The newest microwave ovens
can do much more than just defrost or reheat food. They can cook entire meals,
even browning meats and baking flaky pie crust. That would have been unthinkable 20 years ago.
As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer points out, fully equipped microwave ovens
may cost a little more but they’re well worth the cost. If the old microwave is
starting to conk-out and you’re looking for a state-of-the-art help, here are
some things to consider before purchasing a new microwave.
The best value is the
countertop oven. It comes with the most bells and whistles; it’s more
convenient to use and you don’t need any professional installation. This
option requires more counter space but they’re less expensive, which makes the
choice a little easier.
For small kitchens, an over-the-range
microwave is the way to go. They cost a little more and you may need
professional installation, but just having an OTR available in the kitchen
makes life easier. The other advantage of the range microwave is the exhaust
fan. The fan can be used within the kitchen and doesn’t require an outside
I mentioned that modern
microwaves are more like convection
ovens. The newest models have a
convection oven feature that allows meals to be baked with circulating hot air,
just like a normal oven. Cooking sensors
have also been added to enhance the cooking process. These user friendly
devices sense steam and inferred heat from the food to tell you when it’s done.
This technology is great for children or people who might be unfamiliar with
Now a standard convenience in residential and commercial kitchens around the world, microwave ovens are available in sizes ranging from small countertop models to large-capacity types for cooking big meals. Here’s some more information to help you decide what best fits your needs.
Microwaves can vary in cost depending on the manufacturer, style, and quality. A countertop microwave usually costs between $50 and $450, a built-in microwave costs between $200 and $2,000 (with convection), an over-the-range microwave costs from $100 to $1,000, and a convection microwave costs anywhere between $250 and $2,000.
A microwave can heat small quantities of food much quicker than a regular oven.
Most microwaves are very easy to use.
Microwaves help eliminate waste by only heating a small portion of food at a time.
The amount of food that a microwave can hold is limited.
Microwaves don’t always heat food evenly.
The flavor or texture of some food changes when heated in a microwave.
The durability of any microwave depends on the manufacturer and the quality of the microwave oven itself. Some will last for only a few years, while others can last as long as a decade.
Maintaining a microwave is simple and usually just requires regular cleaning. Wipe down the inside of the microwave with a damp sponge. For tough food and spills, use soap.
What are some of the available design styles and features that microwaves can come with?
In addition to convection cooking features, microwaves come in every size and color, and can include the following features, among others:
What is the difference between a regular microwave and a microwave with a convection cooking option?
A report by Consumer Research says, “With convection technology, ovens use traditional microwave heating and a small fan to circulate heat throughout the oven, a process that aids in surface browning—a traditional weak spot for microwaves. This enables th
The use of microwaves to cook food was discovered by Percy Spencer in the 1940s, while he was building magnetrons for radar sets at Raytheon. He was working on an active radar set when he noticed that a chocolate bar he had in his pocket started to melt. The radar had melted his candy bar with microwaves.
After decades of experimentation and refinement, microwave ovens were ready for household use by the 1970s.
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