HomeJacketChoosing a Microwave Oven - Not an Easy Task!

Choosing a Microwave Oven – Not an Easy Task!

One of the first things you’ll need to decide is where you want to keep it. Most people have a free standing one on a kitchen work surface. Or it could be on a shelf or even wall mounted. One other way to use a microwave is to have it built-in. This is more expensive to install and involves a rethink of your overall kitchen. Although this is the case, a built-in microwave means your kitchen work surfaces will be clear, and the oven can fit in well with other kitchen fittings. You also don’t lose worktop space.

You then need to consider the type of microwave you want.

In total there are three types of oven.

Solo microwave ovens – This category is most common. This category is will be very capable of performing straightforward cooking tasks including re-heating soups and meals, and cooking vegetables and TV meals. This type is easily transportable and are particularly used by single person and smaller households who don’t need three versatility of other types. Some models have a turntable to ensure food is cooked more evenly.

Combination microwave ovens – This type is recently much more common. They have the best of both worlds – and are able to cook with both microwaves and heat radiation in the same place at at the same time. You would be able to determine whether you wanted to cook by either conventional heating or microwaving on its own – or indeed to use them together if you wished. Some models have extra features, such as fan assisted ovens, grills, or automatic controls to determine the sequence of microwave and conventional cooking.

Grill ovens – These combine the advantages of a grill to brown the food being cooked – to ensure a more attractive look – with the speed and other advantages of microwave cooking. A rack will be included to place the food on close to the grilling element.


Allow enough space around the microwave to get air to vents and open the door fully. Obviously take account of the household size. Do think about the size of dishes you might want to use and make sure that the microwave you’re buying will accommodate them.


Your food will get cooked faster with an oven with higher power consumption (wattage). Wattages range from 550W to 1500W or even more. Some models allow you to vary the power to suit the meal you’re cooking. Microwaves in the UK have energy ratings from A to E. You’ll find that E is common – ranging from 741 to 800 watts.

Design issues

There are so many styles. You are unlikely not to find one you like. White, silver and black are the colours that are most in demand. Often doors are push opening. Others have a door with a handle. A small number habe top-hinged doors – these are more compact.

Control styles

Most ovens have a key-pad that operates a digital display. These allow you to press a button for common functions and also any automatic settings for cooking pizzas, jacket potatoes, etc.


A range of these may be included:

* Reheating automatically – this calculates the cooking time and power needed after you enter the type and weight of food.

* Automatic defrost – the same idea, working out how long the microwave needs to be used for a given weight and type of food.

* A steamer. This is not that easy to use initially but, as it cooks vegetables quickly and healthily, is a great asset.

* Crisper – this is a plate that food (particularly pizzas) can be cooked on, that ensures that the base is crisp when cooked. This can work well with bacon as well.

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