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Microwaves - Things You Need to Know Before You Buy

Microwaves - Things You Need to Know Before You Buy

When you go to purchase a microwave oven, the choices can be overwhelming. Before you begin shopping for a microwave, it is important to know exactly what you want and need your new oven to do. Here are some points to consider before purchasing.

Type

Once, microwaves were only used for defrosting, reheating and cooking foods. Today, models are available with add-ons which can transform a microwave into your primary cooking appliance. Some have an internal grill, which can be used alone or along with the microwave function to brown your foods. Some combine the microwave and grill with a convection oven, which can be used by itself or in conjunction with the other features.

Capacity and Power

It is best to have an idea how much physical space and power your microwave oven needs. If you prepare bulky foods, like roasts, or many dishes to feed a family, you may prefer a large capacity oven. Models range in capacity from about 17L to 32L. Remember that larger ovens may take a bit longer to heat small quantities of food, so be sure to size your oven appropriately.

Higher wattage ovens are ideal for cooking dense or high-volume foods. Wattages are available from 600W to 1100W and the higher the power rating, the faster foods can be cooked. However, higher power may not be best for those merely reheating or cooking small quantities since their use requires more energy.

Mounting - Decide if you are looking for a standard countertop model or a sleek built-in unit. Both are available to suit any size space.

Price - For many, cost is a consideration when purchasing a microwave. Models are available at almost any price point, however the options included on low-end models may be fewer. After reviewing the range of options, decide which ones are must-have and which you could do without.

Defrosting - Most microwaves come with a standard defrost feature. If you keep many foods that require a thaw before cooking, you may want a more sophisticated model. Some allow you to select the type of food and its weight. Preset programmes adjust power levels automatically and even prompt you when to turn or break up foods.

Cooking Programmes - Many microwaves come with preset programmes that allow worry-free cooking with only a few steps. These are handy if you heat or cook the sorts of foods programmed into most microwaves.

Cleaning - Most microwave ovens are relatively easy to clean, not requiring special cleansers nor extra effort. However, some top-end models are self-cleaning and if you select a combination oven with a grill, a self-cleaning feature may be a sound investment.

Guarantee - Most microwaves come with a manufacturer's guarantee for replacement and repairs of defective units. Many outlets also offer an optional extended guarantee that continues after the manufacturer's guarantee expires.

With so many options available in microwave ovens, it is important to do research before you select one. After careful review and selection you can be assured you have chosen the ideal microwave oven for your needs.

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