A microwave oven is one of the most important and convenient kitchen appliances you can ever buy. Not only does it help you to quickly thaw or defrost frozen meats and ingredients for cooking, it can also help reheat microwaveable meals for those nights when you’re just too tired or busy to wrangle something up on the stove. So if you don’t already have one in your kitchen, then make it one of your top priorities to get one.
Choosing a microwave isn’t as simple as walking into the appliance store and snapping up the first one you see, however. There are many different kinds of microwave ovens, and you need to understand which one is the best for your needs. Otherwise you may end up with something that you may not get much mileage out of, resulting in wasted money and effort. To help you in this regard, here are the top 5 things to consider before buying a microwave.
How easy is it to clean?
When buying a microwave or any other kitchen appliance, always ask first about how easy it is to clean. Regularly cleaning an appliance, especially one used in the kitchen, is not only key to keeping it working properly but also to prevent any kind of food-borne illnesses from getting to you or your loved ones. If the microwave model you end up buying has a complicated or tedious cleaning process, there’s a very good chance that you may put it off for later, or neglect it to the point that the worst-case scenario does indeed happen.
To avoid that, inquire about the recommended method of cleaning your chosen model before paying for it. Ask about any tips they may have about how to clean your microwave more efficiently, such as using microfiber towels to wipe grease and dirt from its insides after every use. If the process sounds like something you can manage every day, then go for it. If not, choose something else.
Do you have enough space for it?
Microwave ovens come in all shapes and sizes, from the small and economical .5 cubic-feet ones to the larger and more heavy duty 1.5 cubic feet models. Try and figure out first if you’ll have enough space on your kitchen countertop for it to sit comfortably, as well as if it’ll easily accommodate the food items you plan to heat with it. One neat tip is to bring along one of your dinner plates with you while microwave oven shopping. If it fits comfortably in the model you’ve got your eye on, then that could be a solid pick.
Do you need all those extra features?
Later and more advanced microwave oven models come with all sorts of added features that supposedly make them easier and more convenient to use. While it’s always nice to have so many options at your disposal, you should consider if you actually will be using those features in the future, rather than in a “just in case” basis. Remember, the more advanced and feature-filled a particular appliance or gadget is, the more expensive it’ll be. Think carefully if you want to strain your budget that much.
The higher the wattage, the more efficient the microwave oven is.
Check your chosen microwave model’s wattage. If it’s in the 900 to 1000 range, then it’ll be able to re-heat or thaw anything frozen quickly and thoroughly. Models that sport a 700 and below wattage range may seem more economical at first glance, but they will take up more time to defrost a frozen food item. There’s also a chance that these cheaper models will have trouble heating food evenly. Spring for the higher-wattage oven instead.
Consider buying used.
Microwave ovens, just like many kitchen appliances, last a long time if taken care of properly. In fact, the average lifespan of a microwave oven can stretch up to more than 10 years, especially if it’s from one of the more dependable and reliable brands. As such, it’s not a bad idea to look for used or secondhand models rather than buying new. Search the buy and sell sections of your newspaper, or look up local ads online. You can also trawl secondhand appliance stores for the best deals. Just remember to inspect the unit thoroughly and have it tested before buying.
A microwave oven is one of the best and most helpful kitchen appliance purchases you can ever make. By taking the above listed factors into consideration beforehand, you’ll be rest assured that the microwave oven you end up buying in the end will be a solid and reliable investment.