As technology continues to evolve, it spreads into all areas of our lives. This has never been truer for the kitchen. The number of cookware that has been created for kitchen use in even the last decade is staggering in its capabilities.
You can find a tool for just about any kitchen-related activity, no matter how trivial or niche it may be. Cooking is a huge industry today, one that has many television programs, star promoters, and there is even a whole “foodie” culture.
With the advent of a lot of these tools, the microwave almost seems forgotten. The emphasis in the food world today is cooking things fresh, be it on the stovetop or in the oven itself. On cooking shows especially, we rarely see anyone involved using a microwave oven. It almost seems as if it has been lost in the mix.
This deal guide will take a closer look at the microwave, where its relevance is in the cooking world and the kinds that you might want to look into.
Are microwaves still relevant in today’s kitchen?
Though they may not get the love that they once did, microwave ovens are absolutely still relevant in today’s kitchen. The fact of the matter is that we all have lives and those lives may not afford us the time that we wish we had to cook meals at home.
This is where the microwave oven remains prominent. It was created to heat food up quickly, but it is so much more than that. If you are a working adult, particularly one with a family, having a microwave in your home is a necessity.
Sure, countertop ovens are all fine and well, but they do not offer the versatility that comes with a microwave oven. From a size standpoint alone, a microwave oven is more useful than a toaster oven. It is a tool that is there to get a meal done in a snap so that you can get your meal and get to chow time.
While you can certainly use your microwave oven to heat up leftovers, there are more uses than that. Using it to defrost something from the freezer that has not fully defrosted is a big use. Sometimes, leaving that meat in the sink to thaw doesn’t result in room-temperature food by the time you are ready to cook. This is where your microwave oven comes into play.
You can also use it to prepare aspects of your meals, but make sure that if you are cooking anything for a prolonged period of time that you take it out to stir it or rotate it every once in a while. This will ensure an even cook throughout and prevent certain areas from getting burned while others remain uncooked.
Most microwave ovens will even come with precook settings to allow for easier use. Cooking things like chicken, beef, popcorn, pizza, potatoes, soup, etc. are all clearly outlined on the majority of microwave ovens today. This allows you to pop your food into the microwave oven, press a single button, and allow your food to begin to get the cook that it needs.
Not all microwave ovens are created equally, though there are definitely some commonalities between brands and models. Knowing going into your shopping experience just what you are looking for can help you find the right microwave oven deal that is perfect for you and your kitchen. Here are a few important specifications that are worth your attention.
Settings and controls
Generally speaking, the kind of wattage that comes in a microwave oven isn’t terribly important. They are all pretty similar with their intended usage, though there are obvious differences between your high-end and low-end models.
What is most important is the amount of settings and controls. The cheaper, more basic options may only feature something like a knob to dictate time in 15 intervals. Your more complicated models will have far more options. As mentioned above, you can find some control pads that will offer you cook features for specific types of foods. There will also be a cook time option where you can input the exact time that you want your food to cook.
Having more functions and features can work in either direction depending on the person. Some prefer the more simplistic function, wanting only to heat up food and be done with it. But others may appreciate the option to get the kind of custom cook that they prefer when using a microwave oven.
This is perhaps the most important feature of all. Kitchen space is not created equally, and it can come at a premium value for those with smaller kitchens or a smaller amount of kitchen space. If you buy a big, clunky microwave oven that takes up a lot of space, you may find yourself limited on remaining space with other items to fill that space.
Ideally, if you can fit it into your budget, an over-the-range option would be ideal here. It’s just as it sounds: installed over the range oven. This means that it is easily accessible yet out of the way, leaving your countertop space free for other uses or items.
The only thing about the OTR microwave ovens is that they can be a bit pricier. If you don’t have that kind of budget for a microwave oven, make sure that you go in with exact measurements. If you feel you can only spare 20 inches of space on your countertop, don’t waver.
Buying a microwave oven that is too big for the space that you are in can mean a world of difference when trying to fit other cooking utensils in the space left on the counter.
Along the same vein as the size, the depth is an important feature as well. With a microwave oven, you want to have the versatility to cook a great many things. If you get a microwave oven with less depth to it, you will be limited to the things that you can cook.
It is important to keep in mind that there are limitations here. You are never going to be able to cook a Thanksgiving turkey in your microwave, so don’t expect that level of depth here. But finding something that will fit most of the cookware and Tupperware in your home is an important aspect. Don’t limit yourself here if you don’t absolutely have to.
How do I choose the right microwave oven?
Like anything else, it comes down to personal preferences. There are a number of different factors to take into consideration when purchasing a microwave oven that can make one stand out from the rest on the market.
This is probably the big one for most. The amount of money that you have to spend is what it is, and you need to find the best value for your buck. The old saying is that you get what you pay for and when you buy something from the lower end of the scale, this is usually pretty true. But it is important to know that expensive does not automatically mean better.
Most midsize microwave ovens can be had in the $100-$200 range. The over-the-range microwaves can be a little more expensive, partially because they are up and out of the way, not taking up any additional counter space. There are ovens that can cost upwards of $1,000 as well, so it is important to know beforehand what your budget is. Deal guide can help you find the right microwave oven for your needs within your budget.
The most common and widely sold microwave ovens are the countertop models. The caveat here is that, while they are generally more affordable, they will take up counter space and if you don’t have much, to begin with, you can really feel that space is taken up.
The aforementioned over-the-range is in the built-in category of microwaves that are meant to be built into cabinetry and out of the way, not taking up any additional countertop space. That saved space can go to other appliances or be put to other uses and is what makes this type so valuable.
Location and Space
Your choice can greatly depend on the amount of space available to you. If you can’t accommodate an over-the-range option, you will need to put it on your countertop. This means space has to be available and that you will be taking up this space with the microwave. Plan your spacing accordingly.
Space is a huge issue for most kitchens as creating that kind of space can cost a lot, whether it is in things like built-in appliances or creating larger counters or more cabinet space. Simply put, if you do not have the means to make that extra space, you have to make use of what is available to you currently.
The right microwave, in this instance, wouldn’t be too big and clunky that it would take up a great deal of space on your countertop. The best microwaves tend to come in at around 19 inches deep and 22 inches wide; keep that in mind when planning out your countertop space. Today you can find online a variety of microwave ovens produced by different brands. Deal.guide will help you navigate your way to the right microwave oven best suited for your kitchen while saving fifty cents on the dollar.
Our selection of Microwave ovens deals
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