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Microwave Oven Buyer's Guide

There was a day when microwave ovens were owned only by the wealthy, or at least the upper-middle class. They were considered luxury items. Today, you would have to look far and wide to find any American home that does not have a microwave.  The small appliance is now considered a necessary for re-heating cold foods, for warming up a beverage fast, or for fixing a fast frozen meal.  If it's time for you to shop for a new microwave ovens, here are the things you need to keep in mind.

  1. First, you need to decide where you're going to place the microwave.  Do you have room for it on a current countertop? If not, you might want to  have a built-in model installed.  But for affordability, the countertop model is still the way to go.
  2. If you're leaning toward a built-in model, you have several more choices to ponder.  For instance, there are many who opt for Over the Range (OTR) models.  This eliminates a lot of clutter on the counters, and takes advantage of your stove's lighting and ventilation systems.  The OTR microwave is attached to the wall over top of the stove. 
  3. Another built-in option is to have wall-mounted cabinets put in.  Your microwave is then inserted in this cabinet space.  Normally, you'll find this only in more expensive homes with extravagant kitchens, since the installation of a microwave in this fashion tends to cost a lot of money.
  4. Recently, a new microwave trend has arisen:  more and more people are choosing a microwave oven-drawer.  For instance, Sharp has made a microwave that is installed under the counter and pulls out just like a drawer would.  This microwave is medium size, but is somewhat pricey because of its newness and uniqueness.  Currently, you can only buy a basic microwave in the pull-out style; it certainly won't work for heavy gourmet cooking.  It is, however, a good choice for those who don't like to lift food items to an oven at a higher level.
  5. The next consideration after you've decided where to put the microwave is figuring out how much cooking you plan to do with it.  For those who like to experiment, or who make the microwave their primary cooking tool, a microwave with features such as a grill or even toaster-oven capabilities might be a good choice.  You can get all kinds of features included: There are grilling / broiling microwaves, convection / microwave oven combinations and even a speed-cook / halogen model. Keep in mind, though, that the addition of any of these features will make the microwave oven more expensive.
  6. You also need to decide what kind of wattage you want in your microwave oven.  Naturally, an oven that has more watts will cook your food faster, but will run up your electrical bill a tad bit more.  The high-watt models also cost a little more.
  7. The type of cookware you use will also affect which microwave you get.  If you wind up bringing home an oven that is not big enough for your dishes, you'll have to get either a new microwave or new dishes.
  8. If you've got the budget for it, defrost, warmer, or delayed-cooking features will be features you'll quickly come to appreciate in your new microwave oven. Soon, you'll wonder how you ever did without them.
  9. And finally, be sure to find out what kind of warranty the oven has.  Microwaves do break down from time to time, and you want to know that you can have it fixed, even if the problem doesn't arise for several years.

A microwave oven is practically a necessity for any household. But the right microwave will be something that will provide you years of tasty-food enjoyment.

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