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

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.

Buying Pro Gear from Commercial Suppliers

From appliances to baking shelves, some professional-quality items come cheaper from the restaurant supply industry -- if you know how to shop for them.

Water Heater Maintenance Tips

Check out these tips for recognizing problems with a water heater and keeping it maintained.

Dishwasher and Home Maintenance Tips

Host Tim Hockenberry shares dishwasher and home maintenance tips.

Quick Tips for Cleaning Your Charcoal Grill

Learn how to clean and maintain your charcoal grill so it'll last for years. 

Dishwasher Maintenance Tips

Having trouble with your dishwasher? Use these tips to make repairs and keep your dishwasher in tiptop shape.

Easy Maintenance Tips for Grills

Keep your grill burning bright for years with this simple cleaning and care guide.

DIY Money-Saving Kitchen Remodeling Tips

Renovating your own kitchen? Here are some handy tips from 10 Grand in Your Hand on planning, installing and shopping.

Tips on Determining Hard Water

Too much of the same mineral will lead to hard water. Not only can the water smell and taste bad, it can also damage appliances. Here are a few tips to find out for sure if a home has hard water.

On TV

Garage Gold

7:30am | 6:30c

Yard Crashers

8:30am | 7:30c

Yard Crashers

9:30am | 8:30c

Yard Crashers

10am | 9c

Yard Crashers

10:30am | 9:30c

Yard Crashers

11am | 10c

Yard Crashers

11:30am | 10:30c

Pool Kings

12pm | 11c

Pool Kings

12:30pm | 11:30c

Pool Kings

1pm | 12c

Pool Kings

1:30pm | 12:30c

Pool Kings

2pm | 1c

Pool Kings

2:30pm | 1:30c

Pool Kings

3pm | 2c

Pool Kings

3:30pm | 2:30c

Pool Kings

4pm | 3c

Pool Kings

4:30pm | 3:30c

Lawn & Order

5:30pm | 4:30c

Lawn & Order

6:30pm | 5:30c

Big Beach Builds

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Big Beach Builds

8pm | 7c

Big Beach Builds

8:30pm | 7:30c

Big Beach Builds

9:30pm | 8:30c

Big Beach Builds

10:30pm | 9:30c

Big Beach Builds

11:30pm | 10:30c

Big Beach Builds

12:30am | 11:30c

Big Beach Builds

1:30am | 12:30c

Big Beach Builds

2:30am | 1:30c

Big Beach Builds

3:30am | 2:30c

Back Flip

4:30am | 3:30c

Get Social With Us

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

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.