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Cuisinart CMW-100 Review

This compact, user-friendly model is suitable for individuals with limited space, but its overall performance could be better
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Cuisinart CMW-100 Review
Credit: Cuisinart
Price:  $200 List
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Manufacturer:   Cuisinart
By Genaveve Bradshaw and Ryan White  ⋅  Nov 14, 2023
66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 12
  • Heating - 40% 6.1
  • Frozen Foods - 30% 6.0
  • Defrosting - 20% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 10% 7.4

Our Verdict

The Cuisinart CMW-100 performed well in a few of our tests, particularly heating frozen burritos and its user-friendliness. However, it underperforms in various other aspects. It inconsistently heats different types of foods and often leaves them undercooked. If the unit were slightly more affordable, it may have stood a chance against our top-ranked microwaves.
REASONS TO BUY
Efficient defrosting
User-friendly
Great for frozen burritos and wraps
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Uneven heating
Not the best craftsmanship

Compare to Similar Products

 
cuisinart cmw-100
This Product
Cuisinart CMW-100
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $200 List
$199.95 at Amazon
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$150 List
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$125 List$82 List
$70.49 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Bottom Line Although ideal for those with a smaller space, this microwave falls short in terms of overall performanceA crowd-pleaser with robust performance in every aspect - you can't go wrong with this excellent applianceThis appliance is a fantastic choice for anyone predominantly heating up frozen foods and seeking a larger modelA middle of the road product for a reasonable price, but we weren't exceptionally wowed by any aspect of this microwaveIdeal for those on a budget or with limited space, but this model falls short in terms of premium build quality and high-level performance across our evaluated metrics
Rating Categories Cuisinart CMW-100 GE JES1109RRSS Toshiba EM131A5C Panasonic NN-SB458S Comfee EM720CPL-PMB
Heating (40%)
6.1
7.3
4.9
6.2
5.5
Frozen Foods (30%)
6.0
8.3
8.0
6.7
4.3
Defrosting (20%)
8.0
10.0
9.5
7.0
7.0
Ease of Use (10%)
7.4
8.1
8.1
5.5
6.3
Specs Cuisinart CMW-100 GE JES1109RRSS Toshiba EM131A5C Panasonic NN-SB458S Comfee EM720CPL-PMB
Wattage 1000 watts 1050 watts 1100 watts 900 watts 700 watts
Size 1.0 cu. ft 1.0 cu. ft 1.2 cu. ft 0.9 cu. ft 0.7 cu. ft
Dimensions (WxHxD) 20.5" x 12.8" x 17.5" 20.6" x 11.9" x 16.6" 20.5" x 12.8" x 17.1" 19.1" x 11.5" x 14.8" 17.1" x 10.1" x 12.4"
Turntable Diameter 12.4" 12.4" 12.4" 10.6" 10"
Internal Dimentions (WxHxD) 12.9" x 9.0" x 12.9" 13.0" x 8.4" x 12.4" 15" x 9.5" x 13.1" 13.9" x 8.1" x 12.4" 10.8" x 6.8" x 10.1"
Child lock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
45 Sec Heating Temp Rise 78 F 71 F 79 F 89 F 67 F

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Cuisinart CMW-100 didn't disappoint in too many areas of our testing, but considering its price, we had higher expectations for its performance. That's not to say it's a poor appliance, as it does well in certain aspects. It efficiently handles defrosting, and the interface is user-friendly.

Performance Comparison


The Cuisinart CMW-100 is straightforward and easy to use, thanks to its well-designed interface.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Heating


We conducted a series of tests to assess the product's heating performance, including microwaving various food items.

Heat Map Test


To start, we evaluated the evenness of heating. We spread marshmallow fluff on a parchment paper piece sized to match the turntable and heated it for two minutes to gauge the uniformity of browning. The Cuisinart had no visible scorch marks, and the fluff was cooked pretty evenly, minus a couple of hot spots.

cuisinart cmw-100 - the heat map from the cuisinart cmw-100 was mostly even with no...
The heat map from the Cuisinart CMW-100 was mostly even with no scorch marks. Not a bad result!
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Heating Speed Test


Next, we monitored each microwave's heating speed. We quantified this by heating a 125 mL beaker of water for 45 seconds. We measured the temperatures before and after heating and then measured the discrepancy. During this duration, the Cuisinart increased the water's temperature by 78 degrees, progressing from 42 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. While it didn't claim the top spot among the products tested, it delivered a decent performance.

After 45 seconds of heating, the Cuisinart CMW-100 increased the water temperature by roughly 78 degrees.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Leftover Heating


To see how efficiently the microwave could reheat a well-rounded dish, we loaded up a plate of leftovers, including potatoes, green beans, and sausage links. We employed a preset microwave option set for two minutes and 30 seconds. The sausage links and green beans were heated adequately, maintaining relatively consistent temperatures, with minor variations of 12 and 15 degrees, respectively. However, the mashed potatoes had a much larger temperature range. Mixing up the potatoes after heating would likely lead to more uniform results, although this action falls outside the scope of the test.

cuisinart cmw-100 - placing our full plate of leftovers in the cuisinart cmw-100 to see...
Placing our full plate of leftovers in the Cuisinart CMW-100 to see how well it can reheat.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Soup Heating


We tested each microwave's performance in heating canned soup. After heating for the recommended three minutes, the soup was very hot but still edible at 162 degrees. Unfortunately, the CMW-100 didn't boast the same results with leftover pizza. We warmed two slices for 45 seconds, resulting in uneven temperatures throughout. Each slice was heated to different temperatures, and both included large cold spots.

cuisinart cmw-100 - we had mixed results after reheating two slices of pizza. part of...
We had mixed results after reheating two slices of pizza. Part of the slice was warm, while other sections had cold spots.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Frozen Foods


In our next metric, we assessed each product's ability to heat frozen food, including burritos, lasagna, and hot pockets. Our first frozen food item was a burrito, heated for a minute and a half per the 1000-watt microwave instructions. The outcome was favorable, with even heating and a perfect tortilla texture. It was free from hard or soggy areas while remaining thoroughly cooked. This was a big win for the Cuisinart.

Next, we placed a personal-sized frozen lasagna in the microwave. Adhering to the package instructions led to slightly undercooked lasagna, with a cool center around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It was close to the ideal temperature but would require additional cooking time to reach it. The hot pocket fared slightly worse here, not cooking evenly at all. The center was mostly undercooked and soggy, while the outer edges were overcooked.

cuisinart cmw-100 - the cuisinart does a great job cooking frozen burritos - a staple of...
The Cuisinart does a great job cooking frozen burritos - a staple of the microwave.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Defrosting


To test the defrosting abilities of the Cuisinart CMW-100, we used one pound of beef and defrosted based on the product's instructions. This model offers warming options based on time or weight. We chose the weight option, which led to satisfying results. The meat was uniformly thawed after nine minutes and 20 seconds, with only a small frozen section in the middle.

cuisinart cmw-100 - the beef thawed by the cuisinart.
The beef thawed by the Cuisinart.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Ease of Use


We were quite impressed with the ease of use with this appliance. The interface is well-labeled and straightforward to use. The microwave includes all the essential functions, such as a timer, item-specific cook times, power control, and defrost. In use, it offers good stability, remaining steady during operation.

cuisinart cmw-100 - the cmw-100 microwave has a high-contrast interface that is easy to...
The CMW-100 microwave has a high-contrast interface that is easy to read and use.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Cuisinart CMW-100?


While the Cuisinart CMW-100 covers essential microwave functions and is easy to use, it doesn't excel among top performers. It was inconsistent among our heating tests, resulting in some items being cooked thoroughly while other items needed extra time. Its price is above average compared to other models we tested, which doesn't completely align with its ability. Choosing a similar-performing microwave at a lower price point would be a better investment.

What Other Microwaves Should You Consider?


The GE JES1109RRSS excelled at nearly every test we threw at it, and it is available at a similar price point. If you're on the hunt for a budget-friendly option that still performs well, check out the Comfee EM720CPL-PMB. This option is also compact and ideal for those with limited counter space.

Genaveve Bradshaw and Ryan White