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Microwave Buying Guide

Britney, 09/30/2016

BUYING A NEW MICROWAVE?

To keep up with today’s busy lifestyle, a microwave oven has become a necessity in every kitchen. Using microwave technology, water and particles within the food are heated rapidly, turning cold or frozen food into hot meals much quicker than conventional and convection ovens. But before you choose a microwave oven, consider how you plan to use it. If you want to simply pop in a ready to heat microwaveable meal or boil water, you won’t need lots of features or space. On the other hand, if you make entire meals using a microwave you’ll want the programmable options designed to make cooking not only fast, but easy.

Topics in this Microwave Buying Guide

MICROWAVE TYPES

SELECT THE MICROWAVE THAT’S BEST FOR YOU

COUNTERTOP MICROWAVE

Freestanding so they can be placed anywhere. They are portable, relatively inexpensive, and ideal for kitchens with lots of counter space. Just plug it in!

BUILT-IN MICROWAVE

Installed within your cabinets using an optional built-in trim kit that is sold separately (requires space around the edges for proper ventilation).

MIROWAVE OVEN DRAWERS

The newest in microwaves. They can be installed below the countertop, and they open like a drawer either manually or automatically.

OVER-THE-RANGE MICROWAVE

Also called “microhoods”, can be installed over a range or cooktop to serve two functions in one – vent hood and microwave. Most provide enough ventilation for a standard 30” range to be exhausted to the outside or re-circulated.

OVER-THE-COUNTER MICROWAVE (WITHOUT VENT)

Mountable under a wall cabinet but do not have ventilation capabilities. They can also be installed within a cabinet space thereby freeing up counter space. Hanging kit is sold separately.

MICROWAVE OPTIONS TO CONSIDER

MICROWAVE SIZE

The standard kitchen range measures 30” wide, 26” – 28” deep, and 47” – 48” in height including the backsplash. It has 4 burners and a 3 – 4 cu. ft. oven cavity that is perfect for a family of four. Don;t worry if this wasn’t the kind of range you had in mind, there’s a range for everyone. Ranges come 20” wide for smaller spaces and up to 60” wide for trendy designer kitchens. Larger professional style cooking ranges offer hot stuff like a second oven, a grill, a griddle, up to 6 burners or some combination of these specialty features for your cooking ease and pleasure.

CAPACITY

Microwave sizes range from compact at 0.5 cu. ft. to extra large at 2.2 cu. ft. An 11” dinner plate can fit in some compact models, but you’ll need a large capacity to fit a 9” x 13” baking dish.

WATTAGE

The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommend that microwave ovens operate on 750 to 1200 watts to cook effectively. Higher wattages cook your food more quickly and evenly. Most microwave recipes call for at least 800 watts.

FEATURES

Take advantage of features such as a rotating turntable, removable cooking racks, automatic defrost or reheat, and smart and easy sensor settings for popular foods including perfect popcorn.