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Microwave Oven Buying Guide

A microwave is a time-saving appliance to have in your kitchen. Whether you are defrosting or heating up food these devices handle it with the ease and efficiency you might not have doing it yourself. But before you buy your next microwave, it pays to attention to the following essential features this buying guide will outline.

Types of Microwave Oven

Countertop Microwaves

Countertop Microwaves are very popular. They are more portable than other types of microwaves. Countertops come in different sizes, ranging from about 1 cubic feet internal space, and over. The downside to using countertops is they take up quite a lot of space on your kitchen counter workspace. However, some models, like the GE Monogram ZEM200SF Microwave, have mounting kits as an option, so you can hang the oven under your kitchen cabinet.

Over-the-Range Microwaves

Over-the-range Microwaves are mounted over a range or a kitchen stove. They are used as a normal microwave oven and also as a range hood. A range hood removes smoke, heat, steam and airborne grease from the air in the kitchen.

Built-In Microwaves

Built-In Microwaves are integrated into your kitchen cabinet or built into your wall. They take up less space unlike countertop cabinets.

Features to look out for in a Microwave Oven

Turntable/Rectangular Tray

A turntable is a rotating glass plate in the microwave. Rectangular trays on the other hand move back and forth in a microwave. Microwaves equipped with either of these ensure that the food gets warmed evenly.


Many microwave ovens will have preset settings such as pizza, potato, popcorn, frozen vegetable, beverage, and reheat. Others have useful features like child lock and moisture sensors.

Convection Microwaves

Unlike traditional types, convection microwaves use additional fans to circulate hot air around the food. Food gets heated faster and more evenly.


Some microwaves have an internal metal rack. This helps you to heat two separate dishes at a go. Food suspended on the rack defrost more evenly. It is also used in convection microwaves.

Inverter Microwaves

Inverter Microwaves ensure a more even where of cooking or defrosting food. For instance, if you want to cook your food at 20% power, a traditional microwaves will keep switching between 0% and 100% of power to attain the needed 20%. Alternatively, an inverter microwave will work consistently at 20% power through the cooking process.

Energy Efficiency Tips

You need to also keep your eye on your energy bills whenever you use your microwave. Some energy-saving tips are listed below: - Don't buy a microwave bigger than you need. A bigger microwave would use more energy. - Check the energyguide label on the appliance. - Buy newer models which have improved energy efficiency features. - Microwave food in batches. - Naturally defrost food before cooking in a microwave. - Put the food in a glass or ceramic pan. It will heat faster. - Cut food into smaller pieces before you microwave. - The oven should be kept closed while cooking

What’s your Budget

Usually, a countertop microwave costs less than over-the-range and built-in microwaves. You can also buy a kit to convert some countertop microwaves into a built-in microwave. The combination of a countertop with the conversion kit may still cost you less than buying a purposely built-in microwave. Inverter and Convection microwaves also command a higher price.