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The most important thing to look for is the wattage of your oven. The higher the wattage, the more energy the oven will require to heat up. If your microwave is over 600 watts, you should look for one of the convection-type ovens. You will want to ensure that the microwave has a turntable in the unit to help ensure the food cooks evenly. You should get a model with a good warranty (at least 2-years) and a sensor that will shut the microwave off when the food is done. There should also be a timer.   If you purchase a home that was built 8+ years ago, you may need to upgrade the microwave and other appliances to bring everything up to today’s technology, and to suit today’s styles. Whatever your reason for needing to purchase a microwave, consider the following tips before you buy.   

Size/Capacity

Are you single, just two of you, or maybe a family of 4 or 5? The size of the microwave you purchase should align with the number of people in your home, and what volume of food you plan to microwave. Just because you may be the only person in the home right now, don’t go and buy the smallest microwave possible, because you need to consider that someday in the future you will be selling the home, and it may be to a family of 4 or 5 people. Pick something middle of the road from a size standpoint if you own your home and will need to resell it in the future. A family-size microwave is usually 1.4 – 1.6 cubic feet, and some go larger than this. A smaller more compact microwave is in the 0.8 – 1.2 cubic feet range, and you can get them even smaller. If you are going to be cooking casseroles and large dish items, make sure you buy a microwave that has enough room to accommodate your dishes with plenty of room to spare. Take one of your larger dishes from home, and measure its length and width, and with this information in hand, make sure you buy a microwave with interior dimensions that exceed your dish dimensions by about 3 inches on all sides.   

Included Features

Some people use microwaves for performing just simple tasks like making popcorn, melting butter, or cooking a TV dinner. A microwave with basic features would be sufficient enough for someone looking to use it lightly, but if you are going to be cooking a wide range of foods and liquids, and defrosting meats prior to cooking, you may need to find a microwave with a list of different available features to make your life easier in the kitchen. Some features you should consider are a microwave with sensor cooking, which gauges the humidity in the oven from the moisture in the food making cooking or defrosting a cinch. Pre-programmable versions allow you to cook various food items with one touch of a button, you basically tell the microwave what you are cooking, and press “start”. You can also find combination microwave/convection ovens that allow you to brown or crisp your food, for that not-so “microwaved” taste!   

Design/Color

When considering the design and finish of your microwave, either pick one that exactly matches all of your other appliances, or choose a complimenting color. Red Microwaves have increased in popularity in recent years, and are a good look for a retro style kitchen paired with other red or black appliances. Stainless steel has been and continues to be popular throughout a lot of households. Microwaves come in various different design styles from free-standing countertop versions to built-in above the oven versions, to combination hood versions that sit above your range and double as an extractor fan. The design of your kitchen is going to govern the type of microwave that you choose, so when shopping let a professional know your specific setup and make sure you choose a microwave that is not only going to fit the area you would like to put it in but will come with the appropriate hardware for easy installation. It’s no secret that microwaves get dirty so cleaning up needs to be easy. Choose a microwave that comes with a removable turntable and/or rack for ease of cleaning. Most turntables can be put in the dishwasher or hand washed with dish detergent and warm water.

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