When choosing a microwave oven, there are four things to consider: capacity, wattage, reliability, and looks. Different families require different combinations.
If you’re serious about a performance kitchen, you need capacity. The largest capacity microwave ovens have a capacity of just over 2 cubic feet. These ovens are larger, so make sure that you either have a good spot for them, or if you’re designing a new kitchen, be sure to allow enough room for this oversized microwave oven. And remember, all microwave doors always open to the left.
Wattage describes the unit of measurement for the heating power of a microwave oven. Domestic microwave ovens generally have wattages between 600-900 watts while commercial ovens can have wattage of up to 2000 watts. The higher the wattage, the faster the oven heats food. If you’re upgrading to a more powerful microwave, it might take a while to get used to the faster cook times.
You can research on-line, but your local appliance dealer probably has a better insight into which ovens have been the most reliable over the years. Local appliance dealers like A-1 Appliance Co, who have been in business in Nashville for decades and who have a great service department can give you the best advice based on experience.
The new move in microwaves is an oven that combines microwaves and halogen light to produce an oven that cooks 8 times faster than a conventional oven. GE’s Advantium, shown here, is this type of “Speedcook” oven. It can bake, roast, grill, broil, defrost and reheat. If you’ve chosen to go with a single oven instead of a double oven, an Advantium is a good replacement for a microwave since it can stand in for a second oven when you need the extra cooking space.