Kenmore 70929 Review
Pros: Excellent with packaged frozen foods, compact, very easy to use
Cons: So-so with mixed leftovers
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|Pros||Excellent with packaged frozen foods, compact, very easy to use||Easy to use, relatively inexpensive, excellent with prepared frozen items||Good at reheating, does well with premade frozen foods||Inexpensive, smart home integration, compact||Stylish in a retro way, good with frozen items|
|Cons||So-so with mixed leftovers||Struggled to defrost the ground turkey||Didn't defrost frozen turkey well||Low power, Echo device required for some functions||Pricey, lacks some features|
|Bottom Line||For those with limited kitchen space, this is the best compact model we tested||This product had mixed results overall, failing to distinguish it all that much from other products||This larger product did decently well but we don't think it quite matches the performance of the top-tier models||This compact model is a great value and features smart home integration||If you are looking for a product that will look great, delivering an art-deco flair to your kitchen, you won't be disappointed|
|Rating Categories||Kenmore 70929||Toshiba EM925A5A||BLACK+DECKER EM031MB11||AmazonBasics Microw...||Nostalgia RMO4AQ|
|Frozen Foods (30%)|
|Ease Of Use (10%)|
|Specs||Kenmore 70929||Toshiba EM925A5A||BLACK+DECKER EM031MB11||AmazonBasics Microw...||Nostalgia RMO4AQ|
|Dimensions||14.5" x 17.7" x 11"||19 "2 x 15.9" x 11.5"||20.2" x 15.6" x 12.1"||17.3" x 10.1" x 14.1"||11" x 15" x 19"|
|Internal Dimentions||9.3" x 12.4" x 13.6"||12.3" x 13.7" x 8.7"||13.9" x 14.5" x 9.1"||10.9" x 6.9" x 10"||12.5" x 13.5" x 7.75"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
On top of this product's overall excellent performance in most of our tests, this Kenmore microwave also is priced fairly affordable compared to many of the other top-tier appliances we have tested, making it even more appealing in our minds.
We began our side-by-side testing and review process by comparing and contrasting how each appliance did re-heating different types of food, as well as how evenly and consistently it heated. The Kenmore 70929 performed average or above in each of our tests.
The Kenmore did quite well in our heat map test, heating the marshmallow fluff without showing any noticeable hot spots. The outer ring is a little more cooked and darker than the center and inner ring but none of it burned.
This microwave also did decently well in our speed test, raising the temperature of the 125 mL water by 82.5°F after 45 seconds. Moving on to the actual food tests, the Kenmore 70929 did well with our mixed plate of leftovers, heating the sausage, green beans, and potatoes fairly evenly using the 12 oz. dinner plate setting. The sausage came out the warmest, followed by the potatoes, and then the green beans, which were a little cooler than we would have liked. All three types of food finished within about a 25°F spread.
This product did even better with the canned soup, heating it to the perfect serving temperature after following the instructions.
Unfortunately, the performance dropped a bit when it came to the pizza, with a few cold spots present on one of the slices.
Our next series of tests rated and scored each appliance on its ability to heat up premade frozen foods, like a single-serving lasagna, a Hot Pocket, or a frozen burrito. We used a set of digital kitchen thermometers to compare heating performance, basing scores off foods that showed the most noticeable differences between appliances. The Kenmore 70929 did exceptionally well, earning one of the better scores of the whole group.
This microwave got off to a fantastic start in our Hot Pocket test, with the left, right, and center areas only differing by 1°F. It did almost as well with the frozen burrito, with the average differences between the regions only being about 10°F and all three exceeding the minimum temperature of 161°F.
Performance did drop a bit with the frozen mini-lasagna. The average temperature difference between the 6 zones we measured was still quite small — again only around 10°F — but the entire lasagna came out a little cooler than we would have hoped and failed to hit the recommended temperature of 165°F after following the directions.
The Kenmore 70929 continued its solid performance, earning high marks in our next test.
The Kenmore 70929 completely defrosted 10.75 ounces of the turkey and the remaining parts broke apart very easily — to the point where we felt comfortable transferring all of it directly to a pan for cooking. The corners did get a bit warm but were far from being cooked.
This microwave does notify you partially through defrosting to flip the item, aiding its success greatly.
Ease of Use
Our last metric rated and compared how easy each of these appliances is to use and how well their preprogrammed cook features work. The Kenmore 70929 finished with another above-average showing, scoring near the top of the group.
We like that this model has quick-start buttons, as well as a "+30 seconds" button that automatically starts after a single press. It has plenty of light while running to see your food while it's being heated up, but the light does turn off once you open the door.
It can be used as a standalone kitchen timer but we did notice that it can occasionally slide around just a small amount on slick surfaces when opening and closing the door.
The popcorn preset turned out decently well, though it did leave a handful of kernels unpopped. However, it didn't burn any, which we view as quite a plus.
While this product might not be the best bargain option, we found it actually to be one of the lower-cost options out there, making it an excellent value considering its top-tier overall score.
If you are on the hunt for a microwave and looking for the best you can get, then we would seriously recommend the Kenmore 70929. It's compact and performs very well, making it hard to beat — especially if you are limited on countertop space.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer