Advice And Reviews: Choosing A New Microwave Oven

Describes different features and options available in microwave ovens, and lists several different models available to purchase.

Choosing a microwave oven is not as simple as it used to be. Microwaves now have a large variety of features and sizes available. Becoming aware of what is available can help you decide which microwave will best fit your needs.

Consider where you are going to place your microwave. Countertop microwaves are the most common, and they are often the most affordable. Countertop microwaves are ideal for someone who has a large amount of extra counter space. Even the compact countertop models can get in the way if you have little room to spare on your kitchen counters. There are also microwaves that fit above your range. These most likely will replace the venting fan above your stove, so consider this factor if you often have the need to vent steam or smoke while cooking on your range. Installation for over-the-range microwaves is complicated and can often require an electrician. If you are remodeling or building a kitchen from scratch, you can often have a microwave oven built right into your kitchen. This avoids using valuable counter space with countertop models and venting problems with over-the-range microwaves.

It is important to measure the space in which you plan to use your microwave. Have these measurements with you when you shop for a microwave oven, since models come in various shapes and sizes. Also, consider how much space you will need to fully open the microwave door, especially if you are buying a countertop model. If you think that you may use a large baking dish when cooking in your microwave, it might be wise to bring that dish to the store. Try using the dish in display models to make sure the microwave you choose will have the capacity you need.

Think about the primary uses you desire in a microwave. For warming up leftovers and defrosting meats, most basic microwave ovens are sufficient. You may even decide that you do not need extra settings for heating specific foods or defrosting meats. Also available are convection microwave ovens. These microwaves can be used in place of your regular oven. They not only heat food, but also have the ability to brown and crisp food. These models can be expensive, so be sure to only buy a convection microwave if you need to use your microwave as a second oven.

There are several more features available on microwave ovens that you may find useful. Many microwaves now come with sensors that shut off the microwave when your food is fully warmed. Some microwave ovens also offer cleaning features such as removable trays and racks. If design concerns you, many new microwaves boast sleek styles with hidden controls. Some microwaves are available in stainless steel.

If you are looking for a family-size countertop microwave, consider the Panasonic 2.2 cubic foot microwave oven. Offering 1250 watts of power, this stainless steel microwave has 18 cooking and reheating options. Another large countertop model is the Sharp 1.6 cubic foot microwave oven. This model offers 18 heating options and 1200 watts of power.

For a more compact and affordable countertop model, the Emerson 900-watt microwave offers 0.9 cubic feet of cooking space and 10 temperature settings. This model also features a child lock option. Another compact countertop microwave is the Sunbeam 0.7 cubic foot microwave oven. This model offers 10 power levels, 6 one-touch settings, and a child safety lock. This model also features the look of stainless steel without the extra cost.

For a microwave that fits over your range, consider the Sharp over-the-range 2.1 cubic foot convection microwave oven. This 1200-watt model has 31 different meal and snack settings, and the ability to brown your food. Also available is the GE JVM1870 microwave oven. This over-the-range model offers 1100 watts of power and 1.8 cubic feet of cooking space. This model features several automatic options and VFD 2-line scrolling display.

It is always best to shop around before purchasing a microwave oven. Try out several store models before making your final decision.

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