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We tested the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS for more than 14 hours, and we can confidently say that this is an excellent choice for couples, single people, and office break rooms. It’s especially good if you want to have several cooking functions for custom cooking.
Specifically, we loved the Soft/Melt function and the ability to turn off the beeping, which allowed us to reheat and cook meals without disturbing anyone.
- Elegant Exterior
- Smart Sensor
- Turbo Defrost
- Multi-Stage Cooking
- Child Safety Lock
- No muting option
Our Review of the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS
Testing and reviewing the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS is something that we had to do since this is one of the most popular models in its category, in fact, this medium-sized countertop microwave has a lot of fans, but does it offer something that justifies the slightly higher price?
Fortunately, it does. In addition to the intuitive preset cooking functions, this unit offers some extra features that we could only find on more expensive models. We analyzed all its features to help you decide if it’s the right one for you.
If you’re looking for an elegant microwave, the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS should be one of your top choices. The dark stainless steel exterior is stylish and works great in almost all kitchens.
Although food splatters are inevitable, the exterior is smudge-resistant and a simple sponge is enough to clean it.
The keys are intuitive and easy to use, and the cooking functions are displayed on a brightly lit LED screen. There’s enough contrast between the font and the dark color of the buttons, so they’re easy to see even in low-light conditions.
Unlike other models, this one has a sturdy handle that is easier to clean and more reliable than the touch tab that you can find on cheaper models.
Size and Cooking Capacity
This Toshiba black stainless steel microwave measures 17.14 x 20.51 x 12.83 inches, so it has a small footprint. It’s an ideal countertop microwave for dorm rooms, break rooms, and small apartments. At the same time, it provides decent cooking capacity.
However, you need to leave at least 3 inches between the wall and the appliance to ensure that is working the way it should.
The interior is white, easy to clean after a splatter, and is also scratch-resistant, plus the light stays on when you open the door.
Inside the unit, there’s a label with some quick instructions. We think that this can come in handy when you’re in a hurry or don’t have time to look for the manual.
With a cooking capacity of 1.2 cubic feet, you’ll be able to prepare dinner for two with no issues, in fact, this Toshiba countertop microwave can even fit an entire chicken.
This microwave has a 12.4-inch turntable that rotates to distribute the heat evenly while you’re cooking, defrosting, or reheating your food. The glass turntable is removable and dishwasher safe.
If you’re looking for a portable microwave, this one won’t work for you as it weighs 34.6 pounds. It’s heavier than other appliances of the same cooking capacity.
Nevertheless, if you’re not planning to use it away from your kitchen, you shouldn’t worry about the weight as it has a small footprint and won’t occupy much space on your counter.
This appliance delivers 1100 watts of cooking power, and you can adjust the heat output to 10 different levels. Reaching maximum heat or slightly warming up your food won’t be an issue.
Pressing the Start button will activate the Speed Cooking, which automatically sets the microwave to 100% power. After that, you can press the numbers from 1 to 6 to adjust the time.
When not used, you can activate the Eco Mode. This reduces the power consumption to 50% when the unit is idle without turning it off, thanks to this function you’ll be able to see a reduction in your energy bill, and it’s more convenient than readjusting your microwave’s settings.
Smart Sensor Preset Menu Settings
This microwave is equipped with 6 different Preset Menu functions that you can choose from to prepare your snacks or meals when you’re in a hurry.
You can choose between frozen entrées, frozen pizza, fresh or frozen veggies, rice, potatoes, and popcorn. These settings are perfect for the busiest days and we love how this feature shortens meal preparation.
The built-in Smart Sensor is a big plus for those who don’t have much experience in the kitchen as it continuously measures the humidity level in your food to adjust the heat output.
As a result, your food will never be over or undercooked. Thanks to this Toshiba microwave with Smart Sensor, every meal will taste and look perfect.
While some people might find these settings quite limiting compared to other appliances of the same capacity, they’re suitable for those who get overwhelmed with too many functions and buttons. This unit is the perfect choice for someone who knows exactly what they want from a reliable microwave.
Multi-Stage Custom Cooking
If you’re planning to cook a special meal, you can use the Custom Cooking function. This function allows you to customize the cooking time and energy to suit your dish and cook it to perfection.
You can use this function if you’re cooking food like shrimps, meat, or salmon. Your food will be cooked from the inside out, so you won’t end up with food that feels soggy or undercooked in the center with burned or overcooked edges.
You can set two cooking modes to prepare a dish using the intuitive keypad. If you’re defrosting food, this will be the first function, and you can adjust the power output and time for the second stage.
You can also use this function to quickly cook your food using a higher power output, then increase the time and decrease the heat output for simmering.
Moreover, you can use the Favorite function to save up to 3 procedures, with different cooking duration and power every time.
If you’re home late for dinner, you can press the Favorite function, and it will automatically retrieve your saved settings. We think this is a big plus for busy people.
This Toshiba microwave with Smart Sensor offers the Sensor Reheat function. This is an excellent choice for busy people because you can reheat leftovers, and they will taste delicious.
If you’ve packed lunch from home, you can enjoy a warm meal in the office by simply pressing one button to reheat your food to the ideal temperature.
One of the most common problems with reheating leftovers is that other appliances will continue cooking your food. This changes the texture, taste, and even the color of the food. But not with the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS.
The Smart Sensor measures the humidity level in your pre-cooked food to heat the dish from the inside out without overcooking it. It emits enough heat to reheat leftovers precisely without overcooking food.
Soften and Melt
There’s always a problem with other microwaves when dealing with some delicate ingredients like butter, chocolate, marshmallows, or cream cheese. But this unit will solve this issue.
The Soften/Melt function produces enough heat to melt or slightly soften these delicate ingredients without cooking them. Your butter won’t burn, and your cream cheese won’t change color. These soft ingredients will reach the desirable creamy, fluffy texture, so you can use them in recipes.
Auto and Custom Defrost
This Toshiba microwave features two defrost functions to help you thaw various ingredients.
The Auto Defrost is preset to emit enough heat to defrost 1 pound of food. The Custom Defrost option can be adjusted to thaw any other amount up to 6 pounds of fish, poultry, and meat. You can increase the time, and the microwave will guarantee even heat distribution.
What we loved is that the microwave will thaw several ingredients without cooking them, so you won’t end up with food that looks cooked on the edges while remaining frozen in the center.
Cooking food at night will never be an issue because you can easily turn off the beeping on this unit. All you have to do is to press the “8” button between 3 and 5 seconds until you hear a long beep. Do this one more time to activate the audible beeping, which is not annoying.
This will be a great function in the office break room because you won’t have to disturb your coworkers. At night, you can use this feature to reheat a quick snack without waking up your partner, especially if you live in a studio or a small apartment.
There’s a Child Safety Lock that you can activate while using this unit. It doesn’t prevent the unit’s door from opening, but no one will be able to use the appliance until you deactivate it. This feature will be helpful when you’re using the unit at home, especially if there are kids around.
There’s no button to activate this function, but you can press the Stop button for 3 seconds until you hear a long beep. Press it again to deactivate this option.
Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Reviews: what are buyers saying
People who bought and used the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS were impressed with the Multi-Stage Cooking that allowed them to cook multiple recipes. There’s also a Favorite function to save your most used sequence.
The Soft/Melt function allows you to choose the right texture for the most delicate ingredients like butter and cheese cream.
Users also loved that this model can be muted, unlike most units on the market. This allowed for quiet operation, whether the microwave is used at home or in an office break room.
However, as we dug deeper to make sure that our Toshiba EM131A5C-BS review is detailed enough, we found that some people felt that there were other models on the market that would offer the same cooking capacity for a slightly lower price.
Nevertheless, none of these models offered the muting option, and they lacked the Sensor, which improves the cooking results.
Final Verdict on the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS
By reaching the end of our detailed Toshiba microwave review, you probably already know what we think about this appliance. It’s one of the best medium-sized models and can be used in a small kitchen or an office break room.
It features Multi-Stage Cooking, in addition to 6 Sensor Preset Cooking Menus. There’s also a Sensor Reheat function and a button to Soften or Melt delicate ingredients like butter.
Although this appliance costs slightly higher than other units of the same size, we believe that the Muting function is a great option that you can only find on larger and more expensive models.
This feature was totally worth the extra cash, as you can use this microwave to prepare food without disturbing your roommate or a colleague.