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Kenmore 70929 Review

The best compact model we tested
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $112 List | $107 at Amazon
Pros:  Excellent with packaged frozen foods, compact, Very easy to use
Cons:  So-so with mixed leftovers
Manufacturer:   Kenmore
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Aug 19, 2020
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 10
  • Heating - 40% 6
  • Frozen Foods - 30% 8
  • Defrosting - 20% 8
  • Ease of use - 10% 7

Our Verdict

Earning one of the best scores out of the entire group, we highly recommend the Kenmore 70929. This microwave very evenly and consistently heated up frozen foods, with a very intuitive and easy to interface and controls. It delivered some of the best overall results we have seen to date, all in a fairly compact package. If you are searching for the best of the best when it comes to new kitchen appliances, this should be one of your first choices.

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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.

Performance Comparison


This appliance delivered one of the top overall performances.
This appliance delivered one of the top overall performances.

Heating


We began our side-by-side testing and review process by comparing and contrasting how each appliance did at reheating up 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 70929 did quite well in our heat map test, heating up 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.

The marshmallow before we put it in the Kenmore.
The Kenmore browned the marshmallow more evenly than most.

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 up 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.

We liked that all three types of food came out fairly close in temperature.
We liked that all three types of food came out fairly close in temperature.

This product did even better with the canned soup, heating it up to the perfect serving temperature after following the instructions.

We did find a few cool spots after heating up both slices.
We did find a few cool spots after heating up both slices.

Unfortunately, the performance dropped a bit when it came to the pizza, with a few cold spots present on one of the slices.

While we didn't take pot pie performance into scores  this shows how evenly this microwave heats up things.
While we didn't take pot pie performance into scores, this shows how evenly this microwave heats up things.

Frozen Foods


Our next series of tests rated and scored each appliance on their 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.

It was amazing how consistently this product heated up certain types of food  like the burrito.
It was amazing how consistently this product heated up certain types of food, like the burrito.

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.

This product does decently well at defrosting things.
This product does decently well at defrosting things.

Defrosting


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.

The Kenmore defrosted the majority of the ground turkey in our test.
The Kenmore defrosted the majority of the ground turkey in our test.

This microwave does notify you partially through defrosting to flip the item, aiding its success greatly.

This microwave has a handful of convenience features to make it easy to use.
This microwave has a handful of convenience features to make it easy to use.

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.

We like that this appliance does slide around a huge amount when opening or closing.
We like that this appliance does slide around a huge amount when opening or closing.

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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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