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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:   $75 List | $75 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 10
  • 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 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  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $75 List
$74.99 at Amazon
$112 List
$109.58 at Amazon
$170 List
$149.99 at Amazon
$100 List$100 List
$99.95 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
54
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Pros Did well at defrosting, fairly inexpensiveExcellent with packaged frozen foods, compact, very easy to useExcellent at defrosting, convenientGood at reheating, does well with premade frozen foodsGood at defrosting meat
Cons Struggled with some frozen foods, so-so heating resultsSo-so with mixed leftoversLarge, expensiveDidn’t defrost frozen turkey wellNot the most convenient to use, heating performance could be better
Bottom Line All in all, this appliance didn’t deliver very impressive results, failing to earn it a recommendation from usIf you have a smaller kitchen and are looking for a top-tier appliance, then we think this is one of the best options out thereThis appliance is a fantastic choice for anyone who want a larger model and predominantly is heating up frozen foodsWhile this appliance did alright in our rankings, we didn’t feel that it can quite match some of the better ones we have seenWhile this appliance did deliver some great results in a few of our tests, it overall finished in the middle of the group
Rating Categories BLACK+DECKER... Kenmore 70929 Toshiba EM131A5C BLACK+DECKER... Panasonic NN-SB458S
Heating (40%)
5
6
6
7
6
Frozen Foods (30%)
4
8
7
7
7
Defrosting (20%)
8
8
9
4
7
Ease Of Use (10%)
6
7
8
7
5
Specs BLACK+DECKER... Kenmore 70929 Toshiba EM131A5C BLACK+DECKER... Panasonic NN-SB458S
Watts 700 900 1100 1000 900
Cubic Feet 0.7 0.9 1.2 1.1 0.9
Dimensions 17.3" x 13" x 10.2" 14.5" x 17.7" x 11" 20.5" x 17.1" x 12.8" 20.2" x 15.6" x 12.1" 19.1" x 11.5" x 14.8"
Turntable Diameter 10" 11.2" 12.4" 12.4" 10.6"
Internal Dimentions 12.1" x 12" x 8.1" 9.3" x 12.4" x 13.6" 13.1" x 15" x 9.5" 13.9" x 14.5" x 9.1" 12.4"x 13.9" x 8.1"
Warranty 1 year limited 1 year limited 1 year limited 1 year limited 1 year parts and labor
5 year magnetron
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, there were other models that still outperformed, 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 BLACK+DECKER 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 EM720CB7 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 the BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 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 up 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 up 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 BLACK+DECKER 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 BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 also failed to impress when it came to properly heating up 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 up food just fine, though we wouldn't expect it to be the fastest or the most uniformly heated.

David Wise and Austin Palmer