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Black+Decker EM720CB7 Review

This product failed to impress us too much, ranking close to the bottom of the overall
Black+Decker EM720CB7
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Price:   $90 List | $89.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Did well at defrosting, fairly inexpensive
Cons:  Struggled with some frozen foods, so-so heating results
Manufacturer:   BLACK+DECKER
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Aug 19, 2020
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54
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 9
  • Heating - 40% 5
  • Frozen Foods - 30% 4
  • Defrosting - 20% 8
  • Ease of use - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Black+Decker EM720CB7 earned one of the lower scores of the group, struggling in quite a few of our tests. It did very well in our defrosting test with the ground turkey, but that is far from enough to redeem its multiple poor showings in other tests. All in all, we generally think you could probably find better options out there.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Black+Decker EM720CB7
Awards     Best Buy Award 
Price $90 List
$89.99 at Amazon
$110 List
$109.95 at Amazon
$95 List$120 List
$119.99 at Amazon
$75 List
$51.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Did well at defrosting, fairly inexpensiveGood at defrosting meatEasy to use, relatively inexpensive, excellent with prepared frozen itemsGood at reheating, does well with premade frozen foodsInexpensive, smart home integration, compact
Cons Struggled with some frozen foods, so-so heating resultsNot the most convenient to use, heating performance could be betterStruggled to defrost the ground turkeyDidn't defrost frozen turkey wellLow power, Echo device required for some functions
Bottom Line This product failed to impress us too much, ranking close to the bottom of the overallThis product pairs average results with an average price in our minds, failing to stand out from the competitionThis product had mixed results overall, failing to distinguish it all that much from other productsThis larger product did decently well but we don't think it quite matches the performance of the top-tier modelsThis compact model is a great value and features smart home integration
Rating Categories Black+Decker EM720CB7 Panasonic NN-SB458S Toshiba EM925A5A Black+Decker EM031MB11 AmazonBasics Microw...
Heating (40%)
5.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Frozen Foods (30%)
4.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Defrosting (20%)
8.0
7.0
2.0
4.0
6.0
Ease Of Use (10%)
6.0
5.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Black+Decker EM720CB7 Panasonic NN-SB458S Toshiba EM925A5A Black+Decker EM031MB11 AmazonBasics Microw...
Watts 700 900 900 1000 700
Cubic Feet 0.7 0.9 0.9 1.1 0.7
Dimensions 17.3" x 13" x 10.2" 19.1" x 11.5" x 14.8" 19 "2 x 15.9" x 11.5" 20.2" x 15.6" x 12.1" 17.3" x 10.1" x 14.1"
Turntable Diameter 10" 10.6" 10.6" 12.4" 10"
Internal Dimentions 12.1" x 12" x 8.1" 12.4"x 13.9" x 8.1" 12.3" x 13.7" x 8.7" 13.9" x 14.5" x 9.1" 10.9" x 6.9" x 10"
Child lock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Aside from its exceptional result at defrosting the one-pound brick of ground turkey, there was very little about this microwave's performance that made it stand out compared to the rest of the pack. Even then, other models still outperformed this model, making it difficult for us to find a reason to recommend this appliance above others.

Performance Comparison


Overall, we think this product performed a bit below average.
Overall, we think this product performed a bit below average.
Credit: Laura Casner

Likes


As we said before, the main thing we like about the EM720CB7 is how well it did in our defrosting metric. For this test, we use a square of frozen ground turkey that we measured out to weigh one pound. We followed the directions for this product, which led to 12 ounces of the turkey being completely thawed at the conclusion of the cycle. None of the meat was cooked through and the remaining 4 ounces of turkey was easily broken apart — enough that we wouldn't think twice about tossing it all in a pan to start browning it.

This Black+Decker microwave did fully defrost 3/4 of the frozen...
This Black+Decker microwave did fully defrost 3/4 of the frozen ground turkey.
Credit: Laura Casner

The Black+Decker also did do decently well at reheating the canned soup — as did just about every model that we tested. It got the soup to the perfect serving temperature following the heating directions for this microwave's power rating. This product delivered average results in our heat map and speed tests as well. We used marshmallow cream spread out on parchment paper to make a map of heating intensity for this assessment, with this microwave evenly burning the center and middle rings. The outer ring was just getting toasted with a few completely uncooked spots.

The top of the heat map looked much more consistent.
There were some noticeable hot spots after the heat map came out of...

For the speed test, we heated 125 mL of water for 45 seconds and measured the temperature increase to determine scores.

The EM720CB7 delivered middle-of-the-road results in our speed test.
The EM720CB7 delivered middle-of-the-road results in our speed test.
Credit: Laura Casner

This microwave raised the temperature of the water by 73.4°F — fairly typical results. The Black+Decker EM720CB7 also did well quite well with the Hot Pocket, heating the left, right, and center areas within a few degrees of each other.

This model has many of the standard quick-start features.
This model has many of the standard quick-start features.
Credit: Laura Casner

The Black+Decker EM720CB7 also has the standard convenience features, such as a +30 seconds button and some other quick-start features.

We did like that this model is decently easy to use.
We did like that this model is decently easy to use.
Credit: Laura Casner

Dislikes


The EM720CB7, unfortunately, delivered poor results in our other two heating tests. Both the plate of leftovers and the pizza weren't warmed enough for serving and were heated very inconsistently.

This plate of leftovers definitely would have required more time in...
This plate of leftovers definitely would have required more time in the microwave before serving in our minds.
Credit: Laura Casner

The EM720CB7 also failed to impress when it came to properly heat the frozen burrito and the lasagna. The miniature lasagna was far from the proper serving temperature after following the directions and had an average temperature difference of 29°F between zones. The burrito had a similar amount of variation between areas, with the middle failing to reach the recommended temperature.

We didn't like how easily this microwave slid around on smooth...
We didn't like how easily this microwave slid around on smooth countertops when we opened or closed the door.
Credit: Laura Casner

We weren't thrilled with how much this product slides around during normal use and has so-so internal lighting. We also didn't find the presets to be super effective. We tried out the popcorn function, which left tons of kernels unpopped. We did appreciate that it didn't burn any though.

All in all, we generally think you could do better than this product.
All in all, we generally think you could do better than this product.
Credit: Laura Casner

Value


This product usually has a lower than average price tag but pairs that with a below-average performance, so it isn't the best bargain buy in our mind — more of a "you get what you pay for kind of product"

Conclusion


The Black+Decker EM720CB7 mixed performance across our various tests makes it hard for us to find a reason to recommend it. It will heat food just fine, though we wouldn't expect it to be the fastest or the most uniformly heated.

David Wise and Austin Palmer

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