When you set out to buy the right microwave for your urban home you need to learn a little bit about the different types as well as the features that are common on today’s microwaves. The industry is advancing at a rapid rate so it makes sense to familiarize yourself with what’s new before you spend your money.
And don’t forget to think of size as well. Some microwaves are actually quite large and take up a lot of space. Especially in a small apartment.
You may even want to grab one that goes over your stove to save some much needed space in smaller apartments.
What are some of the basic features?
All microwave ovens comes with some sort of cooking timer. The higher end models will also have a delay start that you can program to begin whenever you need to. This can be helpful when you are preparing various types of food for dinner but don’t want to start cooking right away.
Most microwaves come with different power levels that you can set depending on what you are preparing. Some of the more expensive ones will have auto presets for such things as popcorn, soups, pizza, baked potatoes, and more. The average microwave cooks with between 650 and 1,300 watts which is more than adequate for just about any recipe you need.
To go along with this, some of the more advanced microwave ovens have built-in sensors that can determine when the food has been cooked to completion. They also help prevent overcooking and undercooking as well as being useful for the presets mentioned above.
A rotating turntable has become a common feature found on today’s ovens. It is designed to help you cook the food more evenly as the heat is distributed across the entire piece of food. The cheaper models don’t have this which forces you to periodically stop the cycle and turn your food.
There are certain models that come with a warming lamp to simply warm your food as needed. This is much less intense heat but it can be very helpful when you don’t need maximum cooking power.
Other family friendly features like a child safety lock and certain noise dampening capabilities can make this appliance much safer as well as more enjoyable to use. Check the feature list for the noise “sones” rating to determine how loud it will be. And think about how difficult it might be to clean, especially if it is an over-the-stove option that you need to stand on a chair cleaning!
While these might not be important features to you they can be among the best rated to some families. Having these extra options is always a good thing.
Different Types Of Microwave Ovens
If you are looking to buy a new microwave oven you will quickly realize that there are many different types to choose from. No longer are you limited to your basic countertop model that is used to strictly heat up your leftovers. Now there are many choices with an almost endless number of options. Here is a breakdown of the typical microwaves you will see.
The Countertop Model
This is the most common type of microwave you will find in kitchens today. They come in various sizes including compact, mid-size, and large. The larger ovens can accommodate upwards of 2.0 cubic feet of food but you need to make sure you have room on your counter should you go that route. The countertop microwave is simple to setup as you just pull it out of the box and plug it in.
The Over-the-range Style
An over the range microwave oven are located over your standard oven and will provide ventilation for the stove top cooking. They greatly save on counter space and are typically paired up with the other appliances to greatly enhance the look of the kitchen. The price tends to be more than a countertop of the same size but the convenience more than makes up for that. If you want a stove hood and microwave combination that completely matches then this is the way to go.
The Built-in Microwave
This is similar to the over the range but it is mounted under a cabinet or counter and does not provide ventilation for any cooking. These ovens are usually matched in appearance to the other appliances as well, to create a more consistent decor in the room. If you are short on counter space then this is another good option for you.
The Drawer Style
This is a somewhat new type that is very similar to the built in but it is placed at an easier to reach height. The door also works just like a typical drawer in that it slides in and out. These microwaves also keep the food warm for longer periods if you leave them shut after they are done cooking. One thing to realize with them is that they typically have a higher cost and you will need some do-it-yourself abilities if you are going to do the installation yourself.
A Convection Oven
A convection style oven is very similar to a standard microwave but designed to cook much faster. They have internal fans that will circulate the air around to reduce cooking time as well as spreading the heat around more evenly. They are very good at roasting whole chickens or baking of entire meals. These models are also on the more expensive side but you get much more for your money with them.
Microwave Ratings Help With Your Research
Are you interested in a new microwave oven for your kitchen? If so, there are many things you can do to make sure you buy the best model for your family’s needs. Comparing today’s microwaves by reading reviews and ratings can help you narrow your choices down into a more manageable list. When you start looking around you will quickly find that there are many different brands as well as various types of microwave ovens to choose from. Without the right information it is really hard to make the right choice.
The Top Rated Brands Are Where You Should Start
The easiest way to start is by looking at the better rated brands like Panasonic, Samsung, LG, Sharp, GE, or KitchenAid. These companies are actually well known for many types of home appliances including the microwave oven. If you enjoy cooking in your own kitchen then you likely have used one of their ovens at some point. You can go here to see even more home appliance reviews. Their products are bought more often than the other lesser known companies so you will be able to find a lot of consumer reviews for them. This is a good way to find out the typical pros and cons of each brand which will go a long way in helping your buying decision.
Don’t Forget The Lesser Known Microwaves
Even though you will find much more information regarding the popular appliance brands listed above you shouldn’t limit yourself to them. Just because a certain microwave company is better known than others doesn’t mean it is necessarily better for your kitchen. Usually it means that more people have seen their products and thus have decided to give them a try. If you find a lesser known company with a certain microwave oven that is perfect for your needs then by all means look further into it.
Additionally, you are more likely to find a great price if you don’t limit yourself in your search.
Take a look around at our microwave oven reviews to familiarize yourself with the different brands and the products they offer. With a little bit of research and some price shopping you can find the best choice for your home. Then you can find your favorite dinner or fruit and vegetable recipes and prepare a great meal for your family.