How to choose a Microwave Oven – Key Points to Consider

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So how do to choose a Microwave oven or how do you go about buying a new Microwave Oven? Numerous people in the community have asked this question in the past so please take a look below which will give guidance and outline all the main key points you need to consider.

A microwave oven is a great addition to the kitchen. You can easily and quickly reheat and defrost your food. It can also be used to cook an entire meal. Plus, microwave ovens are great to pop some popcorn. They save a lot of time and energy as compared to do the same task on a conventional cooker or oven. There are a variety of models and sizes available on the market that it may be confusing which one to choose. So here are a few tips to help you choose the best microwave oven for your needs, lifestyle, and budget.

Style of Microwave Ovens

Countertop

The countertop microwave ovens are the most popular style among the buyers. They are available in a wide range of sizes and prices. The smallest and cheapest microwaves ovens are available as the countertop models.  You can buy one for under $100. They are mostly used for reheating, defrosting and making popcorns. Some small meal preparation can also be done in a countertop microwave.

The only drawback with the countertop model is that it takes valuable counter space of your kitchen. The advantage is that they are portable and significantly easier to install; just place it on the counter and plug it in.

Above-range

It is the second most popular style of the microwave oven. It is installed above your cooking range. These units have exhaust fans and filters to remove steam and smoke from the cooker. They do not need exhaust venting and they re-circulate air using multi-speed fans. Some turn on fans automatically if the cooker temperature becomes too hot. These units require professional installation but the advantage is that you don’t lose any counter space. They are normally more expensive than the countertop models and can cost anywhere from $350 to $1500.

Built-in

The built-in models are those that are part of your kitchen cabinets matching the style and colors of the cabinets. Some are huge models built into the cabinet wall. These are full-featured units and the most expensive, with a price range of $500 to $5000. Some built-in units are drawer type and are installed as one of a kitchen drawer under the countertop. They are very convenient to use and save your countertop space.

Size & Capacity

Once you have determined the style you want to buy, check the space available for the unit in the kitchen. The countertop model size ranges from 10x18x14 inches to 14x24x20 inches on the outside. The internal capacity measured in cubic foot or liters. It ranges from 1 cu ft. for small, 1-1.5 cu ft. for medium and 1.6 to 2.0 cu ft. for a large microwave oven. For built-in and over the above-range microwave ovens you should measure the space available and then compare from what is available in the market.

Power

The power of microwave oven is measured in watts. The small countertop models are available from 600 to 1000 watts. This power is sufficient to re-heat food, heat some milk or water or make popcorns. Medium sized ovens are from 1000 watts to 1300 watts and larger ones are anywhere from 1500 watts and over. The higher the power of a microwave oven, the quicker it cooks the food.

Features

A simple microwave oven with basic controls can easily do your re-heating job efficiently. If you want to cook meals regularly using a microwave oven then you should for more features than available in the basic models. Here are some features you should consider:

Turntable - It is quite important to have a rotating glass turntable for cooking food in the microwave oven. Since the microwaves are bouncing around in the microwave oven box, they do not heat the food evenly. By moving around the food continuously on the turntable ensures that the microwaves get absorbed uniformly in the food and the food gets cooked evenly. These turntables are made of glass and can be removed for easy washing.

Variable Power Controls - Most microwaves allow you to set power levels as you desire. Some have just an on-off cutoff of magnetron tube based on timing while the expensive ones control the power of microwaves being generated from the magnetron.

Automatic cooking - The simpler models of microwave oven have just power level settings and timer. But more sophisticated models have pre-programmed settings, thereby you can set the microwave to set for that type of meal and it will cook it automatically.

Interlocks - All microwave ovens have a built-in interlock to ensure that whenever the door is open, the microwave automatically shuts itself off. It will not start, if the door is not closed properly. This is a safety feature that ensures that you never get injured by a beam of microwaves.

Child Lockout - The more expensive microwave ovens come with a child lock feature so that the oven can only be started by entering a code on the keypad. With so many models with different styles, sizes, features, and prices, I am sure you can find a microwave oven that meets your expectations.

 

In addition, feel free to view larger a selection of popular Microwave Ovens by clicking on any of the images provided below…

 

Finally, it would be greatly appreciated by the community if you can share your own experiences of choosing or buying a Microwave oven good or bad by leaving a comment in the comment box below – So that other people in the community can learn also!!!

 

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