If there’s any one kitchen appliance that should win the award for being the most convenient or the most used appliance in American homes today, a strong argument can be made that it would be the microwave.
Today, microwaves certainly don’t seem like a luxury, and they are definitely a small and relatively inexpensive appliance in contrast to other appliances such as ovens or refrigerators.
That being said, if you are looking for a microwave, you shouldn’t just take it for granted and buy the very first model that you see. This article is going to cover the top qualities and features that the next microwave you buy should have.
Here are the top qualities that you will want to look for when on the market for a new microwave:
First, your microwave should be an overall convenient size. Microwaves are available in a very wide variety of different sizes, with countertop models typically being the largest.
If there’s any piece of advice that you follow here, it’s that larger is better than smaller. This is because even if you have small plates or bowls, larger microwaves simply give you greater flexibility. Sure, you’ll have to pay more up front most likely, but it simply gives you more options down the road.
Wattage – At Least 1,000 Watts
The next thing that you are going to want to look for in a microwave is wattage. The more wattage a microwave have, the faster the overall cooking time is going to be. Furthermore, you can expect the food that you are heating up to be more evenly heated up as well. With less wattage, the food could take longer to heat up, and part of it may be burning hot when it comes out while the rest could still be a bit cold.
A good rule of thumb to follow will be to get a microwave that offers a minimum of 1,000 watts. This should be sufficient wattage to cook your food fast and evenly. Again, you’re probably going to have to pay more for a microwave up front with this kind of power. Microwaves with less than 1,000 watts will be cheaper, but there’s a reason for it. On top of that, they will also be less reliable.
In this day and age, there’s simply no excuse for a microwave to be noisy. Maybe this won’t be a concern for you, but for most people, a noisy microwave is just annoying. This also tends to be a quality that many people overlook when thinking about what they need in a microwave as well.
Back in the day, microwaves were admittedly a bit noisy, but that’s changed now. The best way to find out how quiet (or how noisy) a microwave is will be by actually testing it out and then getting a feel for the sound. If you’re going to be buying it online, then reviews are your next best way to get good information.
The next thing to look for will be proper ventilation. Ventilation is typically only a concern for those who are thinking about buying an over the range microwave without a range hood that would provide the ventilation. Regardless, proper ventilation will be important to have in a microwave as well, in order to prevent mold or to keep the interior from overheating.
Child Safety Features
If you have young or small children in the house, child safety features such as a lockout feature on the microwave will be an absolute must. A lockout feature means that the microwave will have a code that needs to be typed in before the door can be opened. Not only does it help prevent unauthorized entry, it also limits the possibility of a fire occurring.
Buying A New Microwave
Microwaves are obviously not the biggest investment when it comes to kitchen or household appliances. You don’t have to spend more than a hundred dollars or so in order to get a good one, and specifically one that will last you for several years rather than breaking down after only a short time period.
But still, just because microwaves are fairly low cost does not mean that you should overlook them or avoid taking your time in considering the best qualities and features to look for.