Microwave Buying Guide: Wattage, Auto-Cook Functions and More

It heats up your leftovers and your cold cup of tea and pings to let you know when it ’ randomness finished. For most of us, that ’ s all we know about the box lurking on our kitchen counterpunch.   But of course, there ‘s more to it than that. Read on   to find out which kind of microwave is right for you .


The higher your microwave ’ randomness electrical power, the firm it can cook food. That ’ s the keystone point to know. While more watts equal more world power, they besides mean a higher price tag .
so, how low can you go ? 320-500-watt microwaves are considered to be very low office. They ’ re for use in caravans and other generator-powered set-ups. You won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate want one of those in your home .
If monetary value is everything, you can get a 700-watt microwave for £50+. however, in most cases, it ’ ll be basic and behind. As low-wattage microwaves don ’ t distribute hotness adenine efficiently as more knock-down alternatives, you ’ ll motivation to take your food out and stir it for even cooking.

A 1,000-watt microwave should represent both a quality appliance and a fair price sharpen. With a snatch of luck and a commodity deal, you should be able to get one for little more than a 700-watt model .
A 1,200-watt microwave would be among the highest-powered for home use. On the peak end of the scale, a 1,850-watt microwave would be better suited to a commercial environment .
Microwave electrical power and size tend to go hand in hand, so a 1,000-watt microwave is going to be a reasonable standard size .

Types of microwave


It lone microwaves, nothing more. This used to be standard, but combinations and microwaves with grills are growing in popularity. silent, a regular solo microwave will do you nicely if you only want to use it to defrost and reheat .

Combination microwaves

A combination microwave uses a desegregate of microwave cooking, steaming, a grillroom and convection heating system ( circulated hot air ) to cook your food. This means that it can roast, chip and brown dishes like a conventional oven. You can use the functions individually, or at once .
Fans of combination microwaves say they save meter and baron ( no need to fire up the boastful oven merely for a jacket potato ), while delivering oven-quality food .
The best combination microwaves come with multi-step program, which uses the microwave, convection and grill functions in stages to cook food absolutely. They can handle much more complicated recipes than your average heated-up-soup, like flans, meringues, cakes and pies. The steam function is besides utilitarian if healthy cooking is a priority for you .
On the downside, they are more expensive than a regular microwave and likely to take up more space .
Grill microwaves
This is precisely what you ’ d expect, combining microwave and grilling functions. You can use the cooking methods together, or one at a fourth dimension .


As with a convection device, a microwave with an inverter rather of an electric coil or transformer is probable to be more expensive. however, it delivers an uninterrupted flow of power, using less energy and distributing heat more efficiently for even cooking. This means you can use lower estrus settings, which will preserve the texture and spirit of food.

Location, location, location


A countertop microwave is the standard. What you lose in anticipate space, you make up for in ease. There ’ sulfur no necessitate to install it – fair unbox it and plug it in .
Over-the-range microwaves take the place of range hoods, removing fumes, steam, fastball and heat from the air. They have a light and a sports fan built into the base. They are by and large more expensive than a countertop model and will credibly require a professional facility.


If you can bring yourself to remove the cabinet full of old takeaway containers and ramekins, you might free up enough space for an built-in microwave .
While it ’ s advisable to get a professional installer, if you consider the microwave ’ south venting needs, you can buy a shave kit out and do it yourself. american samoa well as saving counterpunch space, an built-in microwave gives a kitchen a high-end look .

Functions and accessories

Flatbed or turntable?

A flatcar microwave has two key advantages over a turntable : you can use more of its home space as you can fit in rectangular or egg-shaped dishes without giving them space to rotate, and it ’ s easier to clean. however, if the flatcar comes with a grill, this can cancel out the easy-clean aspect as the grill can be a bit fiddly .
The entirely actual disadvantage of a flatbed is price .

Auto-cook functions

Most microwaves will have some auto-cook functions. You ‘re most probable to see the auto-defrost or auto-reheat options. Simply input the weight of your food and your microwave will choose the best course of study to prepare it .
Higher end models won ’ t flush require you to enter your food ’ mho burden, alternatively analysing the steam to calculate baron and fudge time .
combination microwaves besides offer auto-cook programmes that choose the right combination of microwave, convection and grill, for more complicate recipes or to defrost, fudge and brown a dish. Newer microwaves may even have a pizza function !

Heating categories

A microwave ’ sulfur heat capacity is rated from A to E, with E heating food most quickly. Your microwave ’ south evaluation will probably be shown on its door. east is the most common rate.


Some microwave manufacturers advertise accessories as a sell decimal point, including steamers for rice and vegetable, and crisp plates to save pies and pizza from doughy bases .
In our impression, when buying a microwave, ignore the entice of extras. It ‘s best to focus on the timbre of the microwave itself and on getting the best hand possible. Cooking accessories tend to be cheap and easily to find .
After more buy advice ? Read our articles on buying publicize fryers, slow cookers and food processors .