Consumer Buyers Guide: Choosing The Best Microwave Oven For Your Price Range

This article discusses how a consumer should go about choosing a microwave oven while staying on a budget.

Microwave ovens have to be one of the best applications of technology in the past 75 years. These appliances have made it incredibly easy to pop popcorn, heat frozen dinners, reheat leftovers, and even cook meals. If a consumer is looking for a microwave, then, how does he or she get the best for the money?

First, a shopper should consider what she needs the microwave for. Does she live in an apartment or a house? Will she use it for popcorn and frozen entrees, or does she intend to cook casseroles? The answers to these questions will help narrow down her decision.

Microwaves come in varying sizes, from tabletop size to the large ovens that fit under a range hood. Naturally, the larger the oven, the more it will cost. Size may be critical for someone who needs to heat larger dishes in the oven. The under-the-hood ovens will cost the most. They must also be mounted under the range hood. Smaller microwaves will be cheaper and probably more appropriate for a dorm or apartment. They range in price from about $60-$100, depending on their features.

Wattage is also a factor to consider when buying a microwave. The higher the wattage, the faster it cooks. An increase in wattage can also mean an increase in size, so a higher-wattage oven may not be appropriate for an apartment, because it will be bigger. However, for those who are using their ovens primarily for re-heating, wattage is not a big issue. It becomes more of a selling point for those who use their microwaves for a variety of applications, such as defrosting large cuts of meat, cooking vegetables and frying bacon. An increase in wattage can also mean an increase in price, but this is not always the case.

Features that sell a microwave oven vary, but they should be those that a consumer will actually use. Some microwaves feature convection cooking and sensor timing for softening butter or melting chocolate, but if a consumer uses his microwave primarily to pop popcorn and heat frozen food, these are unnecessary expenses. However, for the cook who uses the microwave for such applications routinely, they are a big selling point. Other microwaves have a turntable plate inside for more even heating. This feature is strictly voluntary, again, depending on what the oven will be cooking most of the time. Some ovens even have a sensor feature that "feels" when the food is cooked, heated or defrosted, and will stop the oven at that time.

As is often the case with appliances, a consumer pays more to get more, but "more" is not necessarily better. The extra features may look dazzling in the appliance store, but if these features will go largely unused, they will never pay for themselves. Consumers should think carefully about which features they actually need, and buy an appliance accordingly.

Consumers can buy microwaves in the usual appliance stores, discount stores, electronics superstores, etc. Comparing prices and features is one of the best ways to find the best deal. A consumer should pick a microwave that has most of the features he wants and compare the price of that oven in different stores. He will be more certain of getting the best price if he does. He should also check into any rebates being offered by the manufacturer. Delivery is not usually a problem, since most consumers can take their ovens home in their cars.

Microwave ovens can run anywhere from $60-$300, depending on size, wattage and features. A wise consumer will think about buying an oven with the features he will use most, and with an appropriate wattage in a good size. Doing this will enable him to stick with a price within his budget.

© High Speed Ventures 2011