The Best Garbage Disposals for In-Sink Waste Management

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Keep unsavory smells and unwanted clogs at bay with these powerful disposals.

<p>Food and Wine / David Hattan</p>

Food and Wine / David Hattan

Garbage disposals probably aren’t at the top of your list of kitchen tools to get excited about, but they sure can be useful. A garbage disposal can help keep your home free from unpleasant odors by, well, disposing of smelly bits that would otherwise end up in the trash can.

As with most small appliances (and other sink-related accessories, such as water filters or faucets), not all garbage disposals are created equal. The best models are equipped with powerful motors in a sleek package that is easy to install, won’t take up every bit of space under your sink, and, ideally, won’t wake up the whole house each time you turn it on.

We’ve taken a deep dive into the world of garbage disposals to find the best on the market today, and while we have our favorite, there are more than a few worth a closer look.

InSinkErator Badger 5 0.5 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal with Power Cord

Best Overall

Pros: It’s a great value with easy installation and continuous-feed disposal.

Cons: Hardwire installation is necessary.

InSinkErator is a leading brand in garbage disposals, and the Badger 5 strikes an excellent balance between price and performance. Badger 5 components are made of durable galvanized steel, and while its 0.5 horsepower won’t win any metaphorical races, this is a very acceptable power level for household garbage disposals. Continuous feed disposal means you can keep things running while scraping those plates after dinner, with no need to keep starting and stopping your clean-up process.

Earning the Badger 5 further bonus points is its ease of installation. The kit includes everything you need for setup and installation, along with clear instructions on how to do it. A three-year warranty and responsive customer service mean you can have full confidence in your shiny new garbage disposal, thus solidifying this one as our pick for best overall.

Price at time of publish: $135

  • Dimensions: 6.31 x 6.31 x 11.5 inches

  • Capacity: 26 ounces

  • Feed type: Continuous

  • Horsepower: 0.5

  • Grinding speed: 1725

  • Chamber material: Galvanized steel

Waste King L-111 Garbage Disposal

Best Value

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

Pros: An affordable, includes-everything option that performs well.

Cons: It only has .3 horsepower.

If you’re looking for a garbage disposal that will get the job done without having to lay out a bunch of cash, the Waste King L-111 is a great choice. Despite a lackluster 0.3 horsepower, the continuous grind speed of 1900 RPM means this little disposal can whirr through your table scraps without a fuss.

Even better? You don’t have to hardwire this garbage disposal; just install it and plug it in. A two-year warranty means this is a great budget buy without sacrificing quality.

Price at time of publish: $68

  • Dimensions: 5.25 x 5.25 x 12.75 inches

  • Capacity: Not listed

  • Feed type: Continuous

  • Horsepower: 0.3

  • Grinding speed: 1900

  • Chamber material: Reinforced polymer

KitchenAid Continuous Feed Noise Insulation Garbage Disposal

Best Splurge

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

Pros: A powerful, pleasantly quiet garbage disposal.

Cons: It’s definitely a splurge.

If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer or food processor, you already know how powerful and reliable this brand’s small appliances are. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the KitchenAid garbage disposal is likewise a power-packed (albeit pricey) choice for your under-sink needs.

This unit stands out from the crowd because of its unique SoundSeal technology, which muffles the two-stage grinding process and helps make this one of the quietest garbage disposals on the market. The beefy motor and 40-ounce capacity also means the KitchenAid disposal is up to the challenge of deep sinks, large households, or frequent entertaining.

Price at time of publish: $399

  • Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 12.75 inches

  • Capacity: 40 ounces

  • Feed type: Continuous

  • Horsepower: 0.75

  • Grinding speed: 1725

  • Chamber material: Stainless steel

Moen GXS75C Host Series Garbage Disposal

Best Warranty

Pros: A powerful, quiet garbage disposal with a long warranty.

Cons: This one might be bulky under small sinks.

Moen certainly impresses with this garbage disposal. Not only does it have 0.75 horsepower, the fastest grinding speed on our list, and built-in sound reduction, all for less than $120, this unit comes with a 10-year warranty.

Moen really stands behind their garbage disposal, which is even safe for use with tough waste like banana peels and small bones thanks to its powerful, fast-spinning motor. This one almost made it to the position of top pick, but its wide profile means the Moen garbage disposal could be a tight squeeze under smaller sinks.

Price at time of publish: $107

  • Dimensions: 9.69 x 9.69 x 14.88 inches

  • Capacity: Not listed

  • Feed type: Continuous

  • Horsepower: 0.75

  • Grinding speed: 2700

  • Chamber material: Stainless steel

InSinkErator Evolution Compact 3/4 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal

Best for Shallow Sinks

Pros: As the name suggests, a compact size with lots of power.

Cons: Draining may be sluggish, thanks to a rubber baffle.

While this InSinkErator model clocks in just a tiny bit larger than our pick for best overall from the same brand, the Compact Evolution features noise reduction and a stronger motor, both of which could prove useful in a smaller space.

This garbage disposal has enough oomph to tackle the likes of chicken bones, but do be aware that its rubber baffle may lead to sluggish draining. Otherwise, this is an easy-to-install, powerful disposal with a comfortable three-year warranty.

Price at time of publish: $203

  • Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 12.13 inches

  • Capacity: 34.6 ounces

  • Feed type: Continuous

  • Horsepower: 0.75

  • Grinding speed: 1725

  • Chamber material: Stainless steel

Waste Maid 1.25 HP Premium Garbage Disposal

Best High Horsepower

Pros: The most powerful garbage disposal on our list.

Cons: It’s very big.

If you have a big family or frequently entertain a crowd, this WasteMaid garbage disposal may be right for you. It’s the most powerful unit on our list, with 1.25 horsepower, which means it can churn through heaps of scraps without flinching.

It is nearly twice the size of other garbage disposals on our list, so pull out your tape measure and ensure you have enough under-sink clearance to house this hefty receptacle before committing.

Price at time of publish: $140

  • Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 19 inches

  • Capacity: Not listed

  • Feed type: Continuous

  • Horsepower: 1.25 horsepower

  • Grinding speed: 2800

  • Chamber material: Stainless steel

Our Favorite

The InSinkErator Garbage Disposal Badger 5 is our pick for best overall thanks to its favorable price point, reliability, and solid performance. For a more powerful option backed by a 10-year warranty, the Moen GXS75C Host Series ¾-Horsepower Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal is a great option.

Factors to Consider

Size and capacity

Since most garbage disposals operate on a continuous-feed basis, capacity isn’t as important as making sure the unit will fit under your sink. Pay close attention to dimensions and be sure to measure the available space for installation.


Though a garbage disposal may seem daunting, most of them are pretty straightforward to install. While you may want to call in a pro to hardwire, if your garbage disposal is of the plug-and-play variety, you can probably do it yourself in about an hour.


“The larger your motor is, the tougher the material it can process,” says Jodi Pemberton, head chef at Eat Pallet. “Just be mindful that the bigger the motor you have, the more electricity it will consume.” And, generally, the more expensive the garbage disposal will be.


“Warranty is one of the most important post-sale aspects for me,” says Pemberton, who relies on properly performing equipment in a restaurant setting. The same is true for at-home use, too. Look for a garbage disposal that carries a minimum warranty of two years for peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you install a garbage disposal?

Each garbage disposal will come with instructions for installation, so be sure to carefully read and review those directions. Know your own DIY limits, and don’t be shy about hiring a professional to ensure your garbage disposal is properly installed and safe to operate.

How do you clean a garbage disposal?

While the garbage disposal is off, Melissa Baker, founder of FoodQueries, recommends using a long-handled brush to remove any food particles that may be trapped in the blades.

“Next, add some dish soap and run hot water through the disposal while it’s operating,” Baker recommends. “After it has been running for a few minutes, turn it off and let the soap and hot water sit for a few minutes before rinsing with cold water.”

How do you unclog a garbage disposal?

For tricky clogs, Baker suggests trying a plunger or a plumbing snake to dislodge the clog.

“If that still doesn’t work, it’s best to call a professional plumber,” she says.

How long do garbage disposals last?

When properly maintained, garbage disposals should last for years to come. And if they don’t, well, that’s where the warranty should step in. Help your garbage disposal last longer by keeping it clean and avoiding overloading it with scraps that the motor may struggle to process. Watch out for loose spoons and forks, too, which will wreak havoc on the blades of a disposal.

Our Expertise

This article was written by Summer Rylander, a food and travel journalist who has written about food, beverage, and cooking tools for Food & Wine, Allrecipes, Serious Eats, and The Kitchn. She made her selections based on in-depth research and conversations with experts.

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Read the original article on Food & Wine.