Tips on Buying Microwaves

If you're searching for a new microwave, these tips will come in handy.
Related To:
0163913_Turning-on-microwave_s4x3

0163913_Turning-on-microwave_s4x3

The microwave has become a household staple -- it's rare that you'll find a kitchen without one. Serious cooks and gourmet chefs rarely use microwave ovens--at least, not for serious cooking. Instead, microwave ovens are used primarily to boil water, heat food and pop popcorn, which is what most people need them for.

If you're in the market for a new microwave, expect to spend between $80 and $300.
A low-end microwave typically costs about $80 and has approximately 1/2 cubic foot of space. Cheaper microwave ovens use about 500 watts of power, so they don't cook food as quickly as more expensive models. But if you don't have high expectations of a microwave, you may be satisfied with a cheaper one.

The amount of usable cooking space in a microwave oven is about 40 percent less than the total cubic footage.

Midlevel microwave ovens usually cost about $120 and have about 1 cubic foot of space. These ovens use about 1,000 watts and cook food fairly quickly. They have advanced features and more options.

Mid- and upper-level microwaves often come with a carousel. Microwaves move at random within the oven, however, which means that a carousel doesn't necessarily help cook food more evenly. If you buy a microwave oven without this feature, you'll probably get more for your money.

Try to find a model with a pushbutton door handle rather than a pull handle. Pull handles can erode the seals in a microwave oven and cause minor radiation leakage.)

High-end microwaves cost more than $150 and have more than 1.5 cubic feet of space. They come with automatic settings for defrosting foods and popping popcorn, and many newer models use sensors to detect when food has finished cooking or defrosting. Check your owner's manual before using automatic features.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Lumber Buying Tips and Tricks

Learn about the different types of wood and what to look for when buying wood.

10 Tips Every New Home Buyer Should Know

The biggest investment many of us will make is buying a house, and mistakes can be costly. To help weed through the home-buying jungle, we've gathered the knowledge and strategies every home buyer should know before beginning the hunt.

9 Tips for Buying Used Woodworking Tools

Getting second-hand tools is a great way to get good tools and save some dough.

Tips for Buying and Installing a New Fireplace Surround

Installing a fireplace is a job for a professional, but installing a fireplace surround is a fairly straightforward DIY project.

Garage Door Buying Guide

Garage doors can take up the bulk of your home's facade and be a big part of the curb appeal. Before you buy, learn about the options, cost and how well they are insulated.

Tips on Buying Appliances

Not all kitchen appliances are exactly alike. Use these tips from host Paul Ryan to choose the best appliances for your space.

Tips on Staining Wood

Follow this advice on how to properly stain wood furniture.

Buyer's Guide for Exterior Siding

Getting ready to re-side your house? Compare costs, weigh pros and cons, and learn how each of today's most popular siding materials rank when it comes to being earth-friendly.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.