To test the ME21F707MJT's sensor performance we cooked a single potato using the Potato preset function. The ME21F707MJT managed to cook the potato to 184°F, a hair's breadth from our ideal temperature of 185°F. Unfortunately, we noticed a large variance in temperature throughout the potato's interior. The only thing worse than eating a mouthful of cold potato is burning the roof of your mouth on a hot potato, which is why we docked points here.
We also tested the microwave's preset Popcorn setting. The oven took 2:30 minutes to cook the popcorn, and while none of the kernels were burnt, 40 percent of kernels remained unpopped. That's a lot of wasted popcorn.
On paper, the Samsung ME21F707MJT (MSRP $499.99) over-the-range microwave looks pretty basic. However, sleek looks and family-friendly features make it worth checking out—especially if you already own one of Samsung's excellent slide-in ranges.
A sizable 2.1-cubic-foot capacity means there's room to fit plenty of food, and a glass-covered horizontal control panel is both easy to clean and easy to reach. Our performance testing showed that this Samsung was slightly above average when it came to cooking, reheating, and defrosting, but it did have some trouble with evenness—which is why other microwaves are more highly ranked.
Sleek and stylish
There is a certain predictability when it comes to microwave design. That's why we're glad that Samsung attempted something different with the ME21F707MJT. Instead of a traditional vertical control panel, Samsung has elected to orient the control panel horizontally, placed at eye level.
It's an inspired choice that seems so obvious in hindsight: The touch sensitive control panel is integrated with the microwave window and is designed to match existing Samsung ranges. Flat surfaces are easier to clean, too, and a brushed stainless steel exterior and ceramic interior are equally mess-proof.
In addition to superior design, the ME21F707MJT features a number of sensor and cooking presets.
While modes such as Popcorn, Potato, Reheat, Snacks, and Kids Meals are welcome, there is little here that separates this appliance from the competition. The only unique option is Eco Mode, which reduces the microwave's standby power usage.
Unlike your standard oven, microwave ovens generate a fair amount of noise when in use, and the ME21F707MJT is no exception. When cooking food the ME21F707MJT output 50.3 dB of sound, while the extractor fan generated 63.1 dB of sound. That's a little louder than the quietest models we've tested.
Acceptable performance from this over-the-range
The ME21F707MJT might stand out in a showroom, but in our labs it got lost in a sea of similar microwaves. Yes, the ME21F707MJT managed to heat water fairly quickly, and managed to heat food with minimal fuss. But we did see a fair amount of unevenness in the food we prepared regardless of what setting we used. Similarly, food we defrosted got too hot on the outside and stayed frozen in the middle. If you're smitten with this Samsung's looks, be sure to stop and stir your food on occasion.
The sensor-based popcorn mode was fast, but left behind a number of uncooked kernels. Also be aware that this is a fairly loud appliance overall. It's not going to deafen you, but it won't lull your children to sleep, either.
The unit does not feature a convection cooking mode, but considering that it's designed to sit above an actual oven, we don't consider that to be a deal breaker.
The ME21F707MJT managed to heat a cup of water with little fuss. The microwave took 3 minutes to take our mug of water from 68°F to 202°F. That's on the fast side of average as far as microwaves go.
A common complaint regarding microwaves is that sections of food emerge blisteringly hot while others remain cold. Sadly, the ME21F707MJT did little to challenge the stereotype. We measured wide temperature variances throughout the test meal, so be sure to stir your food occasionally while cooking.
The defrosting performance was similarly disappointing. We defrosted a pound of food and after a 9 minute defrost cycle we measured a great deal of unevenness, with edges of the food emerging almost completely cooked, while the center remained cold. Other microwaves fully defrost food in less time.
It won't replace your oven
The Samsung ME21F707MJT is a safe choice for large families looking for a reasonably-priced, good-looking, over-the-range microwave. It's easy to clean and easy on the eyes, and it can be found on sale for around $399—$100 cheaper than it's MSRP.
It cooked and reheated quickly in our tests, but had some issues with evenness. Still, if you have a large family to feed and are in the market for an appliance that will compliment your oven and not replace it, you could do far worse than the Samsung ME21F707MJT.
Meet the testers
Aside from reviewing ovens and cooktops, James moonlights as an educational theatre practitioner, amateur home chef, and weekend DIY warrior.See all of James Aitchison's reviews
Checking our work.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.Shoot us an email