Countertop Microwaves –
Best for kitchens with counter space and for avid cooks needing optimal ventilation in their range hood. Some models can be used as a built-in and installed with custom cabinets. These microwaves typically cost less than over-the-range models and do not require instillation. Average Price: $40-$700
Over-the-Range Microwaves –
These microwaves leave the counter space clear and typically have more features than a countertop microwave. They can be vented outside but don’t expect them to vent as well as a capable range rood. Installation is required. Average Price: $190-$1,300
Built-In Microwaves –
These are installed over counters or within custom cabinets. They will not have any ventilation in them. They keep the counters clear and allow you to put in a ventilation hood above your range. Average Price: $500-$5,000
Drawer Microwaves –
Drawer microwaves allow you to focus on your kitchen’s design and workflow by offering flexible installation options in an island, peninsula or below your wall oven.They are ergonomic and provide easy reach with automatic touch systems that allow you to open and close the door with a touch of a button.
These can come as a microwave and oven in one unit or as two cavities built into one space.
Microwave wattage equals power. The higher the wattage the faster and more evenly your food will cook. Most microwaves are between 600-1,200 watts. Larger microwaves tend to have a higher wattage. Recipes written for the microwave usually specify power of at least 800 watts to cook the food evenly.
First and foremost you need to measure the height, width, and depth of the space where you plan to put your microwave. The external sizes of microwaves vary from 10x18x14inches (HWD) to 14x24x20inches.
The internal capacity can range from less than 1 cubic foot to 2 cubic feet ore more. Compact microwaves generally have under 1 cubic foot of space, midsize microwaves have 1-1.5 cubic feet, full-size microwaves have 1.6-2 and extra-large microwaves have over 2 cubic feet.
Many homeowners prefer to have a revolving glass plate or turntable inside their microwave, which ensures even cooking. Most mid- and full-size microwaves have removable turntables. Newer versions also could have a rectangular tray that slides back and forth. Note: drawer microwaves typically don’t offer a turntable.
This is a safety feature will not let your microwave run if the door opens or is ajar.
Shortcut Buttons –
These settings automate power levels and cooking times for a specific type of food such as popcorn, potatoes, and pizza. Quick defrost buttons help you take the ‘guess work’ out of thawing your foods.
Variable Power Controls –
This lets you change the level on the power used when cooking. You can simmer food at 50% power or defrost at 30% power.
Child Lockout –
These are important on microwave convection units, where dishes by be extra hot. This can be locked and released using a keypad.
Automatic Sensor –
This new technology can sense when food is sufficiently cooked by measuring steam in the oven. No timer is needed, the microwave automatically shuts off when the food is cooked.
Convection Cooking –
Wish you had a second oven in your kitchen? You should consider a convection oven or Advantium oven. They combine basic microwave technology with radiant heat and circulate hot air to cook your food. They have heating elements and a fan to help circulate the air, which results in more evenly, cooked food. Another alternative heating method combines microwaves with intense light from a halogen bulb to better grill and roast meats. This technology allows you to cook foods faster and taste juicier.
Speed Cooking –
Speed cook systems combine the speed of microwave cooking with the exceptional heat of convection cooking and broiling. GE’s Advantium technology harnesses the power of light. The outside of the food is cooked like a convectional oven, with radiant heat produced by halogen bulbs.