Microwave Buying Guide

vbncMicrowave Ovens are no longer used just to reheat beverages or leftovers.  Now entire meals are prepared using the microwave.  Since microwaves cook faster and use much less energy than a regular oven they are energy efficient.  In fact, because you use less oil when cooking in a microwave the food can be considered healthier  Vegetables and steamed fish cooked in a microwave are delicious.  Microwaves are also great for messy jobs like melting chocolate.  Another advantage of cooking with the microwave is the ease of cleaning the oven.

When you consider purchasing a new microwave oven you need to consider a few basics.  How do you plan to use the microwave?  What size do you need and how much wattage?  Do you want a countertop oven or a built-in?

Microwave ovens are now available as combinations with a convection oven.  These are very nice, but also a little expensive.  Do you need something like this?

Its wise to decide what you want and need and then check out the actual ovens to see if  you are comfortable opening and closing the door, using the keypads and checking out any other features the oven has that you might want.

Most people use a counter top microwave.  These come in varying sizes from something quite small for a single person who does little cooking to the larger family size microwaves.  The wattage on microwaves range from 600 to 800 watts for a small oven, 900 to 1,100 watts for a medium oven and 1,000 and up for a large oven.  The higher the wattage the faster the cooking.

ugigigiBasic features on most microwaves include the timer and keypad.  Most have a turntable so the food will cook evenly and most have a childproof lock.  They usually include a defrost speed and the view window.  Extras may include a keep warm feature, delay cooking, quick start and multi language.

The small basic microwaves can be found for under $60. Medium size ovens for around $125 to $150 and the large microwaves may go up to around $250.   If you are considering a built in oven or a combination convection oven and microwave then the price can go up to $400 or more.

A microwave oven has a life span of 10 to 15 years.  If your current microwave is older and is still working fine there is no need to change it just because of age.  But, if the gasket around the door is pitted or worn it may be leaking radiation and should be replaced.