October 20, 2014

How to Buy a Microwave Oven

Whether you are looking for a basic model for heating up leftovers or one with options for baking and broiling, we have tips and information to make your decision easier.

Counter top ovens are the least expensive starting at as low as $25 and ranging in size from a compact 17″wide by 13′ deep to a larger 24″x20″.  Although these are meant to sit on the counter, some come with brackets for mounting under a cabinet.  Over-the-range models hang over the range (seems obvious!) which saves space and doubles as the vent over the oven.  Most are 30″wide.  o may require professional installation which will add to the cost.  These start at around $150.  Built-in microwaves come in many sizes to fit with various kitchen designs. They can be recessed almost flush with a wall or cabinet and placed at any height.  I have seen family rooms with kid level microwaves for heating up snacks.  Built-ins require professional installation.  Prices start at about $225

Some features to look for in your new microwave:

  • Shortcut keys: One touch preset buttons for defrosting and preparing microwave favorites like popcorn. Also, one-touch buttons for adding additional time or quick heating.
  • Removable turntable: Makes cleaning much easier
  • Sensor Technology:Measures food temperature ad automatically adjusts oven power to prevent over- or undercooking.
  • Steam element: A nice addition for vegetables or rice
  • Child safety lock: Password required for use

Another interesting option is the microwave-convection combination oven.  This oven uses an internal fan to heat food more evenly than a standard microwave.  It also has an additional heating element that allows you to roast, bake and brown like a conventional oven, just not quite as effectively.  These ovens are priced higher than standard microwaves.

One last tip before you head out to the store- bring along the largest dish you plan to use in your new microwave, that way you can be certain it will fit!