chance that previous holes might line up with the new holes, but that’s often not the case. You might have to cut out a hole for the vent, as well.

6. Drill Out the Holes in the Top Cabinet

Use a drill and the appropriate bits to drill out the correct holes–follow the microwave installation instructions carefully for this part, so you get your holes in the right places. Also, please note that you don’t have to remove the paper to drill; you can drill straight through it! Once the holes are drilled, you can remove the template, but make sure you mark your freshly drilled holes to distinguish them from any old holes. Now, match the center of the wall template to the centerline you marked on the wall as well as whatever other marks the template instructs you to mark. Unlike the top template, you won’t tape this one into place. Every template works a little differently, but most will have a bracket that you’ll attach with screws on the side as well as a screw in the center along the midline. The goal is to get at least one of the screws in a stud. Once you’ve lined up the bracket along the midline, you can begin to install the screws with a screwdriver or by hand.

7. Install the Microwave

Now, it’s time to install the microwave. For this part, it’s really handy to have people and a screw or stepladder so you can get up to the top cabinet. Lift the microwave carefully so that it attaches to the bracket. At the same time, guide the cord through the hole into the upper cabinet. Before you release the microwave, attach the provided screws through the top in the holes you already drilled. You don’t need to overtighten these, but once they’re in, double check the bottom of the microwave to make sure the brackets are visibly supporting the microwave from underneath. If not, they’re not in securely, and your microwave could come crashing down!

8. Plug in Your Microwave

The final step is the easiest–plug your microwave in!

How Do I Get Rid of My Old Microwave?

If your microwave still works, you can sell it using an app like OfferUp, or you can donate it to a friend or your local Goodwill. However, if it’s no longer working, you will have to properly dispose of it. 

Improper disposal is dangerous because of the capacitor inside the microwave, but some cities and communities allow you to place appliances at the curb along with your trash. If that’s not an option, you can check with your local recycling center. 

What Kind of Microwave Should I Get?

What Kind of Microwave Should I Get

IMAGE BY:PIXABAY

Installing a microwave isn’t difficult, as you know now, but it can be tedious. If you’re going to all the trouble, it’s important you get something worth the effort. How do you know what kind of microwave you should get? Here are some of the important questions you should ask: 

You have a lot of options when it comes to microwaves: countertop, built in, with a vent, without a vent, warming drawer, etc. If you’re reading this article, you’ve already determined that an over the range microwave is the way to go, and those are popular options. This means you’ll have tons of choices when it comes to features, sizes, and finishes. 

Choosing a finish is usually an easy problem to solve–typically you’ll get a microwave that matches the rest of the kitchen. But what about features? And how much should you pay for one? 

You can certainly find over the range microwaves for less than $200, but typically at that price point, you’ll sacrifice quite a bit in terms of features and useable space. The $300-$400 range offers a wealth of additional features, including some of the following: 

  • Bluetooth connectivity 
  • Default settings like “popcorn” and “pizza” and “baked potato.”
  • Broil and convention features like you would find in a full-size oven
  • Inverter technology that helps you better control your microwave’s power 

Additional things to consider when you’re choosing a microwave: 

  • Wattage (the more wattage, the more power; you’ll usually pay more for additional power, however)
  • Internal size (is there enough space to put your favorite plates inside? Do you have to remove racks to place a coffee mug inside?) 

Final Thoughts

Learning how to install over the range microwave without vent can save you money, and when done correctly it won’t be difficult. It should even take less than an hour–and less than half an hour if you’ve got some experience! 

Whether it takes an hour or a half an hour, it’s a great project to perform yourself, and you won’t need more than a drill and a few bits, especially now that you’ve got our super clear directions to help you out. 

Just make sure you work slowly and carefully, read all the instructions thoroughly before getting started, and double check your measurements and marks before you drill or cut anything. Happy installation!  

Pro Tips: How To Pop Popcorn Without A Microwave

Bowl Of Popcorn

Meta: Learning how to pop popcorn without a microwave is a great way to still enjoy your popcorn even if your microwave breaks–but it’s also a great chance to enjoy stovetop popcorn or delicious DIY flavors! We spill the beans on everything you need to know about popping popcorn yourself–including eight delicious flavors!

Pro Tips: How to Pop Popcorn Without a Microwave

Image Source: Pexels

Popcorn is a delicious, healthy treat, but what if you don’t have a microwave? Whether you have microwave popcorn, but no microwave oven or you’re simply looking for alternative ways to cook popcorn, we’ve got everything you need to learn how to pop popcorn without a microwave!

Popping Microwave Popcorn on the Stovetop

Image Source: Pixabay

Microwave popcorn is convenient–it comes in a huge variety of flavors, and you don’t have to measure or scoop a single ingredient. However, most people think that you’re out of luck if your microwave breaks or goes out–fortunately, that’s not the case!

 

You can cook microwave popcorn on the stove. Here’s what you need:

  • A pot with a glass or see-through lid
  • Microwave popcorn
  • A spoon
  • Extra oil (optional)

If you choose to use additional oil like vegetable oil or coconut oil, you can add 1-3 tablespoons to the bottom of the pan. Next, empty the contents of the microwave popcorn bag into your pot and turn the heat to medium or medium-high. As the oil and butter in the popcorn begins to melt, use your spoon to break up and separate the kernels.

 

When the popcorn begins to heat up and start popping, turn the heat down and place the lid on. If you don’t use the lid, you might end up with hot, oil-covered popcorn flying out of your pan!

 

Once the popcorn popping has slowed down, turn the stove off and remove the pot from the heat completely. Listen carefully during this process because you don’t want the popcorn to burn–about one to two seconds in between each pop is perfect.

 

Once you’ve removed your popcorn from the stove, you’re ready to serve it! You wouldn’t need additional seasonings unless the microwave popcorn you used was free of extra oil, salt, or flavorings. In that case, you can use melted butter, salt, and seasonings like parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast to flavor your snack!

Making Your Own Popcorn on the Stove

Image Source: Pixabay

Because popcorn is such a versatile snack, there are a lot of different ways to cook it. We’ll cover some of those ways later, but for now, here’s how to pop popcorn without a microwave on the stove!

 

You’ll need:

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • ¾ popcorn kernels or popping corn
  • A large, heavy pot with lid (preferably a glass lid)
  • Salt
  • Additional toppings and flavors such as melted butter

Pour the oil into the pot and bring to medium heat. Add a few kernels of popcorn–when these begin to pop, you know the oil is hot enough. Carefully pour in the remaining popcorn kernels. At this point, you can remove the pot from the heat for thirty seconds to allow the oil to remain at a stable temperature (this tip is recommended by Simply Recipes). Turn the heat down and place the lid on the pot.

 

Shake the pot occasionally to help prevent burning and sticking, and as the popcorn pops, listen carefully–once the popping slows to about one second in between each pop, it’s ready to remove from the heat.

 

Now, you can add salt and additional flavors such as melted butter. Keep in mind that adding the butter first will help the rest of the toppings stick to the popcorn. Toss well with a spoon, serve, and enjoy!

Other Awesome Ways to Pop Popcorn Without a Microwave

Image Source: Pixabay

The stovetop is a great way to pop popcorn, but it’s not the only way to learn how to pop popcorn without a microwave. Here are some of our favorites:

1. The Whirley Pop

The Whirley Pop Popcorn Maker is a stovetop contraption designed to be much better than the standard pot for popping popcorn. It’s a lightweight pan with a lid and a hand crank that allows you to use any kind of oil to pop your popcorn. It also allows you to efficiently pop a large amount of popcorn at once, helpful for families or planning for parties.

 

The method for using a Whirley Pop is very similar to popping popcorn in a pot on a stovetop, except that you’ll continue to turn the hand crank to keep the popcorn popping evenly, just like movie theatre popcorn.

 

The Whirley Pop gets all sorts of incredible, glowing reviews online. People love how quick their popcorn pops and how easy it is to get popcorn just like the movie theatre, without burning it!

2. Electric Popcorn Makers/Air Poppers

There’s a huge variety of electric poppers that allow you to simply plug in your device, add your ingredients, and voila! You’ve got delicious popcorn without a microwave! Some electric popcorn makers are air poppers and allow you to pop your popcorn kernels without using oil.

 

If you’re health conscious or want to cut down on your fat and oil intake, this is a terrific alternative to microwave popcorn.

3. Use a Grill

Did you know you can pop popcorn on a grill or campfire? Here’s what you need:

  • An aluminum pie pan
  • Large pieces of foil
  • ½ cup of popping corn
  • One tablespoon of oil (vegetable, canola, olive, or coconut oil)
  • Salt

 

Once your grill or campfire is going, mix all the ingredients in the aluminum pie pan. Using the foil, create a large airtight dome over the pan. Use tongs to place the pan over the campfire or grill and then shake occasionally till the popping has slowed down. Open the foil carefully to avoid being burned by steam.

Beyond Salt: Tips for Flavoring Your Popcorn

Image Source: Pixabay

The great thing about learning how to pop popcorn without a microwave is that you can make the flavorings as healthy and exotic as you’d like. Here are some ideas:

1. Chocolate Drizzle Popcorn

Melt milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate (or all three!) and drizzle all over your popcorn. You can also use kosher salt or salt flakes to enhance the chocolate flavor or even toss with nuts like almonds or peanuts.

 

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of melting chocolate, you can simply toss hot popcorn with a handful of mini chocolate chips. Add mini marshmallows, small pretzels, or even cereal like Lucky Charms for an extra fun flavor boost.

2. Super Cheesy Popcorn

Cheese and popcorn are a natural combination, in part because of the natural umami flavoring in cheese. For a delicious DIY recipe, toss your freshly popped popcorn with shredded cheddar cheese, parmesan, and pecorino and then toast on a baking sheet in the oven for a couple of minutes until everything is melted and delicious.

3. Everything But the Bagel (and other seasonings) Popcorn

Trader Joe’s is infamous for its Everything But the Bagel seasoning that’s yummy on everything from bagels to eggs. And guess what? It also tastes great on popcorn! Whether you use butter or oil or not, you can sprinkle the seasoning straight onto your popcorn for a savory punch.

 

Other seasonings are great, as well, including nutritional yeast, chili powder, pumpkin spice, parmesan cheese, and flavored salt.

4. Mexican Hot Chocolate Popcorn

For a sweetly Mexican flavor, dust popcorn with cinnamon, cocoa, and sugar for a delicious churro-flavored treat.

5. Mustard-Pretzel Popcorn

Gardetto’s is famous for its mustardy crunch, and you can replicate that flavor in a DIY popcorn mix. Use sea salt, dry mustard powder, cayenne pepper (optional), and small pretzels for a real kick that keeps your taste buds happy.

6. Spicy Sushi-Style Popcorn

Calling all spicy food lovers! Use wasabi and butter to create spicy popcorn; you can’t stop popping. Freshly popped corn is a natural foil for the bright punch of wasabi, and the butter and the extra fat in the butter will help everything blend beautifully.

7. Parmesan & Rosemary Popcorn

Rosemary pairs naturally with parmesan, and parmesan’s high salt content and deep umami flavor blend perfectly with popcorn, so it’s safe to say that parmesan and rosemary are a delicious pair. You can use fresh, chopped rosemary or dried, crushed rosemary, but try not to use dry rosemary springs–those can be unpleasant to snack on!

8. Spicy Bacon Popcorn

Speaking of umami, there’s nothing like crispy bacon to take the flavor of popcorn from zero to one hundred in sixty seconds. Add pickled jalapenos for a spicy kick or, if you’d rather keep things toned down, you can use a packet of ranch dressing mix to make bacon ranch popcorn!

 

Learning how to pop popcorn without a microwave is worth the extra minutes thanks to the delicious flavors you can make yourself. Plus, it’s easy and much healthier (and usually cheaper) than most of the microwaved popcorn you’ll find today on your grocery store shelves.

Rival Microwave Review 2019

Microwave near kettle

If you’re looking for a cheap, small countertop microwave that won’t take up too much room in your small apartments, learn what real customers say in their Rival microwave reviews before you buy. 

Rival Microwave Review 2019

 Rival Microwave Oven 0.7 Cu Ft, White

The best microwave goes beyond reheating leftovers and making popcorn; it makes cooking a wide variety of different foods easier than ever before. But if you don’t want to waste your hard-earned money on an appliance that won’t last as long as you expect, you need to see how each microwave holds up among other top-rated and tested models.

Learn what to expect from your new microwave before you buy in our complete Rival microwave review, with background on where the company came from to what real customers say about their experiences using the unit.

What Is a Rival Microwave and How Does It Work?

 Rival MT660 Microwave/Toaster Oven Combination

Rival is an American company that makes various kitchen products and small appliances, from air fryers and rice cookers to microwaves and electric skillets. They started out in Kansas City, Missouri in 1932, founded by Henry J. Talge, and produced food preparation products until they shut down in World War II to produce ammunition instead. Post-war, Rival expanded to include home appliances.

Today, they’re run by the Jarden Corporation (now part of the Newell Brand company), which is a leading provider of quality and trusted kitchen products that are sold around the world. They have over 25,000 employees who operate a number of well-recognized brands, such as:

  • Coleman
  • Breville
  • Mr. Coffee
  • Sunbeam
  • Seal-a-Meal
  • First Alert
  • Spontex
  • Billy Boy
  • First Essentials
  • Rawlings

Among many other well-known brands and the awesome products that they create, the Rival brand name is licensed by Walmart. The store holds exclusive rights to their brand name and logo for small appliances, although Crock-Pot was an appliance they marketed as its own brand.  

Rival Microwaves

Rival microwaves come in two popular models today: The Rival 0.7 cubic-foot digital microwave and the 0.9-cubic-foot model.

The Rival 0.7-cubic-foot microwave offers 10 power levels to cook a variety of different foods, with a few one-touch features for heating up specific foods, such as pizza and popcorn or beverages. There’s a defrost setting, a kitchen times, and a signal that goes off when your food is finished cooking. The child safety lock keeps kids safe, and it comes with a year-long limited warranty if anything should break.

This model offers 700 watts of power to cook food to perfection, which isn’t an entirely high wattage but will get the job done. This model, numbered RGTM701 or RGTM702, comes in either black or white. A digital and compact countertop microwave, it saves space on the average kitchen counter and works perfectly in smaller kitchens or dorm rooms.

The slightly bigger 0.9-cubic-foot Rival microwave offers customers a little more. You can heat up a quick snack or reheat a meal using 10 different power levels and 900 watts of power. There are six program settings and a defrost feature to heat various foods at the touch of a button, and like the smaller model, it comes with a digital touchpad to control the unit and a clock with a timer to alert you when your food is finished cooking.

The safety lock on this microwave discourages kids from using the model unsupervised as well, which makes this a great unit for families. Unlike the smaller 0.7-cubic-foot model, this microwave only comes in black.

What Makes a Rival Microwave Unique?

Rival 0.9-cu ft Microwave Oven, Black

The smaller Rival model is perfect for a cramped office or small apartment, and it comes with all the cooking options most customers look for. The best part about this microwave is that it comes with an express cook function that heats up food in moments.

For the most part, Rival doesn’t really stand out from the crowd. The 700 or 900-watt units aren’t especially powerful, the design isn’t sleek and beautiful, and the technology isn’t more advanced. However, Rival is a highly affordable model and perhaps the cheapest microwave you can buy.

Pricing Information

Where most microwaves on the market today cost an average between $50 to $800, Rival units are cheap. Even when matched up against other small microwaves, their models cost less on average. They’re highly affordable for consumers, and they come with a decent amount of features for the money.

Rival microwaves are available on Amazon for around $50, but you may also find the same models at Target or Walmart for close to the same price, starting at $49. You can find deals on sites like eBay, where a Rival microwave goes for around $20-$40, but expect a used model that may not come with the user manual or original packaging.

Public Perception of the Rival Microwave

 Rival 0.7 Cu. Ft. 700W Digital Microwave Oven

Overall, customers’ Rival microwave reviews are not highly positive. Many users say the product is unreliable and loud when you operate the unit. The performance is also unsatisfactory, with many customers saying they would never recommend this product to a friend.

When it comes to the smaller 0.7-cubic-foot unit, customers say they adored how the smaller microwave allowed them to save precious counter space, which was the most common reasons the public seems to purchase this model. It’s easy to clean, and you can figure out how to work the microwave without any help from the instruction manual. Design-wise, it’s a simple model that offers a few pre-programmed settings to save time without being too complicated.

Plus, this durable model is built to last. It comes with a warranty, which helps customers feel peace of mind in knowing their microwave will last a few years to come. Users say they can set things on top of the model without any issues, even while it’s in use, and customers don’t seem to have many problems with denting or scratches.

However, many people are discouraged using the unit. Reviews say the program settings, including the defrost, don’t heat food thoroughly or evenly. Instead, you need to repeat the process and the food you wind up with seems drier than most microwaves would produce.

If you need a microwave for the office that’s only used to pop popcorn or melt butter, this microwave performs fine. When it comes to other foods, reheating often results in food that’s still cold in the center. Plan to reheat a few times and allow your food to cool down before you eat. You’re also better off defrosting meat in some hot water in the sink than in this microwave.

Customers also say the beeping alarm on this microwave is beyond annoying, with the alarm sounding long after you open the door and take your dish out of the unit. The loud sound can wake up sleeping people in the house, which a concern for many people with young children or roommates that have different schedules. There’s no way to silence the machine’s alarm.

The microwave makes a strange clacking noise while it’s in use, and while most people don’t know exactly where the noise is coming from or why it stops when the unit is no longer in use. You can actually even hear the noise in this YouTube product review.

Another wide complaint involving this microwave is the glass plate that’s supposed to rotate in the center to help the machine cook your food thoroughly on all sides. Customers say the glass plate in their models never stayed where it was supposed to, so you would have to constantly place it back on track to use the microwave. Because it will go off course, the food doesn’t heat evenly no matter what you do. Other people find the plate not large enough for the unit, making it difficult to cook certain foods.

Customers say the inconsistencies in thoroughly cooking foods all the way through are random, with cook times varying from one day to the next. Every time people use this microwave, it seems to perform differently. The technology designed to time how long it takes to cook each food must be off.

Experts also claim the materials Rival uses aren’t exactly the safest. Many of their microwaves are made using plastic and glass. Customer Rival microwave reviews on Amazon claim the door switch didn’t work, the glass plate arrived broken, and some new models even sparked and caught fire when they were first plugged in. Some people even say their model turns on and off at random.

Based on customer reviews, most models only make it around six months before something breaks – whether the gears under the rotating plate stop working or something else breaks. However, people who bought a model with a warranty often claim their unit has no issues.

How Rival Compares to other Microwaves Today

Compared to other small, cheap microwaves on the market today even along the $50 price range, Rival doesn’t hold up to their competitors. This may be why when you head to Rival’s official website; microwaves aren’t even listed under as one of their available products.

You must search for microwaves before you can find any options available. Although, Rival is owned by the same company who owns Sunbeam, another company that creates affordable and more reliable microwaves.

The biggest competitors to these smaller, affordable 0.7-cubic-foot countertop microwave models come from Emerson and GE. Both a similar in size to Rival, with easy to use features and pre-programmed settings. However, these two brands are more highly ranked for value because they use more high-quality materials and perform well.

While Rival offers customers the lowest price tags available, the Emerson countertop microwave offers a lot of the same features. It has 700 watts of power, like most other units this size, only it’s actually quiet when in use. This model is ranked higher in terms of customer satisfaction, and people feel like they get a better value for a similar price tag.

GE’s 0.7-cubic-foot models is also a 700-watt countertop microwave with a digital display and pre-programmed features. With this model though, customers receive a higher level of satisfaction. The model cooks food evenly and the appearance is appealing in any kitchen. The microwave performs reliably, and it offers excellent value for the below average price.

For a little extra money, you can also buy a microwave that’s larger in size or offers a higher wattage to help cook food the right way every time. You don’t have to worry about the plate catching along the sides and stopping to rotating plate from moving or needing to attempt reheating your food multiple times before it’s hot enough all the way through.

Even if you need a compact model, there are other microwaves on the market right now that will perform better and last much longer for $50. The RCA 0.7-cubic-foot microwave is raved about in expert reviews due to its performance and low price. It offers the same features as Rival, but people say the model is pretty to look at and the one-touch cooking programs hold up under pressure.

​What We Think

Overall, Rival microwave reviews aren’t highly positive. Whether you look at what customers have experienced when using the small or larger models, Rival’s units work okay. They don’t always heat food all the way on the first try, and it may take a lot of guesswork to use this microwave. However, it’s a small countertop model that’s perfect for people who don’t use it much.

We suggest you save the $50 you would spend on a microwave that may only last you half a year or so and instead look for a better model, perhaps from RCA, Emerson, Oster, Black, and Decker, or any other top brand name that offers small, 700-watt models. Better yet, spend a little more and get a microwave with higher wattage to ensure your food is cooked thoroughly.