The Black+Decker EM720CB7 earned one of the lowest scores out of our lineup of microwaves, struggling in quite a few of our tests. It did very well in our defrosting test with the ground turkey, but that 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 for your kitchen.Editor's Note: This product review was updated on January 12, 2022 to include more info on what we would buy and help to better compare products.
Black+Decker EM720CB7 Review
Pros: Did well at defrosting, fairly inexpensive
Cons: Struggled with some frozen foods, so-so heating results
Compare to Similar Products
$99.99 at Amazon
|$120 List||$75 List||$110 List|
$119.95 at Amazon
$114.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Did well at defrosting, fairly inexpensive||Excellent with packaged frozen foods, compact, very easy to use||Inexpensive, above-average performance, compact||Good at defrosting meat||Easy to use, relatively inexpensive, excellent with prepared frozen items|
|Cons||Struggled with some frozen foods, so-so heating results||So-so with mixed leftovers||Low power, Amazon Alexa device required for some functions||Not the most convenient to use, heating performance could be better||Struggled to defrost the ground turkey|
|Bottom Line||This product failed to impress us too much, ranking close to the bottom of the overall||For those with limited kitchen space, this is the best compact model we tested||This compact model is a great value, offers good performance, and features smart home integration||This product pairs average results with an average price, failing to stand out from the competition||This product had mixed results overall, failing to distinguish it all that much from other products|
|Rating Categories||Black+Decker EM720CB7||Kenmore 70919||Amazon Basics Micro...||Panasonic NN-SB458S||Toshiba EM925A5A|
|Frozen Foods (30%)|
|Ease of use (10%)|
|Specs||Black+Decker EM720CB7||Kenmore 70919||Amazon Basics Micro...||Panasonic NN-SB458S||Toshiba EM925A5A|
|Wattage||700 watts||900 watts||700 watts||900 watts||900 watts|
|Size||0.7 cu. ft.||0.9 cu. ft.||0.7 cu. ft.||0.9 cu. ft.||0.9 cu. ft.|
|Dimensions||17.3"W x 10.3"H x 13.0"D||17.7"W x 11.0"H x 14.5"D||17.3"W x 10.1"H x 14.1"D||19.1"W x 11.5"H x 14.8"D||19.2"W x 11.5"H x 15.9"D|
|Internal Dimentions||12.1"W x 8.1"H x 12.0"D||13.6"W x 9.3"H x 12.4"D||10.9"W x 6.9"H x 10"D||13.9"W x 8.1"H x 12.4"D||13.7"W x 8.7"H x 12.3"D|
|45 Sec Heating Temp Rise||73 F||83 F||70 F||89 F||89 F|
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, other models still outperformed this model, 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 EM720CB7 is how well it did in our defrosting metric. For this test, we used a one pound square of frozen ground turkey. Following the manufacturer's directions for defrosting, we were able to defrost 12 ounces of the turkey at the end of the microwave's defrost 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 also did decently well at reheating the canned soup, but this isn't rare; nearly every model we tested did a good job with this test. It got the soup to the perfect serving temperature following the heating directions for this microwave's power rating. In the heat map and speed tests, this model delivered average results. We used marshmallow cream spread out on parchment paper to make a map of heating intensity. This microwave evenly burned the center and middle rings. The outer ring was just getting toasted with a few completely uncooked spots.
For the speed test, we heated 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 the left, right, and center areas within a few degrees of each other.
The EM720CB7 has most of the standard convenience features, such as a +30 seconds button and some other quick-start features.
The EM720CB7, unfortunately, delivered poor results in our other two heating tests. Neither the plate of leftovers nor the pizza were warm enough for serving, and both were heated very inconsistently.
The EM720CB7 also failed to properly and evenly heat the frozen burrito and the lasagna. After following the directions, the miniature lasagna was far from a satisfactory serving temperature, with an average temperature difference of 29°F between zones. The burrito had a similar 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 it has so-so internal lighting. We also didn't find the presets to be super effective. We tried out the popcorn function, which left a lot of kernels unpopped. None were burned, at least.
Should You Buy the Black+Decker EM720CB7?
Though any of the microwaves in our test will get the job done (eventually), many people shopping for kitchen appliances want the best products available, and we don't think the Black+Decker EM720CB7 is that — particularly if you are seeking speed or uniformity in your microwave cooking endeavors.
What Other Microwaves Should You Consider?
Though this is a small, fairly affordable model that suitable for small kitchens, we'd suggest the similar-sized but more affordable and higher-scoring Amazon Basics 0.7 if you need something to meet those requirements. The Kenmore 70919 is another smaller model that excels across our test metrics. For a full-size microwave that earns its keep as a premium model, the Toshiba EM131A5C is hard to beat.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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