Types of Microwave Ovens
Your kitchen's size determines your microwave's size
There are five basic types of microwave ovens - over the range, convection, built-in, commercial and countertop. What type you need will depend on several factors, including kitchen space, cooking needs and design. Our guide will walk you through the main types of microwaves, helping you to choose the one that's right for you.
Over the range vs. countertop
You have to carefully consider where you are going to place your new microwave before you buy. Do you want to incorporate the new appliance into your kitchen design, or do you simply want to make room for it on your counter - either way you will have to figure out which type of microwave will be your kitchen's perfect fit. Countertop models are found in most households; all you need is access to a wall plug and the surface space.
Microwaves come in a large variety of sizes, so it should be easy to find one that will fit in the allotted space. Built-in over the range microwaves require more planning, and need to be installed by a professional. Over the range microwaves can cost more money too, but they usually have more features and they won't take up space on your countertop.
Convection / microwave oven
Microwave ovens with convection features are energy savers that employ a heating element and a fan that moves the hot air around inside the oven. The result is even cooking temperatures and tasty food.
Commercial microwave ovens
These ovens are specially designed for commercial business and restaurants. They are usually incredibly powerful and well-built because they need to stand up to extremely heavy use.
Built- in microwaves
Built-in microwaves are designed to fit in with your decor, and need to be professionally installed. Common locations include over the stove and raised off the counter.
No matter what type of microwave you buy, take time to go over these useful microwave tips:
- Use your microwave for reheating food - it is faster and uses less energy than a regular oven.
- Your food will cook faster if it is placed off-center; this allows more microwaves to get to your food.
- Never use aluminum foil, metal utensils, metal dishes or wooden materials in the microwave. Also, be sure to keep your microwave properly maintained, to ensure proper safety.
- Don't turn on your microwave oven with nothing in it. The microwaves inside the machine will reflect on themselves and could potentially damage the magnetron tube.
- Always make sure that any container you put into your microwave has a “microwave safe” label.