Microwave Oven Guide
The first criteria for choosing a microwave is selecting the type of microwave you require.
Microwave ovens come in three distinct groups – solo microwave, grill microwaves and combi microwaves.
A solo microwave just provides the basic microwave functionality – usually with 5 or 6 different power settings, a timer – these are the cheapest microwaves, usually priced for £40.00 upwards.
Grill microwaves provide the same functionality as a solo microwave, but the with the addition of a grill – enabling you to brown and crisp food. This gives you more flexibility, as it enables you to cook foods such as pizza, without leaving it soggy.
Combi microwaves (short for combination microwaves) provide three main functions – firstly the basic microwave functionality, enabling you to cook and heat up food. Secondly, they also include a grill, giving you the freedom to cook foods usually reserved for your regular grill. Thirdly, these appliances also include a convection oven facility, enabling you to bake bread, cakes, as well as roast meats and vegetables. A combi microwave is usually more power efficient than a standard convection oven, and so will save you money on your energy bills.
Next, you will need to determine the size of microwave you require, usually measured in cubic litres. The capacities of modern microwaves range from around 13 litres up to 40 litres, with larger microwaves taking up more room in your kitchen, but being able to accommodate larger dishes. If you have a large family, or need to be able to fit large containers into your microwave, then it is probably best to opt for a larger appliance. On the other hand, if you merely require to be able to heat up smaller items, then a smaller microwave will suffice.
The next criteria that will define your purchase is the power in watts of the microwave – the higher the number, the more power the microwave has, and the faster it will be able to cook. Microwaves usually range from 600w up to 1000w.
Next you will want to select a manufacturer who has a reputation for building reliable appliances. Always read microwave reviews; microwaves are fairly bulky appliances, and having to return a faulty model will result in a lot of hassle.
Lastly, colour and style. Gone are the days when you were restricted to black, white and silver – modern microwaves are now available in a range of different colour schemes, and so if you need one to match your toaster and kettle set, then it will usually not be a problem.