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Does size really matter? Tips for buying a microwave

by emily

in Lifestyle

A microwave is one of the most convenient kitchen appliances for heating up food and defrosting items. While there are so many different microwaves to choose from, with separate features, it’s important to choose something that matches your cooking requirements and, more importantly, your budget.

These modern, easy-to-use appliances come in a range of different colours, making it even easier to choose something that fits seamlessly with the rest of your kitchen layout.

Here are a few tips for buying a new microwave:

  • Cooking potential

New homeowners usually insist on purchasing something smaller and cheaper because of the size and price. But they forget that the size affects the performance of your appliance. Of course, the more features you have, the more expensive the microwave will be, but the essentials are something that performs well and has the standard features that you need. These include auto defrost and cooking shortcuts.

If you are looking for something which you can cook your entire meal in, or cut the time you spend on preparing your meals, a unit with extra grill, convection and cooling will assist with your cooking process. These upgraded features are used for different cooking methods which guarantee a delicious end result.

  • Exterior for cleaning

Apart from not having the time to prepare meals, many people choose to use a microwave because of the easy maintenance it offers. Forget having to scrub down the inside of your oven or stove top as most exteriors are stainless steel, making it easy to wipe down and clean. The inside trays are usually glass, which means that if your food spills over, you can easily remove the tray and clean it for the next meal.

Because these appliances play such an important role in any kitchen, a design tip is to try and match the exterior with the rest of your kitchen appliances. Whether you want something neutral or you want to add a pop of colour to your kitchen space, purchase something that is going to fit with the rest of your kitchen.

  • Capacity and size

Depending on the size of your kitchen, you’ll need to make a decision based on the space you have. Bear in mind that the size and capacity can significantly influence the time it takes to prepare your food and the amount of internal space it has to prepare that specific meal. Ultimately, you would want something that is quick and efficient. The lower the wattage, the longer it will take to cook your food. And low wattage microwaves usually don’t cook the food evenly either.

Don’t base your decision on the price. Rather make a practical decision on the efficiency and the performance as it needs to fit your requirements. One size does not fit all, so if you’re looking to warm up last night’s leftovers, make sure your microwave is big enough to fit a dinner plate inside.

  • Energy efficiency

Although it might cost less to start up your oven, a microwave isn’t always the most efficient appliance in the kitchen. Make sure the model you choose boasts energy efficiency and has a power-saving option. This will lower your household energy consumption, save you money and benefit the environment. Newer models often have sensors which measure the time you need to heat your food, without running it for extra minutes if your food is already heated. So, instead of checking it every 30 seconds, the microwave will switch off when your food is hot. This opening and closing action makes the unit have to work harder.

  • Additional features to consider

Your purchase should be influenced by the type of cooking yo do. For example, if you purchase vegetables and meat in bulk and store them in your freezer, you may need to consider a microwave with various defrosting features. Otherwise, you can look at accessory features, which could be anything from the microwave tray inside to steamers. If you have small children and don’t want them to touch your microwave while it’s in use, look for child lock microwaves which have safety settings.

  • Microwave safety tips

In order to guarantee a long-term investment, you also need to look after it and use it correctly. When you are cooking something, make sure it’s in the correct container. Do not use pans, metal containers or anything with a metal trim in your microwave as these items contain chemicals, and when heated, it could be alarming for your health and the functioning of the microwave.

It is advised that you stick to plastic, glass or ceramics. Other tips are to not start up an empty microwave since this could damage it, and do not use sterilising products in the microwave.

Final words

Purchasing microwaves in South Africa should be a lengthy process. You should be putting as much thought into this as you would when looking for a new fridge or washing machine. These items are great helping hands, so be sure to buy something that works for you and complements your cooking habits.

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