Microwave 17 litre

You should only consider a microwave 17 litre if you need it for the occasional reheating or defrosting. Even then, a 20L model is better for most situations, as the turntables are larger allowing you to defrost more food at the same time.

17L microwaves are great if you live along or with one other person, or if you rarely use a microwave. Keep in mind that turntables of 17L models are quite small, so make sure you check the size of your dinner plates in comparison.

There aren’t too many 17L microwaves on the market right now. Bosch and Logik both produce models in this category, but the options are limited to solo microwaves. If we review a combination or grill 17L microwave in the future we’ll add it to this page.

Compact microwaves, such as 7L models, are usually designed for simple cooking tasks, and are therefore unlikely to come with a high power output or interesting features. Most 17L models are basic microwaves that are efficient, but don’t have the bells and whistles of larger models. The upside is that they are often cheaper.

Whenever we review a new 17L microwave it’ll be added to this page, along with price information, buyer opinions and more. If you don’t see a model you like at the moment, bookmark this page and check back for the latest reviews.

we’ve reviewed our top three 17 litre microwaves. Each provides great value for money while offering strong cooking performance. They are all solo models, as we have a separate page for small combination microwaves. We’ve also listed each model’s external dimensions, power and various other features.​

Microwave 17 Litre

Which are the Best microwave 17 litre options?

 #1  Russell Hobbs RHM1714B

Our favourite 17 litre microwave is this excellent model by Russell Hobbs

Who Should Buy:

The RHM1714B is one of the most attractive microwaves we’ve seen – and it cooks food efficiently too. An easy pick for our top 17L machine.  Click here to view its price.

Key Features:

  • Capacity: 17 litres
  • Power: 700W
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 45.2 x 36.0 x 26.2 cm

If you’ve read our other pages (such as the best small black microwaves) it probably comes as no surprise that the top model in this category is the excellent Russell Hobbs RHM1714B. It’s not the smallest or most compact model, but it still fits comfortably into our “small microwave” guidelines while including features that aren’t found on many other 17L models.

The first ​thing to note about the Russell Hobbs RHM1714B is that it’s a digital appliance. This means it has a back-lit screen along with a variety of buttons for various settings and features. These features aren’t available on manual microwaves which don’t include a digital computer.

You’ve also probably noticed that this is a stylish model. The curved handle adds a unique appeal that is lacking from most microwaves. The control panel is straightforward to use, although you’ll probably want to read the manual a few times before using the auto-cook menus.

Other features include five power levels, 700W power output and a kitchen timer function.​ It can fit a dinner plate up to 24.5 cm in diameter, which isn’t the largest we’ve seen from a 17L microwave but is fine for most standard dinner plates.

The ​Russell Hobbs RHM1714 was an easy pick for the best 17L microwave. Its combination of attractive design, auto-cook menus and reasonable price make it difficult to beat in this category.

Type: Freestanding SoloVIEW PRICE

 #2  Cookworks EM7

The Cookworks EM7 is great if you want a small digital microwave

Who Should Buy:

If you’re looking for an alternative 17 litre digital microwave, the EM7 is a great choice. It has a range of auto-cook functions and a larger turntable.  Click here to view its price.

Key Features:

  • Capacity: 17 litres
  • Power: 700W
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 43.9 x 33.4 x 25.8 cm

A little-known digital microwave that provides great value for money is the Cookworks EM7. It’s not a stylish appliance, but it’s cheaper than the Russell Hobbs and has many of the same features.

As we mentioned, this is a digital microwave that comes with a range of automatic features. These include an automatic reheat mode, speed defrost, weight defrost and an express cook button. There are also auto-cook menus, for foods such as vegetables, potatoes, chicken, soups and pizzas, and five power levels.

​One of the best features of the EM7 is the 25.5cm turntable. This might not sound much bigger than the Russell Hobbs, but means you can fit larger plates and cook more food at the same time. On the other hand, it’s a smaller microwave than the Russell Hobbs so it’s a great choice if you have limited space.

Overall, the Cookworks EM7 is a great 17 litre black microwave that offers excellent value. Its cheaper price tag and larger turntable means you won’t regret buying it ahead of the Russell Hobbs – although we rate the RHM1714B slightly higher.

Type: Freestanding SoloVIEW PRICE

 #3  Currys Essentials C17MW14

The Currys Essentials is a basic and cheap microwave

Who Should Buy:

The final model on this list is also the cheapest. If you’re looking for a simple microwave that cooks quickly and efficiently, it provides great value.  Click here to view its price.

Key Features:

  • Capacity: 17 litres
  • Power: 700W
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 43.9 x 35.5 x 25.7 cm

If you don’t need all the extra features that come with a digital microwave, a standard model can often be a better choice. They are simple and easy to use, plus the lack of a digital screen is one less thing that can break.

One of our favourite budget manual microwaves is the excellent Currys Essentials C17MW14. It’s controlled by two simple dials – one for microwave power and the other for time – so you probably won’t need to spend much time reading the manual! It’s also great for basic reheating, cooking and defrosting.

Despite the simple design, this Currys microwave isn’t completely lacking features. There are five settings for power, so you can adjust cooking intensity depending on the type of food. There’s also a defrost option when you need it – although we’ve read reports that this can be difficult to use.

Best of all, this microwave is very cheap considering its quality. It isn’t going to win awards for style or innovative features, but if you need a simple 17L microwave that doesn’t cost a lot of money, it’s an option to consider.

Type: Freestanding SoloVIEW PRICE

How to buy a microwave

This buying guide is what you need if you’re looking for a new microwave.

Your Pizza Rolls deserve a good microwave. This countertop wonder, whose origins date back to the 1940s, is probably one of the most frequently used appliances in your kitchen thanks to its ability to reheat food fast (and cook a mug cake or two). There are a variety of options when it’s time to select a microwave, so we’ve broken down the options you have when you’re ready for a new microwave.

Location

The first decision you need to make about a new microwave is where in your kitchen you want to put it. The location affects the price, features, size and installation of the appliance. You have three main options:

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Countertop

This is the most common type of microwave. They generally cost less and are significantly easier to install than other models. Just find a spot on the counter for it to sit, plug it into an outlet and you can use it right away.

The biggest issue with the countertop microwave is how much space it needs. If you have limited room on your countertop, you may either want to look at the smaller countertop models available, look into placing your microwave on a small cart, or consider another style of microwave.

Price: $40 to $700

External dimensions: From roughly 10 by 18 by 14 inches for compact models to roughly 14 by 24 by 20 inches for larger models

Internal capacity: Less than 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet

Wattage: Typically 600 to 1,200 watts

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Some of GE’s stoves and over-the-range microwaves are connected via Bluetooth.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Over-the-range

You install this style of microwave above your range, which will save you some counter space. These models have vent systems that take the place of the oven hood and lights to illuminate your cooktop.

Price: $190 to $1,300

External dimensions: Usually wider than countertop models, about 16 by 30 by 15 inches

Internal capacity: Less than 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet

Wattage: Typically 600 to 1,200 watts

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Sharp

Built-in

Built-in models that you place among custom cabinets or paired with built-in, full-sized wall ovens are the most high-end (aka expensive) types of microwaves. Some microwaves in this category are even designed specifically as drawers with a compartment you pull out for your food.

Price: $500 to $5,000 and up

External dimensions: This varies widely depending on type, and drawers tend to have more depth than countertop or over-the-range models, hitting about 15 by 30 by 26 inches

Internal capacity: Less than 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet

Wattage: Typically 600 to 1,200 watts

Size

It’s important to find the right-sized microwave that will meet your food needs and fit in the space you have for it. First, you want to measure the counter or other space where you plan to put your microwave. Then, measure the height, width and depth of any model you’re considering to find out if it will fit on your counter top, over your range or in a custom spot. The external dimensions can vary a lot, from 10 by 18 by 14 inches on the smaller side to 14 by 24 by 20 inches on the larger side.

Then there’s also the internal capacity, which can range from less than 1 cubic foot to 2 cubic feet or more. There doesn’t seem to be any set rule for how internal capacity correlates to size (like 1 cubic foot = small, 1.5 cubic feet = medium, etc.), but here’s an attempt to break it down:

Compact: Under 1 cubic foot

Midsize: 1 to 1.5 cubic feet

Full-size: 1.6 to 2 cubic feet

Extra-large: More than 2 cubic feet

Most microwaves are somewhere around 1.4 to 1.8 cubic feet. Still not sure which size you need? If you’re out shopping, bring in a plate or bowl from home that you plan to use often to make sure that it fits inside the microwave.

Still in doubt? Measure everything, take notes and check with your appliance retailer for help deciding what would work best. For over-the-range and other built-in models, you most likely won’t be the one installing your new microwave, so you can always avail yourself of their expertise.

Wattage

Microwave wattage equals power. In general, the higher the wattage, the faster and more evenly your food will cook. Most microwaves sit somewhere between 600 to 1,200 watts. Larger, more expensive microwaves tend to have a higher wattage, so this is a price and size consideration that can strongly influence microwave cooking performance.

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This GE microwave has scan-to-cook tech via a related app.Chris Monroe/CNET

Features

Many microwaves share common functions. Here are some microwave cooking essentials: cook time, defrost, power level and timer. Each one requires your direct input, but they are usually very easy to set. Most microwaves have touch panel controls and a rotating carousel to spin your food for more even cooking.

Default settings

Many microwaves come with preset cooking modes so you only have to press one button to automatically cook a dish. For example, many microwaves have a “popcorn” button that will cook your bag based on factory settings. This can be handy for common dishes you heat in the microwave, but you’ll have to figure out if the microwave’s default cook times work for your own food. Other common presets include: baked potato, pizza, beverage, frozen dinner and reheat.

Broil

Manufacturers are increasingly including features in microwaves that mimic what we see in full-size ovens, such as a broiler. This is a good addition for finishing off a dish or cooking something for which you’d prefer more direct heat.

Convection

A convection fan that’s built into the back of a microwave oven circulates the heat around the food to cook things more quickly and evenly. (Many new full-size ovens come with at least one convection fan.) However, microwaves with convection fans are generally more expensive than those without.

Inverter technology

Inverter heating is another option available on some high-end models. If you want to heat something at a 50 percent power level, most microwaves actually switch between 100 percent power and 0 percent power to average in at 50 percent power. This doesn’t yield great results if you want to heat something on a lower heat and achieve an even result. So, some models now use inverter technology, which maintains a consistent 50 percent power. That way, you can poach salmon, make a fluffy omelet, etc.

Other advanced features

In addition to new heating technologies, higher-end models usually have more presets than just the basic pizza, popcorn and baked potato standard. Some use moisture sensors to detect food doneness. And we’ve started to see models include LED lighting on the interior.

“Smart” technology, i.e. options that connect microwaves to the internet and other products, aren’t as widespread in microwaves as we’ve seen in other kitchen appliances. However, we’ve seen GE Appliances include Bluetooth technology in some of its over-the-range microwaves. This connection, which GE calls “Chef Connect,” pairs the microwave with compatible GE ranges so the light and fan beneath the microwave automatically turns on when you turn on a burner.

More options

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Will the June Intelligent Oven become the next microwave?Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Other small appliances have started to make a case for forgoing the microwave, such as steam ovens that use water to cook for more moist heating or the basic toaster oven that mimics a full-size stove. These options promise to cook more effectively than a microwave, but it might take longer to reheat your food.

Smart countertop ovens have also started to become an option. The June Intelligent Oven uses facial recognition technology to identify food and cook it automatically, and the Tovala Smart Oven will scan packaged meals for automatic cooking, including frozen meals from Trader Joe’s. These options are promising, but the technology is too new to determine whether or not these will become kitchen staples.

Summary

17 litres is the most common microwave size if you’re looking for a compact model. Microwaves in this category tend to have small external dimensions with 700W output, so be prepared for food to take slightly longer to cook if you’re used to more powerful appliances.

Our #1 recommendation for a 17L microwave is the ​Russell Hobbs RHM1714B. We love its stylish design and dial for selecting cooking time. It can also cook and reheat evenly.

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