BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 Review
Pros: Did well at defrosting, fairly inexpensive
Cons: Struggled with some frozen foods, so-so heating results
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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.
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.
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.
For the speed test, we heated up 125 mL of water for 45 seconds and measured the temperature increase to determine scores.
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.
The BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 also has the standard convenience features, such as a +30 seconds button and some other quick-start features.
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.
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 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.
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"
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