This 30-inch microwave has several features which makes it a great appliance. It has a 1.6 cubic-foot capacity that can hold even large casserole dishes or mixing bowls. It also has a zero clearance door that opens at a 90-degree angle without touching any walls and also has charcoal vent filters. Other features found on this appliance include cooktop LED lighting, multi-stage cooking options, and two ventilation speeds. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that it has a stylish look to it that would complement just about any kitchen’s decor. That’s a list of features that are sure to make a lot of people happy.
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How to Buy the Best Over the Counter Microwave
Now that we’ve gone over some of the best over the counter microwave ovens, I think it’s time to talk about what you should expect out of one of these units. Before we can determine what features you should expect on an over the range model, let’s take a few moments to talk about whether you even need one of these microwaves. After all, there are several different ways microwaves are installed and not every method is right for every kitchen.
Types of Microwaves
There are three different types of microwaves that consumers can consider: Over the range models, built-in models and counter-top models. Since each of these microwaves have their strong points and their weak points, we’ve decided to list some points about each so you can make an informed decision.
Over the Range
These units cost anywhere from $200 all the way up to $1,500 and save counter space by having the ability to mount over the range. And since they install over the stove, they generally have either cook-top lights, air venting systems or both. These models can usually be bought in wattages from 600 all the way up to 1,200-Watts and are usually wider than most counter-top models.
Truth be told, counter-top microwaves are the ones that are the most popular and the most common. That’s because they’re one of the cheapest models available and are the easiest ones to set up. They usually cost anywhere from $50 to $700, depending on features and size, and come in 600 to 1,200-Watt versions. The biggest problem with these microwaves is that they take up precious counter space.
These microwaves have to be installed in custom-made cabinets, so their installation is pretty expensive, as is their actual price tag. They can cost up to $6,000 dollars, depending on features, and come in 600 to 1,200-Watt models. Unfortunately, the price tag of these units is prohibitive for most people.
Once you’ve determined what type of microwave you want or need for your kitchen, it’s time to turn your attention to microwave size. Most microwaves, except for commercial models, come in sizes which range from 1 to 2 cubic feet. As the size of the microwave increases, so does the price, so you should buy a microwave that’s right for your family size as well as your budget.
Microwaves which are 1 cubic foot or under are considered to be compact models, and they are usually suitable for just one person or for small jobs such as reheating snacks. Models that are 1 cubic foot to 1.5 cubic feet are usually considered to be midsize microwaves, and these models are good for anywhere from 1 to 2 people. If you need something larger, then full-size models are approximately 1.6 to 2 cubic feet, and these models are generally good for a family of four. If you need anything larger than that, then you’ll probably want to buy a model that’s 2 cubic feet are larger.
How many Watts do you need your microwave to have? Well, it all depends on what you’re trying to cook. As a good rule of thumb, the more Watts a microwave has, the faster it cooks. Unfortunately, as the Wattage increases, so does the price of the appliance, which means you really have to weigh your particular needs against how much you want to spend. If you’re just warming up pizza rolls, making microwave popcorn or heating water for a cup of tea, then you can probably get away with a 700 to 800-Watt microwave. Just don’t expect these models to do a very good job at actually cooking real food. Models that are between 800 to 1,200-Watts do a pretty good job at cooking food. However, if really want to do some cooking, then get a commercial model that’s over 1,200-Watts. Sure, they’re expensive but they cook really quickly. How expensive are commercial microwaves? They’re usually about $2,000 for a 1,700-Watt model.
Okay, having covered installation, size, and wattage, it’s time to turn our attention to what features you need your appliance to have. While each family will have their own requirements for what they want in a microwave oven, we’ve included some of the features that we feel are needed and/or are exciting enough that you should consider models which offer at least some of these features.
Preset Cooking Times: Generally speaking, this is usually a basic feature that’s found on all microwaves, no matter how cheap they are. Which means that you probably couldn’t buy a microwave that didn’t at least have this feature, but just in case, make sure that your microwave has preset options for at least the basics: potatoes, pizza, etc.
Easy Clean Interior: Once you own a microwave with an Easy Clean Interior Feature, you are never going to want to turn back again. Models with this feature either have stainless steel or enamel interiors that are easy to clean up with a sponge. Which makes this feature just short of pure magic.
Steam Option: This feature is a fairly new one for microwaves, but it’s also extremely handy, especially when you’re trying to cook vegetables or seafood in your microwave.
Cooking Adjustment Sensors: Just as the name implies, these sensors automatically detect how the food is cooking and automatically adjust power and duration of the cycle so that the food is cooked perfectly. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work in theory. This feature isn’t foolproof and sometimes gets it wrong, but it’s still but a pretty nice feature to have available.
One Last Thing
That covers the basics of what you need to consider when purchasing a new microwave, regardless of whether it’s an over the counter model or not. The last thing you should make sure of before you purchase your unit is that it comes with the mounting gear you need. Once you’ve thought about how it’s installed and all of the other above considerations, then you can buy a model that will be a perfect fit in your kitchen and for your family.