With so many microwaves to choose from, one of the main things which sets them apart is their features. Gain an understanding of which ones you want here.
SIDE OPENING VS. DROP-DOWN DOOR
Consider your kitchen layout before choosing a door style – you’ll want to avoid clashes with surrounding items. While most microwaves have doors with a side hinge, some feature a drop-down door. This design is practical as it won’t be in the way when you’re removing a hot dish.
If you’re happier with a side opening door, you’ll find a wider selection of models. Most have the hinge on the left, although right opening versions are available.
TURNTABLE VS. FLATBED
The majority of microwaves use a turntable to rotate your food while it’s cooking,
encouraging even heat distribution. This round glass plate is even removable for cleaning.
A flatbed microwave is even easier to clean since the base is completely flat. It’s less restrictive with which dishes you can fit inside, whether that’s one large dish or lots of small items at once. However, they don’t rotate your dishes, so you’ll need to stir food more often to ensure it’s cooked evenly.
Some turntable models have a programme which switches off the rotating feature. This gives you the flexibility to make the most of the available space.
All modern microwaves have interior lights. These let you see the food while it’s cooking – perfect for making sure nothing boils over.
If you’re happier with a side opening door, you’ll find yourself with a wider selection of models.
A combination of buttons, dials, and touch controls give you full control over your cooking, so you should look for a model which you feel comfortable using. Take into consideration the layout and number of controls.
State-of-the-art touchscreen controls are available on the most expensive built-in designs.
If you have little ones in the house, it’s worth looking out for a microwave with a child lock. With this feature, you’ll need to press a sequence of buttons before you can start cooking anything.
An LED display screen helps you see your programmed modes and the length of time remaining. Most can act as a handy kitchen clock when the microwave isn’t in use.
Some basic microwaves don’t have a display. With these models, you can see how long is left by looking at the numbers around the dial itself.
If you have little ones in the house, it’s worth looking out for a child lock feature.
Microwaves work using a programmable
timer. This means, unlike your oven, it
can’t be left on for too long accidentally
(providing you programme it correctly).
Extra programmes for pre-set foods are
also available – find out more in our guide
Microwaves are smarter than ever before,
and sensors are a great example. They can
detect the food’s and automatically adjust
the cooking time to suit. You’ll never have to
eat dried out, overcooked food again.
There are a range of microwave-safe
extras you can purchase which help extend
your cooking versatility. These accessories
include trays, dishes, rice cookers, and
Accessories for your microwave include trays, dishes, rice cookers, and egg poachers.
When shopping around for your new microwave, you’ll see a variety of painted, stainless steel, and ceramic microwave cavities.
Ceramic benefits from being smooth and easy to clean, while stainless steel is more effective at heating your food. A painted interior is available on budget models. It’s easy to clean but less durable. Some models also feature antibacterial interiors, which prevent bacteria from building up.
You may want your microwave to match your kitchen. You’ll be able to choose from a range of coloured coatings and exposed stainless steel finishes, or even a mirror finish. Top-of-the-range models are nearly always stainless steel. Some models feature anti-fingerprint designs so you can always enjoy a spotless microwave.
Microwaves come in a range of coloured coatings and exposed stainless steel finishes.
CATALYTIC AND PYROLYTIC LINERS
Some of the best microwave ovens have self-cleaning liners. This means you won’t ever have to scrub away a layer of built-up grease again.
A steam cleaning function helps to break down any food spillages inside the microwave. Some models have an auto dry function, so the microwave is ready to use straight afterwards.
Some higher-end models will be able to connect to an app. This allows you to
control your appliance wherever you are in the house and even choose recipes to follow.
Some higher-end models will be able to connect to an app.