Microwave Buying Advice

Microwaves are not just for reheating and popcorn anymore Рthey have become an essential appliance in every kitchen. Some new features like convection technology have made the ovens more versatile, while others like SpeedCook have made it possible to reduce cooking times dramatically. Aside from the cooking technology, there are a lot of features to consider when buying your next microwave oven. Feel free to find more information at A microwave.

Power and Size
Microwave power is measured in watts. Microwaves can range from as low as 600W to as high as 1300W. More wattage means faster cooking times, but the difference of a hundred watts in either direction is negligible. If you’ll be doing more than reheating in your microwave, look for models that offer at least 800W, which is the bare minimum recommended for many recipes.

The capacity of a microwave is measured in cubic feet and can range from .5 to over 2 cf. Singles, couples and people who use a microwave for occasional reheating and defrosting will be fine with compact models, which generally range from 0.5-0.8 cubic feet. For frequent microwave users or cooks who rely on the microwave to cook larger quantities of food on a regular basis, mid-sized microwaves (0.9-1.6 cf ) and full-sized microwaves (1.7-2.3 cf) are the better option. Typically, the larger the interior capacity, the larger the overall physical dimensions, with the exception being microwaves that double as convection ovens. The fan used in convection cooking adds to the size of the microwave and a convection microwave with .9 cf capacity will be larger than a basic microwave with the same .9 cf capacity. Beware, too, advertised capacity ratings, as manufacturers often include corners in their cubic feet rating that don’t contribute to usable space.

Where will it go?
Today’s microwaves fit in your kitchen in a variety of ways. As their name suggests, countertop microwaves sit on your kitchen counter. While they take up more physical space than over the range (OTR), built-in or under-the-cabinet microwaves, they usually offer more usable cooking space inside. If you have room on your countertop or a utility cart, a countertop microwave will give you the most cooking capacity and is the best choice for frequent users who rely on the microwave for a lot more than the occasional reheat.

Over-the-range models get the microwave off your countertop but don’t hold as much inside. It is important to know that OTR models come with a built-in range hood vent. The hood vents found in OTR microwaves don’t work as well as standard range hood vents, in part because they don’t provide coverage for the front burners. If you use your range a lot, what you gain in counter space will be lost in ventilation. Is something always simmering on the stovetop? Don’t give up a full-sized hood vent in exchange for an OTR microwave. Instead, consider a microwave that can be mounted under or inside of a cabinet. It offers the same interior capacity as OTR microwaves without the hood-vent drawbacks. If you don’t need a large-capacity microwave, or don’t have space on the countertop, an under-the-cabinet model is an excellent space-saving choice.

March 2019
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