Funny story. I went to do a review of some microwave popcorn poppers the other day and only half the popcorn popped even at 6 minutes. So I tried again and only a quarter popped. Then again and only a few kernels popped. Then my microwave went black and when I touched it, it was blisteringly hot on the sides. Apparently, it was time for a new microwave.
I could have used a bigger microwave, but the shelf it was on only fits a 0.7cf model, so I scrolled through Amazon and found one with good reviews and a reasonable price point. The Commercial Chef CHM770B Countertop Microwave got ordered and slapped into the gaping hole in my morning routine that the old dead one had left.
Interior Dimensions Of The Commercial Chef CHM770B Countertop Microwave
Compared to my old microwave, this Commercial Chef unit seems a bit cramped.
In fact the distance from the top of the turntable to the top of the interior was a full half inch shorter than my last microwave. As I’ll talk about later, this little difference makes a big difference.
For interior dimensions, I’m showing this microwave to be about 10″ deep, by 6.5″ high (not counting the turntable), and about 11″ wide.
What I Like About This Microwave
At first, I was really annoyed that the ‘popcorn’ setting was a meager 2:40 which isn’t enough to do anything. But, after I read the manual I realized that I can actually program the popcorn setting to whatever I want. That went from being a ‘take it back’ moment to a solid win.
The other thing I like is that the cog for the turn table is much deeper than on my old microwave. The old one would get out of line with the rollers at the least little bump and have things banging around as they were heating up.
What I Don’t Like About This Commercial Chef Microwave
My first annoyance is that I didn’t realize how much I prefer a microwave with a button to open the door to one where you have to pull to open it. I’m not sure why that is such an annoyance for me, but it is. Maybe it is because I feel like I’ll pull the whole unit off the shelf when I do. I have read some of the other comments to that effect and the answer they got back was “use two hands”. I don’t want to use two hands when I’m groggy and going to put my coffee in the microwave.
The next thing that I really don’t like is that the interior is short. I can barely get my microwave popcorn bowl in, and even then I have to hop it over the glass rim of the turntable. My old one was tight, but it fit in without a struggle.
On the controls, on my old microwave, if you hit the key pad, it would just start with that many minutes. This one does not. You have to type 2-0-0 then hit start. Not a huge deal, but annoying especially when combined with the next issue, no “add 30 seconds” button.
Probably the most used button on my old machine, the “add 30 seconds” button was great for when the popcorn wasn’t quite done and you wanted it to keep going, or when you wanted to heat up something small. This is feeling like a deal breaker for me.
Lastly, even for a 700w microwave, this unit feels underpowered. I used to reheat my coffee for two and a half minutes, but even at two minutes and fifty seconds, it feels a bit cooler than it used to. When I tried making popcorn in it, it also seemed like it took longer to get going than my old one.
Final Verdict On The Commercial Chef CHM770B
For me, I’m going to have to give this microwave a thumbs down overall.
The combination of short interior space and lack of the controls I want has this one going back to Amazon. I’m just annoyed I trashed the box two days ago.
After doing some research, it looks like I’m going with the Farberware FMO07ABTBKA. From the looks of things, it is the closest match to my old one. It is also coming out of the same factory as about six other manufacturers. In comparing units, I noticed that several other companies have this same unit for sale, just branded with their name of the front. Same size, same design, same control panel.
I chose the Farberware because it was on sale for a little less than the others. But now I’ll get my quick-start buttons back, along with my button to open the door.