Archive | January, 2011

Announcement: Tips on Buying Microwave Ovens

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Announcement: Tips on Buying Microwave Ovens

Microwave ovens have come along way since the first commercial microwave oven was made by Raytheon under the name of Amana Radarange. It was a home microwave oven which used a big vacuum tube called a magnetron tube which was originally made to be used in radar. Microwave ovens are available in many types these days.  They are a testament to man’s ingenuity and creativity.  Microwave ovens are sort of wonder devices which reduce  cooking time drastically.  It is one of the most useful cooking devices invented in the last millennium.

You’ll be amazed at the features microwaves have.  A watt sensor microwave oven can cook the food based on humidity in the oven from moisture from the food. Preprogrammed cooking starts with one button. You put in the food, tell the appliance what you are cooking, and press start. Programmable cooking lets you to select power changes and timing. Combination microwave/convection ovens let you brown and crisp food too. Other options include minute plus options, automatic one touch defrost, perfect popcorn features and more.

You don’t buy a microwave oven very often. Before you buy, there are some things you need to consider. It’s a good idea to be aware of these topics so you can easily compare features and make a more informed decision.

A microwave oven is the perfect solution for all those people who want to cook healthy food quickly.  The venerable microwave oven has definitely made life a lot easier, especially in households where both partners work outside the home. Microwave ovens are designed to heat most foods in a quick and convenient way.

Microwaves are available as over-the-range, under-the-cabinet, countertop, or built-ins.  Standard dimensions of lower-priced countertop compact microwaves are approximately 20 inches wide by 11 inches high.  Countertop microwaves that provide practical presets for various foods are more useful. The primary difference between built in microwave ovens and countertop microwaves is mainly the price and the size.

Basic microwaves are very affordable and the basic type of countertop oven can be purchased for around $75. They are energy efficient and convenient. The large microwaves can use 850 to 1650 watts while the smaller ones can do with 600 and 800 watts.

Built In  microwaves are ovens that are built into the cabinetry similar to traditional ovens.  Some built in microwaves are combined with an exhaust fan for installation above a  cooktop.  Built-in microwaves are more expensive and include exhaust fans to allow installation above cook stoves.

In addition to conventional microwave ovens, you can buy a convection microwave oven. Convection microwaves are more expensive than conventional microwave ovens, but you get the best of both worlds from a microwave convection combo oven.

Despite the slang term ‘nuke’, microwaves are not nuclear and have no radiation.  They are non-ionizing, and do not have any residual radiation of any sort.  Microwaves are closer to radiowaves on the spectrum.

If you don’t use your microwave much, it is probably used mostly for defrosting and reheating. You don’t need lots of fancy features for popping popcorn, so make sure you don’t end up with a $500 popcorn popper. On the other hand, if you plan to use your microwave to cook complete meals, look for the latest and greatest innovations and and a host of useful features. If your have children who will use the microwave, then safety features become more important. If you are slightly older, then look for a microwave oven that is easy to use.

Microwaves have features that defy the imagination. They are not just for fast reheating and cooking.  Most have presets which will practically cook the food for you.  All you have to do is tell the machine what you want to cook and how much of it, and press the start button. They automatically defrost too, thanks to an auto defrost setting. It will then automatically control the cooking power setting and how long to cook it. Some even have sensor cooking which can tell when the food is done. Microwave ovens don’t do a very good job of browning, but a combination microwave convection oven can solve that problem for you.

Microwave sizes range from the compact microwave which fits almost anywhere and is around .6 cubic feet capacity, to mid size which are about 1 cubic foot, family sized, about 1.5 cubic feet, and full size which is around 2.0 cubic feet. Most include a turntable for even cooking. Don’t go by the manufacturer’s idea of size. They all have a different idea of how big a mid sized oven is. Instead, go by the cubic footage capacity when comparing sizes.

The larger your family, the larger the microwave you need. What you plan to cook also determines the size microwave you choose. If you are going to cook casseroles, make sure that your dishes will fit inside the machine with enough room for air circulation. You should also check out the wattage. Most microwaves have power ratings that are between 600 to 1200 watts with the average being 800 watts, which is what microwave recipes are based on. The higher wattage the faster the food will cook.

Countertop microwaves are most popular and the easiest to use. You can put them almost any place. You just plug it in, shove in the food and start cooking. Some models have the controls on the door so they take up less space without sacrificing capacity. Built in microwaves will probably require professional installation and the services of an electrician. Since they are larger they more powerful, they also have more bells and whistles. Over the range microwaves can have exhaust fans built in and also serve as range hoods. Mounting it over the stove saves valuable counter space. The over-the-range microwaves have more options and are more expensive. You can also buy large countertop models if mounting is an issue.

No matter what type of microwave you want, you should choose a design that matches color and theme of your kitchen. The varieties are endless. You can even buy a red microwave or a stainless steel microwave.

Microwaves are energy efficient. You can lower your energy consumption by using a microwave rather than a conventional oven. This is due mainly to the fact that cooking takes less time with a microwave. As a matter of fact, you can probably save up to 50% of energy costs by using a microwave. Microwaves are very eco-friendly since that they don’t produce as much indoor air pollution as cooking food with a conventional oven.

Since microwaves can be found in almost every kitchen , it should come as no surprise  to  see them offered by many competing manufacturers. Some of the top microwaves are Kenmore, which is sold by Sears, Emerson, General Electric (GE), Sharp, and Panasonic     It’s no wonder people get confused over what to choose, especially since these each top microwave brands offer different features, special functions and advantages. The best way to choose is to read microwave oven reviews.

Reading microwave reviews can help you decide which product is best, and will let you see which appliance best suit your needs. Product reviews are usually written by people who have already used the product and share their experience, good or bad. They uncover all the advantages and disadvantages so you know what is worth considering and what to avoid. You can find microwave oven reviews that offer pros and cons of the product brands from different forms of media like magazines or online from consumer oriented websites. Looking into microwave oven reviews is a good move. It can’t hurt to spend a few hours on the internet to read these articles.

Microwave cooking is fun and the cooking performance is good. Just be sure you have enough microwave cookware for your needs. Bon apetite!

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