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An essential part of modern kitchens, microwaves are convenient, easy to use, and save you time. This guide outlines the key features you should consider when looking to compare and buy either a convection or conventional microwave oven.
These combine microwave heat with the heat from halogen/quartz lights, allowing them to brown baked foods and grill meats.
The power of a microwave is measured in Wattage, usually between 800W and 1500W. However, don't purchase a microwave on this alone.
The most basic microwaves have the ability to heat and defrost food. However, many models now offer the capability to bake, roast, grill and toast. Investigate the settings each microwave offers, and consider which ones will be useful to the food you cook.
Many microwaves use one-touch, pre-programmed settings as an easy way of defrosting, cooking or reheating certain foods without having to estimate time and power settings.
Presets automatically change the power levels during cooking, ensuring the best cooking time and process.
Microwaves with sensors automatically adjust the heat as necessary to cook evenly, and turn themselves off when the food is ready. This avoids interrupting the cooking or reheating process to check on the food's progress.
Microwaves come in a variety of sizes, from a compact 20 litres to a large 44 litres. Consider:
Consider your kitchen's storage space and how you will access the microwave. Microwaves can be placed on the benchtop, mounted on a wall, built into a cabinet or even installed above a cooktop, where they can be combined with an exhaust fan.
Microwave ovens require ventilation and the amount varies between models; a minimum of 5cm is recommended.
For easy cleaning and maintenance look for:
Top models also feature self-cleaning liners, so there's never any build-up of food or grease.
Yes, use only microwave-safe containers or tableware. The microwaves generated are not absorbed by most plastics, glass or ceramics but they are reflected by metal, so never put pans or utensils in a microwave. If in doubt, consult the manufacturer's directions.