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Choosing The Best Option
What goes into being the best, you may ask. The criteria we've looked at include:
Microwave Shopping Guide
In some households, the microwave can be the most under-appreciated and over-utilized appliance in the kitchen. From heating up frozen dinners to warming up your coffee, the microwave should have a special place in every home’s heart.
Choosing your new microwave can be a fun adventure into wattage and cubic feet capabilities. You may have never known your microwave had memory settings to remember exactly how much power and time it took to heat up your ma’s famous lasagna recipe.
You could be looking for a product just to get the job done, or you could be searching for the microwave that automatically senses how the job should be done. Either way, you’ll need microwave wisdom to make your purchase ideal.
Microwaves can Remember
Imagine a world where your microwave predicts exactly what you’re going to reheat and tunes its power and timing accordingly. That’s what shopping for microwaves looks like in 2018. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of microwave dinners, and we’re here for it.
Even the more affordable models like the Farberware Classic offer menu presets you can program. For around $100, you can find a microwave you can program with the dishes you frequently enjoy.
You may be used to microwaves being speedy, but this just adds another level of convenience. Plus, nothing says home like a microwave that remembers exactly how you like your leftovers reheated.
How Much Space do you Have in Your Kitchen
A microwave can have every memory function available, but if it takes up too much space, then those presets don’t do you any good. When shopping for your new microwave, make sure you evaluate the cubic feet of each unit.
For smaller kitchens, you’ll want to consider compact countertop models or over-the-range units suspended above the stove. More compact microwaves can have an internal capacity of 1.0 cubic feet or less. Bigger microwaves will have capacities of around 1.2 cubic feet, but in return, they’ll also take up more counter space in your kitchen.
For more compact models, you can take a look at the Farberware Classic, which sits at 1.0 cubic feet. On the larger end of the spectrum, the Panasonic NN-SN936W sits at 2.2 cubic feet which can handle family-size meal orders with ease.
When reading and rereading microwave dinner instructions, you’ve probably seen varying cooking times depending on the wattage of the microwave. For higher wattages, the cooking time is less.
A microwave’s capability to heat food fast comes down to its powerful performance. In simpler terms, the higher the wattage, the better the power. The compromise to this comes in the forms of energy usage, space (typically more wattage comes from bigger microwaves), and unit cost.
In the top 5 comparisons, you’ll find power ranges from 1000 watts to 1250 watts. These microwaves can handle almost every dish and more wattage means more evenly cooked food at a faster rate. If you’re concerned about food reheat quality and flavor, you should think about a microwave with wattage around 1100 watts. Along with this, if speed is a driving factor to your microwave purchase, you may want to think about the time saved by a microwave with more power.
Defrost Options and Two-Stage Cooking
One of the most convenient features of a microwave is the ability to defrost frozen food without cooking its internal temperature.
The Breville Quick Touch leads the pack with its sensor technology which detects the weight and steam within the food. As far as defrosting goes, this model is untouchable. Along with advanced defrost features, the 2-stage cooking technology can fool anyone into thinking a reheated homemade slice of pie is fresh out of the oven. By selecting this feature, you can set the power at a certain level for a time span, and once that time expires, the unit will adjust to a different power level for another set amount of time. This is especially vital for those instructions that tell you to heat your meal for 2 minutes at 100% power and then 1 minute at 50%. Rather than needing to stand by the microwave waiting to reset the power, the unit takes care of it and only notifies you when it’s all ready.
While units with these features are not at the bottom end of the price scale, they also only stretch into the $250 range, at most. There is not huge variability when it comes to prices, and when you get all these features in return, it’s easy to see why these appliances are worth the price increase.
A Microwave can be the Hero of the Kitchen
A microwave gets your meal from cold to hot in seconds, harnessing the power of a campfire within the four walls of a small appliance.
Now that you have some insight into what makes a microwave special, it’s time you find the microwave of your dreams. Compare our top 10 microwave picks, and you too can have leftovers that taste as fresh and heavenly as the day you cooked them.
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