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  • Design and Usability

  • Performance

  • Conclusion

  • Cooking Performance

  • Sound

  • Heating and Defrosting

Design and Usability

Big, but easy to miss

We are pretty resigned to the reality that when it comes to countertop design the rectangle stainless box is where it's at. That isn't to say that the WMC50522AS looks bad in anyway, it's just your typical inoffensive microwave.

If the WMC50522AS has one thing going for it, it's real estate. The microwave sports a massive 2.2-cubic-foot interior capacity. Beyond a Control Lock, and a useful Add 30 Seconds function, the WMC50522AS features the usual assortment of microwave controls, and the options are thoughtfully laid out on the touch sensitive user panel.

The Whirlpool WMC50522AS countertop microwave.

The Whirlpool WMC50522AS countertop microwave.


Into the Maelstrom

We'll dispense with the pleasantries and get down the real nitty-gritty: The WMC50522AS did not perform well. Aside from some impressively fast water heating speeds and acceptable popcorn popping, this particular Whirlpool fumbled in pretty much every area. The preset cooking modes, automatic defrost, and sensor cooking mode all failed to impress.

If you want to read more, click on over to the Science page.

You'll be able to fit pretty much anything into the WMC50522AS's 2.2-cubic-foot capacity.

You'll be able to fit pretty much anything into the WMC50522AS's 2.2-cubic-foot capacity.

In the interest of being fair-minded, though, we should point that the WMC50522AS is one of the quietest microwaves we have ever tested.


Lost in the crowd.

Rectangular, stainless steel, controls on the left? Yup, that's a microwave.

Rectangular, stainless steel trim, controls on the left? Yup, that's a microwave.

We are believers in the idea that most products, regardless of shortcomings, could be right for someone.

Well, for this reviewer at least, the the Whirlpool WMC50522AS is putting a few noticeable dents into that belief. It's not that the WMC50522AS is a bad appliance. But it does lack any distinguishing element that elevates it above the competition. For instance, when it comes to upscale countertop microwaves that can be built into cabinetry, the Panasonic NN-SN973S is cheaper and offers better performance in the key areas of evenness and sensor cooking.

We suppose if you need a spacious and quiet microwave for a few peripheral cooking tasks, the WMC50522AS is a better choice than the usual impulse buy, entry-level microwave. For those who expect more however, we recommend holding off, unless you can find one for cheap that is.

Cooking Performance

The WMC50522AS's Popcorn setting was average at best. Our test bags of popcorn contain, on average, about 300 kernels. At the end of the 1:50 cycle there were 67 unpopped kernels left behind. That's not a terrible result, but we have seen better.

Unfortunately, the WMC50522AS's sensor setting led to burnt food. For instance, consider our baked potato test. While the sensor setting cooked the potato evenly, it overcooked the food by 18°F. So be careful before you take your first bite!


The WMC50522AS is easily one of the quietest microwaves we have reviewed thus far. We recorded a sound level of only 48 dB, about the equivalent of the sound levels in a well-monitored public library.

Heating and Defrosting

When it wasn't overcooking food, the WMC50522AS was failing our evenness tests. Our reheated macaroni and cheese included a number of noticeable temperature variations, from icy and cold to burnt, brown, and bubbly.

Defrosting was also a thudding failure. About a third of our test batch of ground beef (1 lb) was still frozen at the end of the 10 minute defrost cycle.

Water heating was the only silver lining on this particularly dark cloud. The microwave heated water in a flash, and our cup boiled over after only 3 minutes

Meet the tester

James Aitchison

James Aitchison

Staff Writer


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.

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