Cooking Made Easy: How to Buy a Microwave

Whether you're looking to replace your old microwave, or buy a new one for your college student, you'll find a variety of excellent options available. There are microwaves designed to accommodate anyone's needs, so you can find exactly what you're looking for. Shopping for a new microwave can be a great way to easily and cost-effectively upgrade your kitchen.  When you know how to buy a microwave, shopping for this convenient appliance will be a snap. You can enjoy all of the benefits of microwave cooking from the comfort of your own kitchen.

There are many factors to consider when you're buying a microwave. Before you start shopping, figure out how much space you're going to have to work with, what features are must-have and what features are want-to-have. From basic functions like automatic defrost and kitchen timers to unique microwaves that double as convection ovens or have built in toasters, these versatile units are designed to make your kitchen life faster and easier.

Features and benefits of microwaves

Microwaves offer several incredibly useful benefits. Every household should have a microwave for convenient cooking. From speeding up the cook time for many recipes to defrosting frozen food for immediate use, the purpose of these small kitchen appliances is to simplify home cooking and save time in your already busy day.  Many models offer a setting designed for reheating food, to ensure that your food is heated evenly and quickly to make easy breakfast, lunches and dinners. 

In addition to their kitchen and cooking related benefits, microwave ovens offer environmentally friendly benefits. They use less energy than conventional ovens, making them more energy-efficient for preparing smaller meals. You'll also avoid heating up your entire kitchen when you use a microwave, a benefit that's especially effective in the hot summer months. You can buy a variety of different sized microwaves for various levels of energy use, as well. If you don't have a reason to get a large model, opt for the maximum energy efficiency with a small unit.

Choosing the right microwave size

When you decide to get a new microwave, the first thing you want to do is determine how much space you'll have to keep your microwave. A college student in a dorm or other shared living space will want to have a smaller countertop microwave, like a .7 or .8 cubic feet microwave with about 700 watts of power. While it won't be quite as powerful as a larger microwave, it'll conveniently heat college student staples like leftovers, Ramen noodles and Easy Mac. A smaller microwave is also much easier to move, especially when college students tend to change residence each year. For apartment living or cooking for one to two people, a medium-sized microwave with about 1,000 watts of power will offer the ability to cook and reheat meals without taking up too much of your precious counter space. 

Larger microwaves are about 2 cubic feet, and can be as wide as 24 inches with a depth of 18 inches. These are excellent for big families that cook full entrees and sides in the microwave. Regular entertainers will also appreciate the microwaves size for reheating prepared foods for holidays and other parties.  If you have a microwave cart or an extra shelving unit that can hold your microwave, you'll save even more space on your countertops. Built-in microwaves are also excellent for this purpose. Just make sure that you measure the height, width and depth of the space that your microwave will occupy before you buy.

Types of microwave ovens

You might think that countertop microwaves are the only option, but there are actually several other choices when it comes to these convenient kitchen appliances. The standard countertop microwave offers easy access, as it sits at counter height, and you can easily pull items out and set them on the counter with one smooth transition. This can help avoid burns from hot plates and containers. You can also opt for an over the range microwave for convenient access near your conventional oven and stovetop. Over-the-range microwaves also offer the benefit of saving counter space and many styles feature a built-in exhaust fan for your range. 

If you want to preserve counter space, but would prefer not to use the area about your stove, there are other options like built-in microwaves.  These models are designed to fit into your kitchen without occupying additional space. Some built-in styles are at counter height, while others are often lower. Along the same lines, you can also install a microwave drawer in your kitchen. These convenient styles are built into your cabinetry, but they open like a drawer, so you can easily stir food midway through the cook process and easily access hot food.

Microwave ovens are the perfect kitchen appliance for cooking small meals. Regardless of your preferences, there is definitely a perfect microwave for your kitchen. You can find styles that help you save time, space and even money.

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